Obviously there are some Mantra haters among us and some lazy ski shop guys. There also seem to be some people who haven't caught the Blizzard fever yet. So Ok. Time to real the thread back in.
What I am looking for is some real opinions of actual people who have skied both the 2012 Mantra and the 2012 Bonafide. Pretty simple.
In case anyone is interested, here are how the Whatzmathingie Guides are ranking the skis:
Ski: 1. Blizzard Bonafide (3.66) 2. Rossignol Experience 98 (3.58) 3. Volkl Mantra (3.36) 4. Nordica Hell&Back (3.33)
Skiing: 1. Nordica Hell&Back (3.53) 2. Blizzard Bonafide (3.37) 3. Volkl Mantra (3.32) Rossignol Experience 98 not in test
Freeskier: 1. Volkl Mantra (16.2) 2. Nordica Hell&Back (15.4) 3. Blizzard Bonafide (15.2) 4. Rossignol Experience 98 (15.1)
Anyway, seems like they are all great skis. I think Volkl has brought the Mantra back up to par after a few years of neglect. I think Blizzard has a great buzz this year and a great ski to back it up. Really can't go wrong with either it seems. So I will just flip a coin... (and probably be a winner whichever comes up)
I don't think anyone here HATES the Mantra and I don't think the shop owners are lazy either. If someone comes in says "I want a Mantra in a 177" I will usually reply "Here you go" unless it is an obvious poor choice for him. If the same person says : I am thinking about a Mantra in a 177..." I was also ask if he was thinking about other options. It is not about what I want to sell, it is about what the customer wants to buy.
As far as skiing the new Mantra and the Bonafide. I have skied both. My reviews of the Bone are here in Epic, simply I have about 30 days on mine and I really like it a lot. As far as the Mantra, the early rise helps the ski and while Volkl says they softened the tail I really didn't notice a difference. The early rise does help the Mantra and I do think it skis better. In the 98mm class, here is my order of preference...
1. Blizzard Bonafide
2. Rossignol Experience 98
3. Kastle BMX98
4. Line Prophet 98
5. Nordica Helen Bach (should have been the name of a woman's model)
Other skis tested (alphabetical order)..
Fischer Watea 98