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Is Kendo enough or should I go for Mantra?

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 

bio: 5'11, 170lbs without gear, type 3, 309 BSL.

pref: I ski exclusively in New England, Decent all-mountain skier, having some issues in serious moguls, but other things are generally fine. And I believe I still have a long way to progress. Starting to get interested in park at a very late age(27), but that's a different story. Not really interested in back country (I'm too risk-averse), but in-bound trees would be sweet.

 

Looking for that "I buy this and I'll be set for life" kind of ski for anything-but-park, anywhere-in-bound skiing. groomer, ice, trees, cruds, in-bound pow after storm days, etc etc. I'll be getting 177cm length for sure. (even with tip rocker It's still cambered so I'm not sure I need to go long).

 

Here's the dilemma: I'm not a strong guy so I'm a bit concerned about if I can drive Mantra enough to utilize it to its max.(two sheets of metal is no joke) On the other hand, I'm not sure if Kendo is wide enough to handle trees/pow to have enough float. I have demoed Kendo in March, it simply drives through any spring snow they have in Cannon, which I like a lot. My current ski(168cm, 73 underfoot) just can't handle that.

 

btw, being a volkl/line fanboy please let's keep discussion on these 2 specific models. 

post #2 of 15

I've not demo'ed the Mantra, but from reading reviews here on Epic and elsewhere, it may not be your best choice for tree skiing -- particularly East Coast trees. 

 

Also, 27 is not too old to try park.  But, here too, the Mantra is probably not the best tool for that.

post #3 of 15

I'd say definitely Kendo, and probably 170.   What size Kendo did you demo (hopefully both 170 and 177)?  The Mantra or a longer Kendo isn't going to help your mogul issues, and since you are not a strong guy I think the 170 Kendo should be plenty of ski.

 

I've skied on Kendos and Mantras in 170/177/184.  Here are my thoughts:

http://www.epicski.com/t/118415/volkl-mantra-vs-kendo-vs-blizzard-bonafide-please-help#post_1559424

 

Breaking your rule, but have you though about the Bridge so you can take in the park?

post #4 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimski View Post

I've not demo'ed the Mantra, but from reading reviews here on Epic and elsewhere, it may not be your best choice for tree skiing -- particularly East Coast trees. 

 

Also, 27 is not too old to try park.  But, here too, the Mantra is probably not the best tool for that.

 

Care to elaborate on the tree skiing thing? because Mantra is too stiff?

 

As for park, they are not going into park. I got other skis for that.

post #5 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tball View Post

I'd say definitely Kendo, and probably 170.   What size Kendo did you demo (hopefully both 170 and 177)?  The Mantra or a longer Kendo isn't going to help your mogul issues, and since you are not a strong guy I think the 170 Kendo should be plenty of ski.

 

I've skied on Kendos and Mantras in 170/177/184.  Here are my thoughts:

http://www.epicski.com/t/118415/volkl-mantra-vs-kendo-vs-blizzard-bonafide-please-help#post_1559424

 

Breaking your rule, but have you though about the Bridge so you can take in the park?

 

I demo'd 177. I'm not quite sure about 170 since I'm concerned that the stability will decrease due to length. And I can always train harder, but I don't want to buy a 170, not like it, return and change for 177. As for mogul issue, I know a narrower/shorter ski would be better, but that's not what I look for here. I'm not looking to zipper-line moguls, I just want something that doesn't force me to stop on EVERY BUMP.

 

Speaking of Bridge...oh well. I used to think Bridge is the "one ski quiver" until I demo'd it in Stowe one day. Friend left my boots at home, and Stowe was raining mid week, meaning it's washed-out ungroomed tree branches/dirt on the ground. It was a miserable experience. Plus, with full rocker(forget about "low profile rocker", they are still full rocker), ice stability could be an issue. When there is reasonable amount of snow, however, Bridge is a beast.

post #6 of 15

Do you like your current ski enough to keep around for firm snow and bumps?  If so, then the 177 Kendo seems like a great addition as long as it's quick enough for you in the trees.  The extra length will makes it float more.  If not, then I'd still suggest you try the 170 Kendo as a potentially more versatile ski for you.

 

I got stuck on a 170 Kendo on a 12" powder day at Copper when all the other demos were gone.  I was hugely bummed that it was both too narrow and too short, but then after a run or two I had a huge grin on my face.  I had a blast on that ski.  I'm 5'11 180 and was skiing very fast and very aggressively before I found their limit.  I was really surprised how far I could push them.  Based on how you described yourself, I doubt you'll push them that hard for years, if ever.  On the other hand, I grew up skiing powder on skinny boards, so I'm comfortable with a ski that doesn't float in powder.

 

Edit: the 170 Kendo was extremely stable on very fast groomers, and was more versatile in being able to make shorter turns too.

post #7 of 15

I'm exactly your size and ski the Kendo from a few years ago in 177.  And that's before they added tip rocker.  177 won't be too long.

post #8 of 15

Have you been in a store and tried to flex the Mantra, boy that thing is stiff

 

For your weight its a non starter unless you have legs of steel

 

http://www.epicski.com/t/118415/volkl-mantra-vs-kendo-vs-blizzard-bonafide-please-help#post_1560699

 

 

I am a light weight guy so it will not work for me

 

Use the elan Spire/999 instead

post #9 of 15

I would say the Kendo would be a better fit where you are skiing i am 35 lbs lighter than you and 1" shorter and used the 170 kendo for the last 2 years (just upgraded to stormrider 95) and had a blast with this ski on the east coast. It is awesome on groomers and ok in trees, powder, and bumps. At my weight stability was never an issue even when bombing down steeps full speed. They floated just find in anything less than 10" of fresh and were excellent in cut up snow. Soft bumps were nice, icy bumps not so much. And trees were good as long as they were not too tight as this ski isn't the best at quick snappy turns or smears as it is still a fairly stiff ski. I feel if you went with the mantra you would get better float but the bumps and trees would just be even more of an issue; however either ski would work well on the groomers.  FYI i had the older fully cambered model so the early rise may make a difference; however i doubt it would be very significant a difference. YMMV
 

post #10 of 15

oh and as for the park- they handle jumps and drops just fine; however they are not really meant for spins and are too stiff for rails, ok for boxes ( however i personally don't like to abuse my skis on boxes or rails) and prefer to get my airs off natural features anyways

post #11 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by near nyquist View Post

Have you been in a store and tried to flex the Mantra, boy that thing is stiff

 

For your weight its a non starter unless you have legs of steel

 

http://www.epicski.com/t/118415/volkl-mantra-vs-kendo-vs-blizzard-bonafide-please-help#post_1560699

 

 

I am a light weight guy so it will not work for me

 

Use the elan Spire/999 instead

 

Interesting that you mention Elan, I'm curerntly on a pair of 168cm Waveflex 8...Good for groomer cruising and nothing else basically. Got it at beginning of the season and basically outskii-ed it within this year. 999ALU seems to have 2 sheets of Ti in there too, but it claims it's thinner, so...thinner metal as well? Is there a place in NH/VT I can demo it? Kendo/Mantra is easy enough to find demo...

post #12 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eastcoastdad View Post

oh and as for the park- they handle jumps and drops just fine; however they are not really meant for spins and are too stiff for rails, ok for boxes ( however i personally don't like to abuse my skis on boxes or rails) and prefer to get my airs off natural features anyways

 

If I get these, they are not going anywhere near park. Not worth it. 

post #13 of 15

I don't know where you can demo them in NH/VT

 

The summit/999 are a LOT softer than the mantra's something my 165 lb body can flex even with the 2 sheets of metal in them.

 

Unfortunately Elan is gonna discontinue  the Summit Series(Apex/888/Spire/999/Olympus/1010) and change over to the Spectrum Series with completely different characteristics 

 

My local shop dropped Elan for next year because of that mad.gif

post #14 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by near nyquist View Post

I don't know where you can demo them in NH/VT

Give TotemSki (user name) a shout.

Totem Pole ski shop in Ludlow, VT. Not sure if they're currently open this time of year, but he might have a very good deal on some. I know he had them last season.

post #15 of 15

I agree, Kendo. Better flex pattern for eastern bumps and 89 is wide enough for your weight. 

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