or Connect
EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › Ski Gear Discussion › Looking for new all mountain ski
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Looking for new all mountain ski

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 

Looking for a little advice on what to purchase this season.  I've read a lot of great posts by so many of you. I am leaning towards a few models based on those posts.   Those models being the Bonafides and Mantras

 

My stats- 41yrs, 6ft, 175lbs, in shape, aggressive expert skis 20 to 25 days a season.  I only ski out West. (Colorado, Utah and Central Canadian Rockies).  I ski off piste as much as the snow allows, but just as happy ripping down everything else.  

 

My current skis are the Salomon Shogun size 191 which are 105 under foot.  I've loved this ski but regret getting the 191 length as I have always had to ski them hard for good performance.  I had demoed the 182 and found I pushed that ski to it's limit. So I went a size up...bad decision. 

 

So I am just looking for confirmation with my two top choices Mantra and Bonafides are right for an all mountain ski for my style.  I have read a lot about this stiff tail of the Mantra.  Hard for me to imagine me not being ok with this.  

 

 

I know... Demo Demo.  I used to be in the industry and was spoiled with demoing often. However now a days I have a few issues with demoing. One the cost.  The second and the bigger issue for me demo binding I have found are not high enough din setting for aggressive riding.  I don't want to waste a couple days of my own fun being more gentle to some shop's skis.  I tend to do a fair amount of base damage to my own skis.  I want to have skis of my own skis ready to slay the mountain from day one.

 

Thanks,

Janks   

post #2 of 23

I know there are shops where they will credit the demo cost to your final ski purchase. Say if you spend 100 bucks on demoing then your final ski purchase will be 100 bucks less than the ski price. Maybe ask for that? You can pick both pairs up for a day to demo. Those are quite easy to find. I think low DIN still beats buying without trying : P

post #3 of 23
Plenty of pop from the tail of a Cham 107, consider adding this to your short list. I know it's a polarizing ski for most; for me just half a run had me solidly in the I-love-it camp.
post #4 of 23
I've been a big fan of the Mantra for a long time. The later model with the early rise initiates more quickly and is a bit more forgiving than the old model but loses none of the power. Surprisingly good in powder too...remember it was introduced as a powder ski...? I had them out last year when an unexpected rope dropped on 18" of fresh- at Alta , no less, and they did just fine- plenty of float and spring. I did go right over the handlebars once- I'm used to fatter, rockered skis in soft snow...

There's so much good stuff out there now. Finding a shop at a good hill that carries a wide range at one demo price is still the best idea- $40 bucks or so and a run or two on the new Rossis, the Chams, the Blizzards, some of the Volkls, then credit to purchase. Hard to go wrong.
post #5 of 23

Are you traveling to ski out west, or do you live out here?

 

It might sound a little silly to ask, but until this season, I traveled to ski out west.  I was able to travel with 2 pair, an 88mm and a 112mm for hero days, but with my luck I almost never got to use the fatties.  If I was still flying to ski, I would just do an 85-90mm pair and demo if I happened upon some pow (I had horrible luck last year: 30 days out west from FL, precisely two pow days.  Damn.).

 

Since you're an expert (I'm 5'11", 180#, but only intermediate-advanced), you might be happy on something burly-but-narrower like the Brahma instead of the Bonafide, or Tball's fave, the Kendo.  I have been on the MX88 the last 3 seasons, great ski, but pricey unless you luck out and get a lightly used demo ski or sumsuch like I did.  Bumps start to get a bit unwieldy on 100mm-ish skis, at least for me.

 

If you have deep pockets, 2014 FX94 and Stormrider 95 are tempting options, very capable on the frontside, and solid off piste on anything short of a snowgasm day.

 

I haven't tried the Cham 97/107, but they are on my hit list, just to see if they are 'for me'.  A very polarizing ski, apparently, but if they are your flavor, they're very quick for their width.

 

If you simply must have a Mantra or Bonafide, consider the Rossi E98 as well.  It felt like somewhere between a more powerful carver than the Bone, but a friendlier Mantra...

post #6 of 23
6' 175? Unless you're doing large air, the demo bindings on all these skis will be at least DIN 12~13, and you will not come out of them unless they are set up incorrectly by the shop. Loads of skis get tested and developed by excellent skiers on mere demo bindings. Just say'in as they say. smile.gif
post #7 of 23

Just buy the Mantra, it' will make you happy. Either ski will be a good (if somewhat standard) choice, the Volkl is probably your best choice, just get the 184cm.

 

Skip demoing, it's largely over-rated*. Pull the trigger and have your own skis to abuse.

 

 

 

 

*yeah, demoing is great if you are Goldilocks and part of your joy in skiing is having the 'just right' ski for you, for others, buy an appropriate ski in the appropriate category in the appropriate length and enjoy the full season without fiddling around. Demo days make sense, spending a full day on a 'demo' is renting. No, there is nothing wrong with a ski rental, if that's what you are into.

post #8 of 23
It does pay to be reminded once in a while that we are basically a big room full of Goldilockses here. (Typing this as my porridge cools.)
post #9 of 23
Thread Starter 

Most shops don't have demo bindings that max out at 12.  At least the ones I have gone into.  Guess I really need to find an advance shop.  I ride usually on an 11 din setting. I like my ski to come off when I take a big digger, but most shops are not comfortable to max out their bindings like that. 

post #10 of 23
Lol part of my joy comes with the better looking top sheet.
post #11 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Whiteroom View Post
 

Just buy the Mantra, it' will make you happy. Either ski will be a good (if somewhat standard) choice, the Volkl is probably your best choice, just get the 184cm.

 

Skip demoing, it's largely over-rated*. Pull the trigger and have your own skis to abuse.

 

 

 

 

*yeah, demoing is great if you are Goldilocks and part of your joy in skiing is having the 'just right' ski for you, for others, buy an appropriate ski in the appropriate category in the appropriate length and enjoy the full season without fiddling around. Demo days make sense, spending a full day on a 'demo' is renting. No, there is nothing wrong with a ski rental, if that's what you are into.

 

OMG, I could not disagree more.... which is why demoing is key!  I HATE the 184 Mantra and I'm 5'11" 180.  It's way too stiff, a ton of work, and not quick enough for bumps and trees.   The 177 Mantra is better, but I love the 177 Kendo.   Kendo is just a much better all around ski than the Mantra.   The little float you gain from the extra Mantra width isn't worth the cost of it being slower edge to edge, IMO.

 

If you have to buy without demoing there are many great choices in the 88-90 width.  I prefer the 88ish to the 98ish skis, especially since the OP already has a long 105 Shogun for soft snow.   A 177ish Kendo, E88, Steadfast or Brahma would be great choices for the 80% of days with 6" or less.

 

Starthaus has nice reviews of options in this category:

http://starthaus.com/wordpress/2013/10/10/skinny-all-mountain-ski-review-82-to-90-mm-sierra-jim/

 

And here's my comparison of the Kendo vs. the Mantra in the varous lengths:

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

post #12 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Whiteroom View Post
 

Just buy the Mantra, it' will make you happy. Either ski will be a good (if somewhat standard) choice, the Volkl is probably your best choice, just get the 184cm.

 

Skip demoing, it's largely over-rated*. Pull the trigger and have your own skis to abuse.

 

 

 

 

*yeah, demoing is great if you are Goldilocks and part of your joy in skiing is having the 'just right' ski for you, for others, buy an appropriate ski in the appropriate category in the appropriate length and enjoy the full season without fiddling around. Demo days make sense, spending a full day on a 'demo' is renting. No, there is nothing wrong with a ski rental, if that's what you are into.

I think a lot depends on where you demo.  Squaw Valley's Gold Coast center lets you come and go all day, trying as many models and sizes as you want, for $65 anytime or half-price M-Th for passholders, applicable to a purchase.  So if that ski you've read about and have been dying to try feels good, stay on it as long as you want.  If it's overrated in your on-snow estimation, take it back in and talk to the techs about what you didn't like and which other skis might better suit you, then try those.  It's a real game-changer to be able to come and go right on the upper mountain.  If you know your way around the upper mountain, it's easy to get into a variety of snow conditions and sort the performance out quickly, all on high-speed lifts.  I pretty much know early-on whether I like the way a ski feels underfoot, but I want to see how it carves, deals with bumps, and how versatile it is off-piste, and that's all right there for the exploring on the upper mountain.

 

I went through Bonafides, two or three Line Prophets, Rossi E98, and the RTM 84.  I got lucky and was able to buy the E98 at half-price at my local shop in March, knowing that it was the best one for my particular tastes, but I'll probably do one or two demo days this season just to keep up with the proliferation of new models and approaches to design geometry, materials, and so forth.

 

BTW, the Gold Coast skis are well tuned and waxed appropriately, eliminating variables, and I was able to have them move the toes back 1cm on the E98 after reading here that a lot of folks like its balance better like that.  They'll even send your old skis down to the village shop via the Funitel so you can ski the demos all the way down at the end of the day.  Great service.

post #13 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt Janks View Post

Most shops don't have demo bindings that max out at 12.  At least the ones I have gone into.  Guess I really need to find an advance shop.  I ride usually on an 11 din setting. I like my ski to come off when I take a big digger, but most shops are not comfortable to max out their bindings like that. 

Then your shop is being ridiculous. FYI, I usually ski at 11 as well. I've tested price point skis that maxed out at 10 and were set at 10. Yes, it didn't inspire confidence, but it was no problem whatsoever evaluating the skis.
post #14 of 23

All the demos I've seen have 12 din bindings.   If you tell them you're a type 3+ skier that should get you a din 10 or 11 depending on your BSL.  Demos usually include a damage wavier, or you can purchase one as an add on, so no worries about banging up the skis.

 

Your purchase of the Shogun's too long is exactly why you should demo skis in multiple sizes.  Each length of a ski is a completely different ski and you can't be certain from skiing one size if you'll like the next size up or down.  You gotta ski them to know for sure.


Edited by tball - 11/4/13 at 3:24pm
post #15 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tball View Post
 

All the demos I've seen have 12 din bindings.   If you tell them you're a type 3+ skier that should get you a din 10 or 11 depending on your BSL.  Demos usually include a damage wavier, or you can purchase one as an add on, so no worries about banging up the skis.

 

Your purchase of the Shogun's too long is exactly why you should demo skis in multiple sizes.  Each length of a ski is a completely different ski and you can't be certain from skiing one size if you'll like the next size up or down.  You gotta ski them to know for sure.

Yes learned my lesson.  Thanks everyone for the great follow up.  I will suck it up and demo... :) 

post #16 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt Janks View Post
 

Most shops don't have demo bindings that max out at 12.  At least the ones I have gone into.  Guess I really need to find an advance shop.  I ride usually on an 11 din setting. I like my ski to come off when I take a big digger, but most shops are not comfortable to max out their bindings like that. 

Matt, that's a really high DIN setting for your weight.  I'm 6'-180#, expert for 50 years, ski hard and fast GS turns on the groom, ski all conditions, compete in several races per season.  I run my free-skiing bindings at DIN 8 and have only had a ski off my foot once in maybe ten years.  That was from a full-scale faceplant on steep terrain when I bailed out to avoid pancaking on my tails, which is one of the prime ways that ACLs get blown.  I set my race bindings to 10-11.  Unless you're a violent direction-changer in really serious conditions, a real edge-slammer, 11 is (IMHO) dangerously high for free skiing at 175#.

post #17 of 23

I'll throw Hellenbacks and Enforcers in there as well.  Kind of a halfway point between the two skis you mentioned in the OP.

post #18 of 23
Start Haus will be running 15 DIN binders on the Bonafides this season with that said, check out the November to Remember Bonafide deal this month. Worth it to buy not and not wait to demo.
post #19 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Whiteroom View Post

Just buy the Mantra, it' will make you happy. Either ski will be a good (if somewhat standard) choice, the Volkl is probably your best choice, just get the 184cm.

Skip demoing, it's largely over-rated*. Pull the trigger and have your own skis to abuse.




*yeah, demoing is great if you are Goldilocks and part of your joy in skiing is having the 'just right' ski for you, for others, buy an appropriate ski in the appropriate category in the appropriate length and enjoy the full season without fiddling around. Demo days make sense, spending a full day on a 'demo' is renting. No, there is nothing wrong with a ski rental, if that's what you are into.


Whiteroom, I think I have a mancrush
Edited by craigr - 11/8/13 at 3:55pm
post #20 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by craigr View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Whiteroom View Post

Just buy the Mantra, it' will make you happy. Either ski will be a good (if somewhat standard) choice, the Volkl is probably your best choice, just get the 184cm.

Skip demoing, it's largely over-rated*. Pull the trigger and have your own skis to abuse.




*yeah, demoing is great if you are Goldilocks and part of your joy in skiing is having the 'just right' ski for you, for others, buy an appropriate ski in the appropriate category in the appropriate length and enjoy the full season without fiddling around. Demo days make sense, spending a full day on a 'demo' is renting. No, there is nothing wrong with a ski rental, if that's what you are into.


Whitefish, I think I have a mancrush.

Actually, Whiteroom claims to be from Stowe.  Although, oddly, we do have our own White Room in Whitefish.  

post #21 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by sibhusky View Post

Actually, Whiteroom claims to be from Stowe.  Although, oddly, we do have our own White Room in Whitefish.  

Oops. Mistake edited.
Cheers
post #22 of 23

The off-topic posts from this thread have been moved here. 

post #23 of 23

http://blistergearreview.com/gear-reviews/2013-2014-volkl-mantra

 

Mantra is very stiff and not really all-conditional versatalie ski; neverthenless, it is good for what it is.

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Ski Gear Discussion
EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › Ski Gear Discussion › Looking for new all mountain ski