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Similar to Mantra?

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
I'm looking for new skis.  I have identified the Mantra as a decent do it all ski.  My current skis are Volkl P-20 RS Supers (207cm), which are race skis from 1995 or so.  I had kids, etc. thus nothing has been happening for a few years.

I've been skiing for a long time--I can handle myself.  Looking for a ski to have fun with in Utah and Colorado.  Oh--I'll ski a bit in MN, my homeland...

What are similar skis to the Mantra?  I'm sure every company has a competitor.  Any ideas?
post #2 of 17
 What in particular do you like about the Mantra?  
Dimensions-wise there are many high-performance skis in that category- Nordica Enforcer, Head John (Mojo 94), Blizzard Argos (that one is wider, but still has a reputation of being useful in the same conditions).  I would add Dynastar Mythic or Legend Pro to the mix as a do-everything midfat. Atomic Snoop also gets good reviews here. 
post #3 of 17
Fischer Watea 94 has almost identical dimensions as the Mantra, but a bit of a mellower flex, which makes is a better soft snow ski.
post #4 of 17
Line P90 and P100..  How big are you? level, type of terrain do you prefer? 
post #5 of 17
Thread Starter 
Sorry--perhaps my first post was a little vague.  I'm 6'2", 170 lbs, level 9 skier.  Skied often in the 90's.  Comfortable on any run both alpine and tele.   All gear since age 15 has been pro-formed.  No longer! :(

Fast forward to now--several kids later, haven't been top a ski shop or read Powder for awhile.  Haven't used the modern fat skis, as most were junk when I was still going out to Utah.  Currently have old race-stock 207cm GS skis that are awesome at high speed.  Wouldn't mind something new that is a bit more friendly to Alta conditions, but not exclusively, as I'd bring them to Steamboat or Bigsky or the mediocre resorts we have in MN.  Also, now with family, something that is fun when you are not skiing at 30mph+. 

I know it's impossible to try and pick one ski. I've done the multi-ski thing, and it's just not realistic to me.
post #6 of 17
I'm a Volkl Mantra skier and if you like the feel of Volkl's then demo before buying anything new.  I like the Mantra for the same reasons, don't like to travel with more then one ski.  Frankly, it's a tough call, their really are a lot of good skis being manufactured from K2, Line, etc.  These are my 3rd pair of Volkl's (7-24 AC3, AC4 Unlimited, Mantra) and because I like the feel of the Volkl, I stick with Volkl.  But again, their are a lot of good skis out their and if you really want to find similar skis, pick up Ski or Skiing mag gear guides; find the Mantra and look at every other ski in the category. 
post #7 of 17
Level 9, eh?
Hmmmm.
So are you skiing in excess of 100+ days a year?
Are you a Level 3 PSIA instructor?
Are you a sponsored pro or Olympic hopeful?
Just curious as I don't know many Level 9 skiers...(and really level rating is like the flex of a ski boot, there is no universal...i.e. a "Level 9" skier on some podunk hill in the Midwest might come out West and flounder (i've actually seen this happen firsthand)

:)

Ribbing aside, here's my suggestion:

AK King Salmon.
Again, similar dims to the original 94mm waisted Mantra, but overall a little stiffer and more of a race styled ski, which from the sound of it is something you like.

I replaced my first gen Mantras with the AK King Salmon. it comes in a 180, but skis really long for that length (due to the overall stiffness).

Great ski.

Plus you can still get them for under $400 (they stopped making them for the U.S. market a couple of seasons ago)

if you wanted something a bit longer, Bro Model Skis in Reno contracted AK to make the "Big Bro" which was a 192 King Salmon. I believe there are still some floating around.

Also, don't let width tweak your melon too much. There's a number of really versatile skis in the 95-105 range that will rail groomers and still float the pow and turn sweetly in the trees. it's just a matter of doing a little research and tracking them down.

you might consider getting something in the 100mm range with a bit of tip rocker to float pow and crush crud. look for them to have less camber so that they will grab an edge on the hardpack. again, there's a number of options out there, just a matter of you reading up on the choices and then demoing some.

my guess is you won't be disappointed with the new batch of skis out there.

best of luck!
post #8 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by dookey67 View Post

Level 9, eh?

. a "Level 9" skier on some podunk hill in the Midwest might come out West and flounder (i've actually seen this happen firsthand)
 


In defense of my fellow midwesterner.... Buck Hill may not look like much from I-35,  but I understand there have been some quite successful racers who perfected their turns on that little slope.

I,  myself,  spent a lot of days at Afton Alps,  Welch Mtn,  and Wild Mtn.  Prolly why I now live in CO!

AM.
post #9 of 17
 Didn't mean to slight your hill.
I just know that over the years quite a few folks have claimed to be "Level 9" skiers.
what's funny is that i know quite a number of accomplished skiers who get 125+ days a year on the slopes, are certified instructors or ex-racers and many of them wouldn't consider themselves to be "Level 9" skiers (there have actually been a number of hilarious threads about people determining their level on Epic over the years).

At any rate, back to the skis, I stand by my recommendation of the AK line.
They still have the King Salmon available.
They also have the 192 No Ka Oi, which is an 84mm waist and one of the original big mountain skis in terms of shape and design (pre-dated a lot of the stuff out there and helped pave the way for a lot of the smaller companies now gaining popularity).

http://www.akski-usa.com/product.html

I have the No Ka Oi in a 180 and it's a stiff sucker with a small sweet spot. But damn, when you nail that sweet spot they are ever-so-sweet. Last person to ski them was Bong (not sure how much he posts here anymore, but he used to be an instructor in Summit County). He got on them 3 seasons ago at A-Basin early season and loved them. I was actually thinking about selling them and he convinced me to hold on to them. That said, last time i was in a shop that carried the AK line the owner suggested i try the 192. he said it had a more generous flex than the 180. i didn't want to go that long, so i passed. but given the OP's height, weight, and love of racing styled skis, the 192 No Ka Oi might fit his bill. Plus they're on sale!
post #10 of 17
Hay all, we need to take the loyal members of the Epic ski blog at their word and offer the best recomendations we can.  Look, I live in Chicago but lived in Germany for 6 years and skied all over the alps.  Came back in 2000 and lived in NH now Chicago.  Never skied in the midwest but get most of my slope time today in Tahoe & Big Sky.  So you look at my profile and say, Chicago, he's not a level 9.  That's because you're drawing a conclusion without knowing all the facts.  FYI, my friends who live at Big Sky full time tell me I'm a solid level 9. 

Erik, if you claim to be a level 9, then I'll assume you're a level 9...  But be clear, Wilmont mountain in IL has a double black diamond slope so skiers head to the west, see DBD slopes and almost kill themselves.  Assume everyone on this web site skis at the "real" defination of level 9 based on a "real mountain". 
post #11 of 17
 I dunno Bob, you know what they say about assumption...

:)

i personally always assume that 99% of the folks on this board (or any other skiing related board for that matter) tend to over-estimate their skiing ability. i also prefer to follow the adage that "real bad boys move in silence" (i.e. folks who are truly Level 9 skiers don't tell people. they let their skiing speak for itself).

that said, i talk a lot and rarely move in silence, but I prefer to merely state that i ski half-assed well. that leaves very little open for interpretation, keeps expectations in check and folks are either pleasantly surprised or mildly disappointed when i join them on the hill.

 i also know that it's hard for a lot of people to articulate their skiing style, so it's much easier to say "I'm a Level X" (me, i usually tell people where i ski and how i ski, what my strengths are and what my obvious short-comings are so that they get a clear picture of what kind of skier i am).

Back on the subject of skis:
AK the King Salmon or the 192 No Ka Oi
Also perhaps consider the Stockli DP Pro (has similar dims to the Mantra and a softer tip and stiffer tail)
Also perhaps consider the Fischer Watea series
(I can't really comment on the latter two, never having skied them, but they have come up more than once when talking to people about how I loved the original Mantra).


PS
REQUIRED Epicski reading in regards to determining "What level skier am I?"
http://www.epicski.com/search.php?search=what+level+am+i%3F
post #12 of 17
Well you need to articulate your style some way and you're right about judging your own level.  That's why I let others do it for me!  But realistically, we're level 9 some days and level 4 others, usually the days you have a really good hang-over.
post #13 of 17
Thread Starter 
Ha--well, I guess you can't really win.  I had to search around to find a summary of "ski levels" before I posted the second, clarifying post, since a few posters thought I had not explained myself well enough.  I'm sure there are posts here every year that discuss the "accuracy" of self-reporting your own skills.   I actually felt a little silly proclaimign myself a champion level skier, but I thought it might help assess what ski I could or could not handle. 

As far as Buck Hill goes, I was a little kid who raced on the USSA team there; that team has placed more people than you can count on the US squad, including Kristina Koznick and Lindsey Vonn.  No doubt she developed her skills even more when her family moved to Vail...  That being said, I would never assess my skill based on an icy MN hill.  I was fortunate to be the son of a ski-nut.  Sking in/on less than ideal conditions certainly develops skills that come in handy elsewhere.   I have skied a lot elsewhere too.

I have coached with people that are PSIA certified and I didn't feel that they were particularly great skiers.  They were good teachers and coaches!  You don't need to be a great skier to be a good instructor, etc.  Sking is something that also develops naturally--I'd say one of the most important traits in skiing is balance.  Difficult to teach that.   Does the number of days you ski every year/years skiing make you a better skier?  I'd say I need a few days out west before I am "comfy in my boots" again, but I have observed many skiers that have been skiing more/longer than another and they are not the better skier.

Obviously, there is a spread of skill at 9.  Do you need to be an Olympic skier to be classified as a 9?  If so, then I certainly made a mistake.   I made the classification after a very short search.  So.  Classify me as you want.  Call me a 6.  Call me an 8.  Call be a poseur, Larry, goofy, I don't really care--I just was looking for a recommendation for a ski. 
post #14 of 17
Buck Hill is a special place, IMHO.  In how many cities can mom/dad drive over in the morning,  drop off junior,  spend the day doing their thing,  and swing by to pick up junior on the way home?  It's no wonder that place has produced so many good young skiers. 

I live in Co Spgs.  The nearest ski area with lift service is about 2 hrs away.  Skiing is an all-day affair for us,  and the kids only get to go if DAD has time to go.  Granted,  we do enjoy a bit more vert and variety ,  but my kids would spend significantly more time on skis if we lived in the Twin Cities.

AM.
post #15 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by dookey67 View Post

Level 9, eh?
Hmmmm.
So are you skiing in excess of 100+ days a year?
Are you a Level 3 PSIA instructor?
Are you a sponsored pro or Olympic hopeful?
Just curious as I don't know many Level 9 skiers...(and really level rating is like the flex of a ski boot, there is no universal...i.e. a "Level 9" skier on some podunk hill in the Midwest might come out West and flounder (i've actually seen this happen firsthand)

 

Maybe you need to ski with a few more people that come from "podunk hills in the midwest..."
post #16 of 17
Thread Starter 
It's amazing how many runs I put in every night on the race hill at Buck.  Gotta love the rope tow--not your typical bunny-hill arrangement.
post #17 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Erik Jorgenson View Post

 So.  Classify me as you want.  Call me a 6.  Call me an 8.  Call be a poseur, Larry, goofy, I don't really care--I just was looking for a recommendation for a ski. 

Actually Erik, the new accepted term (at least amongst the park rats) is "Joey". 

:)

Seriously, though, I'd look into the AK's since you have a race background. Can't imagine you wouldn't like them (see the link in one of my previous posts).


PS
I ski 79 +/- a few days a year in Cali and Colo specifically, I even ski over the summer, hiking several miles to snag a few turns on patches of snow, but i still suck in a lot of situations. i guess having been a journalist for 20+ years, i'm more apt to give you a long, drawn out description of how i ski in lieu of trying to sandwich myself into a level category (I wouldn't even know where to start because as you say the number of days a year you ski doesn't necessarily make you a great skier and vice/versa.

at any rate, i was just jovially busting your balls, because, as that search yielded (again refer to Epicski archival link in previous posts), the subject of "What level skier am I" has been discussed and laughed over a lot here.
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