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.
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: