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Volkl Mantras and bindings

post #1 of 63
Thread Starter 
Hi there,

I'm about to close the deal on some 184cm Volkl Mantras and I'm having a dillema with respect to the bindings. Some background; I'm 6'1", 200 lbs, very aggressive skier, mostly off-piste western Canada.

First question: I've heard and read a lot about binding mounting position on the Mantras. Both Volkl reps I emailed (a canadian rep and another international rep) were reluctant to give advice and said somethign to the effect of "we put the mounting line there because it's the most versatile". Most comments I've heard (including the guy at untracked.com where I will buy them) say to mount 1.5 cm back of the line. I was hoping some fellow skiers who have used the skis could comment on their experiences with where they mounted the bindings? Perhaps to make it easier for comparison purposes; I have been using Pocket Rockets for the past 4 years, mounted on the recommended line, and I have liked the way they ski....however I never tried them with a further back mounting position.


Second question: I usually use Salomon s914 bindings and like to run a DIN of 12. I know it's better to not have a DIN set so close to the max so I would like to get a higher DIN binding. I'm considering the s916 and have heard that it is a far superior binding to the s914, not just due to the higher DIN but the overall construction and reliability as well. The other binding I'm considering is the Rossi Axial 140 Ti Pro. I know it only has a 14 DIN but I have heard that it's not necessary to set the DIN as high on these bindings? Any comments or recommendations on either of these bindings and their use on Mantras will be greatly appreciated.

Thanks

Mike
post #2 of 63
Mike,

Put the skis together (Base to Base) Clamp them and then mark the running surface
(where they touch fore and aft). Find the center point and mark.
Then find where the ball of your foot sits in your boot, mark on the boot.
Set the bootcenter line (not your ball of foot) on the factory mount mark.
See where your ball of foot mark is in relation to your running surface center point.
If it is behind already, maybe use the factory mark for mounting.
If it is in front, adjust back and see how that relates to factory binding mark.
Don't get crazy. Perhaps another consideration is how much forward lean
you get with your boot/binding combo.
post #3 of 63
both points work fine. at the line for a versitle wide ski, 1.5 back for a sick powder board
post #4 of 63
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the advice so far. Does anyone out there have any first hand experience with these skis and/or bindings?
post #5 of 63
everyone at Volkl is mounting theirs 1.5cm back and I am, too, to make it float better in powder

when I demo'd it last season, I also felt the factory mark was too far forward, so it's a no brainer for me

with your high DIN settings, a Solly 916 would be perfect

I have both 916's and all metal Rossi race bindings (p15) and I'm not sure which I'll put on my Mantras yet, but either is a great choice

the 140 is also a fine binding and you can set your DIN levels lower with Looks but I like all metal bindings and 140's have a plastic toe which can break if you bang your boots on it hard to clean off the snow on the bottoms (very rare, but it has happened)
post #6 of 63
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the advice Squawman. Is the Volkl line actually that far forward? I have my K2 Made'n Aks mounted on the line and if anything they feel almost too far back...great for powder though. Do you know how the mantra line would compare to the Maden or Pocket Rocket position....just so I have something to compare to.
post #7 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by screamrider
Thanks for the advice Squawman. Is the Volkl line actually that far forward? I have my K2 Made'n Aks mounted on the line and if anything they feel almost too far back...great for powder though. Do you know how the mantra line would compare to the Maden or Pocket Rocket position....just so I have something to compare to.

every ski company is different, so I can't help you out with the comparison because I don't have those other skis

just go back 1cm instead of 1.5 and you'll be fine if you're worried

(for what it's worth, I demo'd the Mantra with bindings on the factory mark and it never felt unstable at all, it's just that in powder, it would ski better a little farther back)
post #8 of 63
Why aren't you getting 191's?

Kevin
post #9 of 63
I know this will be considered by some to be "sacrilegious" to do this to a Mantra, but you might consider throwing a light weight plate or a binding that allows fore/aft adjustment without re-drilling. VIST makes some nice light weight thin plates that don't change the normal characteristics of the ski all that much. Mount the plate once then move the bindings around without re-drilling if your first guess is horribly wrong. Also consider a Tyrolia Railflex binding.

I have a strong opinion that the fore/aft position has critical importance on the performance of a ski and no one else's personal experience on binding mount positions really has any bearing for you since everyone has a different body stature and skiing technique. It's nice to be able to "play" with the mount position without having to re-drill.
post #10 of 63
I think the 1.5cm back on the 184 will make it ski more like the old explosiv. Mounting on the line brings the mount point closer to most other skis (K2, Salomon). Volkl has always mounted farther back than these other manufacturers. If you don't want to think about mount point, do the 191 and mount on the line...
post #11 of 63
why would you get the 191?
post #12 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by skifordad
why would you get the 191?
Because he's 200 lb and agressive.
post #13 of 63
cirquerider is 200 lbs and aggressive, skiing tahoe region and he LOVES his 184's.
post #14 of 63
Thread Starter 
Main reason I'm not getting the 191's is that I already have some 189 K2 Made'N Aks with Fritschi Freerides on them. I figured the 184 Mantra would be a better all around ride than the 191.....perhaps I'm mistaken though?
post #15 of 63
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by milkman
I think the 1.5cm back on the 184 will make it ski more like the old explosiv. Mounting on the line brings the mount point closer to most other skis (K2, Salomon). Volkl has always mounted farther back than these other manufacturers. If you don't want to think about mount point, do the 191 and mount on the line...
I was told by the guy at untracked.com that the Mantra line is like mounting 3 cm forward on a K2 pistol or Maden? Can anyone confirm this?
post #16 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by screamrider
Main reason I'm not getting the 191's is that I already have some 189 K2 Made'N Aks with Fritschi Freerides on them. I figured the 184 Mantra would be a better all around ride than the 191.....perhaps I'm mistaken though?
Hummm, tough call. I'm 6'1", and 180 lb....I was considering the 191cm for all around....in the northeast. But I'm going with the Head IM88 in 186cm, a bit more practical. Though I haven't skied it, the 184 felt pretty light in heft, and lost a little running length (compared to a square tail) due to the small tail kick. I usually don't feel comfortable with a 180-185 length ski all around unless it's heavy and/or has a heavy binding plate on it. Thus I was more interested in the 191. I would need to demo...

Kevin
post #17 of 63
John J, I tried your method. My skis are mounted boot center to manufactuer marked ski center. The ball of my foot in the Garmonts ended up about 1.5 cm back of running surface center. Interesting.

Every time this mounting position has come up, I repeat that I did not experience tip dive in deep conditions, and was able to really power the tips. The Mantra gives a big 130 mm running surface at the tip, and with the 94 waist and 113 tail it planes up pretty well. The only time I sensed going over the handlebars was comming into a chest deep drift fast and forward. OTOH, I was used to using 68 mm waist skis in powder, so to me the wider ski feels pretty amazing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by John J
Mike,

Put the skis together (Base to Base) Clamp them and then mark the running surface
(where they touch fore and aft). Find the center point and mark.
Then find where the ball of your foot sits in your boot, mark on the boot.
Set the bootcenter line (not your ball of foot) on the factory mount mark.
See where your ball of foot mark is in relation to your running surface center point.
If it is behind already, maybe use the factory mark for mounting.
If it is in front, adjust back and see how that relates to factory binding mark.
Don't get crazy. Perhaps another consideration is how much forward lean
you get with your boot/binding combo.
post #18 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by Highway Star
Hummm, tough call. I'm 6'1", and 180 lb....I was considering the 191cm for all around....in the northeast. But I'm going with the Head IM88 in 186cm, a bit more practical. Though I haven't skied it, the 184 felt pretty light in heft, and lost a little running length (compared to a square tail) due to the small tail kick. I usually don't feel comfortable with a 180-185 length ski all around unless it's heavy and/or has a heavy binding plate on it. Thus I was more interested in the 191. I would need to demo...

Kevin
The 184cm is plenty. Do not buy the 191cm!!! It is a big ski.
post #19 of 63
CR,
What size boot do you wear?
Pretty upright stance through the boot/binding combo?
post #20 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by screamrider
I was told by the guy at untracked.com that the Mantra line is like mounting 3 cm forward on a K2 pistol or Maden? Can anyone confirm this?
All I know is that the Explosiv mount point was farther back than a lot of other skis. I'd assume the new Mantra mount point (1 or 2cm forward of Explosiv) would be more in line with most other manufacturers...Guess we need someone with both skis (pistol/maden and mantra) to chime in...

PS- I'm 6ft 165 lbs and bought the 191 (still waiting for it to arrive). I found the 190 explosiv easy to handle though....
post #21 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by John J
CR,
What size boot do you wear?
Pretty upright stance through the boot/binding combo?
John 28.5 (327 mm) and use a 8mm ramp in the heel, usually lock the cuff at 25 degrees, but it has a 20 degree lock. I'm still working out what is best for me. The upright stance is preferable to me off piste. I can pressure the front of the boots without going over the handlebars if I get in deep or hit a roller. So its balanced. On more groomed slopes, I prefer using my alpine boots and a much stiffer, locked in setup. I tend to spend my days looking for the spot no one else has been, so the setup works for me. On days when I plan to ski groomers or conditions have setup, I grab the 6 stars and Technicas.
post #22 of 63
CR on the boot, is that mondo or actual sole length?
I guess i was thinking smaller foot puts the running l.c.
forward. With me and a 321mm sole length, running
l.c on ball of foot puts me about .8cm behind Volkl mark.
post #23 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by skifordad
The 184cm is plenty. Do not buy the 191cm!!! It is a big ski.
Maybe to you, but the 184 seems pretty small and toy-like to me.
post #24 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by Highway Star
Hummm, tough call. I'm 6'1", and 180 lb....I was considering the 191cm for all around....in the northeast. But I'm going with the Head IM88 in 186cm, a bit more practical. Though I haven't skied it, the 184 felt pretty light in heft, and lost a little running length (compared to a square tail) due to the small tail kick. I usually don't feel comfortable with a 180-185 length ski all around unless it's heavy and/or has a heavy binding plate on it. Thus I was more interested in the 191. I would need to demo...

Kevin
Just curious what you see as advantageous in a heavier ski? I agree, you would benefit from a demo.
post #25 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cirquerider
Just curious what you see as advantageous in a heavier ski? I agree, you would benefit from a demo.
Have you ever skied powder before? Crud? :
post #26 of 63
This bait stinks.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Highway Star
Have you ever skied powder before? Crud? :
Quote:
Originally Posted by Highway Star
I've owned 4 pairs of salomons over the years and demoed probably a half dozen. The ones I owned:

'96 Prolink 3S, Pr7 (197 cm). Raced on it, and really liked it for EC freeskiing and bumps, and jumped on it plenty. It had alot of sidecut for it's day. I thought it was plenty stable at speed too, had some pop, with some livelyness to it, but somewhat damp. Had a solid wood core, no metal. Still felt great to me after 50+ days. It's too bad that they don't build them like this anymore.

Original 1080's, 177 cm. Ok, but too light and whippy. Feels like a intermediate ski. Still have them, with like 10 days use on them.

X-Screams, 195 cm. From a couple years back. Felt great when new. Some livelyness but damp, soft, but decent pop. Pretty done after about 20-30 days, feel had degraded, as had pop.

Xtra Hots, 185 cm. Really liked them at a demo, and got a deal on them from a bro. They are much, much more beefy than the x-screams. Heavy, lots of glass in there, don't know if there is metal or wood inside, though I know there is foam where the pilot system goes on (transverse bolts). The metal plates for the pilot sytem work pretty well, damping/beefing the ski, works way better than the old pilot crap that I hated. I feel like they have lost some of their pop since new, but they are not bad. We'll see. If you're a gaper, you can ski them and they won't kick you ass. However, if you really get on them and crank some hard, deep GS carves, they come alive and are quite solid.
So where do you get off advising people on what Volkl and length to buy? Where is the wide ski experience? Eastern skier?
post #27 of 63
cirquerider has some wicked pictures of himself shredding the heck out of some wicked pow and crud. So pahk yoh cah on that.
post #28 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cirquerider
This bait stinks.




So where do you get off advising people on what Volkl and length to buy? Where is the wide ski experience? Eastern skier?
I've owned volkls since 1994. I currently own 3 pair. I know an ex product manager. I don't particularly like them.

I live and ski in the northeast. My quiver has powder skis.

183 Rossi axioms (6 years old now)
195 K2 Launchers (touring)
201 Stockli Asteroids (debatebly not a powder ski, more of a big speed in crappy snow ski)

I bet I can rip pow and big lines a hell of alot better than you can ski ice....lol.
post #29 of 63
If you think for one minute I am trading pow for ice, you are out of your mind.

BTW, I started skiing in Ohio in the 60s and, college in Utah, moved to Colorado moved west to CA in 1990. I do know ice. But would prefer to forget. I wish you as many powder days as I have seen.
post #30 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by screamrider
First question: I've heard and read a lot about binding mounting position on the Mantras. Both Volkl reps I emailed (a canadian rep and another international rep) were reluctant to give advice and said somethign to the effect of "we put the mounting line there because it's the most versatile". Most comments I've heard (including the guy at untracked.com where I will buy them) say to mount 1.5 cm back of the line.
Hi all...a couple people here who visit TGR occaisonally may recognize my handle. I sometimes lurk, and seldom post, but Volkl pays my paycheck so hopefully the few posts I do file are helpful in some small way.

I've been reading the increasing dialogue about the Mantra mounting point, and, frankly, I think we're beginning to over analyze. Here's the deal: the factory mounting point on the Mantra is correct. This is where the ski was mounted for the SKI/SKIING tests, where the Mantra did well. I know the mag tests generate some skepticisim around here, but the point is that notable big MT skiers - Davenport, Kreitler, Moats - were all testers that day and liked the Mantra mounted in the factory position.

However, some customers have noticed that the factory mark on the Mantra is ahead of that on a similar sized pair of Explosivs, and have asked us to explain. The Mantra mark was determined taking maximum versatility, including carving performance, into account. If your intended use for the ski is pow, pow, and more pow, then there may be a stability benefit in mounting 1.5cm aft of the mark. This is nothing new and specific to the Mantra - powder skiers have been experiementing with rear mounting positions for years.

Thanks for the interest in the ski.
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