Originally Posted by streif
It will be difficult to demo for me.To buy an exotic brand I will rely in opinions like yours.
I liked the approach of the jackson Hole manufacturers called "Igneous".Do you know them?
What skis do you have now that you consider that are better than Mantras?(Sry to continue mentioning the Mantras but this are my only parameter...)
steif, I don't think there's a ski in the known universe that combines the Mantras light weight and quickness, and its edge grip on groomed, with its crud busting ability. Based on my limited experience, I'd say that 4FRNT's MSP's are as good in crud, and smoother, but weigh a ton and are not all that quick edge to edge. The 09-10 Blizzard Atlas is getting a lot of buzz about being a "mantra killer," and since I really like Blizzards, I'm keeping an open mind. Shorter lengths of the Dynastar LP are smoother and more stable than the Mantras, just as good or better in crud, but again, significantly heavier and not as good carving on groomed. Prior Doughboys have about the same shape (extreme taper, big sidecut) as the Mantra, but are 9 mm wider; they are only a bit heavier. Found them to be nicer in bumps, toss in soft snow in the trees, better in open powder, but not as strong in crud and not nearly as grippy on icy runouts. iM88's and several other of the 88 genre are grippier, smoother, more stable, but lose some float. Haven't skied the Scott Crusade, but have heard some nice things about them for crud and quickness, apparently not a hardpack ski, though. Suspect some of the narrower PM Bros in the stiff flex would be stiff and quick and versatile. (I have the Lhasa Pows, very different ski.) Maybe the Goliath Sluff, which gets very, ah, "polarized" reviews. Has that same big taper and sidecut, apparently stiffer in the tail, so livelier. A bit heavier. Some people love it some find it a log.
All this said, I think that Mantras are very specialized. If you want a lighter AT/sidebounds ski that you can hike with, ski any conditions short of bottomless powder, and then use on the groomed for more than getting back to the lift, choose the Mantra. If you just want a good all around narrower powder/crud ski, I can think of a dozen skis I'd prefer. If you really really want an indy that more or less covers the Mantra, and beats it in actual pow, think hard about a PM Bros 179 or 183 (go to their website and read up over at TGR).