I skiid the new Mantra last season and was pretty damn amazed at its versatility. A lot of guys were skiing the Monster 82s and love them. I know head changed the name to Peaks, 82 and a fatter 88. I could not find any to buy or try last season. Has anyone skiid both or have any thoughts about this.
Volkl Mantra vs Head Peak 82/88
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I've owned three Mantras, the Head iM82 (same as the Peal 82 this year) and the iM88 (bit beefier than this year's Peak 88). Suggest a search; lots of info on all these. My take is that Mantras are really different skis than Head Monsters, although IMO all three are excellent skis. Mantras are lively, comparatively light, stiff but fairly reactive, the pintail makes them very easy to pivot in tight places. Head iM82 is damp, smooth, comparatively heavy, also stiff but gets stiffer with speed, also more conventional tail, so much more secure at mach looney on hardpack than the Mantra. Which in turn is lot better at speed in crud and chop.
Have heard that the Peak 88 is a defanged iM88, probably nicer ski for 74.763% of potential users, still high performance. Next year getting softer tip, so yet another change to evaluate. Head seems to want to eradicate any goodwill generated by its former ski lines...
If you want a ski for 50% groomed, 50% off-piste, the Peak 88 would be your best bet unless you're very light. If you want more of a 70/30, and know how to carve, the Peak 82. And if you live for backside pow, chop, trees, sidebounds stuff, like to slarve and smear, the Mantra's your best bet. Also more suitable for an intermediate then the iM82, a wash probably with the Peak 88.