Head 2 Head: K2 Mindbender 108 Ti vs. Black Crows Atris
Ski Experts Hayden Wright and Brandon Westburg test these skis against each other for carving, freeriding, and freestyling.
This week, we’re back again at Powder Mountain in Utah with low visibility and high vibes for a battle between the K2 Mindbender 108 Ti and the Black Crows Atris. Which one is king of the mountain?
Check out the video below or read on to see what happens.
And before we jump in, a quick note that we aren’t sponsored by any brands to create this review. These are our own personal opinions on these boards. Now let’s get to it!
A bit about us
- Height: 5’10”
- Weight: 170 lbs
- Years Snowboarding: 23
- Favorite Terrain: Park and fresh groomers in the morning
- Height: 6’0”
- Weight: 175 lbs
- Years Skiing: 28
- Favorite Terrain: Steep and deep terrain
K2 Mindbender 108 TI
- Partial Twin Tip
- Fir / Aspen Wood Core
- Rocker / Camber / Rocker
K2 claims that the Mindbender 108Ti is a strong, directional freeride ski.
Black Crows Atris
- 105mm Waist Width
- Twin Tip
- Light Poplar Wood Core
Black Crow claims that the Atris is everybody's big-mountain ski.
[Brandon] I had quite a lot of fun carving the Mindbenders edge-to-edge. There is some metal in the core of this ski—especially in the Y Beam in the front. They did widen the Y Beam, which means they added a little more metal into the core of the ski; so of course that made it a bit heavier. I didn't really feel any chatter when taking this thing edge-to-edge—firmer snow or softer snow.
[Hayden] Man, you hit it on the head. Where K2 added more metal in that Y Beam, Brandon and I both were hitting the brakes hard on it. We didn't get any chatter—it was a great carver.
[Hayden] Jumping into the Black Crow Atris, for a 105mm-wide ski, it got over pretty quick and easy. That was one thing I noticed; as well as the rocker in the tip and tail. Sometimes if you get a lot of rocker in the tip, when you're starting to carve, that's where you'll start getting a bit of chatter. Though the Atris didn't have much, surprisingly.
[Brandon] I did experience some chatter with the Atris at higher speeds on groomers. We did also get to smear the ski and ski at lower speeds. So when we were skiing at slower speeds, carving was amazing. I thought it was a bit more playful and fun than the Mindbender.
[Hayden] So what do you think, the Black Crow Atris or the K2 Mindbender 108Ti in the carving category?
[Brandon] The K2 Mindbender 108. It was just so damp and felt so great underfoot when initiating my turns.
[Hayden] I'm going with Brandon, too. With carving, the K2 Mindbender 108Ti crushed it.
[Hayden] Our second category is freestyle. We both got pretty playful on both of these skis. Brandon, touch base on the Black Crow Atris in the freestyle category.
[Brandon] I had a lot of fun on the Black Crows. It does have a lot of pop. There is a little bit less metal in the core than the K2, so I think that's why we see a lot more pop with this ski. Skiing it switch was awesome. And comparing switch skiing, the main difference is that the Black Crows has a full twin twip and the K2 Mindbender 108 does not. We tried to ski the K2 switch, and it was a little sketchy. But the Black Crows has a lot more pop than the K2 and skis switch really nicely. It was really fun from the freestyle perspective. We popped around and did some spins.
[Hayden] Now, all that metal is definitely gonna benefit the K2 Mindbender in the carving category. But when you're looking at the freestyle aspect, we did notice when we were trying to throw some spins, that they were smaller airs. But the weight difference between both of those skis hurt the Mindbender a bit in the freestyle category.
[Brandon] Totally. I think the Black Crows takes the cake for me in freestyle realm because of the swing weight and also its full twin tip.
[Hayden] On this one, as well, Brandon and I are both in full agreement. The Black Crow Atris for freestyle category takes the cake.
[Brandon] So our last category in this Head 2 Head is freeride. We'll start out with the Black Crows. Hayden, what did you think?
[Hayden] Yeah, when I hear freeride, I hear pow. The Mindbender is 108mm underfoot, the Black Crows is 105. It's not much of a difference, but I think it's just enough to where you might want something more. But going back to the Black Crows Atris and its weight, if you're starting to throw some turns down a big, open face and you see a rock or a feature you want to go hit, I think that the Black Crows Atris has a bit more pop and might be a little quicker to turn on edge since it is a little skinnier. So if I’m focusing on the aspect of maneuverability in freeride, which is a huge factor, the Atris was fun.
[Brandon] The Black Crows would float pretty well because it's not too heavy. Especially in some heavier powder, I don't think this would be sinking at all. I think we'd be floating right on top of it.
[Hayden] That rocker kept it up high.
[Brandon] Moving onto the Mindbender, I do also think it would be a touch better than the Black Crows because it does have a lot of rocker up towards the tip. And, again, touching on that waist width differential—105 with the Black Crows compared to the 108 of the Mindbender—I think the 108 being a bit wider just gives you a bit more flotation in the pow. I have actually gotten to ride the Mindbender in the powder on the East Coast, and I had a pretty good time. It floated very well. And a main takeaway here is how well it blasts through the chopped-up snow. So overall, I would really enjoy the K2 Mindbender a bit more in the freeride perspective.
[Hayden] I'm gonna have to disagree. For me, it’s the Black Crows Atris in the freeride category. If you wanted to take that landing switch, that was the big factor for me. Everything else Brandon said was spot on. But for the whole confidence in that twin tip tail, I'm gonna pick the Black Crows Atris in the free ride category.
[Hayden] Overall, Brandon, what do you think wins the Head 2 Head?
[Brandon] So, really tough battle here, but I think for me, the overall winner is gonna be the K2 Mindbender 108Ti.
[Hayden] Well, we can't always agree, man. In my opinion, the Black Crows Atris was my winner between the two. No disregard to the K2 108 Mindbender Ti. If both these skis were in front of me, I would probably pick the Black Crows Atris just because it fits my style and where I typically ski. But that just kind of proves our point here at Curated.
[Brandon] As we know, most all skis ride differently for different types of skiers. So if you're debating—maybe if you want the Mindbender 108 versus the Black Crows Atris—come see us at Curated. We'll help you hop on the best ski for you.
[Hayden] Hey, if you guys like these Head 2 Heads or any of our other ski reviews, don't be shy, subscribe to our Youtube! We only put out great content. Hit that like button, and maybe drop a comment.
[Brandon] We'd love to hear a comment for you. Just type it away.