Ski: 2019-2020 K2 Mindbender 116C, 186 cm
Available Lengths: 179, 186, 193 cm
Blister’s Measured Tip-to-Tail Length: 185.7 cm
Blister’s Measured Weight per Ski: 2019 & 2051 grams
Stated Dimensions: 143-116-133 mm
Blister’s Measured Dimensions: 142.6-115.5-132.6 mm
Stated Sidecut Radius (186 cm): 22.9 meters
Measured Tip & Tail Splay (ski decambered): 74 mm / 33 mm
Measured Traditional Camber Underfoot: ~3 mm
Core: Maple/Paulownia + Carbon Spectral Braid + Fiberglass Laminate
Factory Recommended Mount Point: -9.85 cm from center; 83.0 cm from tail
At this point, we’ve already talked a lot about K2’s new Mindbender skis. We discussed the origin of the line with K2 ski designer, Jed Yeiser, we posted First Looks of the Mindbender 99Ti and 98Ti Alliance, and we recently published a full review of the Mindbender 108Ti. We’ve also got full reviews coming soon for the Mindbender 106C Alliance and 115C Alliance.
But today, we’re discussing the widest ski in the lineup, the Mindbender 116C. We’re working on our full review of the ski now, but in the meantime, let’s take a look at how K2’s new pow ski compares to the rest of the market.
What K2 says about the Mindbender 116C
“Conceived in the heart of the Cascades, this is the model that inspired the name ‘Mindbender’; never has there been a more capable 116mm waisted ski. If skiers keep pushing the envelope, this ski will lick the stamps.”
This is pretty brief, but the main thing seems to be the Mindbender 116C’s versatility. I.e., K2 doesn’t seem to be billing this ski purely as a “pow ski” — it’s supposed to be more than that.
Shape / Rocker Profile
The Mindbender 116C effectively replaces K2’s current Pinnacle 118, and the two skis have some very notable differences.
First, the Mindbender 116C has much mellower taper lines. They don’t extend as deep into the ski, and the Mindbender 116C’s tips and tails are much more blocky — they don’t taper to as much of a point as the Pinnacle 118’s. The Mindbender 116C still has more taper than some skis in its class like the Volkl Confession, Moment Wildcat, and ON3P Wrenegade 114, but the Mindbender 116C’s taper is still moderate compared to other similarly wide skis like the ON3P Billy Goat, DPS Wailer A112, Rossignol Super 7 HD & RD, and J Skis Friend.
The Mindbender 116C’s rocker profile is similarly moderate. Its tip rocker line is fairly deep, but there are plenty of skis in this class with deeper rocker lines (including the Pinnacle 118). And like the other Mindbender skis, the Mindbender 116C’s rocker lines are subtle and don’t rise abruptly, instead staying low until the ends of the ski. The Mindbender 116C has a pretty shallow tail rocker line, which puts it more in line with more directional pow skis, rather than more playful pow skis with big, twinned tails.
Here’s how we’d characterize the flex pattern of the Mindbender 116C:
In Front of Toe Piece: 8-9.5
Behind the Heel Piece: 9.5-8.5
The flex pattern of the Mindbender 116C feels very similar to the flex pattern of the Mindbender 108Ti, with the Mindbender 116C having slightly softer tails, and stiffening up a bit slower in the shovels.
Overall, the Mindbender 116C has a pretty moderate flex pattern — it starts quite soft in the tips, slowly ramps up through the shovels, is strong around the bindings, and finishes with a moderately stiff tail.
Like the other Mindbender skis, the Mindbender 116C has a very traditional mount point of around -9.8 cm from center, which puts it squarely in the more traditional / more directional end of the spectrum.
K2 says they designed each Mindbender ski with its specific target conditions in mind, and they correspondingly used different construction techniques to reflect that. In the case of the pow-oriented Mindbender 116C, that means a lighter Maple/Paulownia core and the use of K2’s “Carbon Spectral Braid,” rather than their heavier “Titanal Y-Beam.” Given that powder is a very forgiving condition that doesn’t require a lot of heft to blast through, that seems to make sense.
As a result, the Mindbender 116C comes in a lot lighter for its size compared to the “Ti” Mindbender skis. Compared to other similarly wide skis, the Mindbender 116C falls on the lighter end, and is comparable to a lot of 50/50 skis in terms of weight.
For reference, here are a whole bunch of our measured weights (per ski, in grams) for a number of notable skis. As always, note the length differences to keep things apples to apples.
1710 & 1744 Atomic Bent Chetler 120, 184 cm (18/19–19/20)
1795 & 1817 Moment Wildcat Tour, 184 cm (18/19–19/20)
1854 & 1903 Whitedot Ragnarok 118 Carbonlite, 190 cm (17/18–18/19)
1862 & 1873 Faction Prime 4.0, 185 cm (18/19–19/20)
1910 & 1941 Scott Scrapper 115, 189 cm (17/18–18/19)
1931 & 1959 Volkl BMT 122, 186 cm (17/18–18/19)
2013 & 2099 Moment Wildcat / Blister Pro, 184 cm (18/19–19/20)
2019 & 2051 K2 Mindbender 116C, 186 cm (19/20)
2034 & 2052 Blizzard Rustler 11, 188 cm (17/18–19/20)
2043 & 2046 4FRNT Inthayne, 188 cm (18/19-19/20)
2083 & 2097 Line Magnum Opus, 188 cm (15/16–18/19)
2102 & 2137 Line Sick Day 114, 190 cm (17/18–19/20)
2126 & 2173 Rossignol Super 7 RD, 190 cm (17/18–19/20)
2130 & 2130 Moment Wildcat / Blister Pro, 190 cm (18/19–19/20)
2133 & 2133 Salomon QST 118, 192 cm (17/18–18/19)
2165 & 2211 K2 Mindbender 108Ti, 186 cm (19/20)
2183 & 2190 Black Crows Anima, 188.4 cm (17/18–19/20)
2196 & 2199 Icelantic Nomad 115, 191 cm (17/18–18/19)
2220 & 2252 Faction Prodigy 4.0, 186 cm (17/18–19/20)
2212 & 2215 Armada ARV 116 JJ, 185 cm (17/18–19/20)
2222 & 2278 Prior CBC, 184 cm (17/18–19/20)
2228 & 2231 Blizzard Spur, 192 cm (17/18–19/20)
2230 & 2250 Black Diamond Boundary Pro 115, 185 cm (17/18–19/20)
2246 & 2265 Fischer Ranger 115 FR, 188 cm (17/18–18/19)
2267 & 2270 Whitedot Ragnarok 118, 190 cm (16/17–18/19)
2296 & 2309 Liberty Origin Pro, 192 cm (17/18–19/20)
2297 & 2317 K2 Catamaran, 184 cm (17/18–19/20)
2311 & 2342 K2 Mindbender 99Ti, 184 cm (19/20)
2341 & 2357 Dynastar PR-OTO Factory, 189 cm (18/19–19/20)
2343 & 2360 J Skis Friend, 189 cm (18/19)
2346 & 2351 Nordica Enforcer Pro, 191 cm (17/18–19/20)
2382 & 2395 ON3P Billy Goat, 184 cm (17/18–18/19)
2408 & 2421 ON3P Kartel 116, 186 cm (17/18–18/19)
2429 & 2437 Kingswood SMB, 188 cm (16/17–18/19)
2438 & 2480 DPS Foundation Koala 119, 189 cm (19/20)
2438 & 2492 Rossignol Black Ops 118, 186 cm (16/17–19/20)
2490 & 2529 K2 Catamaran, 191 cm (17/18–19/20)
Bottom Line (For Now)
K2 says that each of their Mindbender skis is designed for a specific purpose in mind, and the Mindbender 116C seems like a good example of this. It’s quite light for its size, has a fairly moderate, but more tapered and rockered design compared to the narrower Mindbenders, and seems like an interesting new direction for K2’s pow skis. Blister Members can check out our initial on-snow impressions in our Flash Review linked below, and then stay tuned for our full review.
Blister Members can now check out our Flash Review of the Mindbender 116C 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.