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add to ski quiver?

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

Hi folks,

After being away from downhill skiing for about 10 years, I resumed this terrific sport with a new passion last year (perhaps something to do with turning 46...)  I learned to ski at the age of 10 but always managed only 10-15 ski days per year.  Am sad to say therefore that I didn't become an expert skier.  But, I am now very keen on improving my skills, especially in the bumps and steeps.  

 

I am 6'1" 187 lbs, but not particularly athletic or strong, and still can only manage no more than 12-15 days a year (am a season pass holder at Mammoth Mountain here in California.)   My goal is to be able to properly (gracefully) ski a good chunk of standard double diamond fare on a reasonably slow snow day, before I get so old that I won't even consider it anymore ...

 

Last year I purchased a pair of 2012 Volkl Mantras in 177 after demoing them, as I found they were pretty stable at speed on the groomed runs and let me carve pretty well, were comfortable in crud, and also powered through the slush in the spring time.  But they do feel heavy and stiff to me, and so perhaps that is why I can't quite get them to turn easily in the steep bumps. 

 

Should I just adopt the Mantras as a 1-ski quiver, by getting into better shape and improving my short turn and "edge feathering" skills?  But I just can't get more than 10-15 ski days per year, so am not sure if that's possible.  Instead, I am thinking of demoing skis that will be easier to handle at my probably-advanced-but-certainly-not-expert skill level and physical condition, in the steeps and bumps (I am ok with stopping a few times to catch my breath!)  Perhaps I could get a deal on a pair of suitable 2012 or 2013 closeouts, that complements my Mantras :?)

 

Thanks in advance.


Farzad

 

 

post #2 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by MtnManWanabe View Post

...

 

Last year I purchased a pair of 2012 Volkl Mantras in 177 after demoing them, as I found they were pretty stable at speed on the groomed runs and let me carve pretty well, were comfortable in crud, and also powered through the slush in the spring time.  But they do feel heavy and stiff to me, and so perhaps that is why I can't quite get them to turn easily in the steep bumps

 

Should I just adopt the Mantras as a 1-ski quiver, by getting into better shape and improving my short turn and "edge feathering" skills? ... 

 

 

 

If you want to ski steep bumps more 'relaxed', maybe you should get a slightly smoother ski (i.e. less stiff). The Mantra is about the stiffest 98 mm ski out there (so I hear, never been on them, though - their reputation scares me a bit). If you want a 1 ski quiver (which I get, since you ski about 10-15 days a year) and you want it to be at least 98mm underfoot (which I also get, since you're mostly out West), I'd have a look at some softer 98 skis (maybe without metal even). You're not very heavy, so you would be fine on groomers and in crud as well on those.

 

Further more, I don't think it's a good idea to let your ski dictate your needed skiing technique. For me, that just goes to show that you've got the wrong ski...

 

Just an opinion, of course. I hope the others can throw in some concrete suggestions. Otherwise, you could check out this recent thread: http://www.epicski.com/t/118415/volkl-mantra-vs-kendo-vs-blizzard-bonafide-please-help

post #3 of 7

Welcome to EpicSki and welcome back to skiing.  The Mantra is a fairly stiff ski which means the tails are stiff and stiff tails make skiing bumps more difficult.  The 98mm waist also makes bumps a bit more challenging because it takes longer to change edges than it would with a somewhat narrower ski.  But, a narrower ski won't help nearly as much as a ski with softer tails.  This is where demoing skis is very important and fortunately for you can demo a lot of different skis are Mammoth.  Since that is where you ski, I assume you will want to stick with something about 98mm underfoot.  A few skis to try would include the Atomic Alibi, Nordica Soul Rider and Blizzard Kabookie.  I'm sure there are other ~98mm skis that have softer tails than the Mantra but there are ones I know of that are softer.  If you just want to add another ski that's good in bumps, get Scott's re-introduced "The Ski."

post #4 of 7

I agree with Cheizz.  You have certain restrictions, and that's just your situation, simple as that.  Don't try to change your style or your number of ski days to suit a particular ski.  Better off selling the Mantra and find a ski that's better suited to YOU.

 

A softer ski seems to be the way to go (more or less).  Here's a completely unscientific analysis of 98mm skis in terms of stiffness, courtesy of SierraJim, the expert at Start Haus:

 

(stiffest) Mantra > Cham 97 > Exp 98 > Bonafide > Enforcer > BMX 98 > Prophet 98 >>>>>>>>>S3 (softest)

 

You should consider the Blizzard Bonafide if you liked the Mantra but found it a bit overpowering. Very highly regarded ski, but nearly impossible to find now as they're sold out pretty much everywhere.  Consider unloading the Mantra and then demo a few 98mm skis at the beginning of next season.  If that's not an option, considering your feedback on the Mantra, you probably cannot go wrong with the Bonafide.  If you want something considerably lighter and softer then you're looking at skis without metal in the construction.  Nordica Hell & Back is highly regarded as an option.  Nordica Soul Rider and Blizzard Kabookie that mycyclist mentioned are other good options for sure.

post #5 of 7
Thread Starter 

Thanks to all for your advice.  This is a terrific discussion board!  

 

Your input reveals that in fact I am less effective on the Mantras even more this season, as it seems I am settling down to a more mellow pace and would like to spend more time in slower terrain (bumps, trees).  Will put them up for sale and then look for something softer as suggested!

post #6 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by MtnManWanabe View Post

Hi folks,

After being away from downhill skiing for about 10 years, I resumed this terrific sport with a new passion last year (perhaps something to do with turning 46...)  I learned to ski at the age of 10 but always managed only 10-15 ski days per year.  Am sad to say therefore that I didn't become an expert skier.  But, I am now very keen on improving my skills, especially in the bumps and steeps.  

 

I am 6'1" 187 lbs, but not particularly athletic or strong, and still can only manage no more than 12-15 days a year (am a season pass holder at Mammoth Mountain here in California.)   My goal is to be able to properly (gracefully) ski a good chunk of standard double diamond fare on a reasonably slow snow day, before I get so old that I won't even consider it anymore ...

 

Last year I purchased a pair of 2012 Volkl Mantras in 177 after demoing them, as I found they were pretty stable at speed on the groomed runs and let me carve pretty well, were comfortable in crud, and also powered through the slush in the spring time.  But they do feel heavy and stiff to me, and so perhaps that is why I can't quite get them to turn easily in the steep bumps. 

 

Should I just adopt the Mantras as a 1-ski quiver, by getting into better shape and improving my short turn and "edge feathering" skills?  But I just can't get more than 10-15 ski days per year, so am not sure if that's possible.  Instead, I am thinking of demoing skis that will be easier to handle at my probably-advanced-but-certainly-not-expert skill level and physical condition, in the steeps and bumps (I am ok with stopping a few times to catch my breath!)  Perhaps I could get a deal on a pair of suitable 2012 or 2013 closeouts, that complements my Mantras :?)

 

Thanks in advance.


Farzad

 

 

Farzad,   demo at the main lodge (mammoth), then go up on Memorial weekend or later and pick up a pair of demo's for SUPER cheap.    Last year I picked up two pairs of skis with bindings for CHEAP ,  (gotama's and RTM 84's).    They had all sorts of other skis there as well and will barter , they also threw in the poles !    So Demo Demo Demo and then buy, They have a great selection and will count your demo rental for one day towards the purchase.    

post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the tip pdiddy. Hopefully a late storm will come through in the next few weeks,icon14.gif and I'll be right there with it!
 

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