K2 Mindbender 99 Ti
BEST FOR: Those wanting a bigger ski that can do it all.
LENGTHS: 170, 177, 184, 191
SUGGESTED RETAIL: $700
OTHER MODELS: 116C, 108 Ti, 90 Ti, 90C, 85
One of the biggest puzzles in ski design has been how to adjust the flex from edge-to-edge and tip-to-tail independently. K2 thinks it’s found the answer in the Mindbender family of six skis. The replacement of the Pinnacle series, the Mindbenders are a complete redesign using two constructions: a Y-shaped beam of Titanal or a carbon fibre braid. K2 says both create a stiff ski laterally with the ability to adjust flex from tip to tail. Skiing the 99 Ti with the Y-beam, our testers said it’s telling the truth. “Sweet! Predictable carve and flex, and holds on the groomers,” said Shane Rowtley. K2 fan Paul Cunnius was equally impressed: “There is no compromise in the flex as you push it in any conditions. Smooth and comfortable, providing support, strength and grip wherever and whenever needed.” The partial sheet of metal makes it a heavier ski—more than two kg each. No surprise it felt powerful on hard groomers, plowed through chunder and rode stable at speed. But testers didn’t seem to notice any pudginess. Indeed, many noted its “light weight” and “agility.” The multiple personalities may be due to K2’s well-designed early-rise tip and tail: there’s plenty of rocker but it’s low to the snow. It swivels easily, but more edge engages in a carve. Basically, it carves like a narrower ski, but floats and plays like a bigger ski.K2, K2 Mindbender, ski test