Hello everyone! I've taken the time to read through all of the posts in this thread and really appreciate the time and thought everyone has put into this discussion! I've found it very helpful and I'm sure many others have as well. What a great community.
I'm curious as to how the Mantras are working out for you after a season of skiing them Pcal!? It sounds like I'm in the same situation you were in last year!
I myself went through a similar ski-selection-situation over the past couple of weeks and relied HEAVILY on this thread, and others like it here on epicski! After visiting a couple of local ski shops here in Calgary, AB, Canada, I had been recommended a handful of skis - first the Nordica Enforcers, then the Mantras and finally the Bonafides. I was looking for a good deal on skis and therefore was most interested in 2013-2014 or even 2012-2013 skis (still new). I'm 26, 5'11" and 210lbs and was looking for a ski that would allow me to fly down the groomers at top speed and ride up on their side walls, venture into the trees a bit, hit a couple jumps when I see them, and explore as much powder as possible when applicable! ...Too much to ask for? I'm not much of a mogul guy though I do follow my friends down them sometimes.
I would classify myself as an advanced intermediate but I'm not sure how the classifications of Intermediate, Advanced Intermediate, Expert and Pro really work... Can you guys help me with this?!
At first I was set on the Enforcers as they were the first pair of skis I was exposed to on quest. After visiting a couple more ski shops the sales people advised me that "There's a reason why they don't make the Enforcer anymore". Later on my journey I was shown an older (unused) pair of Mantras... The ones with the awesome dragon graphic... I fell in love immediately and returned home to do some research. I read nothing but good things and saw a TON of comparisons to the Blizzard Bonafides.
About 5 days after I started looking at skis, a ski sale came to Calgary and I found great deals on last seasons Mantras and Bonafides! I was immediately drawn to the Mantra (2013/14, not the dragon year) as I find the Bonafide graphics to be quite ugly and everyone/anyone I talked to about the Mantras said they were amazing one-quiver skis, best sellers for years and years, etc. etc. Even when I picked them up off the rack people would notice what I was holding and say "Good choice man, those skis are epic" and so far... It felt pretty cool, so I bought them (for a great price!). It was a bit of an impulse buy, but it was such a good deal and I had to make up my mind fast or pay the price... I then talked my friend into buying in Bonafide as he didn't care about graphics, though he agreed they were pretty ugly ;) We will definitely switch with each other so we can get a feel and appreciation for one another's skis. I'm excited to see if I'll notice a big difference and have a strong preference for one over the other!
I have yet to ski these babies... They're currently the centre piece and major decoration of my apartment! I wanted to bring them into my bed and sleep with them, but the girlfriend wasn't a big fan of that...... Even after my purchase I continue to research and research and Mantras and comparable skis. This is what led me to the Volkl Kendos. I'm wondering if maybe this ski would be better for me? The Mantra will be my first "fat ski" and I CAN NOT WAIT to ski them. But I am a tiny bit nervous. I want to become an even better skier and hopefully soon will be able to put myself into the expert category (whatever that may be...) and am hoping the Mantras will take me there!
Sorry for the long, snoozer of a post, but I've put hours and hours into reading threads, consumer reviews, buyers guides and watching videos about Mantra, Kendo, Bonafide, etc.! Can someone please put my mind at ease and reassure me that I bought the best skis out there, and that they're the right skis for me! :)
Thank you all for your time and input! I can't wait till I can share my experience with someone in my position... only a couple more weeks!