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Mantra Alternative?

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 
The short question: I'm looking some guidance on a ski similar to the Mantra, but a bit less stiff. Edit: I'm looking 90-95ish underfoot.

I've spent a good part of the season demoing skis. I started with the soft end of the spectrum and nothing really got me too excited. On a whim, I tried the Mantra on the weekend at Whistler/Blackcomb. Wow can this ski hold an edge. I had a blast screaming down the Dave Murray and the wide-open bowls, but I had trouble getting the ski too turn as quickly as I would like at slower speeds, especially in the trees and bumps. I assume the Mantra is a bit stiff for my liking. I am trying it again this weekend as when I skied it last weekend it was my 4th straight day on the mountain and 6th out of 7 so I may have just been too darn tired.:

Assuming the Mantra is too stiff, what might some close alternatives be that would still offer the edge hold, but are a bit softer to help out with quicker turning? Watea94, Prophet 90???? I'm a fairly good skier, fairly agressive, but there certainly are much better and more aggressive skiers out there. I average 30-40 days on the hill each season, in the Canadian rocky mountains and at W/B.

Thanks.
post #2 of 26
-fischer watea 94
-nordica enforcer
-dynastar legend pro
-line prophet 90 (or 100)
-salomon x-wing sandstorm

these are the skis that are going to be the most similar to the mantra, with the legend pro being the siffest and the sandstorm the softest (it is a slightly beefed-up version of the gun).
post #3 of 26
Thread Starter 
Thanks lukc. I'm heading to the shops now to try and find a demo or two for the weekend.

Is there much difference between the Prophet 90 and 100 other then the width, i.e. flex?

Legend Pro will be too stiff for my liking. So the list narrows down a bit. I know nothing of the Enforcer.
post #4 of 26
IMO, the Enforcer is fairly close to the Mantra in flex/torsion/shape. The LP in 176 is not stiffer than the Mantra, it is softer and far more manageable. The LP 186 is a different animal. The Watea 94 is much more tractable than the Mantra and should be a good bet. The P-100 is on the softer side and IME serves a different purpose than the Mantra but it's probably worth a spin.

The stiff torsion and stiff overall flex are the very things that give the Mantra it's grip, but also make it a little too mindful for some (me included) I don't think you'll find a ski with all the grip of a Mantra but still easier going. OTH if you are willing to compromise a bit on the grip, there are a lot of good options. Don't forget many of the good skis in the slightly sub 90mm range. There are loads of them.

SJ
post #5 of 26
What about soft bros?
post #6 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by GrooK View Post
What about soft bros?
Do they give you enough support though?
post #7 of 26
Just curious as to the weights of people that find the Mantra stiff. I'm 200# give or take 5 and I don't find them stiff at all.
post #8 of 26
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SierraJim View Post
The stiff torsion and stiff overall flex are the very things that give the Mantra it's grip, but also make it a little too mindful for some (me included) I don't think you'll find a ski with all the grip of a Mantra but still easier going. OTH if you are willing to compromise a bit on the grip, there are a lot of good options. Don't forget many of the good skis in the slightly sub 90mm range. There are loads of them.
SJ
Thanks Jim, you always provide valuable insight. I'm willing to give up some of that great edge hold to get a ski that is more manageable for me at slower speeds. I don't want to need to ski real fast all the time so that I can get the ski to turn. I suppose what I'm looking for is to demo the next ski or two down in stiffness....if there were such a matrix. Sounds like the Legend Pro and Watea94 are worth a demo. Of course if I end up with the LP I will be laughed at by all the Fernie Maggots for being on such a short ski!

SJ mention the Prophet 100 serving a different purpose then the Mantra, but what about the Prophet 90?

Thanks again for all the advise.
post #9 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by CalgarySkier View Post
SJ mention the Prophet 100 serving a different purpose then the Mantra, but what about the Prophet 90?
the whole prophet line is not going to be for uber-charging. for instance, if you look at the line prophet 90/blend/celebrity, you'll notice that they use juuust enough metal to "get the job done," so to speak. you can see the raised area in the top sheet where they placed the metal. i don't know if you can picture this, but it's sort of "scalloped" along the mid-body and forms "swallow tails" that do not extend all the way to the tip or tail. i think this mentality of "just enough" metal will probably reflect how the skis perform (not that i've skied any of the prophets myself). in contrast, the mantra uses two layers of titanal. i bet you noticed THAT when you skied them...
post #10 of 26
Watea 94 is definitely softer than the Mantra. You can demo it from Wild Willy's inside the Pan Pacific Hotel at the base of Blackcomb in Whistler Village.
post #11 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by ski=free View Post
Just curious as to the weights of people that find the Mantra stiff. I'm 200# give or take 5 and I don't find them stiff at all.
i'm 6' and 175 lbs in full gear and i ski the 191 mantra because i like long, gs-style turns. i am an experienced and aggressive skier, but the jury is still out on whether they are too much for me, because i've only been on them a handful of times so far. i definitely notice that i have to stay on top of them and get some speed to really flex them.

i skied them at mt. baldy in so cal the other day (if you've never been, this as close to "ghetto" as skiing can get... chair lifts that look like oil derricks, almost no grooming to speak of, skiing straight into the parking lot, everyone who works there looks like they live in a meth lab and smokes on the job, the "park staff" is a bunch of teenagers running around in home-made sweatshirts, and if it snows really hard, they may not open till noon b/c it's essentially six guys with shovels trying to open the place. but i digress...) and it was about 5 days after a fairly big storm, so it had turned into completely frozen crud that just barely softened through-out the day. aside from the fact that they made me feel ashamed in the small, but frozen bumps, after half a morning of riding on them, i think i summed them up pretty well to my buddies: "these skis are like gambling. if you ski them hard and there's any chance that something can be flattened, then these skis are going to do the job. i try to ride THROUGH a lot of things that i would normally go AROUND on these skis, so they are a pretty safe bet. but if you gamble and you are WRONG when you try to blow through something, then they are going to buck you like CRAZY!"
post #12 of 26
Watea 94 -- you won't be disappointed. I thought the Mantra was OK, but I absolutely love the Watea. It's just a little more well rounded and more fun to ski. While the Watea feels soft, it has a lot of grunt on the snow.
post #13 of 26
I also recommend the Watea. The Mantra is nice, but is heavier and wants to travel in a straight line. The Watea is just as stable, but lighter, a bit more nimble, and seems to have a sweet spot that is larger. If you are looking for versatility, the Watea is a great choice. As a high-speed crudbuster, it comes down to which feel you prefer more.

There are some other great skis that are just under 90mm as well, that may be more versatile (as SJ said above). The Elan 888, Head iM88, and Snoop Dog are some good skis to look at.
post #14 of 26
The AK King Salmon.

I ditched (as in sold) my Mantras and replaced 'em with these.

They rock and they are a steal, too:

http://www.akski-usa.com/products.html
post #15 of 26
CalgarySkier,

I would definitely give the Enforcers a try. Unless I missed it, I did not see your size on the thread, but regardless, I found the Mantras to be a little sluggish in tight turning when I demo'ed them against the Enforcers. I thought the Enforcers turned almost effortlessly and still didn't chatter at speed. Great ski.
post #16 of 26
I was debating between the Mantra and Line Prophet 90's. I chose the Lines, mainly due to price. I skied them both, love them both. Great in everything but bumps (or maybe it's me!).
post #17 of 26
Dookey:

How does the King Salmon hold its edge at speed? It looks like an interesting alternative to the high priced Mantras. Having met you at the gathering, you seem like a fairly big guy (although you're no Michael Barrett , as I am and it's always a concern for me that the ski hold up under my height/weight.
post #18 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by nogophers View Post
I was debating between the Mantra and Line Prophet 90's. I chose the Lines, mainly due to price. I skied them both, love them both. Great in everything but bumps (or maybe it's me!).
I bought the Line Prophet 90s too. I really like them. They are just as hard-charging as the Mantra.
post #19 of 26
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the great feedback.

EastskiR, I stand 5'8.5", just over 170lbs and I am in my early 30s.

Based on the advice here I tried to track down the Watea94 and there are none in Western Canada. Seems the Fischer all-mountain skies aren't that popular here and a few stores I talked with said they have heard great things about the Fischer Misfit, but weren't sure if it was even offered in Canada. Dawgcatcher, can you comment on this?

I also tried to locate the Line Prophets 100s and 90s and they appear to be sold out in Canada.

So, my options seem to being limited by retail distribution...or we will have to make another trip to Whistler or one of the bigger ski areas in the U.S. We would so luv another tip to Tahoe (and stop by Sierra Jim's this time), but that may be too much travel effort so a trip to Colorado may be considered.

In the meantime, I have decided to get back on the Mantra this weekend to see how I like it at Lake Louise. I am trying to find a Gotama in my preferred length to also try. If nothing else ruling these skies out helps narrow down my choices.

Thanks for all the great advice and I'll chat with you all on Monday! Have a great weekend and stay safe.
post #20 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by CalgarySkier View Post
Based on the advice here I tried to track down the Watea94 and there are none in Western Canada...
Try eBay, a brand new pair of Watea 94's sold for $499.99 yesterday. There are more available around $550. I purchased my Mantra's online as there was nothing available in the length i wanted at any of the retail shops in Vancouver. Volkl Canada doesn't have any remaining either.
post #21 of 26
Soft Bros or Line Prophet 90
Lines are awesome skis- carve great like the mantra and are softer for crud
they rip through ice and are great in the powder
I skied them all season and loved them and my friend who skis mantras prefers the lines
i got last year's ski for $299
post #22 of 26
I have some 169cm Nordica Enforcers in almost new condition (skied a couple days but no damage) I am looking to sell for $250 if you are looking for something that short. I split my time between Fernie and Calgary.
post #23 of 26
I'd say the Watea would be great option as would the Mythic Rider. You can go with the longer length without getting the extra stiffness of the 186 LP.
post #24 of 26
Thread Starter 

Decisions, decisions....

This weekend I able to demo the Mantra (177 cms) for the second time and the Gotama (183 cms) for the first time. I much prefered the Mantra over the Gotama. It felt like the Gotama and I were fighting each other most of the day and that I couldn't find the fore/aft position to control the ski while I remainded in-balance. I could live with the Mantra, but my gut tells me it is still too stiff for my liking so I am at the point of deciding 1) between 100mm and 90mm underfoot and 2) @100mm Line Prophet 100 or K2 Seth or @90mm Line Prophet 90 or Fischer Watea94. This purchase will augment my Rossi B3 for early season or when it hasn't snowed in quite some time, but I suspect if I go the route of 90mm my B3s might not see much snow.

Decisions, decisions....
post #25 of 26
I really like the Mantra, I personally ski the Prior originals, basically the same as the Mantra. I like a stiff ski here in Whistler, helps plough through the crud we can get.
If you want something a bit softer, I would recommend you try the HEAD Mojo 90, a really fun ski, with enough float to still be awesome in the powder. It has a generous sidecut which helps with quick turns.
post #26 of 26
Rossignol B94

122-94-112 26 m turning radius.
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