Expert Review: K2 Mindbender 99Ti Skis · 2023Published on 02/05/2023 · 5 min readThis review is my honest opinion of the skis, which I purchased with my own money in October of 2022.
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 2022.
The new K2 Mindbender 99Ti Skis are an excellent option for a ski that can “do it all” for an intermediate to advanced level skier. They can float really well and carve like a good carving ski. Most “all-mountain” skis try to do it all, from carving well to floating in powder, but usually, one of a few qualities has to be given up to make it a ski that can do it all. These new K2 Mindbender 99Ti skis can carve well, which I don’t find too often in the all-mountain category.
About the gear I own
- Model: 2023 K2 Mindbender 99Ti
- Size: 184cm
- Height: 6’0”
- Weight: 185lbs
- Experience: 26 years of skiing
- When I bought these: October 2022
- Days tested: 10+
- Mount position: Factory recommended
- Boots: 2022 Rossignol All Track Elite 130 LV
- Boot Size: 26.5
- Bindings: 2021 Armada Shift 13
- Where I’ve used it: Mt. Bachelor
- 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.
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.
- Edge hold: These Mindbenders hold 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 and 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. Wide enough to ski powder in the trees and agile enough to quickly ski in and out of the trees.
- Durability: K2 has always had great value for its skis and great durability in its products. Having skied the Mindbenders for many days, the topsheet has held up well.
- 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 Mindbenders are light but can shred fantastically.
- Versatility: These skis are a great versatile tool in a ski lineup because they do well in almost all conditions. They can carve well, crush the mixed snow conditions, and hold their own on powder days.
Issues I’ve encountered
- Park: These skis are pretty directional for a ski, so riding switch wouldn’t be so fun, as someone would catch their edge or tail often.
- Other: One thing someone has to do on the new Mindbender 99Ti is find the sweet spot. Finding that area on the ski to balance and keep the ball of their foot on is important because I charged these skis really hard, just like a race ski, and I almost couldn’t find any edge on the front of the ski.
Favorite moment with this gear
Taking these to a fresh snow day at Mt. Bachelor to ski was such a fun time. I had only been familiar with their Pinnacle series, but the Mindbenders were 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
The new 2023 K2 Mindbender 99Tis 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. The other options in the 99mm underfoot all-mountain ski family I looked at were the Atomic Bent Chetler 100 and the Salomon QST 99. Both are excellent skis, but I liked the K2 feel and reactiveness of the ski.
A great ski to ski it all. The Mindbenders can tackle deep powder, carve exceptionally well, and cruise through mixed snow like a champion. These skis are sturdy, stable, and fast down the fall line, with remarkably snappy edge-to-edge performance, and can crush it through all snow conditions.