Review: K2 Mindbender 99 TI

Model year: 2022-2023
Sidecut: 143-99-120
Size: 184 cm
Radius: 19.6 m
Technology: wood core, full sidewall, titanal Y-beam, tip and tail rocker

About this ski

The K2 Mindbender 99 TI already existed for a couple of years. For this season, both the 99 and the narrower 90 TI were upgraded. Even though is has been more of an evolution rather than a revolution, the new 99 TI sets itself apart from both its narrower brother and the outgoing version.

In terms of construction, shape, and profile nothing has changed much – on paper. The sidewall is now full-length. That’s the main thing. The Y-beam is still there (a strip of metal in the middle of the ski behind the binding, only over the edges in front of the binding), although the shape has been updated with a little ‘blob’ in the tail section of the ski.

Fun and stable

Performance is where you will see major differences with the outgoing model, though. The old model was a bit burly, not very subtle, and very much just a wider version of the Mindebender 90 TI. The new 99 TI is a very nice and rounded ski in its own right. Compared to the new 89 TI, the 99 TI has moved towards more soft-snow performance (the 89 TI is more frontside-oriented now). It is a freeride ski with 99 mm underfoot instead of an all-mountain crud blaster.

It still eats crud for breakfast, don’t get me wrong. But now it lets you enjoy it rather than ignore it. The new 99 TI is more playful, maneuverable, and altogether more enjoyable than the old grumpy ski the 99 TIs were. In soft snow, the float is better and the tail is friendlier. This does have an effect on hard snow edge hold too. That has decreased a little. But to me, that makes sense. Anyone within their right mind would get a somewhat narrower ski for ripping corduroy anyway. Except for the Americans, of course. To appeal to them too, the people of K2 put that hideous camo top sheet on. That’s the only real criticism I can think of, really.

Conclusion

A well-rounded, grown-up version of the unsubtle gruntled youth the Mindbender 99 TI once was. It’s playful and more soft-snow oriented now. It’s great to see this ski picking a career for itself. Just buy a can of spray paint for the top sheet.

Characteristics

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

6 comments on “Review: K2 Mindbender 99 TIAdd yours →

  1. I’m skiing a kore 99 from 2 years ago (current 2023 version seems to be bit softer from what I can read). I really love this ski for almost any condition for all kinds of skiing aside from short carving turn. From your review it seems that this K2 mindbender is a similar. Does this make sense to you or is the mindbender a different animal? Btw thanks for the nice reviews!
    Rg,
    M

    1. Mindbender 99 TI and Kore 99 handle the same conditions but in a different style. The Kore is lighter and stiffer, the Mindbender is smoother and softer. If you find the current Kore too soft, the Mindbender will be even worse.

        1. The Ranger 96 is super smooth, much softer than the Kore 99 (softer than the Mindbender too). Of the three, the Ranger is the softest and smoothest, the Kore is the stiffest and most carbon-like.

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