Forget everything you knew.

For years, the Volkl Mantra's been the gold standard for all-mountain edge grip—you could point it at anything and let 'er rip, but it was a ski that always wanted to be driving a hard edge. The combo of power, precision, and width made for a wonderfully versatile quiver-of-one ski, but always left a niggling feeling that you were missing out on some of the powder-munching, turn-smearing fun of surfier, more forgiving boards. This year? Not so much. Kiss those hangups goodbye and say hello to the new Mantra, a slightly fatter, fully rockered all-mountain animal that has all the aggressive, hard-charging instincts of the original, tempered with a dose of pure pow lovin'.

If you're into powder (is that even a question?) two words should stand out from the first paragraph: Full. Rocker. While the old Mantra could be overly aggressive in soft snow and tight trees, the new profile combines with a tapered tip to ease things up, making it easier to throw your skis sideways, scrub speed, and have more fun when things get soft and you need to be light on your feet—you'll be able to vary your turn shapes, opening things up when you feel the need for speed and shutting them down when things get techy. 

Don't worry about sacrificing hardpack performance, though. Even though its waist is two millimeters wider than previous iterations, the Mantra uses Volkl's burly, aggressive Power Construction, with a torsion box for stiffness, vertical sidewalls for durability, and a titanium laminate to keep you charging hard, because, after all, it's still a Mantra. There's ash underfoot for power and top-shelf binding retention, with poplar in the tip and tail for a more lively, playful feel. If you find something it can't handle, you're probably trying to use it as a boat, or a machete, or a pair of pants; keep it pointing downhill on the snow, and you'll see why it's such a legend.

  • Full rocker
  • Multi-layer poplar and ash core
  • Titanium laminates
  • Power Construction with torsion box and vertical sidewalls
  • Vertical sidewalls
  • Tapered tip

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Here's what others have to say...

I loved the old Mantra and I've read very contrasting reviews on the new one. Some say they have ruined it by taking the edge off the hardcore race ski type feel that the old one had on hardpack. Others said it's still just as hard charging on groomers but is much more capable in the fluffy stuff. If i buy this looking for the high speed thrills i got from the old Mantra will i be disappointed?

Best Answer Responded on

It does ski a bit differently than previous model years, but I would agree that it is just more capable in deeper snow. It does have a layer of Titanal which helps with dampening, edge grip, stability, and generally contributes to hard-charging performance.
I recently snagged a pair of this years 177cm Mantras for my dad, who already had a pair from a few years ago... and he is super stoked about them!
I'm going to grab a pair of 170cm Auras for myself, and I definitely prefer this years model over last years. It's way more playful and versatile. Anyway, I do not think you'll be disappointed!
Here's an awesome review from Blister Gear Review that really dives into more details! Hopefully this helps!

Does this ski, ski short? I am looking for a stable at speed (35-55mph) side country ripper. I am 5' 11 150lbs. I have 178 La Sportiva Lo5s and 182cm Praxis GPOs.

Best Answer Responded on

I did not feel it skied short on the 177cm. In certain aspects it does feel a touch shorter and more agile than the older version in the same length but I personally would never size up on this version.

If you dig hard into reviews on the new Mantra you will find some have struggled on the 184cm for various reasons and had trouble figuring the ski out. 177cm sweet, 184cm not so much.

I'm 6'1" 178lbs and wouldn't even consider the 184cm, but I prefer staying a little shorter for moguls and just a quicker experience.