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2010 Volkl Mantra Ski


Pros: Stiff, good on choppy snow, good on hardpack, floats okay in fresh, stable at speed

Cons: Not a mogul ski, dives a little in powder

 This is a pretty kick-ass ski.  It's kind of like a really wide GS ski (96mm underfoot.)  It's at its most natural going really fast on firmer off-piste snow.  It will do short-radius turns, but it has to be muscled a bit and it's not necessarily pretty.  Moguls are a lot of work.  On groomed slopes, it holds a carve almost as well as my GS skis, but it's definitely slower edge-to-edge.  In fresh powder, the nose sometimes dives a little at lower speeds, with the bindings mounted on the factory mark.  They're still tons of fun in those conditions, though.  I also like skiing among the rocks and trees, and these skis are agile enough for that and wide enough not to sink when I give them a good shove to initiate a turn.


I bought these skis to be my all-conditions ski.  I've been loving them for that purpose.  I do wish I'd had the binding mounted 1cm back, but I suppose I might whine about the slower turn initiation and less tip control if I did.


I purchased the original version of the Mantra prior to is release in the 05/06 season.  The original ski was a gray color topsheet and had a waist width of 94 mm, and it was mounted with Fritchi Freeride alpine touring bindings.   This was the first wider ski I had purchased and it really made the off-piste and backcountry much easier.  Very versitile ski that can go from groomed to deep snow comfortably.  Volkl Mantra Review 2005


Pros: If it ain't broke dont fix it.

Cons: Maybe a little to much ski for a lightweight skier.

Tried and true the Mantra returns the same way it was last year...Perfect!  This ski has been around for a few years now and at 96mm underfoot it maybe the top 3 skis for a one ski quiver out there.

It likes speed.  Loves deep snow.  Desires a real rider to be on them.

Its the whip.


Pros: Incredible all mountain, like road runner on crack(fast)

Cons: little stiff, topsheet chips, suck in moguls

This ski is the ultimate one ski quiver. It has enough side cut to hold well on the groomers but is fat enough for Eastern powder days (where i ski). You have to be a strong/ agressive skier to turn this baby. You really have to power the ski around. Great ski


Pros: great one ski quiver, good powder crud and on trail ski for western skiing

Cons: none.

I had the early  2005 brownish/gray top sheet mantra and thought it was the best all round ski I ever skied.  At 94 mm under foot it was the widest ski i had ever been on but was amazingly stable at speed and carved well on trail.  In powder and crud the ski excelled. I am 5' 9'' and weigh 190 and felt very comfortable on the 184 mm.  @ 184 it was the shortest ski I ever skied since 1985.


I upgraded to the white with red graphics model which was a little wider at 96 mm underfoot in a 184 and felt the ski had stiffened up slightly from the older model but it could be that the originals had lost some snap.  nevertheless the newer ones seemed to bust through crud a little better.  I put about 150 ski days on each of the two pairs and both pairs still had a lot of life in them.   the skis have survived core shots but the edges stayed put and no damage to the integrity of the skis.   


I would still be on my last pair, but after demoing some rockered skis last year.  At the end of last season I was thinking about switching to Katanas but after finding out that the new Mantra would have tip rocker, my decision was made. I broke down and bought the new 2011/2012 Mantras again in a 184.  I am really looking forward to  an Alta/Snowbird  trip this year.   I will post a review of the rockered Mantra after I ski it.  Btw since I started skiing on Mantras, both my kids and all my ski buddies started skiing on Mantras,   My wife skis the female model the Aura.  Everyone thinks this is the most awesome ski ever. 


Remember the Mantra, like all Volkls, like to be skied fast with authority, likes to be on edge.   On a Volkl speed is your friend they respond well to power not subtlety.   I have a pair older Gotamas (early all black model) in a 190 and the Mantra is a better all round ski.  With more side cut the Mantra is better than the goat in everything except deep powder but even then there is not much difference. I ski a lot of tight trees and crud and the Mantras are unbeatable. The Mantras are more maneuverable than the Goats in tight trees. The Goats are cool though because they throw out a bigger rooster tail and no one rides your ass.     




Pros: Stiffness, reasonable float cruises through tracks

Cons: None really

I am 6', 205 and ski these in a 184 length with Marker Duke bindings.  As many reviews note here, these are a great daily ski for going through tracked out snow all over the PNW, which is wetter and heavier than some other places.  For me, the Mantras do well enough on the groom to have plenty of fun getting to the areas that aren't groomed, and enough float (although some days I would like more) to not get too lost after a deep dump.  They were a bit more of a handfule after a couple feet of drier powder that fell at ~12-16 degrees, but not every ski really does absolutely everything well.  Basically, I ski a resort that gets a ton of traffic in the steeper areas (Mt. Hood Meadows, the front bowls and Heather Canyon) and the stability this ski offers in wet, heavy tracks is a real winner for this area. 


For a prospective buyer, be careful and remember that all this ease through crud comes at the price of a much stiffer ski than some others of this width.  In other words, the Mantra can be a bit more of a handful in tighter, bumpier runs after a lot of traffic, and there are probably better skis for hunting deep powder in the trees ... you do have to stay out over these, to be sure.  However, if you spend a lot of time going through other skiers tracks and have to deal with a lot of variable conditions, this ski is a good choice.


Pros: Stiff, stable, durable, powerful and responsive, extremely versatile

Cons: Thin bases


Yep, this ski is probably one of the most talked about on Epic. Yep, there is a ton of reviews on it already. Yep i'm bored so gonna write one anyway.



Ski: 177 Volkl Mantra w/ Marker Jester


165 lbs

Level 9

Mountain: Treble Cone, New Zealand

Conditions: Everything from bulletproof off piste to powder and summits.

Other skis I have/recently owned: 191 ON3P Wrenegade, 170 Fischer Progressor 8, 177 Volkl Wall, 176 Salomon Dumonts, 189 Hellbents.


I bought these for the days where the snow conditions are pretty crappy. My 191 Wrens can be a lot of work in crappy conditions, so I bought these for something a little more relaxed and nimble. Something for for cruising. This is why I opted for the 177 length, regularly I would ski something in the 184-190 range.


I love the feel of this ski. Nice solid flex, burly construction, two metal layers, awesome on snow feel, definitely far from "planky"


Groomers/Ice: These things seriously rock on groomed runs. Rock, rock, rock. I have never been on a 96mm ski that can hold an edge so well. They are decently stiff so this probably contributes to it. Much better on this type of terrain than Salomon Shoguns or Line Prophets. I could rail some nice high speed GS turns no problem. I know people who hated volkl for killing the explosive, but I can see why they did it. It is just a ski that suits a wider range of people.


Crud: These can't even touch the Wrenegades in crud, but thats like comparing a Line Mothership to a Line prophet. However, for their length crud performance was great.Better than every other similar ski I tried. I could ski pretty fast through chop ect without it giving way or anything. Again, the stiffer flex does its job and makes the ski nice a stable. It does have a speed limit, but its high enough. It is really a ski that will reward aggressive skiing (Duh, its a Volkl). I see a TON of people at my resort who really shouldn't be on this ski. They are generally people like my Dad who are bit older, and buy them as they are marketed as a high performance top of the line freeride ski (scene skiers)- but they don't ski nearly powerfully enough to get the real performance out of the ski.


Bumps: I have always heard these are tough in the bumps. I had no problems at all. Very good for a 96mm ski IMO.


Powder: They work. We get heavier snow over here. Similar to the PNW and tahoe i guess. I did feel a bit of tip dive at times. For how versatile they are pow performance is definitely decent. Again, if I was on the longer ski it probably would have been better. I had a day on these where I really should have had my Wrens.


I did a few summit hikes, and was pretty happy to have these as with the jesters they are super light. I could see using them on some short tours if I had dukes on them.


Durability: Mine have taken a beating and still look pretty nice. The metal topsheet is hard to damage. The bases are pretty thin. Only complaint in this category.


Overall: This was exactly what I was looking for. I wanted something for the variable days that we can frequently get over here. You can ski bulletproof off piste conditions, to pow, to groomers, to slush all in a day. It fits in perfectly with my Wrenegades.


Pros: great in the crud and powder

Cons: chattered on harder snow

I demoed these recently at sugar bowl.  They were recently waxed, but the edges were very rough and could have used a tune.  The conditions were 3-5" of fresh (it was still snowing when I was up there).  I am 5'6" and about 125 lbs.  My previous ski was the Fischer RX-6.  I consider myself to be a level 6 skier.  I skied the Mantra the second half of the day after trying the Nordica Enforcer.  I found the Mantra to be better than the Enforcer in crud, but not necessarily hard snow or powder.  For the first hour I was fighting with the ski trying to figure out how to ski it properly on harder snow.  Eventually I just sort of gave up on the harder stuff and moved onto the crud off of Disney chair; and i'm glad I did.  The Mantra handled so easily in crud.  Much better than the Enforcer, in my opinion, which tossed me around occasionally.  All of a sudden the same ski that used to feel bulky and unwieldy felt amazingly manuverable.  I ended up having too much fun and lost track of time while laping Disney chair so unfortunately I never got a chance to test these in any powder.  It took me awhile to get used to the wider waist and the longer ski, but once I did I really enjoyed the ride that the Mantra was able to provide.


Pros: Very stable, cut through anything, Have great flex and flotation, great all mountain!

Cons: none yet

I bought these 08' mantras this year (2009-2010) and got a great deal.  They're the 177cm length.  I'm about 6'1" and 200lbs and these ski great!  Very stable, responsive, smooth yet solid flex, and a pleasure to ski on overall.  Only problem is that I've noticed that the graphics side of the ski gets cut up very easily, but I guess that happens with any ski.  Other than that, these are awesome!  Definitely highly recommended.
2010 Volkl Mantra Ski

The Volkl Mantra Alpine Ski rips like a race ski but, thanks to its wide shape, floats like a powder ski the combination makes for a badass all-mountain destroyer. The Mantra Ski's super strong wood core and double titanium sheet construction beg for high-speed turns and blow through crud. A 133mm tip keeps this Volkl ski floating effortlessly above the powder as you fly through back bowls and slash through the trees. Once the bowls are beat, take the Mantra howling down the groomers and show the rest of the hill that fat definitely doesn't mean slow.

Lengths170cm, 177cm, 184cm, 191cm
Dimensions133 / 96 / 116mm
Turn Radius[170cm] 18.2m; [177cm] 20.3m; [184cm] 22.5m [191cm] 24.8m
ConstructionPower, titanium sheets
Core MaterialSensorwood
Binding SystemNo
Binding IncludedNo
Recommended UseExpert big-mountain freeride
Manufacturer Warranty1 Year
Recommended BindingNo
Binding Type
Model Year
Recommended Level
Recommended use
Model Name/TypeMPNEAN/UPC
Style: MTRA, Color: Black, Size: 177cmMTRA-BLK-177821264353936
Style: MTRA, Color: Black, Size: 170cmMTRA-BLK-170821264353929
Style: MTRA, Color: Black, Size: 184cmMTRA-BLK-184821264353943
Style: MTRA, Color: Black, Size: 191cmMTRA-BLK-191821264353950
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