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Mantra vs. Bonafide vs Sentinel - Page 2

post #31 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by TacomaHunter View Post

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)..

Blizzard One

Fischer Watea 98

Goode 98

Nordica Enforcer

Rossignol S3

Volkl Mantra

 

 

post #32 of 57

I actually do hate the pre rockered verison of the mantra did not fit my skiing at all.  Really a hard ski to ski in tight off trail areas when bought in the right lenght for float.

post #33 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by TacomaHunter View Post


 

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)

Where did you see the 3.36 number for the Mantra?

This page has 3.66 overall score for the Bonafide: http://www.skinet.com/ski/gear/blizzard-bonafide-2012

This page does not show an overall score for the Mantra, but the individual scores (many of which are below 3) average out to 2.86: http://www.skinet.com/ski/node/112693

 

 

post #34 of 57

The question of comparing the Mantra vs. the Bone has not really been answered so I'll throw the rag into the fan.

 

The two skis are not remotely the same, rather they are quite different. Throw out the dimensions and the TR, and the amount and placement of the rocker for a moment and just think about the most important criteria of ski performance.........the flex.

 

The Mantra is and always has been a ski with a very stiff (stiffest in class) back half. This is not good or bad, just different. The effect of the stiff back half is a very high level of stability on firm snow and/or shallow crud. The negative is that the ski does not bend well in 3-D snow so despite the 98mm width it is just not real good in the soft stuff. The rockered tip of the Mantra has done a nice job of fixing the part that is not broken and not done much to improve the areas where it is outclassed by other skis.

 

The Bonafide is very different in that the "Flipcore" design has blended a very round and even flex with a build that is very substantial in the center.  When you flex a Bonafide, either on the snow, in the snow, (or) dryland you feel a very even flex. The rockered area of the ski is really not specifically noticeable. This gives you a ski that is much more user friendly than the Mantra in mixed snow, yet with equal grip under the boot and superior dampening.

 

Priorities..................wink.gif

 

SJ


Edited by SierraJim - 9/25/11 at 11:53pm
post #35 of 57
Thread Starter 

Jeff,  you were looking at the review for the 2011 Mantra.  I actually skied that version and agree with the low ranking.

 

But here is the 2012 review from SKI: http://www.skinet.com/ski/gear/volkl-mantra-2012

 

Seems like the testers enjoyed the new version .5 more than last year, which is nice.

post #36 of 57
Thread Starter 

Thanks SierraJim.  I really appreciate the comparison, it was really helpful.

 

Being an East Coaster, stability on firm snow has to be a top priority. I do take a trip or two (wife permitting) out west to enjoy what you all take for granted smile.gif, but I would say I make only 25-30% of my turns in those optimal conditions.  With my aggressive GS style and close to 200lb frame, I actually enjoy a bit of a stiffer ski, so for me I think the new Mantra will be the way to go.

 

I will absolutely be demoing/borrowing a pair of Bonafides early in the season to do my own comparison, but really that was the only way to do this in the first place...

post #37 of 57

Some great responses within this thread. If anyone else would like to talk about their experiences with either the Mantra or Bonafide please add to this thread as I am trying to decide myself as well.

 

As a 250# 6'2" strong skier I gain vast momentum and would like a really stable ski. I search out everything except moguls.

 

Generally speaking would getting a stiffer ski be better for a heavier person?

 

 

post #38 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by ddres121 View Post

Some great responses within this thread. If anyone else would like to talk about their experiences with either the Mantra or Bonafide please add to this thread as I am trying to decide myself as well.

 

As a 250# 6'2" strong skier I gain vast momentum and would like a really stable ski. I search out everything except moguls.

 

Generally speaking would getting a stiffer ski be better for a heavier person?

 

 



At your size, the Mantra or even the Sentinel would be be great choices. They are a bit more stable than the Bone. I would also include the Enforcer to YOUR list. 

post #39 of 57

Excellent thread.  I'm still in the research phase ( http://www.epicski.com/t/106037/last-years-kendo-vs-this-years-mantra ) and this thread has some great suggestions and insight from members who know what the heck they are talking about.

 

beyond.........I think you bring up a good point.  Ski shops are in the business of making money.  Of course, they need to fulfill the customers' needs to stay in business.  That said, if ski A or B meets the customer's needs and the customer comes in looking to buy ski A, if you suggest ski B you'll probably loose the sale.  Said another way, if the customer looks good in a red shirt or a blue shirt, but wants to buy a red shirt, don't try and push him into the blue one - sell him the red one.

 

I had a racing coach tell me once "It's hard to win a race on skis you don't like."


Edited by TOMT - 10/23/11 at 8:40am
post #40 of 57

Thanks for the information, it's really appreciated.

 

Would going with a stiffer ski for my weight decrease the skis ability to float?

post #41 of 57

At your weight and skill level, you should be able to flex even a stiffer ski.  I wouldn't worry that much about it.

post #42 of 57

OK, I'll throw down and say that Skinet is full of ________. I have seldom read such balarky. (or is it malarky? good old 50's word just popped to mind after reading their review) the ratings for edge hold and crud performance are WAY off.

I would not read that sh#% if I were considering the Mantra and trying to learn something. Talk to people who really ski it a lot. That review format is officially in the circular file, forever starting now.

post #43 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by davluri View Post

OK, I'll throw down and say that Skinet is full of ________. I have seldom read such balarky. (or is it malarky? good old 50's word just popped to mind after reading their review) the ratings for edge hold and crud performance are WAY off.

I would not read that sh#% if I were considering the Mantra and trying to learn something. Talk to people who really ski it a lot. That review format is officially in the circular file, forever starting now.


I will throw in my 2 cents - I skied the Mantra for 2 seasons, I am an Eastern Skier (Killington) with a trip out west each winter, usually Tahoe, and sometimes Utah, CO.  Last year, I skied the Mantra almost exclusively even on the few hard snow days we had in the East.  The Mantra is a great ski and my other ski was a Volkl All Star.  My only complaint regarding the Mantra was that it isn't a "short" radius ski - in a 170 cm ski, it was a 21 m radius, compared to a 14 m radius on the All Star.  At longer lengths, the turn radius is even greater.  When shopping for a new ski this year, I took a look at the Mantra, Bonafide and the Sentinel, but ended up with my Ski Shop owner's Enforcers from last year (only change for this year is the top graphic).  I picked the Enforcer because it has more sidecut than the Mantra and thus the radius is 17m in the 170 cm length - for me that is better for the East Coast tree skiing and the "old time" narrow trails that make the East a special place to ski.

 

post #44 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheDad View Post

At your weight and skill level, you should be able to flex even a stiffer ski.  I wouldn't worry that much about it.

I'm sure I can flex a mantra at my weight. Last winter I skied an entire three powder days on my 114-84-114 addict pros, the tips dug right in forcing me to lean back all day and continuously lose my balance. 

 

I'm wondering if the Mantra's will float in powder at my weight. I'm joining a local ski club and they have trips out west all winter so I'm going on at least one. I've considered demoing skies but also am not sure of the costs. I would most likely rather bring out my own skis than rent/demo, but I'm all ears to suggestions.
 

 



Quote:
Originally Posted by davluri View Post

OK, I'll throw down and say that Skinet is full of ________. I have seldom read such balarky. (or is it malarky? good old 50's word just popped to mind after reading their review) the ratings for edge hold and crud performance are WAY off.

I would not read that sh#% if I were considering the Mantra and trying to learn something. Talk to people who really ski it a lot. That review format is officially in the circular file, forever starting now.

Yes my goal in this thread is that exactly. I don't have the ability to demo skis on powder out east. So I'm going to base my decision off of whatever empirical, word of mouth reviews I can find on the internet.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by wannabeskibum View Post




I will throw in my 2 cents - I skied the Mantra for 2 seasons, I am an Eastern Skier (Killington) with a trip out west each winter, usually Tahoe, and sometimes Utah, CO.  Last year, I skied the Mantra almost exclusively even on the few hard snow days we had in the East.  The Mantra is a great ski and my other ski was a Volkl All Star.  My only complaint regarding the Mantra was that it isn't a "short" radius ski - in a 170 cm ski, it was a 21 m radius, compared to a 14 m radius on the All Star.  At longer lengths, the turn radius is even greater.  When shopping for a new ski this year, I took a look at the Mantra, Bonafide and the Sentinel, but ended up with my Ski Shop owner's Enforcers from last year (only change for this year is the top graphic).  I picked the Enforcer because it has more sidecut than the Mantra and thus the radius is 17m in the 170 cm length - for me that is better for the East Coast tree skiing and the "old time" narrow trails that make the East a special place to ski.

 

In the last two winters Killington has been my favorite and most accessible mountain. The combination of a $30/night lodge two minutes from skyeship base and getting a two day pass from liftopia.com for under $100 or three days for at least $120 kept me coming back. 12 times last winter at Killington, and eleven times the previous winter when I had that dirt cheap student season pass. My last time out was the end of March and on my last few runs I finally figured out how to get to Growler and had some fun in the slushy 40 degree conditions. ////end tangent.

 

Yeah I like the ability to make short turns in the tree's. But I also love carving at high speeds, usually without holding back much at all, especially on cascade or superstar. So guess I need the middle ground? Is the only change really only the top graphic? do you have any sort of proof?

 

post #45 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by wannabeskibum View Post


I will throw in my 2 cents - I skied the Mantra for 2 seasons, I am an Eastern Skier (Killington) with a trip out west each winter, usually Tahoe, and sometimes Utah, CO.  Last year, I skied the Mantra almost exclusively even on the few hard snow days we had in the East.  The Mantra is a great ski and my other ski was a Volkl All Star.  My only complaint regarding the Mantra was that it isn't a "short" radius ski - in a 170 cm ski, it was a 21 m radius, compared to a 14 m radius on the All Star.  At longer lengths, the turn radius is even greater.  When shopping for a new ski this year, I took a look at the Mantra, Bonafide and the Sentinel, but ended up with my Ski Shop owner's Enforcers from last year (only change for this year is the top graphic).  I picked the Enforcer because it has more sidecut than the Mantra and thus the radius is 17m in the 170 cm length - for me that is better for the East Coast tree skiing and the "old time" narrow trails that make the East a special place to ski.

 



lol you picked 2 of the worst east coast off trail skis ever made based on one stat.
 There are skis out there with a much longer turn radius that turn quicker due to other design parameters.

post #46 of 57
Thread Starter 

BushwackerinPA - I think you are officially on the record as not a fan of the old Mantras. Using the terms "hate the pre rockered version" and "worst east coast off trail skis ever made".  It is obvious the ski didn't agree with you. 

 

I've mentioned this in another thread, but it is a shame Volkl didn't just rename the ski with the changes made for 2012.  Let's leave our old bias out while we give the new version a chance to prove itself.

post #47 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by wannabeskibum View Post


I will throw in my 2 cents - I skied the Mantra for 2 seasons, I am an Eastern Skier (Killington) with a trip out west each winter, usually Tahoe, and sometimes Utah, CO.  Last year, I skied the Mantra almost exclusively even on the few hard snow days we had in the East.  The Mantra is a great ski and my other ski was a Volkl All Star.  My only complaint regarding the Mantra was that it isn't a "short" radius ski - in a 170 cm ski, it was a 21 m radius, compared to a 14 m radius on the All Star.  At longer lengths, the turn radius is even greater.  When shopping for a new ski this year, I took a look at the Mantra, Bonafide and the Sentinel, but ended up with my Ski Shop owner's Enforcers from last year (only change for this year is the top graphic).  I picked the Enforcer because it has more sidecut than the Mantra and thus the radius is 17m in the 170 cm length - for me that is better for the East Coast tree skiing and the "old time" narrow trails that make the East a special place to ski.

 



I ski 191's that will turn better in tree's than your 170's. You should research modern designs a little more.

post #48 of 57

This is a subtle point and true. sidecut affects edge grip in the tail, affects edge release, affects off piste turn methods, especially sliding tails for speed control and turn variation in trees.

 

You could have a 13 meter ski that would suck in trees due to its very grippy, carve oriented tails. You could carve that 40' turn precisely into a tree  redface.gif
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by BushwackerinPA View Post



lol you picked 2 of the worst east coast off trail skis ever made based on one stat.
 There are skis out there with a much longer turn radius that turn quicker due to other design parameters.



 

post #49 of 57


This is brilliant, as usual. thx. Jim.

 

I'll take it further. After skiing 4 pairs of Explosiv's I finally gave up. I switched to B-Squad and then Legend Pro Rider. Both (French) skis have a much broader sweet spot. I could feel it but didn't know why. At the same time I recall hating the R-EX which preceeded the Explosiv's. The R-EX had a very un-even flex. The Explosiv had a very un-even flex. My newer skis flex into a broad, even, smooth arc. For me, adding all this up and Jim's similar experience, an even flex may well broaden the sweet spot of the ski. And a broad sweet spot is the greatest asset for billy-goating and poking around odd terrain, because you are constantly ad-libbing your turns and slides, and need to be able to react quickly in whatever position you may be in at the time. And I'm way tired of Volkl proponents saying: it's a good ski, you just have to pressure forward with it at all times. Well, B.S. Who wants to ski that way since they retired their wool stretch pants and P-30's?

Quote:
Originally Posted by SierraJim View Post

The question of comparing the Mantra vs. the Bone has not really been answered so I'll throw the rag into the fan.

 

The two skis are not remotely the same, rather they are quite different. Throw out the dimensions and the TR, and the amount and placement of the rocker for a moment and just think about the most important criteria of ski performance.........the flex.

 

The Mantra is and always has been a ski with a very stiff (stiffest in class) back half. This is not good or bad, just different. The effect of the stiff back half is a very high level of stability on firm snow and/or shallow crud. The negative is that the ski does not bend well in 3-D snow so despite the 98mm width it is just not real good in the soft stuff. The rockered tip of the Mantra has done a nice job of fixing the part that is not broken and not done much to improve the areas where it is outclassed by other skis.

 

The Bonafide is very different in that the "Flipcore" design has blended a very round and even flex with a build that is very substantial in the center.  When you flex a Bonafide, either on the snow, in the snow, (or) dryland you feel a very even flex. The rockered area of the ski is really not specifically noticeable. This gives you a ski that is much more user friendly than the Mantra in mixed snow, yet with equal grip under the boot and superior dampening.

 

Priorities..................wink.gif

 

SJ



 

post #50 of 57

what skis?


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ecimmortal View Post



I ski 191's that will turn better in tree's than your 170's. You should research modern designs a little more.



 

post #51 of 57

^^^^ Actually, any number of skis, ddres. Keep in mind that longer may have higher swingweight, but also a better platform for landing, also for not sinking in and hooking your tips or ankles on a downed tree. Make the longer fairly soft and shaped to pivot, and you've got a formidable tree ski for most, if not all, forests. Back here, maybe a touch long. Out west, why not? 

post #52 of 57

are you saying if I get a longer ski, go less stiff?
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by beyond View Post

^^^^ Actually, any number of skis, ddres. Keep in mind that longer may have higher swingweight, but also a better platform for landing, also for not sinking in and hooking your tips or ankles on a downed tree. Make the longer fairly soft and shaped to pivot, and you've got a formidable tree ski for most, if not all, forests. Back here, maybe a touch long. Out west, why not? 



 

post #53 of 57

The best tree skis I've ever owned were my 195 Praxis Powders, followed closely by my 190 DPS Wailer 112RPs.  In 3D snow, reverse camber rules trees.

 

I suspect that the 191s mentioned were PM Gear Lhasa Pows.

post #54 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by ddres121 View Post

are you saying if I get a longer ski, go less stiff?
 



icon14.gif

post #55 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheDad View Post
I suspect that the 191s mentioned were PM Gear Lhasa Pows.

If true, yes. I had the next size down, sweet in trees as long as there was snow. 
 

 

post #56 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheDad View Post

The best tree skis I've ever owned were my 195 Praxis Powders, followed closely by my 190 DPS Wailer 112RPs.  In 3D snow, reverse camber rules trees.

 

I suspect that the 191s mentioned were PM Gear Lhasa Pows.



Actually ON3P Caylors. My 186 Billygoats were even crazier. But they were a little too turny for my tastes at high speed.  I'm salivating to get on some 191 Billygoats

post #57 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by ddres121 View Post

I'm sure I can flex a mantra at my weight. Last winter I skied an entire three powder days on my 114-84-114 addict pros, the tips dug right in forcing me to lean back all day and continuously lose my balance. 

 

I'm wondering if the Mantra's will float in powder at my weight. I'm joining a local ski club and they have trips out west all winter so I'm going on at least one. I've considered demoing skies but also am not sure of the costs. I would most likely rather bring out my own skis than rent/demo, but I'm all ears to suggestions.
 

 

Yes my goal in this thread is that exactly. I don't have the ability to demo skis on powder out east. So I'm going to base my decision off of whatever empirical, word of mouth reviews I can find on the internet.
 

In the last two winters Killington has been my favorite and most accessible mountain. The combination of a $30/night lodge two minutes from skyeship base and getting a two day pass from liftopia.com for under $100 or three days for at least $120 kept me coming back. 12 times last winter at Killington, and eleven times the previous winter when I had that dirt cheap student season pass. My last time out was the end of March and on my last few runs I finally figured out how to get to Growler and had some fun in the slushy 40 degree conditions. ////end tangent.

 

Yeah I like the ability to make short turns in the tree's. But I also love carving at high speeds, usually without holding back much at all, especially on cascade or superstar. So guess I need the middle ground? Is the only change really only the top graphic? do you have any sort of proof?

 


The only proof that I have regarding the change in the Enforcer from last year to this year being the graphic is my very trusted ski shop owner of Peak Performance in Killington.  With regard to comparing the Enforcer to the Mantra in the trees - that's from another well trusted ski shop employee at Peak Performance.  Mind you I can buy virtually any of the skis that are being discussed in this forum at Peak.  I asked one question - give me a ski that is the like the Mantra but will be "quicker" in the trees, the answer was the Enforcer.

 

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