2020 K2 Mindbender 90Ti

We’re loving the all-new K2 Mindbender 90 Ti. From an all-mountain versatility standpoint, there’s not a whole lot out there that’s any better. We have gone back and forth over the years in terms of what we think is that ideal waist width for all conditions, and we keep coming back to the 88-92 range. Smack in the middle is where the Mindbender 90 Ti lives. In terms of pretty much everything. If you want a ski that does everything, it’s probably not going to do everything well. It most likely has some deficiencies along the way, but K2 has done a fantastic job in mitigating those shortcomings. Built with a wood core made from maple and aspen, the MB 90 Ti is a good combination of stiff and poppy. K2’s new technology is its Titanal Y-Beam that provides strong edge control in the forebody and through the waist, but tapers to a more playful build in the tail of the ski. Tip and tail rocker add to the versatility while the 17.9-meter turn radius at the 177 cm length is a nice shape for a wide variety of turns. Our testers are able to see the writing on the wall, and all generally agree that this is an up-and-coming model that’s going to turn some heads this winter.

On that 177, Jeff Neagle calls it “a true all-mountain ski. It’s refreshing to have in a sea of ~90 mm skis that all seem to try to focus on one type of performance or another. This thing rips moguls just as well as it lays down carves. Smooth and not catchy in fairly deep snow due to the tip and tail shape.” The tip shape is fairly interesting—it’s pretty flat, so on one hand, it reduces swing weight, but on the another hand, it just looks a bit odd. In terms of the overall energy, Jeff notes that it’s “not super-responsive, and needs some steeper terrain to really come alive when carving.” Jeff’s scores of all 4’s except for a 3 in flotation mirror the intention of K2 in their quest to build a completely versatile ski.

Bob St.Pierre scored his 184 cm tester with 5’s for versatility and overall impression. These are great scores, as are the 4’s for quickness and playfulness. “I love how versatile these skis are. From moguls to trees and high-speed groomers, the MB 90 Ti is a fantastic Stowe/Eastern one-ski quiver.” Bob notes the performance of the new build, insofar that the K2 is “a bit less demanding in the tails, but super-fun nonetheless.” He concludes by calling the ski an “all-mountain ripper,” which is exactly what K2 set out to do.

Michael Carroll-Sherwin notes that his 184 “feels nimble and stable.” With 5’s for stability, quickness, and playfulness, it’s pretty clear that Michael was a fan of the new Mindbender 90 Ti. The rest of his scores were all 4’s, so he’s got some pretty consistent feelings about these skis. For better or worse, Michael also calls these skis perfect “for the washed-out 25+ park rats or rad dads looking to connect with their teenage skier.” As a member of both of those demographics, I reluctantly say he’s correct.

Mike Thomas was another fan of the 184 Mindbender 90 Ti, as he scored it all 4’s with one 5 for versatility. That’s what K2 was after with this new build and shape, and it seems like they’ve accomplished their goal. Mike also notes that they’re “not the strongest in turn initiation, but solid from the middle back.” In terms of versatility, Mike says that “I could live with this ski day in and day out.” That’s exactly what K2 envisioned, and at least in Mike’s mind, it’s a successful ski.

There’s a lot to like about this new K2 Mindbender 90 Ti, and our testers certainly picked up on the versatile and composed nature of the ski. From moguls and trees to groomers and steeps, the K2 Mindbender 90 Ti exists for all of it.

Testers

Brooks Curran

Age: 24Height: 6'2"Weight: 170 lbs.

Ski Style: Ex-racer, now backcountry freerider

Brad Moskowitz

Age: 50Height: 5'4"Weight: 140 lbs.

Ski Style: Fast and fun inspired by mohawks

Benny Wax

Age: 68Height: 5'6"Weight: 190 lbs.

Ski Style: Smooth and creamy, lots of turns

Noah Labow

Age: 38Height: 5'10"Weight: 155 lbs.

Ski Style: Acroski wannabe, versatility supreme

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

Michael Carroll-Sherwin

Age: 30Height: 6'1"Weight: 185 lbs.

Ski Style: Quick and nimble with freeride influence

Chuck Waskuch

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

Ski Style: Smooth and Controlled

Jeff Neagle

Age: 33Height: 5'10"Weight: 150 lbs.

Ski Style: Aggressive freeride with freestyle background

9 Comments on the “2020 K2 Mindbender 90Ti”

  1. Hi,

    I am an eastern skier, mostly ontario, will make one trip to new england and one trip out west each year. On that elusive search for the one-ski does all, kind of have things narrowed down to the Blizzard Rustler 9 and K2 Mindbender 90Ti.

    I am a smaller guy 5’4″ 160lbs, like to keep skis around my height 162-165 range.

    When I am on my own I like to ski fast, carving, steeps, moguls & trees – no terrain park. On trips out west, I’ll dip into some back bowls if there’s a bit of snow, and if it really dumps, then I’ll just go rent powder skis…. but if I’ve got few inches of fresh stuff, would like something that will still float a bit, or can handle runs that get skied out quickly (ontario) and are like navigating a pseudo-mogul field.

    Another point of consideration. I ski a fair bit with my younger kids cruising blues and greens and slower speeds, and ideally would like something that’s not going to be too demanding when going a bit slower…

    Thoughts? Maybe I just need two sets of skis 😉

    1. Hi Chris!
      Well yes you need two sets of skis, just not those two! For one pair, it sounds like you’re more of a Rustler skier. The K2 is great, but has more metal and requires more input. The Rustler can certainly be pushed, but also has more versatility at slower speeds. It’s a bit wider, so you’re going to get a touch more float not only due to the extra width but also the lighter tips in the Rustler. Seems like a Rustler 9 in the 165. Have fun!
      SE

      1. Thanks for the input… yes, I seem to keep circling back around to the rustler 9 as it seems to be advertised as a little more versatile than most. Maybe worth mentioning that I currently ski nordica firearrows, which I enjoy when I ski most things.

        Is there any other brands/skis that might fit what I’m after? I’ve had a look at skis like the nordica enforcer (88) and volkl kendo (88), both, however, seem to be a little more of an aggressive and demanding ski, which I don’t mind, but is maybe not checking the versatility box(es)…. kind of in the same camp as brahmas.

      2. Hi Chris!
        A bit wider for more versatility, check out the Rossignol Experience 94 Ti. Lots of power and a high gear, but not as demanding as the Enforcer/Kendo/Mantra. If you go up to the ~95’s you get a ton more options, for better or worse. Stockli Stormrider 95 ($$$ but sweet), Elan Ripstick 96, and Atomic Vantage 97 C come to mind in that camp. Hope that helps and not convolutes. Have fun!
        SE

  2. Bob…I’m 6′ and 210 lbs. What are your thoughts for K2M90ti, Ranger 94, and Nordica Nav 90? I’ll use this for more groomers and bumps. I have Enforcer 104 FR as my pow/freestyle skis.

    Thanks much,

    Ken

    1. Hi Ken!
      I’d look to widen your gap between skis, so the 90’s over the 94–this gives you more range in your quiver. Between the K2 and the Nav, the K2 is quite a bit more stable, but it does come at the cost of weight–they’re on the heavy side. If you were groomers and carved turns all the way, I’d go with the Nav, but if you’re looking for more of a charger, the K2 is pretty darn fun. I’m a bit bigger than you, so I do appreciate a bit more beef underfoot. For a more nimble feel, the Nav is the way to go. Bumps is kind of a wash, because the tail of the Nav is pretty stiff while the overall weight of the K2 will bog it down a tad. Overall, at the end of the day, I’d go K2. Take care!
      Bob

      1. Thanks very much, Bob. I have a pair of 179 Nav 90. After a season, they just feel a bit soft to me and not nearly as stable as my 186cm Enforcer 104fr. Will look into the 184 K2.

        Stay healthy.

  3. Hi SE!

    I currently ski on a 172cm navigator 85 and looking for an upgrade. I like to go fast on piste where I spend most of my time on but also want to have a bit of versatility to improve my game in mogul / trees. I have considered Enforcer 88 and QST 92, and now think the mindbender 90 might be the best choice given how balanced it is (one full sheet of metal that still provide an upgrade in power and stability at speed to my navigator 85 without being too taxing as compared to enforcer 88, while also provide more versatility for off-piste terrains). The only downside might be the turn initiation might not be as quick and it’s heavier.

    Two questions I would appreciate your guidance on 1) am I missing something in my thought process? 2) what’s the right length for me on the Mindbender 90? (I am 5’10, 170lbs, advanced on piste, intermediate off-piste).

    Thank you as always!

    Reply

    1. Hi FG!
      I think you’re on track. From your 85, the 90Ti is the next step up followed by the Enforcer in terms of heft and stiffness. The QST is a bit different, with less of a piste personality, but still a very capable and competent turner. Not quite the high gear of the K2, and certainly not the Enforcer, but very solid in its own right. I’d say the 177-179 range for those skis is appropriate. Take care!
      SE

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