2019-2020 K2 Mindbender 108Ti

Ski: 2019-2020 K2 Mindbender 108Ti, 186 cm

Available Lengths: 172, 179, 186, 193 cm

Blister’s Measured Tip-to-Tail Length: 185.7 cm

Stated Weight per Ski: 2236 grams

Blister’s Measured Weight per Ski: 2165 & 2211 grams

Stated Dimensions: 136-108-125 mm

Blister’s Measured Dimensions: 136.0-107.5-124.7 mm

Stated Sidecut Radius: 22.9 meters

Measured Tip & Tail Splay (ski decambered): 60 mm / 33.5 mm

Measured Traditional Camber Underfoot: ~4 mm

Core: Fir/Aspen + “Titanal Y-Beam” + Fiberglass Laminate

Factory Recommended Mount Point: -9.75 cm from center; 83.1 cm from tail

Luke Koppa reviews the K2 Mindbender 108 Ti for Blister
K2 Mindbender 108Ti
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Review Navigation:  Specs //  First Look //  Bottom Line //  Rocker Pics

Intro

We discussed on our latest GEAR:30 podcast the origin of the line, the technology behind it, and how it came to be with K2’s head ski designer, Jed Yeiser.

in this post, we’re gonna dive into the specifics of the entire line, what sets these skis apart from other models on the market, and take a closer look at the Mindbender 108Ti.

The Entire Mindbender Lineup of Skis

The men’s line of Mindbender skis will consist of the Mindbender 85, 90C, 90 Ti, 98 Ti, 108 Ti, and 116C.

The skis with “Ti” in their name have a Y-shaped layer of titanal, while the skis with a “C” in their name feature a variable-braid carbon laminate.

The women’s Mindbender lineup will include the Mindbender 85, 88 Ti, 90C, 98 Ti, 106C, and 115C. The same naming scheme (e.g., “Ti” and “C”) applies to the women’s skis, and all the women’s versions have “Alliance” at the end of their name (e.g., “Mindbender 115C Alliance”) to reference K2’s team of female skiers that contributed to the design of the skis.

We’ll soon be talking with four of the women behind K2’s alliance to discuss the backstory of the project, and we’ll also be reviewing several of the women’s Mindbender skis.

K2 will also be making a junior Mindbender ski, the Mindbender Team, which is based on the Mindbender 108Ti, has a waist of 98 mm, and will be offered in 145, 155, 165 cm lengths.

One interesting thing with the Mindbender series is that K2 says that they designed each ski independently in order to make it perform best for the conditions and styles in which it’d be skied. This isn’t revolutionary, but it’s certainly not the norm. Typically, many brands start with one ski, and then scale up and down in width while not changing all that much in terms of shape and construction. But since people tend to use a 90mm-wide ski very differently than a 116mm-wide ski, it makes sense to treat their designs distinctly.

And if that talk about Y-shaped titanal and variable-angle braiding sounds weird to you, you’re not alone. So let’s dive into the tech that K2 is highlighting in the Mindbenders:

“Torsional Control Design”

K2 says that, with the Mindbenders, they were able to independently fine-tune both the longitudinal and torsional flex of the skis. They did this with two techniques — their “Titanal Y-Beam” and “Carbon Spectral Braid.”

Both of these technologies aim to accomplish the same goal: have a fairly torsionally rigid shovel, a strong, very torsionally rigid section underfoot, and a more maneuverable, less torsionally rigid tail. This is meant to make the skis more stable and precise where you need them to be (in the front and underfoot), while still having a tail that’s easy to release when you need it to. It’s certainly an interesting concept, especially if it works.

With the “Ti” skis, K2 used a Y-shaped layer of titanal that extends over the edges of the ski in the shovel, spans edge-to-edge underfoot, and only sits over the center of the ski in the tail (see image below). K2 says that the Titanal Y-Beam “delivers the highest levels of precision and stability in a damp, stable platform.”

Luke Koppa reviews the K2 Mindbender 108 Ti for Blister
K2 "Titanal Y-Beam"

With the “C” skis, they used a carbon weave that has a denser, high-angle weave in the shovel which then progresses to a less dense, lower-angle weave as you move toward the tail of the ski.

Luke Koppa reviews the K2 Mindbender 108 Ti for Blister
K2 "Carbon Spectral Braid"

K2 says the Carbon Spectral Braid “keeps skis lighter and more playful for conditions when power and damping are less important.” Seeing as the carbon weave is used on the powder-oriented Mindbender 116C and 115C, that justification makes sense. If you’re only skiing soft snow, you probably don’t need a super strong, damp, or heavy ski. It’s also cool to see K2 offering the Mindbender 90 in both titanal and carbon iterations to give skiers more options.

So, that’s the design philosophy behind all of the Mindbender skis. Now let’s take a look at the big-mountain charger of the group, the Mindbender 108Ti.

What K2 says about the Mindbender 108 Ti:

“String ‘em up and slap ‘em down. These freaks were made to run. Utilizing our proprietary Titanal Y-Beam™, this freak of a ski is meant to do one thing: mash. From deep pow to the chalky steeps, this beast is the big mountain charger you’ve been waiting for.”

Well, there’s definitely some “Swagger Award” potential here. But the main points seem to be the Mindbender 108Ti’s high-speed stability and its versatility across both soft and firm snow.

Shape / Rocker Profile

The Mindbender’s technology might be new, but the Mindbender 108Ti’s shape is not all that crazy by modern standards.

The Mindbender 108Ti has a bit of tip and tail taper, but not nearly as much as the K2 Pinnacle 105 Ti (which it effectively replaces). The Mindbender 108Ti’s taper lines border on the conservative end of things, which, for a ski that’s supposed to “mash,” is probably a good thing. The Mindbender 108Ti’s shape reminds us of the 4FRNT MSP 107 and Elan Ripstick 106, and isn’t all that different compared to other chargers like the Blizzard Cochise and ON3P Wrenegade 108.

The Mindbender 108Ti’s rocker profile isn’t all that crazy, either. It has a pretty deep tip rocker line compared to other skis in its class, but the Mindbender 108Ti’s tip doesn’t start rising that much until near the end of the ski. The Mindbender 108Ti’s tail rocker line is also fairly deep, but again, doesn’t rise till near the very end.

Interestingly enough, the Mindbender 108Ti’s rocker profile looks awfully similar to a now-deceased ski that we very much loved, the Line Supernatural 108. And that’s probably not a coincidence — you can listen to our podcast with Jed Yeiser for more on how the Supernatural 108 played a role in the design of the Mindbender 108Ti.

The Mindbender 108Ti’s subtle taper and low rocker lines should equate to more effective edge than more heavily rockered and / or tapered skis like the ON3P Wrenegade 108 and Prior Husume. Yet the Mindbender 108Ti’s fairly deep rocker lines should help with its soft-snow performance, especially when you take a look at the next section…

Flex Pattern

Here’s how we’d characterize the longitudinal flex pattern of the Mindbender 108Ti:

Tips: 5.5-6
Shovels: 6.5-7.5
In Front of Toe Piece: 8-9.5
Underfoot: 9.5
Behind the Heel Piece: 9.5-8
Tails: 7.5-8

The first thing that stands out is the Mindbender 108Ti’s tips — they’re very soft. This is probably the only thing on the Mindbender 108Ti that reminds us of K2’s Pinnacle skis. The Pinnacle 95 Ti and Mindbender 108Ti’s tips both feel similarly soft, and they’re far softer than most other “chargers” like the Blizzard Cochise, ON3P Wrenegade 108, Prior Husume, etc.

But then the Mindbender 108Ti ramps up in stiffness smoothly to a large section around the middle of the ski that is quite strong. It finishes with a tail that’s also strong, though not as stiff as some other skis in its class like the Moment Commander 108, Black Crows Corvus, and Prior Husume.

Weight

K2 is very adamant about the Mindbender 108Ti’s ability to charge, and its weight of just under 2200 grams per ski for the 186 cm version seems in line with that. It’s not the heaviest ski in its class, but it’s far from the lightest. And as more and more skis get lighter and lighter, the Mindbender 108Ti’s weight puts it closer to the heavier end of the spectrum. If you’ve read just about any ski review on Blister, you’ll know that this is something we’re excited about.

For reference, here are a bunch of our measured weights for a number of notable skis. As always, keep in mind the length differences to try to keep these comparisons apples-to-apples.

1923 & 1956 DPS Alchemist Wailer 106, 189 cm (17/18-18/19)
1996 & 2012 Dynastar Legend X106, 188 cm (17/18-18/19)
2013 & 2013 Moment Commander 108, 188 cm (18/19)
2022 & 2047 Faction Dictator 3.0, 186 cm (17/18-18/19)
2026 & 2056 Black Diamond Boundary Pro 107, 184 cm (17/18-18/19)
2030 & 2039 Rossignol Soul 7 HD, 188 cm (17/18-18/19)
2036 & 2064 Salomon QST 106, 188 cm (18/19)
2046 & 2120 Black Crows Corvus, 188 cm (18/19)
2112 & 2125 4FRNT MSP 107, 187 cm (18/19)
2143 & 2194 ON3P Wrenegade 108, 184 cm (18/19)
2165 & 2211 K2 Mindbender 108Ti, 186 cm (19/20)
2182 & 2218 Nordica Enforcer 110, 185 cm (17/18-18/19)
2250 & 2307 Argent Badger, 184 cm (19/20)
2283 & 2290 ON3P Wrenegade 108, 189 cm (18/19)
2312 & 2386 Prior Husume, 188 cm (17/18-18/19)
2318 & 2341 J Skis The Metal, 186 cm (16/17-18/19)
2335 & 2399 Line Supernatural 108, 186 cm (14/15-16/17)
2376 & 2393 Blizzard Cochise, 185 cm (15/16-18/19)

Some Questions / Things We’re Curious about

(1) Will we be able to notice the difference in torsional rigidity between the Mindbender 108Ti’s tips, midsection, and tails? If so, what is the on-snow result?

(2) K2 is saying a lot about the Mindbender 108Ti’s stability, so just how stable is it compared to the other chargers out there?

(3) The Mindbender 108Ti has pretty soft shovels, so will they be a liability at high speeds, a benefit at slower speeds (and in deeper snow), or will we really notice them at all?

(4) Will the Mindbender 108Ti feel most at home off piste, on piste, or equally comfortable in both?

(5) The Mindbender 108Ti isn’t super light or super stiff, so should non-experts also be considering it?

(6) The Mindbender 108Ti looks a bit like the Line Supernatural 108, and K2 says that ski did play a role in the Mindbender 108Ti’s development. So is this new ski a replacement for the beloved Supernatural 108?

Bottom Line (For Now)

The K2 Mindbender 108Ti combines a unique new construction with a more traditional shape, rocker profile, and weight. Blister Members can read our initial impressions in our Flash Review linked below, and then stay tuned for our full review for more info.

Flash Review

Blister Members can now check out our Flash Review of the Mindbender 108Ti for our initial impressions. Become a Blister member now to check out this and all of our Flash Reviews, plus get exclusive deals and discounts on skis, and personalized gear recommendations from us.

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Rocker Pics:

Full Profile
Tip Profile
Tail Profile
Top Sheet
Base

12 comments on “2019-2020 K2 Mindbender 108Ti”

  1. The Titanal Y Beam innovation seems like a variation of Volkl’s Titanal Frame concept used on the Mantra M5 where you remove material where you don’t want/need it and the Carbon Spectral Braid (what marketing BS) seems very much like the Carbon Tank Mesh (also marketing BS) from Atomic’s Vantage line which came out a couple of years ago and which Rossi also have on their Experience Line so it’s not exactly ground breaking innovation that we are seeing here.

    That’s not to say it doesn’t work but it’s not this amazing new innovative technology which the K2 marketing machine is making it out to be, unlike Renoun’s HDT and Head’s use of Graphene and Koroyd in the Kore skis which are pushing the boundaries of what is possible in ski engineering.

    • Hi, dbq – I guess I’m really not sure what your point is or what your concern here is? But there are a whole lot of assumptions you’re making. I think you’ll hear in my conversation with Jed Yeiser that he makes no claim about some “amazing new innovative technology” — instead, he is talking about how these skis were built, plain and simple. I can also tell you that there is no consensus whatsoever among ski engineers that Head’s use of graphene and Koroyd “are pushing the boundaries of what is possible in ski engineering.” As you probably know, our stance on this stuff is that we allow ski companies to talk about the tech they’ve used to build products, but then ultimately, we just go see what that product does on snow. And in the case of K2, I don’t see them talking about how it is simply the tech itself that has somehow changed the game here. Which brings me back to my original question, which is that I’m not really sure what your concern is?

      • Hi Jonathan

        First of all, I have no specific concerns per se with the Blister piece. I was merely making an observation that the tech employed by K2 (which may well be effective) is nothing revolutionary.

        To be fair (and I wasn’t clear about this) I had just watched the K2 marketing video bigging up the tech (which is not the subject of your piece) for the new line before I read your piece which may have influenced my comments. To your point, if it works, it works and that’s the important thing.

        There may not be consensus among ski engineers about the Kore tech (I am no position to debate that with you so I will accept your statement as fact) but I think Blister’s own testing has concluded (and consistent with my own experience) that the stability and dampness offered is remarkable for skis of that weight and that was my point.

        Respectfully yours

  2. I had a few days of demo action this week and wasn’t quite sure that the Rustler was the right ski for me and my ski shop went to the back and grabbed the one pair of K2 Mindbender 108 skis he had. I snapped them up and skied them for a few hours today in some fresh Tahoe snow. It’s the ski I’ve been searching for and I’m excited to get them on some real powder tomorrow morning. So Far on 5″ of fresh snow they were great. Skied some scratchy wind blown stuff, fast smooth runs and dipped in the trees which are still a little bony. Love these skis. Adding to DPS 112, DPS Alchemist and my old beat up Rossignol S3 quiver.

    I’m glad I took the leap of faith on a ski I never did a demo day on.

  3. For decades I had K2 written off as a mass market consumer brand. The big ass orange with red flames Seth Morrison with a piezoelectric light was the most recent K2 ski I purchased. It was a GREAT ski while it lasted. The base peeled like an orange and the new generations K2 developed just didn’t look interesting to me. Along with the reputation of skis that wear out sooner rather than later I have just not been curious, until the Mindbender. The splay and sidecut lines look exactly like my preference, well the tip taper may be a bit much but skiing them is the proof in the pudding.

  4. I know the K2 reps around here (Colo) are genuinely very excited about these new lines, in a way they haven’t been since the Pettitor, perhaps.

    While what I was hoping for was a lighter weight Pettitor (that would let me ski it with my now sometimes suspect knee), this looks good. Very good.

    The 108 is the ski I’ll focus on, at least initially. I have liked the Pinnacle 105 with a bit increased base bevel at the tip and tail (more and more playful as this deepens, or as it approaches the contact points tip and tail), but it was not a real breakthrough ski for me – just something fun in between my narrower “old snow” skis and Katanas 112s/Sickle 111s/ON3P Jeffrey 110s and wider Bibbys, etc.

    Since one of my best friends is a K2 (somewhat informal) rep in the industry and has been for years, I’m starting to get excited for him, at the very least.

  5. First K2 I’ve seen in a long while that makes me say “hmmmm, interesting”.

    As an older dude that skied K2s almost exclusively for about 20 years (XR10 through VO Slaloms and 810 FOs) I’m stoked to see this from them!

  6. What do you think is the main difference between the mindbender 108 and the armada tracer 108? Do you have any advice about mounting point?

  7. I hope that 108ti was not made because such skis as Head Kore 105. It is difficult to have two in one, usually it does not go well. Although if 108ti are at least as good as Marksman, I can’t wait for them :-)

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