Volkl Mantra 2015 – Review

So the best ski I’ve ever skied was the 2012/2013 Volkl Mantra and I already new they had changed the design for the 2015 version…..but I went out and bought them anyway! That it turns out, may have been a mistake.

Bulletproof but a tad lifeless in my book.

Bulletproof but a tad lifeless in my book.

I skied in Niseko last week on my new 177s 2015 Mantras and some how they felt a lifeless to me. They were super stable at speed and worked well in the powder but I just didn’t have the fun I had on the old Mantra.

I’ve never skied on a full rocker before and maybe that’s the problem. The old Mantra just got better & better and more responsive as you went faster and faster which was an addictive feeling. The new one just didn’t kick out of the turn in the same way. it’s like an airbus A380. You get to take off speed and you take off, but you feel pretty much nothing.  Anyway I’ll be testing them again out in Kyrgyzstan next week so watch this space.

UPDATE: In Kyrgyzstan they just weren’t the skis I needed. They recommended above 100mm underfoot and when I got there all the guides and other skiers were on more than that with 115mm+ ideal apparently. The Mantras still skied well and the lighter the powder the easier it was, naturally. In the trees they were agile enough and they survived me hitting some rocks hard with only damage to the base.

The guides said the big problem was I wouldn’t be able to get out of trouble on the big open slopes where some extra flotation would give you the stability you needed to ski away from a slide without risking a fall.

Ofcourse it is the skier not the skis in the final judgement, but out there I needed all the help I could get and the Mantras need high speed, which in the variable snow conditions I just couldn’t control. Next time I heliski (if there’s a next time) I’ll be going for some big mountain 110-115 floaters, Maybe the Salomon Q series or something. Perhaps I’m just getting old…

Here’s a really good video review alluding to some of the feelings I have had:





Kindle Voyage 3G – A Brief Review

The Kindle Voyage 3G was a kind of compelled purchase for me. My old Kindle 3G with keyboard was still working fine but the battery wasn’t doing great – lasting only a couple of days rather than two weeks. Here’s photo of the new Kindle Voyage from a recent flight I took up to Bangkok.

KindleVoyage (1)

Ok, I was reading Goldfinger, again.


The best things about the Kindle Voyage are its slim, light design and the built in reading light. Navigation with the touch screen isn’t as good as with the old non-touch version but maybe that’s just me. The battery lasts about a week of heavy use and all in all I’m pretty happy. At GBP229 I guess you could say it’s expensive but as my constant companion it seems pretty good value to me. Lastly, I bought a conventional book style leather cover from a third-party rather than pay the absurd 50 quid for the Amazon ‘Origami’ cover. It cost a tenner and has a really nice feel so very happy!