There is no question that K2 has shifted gears over the past few years with new designers, new skis, and a new attitude. We have also seen a shift at Liberty with brand new collections, including the Evolv 100 featured here. Why did I choose these two to go against each other? First, they are both class leaders for this season; second, their dimensions are just a millimeter apart in tip, waist, and tail, yet they ski differently.
I was able to get on the Mindbender 99Ti way back in December 2017 and immediately agreed with K2’s designers that they had succeeded in producing the reference ski in the highly contested 98-100mm category. How did they do it? They worked with a construction (Y-beam) that allows a strong entry into the turn and a supple tail that lets the ski release easily. Two other things elevate the performance of the new Mindbender: tip shape and weight. The tip makes the ski enter the turn better than any other ski in this class, and where many brands are jumping on the lightness bandwagon, the new K2 is one of the heavier skis in the class; to quote Boris the Blade, “Heavy is good, heavy is reliable.” The girth of the Mindbender 99Ti is extremely stable in crud.
In combining the Vertical Metal Technology (VMT) from its V-Series with its playful Origin shape, Liberty has created a class-leading ski. It may not be as much of a household name as K2, but Liberty is producing world-class skis, and the Evolv 100 is definitely one of them. Liberty’s VMT construction does wonders in keeping a ski planted to the snow, and the mix of poplar and bamboo creates a powerful core. Like the Mindbender, it is not the lightest ski offered -- do you see a trend here?
- Why choose the Mindbender 99Ti? You bleed red, white, and K2; this is the ski you were promised for 15 years, and it is worth the wait.
- Why choose the Evolv 100? You have a bit of rebel in you. No worries, you can still be a nonconformist with the Liberty, but not at the cost of performance. The Evolv is a no-compromise ski that is a viable alternative to the mainstream.