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Volkl Karma or Mantra - and what size?

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
I am a 6'2", 210#, 40 year old male. Only been skiing for about 4 years, since we moved to CO, but am fairly athletic (college LB back in the day). To date, I've primarily enjoyed skiing the steep groomed, fast (downhill style). Primarily ski in Steamboat, CO. I love to ski, though I don't claim to be good at it.

I currently ski the 2004/05 Volkl 7 24 Pro in 184. I love these skis for how I use them. The problem - I am beginning to tire of the straight down approach and am wanting to hit the trees (powder, crud) and bumps. These skis are just too long for me in these conditions, probably because I am just not accomplished enough (yet). The tips get away from me in the powder and I just can't turn them fast enough on the bumps or in the trees.

I demo'd the Karma in 169 this past week and loved how they performed on the powder/crud/bumps. I had no problems at all with them on any of the black runs. There were some speed issues when I was on the flatter stuff towards the bottom of the hill, but overall to me they held up great.

Question 1 - I have only skied the Karma, but for the conditions I mentioned, which do you think would be the better ski for me between the Karma and the Mantra? Keep in mind I do have the 7 24 Pro in 184 to complement and use for the packed/groomed conditions.

Question 2 - Considering my 7 24 Pro in 184 are too long for me and the 169s worked pretty well, should I just go with that or should I go up one size and get the 177s? I don't think I'll be able to get back to the slopes again this year but would like to get one soon, anyway.

Thanks in advance for your help.
post #2 of 5
I've not skied the Karma, but reports are that it is quite similar to the 724 PRO (which I used to have in my quiver, but the tails delaminated and Volkl replace it with an AC4). If that truly is the case, then I'd stay away from the Karma.

I have the Mantra in 184. It is a hell of a ski, but it sounds like you are looking for something a bit more turny.

I just received the AC4 and skied it the first time yesterday. Someone here described it as a slalom ski for the trees, and I'd agree. It is amazingly fast edge to edge for a ski that is 84(or something like that) underfoot. I have it in a 177, and think it is a good compliment to my Mantra's (184) and 5 stars (167).

post #3 of 5
I don't see much similarity between the Karma and the 724 Pro. I think the Karma is the best bump ski in Volkls line, and at least here on the EC, a great tree ski (I think your idea of tree skiing out there is a little different from ours). I'd say go for the 177 for sure. 185 wouldn't be a bd choice either, but if you liked the 169, I'm sure you'll be fine with the 177. I amd 6' 200 lbs, and the 185 was a little big for me.
post #4 of 5
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the reponses, guys. Please keep 'em coming.
post #5 of 5
I am real happy with my Karmas as all-mountain bomber/assault skis in soft snow. I'm 6-1 225lb and am very comfortable on 185cm Karmas. Can't imagine going shorter than 177cm in your height/weight range (even that may be too short). 169cm seems like they would crap out on you at higher speeds or in steep make-or-break terrain. Since these are twin tips, they are really 5-7cm shorter than a regular ski in the same length. I am sure you had fun on 169cm but I don't see that as realistic. Fatter soft-snow twin tips like the Karma are meant to be skied longer if you use them as all-mountain skis.
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