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Ladies looking for pure and playful all-mountain performance will find a lot to like about these skis. As a new model for 2024, the K2 Mindbender 96C W offers a new level of versatility and maneuverability for intermediate through expert skiers who are looking to take on the entire mountain. Following the success of the existing 90C W and 106C W in the Mindbender line, the new 96 splits that difference and makes a whole lot of sense for progressing skiers looking to make the most out of their soft snow and all-mountain experience. With the carbon-powered skis in the Mindbender line, skiers are getting a good mix of light weight and high performance that allows for versatile skiing and does so for a whole lot of skiers. The mid-90's is a great place to be for all-mountain versatility, offering up strong on-trail performance to coincide with soft snow acumen. We’ve loved skis in this shape and realm for years, and that continues on into 2024 with this great new model.

Built with an aspen wood core, the 96C W has a strong and energetic start. The aspen keeps it on the light side while retaining the energy needed for high performance skiing. The Carbon Spectral braiding that we see in the other carbon-powered models carries through to this ski in this year, providing a sophisticated and highly engineered overall feel for tons of fun and a well-rounded feel. The engineers at K2 are able to lace carbon stringers in a cross-hatched format to adjust the stiffness of the ski to where it’s needed for the directional performance of the ski. In the tips and shovels, the carbon is weaved more in a lateral format to make the ski hook into the turn with ease. In the tail, the stringers are more longitudinal, providing the ski with a responsive finish to the turn. In addition to the wood and carbon, we also get uni-directional flax fibers to stiffen the whole deal. It’s all bonded together with K2’s new Bio-Resin that provides better adhesion with a greener footprint. In the 166, this all adds up to a weight of 1630 grams per ski—light enough for agility, but sturdy enough for more aggressive skiing.

148, 154, 160, 166, 172 cm14.1 m at 166 cm131/96/119 mm

Aspen Core
Carbon Spectral Braid
Uni-Directional Flax
Preferred Terrain
Soft Snow

The shape of the ski is also quite new, with the 96C W providing that mid-fat width for mixing on and off-trail performance. There’s low rise in both the tips and the tails when it comes to rocker, with the shovels having more overall rocker to provide ample flotation in fresh and soft snow. The tails have rocker, but it’s not exorbitant by any stretch—more in line with most other mid-90's all-mountain skis. The taper exists, but is not terribly dramatic, allowing for easy entry and exit into the turns while keeping a longer and smoother effective edge for on-trail carving performance. In the 166, the ski registers a 14.1-meter turn radius—good for mid-range carves and shorter turns when asked. It’s not too difficult to break free from the radius, allowing for proper skidded turns as well as longer and more drawn-out arcs.

Overall, this ski is floaty, fun, nimble, and friendly. There’s not a huge demand put on the skier, and that’s a big part of the appeal. As a ski that splits the difference between two currently successful models, the Mindbender 96C W has its own place in the K2 lineup, offering a lot of ladies an exceptional choice in the mid-90's all-mountain realm.