2022 K2 Mindbender 98Ti Alliance

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lengths: 154, 161, 168, 175 cm
radius: 15.6 m at 168 cm
sidecut: 134/98/120 mm at 168 cm
price: $ 314.96

The K2 Mindbender 98 Ti Alliance is a powerful, go-to ski for advanced and expert lady skiers who are looking to crush the entire mountain and not think twice about it. Built with an Aspen veneer wood core, these skis get a ton of pop and energy out of that wood. In addition, K2 adds their titanal Y-Beam to the mix that allows for more pressure and precision to go to the edges of the ski, especially in the forebody and through the waist of the 98 Ti. This makes the ski uncommonly stable and smooth on the groomers, as well as incredibly damp when the trails get chunky or if you venture off-piste at all. The metal tapers in towards the middle spine of the ski at the tail, offering a bit of playfulness and fun on the back end of the turn. Still incredibly strong and stout, these skis do have a bit longer and lower of a rocker profile that gives them the fun-loving character that K2 has always seem to have a monopoly on. Underfoot, they also use their powerwall sidewall to get even better grip and increase torsional stiffness while leaving the other parts of the skis largely unencumbered by that extra material. With just a graphics refresh for 2022, the K2 Mindbender 98 Ti Alliance is one of the more approachable and well-rounded skis that we see in this category, and we’re all about it.

Rocker / Camber / Rocker
Aspen Veneer
Titanal Y-Beam
All Mountain, Powder, Groomers

On the 161, Carly Monahan notes that it’s “Just right/true to size, would size up for more open terrain, but like the 161 for its quickness in NE trees.” We do end up in the woods a lot around here, so it does make sense to have a ski that’s appropriate for those conditions and terrain. Carly gave her top scores of 5’s out of 5 for stability and versatility, with 4’s for all other categories including overall impression. These are some very high and consistent scores, and that should be pretty typical of a ski of this width and in this build. Carly states that “The Ti gives it a good amount of stiffness and dampness - plows through crud and feels super reliable and burly without being crazy stiff or heavy. Would be a great everyday ski for New England ladies who like to a ski with a little power and an all-mtn vibe.” A little bit of everything, it sounds like, and that’s just what K2 has in mind with these wider all-mountain skis.

Alli Ruschp was also on the 161 and notes that it skis true to size. Probably a bit shorter than she’d normally use, but for this purpose, she can certainly find the merits and limitations of the 161. Like Carly, Alli scored the ski a 5 out of 5 for stability, and 4’s for torsional stiffness, edge hold, and flotation. She didn’t find it quite as versatile or playful as Carly did, and that’s okay, but still a bunch of high scores for these skis show the overall well-roundedness of the product. “Burly and beastly. Aggressive, heavy ski that’s powerful. Not for the average lady, takes some muscle but powers through crud easily. Smooth ride but very tired legs after the run.” We’ve certainly found a lot of this to be true about the men’s version of the ski as well, so it’s not shocking to hear that the Alliance build has a lot of the same feeling.

Overall, we love the composure and poise that these skis bring to the table, and K2 keeps churning out winners in this Alliance series. Be sure to be ready when you’re on the Ti versions, that they are on the stiffer and heavier side, but they provide the proper amount of feedback when you are on it. Don’t be shy on these skis—lean right into the front of your boot and get the power out of the ski. Advanced and expert skiers will be able to do this with the most effectiveness, but intermediates who are aggressive and are looking to progress will also find a home here.