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A couple questions! Volkl Mantra vs. Blizzard Bonafide vs. Volk Kendo / How to Classify Skill Level?

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 

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!

post #2 of 22
Mantra??? OH BOY... Didn't anyone tell you,don't believe everything you read on the internet. Sorry to piss on your Boots, but you'll love them. I am sure...enjoy
post #3 of 22

And now for the obligatory, What size are they? 

post #4 of 22
Thread Starter 

Sorry Eric - I left that part out by accident! 177's.

post #5 of 22


Ohhh, you bought them too short!!!!

post #6 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy Carey View Post
 


Ohhh, you bought them too short!!!!

What! For real?! Everyone I spoke with suggested 177!

post #7 of 22

Well you were brave enough to admit to being 5'11" and 210lbs;)  So ya, they are way to short if you want to ski the gnar and tell people your the best skier on the mountain.  We are pretty much the same size and my skis are currently 185-193, but each to their own poison.

post #8 of 22
Thread Starter 

Hahaha I'm an in-shape 210… Kind of ;)

 

How will this affect my skiing if I decide to stay with the 177? I haven't used them to I may be able to trade them in somewhere.

 

Won't a bit of a shorter ski give me more control and make turning a bit easier?

post #9 of 22

IMO, you could go bigger but the are not "way too short". What did you have before? If they were shorter and narrower, the Mantras will be a good step up.

post #10 of 22
Thread Starter 

The previous skis I rode were the 170cm K2 Apache. I never even considered jumping all the way up to the biggest size offered in the Mantra until just now haha. Especially since both salesman I spoke with suggested the 177! In your guy's opinions whats the ideal/maximum size for 177?

post #11 of 22

Although as a big guy the 177's are on the short side, they are a stiff ski, so if you are truly an advanced intermediate you may find the length OK, at least for now. The main issue you will have is lack of float in powder. I don't think you'll lose significant value by skiing them a few times, assuming the bindings are already mounted. Based on where you live I don't think you should go narrower (Kendo). If the Mantras don't work out for you give the Bonafides a try. If you liked Apaches I think you'll like the Bones--I ski both (still on the Apache as my rock ski, which means they were my main ski the last 3 Tahoe seasons), and they have a similar feel for me. Others will disagree.

 

Understand that length does not stay constant across ski categories. Manufacturers offer narrow, stiff front side skis in a narrower range of widths than their off piste skis, like the Mantra. Rather than assume you ski the same length in every ski look at where in the range you are. If you ski the second longest front side ski you most likely will like the second longest wide ski, even if it's significantly longer.

post #12 of 22

^^^ This for your buyers remorse. Your height and level are fine for 177. You weigh a bit much for that length, but that just means a) they'll be easier to bend into a turn, and b) that if you hit 50 in heavy crud and slam into that turn, you may overflex them. Not the end of the world, even then, and pretty unlikely speed, yes? You do not want narrower. I assume they're mounted, so you'd take a bath on selling them anyway; not current model, drilled, etc. Ski them, take lessons, enjoy. 

post #13 of 22
Thread Starter 

Basically what I'm hearing here is I need to lose 15lbs hahaha

 

I think I'll like the maneuverability and control of the shorter ski, and will sacrifice a bit of float in the powder.  I usually sit at 195lbs or so if I do get back down to that it should be perfect... Wish me luck ;) I'm not talking myself up by saying I'm an Advanced Intermediate skier (between 7 and 8) skill wise either, based on the description below;

 

 

The skis are not yet mounted with bindings so I may be able to trade them in for a pair of 184's. The issue is that I bought them at a ski sale and not from a shop so I'd have to hope the shop owner would trade me... I know they have a pair of 184 where I usually shop. I'm going to head there today to pick his brain about lengths, as he was the one who originally suggested the 177 Nordica Enforcers for me. The first time I was shown the Mantra (2012/13) at a different shop they also tried to sell me 177's... maybe because it was their only pair left in that year...

 

Thank you guys for your help and for easing my mind. It sounds like I could realistically ski either size and that I'm not completely @#$%&*!*'d by having the 177. I'll let you know if I do end up moving up to 184.

 

Again, thank you.

post #14 of 22
Thread Starter 

 

post #15 of 22
Thread Starter 

LEVEL 7


Description: You are comfortable and confident on all blue square and easier black diamond terrain, including moderate moguls and ungroomed snow. You can modify your technique and tactics from a growing quiver of options, linking dynamic carved turns with consistent rhythm on blue groomed terrain. Skiers usually ski parallel, with effective pole use. Snowboarders can mix carved and skidded turns.

What to expect—depending on your needs and goals:
- Continue to refine balance and develop skills and versatility.
- Learn to manage the changing forces of higher speed, short, medium, and long carved turns, and uneven terrain.
- Explore tactics and technique options for enjoying the whole mountain, including moderate moguls, steeps, powder, racing, carving, crud, ice, or freestyle.

LEVEL 8

Description: You ski or ride with confidence and flair, with offensive tactics and techniques on most terrain. You can carve arc-to-arc turns on easier groomed runs, and you handle moderate mogul runs with consistent speed and rhythm. You are competent, if not always confident, in moderate ungroomed conditions, and you can handle all but the most extreme in-bounds terrain. You may lack the needed confidence or particular technical or tactical options for true virtuosity in all terrain and conditions.

What to expect—depending on your needs and goals:
- Solidify your fundamentals while expanding your limits with versatility and confidence at an ever-growing range of speeds, terrain, and conditions.
- Refine your technique for efficiency and strength at higher speeds and longer runs.
- Identify your strengths and growth areas for continued learning and improvement.

post #16 of 22

My friend says P90X is a great way to lose some weight.  Good luck!:jedi:

post #17 of 22

Sorry to pi$$ on this parade, but the old Mantra is generally a terrible ski for an intermediate.  Too stiff in the tail, stiff in general, so it encourages backseat skiing like nobody's business.  If I had a dollar for every dude who I see at Squaw sliding on the tails of his Mantras I will be a rich man and could afford a pair of Stocklis (which are the real deal one-ski-quiver this season).  

Hate to break it to you, but people who told you "awesome ski" either had no f&ing clue about what they were talking about, or were parroting ski magazines, or just go on hearsay, all of which are generally terrible way of evaluating skis.  Despite every city dude seemingly raving about the Mantra, there are very few skiers who can ski the old Mantras properly, a lot of them are instructors, and none of them are intermediates. Unfortunately, a lot of these people test skis for magazines read by the aforementioned city dudes.   Watching a skilled skier on the Mantra is a pleasure, watching a bad skier on the Mantra is entertainment.     Buying skis based on graphics is generally another terrible idea, I hope you don't buy your beer based on the girl in the beer ad. On a good ski day, the graphics are covered with snow anyway... just saying.    BTW, I would take old Nordica Enforcer over the old Mantra any day, the major reason Enforcers are not made anymore is that Nordica cannot market the good skis that they make.   And, yes, 177 Mantra will be an OK length for you, but only because the short length will compensate for the technical flaws.  At your age and weight you really should be on something in the 184 range with more balanced flex.  Just about every ski in the 98mm category is a better pick for an intermediate than an old Mantra.  

post #18 of 22

Alexzn, take a deep breath. Or cool down on the six pack after dinner.

 

Stiffness is a relative quality. OP is 210 lbs. He'll be able to flex a 177 Mantra. Backseating, yep, most intermediates - and some advanced - do it, but that'll be helped by lessons, not by a miracle cure of soft tails. More generally, I could make a good case that the majority of all skiers on Epic are on stiffer skis than they need to because the stiffness (mit rocker) allows them to ride the radius and have the ski do all the work in variable terrain. It's not like the, ahem, Bonafide is a noodle, y'know.

 

You're coming across as being on a very high horse when you refer to people who've posted here as having "no f&ing clue" or "parroting" or buying skis based on graphics. And you're opening yourself to the same critique when you talk to the OP, who I hope is no longer reading this thread, as being OK for the 177 because the length will compensate for his technical flaws. Last photos I saw of you, you're not precisely god's gift to perfect biomechanics. 

 

Go pick some other glass windows to lob rocks through...

post #19 of 22

FWIW, I also enjoyed the Enforcer when I demoed it, great GS all mountain ski.

 

Your Mantra will be a good ski for you to progress on, do you plan to take a lesson or two ? For where you live, you should get a real fat ski for powder. If you like Volkl's, try the Shiro. 

I'm 5'11" 200lbs 60y/o my 2011 Kendo's are 177, my 2011 Shiro's are 184, my 2010 Gotama's 177. I ski mainly in VT.

post #20 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by beyond View Post

Alexzn, take a deep breath. Or cool down on the six pack after dinner.

Stiffness is a relative quality. OP is 210 lbs. He'll be able to flex a 177 Mantra. Backseating, yep, most intermediates - and some advanced - do it, but that'll be helped by lessons, not by a miracle cure of soft tails. More generally, I could make a good case that the majority of all skiers on Epic are on stiffer skis than they need to because the stiffness (mit rocker) allows them to ride the radius and have the ski do all the work in variable terrain. It's not like the, ahem, Bonafide is a noodle, y'know.

You're coming across as being on a very high horse when you refer to people who've posted here as having "no f&ing clue" or "parroting" or buying skis based on graphics. And you're opening yourself to the same critique when you talk to the OP, who I hope is no longer reading this thread, as being OK for the 177 because the length will compensate for his technical flaws. Last photos I saw of you, you're not precisely god's gift to perfect biomechanics. 

Go pick some other glass windows to lob rocks through...

Oh yes, I'm not the gods gift to biomechanics, and believe me I know it. Not that many people are, though. I was referring to the OPs description of what influenced his purchase, which was his fellow ski sale shoppers telling him " awesome ski", him liking the graphics, etc. None of it was necessarily referring to the feedback he got on Epic. Read the OP post again. So I stand by what I said. 99% of people don't get lessons unless they perceive a problem, so if a ski masks an issue, there usually goes the lesson. I really do think old Mantra is a terrible ski for 80% of the people who ski it. Haven't been on the new model yet so will reserve the judgment on that one.
post #21 of 22
Btw, beyond, we should make some turns together, someday. Let's also invite Josh Matta and if we are at Squaw we can take Davluri along. I'm sure skiing will be good, but the chairlift conversations-priceless;-)
post #22 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by alexzn View Post


Oh yes, I'm not the gods gift to biomechanics, and believe me I know it. Not that many people are, though. I was referring to the OPs description of what influenced his purchase, which was his fellow ski sale shoppers telling him " awesome ski", him liking the graphics, etc. None of it was necessarily referring to the feedback he got on Epic. Read the OP post again. So I stand by what I said. 99% of people don't get lessons unless they perceive a problem, so if a ski masks an issue, there usually goes the lesson. I really do think old Mantra is a terrible ski for 80% of the people who ski it. Haven't been on the new model yet so will reserve the judgment on that one.

Fair, enough, actually agree about the 80% figure, but it's how you said it. 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by alexzn View Post

Btw, beyond, we should make some turns together, someday. Let's also invite Josh Matta and if we are at Squaw we can take Davluri along. I'm sure skiing will be good, but the chairlift conversations-priceless;-)

As another not-god's-gift-to-biomechanics, I'd enjoy the turns part; haven't skied with Josh in wow, maybe 5 or 6 years now, but bet he'd be pleased to offer technical guidance...

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