It is hard to believe that only a few years ago a ski this width would be considered fat, now by western standards at least, this is a mid fat, all mountain ski. In the big winter that was 2008 in Utah, I skied these a ton. I put a Duke on them, so used them for moderate length tours, but also skied them many days in resort. This is a great ski for an area like Park City, or even Stowe - they work in such a wide variety of conditions. However, when it gets really deep you want something fatter (think Katana or Gotama). What is nice is you can throw this ski on if you don't really know where you are gonna ski, or with who. If you end up on groomers, they can hold their own, but if you get pulled into crud, powder or a little sidecountry, you still have the right tool for the job. They get squirrely if you ask them to perform on steep, icy, hard snow. There, they feel a little like an old straight slalom ski, somewhat skiddy - but to be fair that is not what Volkl had in mind when they designed this ski. The term "one ski quiver" is an overused cliche, but appropriate for the Mantra.
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