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