The all-new Mindbender series is picking up where the Pinnacle line left off. As the centerpiece of the collection, the Mindbender 99 Ti is that all-mountain/freeride blend ski that’s aiming at the one-ski quiver folks. In this sense, it appears to be a successful shape and build. Starting with a Maple/Aspen wood core, K2 adds it’s Titanal Y-Frame that serves as it’s metal laminate. The wood core is a great blend of stiffness and lightness, and the Y-Frame adds to that by beefing up necessary parts while leaving others well enough alone. In the forebody of the ski, the metal extends all the way to the edges. It tapers in towards the tail to allow for a more playful and versatile release of the turn. A squared-off tip shape reduces swing weight, and although these are pretty heavy skis on the scale, they sure don’t feel like it on your feet. This is a good thing, especially for all-mountain skiers who are looking for the utmost in versatility. Our testers mainly found the Mindbender 99 Ti to be strong, stable, and a lot of fun.
Steve Sulin liked the feel of the 177, and scored it all 5’s except for a 4 in flotation. This type of consistent scoring is indicative of a well-rounded ski. They do everything well. Steve calls it the “ski of the year. It totally kills it and can’t do anything wrong.” Okay! Pretty resounding compliments from Steve here, and that’s good news for K2 getting a blessing like that from our shop manager.
Another 177 skier, Justin Perry scored it all 4’s except for a 3 in forgiveness. Again, seeing those consistent and linear scores speak volumes as to the versatility of the ski. “This is a fun all-mountain ripper. Very playful and pops you into anything you want.” K2 was definitely going for that playful aspect, especially with the metal laminate allowing the tail to be a bit more forgiving. The tips and forebody though, are pretty stiff and precise. Justin concludes by stating that the K2 Mindbender 99 is “great at high speed and low.”
On the longer 184, Parker Herlihy was a pretty big fan of the versatility and personality of the ski. He calls it a “bender of the mind” as K2 most likely enjoys hearing. He goes on to state that it’s a “strong all-around ski, but does not do anything that sets it apart.” Sometimes this can be a good thing, in that the ski is best suited for everything. Parker also notes that the ski is “light,” and we are assuming that he means that they feel light, but their actual weight is pretty high for skis of this shape and size.
In the highly-positive department, Brad Schauerman, on the 177, called the ski “awesome! Super-fun and super-versatile. One of my favorite skis of the day. Very quick and nimble and very stable at high speed as well.” As far as echoing K2’s hopes about this ski, Brad calls it “a great one-ski quiver ski.” His scores were all 4’s and 5’s, with 5’s being given for quickness, playfulness, and versatility. Sounds like Brad found a good one!
It’s tough for a totally new ski to break into the industry, and with the success of the Pinnacle line over the past few seasons, it must be hard to move on from that. K2 has done a fantastic job thus far in creating these high-performance skis that have a lot going for them. The Mindbender 99 Ti is a capable and fun-loving ski that our testers loved. Above most else, the versatility and all-around performance stood out, as evidenced by scores and comments. For advanced and expert skiers looking for that one-ski quiver, the MB 99 Ti is an awesome choice.