177 Volkl Mantra Review
I was up at Bretton Bump this weekend and I was able to finally get out on my new mantra's.
Mountain: Conditions were 6-8" powder, groomed pp/mm. Phenomenal skiing considering this season so far.
Me: 5'10 /175 lbs - Athletic, Expert Skier.
Mantra: 130-94-113, 23.2@177cm
The most standout first impression of this ski is how light it is. Ive got mine mounted with 912ti's and at 177 they weigh maybe half as much as my girlfriend's 150-something K2 One Luvs with Markers.
This is my first Volkl in 20+ years of skiing, and I was utterly impressed with the quality of ski. It simply does everything exceptionally well. It feels like a GS ski when you point it on hard pack - arcing sweet massive turns as if it were on rails - but then it snaps quick slalom turns with no effort at all. I absolutely love carving on fat skis like this where the extra width underfoot defeats boot-out.
In terms of stability, the massive tip just swallows everything you put in front of it. Its amazing a ski so light can be so rock solid. I took pleasure in arcing high speed turns over water bars and other terrain features that were exposed due to the lack of base. On some of the ungroomed trails and glades that were open, the situation was about 6-8" on top of frozen bumps or topped off with breakable crust. Neither situation posed a problem for the Mantra. It cut everything up as if it were corduroy. What little I could find in the form of moguls, I did observe that those 130mm tips were a tad clunky when blasting through them - but that was easily overlooked.
How does it compare?
179 Seth Pistol - The mantra is just as stable, has less tip flop, far lighter and consequently far more adept at short turns. I never enjoyed the 179 sp in the trees and tight spots, it just felt like a bear to move around for me. I dont see that happening with the Mantra.
176 Mojo 90 - I anticipate the Mantra will have much better float in powder with a wider tip and 4mm more under foot. It makes slalom turns with similar ease to the Mojo 90, but where the 90 gives up high speed stability in this length for short turn prowess, the Mantra holds the line. The Mojo 90 is a superior bump ski in this length, but thats about it.
Im completely confident that the Mantra is the perfect all conditions, all mountain ski for me - even on the east coast. My only regret was not mounting them with nx21's - this is a truly versatile and lightweight touring option.
And on that note, my Mojo 90's are for sale.