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Last Year's Kendo vs. This Year's Mantra??

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

Last December over Christmass my family and I went out to Big Sky for a week of skiing.  While out there, one of my goals was to demo as many skis a possible (good advice I learned from this board.)  The first ski I demoed was Volkl's Kendo.  Well, that was all she wrote - it was love at first run.  Not trying to get sold on the first ski, I then demoed about 10 other skis over the next two days, but kept coming back to the Kendo's.  My number two favorite was the Mantra (I'm a Volkl fan.)  Although the Mantra's plowed through the crud better than the Kendo's, the Kendo's felt quicker from edge to edge.  To make a long story short, when I got back to MN I bought a pair of Kendo's (177s.)

 

Okay, fast forward to the 2011/2012 ski line up.  As most of you know, for 2012 Volkl has added tip rocker, widened, and softened the tail of the new Mantra.  Did they just create the perfect ski for me??  Will the "rockered" Mantra be as quick or quicker as the Kendo, but offer better float and crud busting?  Also, if I do decide on a pair of Mantra, should I go longer (184 due to the tip rocker?)

 

Myself:  52 years old, 6'1", 210 lbs., been skiing since the '70s, hate skiing in Minnesota.  100% of my skiing is in UT, CO, and MT.  I ski about 65% of the time on blue squares and 35% on black diamonds - no double black diamonds (did I mention that I am 52 years old?)  I am not into the "steep and deep," but do ski a lot of crud.  Not a big fan of hard packed groomers (aka MN skiing.)

post #2 of 9
I'm a bit taller and about he same weight. I have 184 2010 Mantras and definitely wouldn't consider going shorter.
post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 

craigr.........Are your Mantra's this year's or last year's?

post #4 of 9

^^^^ I think OP said that he bought the Kendos, is thinking about Mantras.

 

IMO, stick with the Kendos, which are a more appropriate use of a Mantra design, and if your $$$ are burning holes in your pocket, go buy a pair of Goats for soft/cruddy days out west, take two skis on your vacation (yeah, I know, that'll require a new ski bag. What's the cost of a week in Vail?)

 

Put another way, if you love your Kendos, what aren't they doing that you want? If it's handling heavy chop or day-old fresh, Mantras will be an improvement, but not enough to justify the bath you'll take for depreciation. And if you're thinking one ski quiver, I can think of two or four other 90-somethings I'd take over a Mantra. Check the reviews for Blizzard Bonafide, Kastle BMX98, Rossignol Experience 98, Prophet 98, Watea 98, as a starter. Not saying the Mantra is a bad ski, and the new version is probably really nice. But other brands have caught up or passed the Exploder's offspring...

post #5 of 9

It's too bad that people's minds are made up on the Mantra by their experience with the older versions. I actually wish Volkl had just renamed this year's version. All the updates for 2012, while not groundbreaking, in my opinion, bring it right in line with many of the other top players in the popular 98 width. This wasn't simply a change in top sheet graphics.

 

That said the Mantra is not for everyone. Someone that is 150 - 160lbs, depending on skiing style, may feel like they are wrestling these things down the mountain.  But for guys 180+, like the OP, the stiffness is actually a positive.  On the flipside, a ski like the Watea 98 wouldn't be the best choice for someone 180+ unless they really enjoy a soft ski.

 

I do like beyond's suggestion of keeping your Kendos. Its seems to be the right choice for your profile, 65% blue, 35% black.(And did I really read you dislike steep and deep? Isn't that everyone's dream?) But, if your are looking for something a little wider, with a similar soul to your Kendo, and really want to spend the $$, then the Mantra is a great choice.  You already mentioned you liked the 2011, then you will be very happy in the 2012.

 

post #6 of 9

FWIW, just as the Kendo is a better application of the Mantra design up to 2011, I feel the the Katana is a better application of the 2012 Mantra design.

 

With a 2 ski quiver, there is more upside with Kendo/Katana than Kendo/Mantra.

post #7 of 9
Thread Starter 

beyond.........What I liked better about last years Mantra over the Kendo was the ability of the Mantra to bust through the crud and day old powder.  The Kendo's, on the other hand, turned quicker on hard packed  So, my thinking is because the new Mantra's have rocker and therefore a tighter turning radius for the same length ski (20.3 vs. 21.9,) that the Mantra would be quicker from edge to edge than the Kendo, but be better in the crud and powder because they are wider (133-98-116 vs.127-88-109.)  Finally, because of my height and weight and my skiing style (fast GS turns,) I like the stiffness of Volkl's skis.  In my younger days, I was a slalom racer and only skied Volkl.

 

TacomaHunter............You bring up an excellent point.  Because the changes to this year's Mantra is more than just cosmetic (rocker, wider, and a softer tail,) that Volkl should have let the Mantra name RIP and re-name the new ski.  But, then, Volkl had a had a good reputation with the Mantra.  Maybe, they should have called the new ski Mantra II.

 

It's not that I don't like the steep and deep, it's just that I suck at it (let's be honest.)  I'm thinking that a wider ski will improve my steep and deep "experience."  At a minimum, at least I'll know that it's not the equipment that's the problem.  Yea, I know - take a lesson.

 

I have the opportunity to sell my Kendo's for $500. and buy the new Mantra's for $700.  So, the "hit" isn't too bad.  Besides, I like to buy new skis every year.  A two to three hundred dollar hit isn't a big deal a big deal for something I am passionate about.  Heck, I probably spend $300. every year on new fishing lures.  Fishing for Muskies and Bass is my summertime passion. 

post #8 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by TOMT View Post

beyond.........What I liked better about last years Mantra over the Kendo was the ability of the Mantra to bust through the crud and day old powder.  The Kendo's, on the other hand, turned quicker on hard packed  So, my thinking is because the new Mantra's have rocker and therefore a tighter turning radius for the same length ski (20.3 vs. 21.9,) that the Mantra would be quicker from edge to edge than the Kendo, but be better in the crud and powder because they are wider (133-98-116 vs.127-88-109.)  Finally, because of my height and weight and my skiing style (fast GS turns,) I like the stiffness of Volkl's skis.  In my younger days, I was a slalom racer and only skied Volkl.

 

I have the opportunity to sell my Kendo's for $500. and buy the new Mantra's for $700.  So, the "hit" isn't too bad.  Besides, I like to buy new skis every year.  A two to three hundred dollar hit isn't a big deal a big deal for something I am passionate about.  Heck, I probably spend $300. every year on new fishing lures.  Fishing for Muskies and Bass is my summertime passion. 


Do not think physics allows Mantra to be quicker edge to edge, but it'll ski shorter than 2011's, so initiation will feel quicker. You seem to want to get the Mantras, and if you really can make the change for $200, I say go for it. BTW, I've owned three Mantras over the years, have always thought highly of them. Not a hater by any means. Just not sure of the basic design anymore for a ski of that width. But have been cheering for Volkl to get its act back together with its old mainstays (midfat carvers, plus Mantra and Gotama). So all good, report back. 

 

post #9 of 9
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by beyond View Post

You seem to want to get the Mantras, and if you really can make the change for $200, I say go for it. 

 


Well, I'm about 75% of the way there.  I just need to do more research before I pull the trigger.  The hard part about researching the new Mantra's, is not many people have had a chance to ski them much less write a review.

 

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