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Volkl Mantra vs Volkl AC 50

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 

 

I'm looking into buying a pair of Volkl Mantras or Volkl AC 50s, but I'm having trouble deciding between the two skis and between 170cm and 177cm lengths.  I'm 6'2" 215lbs and currently ski on 168cm Volkl SuperSport AllStars, and was looking for a fatter, off-trail ski.  I demo'd the 170cm Mantras and was very happy but didn't know how they compare to the AC 50s, or the slightly longer 177cm versions.

 

Any advice would be quite helpful.  Thanks!

 

-- Josh

post #2 of 17

At your height and weight, wouldn't you want the 184s? Just a thought.

post #3 of 17

Try the Ac 50's out before you decide. Two totally different skis. I tried both, and settled on the ac30 because I'm a bit lighter then you.  The 50's were a bit stiff for my liking. You shouldn't have any trouble with the 50's but definitely demo them out before you decide. Maybe you like the flic-ability of a shorter ski but agreed with the last post shouldn't you be on a 184? But hey I can't say it enough demo them out until your sure what you want.

post #4 of 17

Consider the Kendo, a Mantra construction in a similar AC50 type dimensions. IMHO, The Kendo is a better application of that Mantra construction in skiability. As mentioned, get AT LEAST the 177 (skiing mostly east) and possibly the 184 (skiing mostly west) for your size. Either the Kendo or Mantra will be a better complement for your All stars If you are planning on keeping them, the AC50 will be more of a replacement. 

post #5 of 17

 I'm also considering new skis. I'm an intermediate. 5'11", 220, athletic but consider food a hobby. I'm looking at either Rossignol s80, s86, or Vokl ac50s. I'm skiing a 168 presently in a salomon and feel REAL uncomfortable on groomers.

post #6 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by TThompson View Post

 I'm also considering new skis. I'm an intermediate. 5'11", 220, athletic but consider food a hobby. I'm looking at either Rossignol s80, s86, or Vokl ac50s. I'm skiing a 168 presently in a salomon and feel REAL uncomfortable on groomers.


 

Not sure how you came up with your list but these are 3 pretty dissimilar skis. If you are looking for a groomer oriented ski in a wider waist, then the AC-50 is a good choice although I think there are better ones. The S80 is a reasonable choice for your weight only if you are an intermediate skier and mostly ski slower speeds. The S86 is a very good choice for mixed conditions and will be easier and more versatile than the AC-50 in bumps and softer snow. 

 

Other groomer biased skis that I think are better choices than the AC-50 include the Rossi Avenger 82 Ti, Blizzard Magnum 8.1 and 8.7. If you are a mid-level skier, the K2 Rictor is a good call.

 

SJ

post #7 of 17

OP, another suggestion for the Kendo and the Mantra, around a 177cm. The AC50 is a cap ski, the Mantra Kendo a sandwich ski. different feel. I think the Mantra and Kendo are slightly less side cut than the 50, less hooky carvy, more versatile. The 5 Star is such a hyper ski, IMO. stiff in the tip and tail to start and finish turns abrubtly, with snap, not always fun, considered to be in the slalom performance family, though a recreational ski. Any move from that ski will feel stable, smooth, classic, more releasable. The AC and Mantra are bred from the Giant Slalom line of skis, more suitable for cruising, more damp and relaxing to ride.

 

TT, IMO, you are really going to enjoy a longer ski more, say around 178 minimum, pro'ly.

post #8 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by SierraJim View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by TThompson View Post

 I'm also considering new skis. I'm an intermediate. 5'11", 220, athletic but consider food a hobby. I'm looking at either Rossignol s80, s86, or Vokl ac50s. I'm skiing a 168 presently in a salomon and feel REAL uncomfortable on groomers.


 

Not sure how you came up with your list but these are 3 pretty dissimilar skis. If you are looking for a groomer oriented ski in a wider waist, then the AC-50 is a good choice although I think there are better ones. The S80 is a reasonable choice for your weight only if you are an intermediate skier and mostly ski slower speeds. The S86 is a very good choice for mixed conditions and will be easier and more versatile than the AC-50 in bumps and softer snow. 

 

Other groomer biased skis that I think are better choices than the AC-50 include the Rossi Avenger 82 Ti, Blizzard Magnum 8.1 and 8.7. If you are a mid-level skier, the K2 Rictor is a good call.

 

SJ


Not surprised you find a 168 Sollie uncomfortable. Would help to know what kind of terrain you ski, which Sollie, whether you are seeking a single ski for everything. Agree with SJ that AC50's are good for big guys, but you'll get nearly as much crud smashing and more versatility elsewhere out of the skis he mentions. If you like lively but strong, think hard about the Blizzards. If you like smooth and damp, think about the Rossis or the Rictor. I'd throw something like a Dynastar Sultan 85 into the mix if you're using this for more mixed conditions and softer snow. 

post #9 of 17
Thread Starter 

Thanks for all the suggestions.  I have a few follow up questions:

 

Dexter, stpatrik16, Philpug: You guys suggested at least the 177cm, maybe even the 184cm.  I was certainly comfortable on the 170cm Mantra's, no problem turning them or getting the up on edge.  Just for kicks I demo'd some Rossi S3's in a 186cm (I know, its a rocker, so they ski shorter), and they felt like pontoons to me -- hard to make clean, short turns (though they have much smaller radius), and a bit hard to get up on edge.  Given this, I got a bit worried about going much longer.  Do you think this experience would carry over to the Mantra/AC50?  What is the main benefit of going with the 177cm or 184cm over the 170cm?

 

Philpug, davluri: I saw the Kendo's also, and they did seem like a happy medium.  That said, I liked the way the Mantra's felt on the front-side and I'll probably hang on to my allstars (at least for now).  In that case, would you go with the Mantra's?

 

For the Mantra's I was considering Marker Griffon bindings -- any thoughts on those?  Does anyone know how much these and be adjusted with respect to sole length?  I've also heard that system bindings, like those on the AC50, allow for some flex under-foot, where as non-system bindings do not.  Not sure this makes a lot of sense to me, so I was curious to get other opinions.

 

Again, thanks for the help!

 

-- Josh

post #10 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by joshhyman View Post

Thanks for all the suggestions.  I have a few follow up questions:

 

Dexter, stpatrik16, Philpug: You guys suggested at least the 177cm, maybe even the 184cm.  I was certainly comfortable on the 170cm Mantra's, no problem turning them or getting the up on edge.  Just for kicks I demo'd some Rossi S3's in a 186cm (I know, its a rocker, so they ski shorter), and they felt like pontoons to me -- hard to make clean, short turns (though they have much smaller radius), and a bit hard to get up on edge.  Given this, I got a bit worried about going much longer.  Do you think this experience would carry over to the Mantra/AC50?  What is the main benefit of going with the 177cm or 184cm over the 170cm?

 

Philpug, davluri: I saw the Kendo's also, and they did seem like a happy medium.  That said, I liked the way the Mantra's felt on the front-side and I'll probably hang on to my allstars (at least for now).  In that case, would you go with the Mantra's?

 

For the Mantra's I was considering Marker Griffon bindings -- any thoughts on those?  Does anyone know how much these and be adjusted with respect to sole length?  I've also heard that system bindings, like those on the AC50, allow for some flex under-foot, where as non-system bindings do not.  Not sure this makes a lot of sense to me, so I was curious to get other opinions.

 

Again, thanks for the help!

 

-- Josh

Don't worry about the system binding aspect of the AC50. I DO think the Kendo is a happy medium and and I would't go shorter than the 177. 
 

post #11 of 17

You got to ski them. Everyone has a different concept of how a ski behaves. Im not really up on the latest ski but I am close to your stats 6ft 220lbs and last year skied 184 AC30 at park city on basically not any fresh snow and 177 AC50 at Alta after 11inches new snow. I thought both skis were easy to ski.

 

 

 I don't understand why anyone would say AC50 was a groomer ski only. It was great at Alta. Probably should of skied 184 as I felt the ski somewhat slow. So many different perceptions out there for what a ski can and cant do, in reality you can ski anything what is now called a carving ski. Its whatever your skiing abilities and style of skiing are.

post #12 of 17

Mantras are VERY damp.  So much so that (to me) they feel a little dead.  Not a playful ski at all.  I'm 6', 185#, and have the 184's.  If I were somewhere "real", I'd go longer.  The Kendo is cut from the same cloth.  I have much more fun on my Walls & Bridges.

 

Your experience with the S3 shouldn't really be used in comparison - TOTALLY different skis. 

post #13 of 17

Just another voice here with some different options.  I skied the AC50 the previous weekend and the cap ski feeling is VERY obvious on this ski.  The closest ski to which if feels similar (that I've skied) is the Blizzard 8.7 Magnum.  I'm very similar in size and weight to you as well.

 

If you're looking for a cap ski style ski (i.e. likes to be on edge and can hold it well in almost any condition), then this is the kind of ski that can do that.  Personally, though, I found it a little twitchy compared to the 8.7 Magnums (it seemed like the tail was almost too stiff and the ski liked to kind of hook up and cross tips unless you were really driving it hard) and I personally found the Magnum to do everything the AC50 does, but in a more refined package (I really like the Magnum 8.7!!).

 

As others have said, the Kendo and Mantra are totally different skis: outside of the geometry and stiffness differences, you're going to get that more neutral soft edge sliding feeling on them compared to the edge holding ability of the cap style ski.

post #14 of 17

Not to make things more confusing, but I've been on both and can share my observations.

 

Mantra

Stiff big ski. Needs a competent driver who likes to go hard. Skis big for size. Does not like to carve. When you finally get it to hook up (which is tough) it feels like it is going to tip over and kill you. That's the best way I can describe it. Very damp, good float in soft snow, deals with the crud well, same with ice, good in the bumps but not forgiving. Responds best to steering/carving (scarving?) technique. Not "quick" at all. I probably wouldn't use this as my tree ski. Jack of all trades, master of none.

 

AC50

Stiff heavy ski. I think I first described this ski capable of "killing small children... and you don't even feel it". Doesn't require as competent of a driver yet the rewards are greater. Amazing carver. Hooks up and goes and doesn't let go till you tell it to. Stiffer than mantra, less pop, more damp. Does not float at all. It is like a freaking submarine. However under the snow it is fairly quick and in my opinion, not a horrible experience. Lots of work but still fun. Great in crud, freight trains through everything. More demanding in the bumps than the mantra but I found it more rewarding.

 

I also demoed the Grizzly which I enjoyed a lot. It's an AC50 that floats. My review is somewhere on here... oh yeah here http://www.epicski.com/forum/thread/82757/2008-2009-volkl-grizzly-review

 

But honestly the Blizzard Magnum 8.7 is better than the whole lot.

Super fun on the groomers, Super fun in the bumps, Amazingly capable in any condition. I have never ever ever ever been let down by my Blizzards. It's only weakness is deep (3+') tracked and un-tracked powder, but the two (three?) skis above do an even worse job of that. Plus I recently had a warranty issue and Blizzard/Technica Group's service is top notch. 

 

Good Luck!

post #15 of 17
Thread Starter 

Thanks everyone for all the advice.  I think the Mantra's are still at the top of my list, but I'll try to demo the Blizzards next week.

 

Does anyone know where I could get a good deal on either of these skis?  I found the Mantra's w/bindings for $729 and the Blizzard's w/bindings for $799 at Al's Ski Equipment.  Let me know.

 

-- Josh

post #16 of 17

Hi Josh,

 

I'm also curious why you are looking at the Mantra as opposed to the Kendo, in comparison to the AC50.  My local shop steered me straight towards the Kendo when I said I was considering the AC50.  I'm 6'3", 230lbs and picked it up in a 184.  Very easy to ski and felt I could have even gone with the 191s and been perfectly happy.  Definitely a ski that likes to be driven hard and rewards you for it, and handles my bigger size with aplomb.  

 

While I haven't ski'd the AC50, only the AC30, my shop guy insisted the Kendo can rip the groomers and crud as good as the AC50, but is an even better all-mountain ski.  After skiing it, I don't disagree at all.  And regarding the Mantra, everything I've read says that the Kendo is basically the same ski as the Mantra, just quicker edge to edge and maybe a bit more playful, yet retains 90% of the Mantra's off-piste capability.  

 

According to the brochure someone posted here (no longer avail. online?) they changed the Mantra up a bit next year, tweaked the size-cut and added some tip rocker.  It's also interesting to note that this year they are marketing the Kendo as a true 50/50 ski and the Mantra as more of a 40/60 On/Off piste ski.  Even though the Kendo remains unchanged next year, they will be marketing it as a 60/40 on/off and the Mantra as a 50/50.  So the Mantra probably gains a bit more ski-ability, turn-ability on groomers with the sidecut tweak and tip rocker, while (in spite of the lower off-piste rating) probably also becoming even a little better in the pow as well.  

 

So the 2011 Mantra sounds pretty damn awesome if you ask me--I'm a little bummed I didn't get to try it before springing for the Kendo this season, but I'm sure I'll be more than happy with the Kendo as my one-ski quiver for several seasons.

 

So if you are going to go Mantra, I would wait to try next year's first!!

 

post #17 of 17

The Mantra really hasn't changed other than graphics in the last 3 years.  Probably due for an upgrade, I imagine.

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