K2 Mindbender 90Ti Review
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K2 Mindbender 90Ti
|Price||$650 List||$599.99 at Amazon|
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|$524.99 at Evo|
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|$489.97 at Evo|
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|$489.99 at Amazon|
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|Pros||Lightweight, quick edge to edge||Stable, confidence inspiring, magnetic ride quality||Stiff, explosive, carving machine||Agile, feels light, rewards strong skiers||Powerful float, stable at speed, can arc or smear turns|
|Cons||Bends easily||Damp, heavy||Heavy||Some chatter, demanding for intermediate skiers||Some vibration, sometimes feels soft|
|Bottom Line||A great all-around ski that is versatile enough to excel in any conditions||With these on your feet, you'll be ready for anything the mountain has coming at you||A combination of raw explosive power and stability puts this ski well ahead of the competition for carving and is ideal for even the firmest snow days||This ski prefers a strong and athletic pilot to get the most maneuverability and reward out of it||The unique rocker/camber profile and wider 102-millimeter waist width promote versatile performance wherever your powder stash may be|
|Rating Categories||K2 Mindbender 90Ti||Volkl M6 Mantra||Nordica Enforcer 94||Atomic Maverick 95 Ti||Blizzard Rustler 10|
|Stability at Speed (20%)|
|Carving Ability (20%)|
|Powder Performance (20%)|
|Crud Performance (20%)|
|Terrain Playfulness (20%)|
|Specs||K2 Mindbender 90Ti||Volkl M6 Mantra||Nordica Enforcer 94||Atomic Maverick 95 Ti||Blizzard Rustler 10|
|Waist Width||90 mm||96 mm||94 mm||95 mm||104 mm|
|Sidecut (Tip-Waist-Tail width)||127-90-114 mm||135-96-119 mm||127-94-115.5 mm||129-94.5-113||133-104-122.5 mm|
|Available Lengths||163, 170, 177, 184 cm||163, 170, 177, 184, 191 cm||165, 172, 179, 186,191 cm||172, 180, 188 cm||164, 172, 180, 188 cm|
|Length Tested||177 cm||177 cm||179 cm||180 cm||180 cm|
|Turn Radius||17.9 m||18 m||17.1 m||19.3 m||17.5 m|
|Camber Profile||Rocker/Camber/Rocker||Tip-Tail Rocker||Rocker/Camber/Rocker||Tip-Tail Rocker||Tip-Tail Rocker|
|Manufacturer Claimed Weight||8.5 lbs||9.0 lbs||8.9 lbs||7.9 lbs||8.9 lbs|
|Core Material||Maple/Aspen Woodcore/Titanal||Poplar/Beech/Double Titanal||Wood/Double Titanium/ GR400 Carbon Glass||Poplar woodcore/fiberglass/titanium||Multi-layer Woodcore/Carbon /Fiberglass/Titanal|
Our Analysis and Test Results
K2's all-new Mindbender 90Ti delivered our testers with a forgiving and stable skiing experience. We think this ski is accessible to a wide variety of skiing abilities thanks to its consistent and damp overall feel on piste. We also found the narrowest in the Mindbender lineup to be versatile and agile enough to deviate from the groomers into the bumps at will. This ski delivers a damp and easy turning experience, thanks to a construction that mixes wood types with a Y-shaped titanal layer.
Stability at Speed
The Mindbender 90Ti is one of the narrowest skis in our lineup, so we expected on-piste excellence from it, and we weren't disappointed. K2's construction blends a maple and aspen wood core with their titanal Y-beam. We experienced a damp and stable ride quality that was nearly as exciting as our highest scorers. We see this ski providing a solid platform, especially to those on their way to becoming more aggressive skiers.
Carving performance from the Mindbender 90Ti is confidence-inspiring but not as exciting as other models in our review. Our testers were pleased with this skis edge-to-edge quickness and overall grip. K2's beefy extended ABS sidewall seemed to keep the torsional rigidity of this ski well composed. The Mindbender 90Ti is lighter than the highest-scoring models that have more pop. This weight advantage translates to more forgiveness overall, especially when learning to carve at higher speeds. Our testers see this ski to be a strong contender in this metric as a result.
Sizing up, going wider, and leaning back are commonly overemphasized on deep snow days. While 90 millimeters underfoot wouldn't be our pick on truly bottomless days, some skiers enjoy being in the snow rather than on top of it. The K2 Mindbender 90Ti continues to provide its stable qualities through ankle-deep powder at the least and can help keep you honest as a result if you are trying to work on your technique. This ski is a great option for days where "bottoming out" is likely.
The Mindbender 90Ti does fall short in this metric compared to its other scores across the board. We half expected this outcome, especially for one of the narrowest skis in our lineup. When we toned the speed down and picked our way through slop and chop, this ski was able to manage. Part of the all-mountain ski search is knowing and respecting a ski's strengths and weaknesses. If you are looking to charge hard through every snow condition, we suggest a slightly burlier model.
The quickness and lightness of the Mindbender 90Ti pulled through for its playfulness score. With a strong preference for firmer snow and carving, this ski still proved to our testers that it could play. Bumps and rolling terrain were the Mindbender 90Ti's preference over jumps and slashing.
Should You Buy the Mindbender 90Ti?
As long as you don't plan to push your limits regularly, the K2 Mindbender 90Ti is a versatile, well-rounded ski for all skier types. As a ski instructor, this ski provides stability, carving ability, pop, and playfulness to help improve technique on nearly every run. At 90 millimeters underfoot, it's certainly not a powder ski, nor is it a hard-charger. But the Mindbender 90Ti is a fun, forgiving, versatile, and well-priced option for any all-mountain skier.
What Other All-Mountain Skis Should You Consider?
If your skiing is mostly on-piste focused, the Mindbender 90Ti's price-to-performance ratio is hard to beat. But if you're lucky enough to play in powder regularly, a wider-waisted ski like the Blizzard Rustler 10 or the Rossignol Black Ops Sender Ti is a more appropriate choice. Suppose you are a hard-charging skier who likes to push it regardless of snow conditions. In that case, it's worth considering something damper like the Volkl M6 Mantra, something more powerful like the Nordica Enforcer 94, or a ski burly enough to straight-line, like the Black Crows Justis.
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