Featured Image: Paris Gore
The K2 Mindbender line is back for another season with waist widths ranging from 85 to 116 mm underfoot. While each ski in the line offers solid edge hold on corduroy and notable all-mountain prowess, the Mindbender 99Ti is undoubtedly the most versatile. Appealing to a wide-range of skiers, from intermediate resort riders up to pro-level rippers, this ski can do a little bit of everything—and do it well.
“This was a ski we wanted to make for a very long time,” says K2 Sports Ski Product Director Jed Yeiser. “Of all the Mindbenders, the 99Ti was the most important ski for us and needed the widest bandwidth of capabilities. We had very high demands for this ski and wanted to differentiate it from the Pinnacle 95—which was versatile, energetic and lively but didn’t have the top-end stability and tracking consistency through cut up snow. The 99Ti delivered on that promise.”
The key to enhancing the performance envelope of this ski is the torsion control design supplied by K2’s Titanal Y-Beam construction. Instead of adding a full sheet of Titanal throughout the ski, the metal here is Y-shaped in the forebody to provide precise turn initiation while full-width Titanal underfoot and a strip in the tail prevent the ski from being too hooky and locking you into the turn.
“This ski really encourages turn versatility with the tail,” Yeiser said. “The tail is not going to dictate your turn, you can tell the tail what you want to do and control the exit—you can release the turn whenever you want or ride it all the way through.”
The Mindbender 99Ti sports an extended tip rocker and the short rise in the tail is built with a heavy layup that yields excellent suspension through bulletproof, chopped up snow and will keep you grounded through the turn. That’s thanks to the maple/aspen hybrid core, which delivers a solid platform to transfer energy but is damp and composed when you press the accelerator.
“The Mindbender 99Ti can be skied aggressively and rewards committed skiing but it doesn’t require strong technique,” Yeiser says. “It is stable and doesn’t get deflected easily—you can lay the thing over and the ski will hook up and draw you into a turn. Those same attributes that experts love also makes the ski feel stable and confidence inspiring for lower-level intermediates. Those types of skiers aren’t coming close to the top end of the ski but can just put it on edge and turn—there’s nothing unpredictable about it and it can help smooth out the chatter in the trail for them.”