Review: K2 Mindbender 89 TI

Model year: 2022-2023
Sidecut: 130-89-114
Size: 182
Radius: 16.6 m
Technology: wood core, full sidewall, titanal y-beam, tip and tail rocker, camber underfoot

About this ski

K2’s Mindbender collection has been around for three seasons now. But it has changed. Not the series itself – ranging from 89 to 116 mm – but the individual model have. This new 89 TI replaces the 90 TI from previous seasons. Although construction has changed only slightly – a full sidewall no as opposed to a partial one in the old version – the aim of this model (and its place in the entire Mindbender lineup) has changed more significantly.

The past seasons, the Mindbender 90 and 99 were more or less a narrower and a wider version of the same ‘should-be-able-to-do-everything’ ski. A bit clunky at times, more heavy than playful, but in essence, the two models were a wider and a narrower version of the same thing. Not anymore.

Different animal

The Mindbender 99 TI has been refined and still is that one-ski-quiver type ski (more on that in a separate review). The 90 TI used to be the same, but narrower. But now, the new 89 TI is a different animal and an interesting ski in its own right. It terms of ‘specialities’ K2 made a clear choice with this one: a ski that performs on harder snow, carve a clean turn and holds really well. The full sidewall, less rocker and more direct shape (and smaller radius) really help in getting this ski hooked up early in the turn and carving arcs with energy, stability and very good edge hold. 

This can now be considered real competition for the 88-90 mm greats such as the Völkl Kendo or Blizzard Brahma. In softer snow and bumps, the new 89 TI is less forgiving and less performant than the old 90 TI. They finally made a choice when it comes to the Mindbenders: if you want a strong carver that handles crud too: get this 89 TI. If you want a ski that’s good in bumps and soft snow too? Get something else.

In conclusion

The new kid on the block in 88-90 mm frontside allmountain carver world. Better on hardpack than the old Mindbender 90 TI and any other Mindbender. Still smooth, like I expect from K2, but more on the aggressive side than the other Mindbenders.

Characteristics

PlayfulStable
ForgivingPunishing
LivelyDamp
SkiddingCarving
Low speedHigh speed
Short turnLong turn
Soft snowHard snow

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