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Mantra Demand explanation

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 
Okay, so I own a pair of '05 Mantras in 177. I've been re-thinking my length and wanted to try a pair of 184s this season just for ducks (yeah, I know, I should have tried the 184 last year before I bought the 177, but I got so excited about purchasing gear that I forgot the basic tenents of demoing).

At any rate, I was asking around at some of the resorts and shops to see who had what skis for demo (I would like to demo the 185 Karma, 184 Mantra and a 178 and 185 Scratch BC).

I got an interesting email back from Heavenly's shop that stated:

"We do not have any of those skis available for demo. Volkl is sold out for the year on both Mantras and Karmas. They are running out in stores quickly. We have 3 177 Karmas @ $589 and 6 177 Mantras @$669 left at Heavenly and about the same between all 6 of our Any Mountain stores in the Bay Area. No 185's left at all. If you wait to try a pair you'll probably miss the boat this year."

My question is this: 1. since both the Karma and Mantra were so popular last year, why didn't Volkl beef up production?

2. I don't think I can ever recall a season where a model of ski was sold out before the snow even began to fall (even though Heavenly and a few others are open in Tahoe, I don't consider the season to have really started since they're only running one lift and have less than 5 runs open) let alone not having the ski available for demo because it's already sold out.

Are more people skiing? Or are more people buying hyped models without having demoed them first?

What's the deal?

For example, I got both my Karmas and Mantras last season in late February. And the stores I got them from had ample supplies of all sizes even then.
post #2 of 26
One of the main local shops here is Not mounting up Mantras for demo. They say they'll sell out by Christmas anyway. I think this is common.
post #3 of 26
Thread Starter 
That's what I'm gathering, which I find strange.

I was demoing Mantras well into February last season.

It would stand to reason if it was such a hot item, that they would rise to the demand, would it not (although I did flunk Stats three times in college, so what do I really know?)

I've found that most of the shops here are low, but a few of the smaller, out of the way ones still have at least 1 of each size in stock.
post #4 of 26
I have a pair of Mantras in 184. I will sell them to you for $2500
post #5 of 26
Thread Starter 
I'll pass.

But thanks for thinking of me.
post #6 of 26
Translation: No, we don't think we need to do any demos on these skis; they will sell themselves. You had better buy one from us right now for top dollar. I would pass on it, but then again I've got an all-mountain ski now.
post #7 of 26

partial info...

Spence - I dunno the answer to your question, but the prior posts seem pretty dead on to me. DemoSport in San Rafael is probably going to demo the Mantras (because they have enough of them), but probably only in the 177. It seems that they have enough stock of 177s and enough demand to demo the 177 (i.e. keep it in demo rotation for 1-2 years & then sell), but probably not the 184. One probably is ~185 lbs. or more to fully appreciate the 184s, IMO.

If you're looking at moving your 177s locally, let me know; I only weigh ~172...
post #8 of 26

supply v demand

It aint like it used to be...for any manufacturers.

Volkl, like the other mfgs, takes orders. Then they build the ski needed to fill the orders. Plus a few more.

No one want unsold product clogging up their balance sheet.
Dealers buy small amounts for similar reasons.

Ever wonder why Atomic M:EX's from 2004 are still available in retail? Or why SAC had 'em for $217 last year?

Bingo!!! no one is taking a chance w/ fungible product if they don't need to.

Sierra Jim can expound on this subject.
post #9 of 26
Thread Starter 
I hear ya Got (and damn I'm bummed I missed the $217 on '04 M:EX...though I have found some new for $375 w/ bindings).

I guess it just suprises me since Volkl KNOWS they have a big seller with the Mantras (they sold out their run last season by end of February in most states). That they are already sold out in November proves that the ski is in high demand (unless folks are buying 'em up to re-sell on eBay).

In the long run, it really doesn't matter. Sure, I would have liked to have demoed a 184 just to ease my mind in regards to having bought the "right" size for me. But if I can't it just means that I'll end up on a 185 of some other brand and Volkl will have lost a potential sale.

Then again, missing out on 1 potential sale in relation to all the skis they've sold so far, is small potatoes.

Dino, I may swap my 177s into an AT rig, provided I am able to somehow test a pair of 184s or get on the 185 Scratchs.

post #10 of 26
By having only a limited number available, it makes them more of a hot item and keeps them in demand from year to year. If you find a pair, it makes you feel you need to get them right away because they won't be there the next time, and you won't be able to find them anywhere else.

It's probably better for them to have exact certainty ofhow many pair they'll sell, rather than dumping all of the extras on SAC.
post #11 of 26
Thread Starter 
then the question becomes do they sit around and say "We sold X amount last year and it was one of the Top rated skis in all the magazines. That means all the people who bought them last year will tell at least 1 friend about how awesome the skis are so we're guaranteed to sell the same amount?" or do they factor in that some folks will buy another pair because they loved the last pair so much?

again, i'm a speech comm major working as an internet journalist, so i don't concern myself with marketing, but it just seems crazy that the Mantra will more or less be sold out before the season has legitimately begun.

If all the Mantras are sold before January, imagine how many more they could have sold if they'd made more.

Of course I'm just sour graping because I won't be able to ride a pair of 184's unless I mug some kid on the slopes or convince StormDay, Cirquerider or one of the other cats on Epic to loan me theirs!
post #12 of 26

Unfortunately or fortunately (depending upon your perspective), this is the new market reality. Volkl is not the only company in this situation, as many models from many brands are are simply N/A at this point. I can tell you that some K2's, Dynastars, Atomics, and Nordicas are also sold out. There are probably others as well, these are just some that have not been able to accomodate re-orders for me on key models in the last couple of weeks.

The years and years of vast over-production may be coming to a close. This of course means less stuff available to the dealers and therefore less available to sell throughout the spring and later. There will always be be product out there, but the top 5% "cool" models are basically already gone or close enough that it doesn't matter.

This could bode well for an increased market for the early releases of new '08 stuff that will be coming in late December-early January.

post #13 of 26
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the inside perspective SJ.

Call me clueless, but I don't recall next year's models ever arriving so early. It almost seems as if the ski market is beginning to mirror the car market where they start selling off this year's models at the beginning of the year and start pushing next year's models at Christmas, eh?

I may just scrap any notions of trying/buying Karmas and Mantras one size up and go for a pair of Sick Birds in a 185...of course that will all depend on whether or not I can find a place that will let me demo 178 and 185 Scratch BCs.

Anyway, thanks for the insight. I still think it's crazy, but also realize that the bottomline for a ski company is to sell skis and not end up with a ton of leftovers that they have to "blem" and sell way below cost.
post #14 of 26
I had a deal worked out with Volkl/Technica Canada until they realized there were no Mantra/Gotamas left in Canada.
As for the new ski line they come out after the Vegas show. I will be on 07-08 demos in January.
post #15 of 26
Since you apparently shopped at Heavenly Sports you should ask them about their "performance guarantee" I am pretty sure that all the store owned by their parent company give buyers 3 days on snow (not from date of purchase) to ski their purchase and if unhappy they will exchange for another pair (no refund) even after being drilled and skied. I know all of the their stores in Colorado offer that guarantee.
post #16 of 26

I know it seems odd but the early releases generally are not extensive. There will be some '08's out by mid Jan this year, but so far, it doesn't look like a lot. Many manufacturers don't (or can't) do it at all. Those that do, realize that it is sometimes not a problem to build say 200-300 pr. of a couple of key models (beyond what is needed for intro needs). This can create some early hype about their stuff and can sometimes generate the early demand the following fall.

Sometimes early intros work as intended, sometimes not. This year, with some hot models selling out early, the customer that has waited for whatever reason, won't necessarily get shut out from getting a cool ski.

It just may not be the one they thought they wanted earler.......

post #17 of 26
While standing in the T-day holiday lift line a couple of days ago, I ended up next to a young man with brand new Mantras. They looked big and beautiful next to my wimpy PR's. Although I ski just fine on my light skis, I felt real ski envy. I asked him if he had a ski cable lock (no). Told him I would steal them myself if he didn't lock them down... just kidding.

While there are certainly more wide skis out now than two years ago, I fear that I won't be able to buy at summer prices like I used to. I don't plan on getting new skis anytime soon though. Perhaps by then I will be making my own.. ha ha... ( see: http://skibuilders.com/ )
post #18 of 26


Dookey - I have 184 05/06 Mantras in perfect condition I would trade you for your 177s. Your box is full BTW. Let me know.
post #19 of 26
It sounds like the Sony PS3 theory - create extra demand by releasing much less product than potential buyers.
post #20 of 26
Originally Posted by dookey67 View Post
...I may just scrap any notions of trying/buying Karmas and Mantras one size up and go for a pair of Sick Birds in a 185...of course that will all depend on whether or not I can find a place that will let me demo 178 and 185 Scratch BCs...
IMO, slick choice for this season.
post #21 of 26
These skis are 100% awesome IMHO.

Volkl has really found a great mix of top performance and top style. These skis LOOK like they kick ass. The aesthetics of consumer goods should not be ignored and I really see the Mantra and Karma as the ipod of the slopes.

Older designs which rely heavily on "racing stripes" and "alphanumeric badging" just look lame by comparison.
post #22 of 26
Id be interested in an 05/06 Mantra in a 177...

If anyone is looking to dump off a pair.
post #23 of 26
Thread Starter 
wow, the Mantraphiles are coming out of the snow drifts, aren't they?

I'll keep the 177 for 184 swap in mind (btw, are yours mounted and if so, with what?)

Mine are mounted on the factory line with Piston 1300s.
post #24 of 26


they are mounted on the factory line with salomon 912s fit to a 315mm bootsole. they have been drilled one other time for med. naxos, i think they were n21s. I dont know where they were mounted relative to the factory line.
post #25 of 26
Thread Starter 
think i'll pass since they've already been drilled 2x and I'd have to drill 'em a third.
post #26 of 26
quite a few Mantra 184s on ebay
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