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EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › Ski Gear Discussion › Hell and Back vs. Mantra? (both 2013 @ 177 cm, mounted with Salomon Guardian 16)
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Hell and Back vs. Mantra? (both 2013 @ 177 cm, mounted with Salomon Guardian 16)

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 

I just picked up a pair of the Salomon Guardian 16s for next season and will be picking up skis in the next couple months to mount them to. I'm looking for something I can use to cruse around behind my kid on-piste, with occasional off-piste skinning. Right now I'm considering at a pair of Volkl Mantras but am being offered a deal on a pair of used Nordica Hell and Backs.

 

I was told I'd be getting the Nordicas at "dead cost". What does that mean? Any ideas what that would mean when applied to a $699 price tag? They were sold, mounted, used one day and returned because they were too wide. I'm told being pre-mounted won't affect performance, is this true?

 

Also, I keep reading about the weight savings on the H&Bs over the Mantra but I'm curious to know if that i-core construction is going to break down more quickly than the more traditional construction on the Volkls. Also, since I won't be seeing more than 4 or 6 backcountry days per season for the foreseeable future is the weight savings so important? (I'm looking at stuff like Baden-Powell in the CA San Gabriels, nothing major)

 

At any rate, just looking for a few opinions. Thanks, folks.

 

Murphy

post #2 of 22

Your weight and ability please. smile.gif

post #3 of 22
Thread Starter 

Sorry...

 

5'10", 195 lbs (and dropping, goal weight of 185 lbs, I try to stay low-weight but I'm muscular), expert

post #4 of 22

Damp, Mantra... More light and lively, the Nordica. If you're only touring 4 -6 days, I'd just ski the ski I liked and not worry about the weight.

post #5 of 22
Thread Starter 
Thanks. Looks like the Hell and Back is going for $350, so that may be the deciding factor. I do like the sound of the Mantras, though. I've got fairly strong legs and its nice to have something to push around down there.

I'd like to be out more than 6 days, but with a kid just learning I'll be on groomers for the majority of the next couple years.
post #6 of 22

The Mantra is a great ski, but it's a lot of ski. If your goal is to have a ski just to cruise behind your kid (for the most part), I don't know that the Mantra is the best fit for that. It likes to be SKIED. That said, I don't know anything about the Hell and Back.

post #7 of 22

With many NOS models available on line, what is the deal you are getting on the drilled Nordica's. I'd be skeptical with so many good deals on brand new skis around. I have heard of a thousand skis that are for sale with one or two days on them. Well, if they're used, the seller has to acknowledge they were skied some amount of time, and it is always one or two days. I call total BS there.  I suggest not getting a touring ski if you don't tour much. There are sometimes compromises made to save weight. IMO, any skilled person can ride a burly ski slowly behind a child. 

post #8 of 22

$350 isn't a bad price.   I'd say buy them--you can probably sell them for a similar price next fall.  (Do they include bindings?)  I would skip the Mantra.  I think it's a GS ski masquerading as a mid-fat.  But many people love it.  

post #9 of 22
Thread Starter 
No bindings. I've got a pair of Salomon Guardian 16s I'm going to pop on them. I paid retail for those, which is why I need to find a deal on the skis.

I do trust the shop owner that the H & Bs have been used one day, he's steered right on the rest of my stuff. He's also got a pair of Kung Fujas on sale for $409. What do you guys think of those?

I'm open to brand/model suggestions overall. These won't get mounted until summer, so I've got time. I only put the Mantra v H&B contrast up because it was what I had available as choices.

Thanks for the advice guys, this is great.
post #10 of 22
Just to chime in here, I am a Hell & Back owner. Me: 6'1, 205 lbs, would consider myself advanced to expert. I have been out on the 185 cm Nordicas for a mere 7 days this season and no snow deeper than 8 inches, but can offer some opinions on performance. They are light for their size, nimble, and very easy to turn. They have energy and snap out of a carved turn and are very stable at speed. Mine state a 21m turn radius but feel much smaller. I have unfortunately been like snow repellant to my local mountains this season as every time I've gotten to hit the slopes, I've just missed the dumps. Plenty of soft snow though and these eat it up. I own a pair of Line Mr.Pollards Opus for my powder ski and they haven't seen much action. I too have young children and the H & B are no problem in following the wee ones around the groomers. Good luck with whatever you choose.
post #11 of 22

FWIW.....Given your intended usage, a 98mm ski of any flavor might be wider than optimal. Given your "cruising around on groomers behind your kid" and occasional off piste skinning, when do you foresee seeing snow deeper than 6" or so and probably more importantly, how often? While the Mantra and H&B are both good skis (albeit) for different skiers, neither seems optimal to me for what you intend. A narrower ski like possibly a Nodica Steadfast, Head Rev 90 or K2 Sideshow might be a more practical choice. A 98mm ski might well be a great choice for what you wish you were going to do but probably won't.

 

SJ

post #12 of 22
Thread Starter 

Wink + Jim, 

 

Nice, thanks for the info. I'm writing all this down to bring into the shop with me. Also, good ideas for demo days.

 

Jim, I'm going through a local shop owned by Claude Swonger, down here. You know him at all? Seems like a good guy and a straight shooter.

 

Sean

post #13 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Viddiewell View Post

Wink + Jim, 

 

Nice, thanks for the info. I'm writing all this down to bring into the shop with me. Also, good ideas for demo days.

 

Jim, I'm going through a local shop owned by Claude Swonger, down here. You know him at all? Seems like a good guy and a straight shooter.

 

Sean

 

Where's down here?...........SF valley?

 

SJ

post #14 of 22
Thread Starter 

Whoops, yeah. I live in LA. Claude's in Studio City.

post #15 of 22

OK....same guy. Don't know him but know of him (if that makes any sense). We may have spoken on the phone a couple times. The thing is, you don't have to be a mountain guy to know your stuff. It may help in the sense that mountain shops may often get the higher end customers (better skiers) and thus we generally have the higher end end product mix and usually the knowledge to go with it but that's not a universal truism, just circumstance.

 

SJ

post #16 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Viddiewell View Post

I just picked up a pair of the Salomon Guardian 16s for next season

 

 

Hi!

 

I am just deciding to take some of the selection on market in that style of equipment. Since Salomon Guardian 16 is same as Atomic model I wonder if you consider also Marker Duke (2012 , new model)?

 

If yes what gives you towards the Salomon selection?

 

Do you find it as not save enough since putting from ski to walk position is really easy and can happen when skiing?

 

I also looked and both at today shop and I can notice that front part is wider and hold the boot in front batter?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thanks!

post #17 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by SierraJim View Post

A 98mm ski might well be a great choice for what you wish you were going to do but probably won't.

 

SJ

Words to live by. Could be extended upward, too. 

post #18 of 22
Thread Starter 

Thanks, guys.

 

Cayzi, I went with the Salomons because before I dropped off the scene I always skied them and they were bulletproof and flawless, so I went with them again just for the reason people buy Volvo. They last and last.

 

Between this forum and the TGR forums I've got a great list of skis to go off of. We'll see what I end up with.  So far here's the list of recommendations I've recieved for 25-30 days on-piste and 4-6 days off-piste...

 

- DPS Wailer 112 RP Hybrid 184 or 190cm

- 185 Blizzard Cochise

182 Moment PB&J

186 ON3P Vicik

- 180 Kabookie

- 184 Dynastar Cham 97 HM

- 176 ON3P Typhoon

- Nodica Steadfast

- Head Rev 90

- K2 Sideshow

 

Thanks for all the advice, I really appreciate it.

 

SM

post #19 of 22

My 2 cents:  I currently ski the Nordica Steadfast, 93 underfoot.  Awesome ski!  I am 6'0 190lbs, ski aggressively in Utah.  The steadfast would make a great ski to chase the kids around with.  I am looking for a pair of Hell and Back's since I spend more time off piste and could use a little more flotation in the powder but don't want to lose the carve ability on the groomers.  If you don't mind me asking, where did you find the Hell and Back's for $350?  I have been looking high and low to find them under $699. Thanks.

post #20 of 22
Thread Starter 

Hey, Aireggers...

I don't mind you asking, at all. The guy who owns the ski shop I buy from had a customer return them after one day, he actually went with the Steadfasts, afterwards. So, it's funny you mention that.

At any rate, used one day, mounted once. He gave them to me for his dead-cost. I think I got a deal, but I'm newly back into the sport, so I've only got a year or so of experience in purchasing back under my belt.

 

I shop at SkiNet Sports in Studio City, CA. The shop owner is Claude Swonger. He also fit my boots, which I must say, are fantastic. I'd never had custom inserts before, looks like there's no going back.

post #21 of 22
Thread Starter 

What length do you ski, anyway? I'm getting advice all over the place, from 177 being a perfect length for me, to them being to small.

I grew up skiing 204's. I felt like a pussy buying anything under 200.

post #22 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Viddiewell View Post
 

What length do you ski, anyway? I'm getting advice all over the place, from 177 being a perfect length for me, to them being to small.

I grew up skiing 204's. I felt like a pussy buying anything under 200.

So have you got the 177? Any regrets?

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EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › Ski Gear Discussion › Hell and Back vs. Mantra? (both 2013 @ 177 cm, mounted with Salomon Guardian 16)