2020 K2 Mindbender 90C

For 2020, the Mindbender series is taking over the previously popular Pinnacle line. The Mindbender 90 has two different builds for two different skiers. The 90 Ti has a titanal Y-Beam that adds a good amount of stiffness and strength, and it puts more stiffness in the tips and underfoot while allowing the tail to remain playful, light, and maneuverable. The 90 C uses carbon stringers to achieve the same effect, but in a lighter and slightly softer manner. They call it the Carbon Spectral Braid, and this winds the carbon tighter and closer together in the tips and underfoot, and it widens and slackens as it approaches the tail. At the 177 cm length, the skis have a 17.5-meter turn radius, and this is perfect for a variety of turn shapes and styles. Lighter advanced skiers and intermediates will love the quickness, maneuverability, and versatile nature of these skis. At 90 mm underfoot, the skis have the width for soft as well as hard snow, as most all-mountain skis looking for a big fan base tend to be in this approximate waist width. Our testers were pretty high on the quickness of the ski, with scattered grumbles about the lack of stability. But in the right hands (feet), these skis are a surefire winner.

Chuck Waskuch skied the 177 and found it to be the right length. He scored it 4’s out of 5 for quickness, maneuverability, playfulness, and forgiveness. Also earning that high-mark of 4 was Chuck’s overall impression. Lower scores for stability, flotation, and edge hold are unsurprising. Chuck calls the Mindbender 90 “nice and quick. Overall fun!” He calls it an “easy ski that holds a good enough edge, and is fun and quick turning.”

Also on the 177, Mike Aidala had a wonderful overall impression, with that category garnering a 5 out of 5. The rest of Mike’s scores were 4’s indicating a versatile and well-rounded ski of the highest order. Mike calls the MB 90 C “forgiving yet stable and playful. The K2 Mindbender 90 C has a great combination of forgiveness and power. It seems like an unattainable feat, but I feel the MB 90 C has achieved it.” Sounds like Mike’s a fan of this quick turning ski.

Bob St.Pierre and Mike Thomas could have used another size up from their 177 cm tester. They’re pretty similarly sized, and since the ski tops out at 177, skiers north of 200 pounds and 6 feet, unless beginners, will most likely overpower the MB 90 C. Both Mike and Bob scored 5’s out of 5 for quickness and playfulness, with the rest of their scores closely mirroring each other as well. Mike calls the MB 90 C “light and playful, very forgiving but still plenty of substance. A great ski for a lighter expert or an adventurous advanced skier who likes to explore.” Closely echoing Mike’s words, Bob offers up this review: “Light, fun and easy to ski. Fantastic choice for lighter skiers and mellower intermediates.” In terms of utilizing that shape, Bob notes that the skis “prefer shorter turns and slower speeds” which indicates that Bob felt like he overpowered the ski. It’s always fun when two similarly sized skiers with extensive backgrounds come this close with their reviews.

The all-new Mindbender series from K2 is poised to make some serious waves this upcoming winter, and in the lighter and more maneuverable area of the line is the 90 C, with its wood core and carbon braid, is capable and willing to tackle some adventurous terrain, but is an accessible ski for a wide variety of skier types. Smooth and Controlled

Testers

Bob St.Pierre

Age: 41Height: 6'2"Weight: 215 lbs.

Ski Style: Adaptable, versatile, ex-competitive mogul skier and coach

Mike Thomas

Age: 50Height: 6'3"Weight: 215 lbs.

Ski Style: Upright, fluid, nimble, and powerful

Dave Carter

Age: 61Height: 5'9"Weight: 155 lbs.

Ski Style: They don't call me "carving" Dave Carter for nothin'

Mike Aidala

Age: 42Height: 5'9"Weight: 167 lbs.

Ski Style: As fast as the terrain allows

Chuck Waskuch

Age: 47Height: 5'8"Weight: 180 lbs.

Ski Style: Smooth and Controlled

6 Comments on the “2020 K2 Mindbender 90C”

  1. I’ve watched hours of your reviews. I think they’re consistently the most thorough and informative of all the video series I’ve watched.
    These countless hours have narrowed my search to three skis.

    •Blizzard rustler 9
    •salomon qst 92
    •k2 mindbender 90 C

    I can’t find one good reason to pick one over the other, or eliminate any of them for a specific reason. Maybe you can help either eliminate one, or recommend one based on my needs. Fyi, 5’5″ 160 lbs

    I’m looking for
    1. ski that turns easily at slow speeds.. (ski almost exclusively with my young children, but would like a little stability just in case I want to turn up the speed a little bit)
    2. Is good for all conditions in New York and southern Vermont.
    3. Is fun. My best days consist of dipping into the trees while the kids stay on trail, and finding all the side hits.

    Thanks for the feedback. Hope to visit the shop in 2021 when I’m up there.

    1. Hi Joseph!
      The K2 is the lightest and easiest to ski be a pretty decent margin. I’d put the other two in more of a similar category with each other. I have been of the general theory lately that if you’re undecided about what ski to get and the QST 92 is somewhere on your list, you should get that one. It’s really as complete of a ski as I’ve seen come through here and haven’t really heard any negative things about it. The Rustler has more of a freeride flair to it, and is the only one with an actual structural sheet of metal in it. So I guess I’d lean to the QST 92 unless you really want the lightness (and corresponding instability at speed) of the K2. See you soon!
      SE

  2. Hi! I was hoping to get some advice on picking out a new ski!

    This is my second season skiing out here in Colorado (~30 years old, 5’11”, 150 lb), and I think I’ve started to outgrow the used skis I bought at the start of this season (Salomon Rocker 2 90s, 170 cm). They are short and soft which have been great for learning turn shapes and getting into moguls but now leave a lot to be desired for stability at speed and skiing in variable conditions. I ski about 70/30 groomers/ungroomed and bowls but would like to see that start to split more evenly. I’m still working on high angulation for carving and also consistently staying in the front seat in steeps and bumps and having been taking a lot of lessons (currently level 7) to work on these things.

    I recently demoed the K2 Mindbender 90C (177 cm) and while I really liked this ski–it was very responsive and a lot more stable at high speed than my old skis and less hooky–I’m wondering if I’ll be limited down the road by the softness of these skis? I will most likely eventually get a powder day/backcountry ski, but for now I want an all mountain ski I’ll be able to continue using as I progress.

    I can do a second demo at my local shop and apply it to the cost of new skis. The ski shop recommended the QST 92, Blizzard Rustler 9, and Elan Ripstick 96. Thoughts on which of these three might be a good second demo for me to try (or any others)?

    Thanks for being such a great resource–you guys are awesome!!

    1. Hi Patrick!
      If you liked the 90C and are looking for something stiffer, did you look at the Mindbender 90 Ti? Certainly burlier than the C, the Ti will give you that extra power for sure. The Ripstick is on the softer side as well, but is super-fun and nimble. The Rustler and the QST often get lumped together in this category, and for good reason. Pretty much any skier of any ability can use those skis and have a blast on them. A bit of extra width versus the K2 will allow them to float a bit better without sacrificing too much on the groomers. I think you’ll like the stable feeling of the QST versus the more poppy Rustler, but either will be fantastic for your application. I’d say that mid to upper 170’s is the right place to be for sizing. Have fun!
      SE

  3. Hey guys, I love my Mindbender 99Ti – really gel with the shape and dampness of the ski.

    Looking for a narrower touring ski, should I be looking at the 90C as an option? I guess the other skis on my radar are the Line Vision 98 or the Black Crows Camox Freebird. Don’t really have a chance to demo any of the above now, so any input would be appreciated!

    Thanks,

    Dan

    1. Hi Dan!
      It’s also tough to get a demo on a tour binding, so you kind of have to fly by night in that regard. The Camox Freebird is your best overall choice on that list. If you love the 99Ti, I’m betting there’s no way you’ll like the 90C–just too jittery with minimal downhill performance, especially when stacked against the 99 and the Camox. The Vision is an interesting choice, gives you a bit of width for the backcountry and is about as playful as it gets. Not quite as composed as the Camox, but still better than the 90C. Hope that helps!
      SE

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *