Expert Review: K2 Mindbender 90C Skis · 2022Published on 12/12/2022 · 5 min readThis review is my honest opinion of the skis, which I purchased with my own money in November 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 November of 2021.
The K2 Mindbender 90C is a great 90mm family all-mountain ski with quick turning ability and good forgiveness. These skis cater to an intermediate to advanced level skier who wants a carving-focused ski that can ski all over.
About the gear
- Model: 2022 K2 Mindbender 90C
- Size: 177cm
- Height: 6’0’’
- Weight: 175lbs
- Experience: 26 years skiing and 16 ski racing
- When I bought these: November 2021
- Days tested: 15+
- Mount position: Factory recommended
- Boots: 2021 Salomon S/Race 130
- Boot Size: 26.6
- Bindings: 2021 Look SPX 12
- Where I’ve used it: Mt. Bachelor and another PNW resort.
- Terrain: Groomer and mixed snow.
How they perform
What I was looking for
I was looking for a ski that would not be too stiff but could hold an edge with a lot of power put into the ski. Not too wide underfoot that it would be too large to put an edge to edge but enough to go ski in a little soft snow.
Why I chose this gear
I chose this gear because the K2 Mindbender 90C was a stiff enough ski to be playful and fun but could also hold a lot of power in a turn. Although the ski length was a little short for my typical carver, the Mindbender 90C ended up skiing nicely. I considered some other all-mountain carvers, like the Volkl Blaze 94, the Salomon QST 92, and the Head Kore 90, but the K2s skied the best for what I wanted out of the ski.
What I love about them
- Speed: The speed on the Mindbender 90C is good. Without a performance wax, they are a little sticky right out of the plastic but have a good base and decent quickness.
- Edge hold: Good edge hold, as these have a pretty straightforward all-terrain rocker, with an easy ride off the tail and tip and great contact with the snow in the middle of the ski. They were okay on edge hold out of the plastic, but they improved when I sharpened them up and found the sweet spot as I turned.
- Turns: These are playful, lively, and bouncy. These skis can turn and hold the turn well. These skis have a 17.5m turn radius, allowing them to turn nice and quickly or long and powerfully.
- Groomers: Really fun on the groomers as these skis have a SlantWall, a 30-degree angle on the sidewall that increases the ski's agility and responsiveness while maintaining accuracy and power.
- Trees: The skis are great for the trees, as having 90mm underfoot is a great width to play around in and out of the trees.
- Moguls: The agility allows these skis to work well in the chop and the moguls.
- Backcountry: I have been unable to take these skis in the backcountry, but these would be great skis for the backcountry. These skis are 90mm underfoot, which is great for touring, and they have enough stiffness to hold a good stiff ski edge as one skis in backcountry conditions. And these skis are fairly lightweight.
- Durability: So far, the durability is great—just a little scuffing from ski-to-ski contact but no easy gashes or chipping from multiple days of skiing.
- Weight: An overall great weight, considering it's a stiffer ski, but I think the lightness of the aspen core and the carbon weave helps the weight reduction with still giving the ski a good feel of not being too light.
- Stability: Great smooth riding from the dampening of the carbon braid and the aspen core, allowing the ski to take a lot of the chatter out.
Issues I’ve encountered
- Powder: Not quite wide enough to ski really well in powder but can hold its own in some soft snow. 90mm underfoot doesn’t float all that well, so I would size up if someone wants to ski more powder conditions over groomers.
- Flotation: These skis can float in a little soft snow and react well, but they aren’t wide enough to float on a powder day.
- Stability at High Speeds: When I get to cruising at some higher speeds, these skis start to chatter and vibrate if I'm not on top of them. Meaning, if I'm not 100% engaging the ski and putt pressure forward, these skis will chatter if I get lazy on them.
Favorite moment with this gear
My favorite moment with these K2 Mindbender 90Cs was when I was able to take these out on a day when it was finally sunny, and the last few days had some light snow dustings, giving the hill like two inches of snow on top of the groomer and soft snow off of the runs. I wanted to carve around the hill I was skiing, which was Mt. Bachelor, but I knew my groomer skis/race skis were too skinny for those ski conditions. I wanted a ski that could carve really well and be able to go ski and carve on all the conditions, so I knew the K2 Mindbender 90C was the best choice, and I was sure pleased to have grabbed them. They were great, as they carved super well, held up nicely, and were a medium stiff ski but could go float on anything.
Value for the money vs. other options
These are worth the money if someone is looking for a ski that can carve really well, not be too stiff or too limp in a turn, and can go ski just about all conditions all over the mountain. Plus, K2 always has excellent pricing on its products, making them alluring to purchase. Regarding other similar skis, I also looked at the Volkl Blaze 94, the Salomon 92 QST, and the Head KORE 90. They are great skis, but I liked the feel, control, and performance of the Mindbender 90C.
The K2 Mindbender 90C is a really fun wider than usual carver. It allows a skier to carve and turn easily and ski all-mountain. If someone is looking for a 90mm ski for true all-mountain skiing that can perform in a wide variety of conditions and terrain, the K2 Mindbender 90C is a great choice.