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One Quiver JH ski - Mantra?

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
Looking for a one quiver ski for JH.  I live in the east, ski mainly at Sugarbush, Stowe and some at Sunday River.  I ski JH for a week every year and usually bring my K2 Recon's 181 (no integrated binding).  I'm 6'-1" 200 lbs and have been skiing since I was 5 (late 30's now).  If we get more than a foot usually jump on something else from the demo shop.  My favorite choice has been the Watea 94 in a 186cm.  Handles everything from the Thunder Woods, to the Alta chutes, to the Hobacks with ease with a variety of turn shapes.  To me it felt just like my Recon - only wider.  Just got back from this years trip and tried the Watea 94 in a 178 (the recon's where getting a core/edge shot repaired).  Not really much new snow and more like eastern bumps in a lot of spots, so figured I would go shorter.  As it turns out I really didn't like this year's watea 94's in a 178 - perhaps I still would have liked the 186's, but the 178's didn't do it for me.  I then jumped on the mythic riders in a 178 and had more fun than on the 94's.  I really wanted to try the mantra's in a 184, but they didn't carry Volkl.  What it comes down to is that those heavy demo bindings are really starting to bug me, and being able to own a ski will certainly take the 'get to know you' portion of the experience out of the equation each time I go to JH.  A mid 90's width ski would also be a perfect east coast powder ride. 

So the question becomes if my Recon is my one quiver eastern ski and/or a ski to use at JH with 6" or less, what is my one quiver JH ski.  If it gets stupid deep, then I can get something over 110 underfoot from the demo shop.  Up until this year I would have said watea 94 in 186cm, but know I am not sure (also the new boat hull thing on the tip bugs me).  I have heard great things about the Mantra, but have yet to get my hands on a pair to Demo.  I have looked through all the forum threads but did not see a comparo for these.  Can anyone offer advice and/or similarities in terms of handling and feel between the Mantra and Recon.  Obviously I know they are different skis, but just trying to find a basis for evaluation without having demoed the Mantra yet.  Thanks for the help.
post #2 of 11
I use my Mantra as my everyday ski. It does well in steeps, cruds and is passable in the bumps. Where the Mantra suffers is in deeper snow. I have used it to ski in cat/heli trips, so it will ski deeper stuff fine, but the tip is stiff so it well tend to dive. Also the sidecut gets hooky in deeper snow.

For your purposes, I would get the Gotama or similar ski. Can use it everyday in the West and will be good for deeper days.
post #3 of 11
Welcome Chewski,
The Barking Bear forums are great. You will get more info(helpful,diversified, and some that's not worth a lot) than you will believe. "This info may be marginal."
I own both the 177cm Mantra and 186cm Watea 94.
I am 5'11" and 155#s and have found both these skis to be longer than my light weight will handle, but I have skied both in shorter lengths and find I definitely like the 178cm Watea 94 best for my weight and the conditions I ski(Powder 40%; Crud 60%.) Very easy to move from edge to edge in the trees or steeps, will power through the crud, and still provide plenty of flotation in the deep of JH or Alta.
Several friends were at Targhee last week, and after having heard me talk about my "Watea Love," they decided to demo some and thought they were tremendous skis.
However, I live about 4 hours from JH. and the last time I was there, my Mantras worked very well.(10"-12" of new.)
For less soft snow, I ski my 176cm  Watea 84s(which I definitely prefer over my old Recons) and for groomers my carvers.
I would think that the problems you had with the 178cm 94s were probably due more to your "weight to length" ratio or snow/mtn. conditions, than changes made to the skis. (Add'l: The flat version of the Wateas are about as light an alpine ski as you can buy.)
I may be mistaken but I believe the "boat hull tip" is not new for this season.
I don't know if this helps but both are very good skis; you can't go wrong with either.
post #4 of 11
 I'm 5'10, 165 lbs, 46 yo, and, barring injury, will ski over 100 days this year at JH.  I'm using a 4 ski quiver this year.  176 Gotoma, 178 Mythic Rider, 172 Contact Limited, and a 176 Gotoma with a Hammerhead tele binding and the tail cut off.  If I was to pick just one it would be the Gotoma.  I teach skiing full time and choose the 176 to be able to do easier demos at slower speeds.  The ski rips pretty well for me, but I might have gone for the 183 if I was only free skiing.  Lots of people like the Mantra for a single ski.  I demoed the Watea 94 on a hardpack day and preferred the Mythic.  I'm wanting to try the Watea 101 soon.  I think the boat hull looks cool, but is likely a gimmick.  There are currently screaming deals on last years Wateas at the Sports Authority in town, $415.  I demoed the new Coomback for about 3 hours during the last "powder" cycle and liked it a lot.  Not as much as my Gotoma, but I could get used to it and be happy with it as a daily driver.  I hope this is useful information.
post #5 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by chewski View Post

Looking for a one quiver ski for JH.  I live in the east, ski mainly at Sugarbush, Stowe and some at Sunday River.  I ski JH for a week every year and usually bring my K2 Recon's 181 (no integrated binding).  I'm 6'-1" 200 lbs and have been skiing since I was 5 (late 30's now).  If we get more than a foot usually jump on something else from the demo shop.  My favorite choice has been the Watea 94 in a 186cm.  Handles everything from the Thunder Woods, to the Alta chutes, to the Hobacks with ease with a variety of turn shapes.  To me it felt just like my Recon - only wider.  Just got back from this years trip and tried the Watea 94 in a 178 (the recon's where getting a core/edge shot repaired).  Not really much new snow and more like eastern bumps in a lot of spots, so figured I would go shorter.  As it turns out I really didn't like this year's watea 94's in a 178 - perhaps I still would have liked the 186's, but the 178's didn't do it for me.  I then jumped on the mythic riders in a 178 and had more fun than on the 94's.  I really wanted to try the mantra's in a 184, but they didn't carry Volkl.  What it comes down to is that those heavy demo bindings are really starting to bug me, and being able to own a ski will certainly take the 'get to know you' portion of the experience out of the equation each time I go to JH.  A mid 90's width ski would also be a perfect east coast powder ride. 

So the question becomes if my Recon is my one quiver eastern ski and/or a ski to use at JH with 6" or less, what is my one quiver JH ski.  If it gets stupid deep, then I can get something over 110 underfoot from the demo shop.  Up until this year I would have said watea 94 in 186cm, but know I am not sure (also the new boat hull thing on the tip bugs me).  I have heard great things about the Mantra, but have yet to get my hands on a pair to Demo.  I have looked through all the forum threads but did not see a comparo for these.  Can anyone offer advice and/or similarities in terms of handling and feel between the Mantra and Recon.  Obviously I know they are different skis, but just trying to find a basis for evaluation without having demoed the Mantra yet.  Thanks for the help.

Hi there,

The Mantra, for me, was never quite as good as the older Watea 94, the Mythic Rider, Elan 888/999, Legend Pro Rider, or Kastle MX98.  I think it may have been due to the stiffish flex on the Mantra; the others are a bit softer, and more manageable in cut-up snow.  They seem to be as good on firmer piste, but really excel in soft snow and bumps: all of the skis listed there do very well in variable conditions.   I know many others who say the same, so I would definitely try before you buy on the Mantra.  I have been skiing the Blizzard Atlas, and like it a bit better than the Mantra also: it is a little softer in the tip and underfoot, and while still a stiff ski, seems to have an edge in rough now at speed.  

If you like a beefed-up Recon feel, the Dynastar may be your best bet, followed by the Elans.  The Watea is a lighter, livelier feel (not as stout) and the Kastle is pure Austrian ski: smooth, damp, stable, powerful.  

Hard to say what exactly the 1-ski quiver would be for your situation; I would probably own anything from around 90mm to 100mm underfoot; leaning narrower if I cared about groomer performance, and wider if I didn't.  My experience has been something close to 100mm is great in those 6-10" new or cut-up snow days; as it is somewhat nimble yet still keeps you from fighting the snow, whereas in 2-3 day old crud and only a couple inches of new, the 85-90mm skis are more responsive yet and better on hardpack.  There are only a couple of skis out there near 100mm that handle really well on hardpack, the MX98 being one of them. The Pro Rider, which I have been skiing alot recently, is great on everything but groomers (it feels like driving a minibus on cordouroy). 
post #6 of 11
Thread Starter 
thanks for all the input, still thinking the mantra's are it...but we'll see how it plays out.  thanks again.
post #7 of 11
Old Gotama..  07/08 or 08/09,  GREAT all around Versatile ski..  Better at most everything compared to the Mantra....
post #8 of 11
Demoed a few weeks back at Whistler a 2009 Gotama (non rocker) and a 2010 Mantra. There were 4"-8" of fresh snow and a lot of opportunities for cut-up/crud. In those conditions, I personally liked better the Mantra. I would probably take the Gotama for big bowls with 10"-12" of pow or more. Under that, I would stick with Mantra, more fun if you like to sky aggressive IMO. Didn't feel too stiff nor hooky to me. I am 193 cm tall close to 200 lbs and I have an aggressive skiing style. 
post #9 of 11
At your weight, the older LP (97mm waist) 186, or the current LP (100mm) 184 would work fine....better or at least as good as the Watea 94 on hard snow, and definitely better everywhere else...
I found the Wateas to be better for lighter folks (like me) but not so good for heavier dudes (like my son at 205), or so he says...

My $.02
post #10 of 11
Concur w/nfp on the Wateas, lighter skiers (say under 165-170 max) seem to love the ski, heavier stronger skiers seem not to like it that much, me included..   Demo demo...  At your size mantra, old Goat, LP, P90/100, (MX88/98 JUST Drooling over right now) would fit your size well...  Happy hunting...
post #11 of 11
The locals in JH seem to love the Mantra.  Last season I saw more Mantras than any other single model at JH.  Second most popular, was Gotama.  After those two, it was a random collection of different stuff.  I would demo if I could, it seems to be a love/hate thing with the Mantra. 
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