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Powder Skis

2023 K2 Mindbender 106C W Review

If you like playful powder planks (who doesn’t), check out this energetic ski

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Brand: K2

Model: Mindbender 106C W

Overall Ranking: #3

Overall Score: 7.76 / 10



Specs

Tip / Waist / Tail (mm)

139-106-124

Lengths (cm)

159, 167, 175

Gender

Women's

Level

Intermediate, Advanced

Strengths

Flotation (#2), Playfulness (#2)

Weaknesses

Quickness (#6), Crud Performance (#4)

Stability at Speed

7 / 10

Quickness / Maneuverability

6.8 / 10

Playfulness

7.8 / 10

Forgiveness

7.8 / 10

Crud Performance

7.2 / 10

Versatility

7.8 / 10

Responsiveness

7.6 / 10

Flotation

8.4 / 10

An energetic ski that loves to party, the Mindbender 106C W is a capable and forgiving powder ski, but one that can handle the heat if you decide to step on it. Previously known as the Mindbender 106C Alliance, the newly dubbed Mindbender 106C W carries over the same all-terrain prowess from last year.

Unlike the beefier Mindbender Ti skis, the 106C W doesn’t utilize any metal and instead features a weave of carbon stringers—K2’s proprietary Spectral Braid technology— that boosts stiffness and power. Combined with a lightweight aspen veneer core, the Mindbender boasts a poppy and energetic feel that grabbed testers’ attention on the first few turns. The rockered tip and tail make for easy steering, so it’s a breeze to initiate turns while arcing down back bowls. Camber underfoot helps this ski hold a solid edge while railing icy groomers, with an easy edge-to-edge turnover that testers appreciated for reliability when hopping onto firm slopes in between pow stashes. The 106mm waist was on the slimmer end of the powder skis we tested, but the wide shovel on the Mindbender 106C W kept things floaty, allowing the ski to feel consistent when conditions inevitably change from bell to bell.

“Great rebound and wicked fun,” said tester Avery Pesce of Boston Ski and Tennis. “Surprisingly reliable on groomers and excellent float and stability in soft snow. Definitely a narrower powder ski I’d recommend for a New England resort skier.” For a beefed-up powder chaser, ladies should reach for the Mindbender 115C W to really float the day away, or the 90C W and 85 W for sleeker options that will bring the acclaimed Mindbender energy to areas with less snowfall.

Testers did ding the Mindbender 106c W in the Quickness category, saying its chargy attitude fell short in narrow glades and bumps, where the ski requires more work than it should to initiate turns and weave through obstacles. “I had to muscle it around in tight trees,” said tester Erika Northrop of Christy Sports. “And the shovel was a bit hard to whip around in variable terrain.”

Still, testers agreed that the Mindbender 106C W is an ideal powder or wide all-mountain ski for intermediate to advanced skiers because it’s stable and quiet at high speeds in wide-open terrain yet still allows skiers working on their skills to pivot and smear turns in more technical terrain. “This is another ringer for me!” said tester Elyse Schreiber. “I know K2s to be damp and not very playful, but this allowed me to get into a little bit of every kind of terrain comfortably and felt dependable where I needed it.”

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