Outdoor Retailer and Snow Show, the biggest outdoor and snowsports event of the year, is happening now at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver, Colorado. We’ve got a team on the ground, there to bring you news about the most exciting new product releases. Follow our coverage here, and also be sure to check us out on Instagram. We’ll be posting exclusive images and interviews to our feed throughout the week.
Model: Mindbender Collection
Availability: Limited availability now, full availability in Fall 2019
Unique Features: torsion control design via Carbon Spectral Braid Technology and Titanal Y-Beam Technology.
Upshot: For the 2019/2020, K2 is overhauling its freeride line with a new ski called the Mindbender. The Mindbender will range in size from a 116-millimeter waist width for deep snow down to an 85-millimeter ski that can handle bulletproof groomers. Depending on the width, the Mindbender will either use a Y-shaped titanal layer (titanal is a mostly-aluminum metal commonly used in skis to make them more stable) or K2’s new Carbon Spectral Braid Technology. In both constructions, the goal is to provide increased torsional rigidity without compromising longitudinal flex. What the heck does that mean? The Mindbender is stiff side-to-side but still has ample flex from tip to tail.
Who It’s For: All-mountain skiers.
Insight: The Mindbender is the physical manifestation of what’s recently been happening behind the scenes at K2 (new parent company, new president) and a signal that the brand is remaking itself through its core product: skis. More specifically, freeride skis. It was K2 who worked with the late Shane McConkey to pioneer elements of ski design like reverse camber that are now so universal they’re considered standard.
Since those days, radical innovation in skis has slowed down. Ski companies regularly tweak designs with slightly altered shapes and constructions but rarely with all-new tech like Carbon Spectral Braid. That K2 is confident enough to include not just in one stand-alone ski but in an entire collection — one that replaces a successful predecessor, the Pinnacle — shows that the brand is not only confident but grounded in its identity.
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