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EpicSki › Ski Equipment and Resorts  › Ski Gear › Alpine Skis › Freeride Skis › 2012 Volkl Mantra

2012 Volkl Mantra


Pros: Still a Mantra!

Cons: Still a Mantra!


It is great when a skis strengths are also it's weaknesses. For 2012 Volkl has refreshed the Mantra with a bit of early rise and a slightly softer tail. In many cases, when a manufacturer does this evolution, they change the characteristics of a ski to the point where it can alienate it's faithful, Volkl did not do this. The newest evolution of the Mantra is very well the best, it does what you would expect with a broader range, for the skier that laps Kt from first chair to last, (s)he will not be disappointed nor with the skier that is looking to step up to a ski that will help them become that charger on the mountain. While the 2012 Mantra's performance window has been broadened, it is still one of the more demanding skis in it's category and rewards the technically proficient skier but will be less tolerant of slackers and wannabes. 


Other skis to consider: Blizzard Bonafide, Rossignol Experience 98, Nordica Enforcer 




Length Tested: 177

Dimensions/Turn Radius:  

Camber: Traditional, Early Rise 

Binding: Demo 

Mount point: Suggested 


Environment & Conditions:

Location of Test: Winter Park/Alpine Meadows

Number of Runs: 4

Snow Conditions: Firm

Demo or Own: Demo


Tester Info:

Username: Philpug

Age: 47

Height/Weight: 5'10" 185lb

Ski Days/Season: 40-60

Years Skiing: 35

Aggressiveness: Moderate (Finesse) 

Current Quiver: 12 Blizzard Bonafide, 12 DPS 112RP Pure, 12 Kastle MX88

Home Area: Squaw & Northstar

Preferred Terrain: bumps, off-piste, trees


Pros: More forgiving than last generation Mantra

Cons: Less apt to lay trenches than last generation Mantra and less stable at speed .

I am a 40-80 day per year expert telemark skier. I ski Utah for the majority of my days per year and the East coast for about 20 days per year.

I have 12 pairs of skis in my quiver. I have the Volkl Kuro, the widest Volkl made, and the World Cup Nordica Doberman SLR and many other skis in between. THE OLD MANTRA IS MY FAVORITE SKI OF ALL FOR EVERYTHING EXCEPT THE DEEPEST POWDER DAYS.

The last generation Mantra, 133-96-116, Is more stable at high speed and much better than the new Mantra for laying trenches. Furthermore the old Mantra is damp, damp and more damp installing a sense of calm at Mach speed.

Although the old Mantra is a little hooky in deep pow, that problem is not evident if you are properly balanced fore and aft.

The new Mantra has been made too forgiving with the soft tail and the less pronounced side cut. The new Mantra will appeal to intermediates looking for a one ski quiver. However, if you are aggressive and attacking the hill at every turn I would suggest the old Matra over the new. smile.gif


Pros: Edge hold, stiff flex, versatility, much improved soft snow performance

Cons: More than damp enough, but not as damp as the original

I owned the former version of the Mantra for several years (white model with the samuri sword).  I had a love hate relationship with these skis.  The hard snow performance was first rate, and they held an edge on east coast ice perfectly.  However, the soft snow performance was miserable for a ski of it's width.  I eventually moved on to the Prophet 100, which trailed the Mantra on ice, but blew it away just about everywhere else in terms of versatility, manuverability, soft snow performance, and overall fun.  After a brief/miserable experience on the Prophet 98, the 2012 Mantra is now my ski of choice for all around use.


My first day skiing these on icy easy coast conditions was amazing. The ski just felt automatic for me in the 184 length.  I had previously skied a few runs on the 177, and while it wasn't for me in this length, I knew the ski would have promise  when skied in the correct length.  Heading out west, I was curious what the Mantra would bring to the table.  I almost didn't bring them on the trip, but was happy I did.  Compared to the earlier Mantra, the soft snow performance was vastly improved.  Gone was the tip dive that had ruined powder days on the old Mantra.  The 2012 floated through 6-8 inches of left overs, was plently easy to ski in the trees and bumps, and never left me needing more (in terms of stablility and a speed limit) or less (in terms of swingweight in tight spots).


I couldn't be happier to have these skis.  I often felt that I could ski the Prophet 100s any day, any where, and be pretty damn happy.  However, I was left craving a little more beef out of the ski.  With the Mantra I feel I can go anywhere, but don't have to sacrifice race ski-like performance on hard snow.


My only complaint, and I am stretching here, is that they are not as damp as earlier versions.  The profile of the ski is much thinner now, which no doubt makes it a lighter and more versatile soft snow performer, but when maching through east cost chunder/ice chunks, the original did have an edge. 


Volkl has made an amazing ski I expect to keep around for a while!


Pros: stable, edge hold, deflection, just plain awesome!!!

Cons: its a loud ski

Wow what a ski I ask for it it give it and then some , decent hold an hard pack a real pleasure to ski jot for the light hearted. This is a real ski it will out ski you if you let it, really. Can't wait for a powder day.
2012 Volkl Mantra

The Mantra is the pinnacle product for the skier who wants to ski the deep stuff, yet still have a solid, all-mountain feel on the front of the mountain. Still unparalleled in the market, it's the go-to ski for those who want a powder ski that is versatile enough to ski hard on groomed terrain as well.

Turn Radius25.8 @ 184cm
Core Materialwood/metal
Binding IncludedNo
Recommended Binding
Recommended useOff-piste
Recommended LevelAdvanced
Model Year2012
Binding Type
Model Name/TypeMPNEAN/UPC
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