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Mantra vs. AC4

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
I've read through many of the threads discussing both the Mantra and the AC4. However, I'm still having a hard time making a decision on which ski I would like most and I'm not in a position to demo either before I make my purchase. My ski profile looks like this: I'm 5'8''; 155 lbs.; I've been skiing for 29 years; I would rate myself an expert or a 9 out of 10, spent my first 10 years skiing in Vermont on snow I wouldn't wish on anyone; live in the Bay Area and have been skiing Tahoe for the last 15 years; when it dumps or the snow's in decent shape, I typically stay off-piste (woods, bowls, hiking, small cliffs, shoots, etc.) - as many people do, I live for pow; if the snow is hard or cold and old, I ski for speed on groomers. If the run is fast, I make GS turns. If it's slower, I make a lot of tight turns. Other than speed skiing, I typically make a lot of tight turns no matter where I'm skiing. Any advice you can provide would be greatly appreciated. Also, what size ski (I was thinking 170) and binding type would you recommend? Thanks in advance
post #2 of 20
I struggled with the same issue and came to only one reasonable answer- I bought both!
post #3 of 20
Tahoe + Expert Skier + "live for pow" = Mantra

No brainer.

Or, get the Gotama and the AC4.
post #4 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by descender
Tahoe + Expert Skier + "live for pow" = Mantra

No brainer.

Or, get the Gotama and the AC4.
+ 1
post #5 of 20
Given your description, the best decision sounds like the Mantra to me! You probably have a pretty good carving ski given your background.

My current quiver:
Six Star 168 (Great carving ski)
AC4 170 (Fabulous all around)
Gotama 176 (Good, best in deep snow)
Me: 48, level 8, 40 days a year, 5'8", 170,
New for Xmas--I think the mantra 177?
I am in a Volkl rut!
post #6 of 20
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the input so far. Please keep the opinions coming. Much appreciated.
post #7 of 20
Why not look at the Karma? It kinda fits right in between the two you are thinking of.
post #8 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by descender
Tahoe + Expert Skier + "live for pow" = Mantra

No brainer.

Or, get the Gotama and the AC4.
Agreed. Even better yet, try to find a deal on a pair of Exploders. I am still not convinced that the Mantra is an improvement. I picked up a pair of new Explosiv's at the end of the season for $350. Also, depending upon the size, you can probably find a pair of AX4 for a very reasonable price. No doubt about it, I would rather have Explosivs AND AX4s, as opposed to Mantras.
post #9 of 20
Welcome Zanskar, what areas do you mostly ski, and do you have a ski from last season? I have the Mantra and Supersport 6 Star, so I have all conditions covered pretty well. I started skiing the Mantra in March, so I got quite a bit of experience on them last season. There was no surface that was unskiable with the Mantra, but I freely admit, ice, boilerplate and hard moguls are sketchy and noisy on that ski. It would be good to have a hard conditions fall-back. For the range of powder and crud conditions we get here, its hard to imagine anything working better. Last year we would get a couple foot dump that got skied, then additional snow would fall on that soft layer. The Mantra would just eat that up, as well as untracked. I really hope you will get the Mantra, I think you will be happier with it overall than with the AC4. The only thing is, you might want to buy a used hard conditions ski to complement the Mantra if you can find a good deal.
post #10 of 20
The answer is "It depends."

Will this be your one-and-only ski or an addition to your quiver?

If it's your one-and-only, do-all ski; are you prepared to live with the hard snow limitations - whatever they may be - of the Mantra. Or, are you prepared to have less float in the deep stuff, but better hard snow performance if you buy the AC4.

If this new ski is supplementing your collection, where is the gap?

If you prefer something wider in general, the best advice in this thread so far is "get the Gotama and the AC4."

And you're looking for 170s or 177s, I have some. Send me a PM.
post #11 of 20
177cm mantra
post #12 of 20
Thread Starter 
Again, thanks for the input and the welcome from Cirquerider.

The only skies I currently have are Vertigo G30 188's from 2000 which need repairing due to the tails delaminating / edges popping out. As for where I ski: Alpine; Squaw; Kirkwood; Northstar (backside); Bear Valley. Once a year I'll take a trip to Utah, Colorado, or BC for a week. As I said in my original post, I ski groomers (speed is the focus) when the snow is crappy everywhere else. But, when the snow is in decent shape, I'm typically off-piste looking for the steep and tight, the trees, or the stash. I make a lot of turns. Hopefully that helps. So, if I were to get one ski, would the Mantra be the ski to get compared to the AC4?
post #13 of 20
For a quiver of one, I would ski the AC4. Last year, I skied the AX4 in Utah, as my everyday ski. Sometimes, I wished that I had Explosivs or Gotamas, but 83mm underfoot is plenty. I am not saying that the mantra is not a great ski; no doubt, it is. I am saying that you are better served with the mantra and a carving ski, or the AC4 alone.
post #14 of 20
Thread Starter 
Again, thanks for the input so far.

If I were to get two sets of skies. Should I get the

Gotamo and AC4

or

Mantra and Allstar
post #15 of 20
Buy a pair of year or two old unmounted Volkl GS race skis for cheap on ebay for hard snow charging. Then you can get the Gotama for soft snow.
post #16 of 20
The Mantra is just so much fun. Trees, steeps, powder, crud, bumps, groomed. Its just too much fun to pass on in the Sierra where you ski. I could imagine using only this ski, and so thats what I recommend. You can always judge whether the addition of another ski fits your needs later. Every year we have a spell of freeze - thaw with no fresh snow for a couple weeks. That is when you are going to second guess this. The incremental difference between the AC4 and Mantra during those conditions does not make up for the big edge Mantra has when the snow is really hammering the Sierra. Thats my opinion, your results may vary.
post #17 of 20
Thread Starter 
O.K. I'm going for the Mantra, but If I get a second ski for the harder conditions, should I get this year's Allstar or Superspeed?
post #18 of 20
Do you like to go straighter and faster, or hang on for dear life RR tracks?
post #19 of 20
Thread Starter 
Fast GS turns or Fast, Fast slalom turns. Straight and fast, I'd end up in the parking lot. It seems that I'll get more versatility out of the Allstars.

So unless anyone thinks otherwise, I'm going to make my decision.

If I go for...

One ski: AC4's

Two skies: Mantra and Allstar

Any input?
post #20 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zanskar
Fast GS turns or Fast, Fast slalom turns. Straight and fast, I'd end up in the parking lot. It seems that I'll get more versatility out of the Allstars.

So unless anyone thinks otherwise, I'm going to make my decision.

If I go for...

One ski: AC4's

Two skies: Mantra and Allstar

Any input?
If you can afford both the Mantra and the Allstar, why settle for having only one pair? I know I wouldn't. If God intended for us to have one ski quivers, there wouldn't be variable snow conditions.
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