2020 K2 Mindbender 106C Alliance

Built with exploring deep snow in mind, the all-new K2 Mindbender 106 C Alliance is the second-widest of the series, and this well-rounded ski is poised to make some serious waves with advanced and expert level skiers looking for quickness, flotation, and fun. Built with an Aspen wood core, these things are light and quick. They’re forgiving enough to handle the soft snow and chop, but stable enough for some high-speed cruising and hard-charging thanks to the Carbon Spectral Braid. This new technology is an intricate way of stating that the skis are stiffer in the tips and forebody and more playful in the tails. By winding carbon stringers in different ways throughout the ski, K2 achieves a high-performance/high-fun effect. Much like the Titanal Y-Beam found in other K2 Mindbender models, the Carbon Spectral Braid puts more emphasis on the front half of the ski in terms of stiffness. Skiers looking to add a pow stick to their quiver should definitely check out the Mindbender 106 C Alliance. Long name, cool ski.

On the 175, Caroline Kessler was a huge fan of the stability and versatility of the MB 106 C. She calls it “Powerful!” That’s great input, especially since the K2 has no metal. These skis “ripped big turns, cut through crud, were stable at high-speeds, floats through pow, and is a great big-mountain ski.” All good things coming from Caroline here, as she also notes that the Mindbender 106 C Alliance would be “a great east coast all-mountain ski for an aggressive and strong skier.” There are not many days you need a wider ski than this in the east, so for skiers looking for that pow ski for the east or a one-ski quiver for the west, the MB 106 C is a great option.

Allison Ruschp “would love to add this ski to my quiver. Such a fun ski!” She skied the 175 and had high scores for pretty much all categories. Her overall impression score of 5 out of 5 in not surprising, especially given her quote. All other scores were 4’s and 5’s indicating that this is a very well-rounded ski. “Very skiable in mixed conditions. Light and playful in bumps and woods, easily maneuverable in trees. From spring skiing to cold winter days, this ski can handle it all.” But at 106, is it too wide for these conditions? Alli says: “Even with the wider waist, I was able to get a good carve.” Impressive stuff for a ski at 106 mm underfoot without metal.

Jascha Herlihy found the 167 cm length to be a bit short, but that didn’t stop her from scoring it highly in nearly all the categories. Other than 3’s for stability and edge hold (not shocking), all of Jascha’s scores were all 4’s. In terms of playfulness, “they were great for side hits and jibs.” For versatility’s sake, “in the slush they’re a lot of fun and have good maneuverability. They’re surprisingly good on hard pack and bumps. This ski wants to be a side-hit lady. They’ve got a lot of spunk to them and will go where you take them.” The all-mountain personality and playfulness really stand out in Jascha’s review, and it’s great to see that a wider ski can do these things that are normally reserved for narrower, more twin-tip type skis.

Also feeling that the 167 was a bit short, Kelsey Boleski nevertheless loved the flotation and stability of the skis. All of Kelsey’s scores were above 3.5, including a 4 for versatility and overall impression. These consistently high scores indicate a highly versatile and strong-performing ski. Kelsey found “the carbon construction and the shape allows the skis to be playful, easy to turn, and solid at higher speeds.”

At 106 underfoot and with carbon instead of metal, the Mindbender 106 C Alliance has a lot going for it in terms of stability and quickness. These are some impressive new skis from which we expect big things.

Testers

Kelsey Boleski

Age: 29Height: 5'8"Weight: 150 lbs.

Ski Style: Freeride oriented with a competitive background

Jascha Herlihy

Age: 19Height: 5'9"Weight: 195 lbs.

Ski Style: Aggressive and fearless with a playful soul

Allison Ruschp

Age: 32Height: 5'5"Weight: 135 lbs.

Ski Style: Ex-racer who's calmed herself down

Caroline Kessler

Age: 24Height: 5'9"Weight: 160 lbs.

Ski Style: Fast and aggressive, yet playful

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