A full rocker ski with the backbone to charge.
When last year's version of the Mantra emerged from Volkl's top secret ski lab with a powder friendly full rocker profile and the same hard-charging titanium backbone as its predecessors, penny-scraping ski bums everywhere swooned, supplies dried up, and everyone cried for more. Well, Volkl heard your cries and brought them back for another winter of pow-slashing, crud-busting, groomer-bashing fun.
If you're into powder (is that even a question?) two words should stand out from the first paragraph: Full. Rocker. While the Mantra of yore could be overly aggressive in soft snow and tight trees, the full rocker profile combines with a tapered shape 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, but you'll be able to vary your turn shapes and open things up when you feel the need for speed and quickly shut them down when things get techy.
With all this talk of powder performance, don't start to feel like you're sacrificing hardpack performance. 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.
- All-mountain ski plays particularly well in powder
- 100mm waist width balances between soft snow and hardpack
- Full Rocker with tapered shape has fun when things get soft
- Multi-layer wood core combines durable ash with poppy poplar
- Power Construction with titanium laminate for charging hard
- Item #VKL003T
- Q & A
The Freeheel Mantra
- Familiarity: I've used it several times
This ski comes with a stellar reputation as a hard charging all-mountain crusher with enough girth to handle fresh powder (when you are lucky enough to find it). Have no doubt that the Mantra lives up this reputation.
I just picked up a new pair of these as my everyday ski out here in Utah. I skied them last year mounted with 22 Designs Outlaw Bindings and immediately fell in love with this set-up. The titanal laminate adds stiffness and stability at high speeds and in variable conditions while the full rocker profile allows me to make any type of tele turn I want. I can make GS turns on hardpack, tight turns in trees, and still get face shots when conditions permit.
If you made it to the end of this review you are probably asking yourself: I thought tele skiing was dead? As the old tele mantra goes: free your heel, free your mind.
Feel free to contact me directly with any questions on the Mantra's, tele skiing or ski gear in general.
Kyle L. - Expert Gearhead - firstname.lastname@example.org - 801-736-4337