2020 K2 Mindbender 115C Alliance

The widest offering in the K2 Mindbender Alliance line, the 115 C is the perfect choice for ladies who are looking to rip through some serious powder. Built with strong Maple and light Paulownia wood, the MB 115 C is meant for the deep and soft snow. K2’s new design consists of a Carbon Spectral Braid that emphasizes structure in the tips and forebody of the ski while tapering off towards the tail. You get great punch and power from the front of the ski, and a playful and fun experience out of the back end. For soft snow and powder skiing, this is ideal, as K2 seems to always find a way to make skis snappy, fun, quick, and stable. This carbon braid stiffens the skis in just the right areas, while allowing it to still be its own playful self in other zones. For softer snow, it’s helpful to have a softer ski, and this is a prime example of what happens when a ski design gets it right. Our testers wished they had more snow to play in, as we were somewhat limited in our fresh snowfall for our test period. We did have some to start the test, and the spring temperatures kicked in for a good corn/soft spring snow afternoon, but we’d expect the skis to really shine in six inches or over type of snow.

Catherine Ferguson skied the 172 and gave it a “would be” score of 5+ for flotation. Surprisingly, her other score of 5 was for torsional stiffness and edge hold, which is a direct result of that Carbon Spectral Braid. Carbon is a very stiff and light material, so it works very well in this application. As far as the ski’s ability to be more than just a powder ski, Catherine is not so sure. “I wish I could have tried them on a powder day.” We wish we could just dial up a powder day as well, Catherine! That would make us look really good! She continues: “The width was a bit too wide for a day like today (spring-like) although I did enjoy playing around in the softer snow with them!” And in terms of an intended audience, Catherine notes that she “would recommend the skis to a woman who loves to ski backcountry and powder.” Feel free to put a touring/tech binding on these things, they’d make a great ski for off-resort skiing. Although they’d be on the heavy side, they’d provide ample flotation and powder performance to be sure.

Kristi Brown skied the 172 as well and loved the flotation, with that category earning a 5 out of 5. The rest of her scores were all 4’s indicating that Kristi found this wide powder ski to be more well-rounded than its shape lets on. We love seeing and hearing that our testers found a 115 mm underfoot ski to be quick and maneuverable as well as floaty. We got some good corn skiing during our test, and Kristi notes that the K2 Mindbender 115 C Alliance is “super-fun on corn and fairly supple on groomers.” She also takes the time to mention that, like Catherine, she’d prefer to ski these on a powder day. We agree, and that’s just how it goes in our test sometimes. She calls it “not exactly a fair shake for these big blasters.” And she’s right, it’s not quite fair, but we do have our testers assumptions to go by, and with this group, I’d call them pretty trustworthy and honest.

Powder enthusiasts will love the flotation of these wide skis. And while we couldn’t just call in a pow day for our test, we do recommend these for advanced and expert level ladies who are looking for a wide enough ski so that you’ll never wish or want something wider.

Testers

Kristi Brown

Age: 49Height: 5'9"Weight: 133 lbs.

Ski Style: Energetic, precise, very smooth and skis with a lot of finesse

Catherine Ferguson

Age: 26Height: 5'2"Weight: 130 lbs.

Ski Style: Freeride and freestyle oriented with a flair for fun

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