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Mantra 177 vs 184

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 

So I have been drooling over these for about 8 months now and have an opportunity to pick up the 2009 model for a price that my wife won't even notice but have a question regarding length.  I am 5'10" and 195 lbs and consider myself an advanced to expert skiier.  I presently own 170 Atomic M11's which is a racy, demanding ski but they actually handel western conditions quite well unless it is over 12" of fresh.  I typically take 2-3 trips a year to the likes of Baker, Red, SnowBird, Jackson and occasionally squeeze in a day or two in Colorado depending on work travel.  Looking for something versitaile enough to ski with my wife and kids on western "Family Trips" as well as big enough to handel the "Guys Trips."

Everything that I have read on this site and others leads me to the 184 but I am also strongly considering the 177.  My local shop suggested the 177 but I am looking for another opinion.  I need a ski that will allow me to ski the openess wind blown crust of Mineral Basin as well as the tight steep trees that Red Mountain offers.  I know the 177's will handel both fine but don't want to leave anything on the table.  At the same time I know the 184 skis shorter b/c of the slightly rockered tail but I would't want it to be too big for the trees at Red.

I typically don't have the opportunity to demo skis as I have to travel for my skiing and don't like to waste time or hastle with changing gear mid trip.  I do have the opportunity to demo the Mantra in Jackson in late January of this coming year but the deal on last year's model will not last long.

Also considering the Prophet 100, Atomic Snoop or the Nordica Girish (last year's Blower)

Any help or thoughts would be appreciated!

post #2 of 26
If your in the trees alot at your size I definitely go with the 177..  You won't leave anything on the table, they will handle mineral basin just fine..  I have a pair of Bro 183's that are great in open bowls/wide areas but might kill me in tight trees, nobody needs that..... 
post #3 of 26
Manta is a great ski & I got the same opportunity last year.  I'm 5'8" 170 lbs and on the 170.  If you ski the 170 Atomic now the 183's in the Mantra will feel real tough to turn; their is a lot more under foot then the Atomic.  I would go with the 177, you won't be disappointed. 
post #4 of 26
 I'm 5'11" and when i had the Mantra (first generation black/orange model) i got the 177. at the time i was a little over 200lbs.
after a season i found the 177 to be hella short. it skis rather short since the tip is semi-soft.
i always regretted not having demoed the 177 AND 184.

personally, i'd demo the two back-to-back before you purchase them (my theory is that good deals are always lurking around and it's better to be sure than to spend the money and not like what you got).

that said, if you can't/won't/don't demo, then honestly, at 5'10" and 195, i'd go with the 184.

also if you're considering Nordica, why not the Enforcer (it''s dims are more similar to the Mantra than the Ginish).
post #5 of 26
dookey67; I can't disagree with you, this is a question of personal preference and skiing style but consider that "offsides" is on 170 Atomic M11 skis.  Going up to the larger size might just be to big a jump in a ski as beefy as the Mantra. 
post #6 of 26
what you say may be true, but keep in mind that quite a number of the more "big mountain" oriented skis tend to ski a lot shorter than their listed length due to rocker, etc.

also, other tweaks, like decrease in camber, softer tips/stiffer tail, can make them appear to ski shorter than their overall length.

i found that the Mantra skied really short (i.e. the 177 felt more like a 170). not sure how much it has changed over the years since i skied them (i know they added a few mm to the waist, but not sure if they tweaked the stiffness any), but i think at 5'10" and 195 the 184 will be sweet. 

as for the Atomic M11 170? i can't speak on that. i skied a 174 Atomic M:EX and loved it and again found the 177 Mantra to be really short.

i think the OPs added weight will over power the 177...but that's just a guess.

again, i'm just going on my experience being 5'11" and roughing around 200lbs at the time i was riding the 177 and i found it to be short, especially on groomers and busting through crud. one of the few regrets in terms of ski equipment is that i didn't demo the 184 (at the time i had determined that 175 was my sweet length and that's all i tried, not taking into consideration flex, width, turning radius, and other factors that can change how a ski performs...for example, I ride a 180 King Salmon. that ski feels like a 188 or longer because it has a bit of camber and is stiff from tip to tail. Conversely, my 188 Lib Tech skis like a 170, because it is severely twinned, but it also carves like a smaller ski because it is cambered like a mofo).

anyway, i digress. it's too bad that the OP is focused on getting the good deal, because the best thing to do would be to get on a 177 and the 184 in the same day on the same conditions.

like i said, i loved the 177 for the first season i had them, but then i quickly outgrew them (and i even lost weight during that time, too!)
post #7 of 26
Well, we completly agree, he should demo both!
post #8 of 26
A 5' 10" 195 lb. "advanced to expert skier" should definitely be on a 184 Mantra.  The ski has some tail rise, and a lot of sidecut so it will turn quick, and consequently skis a little short.  If that length gives you pause, then you may be overstating your abilities.  It is not a very forgiving ski but, if you have the game, they will ski just about anything and be rock solid.
post #9 of 26
I personally think you should go for the 184's. I think that you will find the 177's too short for your size. I am a 5' 8" 160 lb female, and ski the 177's. They are plenty quick and nimble for me, with a turn radius that is really short and goes through trees and moguls just fine. I would never go back and get the 170's for myself because I think they couldn't be any quicker for me, and would sacrifice a lot when it came to busting through the crust, powder days, and hauling ass. All that being said, go longer. As an advanced skier, you won't regret it. Enjoy them! I love mine!
post #10 of 26
 I am both a bit shorter and a bit lighter than you are - 5'8' and about 175+/-.  I ski the 177 and I quite like it.  Works well in the bumps.  I could see going longer though.  The 184 would be a good choice I think.  Also I ski the earlier Mantra which is less turny than the current one - in the new one I would probably go for the 184.
post #11 of 26
I have both the Mantra 177(White, stiffer than the Red ones) and the 184's (Red). I've used both during the past several years east and west, including 2 trips out west back to back 1 w/ the 177's and 1 w/ the 184's to compare. I weigh 200lbs, highly athletic, live in northern Vermont, I'm 6' and 47yo that skis 70+ days per year.............My 184's now make good paperweights.........I now use the 177's 95% of the time. I dust off the 184's once in a while and they have now graduated to rock skis. The 177's are much more fun. I've skied them on ice and in chest deep pow.........the 177's simply rock the fun and have much more maneuverability. My 184's feel like "Dogs" when compared to my 177's, also I'm not nearly as tired after skiing all day. The 184's are great for a run or two in open bowls, but to ski day after day, run after run, moguls, trees, chutes, etc.... weeks in a row........ the 177's are my choice, hands down.

I think people are skiing some of these new generations of skis (not including big rockered pow skis) way too long and losing too much versatility. Just my $.02
post #12 of 26
Thank you YoMamma; the difference in size is not all that much but like you I find the shorter length just more fun.  Heading down the slopes in powder is great on the longer skis but for all the rest, I agree the shorter is just more versatile.
post #13 of 26
 I'm about 20# lighter than you and I ski and love the 177's- they're quick and versatile. I have 183 Gotamas and they ski fine (not boaty one bit) but are a different ski entirely. After reading what Yo Momma said, I'd say gotta demo. Just reserve both sizes and do a couple runs on each. Last time I did that was when Volkl first came out with the 5*. I skied it in 175 and it felt short but super nimble. I tried the 182 and it was a Cadillac ride but a little work on bottleneck groomers, especially at speed. I spent the rest of the day having a blast on the longer skis but bought the 175's for everyday conditions and was happy I did. Gotta try 'em, no excuses.

Here's a pic of a momma on 177's.. so it can be a girly ski, this girly is named Picabo, director of skiing at PCMR...

post #14 of 26
 sadly, what i find is that quite a lot of people fall into the category of the OP, where he clearly stated that he fell into a sweet deal, but they only have 1 size and he can't demo. they get worked up about the sweet deal and whether or not it will disappear. in some cases the folks in question jump on the sweet deal and are probably fine with what they end up with. but i have to imagine that a vast number of people who jump on a sweet deal, just because it's a sweet deal, end up unhappy.

i tend to error on the side of caution, after having jumped on sweet deals and ended up getting burned (it ain't a sweet deal if after you get the ski you find that it's too short or too stiff or whatever). 

i always suggest that folks demo if/when possible (great to demo on a trip, doing your homework and finding shops that demo a wide variety or better yet are on/near the slope and allow you to swap out skis all day for a fixed price). demoing may end up costing you a bit extra, but i find that nothing beats being able to actually test drive the skis you are interested in.

online feedback is great, but it should only be used as a guideline (much in the same way that all the ski magazine gear guides should be used). very few people ski the same way, so me telling you that this ski feels short or is too stiff could be the opposite of how others feel about the same ski (for example i have a number of friends who ski the Bro Model from PM Gear. they LOVE that ski to death, wouldn't ski anything else. me, i've demoed it a number of times and just don't get it. doesn't mean it's a bad ski, just means that it doesn't jibe with my style). the same can be said of length. some folks really love longer skis. others love shorter ones. it all depends on where you ski (i.e. i'm going to have different ski recommendations because i ski Tahoe, Wasatch, and the Rockies than somebody who is strictly EC based with the odd trip out west). 

the bottomline is that i always believe another equally sweet deal is always lurking around the corner. better to do your research (i.e. demo the 177 and 184) and then find the ski than to just buy the ski blindly.

plus if you really want the ski to "handle the Guy's Trip" then you MUST get the 184, hell you should probably be looking at the 191...

post #15 of 26
I'm currently 5'11, 200'ish, and 52 and I ski the Mantra in a 184.  I wish I had the 191.

post #16 of 26
Thread Starter 

I really appreciate everyone's input on the subject and I agree demoing is the way to go.  I'll be in Jackson Jan 26-30 and although the Bridger Center doesn't appear to carry Volkl, I'm sure that I can find a shop in town that does.  Regarding the "deal" I figure that the money I save on out of control airline bagage fees transporting my new toys to the mountain will offset the money I could save today. Besides I would rather be 100% sure and be happy than have the "what if" question in my mind.  If that costs a few extra bucks, so be it.


Thanks all!

post #17 of 26
5'9" 160 lbs and I prefer the 184.

I'll take the stability and float over quickness
Edited by The Squeaky Wheel - 11/11/09 at 9:24am
post #18 of 26
I was 5'11 165lb on the 184 at snowbird. felt right but was never as good as a 183 or 190 gotama. I wouldnt waist my time with Mantra IMO I would get a 190 Gotama(old style), 183 or 193 Atomic Pimp, or various other rounder flex ski.
post #19 of 26

 Hey Mr. Bushwacker in PA-  I think I saw you mention that you used the Silencer for teaching.  This will be my first season as an instructor and I'm wondering if this ski will be good for training and teaching.  Do you have any other suggestions,  also maybe for bindings?    I love the Gotama but I'm afraid it won't be best for coaching.  I love the PE too-  would it work?


thanks for your helpful posts!




post #20 of 26

All I have to say is that I just got a pair of 177cm 08' Mantras back in October and finally got the opportunity to ski them here in WI.  The snow was basically as crappy as you can imagine. The crappiest of the crappiest.  Soft in spots due to warm weather in the day, yet icy in other spots when it started getting cold again. I know these tend to be better off piste than on, but I have to say these skis are SICK! I was able to blast through the crap all day with these and didnt have to worry about ski chatter. Took them off a few jumps, etc, with no problems - can't wait to huck a few cliffs this winter. The wood core is great, flexes well, but plenty stiff. Very solid edge. This is my first pair of wider skis - my last pair were 80mm at the waist and I thought that was wide. For a wider pair of skis these have stellar control. I weigh in at around 200 lbs at 6'1". More of an advanced/expert skier, but def not pro. Quick turns arent too bad - glad I went with the 177cm as I'm sure they turn quicker than the 184. I like skiing the trees and bumps, but also enjoy letting loose in powder, or really powering down a quick slope.

Going to Jackson Hole for 10 days in February and if these skis glide and cut through the crap this well here, its going to be sheer pleasure carving through the trees and making large GS turns basically anywhere on the mountain. I plan to shed a few pounds before Feb, so that'll make it even easier to ski on these. In my mind cant go wrong with this ski either way - 184 or 177. Just dont 2nd guess anything - if you want to get the 177s I'm sure you'll love them.

Good luck!

post #21 of 26
Go 184! i owned the black and red 177's. they were a tad too turny in pow. other than that, near perfect. 184 will make a bigger turn radius. Gotama good too but I wouldn't say better now that i have owned both for a long time.
post #22 of 26



I've got a similar decision to make. I am 5'11" 165lbs agressive skier. If this was my only ski, I would get the 184 no doubt. However I am buying this to complement my 191 ON3P Wrenegades. Buying it to use in re frozen crud, skied out snow, some light touring, and bumps. My instinct is that I will appreciate the added nimbleness of the 177 as I have wrens for those times I need stability and power.




Looking for something that is quicker than my Wrens really- and better in hard conditions.

Edited by DHogg - 7/31/10 at 5:27pm
post #23 of 26

I've got a half dozen friends skiing on Mantras, and I think they are all on 177s.  None of them ever mention they wish they were longer, and I am amazed that a ski that wide works so well in the bumps. If you are buying the Mantras to make big turns in powder and crud you might want the 184s, but for an all around ski the 177s are probably enough ski, unless you are a heavy weight.

post #24 of 26

Pretty much what I was thinking. Having some issues finding a good deal on 177's right now. Sierra has a great deal on 184's but sold out of the 177 :S

post #25 of 26

The right deal is always more important than the right size. Of course, you could buy a better ski (Nordica Enforcer) in the right size, for less money but...............why would anyone do that?



post #26 of 26

Obviously i'm going to get it in the best size- But looking around for the best deal before I buy.


I would buy the enforcers, but i'm in NZ. Was only really looking @ sierra since they offer shipping to NZ for $40 (of free for orders over $500). Most of the time shipping is insanely expensive.


Also think the enforcers are softer than I would like.

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