|Approx. Weight||Feels Normal|
|Skier Level||Intermediate - Expert|
|Ski Shape||Directional Twin|
|On Snow Feel|
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K2 Mindbender 116 Review by A Better Ski
Today I got my hands on the K2 Mindbender 116. This ski has that new school rocker/camber/rocker profile that we are all falling in love with as well as a poppy flex and a playful energy. They looked like a lot of fun so I grabbed them for a couple days and really put them to the test on a wide range of snow conditions and terrain types. Let’s check how it went.
Thanks to P3 in Mammoth Lakes, CA for the demo.
Conditions: Powder, chopped powder, crud
Boots: Lange FR 130
Ski Personality: The K2 Mindbender 116 is surprisingly versatile for how wide it is. It is a playful yet stable all mountain rip stick that likes to go everywhere and do just about anything.
On the Snow Feel: With 116mm under foot, the K2 Minidbender 116 feels stable and playful on soft snow, and with the rocker profile, making quick turns feels almost effortless.
Powder: While I didn’t get into anything bottomless or super light, I did ski plenty of smooth turns on some really great snow. I felt like the K2 Mindbender 116 floated effortlessly with good responsiveness and playful energy. Sometimes when I am skiing a larger powder ski I get the feeling that the faster I go more control I get over the ski which makes me feel like I have to ski lines more aggressively. I didn’t get that feeling on this ski. I felt like I could ski at any speed I wanted to get them to respond in the soft snow. Furthermore, while the turning radius on this ski is almost 23m @186, I felt like I could make short turns when I needed them with out worry of the ski not going where I want to go.
Turn Initiation and Carving: In the soft snow, the rocker/camber/rocker profile makes turning this ski easy and hook free (i think that is why we all love this shape so much.) I didn’t get to ski any harder snow on the K2 Mindbender 116 but I did jump onto a groomer to see if these skis liked to carve at all. While the turning radius of 23m made for some large and fast arcs, I felt like I had control of the ski and they didn’t feel as loose as other skis I have tried in this category. I imagine that if the conditions were mostly harder packed, I would rather take out a ski that was narrower with less of a rocker profile for more edge grip. Other than that, I thought that the K2 Mindbender 116 had solid edge grip for a 116 giving them extra versatility points and almost putting them into a “1 quiver ski” and not the “powder ski” category.
Speed: The K2 Mindbender 116 in my opinion sits comfortably in the middle of the speed category. I wouldn’t want to take these skis out if I were trying to cruise around at slower speeds with the fam. or if I were a beginner/intermediate skier that is still trying to learn how to control their speeds on steeper terrain. I would recommend something shorter and narrower under foot with a softer flex. At the other end of the spectrum, if I wanted to ski 80 mph. down a big powder line, I would prefer a ski that was wider and longer and built to handle high speeds. Other than these two ends of the speed spectrum, I liked the K2 Mindbender for anything else. I felt like they wanted to go as fast as I wanted to go not as fast as they wanted to go.
Uneven/Variable Terrain: My highest praise of the K2 Mindbender 116 comes in this category. I skied some crazy variable conditions with soft powder and ice existing side by side. Many “powder skis” are good on just one snow type but these 116’s gave me grip on the hard snow and float on the soft with smooth and controlled transitions. The camber gives them the pop to navigate bumps and chop and crud with a playful life rather than a dull or brain rattling ride.
Flex: The K2 Mindbender 116 has a medium/stiff flex giving these skis that all-mountain versatility for cruising speeds to a more aggressive pace.
Bottom Line: I think you can tell by now that I had a great time skiing the K2 Mindbender 116 @186. They are not quite a 1 quiver ski unless I lived in a perfect world without hard packed snow. I would still classify them as a “powder ski.” However I did find a good amount of versatility with this ski as it felt playful and lively. I will try the 108ti to search for the greatest “1 quiver ski.” If you are getting into that advanced category and are looking to ski off-piste more, you can size down to the 179. It also comes in a 193 for bigger and faster lines. For me, I liked the 186 for it’s versatility and control.
K2 Mindbender 116 Specs
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K2 Company Information
K2 Mindbender 116 User Reviews