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Demo report: MythicRider (and Volkl Mantra); is this my next ski?

post #1 of 28
Thread Starter 
My info: 37y/o male, 6 ft, 185lb, expert level skier with a mixture of old and new school technique. I prefer light touch, usually try to ski off-trail, enjoy skiing steeps, some moguls. I do not do jumps and do not go at Mach3 speeds.
Current skis: Dynastar Legend 8000 in 178 for 90% of days and Rossi B4 185 for real powder days
Boots: Nordica HotRod
Conditions: overcast skies, no new snow for a few days. Off-piste: half-frozen cruddy snow with patches of soft packed powder here and there. Piste: groomed hard snow. and hard skier-made bumps.

Ski demoed: Dynastar Mythic Rider 178, and Volkl Mantra 177 (?)

OK, the day was not looking too great, and the mountain was not crowded, so it was a good time to demo.

Volkl Mantras: I always wanted to own a Volkl but never found one that I liked. I had high expectations for the Mantras but I ended up absolutely hating that ski. It was very squirrely and sloppy unless you
stayed on the tips all the time, then the ski was magically transformed into a very confident performer- great edge hold on the groomed, decent crud performance, solid turning ability. Moguls performance was sub-par. Surprisingly it didn't exhibit what always turned me off in a Volkl ski- it didn't want to carve its own line and was responsible to steering input. I didn't care for the necessity to work the ski all the time, so I returned it after a few runs.

Mythic Rider
: This ski feels quite different from my 8Ks, heavier, and much more damp and stable. If this ski has a speed limit, I have not reached it. Surprisingly well-behaved on groomers with good edge hold, easy engagement, and even in bumps, although 8Ks are quicker in both conditions. Great ski in crud, really makes you feel more confident and makes nasty snow a lot easier. On a very steep pitch the tip was hooking up just a bit, but the rest of the ski behaved very well and also inspired confidence. Compared with my 8Ks it felt just a tad more sluggish in very short turns, and the rebound energy was also dialed down somewhat. However, MRs do have stiff tails that help to recover if you end up in a back seat. I could cruise on them in a fairly neutral stance and the ski behaved very well. My guess is that is can make a good set of boards for a Tahoe expert weekender who spends 70-80% off trail and often has to ski cruddy snow.

I am now entertaining the idea of picking up a pair of MRs in 178 to replace my aged 8K's which are great, but tend to get confused in cruddy or heavy snow and also are showing signs of aging after a few years.

Anything else I should try?

Skis that I liked (and owned ) over the years are: X-Scream Series, Legend 8K. I also liked a Zag (don't remember the model, I rented it once abroad for a backcountry trip). Should I go for the MR as my everyday ski or stay with the 8Ks? Is the overlap between the B4s and MRs to big to justify the two?

Alex
post #2 of 28
Talk to dawgcatching,

He has sold quite a few MR's this year.
post #3 of 28
If you see this, Steep&Cheap has the MR's right now w/ Look PX12's for $413...
post #4 of 28
post #5 of 28
Wow, that's a killer deal! I like them so much I'd buy myself a second pair. I still got a great deal from dawgcatching though.
post #6 of 28
Skier: 5'10", 165#, Level 9. I ski 40-50 days yearly, mostly at Vail.

I've owned 184 Mantras for 3 seasons and this year picked up 178 Mythic Riders.

I like both skis quite a bit but they are very different

In short,

Mantra: quicker turning, better float in powder, gets deflected in crud and absolutely terrible for dust on crust, not well damped, good rebound, great on bumps & groomers for a ski this wide, cool distinctive Mantra "clank" when you bang them together

Mythic: less energetic than Mantra but damper, more powerful & stable, far better in crud and less likely to get deflected. Can hold a straight line in crud far better than Mantras and doesn't need to be on edge all the time. OK in bumps but not as good as Mantra (despite the difference in width & length). Good on groomers


Sounds to me like the Mythic would be a very good everyday ski for you
post #7 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Reisen View Post
If you see this, Steep&Cheap has the MR's right now w/ Look PX12's for $413...
Ahhh, they are already gone...
post #8 of 28
FWIW, think that some of the diff between the two is about mounting position. Mantras tend to be very turny and quick if you mount at line or a bit ahead, but will stay down and hook in deep stuff, don't feel very smooth. If you're a cm or two back, easier tip float, damper, but little more effort to initiate or carve. Haven't skied MR's yet, but for me 8000's and 8800's tended to turn very easily, handle about right, just using the factory line. Sort of your basic Teutonic/French divide over mounting lines...
post #9 of 28
Thread Starter 
Yes, this is probably what happened. I had the impression that Mantras were mounted a bit more forward than the MRs. I have always been very partial to the french skis, they just resonate with me more...

Alex
post #10 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by alexzn View Post
Ahhh, they are already gone...
Man, I was up studying for an exam and was really tired. I probably should have just bought a pair because I knew someone on the board would want them. I would have grabbed a pair for myself, but I've absolutely promised the wife no new skis this season...
post #11 of 28
Hi Alexzn,

I'm glad you posted. You and I are very similar in size and ski needs. The only big difference is that I am about 12 years older, i.e. soreness and bruises take longer to go away. See my previous post and replies at http://forums.epicski.com/showthread...hlight=BigNick

The Legend 8000 and the Mythic Ryders in 178 are exactly the pairs that I am hoping to compare in the next week if I can get away from work for a day or two. The B4's that you mentioned are probably a bit wide for an everyday ski. Since I have skied the MRs in a 178, but not the 8000s, I would appreciate your opinion on whether the 8000 or the MR would be more appropriate for a 1-ski quiver for me for variable locations and snow conditions (more off-piste than on and more PNW snow conditions).

Are your 8000 flat-mounted? What year is your 8000 pair? Have you ever tried the 8000 in a longer >180 cm? Would you think that the longer length of a >180cm be more comparable to the 178MRs? I assume that the demoed MRs in a 178 were mounted with a demo binding with the Fluid System. I have been wondering if the flat mounted MRs would be a little softer and, consequently a slightly more stiff but just as snow condition-flexible alternative to the 8000's, ie. a really nice compromise between the 8000s and the MRs with the Fluid Mount.

Any thoughts,
BigNick
post #12 of 28
S&C had Mythic Riders with bindings for $440 and change this morning.

If I hadn't just bought a new set of Hybrid golf clubs, I'd have gone for them.
post #13 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lars View Post
S&C had Mythic Riders with bindings for $440 and change this morning.

If I hadn't just bought a new set of Hybrid golf clubs, I'd have gone for them.
$426.31 Shipped
post #14 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by BigNick View Post

The Legend 8000 and the Mythic Ryders in 178 are exactly the pairs that I am hoping to compare in the next week if I can get away from work for a day or two. The B4's that you mentioned are probably a bit wide for an everyday ski.
Since I have skied the MRs in a 178, but not the 8000s, I would appreciate your opinion on whether the 8000 or the MR would be more appropriate for a 1-ski quiver for me for variable locations and snow conditions (more off-piste than on and more PNW snow conditions).

Are your 8000 flat-mounted? What year is your 8000 pair? Have you ever tried the 8000 in a longer >180 cm? Would you think that the longer length of a >180cm be more comparable to the 178MRs? I assume that the demoed MRs in a 178 were mounted with a demo binding with the Fluid System. I have been wondering if the flat mounted MRs would be a little softer and, consequently a slightly more stiff but just as snow condition-flexible alternative to the 8000's, ie. a really nice compromise between the 8000s and the MRs with the Fluid Mount.

Any thoughts,
BigNick
BigNick-

The B4's that I have are strictly a powder ski, it is wide, soft and does not have much of an edge hold.

My 8K's are flat mounted and are about 3-4 years old (I think they are 78 or 79 mm underfoot), so what I feel may not represent the current ski with 100% accuracy. The MRs that I tried were mounted with the demo style Marker bindings, so I have not tried the Fluid system either, but I am assuming that massive Markers would get closer to that. I would definitely get the non-system version if you are concerned about the stiffness. When I was byuing my skis I did try them in a longer length-184 and didn't like them, the ski was somewhat more stable but decidedly not as quick as the 178.
The 8K feels somewhat different from the MR, it is much less damp but a lot more "danceable". I was into quick turns at the time and I loved that energy, ability to turn on a dime, and still having all the benefits of a mid-fat ski. 8K is absolutely phenomenal on groomed, in bumps, and in the right kind of snow. MRs sacrifice a lot of this quick effortless fun factor for more stability, and much better crud performance, which for Tahoe conditions may be a more reasonable compromise (as we almost never get the right snow;-). Think about the 8Ks as a Mazda Miata and the MRs as the BMW 325. Miata is great fun on the right day, and 325 is not quite a sports car, but for everyday I'd much rather drive the BMW. Having said that, I don;t think that flat MRs represent the middle of the road between the 8K and the fluid MR. I think the flat MR will be a lot closer to the Fluid MRs than to the 8K. Certainly give the 8Ks a try, it is a terrific cross between a carver ski and a mid-fat.

What were your impressions of the MRs?

Alex
post #15 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trekchick View Post
$426.31 Shipped


So, did you buy them?:
post #16 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by alexzn View Post
I always wanted to own a Volkl but never found one that I liked.
One word...Gotama. Everyone should try these once.
post #17 of 28
Mantra and Gotama are the standards by wich other skis of their width are judged. Like them or not they are the standard for a reason.
post #18 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ski=free View Post
Mantra and Gotama are the standards by wich other skis of their width are judged. Like them or not they are the standard for a reason.
I know, but some people just have weird ski preferences . I may still like Gotamas which I know are insanely popular, but I already have a ski that is almost as wide- the B4 which I guess is 96mm. So I think the MRs will be my new ski...
post #19 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by ski=free View Post
Mantra and Gotama are the standards by wich other skis of their width are judged. Like them or not they are the standard for a reason.
I think you mean to say, they are the standards by which YOU judge other skis of the same width. I realize that Volkl skis inspire a Jim Jones-like cultish loyalty but they are not the "standard" for anything except a Volkl of the same size, construction and intended purpose. Your statement is 100% opinion, yet stated as if it were an irrefutable fact. To me that's misleading, to state it as you did.

For sure Volkl makes excellent skis enjoyed and used to their fullest by many great skiers. But they're hardly the standard for an entire industry.
post #20 of 28
Mythic Riders are $412 right now on Steep and Cheap.com

Better grab them
post #21 of 28
Just took a look at S&C; I have never dealt with them. I am considering getting a pair of M&R due to the price and that I know that I could use them - I'm only not too crazy about the weight. There is nothing on the website, though, about their mounting of the bindings for your sole size. Am I to assume that its the "Fluid" system that allows sole adjustability just like the skis when I demoed them? Is the binding (PX12) they are selling it with the normal binding that would also be on demo skis, ie same weight?

BigNick
post #22 of 28
Yes, the Fluid bindings are adjustable (like any system ski). Would not be as heavy as most demo setups. Great ski at a great price. SAC rocks - have had nothing but great service from them.
post #23 of 28
Thanks Alberto. The MR package on S&C is off the air right now, but I put in a "search" request on sacsearch, so we will see if it comes up again.

I am wondering, though, if the PX12 system that is on the MRs is w/ or w/o the lifter? I want to make it as light and 'flat' as possible. The visual aspect of the fluid system seems to be the longitudinally situated strip with ratcheted (teeth) and sole mm position markers. The PX12 binding itself does not seem to be adjustable. Therefore, am I to presume that the PX12 Fluid system has the lifters which themselves are the part that allow you to easily reposition the bindings on the ski for different sole lengths and forward/backward? Maybe I should post this as a separate question.

BigNick
post #24 of 28
Alex,

I just realized that I never responded to your question "What were your impressions of the MRs?"

Although I haven't had a chance to compare them with the 8000s, I would have to agree with your assessment. I skied the MRs in a 178 (6'2" 180-185 lbs butt naked) in Colorado and I really liked them. They allowed me to ski them and not the other way around. Since I vacillate between old and new school techniques depending on how I am feeling and where I am skiing, the milder sidecut suits me fine. I tried them primarily on softer snow and moguls with some hardpack. I haven't tried the 178 length in deep snow or real heavy crud yet. Earlier in the season, I did get the chance to try the 184 length in some really cut up heavy snow and they railed really well, but the length made them a little less amenable to quick turns in tight moguls.

I think the 178 length in that ski might be better for me, but I won't know until I get to try it in both deep snow and tight steeps. I am hoping for a dump in WA within the next week at which time I will try to head up to Mt. Baker where they have both the 8000 and MRs available. I don't know what sizes they have there, but I might be interested in trying the 178s in both and maybe the 8000 in one step up in length. This might give me a bit more stability and yet still retain the slightly softer/quicker all around feel of the 8000s relative to the MRs. I will let you know if I get a chance to compare them then.

BigNick
post #25 of 28
Thread Starter 

Thanks

Thanks! I am pretty much set of getting the MRs, especially since the prices are good enough nowdays (I am not even looking for the SAC deal, tht's ridiculously low). I also have a luxury of owning the 8000's already, so I will have my easy-groomed skis/rock skis. I am a bit worried now of having a quiver that is 79-88-94, maybe too close, but if anything I need to go wider on the top end. Let me know what you like. I am shorter and somewhat lighter than you (6ft and 180lb), so 178 should be plenty of ski for me. (if anything I have started entertaining the idea of 172's). Let me know how it works out,

Alex
post #26 of 28
BigNick,

The fluid plate is, in effect, a riser and so the binding sits up higher off the ski. The ski is also available flat, as is the 8000 (at least last year's was). I also prefer my binding flat on the ski, but some of the info I read about the MR indicated that the fluid plate was a purposeful design by Dynastar when they revamped the 8800 into the MR.
post #27 of 28
Thread Starter 
Can you elaborate on why this is advantageous for the MRs? I heard that this ski likes flat no riser binding setup, but I'd like to hear your point of view.

Alex
post #28 of 28
Where I work, I'm actually seeing more and more guys with plates or riser bindings on the fats/mid-fats.

The practice of mounting them flat is still better for the really soft ones, so they don't get too chattery/grabby/twitchy on groomed. But now that fat skis are getting so rock-solid stable and versatile, the plates have the same purpose as they do on SL/GS skis: increased leverage for edging and quicker edge-to-edge transitions.
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