2020 is a big year for K2. The all-new Mindbender line is ready to take off, and at the crux of the all-mountain division lies the Mindbender 88 Ti Alliance. It’s hard to determine which width of ski is most effective and useful as far as an all-mountain ski is concerned, and we here at SkiEssentials keep coming back to the ~88 mm underfoot width. Most days are not snow days, so for one pair of skis to execute at a high-level day in and day out, too wide can be overkill. Sure it’s fun to have a wide pair of skis for big dump days, but that’s the exception, not the rule. The Mindbender 88 Ti Alliance checks all the boxes when it comes to a versatile, high-performance ski that can handle a ton of different conditions and terrain. Built with an Aspen wood core and a Titanal Y-Beam, the MB 88 Ti is a great blend of performance and fun. The Y-Beam extends to the edges in the tips and in the forebody before tapering to the center towards the tail. This gives you fantastic edge grip and control while allowing the tail to be playful and fun. At the 163 cm length, the skis have a 14.7-meter turn radius, so it’s likely to want to be on edge. Our testers were kind of all over the map with this ski, with some of them loving it and others not quite sure where it fell.
Ali Berlin skied the 163 and loved the flotation, quickness, playfulness, and forgiveness, with each of those categories earning 4’s out of 4. For stability and edge hold, Ali’s scores were 2’s, so for a ski that’s supposed to do everything well, these scores do not really reflect K2’s intention. Ali calls the ski “great for an advanced intermediate skier looking for a fun all-around ski. They’re stable underfoot and not too grabby at the tips.” Thanks to the Titanal Y-Beam, they’re “easy to release out of a turn and easy to steer.” All of Ali’s high scores are pretty accurately reflected in her comments, as she does a nice job of focusing on the strengths and intended audience of the ski.
Also on the 163, Ariel Aidala liked the length and found it to be quite stable and stiff, thanks to her high scores of 5 out of 5 in those categories. Her low score was a 3 out of 5 for forgiveness, so it’s pretty plain to see that she’s found the Titanal Y-Beam to increase the fore/aft stiffness. The rest of her scores were 4’s out of 5, so she’s hitting the nail on the head in terms of what K2 has set out to do. She calls the MB 88 Ti “stable on quick as well as long, hard turns, but you have to commit to the turn or the ski will have a mind of its own. Great on bumps and transitioning from hard to soft snow. Great new ski from K2. Good to great all-mountain women’s ski for the feisty lover-of-turns lady.” Nice stuff there from Ariel, noting that the skis need a good, strong pilot in order to glean the best performance.
Katrine Wolfgang had nothing but love for her 163 cm test length. She scored it all 4’s and 5’s with the majority of scores as 5 including overall impression. “I loved this ski. Stable and fast (or not), easy to maneuver. Really fun as a true all-mountain ski.” That’s it from Katrine, short and sweet.
K2 is on to something good with this new build and shape. Skiers from a huge variety of backgrounds will find something that they like within the line, and for those advanced and expert skiers who are looking for a responsive and stable all-mountain ski with a versatile shape, the Mindbender 88 Ti Alliance is the way to go.