RE: discussing the 2016 Mantra and Kendo:
Am I the only one here who found these skis seriously unsuitable? I skied these at Copper, 2016 models, with the zero or negative camber. 2 issues with these skis: they were insanely stiff laterally. Way too stiff, either on or off. No nuance. Edgy would be an understatement, like trying to pilot an F1 car on a rally course. I guess if you want to feel edge all the time, it would be OK. Second was the inside ski. Normally, as you angulate, pull that inside leg up and flex to increase force and edge angle, the inside ski tracks well in parallel to the outside ski. On these, it was doing it's own thing, totally diverging. It was as if, due to the inside ski being decambered, it was acting as if I had tons of pressure on it, and it was wanting to decamber and accelerate underneath me. I couldn't passively tip and track it; I had to actively manage inside ski pressure or it would shoot away. I honestly felt it was going to blow my knee out.
Comparing notes with Steve (SSH), we noted the same thing. I liked the old Kendo. The old Mantra was OK, too stiff I thought, but a capable ski. These felt even stiffer, but with some weird "can't trust the ski" feel.
Steve had a theory about these: he said if you ski them on the rear 2/3rds of the ski (back seat), skid your turns from the tail, then they ski pretty well. Get forward, and the ski puts up a fight; won't bend, can't work it into the top of the turn. Doesn't want to initiate the way you want it to. And, it feels super edgy, like they are made for people who want to "carve" but skid their way down the hill, equating an edgy ski with carving. And he thought they would sell great, as they feel edgy and respond to the way most people ski (skidding in the backseat)
FWIW, I tested 24 skis at the demo. I found 4 skis that I wasn't a fan of, including these. Compared to the other "stiff" 98mm ski I tested, the Bonafide, there was a night and day difference in feel and ease of use (although the Bone is too stiff for me unless relegated to a carver). And comparison to the other, more moderate flex mid 90's skis with metal (Motive 95, SR95, FX95 HP, Monster 98, Pinnacle 95), no doubt what I was feeling. Those were all skis worth recommending; not every ski to everyone, but each has a target customer.