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Another Volkl Mantra thread (input sought: 177 or 184?)

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
Yes, I know - I've done lots of searching here and the reviews and info is excellent. All of my questions have been answered except:

After much research and a couple of demo days (though not on Mantras as I can't seem to find them anywhere convenient), I'm about to pull the trigger on a pair of Mantras. I think I'm looking for the 184cm length, but also wondering about a 177 as there has been some talk here about these two sizes skiing very diferently.

Me: 35yo, 190lbs, 6'2", expert skier (level 8). Had almost 10 years of race training back through the teen years (GS specialty) and was skiing 70+ days of mainly backcountry (sweet bonus to working at Alpine Meadows) through college. I developed a style based on lots of speed and long turns, which I still use today. After that, moved to the islands and didn't touch snow for five years (returned to the B.A. in 2000). I now ski between 5 - 15 days/season (I've found the problem to be too much good surf in winter when compared with too many hours of driving to get to Tahoe from Santa Cruz).

So, although technique is hard-wired and I still ski mainly off-piste (my general feeling is that I'd rather hike 4-5 times/day and be done with it than chair-lap), I'm skiing a little slower and with a little less charge than I used to. And I'm not skiing as often, so versatility is important and some amount of user-friendliness is appreciated (why I won't consider Explosivs). I need a one-ski-quiver and since 2000 have been riding Rossi Bandit XX in a 195 length which were stellar for their time but that time is looong gone (I think they're probably skinnier than anything on the market today).

Have spent some time on midfats and fats and actually like the new Rossi B3 but it also feels, well, mediocre. Like it does everything OK but nothing really exceptionally. It feels none too quick either, and I'm thinking that based on reviews the Mantra will turn a bit quicker (or release in the tails a bit sooner if needed) when the going gets steep and tight. My style and mechanics are based on race fundamentals, which means that while I like skis with some rebound (hence being OK with the B3 but not thrilled), I am not a muscle skier and prefer medium-energy rides that are stiff enough to be smooth at speed but don't require you to always be in a tiny sweet spot and driving. The last ski I really liked but ultimately thought was too much of a noodle when speed increased was the 04/05 Scratch BC.

So, sounds like the Mantra might be a great solution. Back to the length issue: looking at the numbers, the 184cm sounds right, but I'd appreciate some feedback from anyone who has skied both 177 and 184 to confirm that I'm on target here.

Thanks,
Matt
post #2 of 17
You've said that you've read the reviews & comments so I'll keep it short.

I'm 36 yo, 5'10" & 160 pounds. Level 8, maybe 9...I'm not quite sure. I ski 40 days yearly at Vail and have been skiing for a long time.

I bought the 184 and am happy.
post #3 of 17
184
184
184
184
184
184
184
184
184
184
184
184
184
184
184
184
184
184
184
184
184
184
184
184

or

191
post #4 of 17
Based on what you have written, I would definitely go 184... no question.
post #5 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by makakio
I developed a style based on lots of speed and long turns, which I still use today.
1.8.4.

Jeff
post #6 of 17
Thread Starter 
Thanks guys. Done. (phew)
post #7 of 17
191 cm.
post #8 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Highway Star
191 cm.
Hey Matt

+1

If the 184cm is right for you I should have purchased the 177cm. I am 6' 185lbs. 44 y/o level 8. Not one person recommended the 177cm and one or two recommended the 191cm. You are significantly bigger than me. Seems like the 191 would be the ticket.

Mine will be mounted this weekend and on the moutain next week.

Good luck!

<M

BTW I get the surfing thing. I was a shaper for 12 years. I grew up in Palos Verdes moved to Utah and the surf pulled me back. Now I'm headin' back to Utah. It's a kool little cycle. Do you know Steve Coletta? He did some shaping for my company for a while. Very cool guy from SC and a great shaper.
post #9 of 17
Makakio,
The 184 will be perfect for you. I'm 6'3", around 215 and I love how it skied when I was in Tahoe a couple weeks ago. The Mantra sounds perfect for your style of skiing. Hey, where do you live in Santa Cruz? I grew up in Aptos and guarded down near the pier in Soquel.
post #10 of 17
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the input, guys. If you can, give me a heads-up on where to demo the Mantra, please. That would be appreciated (I would ultimately like to try the 184 and 191 before purchasing but based on input, reviews and ties to a Volkl connect I'm feeling pretty good about a straight-out buy in the 184 length if need be).

Question: I'm wondering if Volkl changes anything related to construction, geometry or flex-pattern when going to the 191 length. Some companies over the years have offered a lot of extra 'beef' in the longest-length all-mtn or freeride models and I don't know if that's still a somewhat common practice or not?

As to Coletta: yeah I've known of Steve for a lot of years. His boards look great and some friends enjoy them, but man oh man they all have stories about what a squirrely, unreliable dude he's become (board orders sometime taking 4+ months, etc). I've grown up with Ward Coffey and in 20 years he's made maybe one dud (which was a bit of an experiment when I was going through a 'fat and out of shape' phase anyway). Great boards. I actually live just outside of Santa Cruz in a town called Scotts Valley. I reference the SC thing as most people - and even some Santa Cruz natives - just stare at me and say "where's Scotts Valley?"

I think the cycle you're on is pretty cool. I did the landlock thing when I went to school (and spent my time skiing as I was in the sierra foothills). I wish I were portable enough to go from one to the other or a few years at a time, but for now my wife and I need ocean and we both start to get prickly when we're away from it for more than a couple of weeks. I'm sure you've been there too...

Again, thanks.
post #11 of 17
I'm 6'1" 235lbs, I bought the 191's and love them. The first couple times out I bumped tips together getting used to the fatness. The ski's rock and are better than I thought they would be. They tank through anything and are the funnest ski's I've been on. I've skied on some big pow days on the backside of the resort and I would go nothing less than the 191's. The snow is coming down and another foot or more of pow is going to be awaiting me in the morning...doohhh!
post #12 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by makakio
I actually live just outside of Santa Cruz in a town called Scotts Valley. I reference the SC thing as most people - and even some Santa Cruz natives - just stare at me and say "where's Scotts Valley?"
Scotts Valley. Hell yes, I know where that is! Worked for the parks department in high school and worked on plenty of trail in Ben Lomond. Is Santa's Village still there?

Anyhow, there is a nice selection of Mantra's to demo in the Diamond Demo shop at Squaw. It's up at the Gold Coast. The guy who works there is really cool and know his stuff.
post #13 of 17
Thread Starter 
Great - thanks VA!
post #14 of 17

mantra size

184 for all mountain,if you need another ski for big powder days go with the 190 gotoma.then you will be ready for anything.
post #15 of 17
Personally, I would recommend a Mantra & Sanouk combination. It is my setup.

On the size, go with at least the 184. 184 will be more fun in the trees. Go w/ 191 if you are more in the Estelle, Beaver & High-T to Sherwood mode.
post #16 of 17
If you can, try to demo the Mantra before buying. I have loved all my volkls (Vex, Gots, Karma) but the Mantra didn't do it for me. I think the shape was too much, I don't know.
post #17 of 17
Thread Starter 
Storm: you're giving me away. Good advice though, as bombing those areas are what I do. That said, I know the trees (IB and OB) as well - a couple of them a little more intimately than I would like... :

Thanks to VA I'm hooked up to demo both the 184 and 191. Will report back to close this loop.

And thanks for the lone viewpoint, Descender. Appreciate you risking the flame for your POV.
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