Expert Review: K2 Mindbender Team Skis · 2022Published on 11/17/2022 · 5 min readThis review is my honest opinion of the skis, which I purchased with my own money in October of 2021.
All photos courtesy of Austen Law
About this Review: This review is my honest opinion of the skis, which I purchased with my own money in October of 2021.
The K2 Mindbender Team Skis are intermediate to advanced-level skis that are great for crushing all snow conditions. They can float really well and carve like a good carver.
About the gear
- Model: 2021 K2 Mindbender Team Ski
- Size: 186cm
- Height: 6’0”
- Weight: 175lbs
- Experience: 26 years skiing, 16 years ski racing
- When I bought these: October 2021
- Days tested: 40+ days
- Mount position: Factory recommended
- Boots: 2021 Rossignol All Track Elite 130 LV
- Boot Size: 26.5
- Bindings: 2021 Armada Shift 13
- Where I’ve used it: Mt. Bachelor, Japan powder, Utah powder, and Powder Highway in Canada.
- Terrain: Powder, mixed snow, and groomer.
How they perform
What I was looking for
I was looking to try the new Mindbender series from K2, as they had graduated from the Pinnacle series, which was so awesome as an all-mountain and freeride ski. The new Mindbender series was supposed to be more geared toward the ability to carve really well and still be freeride and all-mountain.
Why I chose this gear
The new Mindbender family was a great new design from K2, allowing the skier to carve and have the size of a ski underfoot to ski all over in all snow conditions. I picked these skis because the Mindbender series was conceptualized in the cascades, where I ski, with the PNW skier in mind. These skis are the same as the newer 2022 model. The topsheet just changed.
What I love about them
- Speed: The speed of the Mindbender family is good. They are not super fast out of the plastic but quick with a good base grind and some good wax. As for stability at high speeds, these are well-balanced, and the ski core dampens a lot of the chop and bounce of skiing. Skiing in mixed snow, these skis cruise through everything without being choppy.
- Edge hold: These Mindbenders held an edge great for a mid-sized all-mountain ski. K2 uses a technology called SlantWall, adding a 30-degree angle to the side wall, increasing the agility and responsiveness of the ski.
- Turns: Turns are great at low speed and really fun at high speed. They can hold a lot of power through a turn from that partial metal core.
- Groomers: The Mindbenders are great on groomed runs because they have great edge hold through a turn.
- Powder: Epic. The Mindbenders handle great in the soft snow and the powder. Thanks to the lightened wood core, they float well and are nimble to slash powder and make some great turns.
- Trees: Quick and easy to turn, these skis are a gem in the trees. They are wide enough to ski powder in the trees and agile enough to ski in and out of the trees quickly.
- Durability: K2 has always had great value for its skis and great durability in its products. The topsheet holds up well even after having skied these for many days.
- Weight: Unreal. These are so light and hold so well, which is remarkable. Usually, when one lightens the ski, the integrity of the hold while turning is sometimes compromised. The K2s are light but can shred fantastically.
- Versatility: This ski can do it all for a wider, profiled ski. Sure, it is a touch larger ski underfoot, but they can carve well and float in powder really well too. Not too stiff and not too soft and flimsy, these were constructed just right.
- Flotation: The Mindbenders float well in mixed snow conditions, especially in soft powder.
Issues I’ve encountered
- Turns: These skis are wider, so turns aren’t as quick edge to edge as some carving skis, but they carve well for a big ski.
- Trees: At times, the skis are stiff due to the carbon weaving, but once one can find the balance, they are great.
Favorite moment with this gear
Being able to take these to Japan to ski was such a fun opportunity. When I took the new Mindbender skis to test out in the deep powder of Japan, they were incredible. I had only been familiar with their Pinnacle series, but the Mindbenders were such an incredible upgrade. As a ski racer, it was so fun to ski the powder so well and then be able to go rip around with great carving ability. These skis can shred powder conditions and rip on the groomers.
Value for the money vs. other options
K2 Team skis are awesome. These skis allow a skier to unlock the potential to ski in all conditions. K2 has always been well-priced and less expensive than many of its competitors. That doesn’t mean the quality of the product is any lesser, just priced really well. Other options similar to the K2 would be the Armada Tracer, which does not carve as well as the K2, and the Head Kore, which is light, but I think the K2 charges through all snow conditions better and more effectively.
A great ski to ski it all. The Mindbenders can tackle deep powder, carve exceptionally well, and cruise through mixed snow like a champion.