Today K2 announced that they’re making several updates to their Mindbender Ti freeride skis, which first hit the market in the 19/20 season and had been unchanged since (apart from graphics).
The 22/23 Mindbender Ti skis all get several updates, from construction to rocker profiles. The Mindbender “C” (aka, carbon) skis return constructionally unchanged for 22/23. I chatted with K2’s head ski designer, Jed Yeiser, at the Blister Summit and on the phone this morning to get the rundown on all the changes.
The arguably biggest change is in the core, and particularly K2’s signature “Titanal Y-Beam” that debuted on the original Mindbenders. The shape and placement of the Y-Beam have been tweaked, with more mass being moved out away from the mount point of the ski to get better stability and composure at the ends of the ski. This was the result of some of the experimentation they’ve been doing with one of their other new 22/23 ski lines that we’ll be talking about soon (and that folks got to test at the Summit).
The overall goal of the Y-Beam layer is still similar to the previous generation, though. It’s a layer of titanal that runs edge to edge underfoot, but then splits into two “prongs” over the edges near the shovels and a single strip as it extends toward the tail. The idea is that you get a very torsionally rigid section underfoot for edge grip there, a fairly torsionally rigid area around the shovels for precise turn initiation, and a less torsionally rigid tail for easier release. This is in contrast to a more traditional layer of titanal, which often either extends edge to edge throughout the length of the ski or is a consistent strip, both of which offer fewer fine-tuning options when it comes to torsional rigidity.
The 22/23 Mindbender Ti skis also all now feature K2’s “Aspen Veneer” core, which consists of a lot of 2mm-thick aspen strips (thinner than many ski cores’ wood stringers) that K2 says let them get a more consistent overall core block. This will also likely lead to slightly lower weights for the skis that previously used maple or fir in their cores (our pair of the 184 cm Mindbender 99Ti is about 2100 grams per ski, which is about 100 grams lighter per ski than K2’s stated weight for the previous version).
Another change is that the 22/23 Mindbender Ti skis feature deeper rocker lines, most notably through the tail. The main goal here was to make the tails easier to release and drift when needed.
We’ve got a new Mindbender 99Ti in for a long-term review and will be reviewing several of the others in the future, so stay tuned for updates. In the meantime, you can find more info on K2’s website, and check out the graphics for all five of the 2023 Mindbender Ti models below: