"The Mindbender 108TI is a crazy ski in terms of diversity and precision" according to pro freerider Felix Wiemers, who’s a likeable guy and sensational skier and athlete, but not exactly known for exuberant praise. If a guy like Felix, who has already skied and (presumably) rocked down hundreds of skis, is crazy about a ski, then it’s definitely worth a closer look.
The Mindbender 108TI is one of twelve brand new freeride models from K2 that replace its Pinnacle range. But this is no rehash of an old line. K2 has built it from the ground up, with pared-down, eye-catching topsheets, but more importantly, featuring Ti Y-Beam and Carbon Spectral Braid – two entirely new technologies that were developed, tested and perfected at its headquarters in Seattle.
The new collection is underpinned by two technologies that produce precision handling and a whole lot of fun, but the devil, as is often the case, is in the detail. K2 models with Ti Y-Beam deliver precision in the forebody of the ski, power underfoot and stability in the tail. Felix Wiemers' favorite, the egg-yolk-yellow 108TI, is in this class and therefore ideal for freeride ripping in untouched terrain. The other Mindbender models featuring Ti Y-Beam tech are the 99TI, 90TI, Alliance 98TI and Alliance 88TI.
Models featuring the new Carbon Spectral Braid technology, on the other hand, are lighter and more playful, with a carbon fiber laminate that allows the torsional and longitudinal stiffness to be adjusted independently. For days when power transmission and damping are less important: The Mindbender 116C, 90C, Alliance 115C, Alliance 106C or Alliance 90C is best.
K2’s latest technology also convinced the ISPO Award Jury who were quick to name the "fattest" of the series, the 116C, the ISPO Award Winner 2019 in the snow sports category.
With its Mindbender collection, K2 is harking back to its roots, the company's very own DNA. For many years, this had receded into the background in favour of other visions.
Will Eginton, Global Marketing Manager for K2 Skis, sums it up: "In the over 50 years of our existence, we’ve seen how skiing has changed and developed and how we have helped to shape it. For the winter 2019/20, we analysed all those moments in which we stood at the top, and we quickly noticed that those were the moments when we really were K2 and implemented our - partly - crazy ideas. So, we simply did what we do best: building the skis that we would like to ski ourselves."
K2 is also launching a range of ski boots to go with the new Mindbender collection. With a generous flex in walk mode these boots make freeride ascents quicker and more comfortable. By building them on K2’s proven Powerlite Shell, they’ve managed to make them lightweight and give them perfect stiffness. The boots are fully thermoformable, easy to grind and therefore individually customizable – qualities which have already been lauded in the award winning K2's Recon and Anthem All-Mountain boots.
With its Mindbender series, K2 is pushing boundaries and bringing joy to shredders everywhere. Because even though all the technical specs are undoubtedly important and pivotal to purchase decisions, at the end of the day, it’s the feeling you get when you click in to those bindings that counts.
If you're quick off the mark, you could enjoy that feeling this season. Because from February 2019, a range of Mindbender products will be available from select retailers in Europe, a full seven months prior to the global sales launch. The full range - consisting of six women's, six men's and 1 junior model - is available from autumn 2019.