Expert Review: 2023 K2 Mindbender 89Ti Women's Skis [with Video]
Ski Expert Sara Beeken tested the 2023 K2 Mindbender 89Ti Women's skis on carving, freestyle, and freeride at Powder Mountain in Utah.
Curated Ski Expert Sara Beeken got her hands on the 2023 K2 Mindbender 89Ti this spring and put it to the test 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 89Ti or need recommendations on which skis would be best for you, reach out to a Ski Expert here on Curated.
Before we get started, 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? This is a middle-of-the-road ski for K2. It's kind of between the narrower and the wider version. It's made for intermediate-advanced skiers, and it is also oriented towards women.
What is your overall impression of this ski? My overall impression of this was that it was a really good, really fun ski. As a former racer, I really enjoyed how stiff it was and how well it performed on groomers. It does have the Titanal Y-Beam in it, which is different from some of the others that K2 has with carbon, so it was a little bit stiffer. It was great on groomers, it was great in the trees, and it was great at speed.
How is its flex? This is a fairly stiff ski compared to the carbon versions. It's not necessarily a groomer-carving ski only, but it is a stiffer ski.
How does it turn? The ski was pretty easy to turn. I felt good stability through the turn. Also, in the chop, it wasn't too bad. It's got the rocker in the tip, which makes for a super-easy turn initiation, helps with lots of really good short turns as well as good long turns. I felt like it did better at short turns than some of the other K2 Mindbenders.
How is its edge hold? It was pretty quick edge-to-edge with its good edge hold. It's a fairly narrow ski. It was really responsive. It held its edge pretty well in chunky snow. The Titanal keeps it stiff and keeps the edge holding even on icy snow.
Is it stable? I really liked this ski because it was so stiff and yet maneuverable. Being a person who likes to go fast on groomers, I really liked it for its stability at speed. It was very stable in turns and also very stable in less-than-ideal snow.
What about dampness? Any chatter in the ski? There was not a lot of chatter in the ski because of the Titanal that keeps it nice and stiff, and I felt really good just skiing through the crud.
How does it perform at speed? Being a narrower ski and a stiffer ski, it does really well at speed, and it also does really well on the groomers. I found that it was easy to control in terms of speed. I didn't have too much of a problem getting out of my turns. The radius was pretty short. While it is a really great groomer ski for high speeds, it's also very approachable, and I think that an athletic intermediate would be just fine on it.
How is its energy and acceleration? This ski had a decent amount of energy coming out of the turns. There’s not a huge amount of camber in the ski, but it did do pretty well.
Could you speak about its playfulness and pop? This ski has Titanal Y-Beam technology, which keeps it pretty stiff. It's not a super flexy/playful ski if you're trying to go in the park or if you're just cruising. This is definitely going to be a good ski for somebody who likes to go pretty fast and stick to the groomers. It's got a little bit of camber underfoot, so that's nice. I did find it to be overall fairly poppy. It gives you a little bit more pop on the groomers but nothing too crazy. There's enough playfulness in this ski that you can maneuver around the moguls pretty well.
What about riding switch? I probably wouldn't ski switch on this ski. I'd look for something a little bit more park-oriented. It could do it. It's not totally flat on the back, but it's not your ideal switch ski.
How is it for buttering? It's not a really soft ski, so if you're trying to do stuff in the park or butters or whatnot, you might have trouble with this one.
How is it on jumps? You can definitely do jumps, with its playfulness and ability to maneuver in the moguls. It had a good stable landing because of its stiffness. But it didn't have a ton of camber, so coming off that jump, you're not necessarily going to get as much height as you would with more of a camber ski. It's not necessarily a freestyle-specific ski, but it would hold its own landing jumps. I found it to be very stable on landings — nice and stiff.
How would it be in powder? You could take it in powder, but it’s not made for that, and I wouldn't take it in deep powder. It probably can handle an inch or two of fresh snow, but it is fairly narrow. So if you were looking to ski a lot of powder, I'd probably go for one of the wider Mindbenders. So overall, this is not your best ski option if you've got fresh powder. It’s really more of a groomer-oriented ski. If there's a little bit of fresh snow, it's going to handle it just fine. But after like three or four inches, you're going to want something a little bit wider.
How maneuverable is it in the trees? It wasn't too difficult to turn. I did take it in the trees, and I think it would be an appropriate ski for maybe an intermediate skier who likes to stick to the groomers and is maybe starting to explore the trees as well. It's got a pretty quick turning radius.
How is it in bumps? I think that because it's pretty easy to turn, this would be pretty good in bumps.
How is it on uneven terrain? A little bit of rocker in the tip enables a smooth ride over crud. All of the Mindbenders that I've tried have done very well in uneven terrain and chunder and any kind of chunky snow.
To summarize, what terrain is ideal for this ski? This ski is great for a little bit of snow. It is also great for moguls and trees. It was really fun in the trees. I felt like I could whip it around really quickly. It's a pretty lightweight ski. But the best terrain for this ski is going to be the groomers. I had so much fun on the groomers compared to everything else. It is going to do well in most places on the mountain. It is an all-mountain ski.
What terrain is not ideal for this ski? I would probably not take these in the terrain park. And I wouldn't take it in deep snow.
Is there any location you'd pack this ski for? This would be a great East Coast ski for your everyday ski. You can use it out West if you're sticking to the groomers or if you just want something for low-snow days.
Who would you recommend this ski to? I would recommend this ski to intermediate/advanced skiers or anyone who likes a little bit of stability at speed and isn't really trying to take it too far off-piste. I would also recommend this ski to a skier who’s looking for something that's going to do really well on groomers and maybe exploring some trees.
Who should avoid this ski, there are other better options for them out there? It would not be good for a park skier. I would also not recommend this ski to a total beginner or to an expert who wants something that's going to perform better in powder.
Skis work differently for different types of skiers. If you have any questions about the Mindbender 89Ti W or want help finding the right skis for you, reach out to Sara or any other Ski Expert here on Curated for free, personalized recommendations.