Featured Comparison Review K2 Mindbender 99Ti vs Liberty Evolv 100

Discussion in 'Gear Reviews and Comparisons' started by Philpug, Sep 13, 2019.

  1. Philpug

    Philpug Notorious P.U.G. Admin Pugski Ski Tester

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2015
    Posts:
    22,137
    Location:
    Reno, eNVy
    Screen Shot 2019-09-13 at 12.12.43 PM.png
    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.
     
    Wendy, Big J, Alba Adventures and 4 others like this.
  2. David Chaus

    David Chaus Epic & Ikon because I’m indecisive. Or not. Skier

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2015
    Posts:
    2,282
    Location:
    Stanwood, WA
    OK, interesting match up, and I’m still not sure in what ways they “ski differently.” Could you elaborate on that?
     
  3. Tom K.

    Tom K. HRPufnStf Skier

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2015
    Posts:
    2,549
    I know it's early days for Cage Matches, but I'd love to see MB99 vs. Enforcer 100.

    Outgoing reference 100 vs. New Kid On The Block?

    My E100s will have earned retirement to rock ski duty by the end of this season!
     
  4. markojp

    markojp mtn rep for the gear on my feet Industry Insider Instructor

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2015
    Posts:
    3,284
    Location:
    PNW aka SEA
    David, the evolve has less tip rise. The tip hooks up a bit more precisely on the front side, and with none of the divey hookiness of the old rossi experience 89 and 100's. Why mention the latter? Because at the risk of repeating myself, the Evolve 100 is the ski the Experience 100 should have evolved into. The MB 99 isn't quite as 'accurate' feeling on piste, but is a really fun off piste ski, especially in big funky mankoliscious spring bumps. Both are stronger, more torsionally rigid feeling than their 90mm brethren.
     
    Big J, ski otter 2, LewyM and 3 others like this.
  5. Ron

    Ron seeking the next best ski Pugski Ski Tester

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2015
    Posts:
    5,765
    Location:
    Steamboat Springs, Co
    the Evolv is really a charger but is not a brute and can be worked. it has better snow feel and is more responsive (not hooky as stated above) it has a more lively feel IMHO
     
    Big J and David Chaus like this.


  6. MAB

    MAB Booting up Skier

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2016
    Posts:
    66
    Location:
    Eastern Idaho
    How do they compare off-piste?
     
  7. Thread Starter
    TS
    Philpug

    Philpug Notorious P.U.G. Admin Pugski Ski Tester

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2015
    Posts:
    22,137
    Location:
    Reno, eNVy
    I would say the Evolv, because of the little more gradual tip shape. Both are really good.
     
  8. Big J

    Big J Getting on the lift Skier

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2017
    Posts:
    304
    Location:
    Marysville Wa
    Phil, You bring the Evolv 100 into the mix right after I became super stoked to ski the MB 99ti. Oh the perplexities of life!! What is your preference?
     
  9. fatbob

    fatbob Making fresh tracks Skier

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2015
    Posts:
    2,356
  10. Thread Starter
    TS
    Philpug

    Philpug Notorious P.U.G. Admin Pugski Ski Tester

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2015
    Posts:
    22,137
    Location:
    Reno, eNVy
    Yes, a tester can have a preference for him/herself, I would be disingenuous if I didn't.

    I still think that the K2 guys raided Line Skis file cabinet for the Mindbender name. The Line Mindbender has a much more fluid ring to it.
     
  11. Big J

    Big J Getting on the lift Skier

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2017
    Posts:
    304
    Location:
    Marysville Wa
     
  12. Big J

    Big J Getting on the lift Skier

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2017
    Posts:
    304
    Location:
    Marysville Wa
    Phil, What would your preference between the two be?
     
  13. Wendy

    Wendy Trying not to face plant Skier

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2016
    Posts:
    1,173
    Location:
    PA
    Both are in my shop. I like the gradual shape of the Evolv better. Putting them side by side, I was surprised at the width of the K2’s tip. Maybe the tapered tail makes the tip look wider than it is.

    I haven’t skied either, and if I had to just pick one, it would be the Evolv.

    Others would pick the K2.

    That’s why there isn’t a “better” here, each person’s version of “better” is different.
     
    Big J and Philpug like this.
  14. markojp

    markojp mtn rep for the gear on my feet Industry Insider Instructor

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2015
    Posts:
    3,284
    Location:
    PNW aka SEA
    I don't think he's going to tell you. :roflmao:

    An industry tester's job is to figure out the audience for a particular ski. Their personal preference really isn't germane as they aren't you, and you aren't them. Also remember that Phil (and yours truly) were about the only two people on earth that liked the NRGY 100.... :roflmao:
     
    Philpug and Ken_R like this.
  15. David Chaus

    David Chaus Epic & Ikon because I’m indecisive. Or not. Skier

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2015
    Posts:
    2,282
    Location:
    Stanwood, WA
    IIRC both yourself and Phil also liked the Navigator 90 (which is no longer available) over the Enforcer 93.
     
    Philpug and markojp like this.
  16. Big J

    Big J Getting on the lift Skier

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2017
    Posts:
    304
    Location:
    Marysville Wa
    Thanks for letting me know that you think Phil will not answer my question. I fully understand how reviews work. The reason I asked him for his preference is because after having followed his reviews for years I have come to the conclusion that our preferences in gear are similar. Let me ask the same question for Phil in a different way. Phil, which ski do you think (based on what you know of me) I would prefer? Feel free to PM the answer to me if you choose.
     
  17. LewyM

    LewyM Getting on the lift Skier

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2015
    Posts:
    84
    Location:
    PNW
    I am neither Phil nor Mark, but I have skied both the Evolv 100 (179) and MB 99 (177) (back to back) and I am happy to share my preferences. The short answer is that I liked both and would take a pair of either. Given the choice, I prefer the Evolv 100. It has a has a nice smooth snow feel, round flex and plenty of power. The MB 99 is solid, the best K2 I've tried in years. It is quick, damp and strong. But the Evolv feels a bit more "analog" to me - more of a classic metal laminate feel. The tip of the MB probably pulls into the turn more directly, while the Evolv feels more smooth in and out of the turn.

    Both skied great in soft spring slop, slicing and dicing, no deflection. To me, the Evolv just felt like a smoother platform.

    If you liked the OG Bonafide but wished it had been a bit more connected on firm snow in and out of the turn (once you got past the shock of a 98 being so solid on groomers), you'd really like the Evolv. Or as Mark says, it is a more versatile version of the old Rossi Exp 98. The MB, to me, feels like a much better implementation of the old Atomic Ritual (a ski I wanted to like more than I liked it). Maybe the MB is a tad quicker thanks to the tip shape and marginally tighter turn radius, but Evolv just felt more natural (maybe a bit more traditional) in how it entered and exited the turn.

    Both are really good skis. If you are a solid skier and you prefer stronger, more damp all mountain skis, I think you would probably enjoy either.

    Hope that helps a bit.

    [All mountain skis that I have liked: OG Bonafide (180), OG Cochise (185), Solly QLab (183), Kastle BMX 105 HP (181), Monster 88(177), Liberty VMT 92 (179)]
     
    Tony S, markojp and MountainMonster like this.
  18. Thread Starter
    TS
    Philpug

    Philpug Notorious P.U.G. Admin Pugski Ski Tester

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2015
    Posts:
    22,137
    Location:
    Reno, eNVy
    Actually between the Mindbender 99 Ti and the Evolv 100, I prefer the K2. But between the Mindbender 90 and the Evolv 90..I prefer the Liberty.
     
    markojp and Big J like this.
  19. Tony S

    Tony S aka qcanoe Skier

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2015
    Posts:
    3,111
    Location:
    Maine
    I only tried the 90, but absolutely, that build has a superb feel on the snow.
     
    Big J likes this.
  20. Big J

    Big J Getting on the lift Skier

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2017
    Posts:
    304
    Location:
    Marysville Wa
    Thanks so much for taking the time to respond. I have the Cochise, BMX 108 and had the Bonafide that was a bit too long for me.
     

Share This Page


  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice