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I just bought new V Mantras - Page 2

post #31 of 62
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by Coach13
Coach to the rescue!! Tell her you're getting them for a friend. I'll PM my shipping info.
LOL. That's why I love this place. Advice from experts!
post #32 of 62
Originally Posted by Cirquerider
LOL. That's why I love this place. Advice from experts!
Glad I could help. Tracking number??

BTW, I can relate to the budget police thing oh so well. I just had new Dynastar 8800's delivered last week and had to hear how they would fit right in with the other six pairs, and how we needed to save money. My response: Skip Costco this week and we'll break even.:
post #33 of 62
Originally Posted by skyrocket101

Bandit Man, has your opinion about Gotamas changed after your last trip to Tahoe? )) If yes, then tell me more.
No...it's just that the V-Ex and Got are not as similar to one another (IMO) after a few days in heavy snow. My first trip to Mammoth had softer snow and it was hard to see the differences. In those conditions, the wider tipped Gotama with a more forgiving flex was so much fun.

However, last weekend's experience with Sierra cement reminded me of how very different these skis can be. The Got's just got pushed around too much in that kind of snow (for my taste), and I was really noticing their girth. The V-Ex was more manuerable, and just rolls through that heavy crud snow. Mind you, my legs got hammered after two days on the V-Ex's in those conditions. The V-Ex's were up to the task...it was me who got tired and relented.

Since I am likely relocating to the PNW for next winter, I see my V-Ex's getting a lot more use than my Got's if snow conditions return to normal for that part of the world next season.
post #34 of 62
Cirquerider: for future reference, ship 'em "care of" to your nearest UPS store or similar. Only $5 charge. Also, you don't have to be home when it arrives.

I recall a post several years ago, from Woody I think, the ski makers should give all of their skis the same graphics and not change them. That way we can upgrade anytime without getting caught!
post #35 of 62
Thread Starter 
Well, I dodged the bullet. They didn't come on Friday, arrived mid morning Monday. I was sweating bullets and sending the wife on errands all day.

Now binding decision time.

1. AT binding. I am interested in increasing access to terrain and am tired of postholing or climbing in fixed bindings. AT bindings seem to have durability problems and some slop that compromises alpine downhill. I might wait and do a setup on something else next year.
2. Existing Look P-08, same as current P12 but about 4 years old with Maxplate. Probably too much lift, and need to buy wide brakes.
3. Marker Tu 12/14 Free, Rossi Axial Scratch 140, others??. I am currently leaning towards the Marker.

Thanks for all the support. Looks like we can bring these in on the QT, but would appreciate your thoughts.
post #36 of 62
The Mantra is the same build construction as the explosive with a slightly softer flex, not much, but you can feel the difference. Also the Mantra has a bit more sidecut, so it is a bit easier to turn than the explosive. Other than that they are very similar skis. The Mantra is just a new ski in the explosive succession.
post #37 of 62
cirquerider,did you get a chance to take the mantra out...what did you think..?
post #38 of 62
Thread Starter 
The skis just came today mid-morning. I have not had a chance to ski them and am currently in a painful debate over which binding to apply. I am currently down to Marker Ti 14 free, a good alpine binding with minimal lift, and Fritchie Freerides to accomodate my desire to ski more untracked. A fixed heel makes slogging through powder a real workout at present. The Alpine Touring binding is a third more money and will take 3 or for days to get, as opposed to instant gratification from the alpine binding at a lower price. Either way, Friday or Saturday for sure, and a few weekdays next week as well.

Our condiitons now are spring-like. Last weekend the snow was still soft, but temperatures in the 50s and 60s will eventually take their toll. Fortunately, there is a tremendous amount of base, so we probably have more of a season remaining than the Pacific Northwest has seen, and they are about done for the year. Still looking forward to making some powder turns in these, but will report snow-baked off-piste and corn if Ullr does not cooperate.

BTW great looking skis. I should start skiing in a pin-stripe suit. Black with gray irregular lines across the ski, orange sidewalls and gangsta script "volkl" on the base. I will get some help to take some pics so you can see what they look like underfoot on the snow.
post #39 of 62
budget watchdog is home.: This is going to get interesting.

I got one of those....and a bad ebay habit, guitars, golf clubs, tennis racquets ski gear you name it....g.a.s. (gear acquisition syndrome) often meets it's match on dat budget doggie.....yikes....I've used coach's trick a couple times...unfortunately the Gibson ES347 stayed under the bed for 2 years....you know - my buddy had it....since I couldn't play it - I finally sold it anyway never did get to play it out for fear of the budget dog biting me....hope you make out better with the skis:....good luck!
post #40 of 62
Thread Starter 
Not a problem. Brought the 6 stars in last fall and they have just become part of the scenery. Mainly, its just a sensitive time of the year for the self-employed with taxes. The mixed blessing is my tax bill looks like some people's income.
post #41 of 62
Originally Posted by Cirquerider
The mixed blessing is my tax bill looks like some people's income.
I feel your pain.
post #42 of 62
Hey Guys,
I just looked at Al's Ski Barn site and they show they have 184cm Mantra's in stock and ready to ship. I was on this ski a coupl eof weeks ago in 2 feet of snow and it was an absolute blast. Very similiar to the Explosiv just more responsive when you get on trail. Another great ski was the AC4. I am 5'7" and 175lbs and skied it in the 170cm length (shorter than I am used to) and was overwhelmed at how it skied everything well including groomers. It was very silky on groomed terrain for being 82mm under foot.
post #43 of 62
: size?

I keep hearing from locals to ski it short. I'm 6' 2" and 193 lbs and guys in one shop encouraged me to go 177cm and not 184cm. They know folks who ski 190cm Explosiv who prefer the 177cm.

As I'm also gunning for a a pair of 189cm Seth Vicious for powder off piste, I guess a shorter ski would complement my already unnecessarily hedonistic quiver.
post #44 of 62
Thread Starter 
JimS, I should know more after we get some snow this weekend. So far, I have not found the 184 to be a problem. Very nice and manuverable in corn and bumps, but everything else in the trees and big moguls was boilerplate ice and groomed granular. Not its strong suit, but it got through. Keep in mind I am using an AT binding and your results or intent may vary.

FesterSkis, welcome to Epic. Hope you'll stick around and keep us up to date on all the new developments. I hear you are my delivery man for the Mantras. Thanks!
post #45 of 62
Thanks Cirqurider,
I do plan on sticking around. It has been a while since I have had the opportunity to join a ski chat room. It is great to see that I have found one with real skiers that know their product. I am more than happy to keep you guys up to date on new developments. I did deliver your Mantra's and we were able to supply another guy from California and a guy from Utah with a pair of the 184cm Mantra's. I had an absolute blast We have more in stock and are planning on getting some Fritchi Freerides to sell for this fall. I was planning on getting an AT set up for myself. I am actually going to be in Mammoth from the 2nd through the 10th of April. I am pretty excited to visit all my buddies I skied with last year. I just have to decide which ski or skis to bring. It looks like they are getting another couple feet this weekend. We have been getting some great storms up at Sugarloaf the past few weeks. It is nice to see New England actually get some snow like it used to. Anyway if anyone has any questions about any of the new Volkl's or any other brand I have skied almost all of them. The Gotama from 2005 is much better than the 2006 graphic. People looking for the Mantra or Explosiv please do not buy it too short like some places will try to do. Half those people ski 10 days a year and can not even handle a ski in a 190cm. I am 5'7" 175lbs and loved the 184cm Mantra. I could go down to a 177cm if Iwas doing more trees than open bowls, but I had no trouble throwing the 184cm around. I am Skiing a Seth Pistol in a 179cm.

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post #46 of 62


Tangentially, I have 179cm Pistols, 189cm Madens, 180cm Explosiv, 178cm Dynastar Skicross 10. My dimensions are above.
  • 179 Pistol is fine in trees and chutes but a bit flappy at speed in groomer and bowls. I think it's egehold is poor. So so rebound.
  • 180 Explosiv is great everywhere but on groomers and hardpack/ice I'd like a bit more sidecut.
  • 189 Maden is great in powder; even in trees and chutes when in deep poweder. Flappy at speed in the groomers similar to Pistol.
  • 178 Skicross 10, after skiing the fatties non-stop for months, always wants to turn on edge but holds a great edge and has superb rebound.
For KT-22 and Headwall Express at Squaw which is hyper steep, loaded with bumps and often hardpack when I'm there, I imagine Mantra 177 might be better than 184.
post #47 of 62
I bought the 184 Mantras based on my 183 Gotamas feel like a perfect length for me, also talked to a couple guys back east who were on the 184's and said they were great in the trees, but they're over 200 lbs, so might not correlate. When I put them base to base the running length on the Mantras is about 5-6 cm longer than the Gotama, so maybe they do ski long, hopefully will have a chance to try them next week.
post #48 of 62
Hi, was lurkin' and wanted you guys to know that you can get freerides from us outdoorstore online for 20 percent off. The sale ends soon. I don't work there but just plunked down some change for layaway. (I live close by) For what, 260? Next year the same exact binding will go for 435. So I say jump on it.

As far as the Mantra beta is concerned I am appreciating it as I may just be trading my "still in the plastic and on layaway" 8800's for the mantra next fall. Whichever one I end up skiing on next year its gonna be my touring pow and corn snow day ski.
post #49 of 62
I'd be the guy from Utah who got the 184's. Skied them the first time today, in about 10" of fresh at Alta. I'm no expert in fat skis, but I was sure happy with them. Thanks for hooking me up guys!

I've skied the last couple seasons mostly on 184 Atomic R:Ex and like them a lot, but on deep days the float is not that great (I'm a heavy guy, 5' 11" and around 200 lbs) and the tips dive easy. Demoed 181 K2 Chiefs on one deep day last month, they felt a little too turny and somewhat soft in cut up snow.

Mounted on the line the balance on the Mantras felt a little more forward than on the Atomics, but the tips are wide enough and after a couple runs the fear of diving over the handlebars was gone. The longish tail with the slight twin tip seems to make them quite forgiving for balance, one could drop on the backseat for a couple turns without getting into trouble.
Sidecut seemed just about right, they straightlined solid but turned easy on tight spots and trees. The slight twin tip was great for sideslipping back and forth in tight spots. Very manageable on groomers but of course likes only big arcs. Not much pop in the turns unless one goes at speeds one shouldn't go on a slope with other people.
Snow got pretty heavy at the end of the day with the warm sun, had no trouble busting through it, skis felt very solid.
A pair weighs an even 7 kilograms mounted with 916s (R:exs with crappy Atomic 412s are 6.4 kg for a pair). On the snow they felt quite light and jump well.

Lengthwise I'm happy with the 184 and a 191 would be great for really deep days - or even better a 190 Gotama. But maybe that's just Alta influence.. Saw a little girl (well woman) today on 177 Mantras, she said they rip well.

Sorry for the long post, I'm still pretty stoked..
post #50 of 62
Thread Starter 
Wow, we now have all three people who bought the Mantra's delivered by FesterSkis (a.k.a. Al's courier) in his TDI Jetta all the way from Maine. Welcome to EpicSki Finski and Westcat, and I hope you'll stick around and we can put together a good review thread. I expect good snow this weekend, and will probably post observations in a Mantra review next week. I have a feeling there will be a lot of Mantra owners out there by this time next year.

So far I agree with Finski that the boot center to ski center mounting point feels like it is forward on the ski. The tips are very easily controlled, but are wide enough to float up, at least in corn, granules and the crap we had for conditions last week. In bumps the relatively narrow tail released easily, and was forgiving if you got in the back seat. For the most part the ski seems to encourage good fore and aft position and feels well balanced. I was even able to put it on high edge angles and carve turns. The ski builds a pretty good platform under the base in a carve and does not wash out. Handles speed well as expected for this length. This ski is not damp at all. You can hear it and feel it. On irregular rutted boilerplate it was like riding a Model A on a dirt road, but it held on ice, chalk and frozen granular pretty well. Did great in softer corn and bombed through deep slushy piles at low elevation.

The soft snow is where I bought this ski to be used, and the story will be told there. Hope you guys will pile on with your thoughts as well.

Ski Nose, I checked on the Fritschi Freerides, and the site shows $335, same as Backcountry and most others.
post #51 of 62
Glad Fester is providing us with great service. I noticed the same thing about the mount when comparing them to my Gots, it's more forward.
post #52 of 62
Originally Posted by Cirquerider
3. Marker Tu 12/14 Free, Rossi Axial Scratch 140, others??. I am currently leaning towards the Marker.
A bit OT, but no Marker bashing in over a week!! I thought this was just tempting fate...
post #53 of 62
Cirque Rider. Call them. Last I checked, their website says 20% off all ski equipment. Maybe the sale ended.

Thanks Finski. Good Review
post #54 of 62
Originally Posted by HarkinBanks
Jim S, the tail on the Mantra is turned up 3/8" at most. So it is a "true" (yeah right) 184.
there is no turned up tail on the Mantra. I have a pr of 177cm with Piston turbo and it feels a bit shorter than the 180cm explosive, but is still great at higher speed.
post #55 of 62
Hey guys I have a 177cm Mantra for sale NEW in the shrink wrap $500.00 + shipping let me know or e-mail me sellnit@aol.com.
post #56 of 62
Originally Posted by sars
there is no turned up tail on the Mantra. I have a pr of 177cm with Piston turbo and it feels a bit shorter than the 180cm explosive, but is still great at higher speed.
I have 184 mantra,( cirquerider make that #4 ) the last 3" is turned up 3/4" of an inch,I also noticed the mounting position is more forward ,If I lay down the mantra next to my explosiv's (180's) and line up the mounting point it seems like theres the same lenth of ski forward to that point,and they put the extra to the tail. oh and why are my explosiv's a few cm's longer than my 6* (175's) what's up with that..?
post #57 of 62
I'm 4' 7" sitting down but 6' 2" standing, 190 lbs, age 41 for a few more weeks, skiing for decades, very hard charging aggressive style.

I skied the Mantra 177 and 184 today in 18" powder and cut up powder, some crust and bumps. FWIW, the Mantra is not a full twin tip in the same style as the Gotama, Pistol, etc.

177 was too squirrelly underfoot for my tastes. Super eay to turn but for hard charging I preferred the 184 which, while only 7cm longer, felt like a totally different ski: charged well, not as turny in powder or chopped up powder as I expected, hooked up better on packed powder than my 180 Explosiv. Tail skied sweeter than the Explosiv but for hard charging I'm sticking with my Explosiv. If I didn't have the Explosiv maybe I'd buy it: the 184cm Mantra is a good ski but today, demo day at Mt Rose, I fell in love with two other skis and was smitten:
  • K2 Seth Vicious 179cm
  • Dynastar Legend Pro 184 or 186 cm
I'll probably trade in my 189cm Made N AK towards this year's Legend Pro. That ski was like the Exlosiv but a bit more turny. I busted through everything like the Explosiv but was just a wee bit more user friendly.

Seth Vicious was less turny than my 179cm Pistol, a bit stiffer, a blast too. I'll get that when it's released this fall or summer.
post #58 of 62
Thread Starter 
Jim, I couldn't agree with you more. The Mantra is the heir apparent to the Explosiv, but there is no reason to replace a perfectly good ski in your quiver with this. I skied today with a friend on the V Explosiv Wizard. The Mantra makes a rounder turn. It is softer in the tip and absorbs the rollers and tree wells slightly better. The 184 is definitely the length for me. I can't imagine skiing these shorter in almost any condition I have experienced, but then again I outweigh you by 15 lbs and have 10 years on you.

Skiing side by side with a friend on the 180 Wizard Explosiv, the similarities in these skis is more apparent than their differences. In untracked we could figure 8 each others turns, and quite frankly, you couldn't tell one track from the other. I was able to take the mantra into tight steep trees; no problem. The Mantra seems to carve rounder turns in powder and soft pack, but can be slid to spoil speed. At what is normally scary higher speed in cut powder, they just asked for more. No stability or diving problems. This ski likes the pilot to have some forward pressure on the boots. Sitting on the tails is a sure way to have them run out from under you and leave you sitting. Tough lesson after skiing on narrow waisted skis.

A Mantra will not increase the terrain or flexiblity of the Explosiv skier. I can think of no compelling reason to replace the legendary Explosiv with a Mantra, unless your skis have become worn, core-shot, or have other problems. For anyone who has does not own the Explosiv, the Mantra is a worthy sucesssor to the Explosiv and versatile alternative to skis like Gotama, Sanouk, and Karma. I highly recommend it.

Since you already have a new Explosiv, I don't think you are well served by looking in any of the Volkl Freeride series. If another ski is in your future, I would seriously consider an AC4 with a narrower (82?) waist and more shape (a.ka. the new G4). Glad you got a chance to ski the the Mantra and posted your comparison of the shorter length. Valuable information.
post #59 of 62
Originally Posted by Cirquerider
Skiing side by side with a friend on the 180 Wizard Explosiv, the similarities in these skis is more apparent than their differences....

A Mantra will not increase the terrain or flexiblity of the Explosiv skier. I can think of no compelling reason to replace the legendary Explosiv with a Mantra, unless your skis have become worn, core-shot, or have other problems...

Thanks for the insight. I recently dumped my 190 Explosiv's, but kept my 180's. I was thinking that the 184 Mantra might be a nice split between the two lengths, but you confirmed what I was thinking...the Mantra and the Explosiv are quite similar. Of course, I'll have to take out a pair of demo's and decide for myself, but I don't think I'll be chasing a pair down this year. Plus, I still have too many fatty's...
  • 180 Wizard Exploders
  • 179 Seth Pistols
  • 183 Gotamas
  • 193 Big Daddys

No need to add to those, huh?

Jim S,

Where did you demo the Vicious and LP? Does the demo shop at Rose have those?
post #60 of 62

Bobo's Mogul Mouse shop in Reno and various manufacturers had their 05 06 line for demo at Mt Rose today free! I was stoked to try the Vicious and others. My boot sole is 315 so if it fits, you can borrow any of my quiver if you hit the Tahoe area.


I agree with you on all points. I am still amazed how differently the 177 and 184 ski: that blew my mind today. Here and the TGR forum people seemed split on which length to get but in my mind they are so different that, if you like 'em, it's not unreasonable to get both lengths!
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