Ski: 2019-2020 K2 Mindbender 99Ti, 184 cm
Available Lengths: 170, 177, 184, 191 cm
Blister’s Measured Tip-to-Tail Length: 183.6 cm
Stated Weight per Ski: 2226 grams
Blister’s Measured Weight per Ski: 2311 & 2342 grams
Stated Dimensions: 138-99-123 mm
Blister’s Measured Dimensions: 137.1-98.5-122.0 mm
Stated Sidecut Radius (184 cm): 18.5 meters
Measured Tip & Tail Splay (ski decambered): 64 mm / 20 mm
Measured Traditional Camber Underfoot: ~4 mm
Core: Maple/Aspen + “Titanal Y-Beam” + Fiberglass Laminate
Factory Recommended Mount Point: -11.0 cm from center; 80.8 cm from tail
Last week K2 announced a brand-new line of skis called the Mindbenders. The whole series consists of thirteen new skis, and you can listen to our conversation with K2 ski designer, Jed Yeiser, for more info on the background of the line and what K2 was aiming to accomplish with each ski.
We’ve also posted a First Look on the Mindbender 108Ti, where we get into the construction that K2 used on this series of skis.
Today, we’re taking a look at the ski that Jed Yeiser said might be the best ski he’s ever designed: the Mindbender 99Ti.
What K2 says about the Mindbender 99 Ti:
“Quick edge-to-edge? Check. Absurd float in pow? Oh you bet. You might be surprised to hear that this ski only clocks in at 99 underfoot – it definitely hits above its weight. Toss in that Y-Beam and you’ll be wondering where the speed limit on this thing really is.”
We’ve got talk of edge-to-edge quickness, “absurd” float in pow, and high-speed stability. That’s a lot to ask of one ski, especially one that’s 99 mm underfoot. So, a big question for us coming into this review has been the versatility of the Mindbender 99Ti.
Shape / Rocker Profile
The Mindbender 99Ti looks very similar to the Mindbender 108Ti, with the Mindbender 99Ti having more subtle taper lines and, in theory, more effective edge. That makes sense, given that the Mindbender 99Ti is supposed to be a bit more firm-snow oriented than the 108Ti. The Mindbender 99Ti’s shape reminds us a bit of the 4FRNT MSP 99 and Nordica Enforcer 100 — two skis we very much like.
The Mindbender 99Ti’s tip rocker line is a bit deeper than some skis in its class, but not wildly deep like the K2 Pinnacle 95 Ti’s (the ski that it is effectively replacing). Like the Mindbender 108Ti, the Mindbender 99Ti’s tips don’t start rising until the end of the ski.
At the tail, the Mindbender 99Ti has a pretty shallow and low-slung rocker line. The Mindbender 99Ti’s tail rocker line is again pretty similar to that on the MSP 99 and Enforcer 100, with the Mindbender 99Ti’s tail rocker line being a bit shallower.
Here’s how we’d characterize the longitudinal flex pattern of the Mindbender 99Ti:
In Front of Toe Piece: 8.5-9.5
Behind the Heel Piece: 9.5-9
This is a strong, directional flex pattern with fairly soft tips, but a stout midsection and a very strong tail. Compared to the Mindbender 108Ti, the Mindbender 99Ti is stiffer at both ends of the ski. The Mindbender 99Ti’s tips start stiffer and stiffen up quicker than the Mindbender 108Ti’s, and the Mindbender 99Ti’s tail is significantly stiffer.
When I weighed the Mindbender 99Ti and told Jonathan Ellsworth the numbers over the phone, I could almost hear the grin spreading across his face. The Mindbender 99Ti is pretty heavy for its size, and since K2 is saying that its speed limit will be difficult to reach, we think that hefty weight makes a lot of sense. Of the skis we’ve reviewed that are currently on the market, the 187 cm J Skis Masterblaster (which measures 184.6 cm long) is the only similarly wide ski that comes in heavier than the Mindbender 99Ti.
For reference, here are a number of our measured weights for some notable skis. As always, keep in mind the length differences to try to keep these comparisons apples-to-apples.
1629 & 1684 Elan Ripstick 96, 181 cm (17/18-18/19)
1734 & 1750 Renoun Endurance 98, 184 cm (18/19)
1758 & 1774 Moment Commander 98, 178 cm (18/19)
1807 & 1833 Fischer Ranger 98 Ti, 180 cm (16/17-18/19)
1894 & 1980 Black Crows Daemon, 183.6 cm (17/18-18/19)
1896 & 1919 Dynastar Legend X96, 186 cm (17/18, 18/19)
1921 & 1968 Head Kore 99, 189 cm (18/19)
1925 & 1937 Liberty Helix 98, 186 cm (18/19)
1931 & 1932 DPS Foundation Cassiar 94, 185 cm (18/19)
1956 & 1999 K2 Pinnacle 95 Ti, 184 cm (17/18-18/19)
1966 & 1973 Liberty Origin 96, 187 cm (18/19)
1998 & 2044 4FRNT MSP 99, 181 cm (17/18-18/19)
2007 & 2029 Armada Invictus 99 Ti, 187 cm (18/19)
2049 & 2065 Volkl Mantra M5, 177 cm (18/19)
2050 & 2080 ON3P Wrenegade 96, 184 cm (18/19)
2053 & 2057 Atomic Vantage 97 Ti, 188 cm (18/19)
2114 & 2133 Nordica Enforcer 93, 185 cm (16/17-18/19)
2115 & 2149 J Skis Masterblaster, 181 cm (16/17-18/19)
2124 & 2137 Blizzard Bonafide, 180 cm (17/18-18/19)
2131 & 2189 Nordica Enforcer 100, 185 cm (15/16-18/19)
2165 & 2211 K2 Mindbender 108Ti, 186 cm (19/20)
2311 & 2342 K2 Mindbender 99Ti, 184 cm (19/20)
2344 & 2367 J Skis Masterblaster, 187 cm (16/17-18/19)
2373 & 2397 Head Monster 98, 184 cm (17/18)
All the Mindbenders we’ve measured have very traditional mount points, and the Mindbender 99Ti is no exception. At -11 cm from center, its recommended mount point is quite far back. As always, we’ll be testing the ski at a variety of mount points to see how that affects its on-snow feel.
Some Questions / Things We’re Curious about
(1) The Mindbender 99Ti is one of the heaviest skis in its class. So will it also be one of the most stable skis in its class? And how much will its weight impact its performance in tight terrain, bumps, trees, etc.?
(2) K2 is emphasizing the powder performance of the Mindbender 99Ti, so just how well will it float when the snow gets deep?
(3) The Mindbender skis in general are supposed to be both solid on edge and easy to release from a turn, so how true will that be for the Mindbender 99Ti?
(4) The Mindbender 99Ti has a very strong tail, a very traditional mount point, and a hefty weight. So will it be best suited to expert and advanced skiers, or would we also recommend it to less-experienced skiers?
Bottom Line (For Now)
The K2 Mindbender 99Ti is a strong ski with a pretty traditional shape and a not-so-traditional construction. Blister Members can read our initial impressions in our Flash Review linked below, and then stay tuned for our full review for more info.
Blister Members can now check out our Flash Review of the Mindbender 99Ti 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.