Expert Review: 2023 K2 Mindbender 99Ti Womens [with Video]
Ski Experts Jessica Whittam and Sara Beeken tested the 2023 K2 Mindbender 99Ti Womens skis on carving, freestyle, and freeride at Powder Mountain in Utah.
Curated Ski Experts Jessica Whittam and Sara Beeken tested the 2023 K2 Mindbender 99Ti Womens skis this spring at Powder Mountain in Utah. Check out how it performed in the carving, freestyle, and freeride categories, but consider the fact that each and every skier is different. If you have any questions about the Mindbender 99Ti Womens or need recommendations on which ski would be best for you, reach out to a Ski Expert here on Curated.
One final point before we dive in: It's worth noting that Curated Experts are not sponsored by any brands. All of these reviews are completely unbiased.
What does K2 claim about this ski? [Jessica] They are labeled as an expert ski, but again, I don't think that you have to be an expert skier to rip these. I think these would be a really good intro ski for somebody looking to branch into big mountain skiing because these are really great on groomers, really great in the trees, really great in the moguls, and just altogether, they are a fantastic all-mountain ski.
But again, they are really nimble and very easy to control, which is why I think that they would be a good option for the intermediate skier looking to progress and a good start-out ski to get to exploring the whole mountain.
[Sara] This is one of K2's most advanced women's skis. It's made for women who want to go all over the mountain, do some freeride, and hit high-speed groomers.
What is your overall impression of this ski? [Jessica] K2 built these skis to be their top-of-the-line freeride skis for women for all-mountain. They're built with Titanal Y-Beam construction, which makes them extra stiff. I did feel that. I felt like they were pretty stiff, but honestly, in my opinion, for these being the top-of-the-line ski, I think that these skis would be just as accessible for somebody who's an intermediate skier looking to explore all-mountain.
These skis were really, really nimble, really playful for them being Titanal reinforced, so they were really stiff but super easy to control. I could hop edge to edge, and I could go through trees. I could go crush moguls, get GS turns, and get slalom turns. These skis were really, really good for everything.
[Sara] First off, I had a really, really good time on these skis. They were really nice and stiff, and they could handle the groomers beautifully. There's a layer of Titanal in there, and I could definitely tell. Some of the other similar skis have carbon in them, so the Titanal really sets this one apart.
How is the shape of the ski and the ski profile? And how does it impact the ride? [Sara] The ski is mostly flat with some rocker in the tip, and that's going to keep you floating in crud. Where I had the best experience with it was, honestly, in the crud. I really didn't experience too much chatter.
What is the edge hold like? [Sara] Edge hold was excellent. No issues there. Short turns, long turns, all of it worked pretty well. The long turns were what this ski seemed to like more, but I was able to do some short turns on it too.
How does it turn? [Sara] It takes some effort to turn the ski. You want to be a fairly advanced skier. They're a little bit heavier than some of the others in the Mindbender line, but you can really get it on edge and carve a really nice turn.
How is the stability in the turn? [Sara] This is a super stable ski, stable all over the mountain and stable in the turn. No issues there.
What is the flex like? [Sara] This is a pretty stiff ski compared to some of the other women's Mindbender skis, so I really liked it.
What about dampness? Any chatter in the ski? [Jessica] Yeah. These were pretty damp. They handled the chatter pretty well in the trees if you did hit a little bit of crud. It is pretty slushy out today, so there wasn't a ton of crud left over from this morning. It was pretty icy this morning. Right now, it's pretty soft out there. So it held up really well at high speeds. But again, it wasn't super hard-packed today, so I couldn't tell you about it.
[Sara] I felt very little chatter, even in the crud.
How does it perform at speed? How easy is it to control? What about it makes it harder to control if not? [Jessica] These skis held up really well at high speeds. I could get it going as fast as I wanted with no issue. The snow really did soften up today, so I don't particularly know how well they would do on hardpacked chatter, but they did really well. It's 45 degrees here today.
[Sara] It was excellent at speed. I am a former racer and really enjoyed going fast on these. It's a little bit tougher to control at speed than some of the other Mindbenders, so it's definitely directed at a more advanced female skier. But, because of the rocker in the tip, it really wasn't hard to initiate the turns. It is heavier and stiffer, so it's made for someone who's going to be really charging down the mountain.
How is the energy acceleration? [Sara] I felt some pretty good acceleration on this ski. It maintains high speeds pretty well. It doesn't have a ton of camber, so it wasn't particularly poppy on jumps, but I still had a really great time.
How playful is it? [Jessica] Yes, they were playful. I think I talked about that in that big long spiel. Super playful skis. You could really hop, turn to turn, and edge to edge was really great. Getting through narrow spots in the trees was really easy. I felt really in control on these skis.
[Sara] This ski is not as playful as some other freeride skis just because of that Titanal layer. But I did go over some jumps and had a great time on those. I didn't have any issues with the level of playfulness for what I was doing.
How is the pop? [Sara] There's not as much pop in this ski as there would be in a ski with more camber, but it can definitely handle jumps and give you a really stable landing.
How is it for skiing switch? [Sara] You could ski switch on these skis. There's definitely some better options out there if you're skiing a lot of switch, but it's not going to trip you up too much if you want to ski switch.
How about the landing on jumps? [Sara] Super stable on landings. Really nice and stiff ski, so you don't feel like you're going to go over your toes or your heels. I had a really fun time on jumps with these.
How would it be in powder? [Sara] I wasn't able to ski these in any powder today. But, because of the width, I think they would still do pretty well in powder.
How about uneven terrain and chunder? [Sara] Love the uneven terrain and chunder. I sought it out specifically with these skis because they handled it so well.
How is its maneuverability riding in the trees? [Sara] I rode in the trees with these. They were a little bit tougher to maneuver around the trees than some of the other skis that I've used. But if you've got the muscle and the ability to do it, they handle the trees really well.
What kind of terrain does it perform well on? [Sara] These skis are a great freeride, all-mountain ski. They can do good on the groomers as well, even though they're a little bit wider. So you can take them pretty much anywhere.
What kind of terrain does it not perform as well on? [Sara] You probably wouldn't want to use these in really deep powder. They can definitely handle a few inches. But other than that, anywhere on the mountain is going to be a great time with these.
What would be the best location for it? [Jessica] It is such a versatile ski that it would really excel in all sorts of conditions. But with 99 underfoot, these do come in 89, which might be better for east coast conditions. The 99s are going to be a little bit better for more variable terrain and deeper snow.
[Sara] I think these would be a great ski for most people anywhere in the country. Especially on the West Coast, they're going to be a really good daily driver ski.
Who would you recommend this ski to? [Sara] I would recommend these skis to hard-charging women who are looking to go everywhere on the mountain and have just enough playfulness to go in the trees, do some jumps, and also ski fast.
Who should avoid this ski? [Sara] These are not a great ski for beginners and intermediates. I would definitely recommend these for an advanced expert female instead.
Skis work differently for different types of people. If you want help finding the best skis for your needs, reach out to Jessica, Sara, or any other Ski Expert here on Curated. They’ll help you find the right skis for you.