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Head Johhny 94 versus Volkl Mantra, which is better and why?

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 

Hi guys,

 

Any thoughts on which would be the better all mountain ski out of these 2. The Head Johhny 94 and the Volkl Mantra, for conditions encountered such as no powder deeper than 15" and everything else in between, by all accounts both of these skis rate really well. I currently ski the Head Mojo 90's and am starting to wonder if these are getting a little to thin these days, although I still love them dearly.

 

Does anyone know if either of these skis really changed much for this season and if so for the better or worse?

 

Thanks.

post #2 of 21

I have no firm information but from what I see the skis have not changed much.  I skis the Head, so I am obviously liking that ski more, but here is my 0.02: 

 

First, a disclaimer- if you can find a demo, take them out side by side, that's the best way to decide.  

Now, I think it depends a lot on how you ski.  Both of these skis will be a  great midfat all-mountain ski (the proverbial one-ski-quiver).  They are rather different though, I call the Heads the "un-Mantra".  Basically Mantra is a stiff ski with the tail stiffer than the front. Whatever it is, it is not a damp ski.  It likes being driven hard, and I think it relies on stiffness to manage the off-trail terrain.  Heads are medium stiffness with a quite a lot of damping, so they rely on that damping to tame the crud and everything else in between.  The feeling is almost like having a good suspension on the ski- you can feel the irregularities, but the feel is muted, so you just flow through the chopped snow.   Both skis are not wimpy, so I would not be concerned about lack of top end.   Mantra will be a better hard snow ski, Heads are definitely a better soft snow ski.  If you like to be a hero on every turn, Mantra will be more to your liking, if you like to go everywhere, and want the ski that adapts well, the Heads wont disappoint.   One final word- if you get the Heads- immediately re-tune them to 3/1 (side/base), that makes a huge difference.  

post #3 of 21
Thread Starter 

Thanks for your reply Alexzn,

 

I love my mojo's and the dampened feel they give, I feel I can just punch through anything, I demoed some Volkl Bridges/ my mojo's back to back at vail a couple of years ago. It was a reasonable powder day and later in the day so the crud was starting to pile up, the bridges seemed to deflect and bounce off everything to the point I had to stop and give the old knees a break, a mate had also demoed the bridges and looked at me at the bottom of the runand said well? I just replyed my knees couldn't take another run and he said thank goodness I thought it was just me! That really blew me away as I had always held Volkl in high regard and for them to make a  ski in my opinion that bad was surprising, so basically If the John 94's are a wider version than the Mojo's it sounds like I  will love them.

 

CheersT-rex.

post #4 of 21

For "all mountain" I'd definitely go with the Head.  The latest Mantra variations have some characteristics which skew them away from a true all-mountain mission in my opinion.  There are actually other skis in the Volkl lineup which better fit that mission.

post #5 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by alexzn View Postif you like to go everywhere, and want the ski that adapts well, the Heads wont disappoint.   One final word- if you get the Heads- immediately re-tune them to 3/1 (side/base), that makes a huge difference.  

One more vote for Head.  I went with a 3/0.5 bevel on mine, and they work beautifully in all conditions and at all speeds.
 

post #6 of 21
Thread Starter 

Thanks guys, sounds like the Johnny's it is then, obviously I will Demo them to confirm for myself.

 

Do you think the tune makes that much of a difference to the skis performance, I'm guessing better edge hold on the harder types of snow or everywhere?

 

Cheers Jimmy.

post #7 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by T-REX View Post

Thanks guys, sounds like the Johnny's it is then, obviously I will Demo them to confirm for myself.

 

Do you think the tune makes that much of a difference to the skis performance, I'm guessing better edge hold on the harder types of snow or everywhere?

 

Cheers Jimmy.


I really do think the tune makes a great deal of difference - particularly in any ski where the edges are actually on the snow most of the time. 

 

It's not just the Johnny that will benefit from a good tune.  Any pair of skis with flat/slick bases and sharp edges is going to perform better.

 

And I'm one more vote for the Heads, especially since you already own and like the Mojo 90.

post #8 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by skier219 View Post

For "all mountain" I'd definitely go with the Head.  The latest Mantra variations have some characteristics which skew them away from a true all-mountain mission in my opinion.  There are actually other skis in the Volkl lineup which better fit that mission.

I'm looking at getting a new Mantra (my current one is about dead.) So....


Skew it to what?

 

Also, where All-Mtn?  I have lived in and skied New England and the Sierra.  All-Mtn means different things in different region.

post #9 of 21
Quote:

Originally Posted by T-REX View Post

 

Do you think the tune makes that much of a difference to the skis performance, I'm guessing better edge hold on the harder types of snow or everywhere?

 

Cheers Jimmy.

 

The tune on the John 94 is critical, and makes a huge difference in all conditions.  I think they "dumbed down" the factory tune for people who want to use it in the park, but it's a horrible tune for actual skiing.

 

Read my 'before and after' review in this thread (posts #16 and #19).comparing the stock tune with the modified tune.

 

Originally Posted by StormDay View Post

Also, where All-Mtn?  I have lived in and skied New England and the Sierra.  All-Mtn means different things in different region.

 

In last years Ski Canada tests (the biggest test in the industry) they categorized the John 94 in the "Big Mountain/Freeride" category, not the all-mountain, and rated it the most versatile ski tested in the category.  It's a total, "do everything" ski that is just as capable ripping race GS turns on hard groomers as it is in waist deep back country bowls, and everything in between.  I call it my "magic ski".
 


Edited by exracer - 12/13/10 at 11:35pm
post #10 of 21
Thread Starter 

Thanks Bob and Exracer for your input,( Exracer I would love to see the 87' Whistler coach one piece, I think it would put a smile on my dial).

 

I am learning something here, if you go for a 3 degree side angle does this mean that you may actually have to attack (touch) the actual top deck on the side of the ski or can this all be done be done just on the edges with no further damage to any of the ski? How do you get an edge angle of 3 degrees on a square edged ski without touching the side of the actual ski, not just the edge?

 

Also what would be a typical tune (side/ edgeedge  edge                     ededdde edge angle) from a decent ski shop if you dropped your skis in for a full tune, which correct me if I am wrong should include  a base grind as well?

 

Cheers T-rex.

 

post #11 of 21
Thread Starter 

Guys,

 

How much difference is there between the 2010 model and the 2011, the reason I ask is that in all the advertising materail it says the 2011 has a rocker shape, so what exactly does this mean?

Dose this mean they have softened the tip and given it an early rise or something of the sought?

Will it ski any differently to the john94 of old?

 

Cheers T-rex.

post #12 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by T-REX View Post

Guys,

 

How much difference is there between the 2010 model and the 2011, the reason I ask is that in all the advertising materail it says the 2011 has a rocker shape, so what exactly does this mean?

Dose this mean they have softened the tip and given it an early rise or something of the sought?

Will it ski any differently to the john94 of old?

 

Cheers T-rex.


Can you provide any detail on what advertising material says that this year's Johnny 94 has a rocker shape?  My understanding is that there is no rocker and no early rise in the Johnny and that this year's ski would be identical to last year's (and the year before except for the graphics).

 

About the tune... a 1/1 would be "typical", but a "decent" ski shop would ask you what bevel you want and be able to deliver that bevel when they're done.  Bevel is most often a function of personal preference that takes into account where and what type of conditions you ski.  For most people, the harder the snow conditions the more aggressive they'll prefer the bevel job.   

 

With base bevels, the tune gets more "aggressive" as the number goes down, so a .75 degree base bevel will hook up more aggressively on hard snow than a 1.0 base bevel (and the ski would also be less forgiving of incorrect movements by the skier).  With side bevels, the tune gets more aggressive as the number goes up, so a 3-degree side bevel is more aggressive than a 2-degree bevel.

 

No damage to the skis with a 3-degree side bevel.

post #13 of 21

Tuning to a 3 degree side edge will require removing some of the sidewall material using a sidewall planer. Search on the forum for further details, diagrams etc.  There's lots on this in the tuning forum.  The topsheet won't be impacted.

 

Going lower on the base edge angle (i.e. from 1.5* to 1*) will require a base grind, which will take some slight amount of material off the base.

 

A decent tuning shop will be able to do all of this for you if you specify a 1 / 3 tune (or even a 0.75 / 3).

 

Good luck.

post #14 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by T-REX View Post

Thanks Bob and Exracer for your input,( Exracer I would love to see the 87' Whistler coach one piece, I think it would put a smile on my dial).

 


Funny you should mention that. I posted in a thread about one-piece suits a few days ago, and I dug up and scanned an old photo of the suit for posterity.

 

Check out http://www.epicski.com/forum/thread/96159/one-piece-ski-suits#post_1278682

post #15 of 21
Thread Starter 

Bob,

 

In regard to the "rocker shape" issue for the 2011 Johnny 94's, I got the info from POWDER Mag Sept issue page 131. Just wanted to know if anyone could confirm or whether it was a copy and paste mistake!

 

Cheers T-rex.

post #16 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by T-REX View Post

Bob,

 

In regard to the "rocker shape" issue for the 2011 Johnny 94's, I got the info from POWDER Mag Sept issue page 131. Just wanted to know if anyone could confirm or whether it was a copy and paste mistake!

 

Cheers T-rex.

Or maybe it's a new rockered version we're not aware of, since you keep referring to it as "Johnny" 94, and people are assuming you mean the "John" 94.
 

post #17 of 21


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by exracer View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by T-REX View Post

Bob,

 

In regard to the "rocker shape" issue for the 2011 Johnny 94's, I got the info from POWDER Mag Sept issue page 131. Just wanted to know if anyone could confirm or whether it was a copy and paste mistake!

 

Cheers T-rex.

Or maybe it's a new rockered version we're not aware of, since you keep referring to it as "Johnny" 94, and people are assuming you mean the "John" 94.
 


Exracer: 

 

I know it's confusing, but Head actually refers to it as the "Johnny 94 SW".  I would swear that it used to be the "John", but now it is definitely the "Johnny".

 

If you go to this site:  http://www.head.com/ski/ski.php?region=eu&tag=big_mountain&id=3040

 

you'll see that it's referred to as the "Johnny 94" on the official Head website.

 

T-rex - if you also go to that site and look under "Features", you'll note that there is no reference to rocker or early rise for the Johnny.  If you look the same place for the Jerry, Jimi, and Carlos, you will see "Rocker Shape" listed for all three of those models.  I hope that helps clear it up and I have no idea where Powder got their info.  to my knowledge, this year's Johnny does not have any rocker or rise (which, IMHO, is part of the reason it skis so great on-piste).

post #18 of 21

Well, I just learned something new.  After going to the Big Mountain section of the Head WEBSITE I discovered that Head has indeed changed the name and graphics of the ski this year, from John 94 to Johnny 94.  All the specifications are identical to the 2010 John 94 and there is no mention of the ski being "rockered" on the Head website.  The description and specs are identical to last year's skis, so it seems to be simply a 'lipstick' change.

 

Edit:  Haa haa... Bob Peters and I were typing at the same time.  You beat me to the "submit" button  biggrin.gif

post #19 of 21
Thread Starter 

Thanks Bob and Exracer,

 

I was hoping it was just a typo!

 

Any ideas on a shop in Utah to pick them up from at a fair price? That will actually know how to tune them when I ask for a 3/1 side to base  tune?

 

Cheers Exracer.

post #20 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by T-REX View Post

Thanks Bob and Exracer,

 

I was hoping it was just a typo!

 

Any ideas on a shop in Utah to pick them up from at a fair price? That will actually know how to tune them when I ask for a 3/1 side to base  tune?

 

Cheers Exracer.

 

Does it have to be Utah?  You can buy them at the shop I'm associated with in Jackson Hole - Teton Village Sports.  They can ship them anywhere and tune them exactly the way you want them before they put 'em in the box.

 

If that won't work, here's the Head site's list of Utah dealers:

 

ALTA SPORTS, INC.
 
P.O. BOX 8052
84092 SANDY
UT
ph: 801-742-3110

 

 

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BACKCOUNTRY STORE.COM
 
1678 WEST REDSTONE CENTER DR. SUITE
84098 PARK CITY
UT
ph: 800-409-4518-...

 

 

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BRIANHEAD SPORTS
 

84719 BRIAN HEAD
UT
ph: 435-677-2014

 

 

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CHRISTY SPORTS DEER VALLEY
 
7580 Royal St. E #107 P.O. Box 4018
84060 DEER VALLEY
UT
ph: 435-649-2909

 

 

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CHRISTY SPORTS OLYMPUS HILLS
 
3955 S. WASATCH BLVD
84124 SALT LAKE CITY
UT
ph: 801-272-5550

 

 

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CHRISTY SPORTS SNOWBIRD
 
PLAZA LEVEL / TRAM DECK
84092 SNOWBIRD
UT
ph: 801-742-2871

 

 

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DEAL CITY-SKI TRUCKS
 

SALT LAKE CITY
UT
ph: (801) 595-0919

 

 

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DESTINATION SPORTS
 

84060 PARK CITY
UT
ph: (435) 649-8092

 

 

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JANS LTD.
 
P.O. BOX 280
84060 PARK CITY
UT
ph: (435) 649-1020

 

 

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LEVEL NINE SPORTS

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2023 SOUTH 800 EAST UNIT 5
84105 SALT LAKE CITY
UT
ph: 801-973-7350

 

 

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OUT N BACK
 
1797 S STATE ST
84097 OREM
UT
ph: 801 224-0454

 

 

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PARK CITY MOUNTAIN RESORT
 
1315 LOWELL AVE
84060 PARK CITY
UT
 

 

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SKI-N-SEE
 
772 E. 9400
84094 SANDY
UT
ph: (801) 571-2031

 

 

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SKICO III INC.
 
6755 S. WASATCH BLVD.
84121 SALT LAKE CITY
UT
ph: (801) 942-2002

 

 

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SOLITUDE SKI RESORT CO
 
1200 BIG COTTONWOOD CANYON
84121 SALT LAKE CITY
UT
ph: (801) 534-1400

 

 

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SPORT LOFT
 
4678 HIGHLAND DRIVE
84117 SALT LAKE CITY
UT
ph: 801-272-3701

 

 

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THE SPORTSMAN MOUNTAIN PLACE
 
N 129 MAIN STREET
84321 LOGAN
UT
ph: 435-752-0211

 

 

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TURNER SKI OF PARK CITY
 
PO BOX 980607
84098-0021 PARK CITY
UT
ph: (435) 615-8829

 

 

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UNION BOARD SHOP
 
5345 W 11000 N
84003 HIGHLAND
UT
ph: 801-772-0901

 

 

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UTAH SKI & GOLF

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PARK CITY MOUNTAIN RESORT
84060 PARK CITY
UT
ph: (435) 655-8367

 

 

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UTAH SKI & GOLF

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698 PARK AVE
84060 PARK CITY
UT
ph: (435) 649-3020

 

 

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UTAH SKI & GOLF

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2432 E FORT UNION BLVD (7000 SOUTH)
84167 COTTONWOOD HEIGHTS
UT
ph: (801) 942-1522

 

 

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UTAH SKI & GOLF

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134 WEST 600 SOUTH
84101 SALT LAKE CITY
UT
ph: (801) 355-9088


 

post #21 of 21
Thread Starter 

Bob,

 

Thanks for the suggestion of Teton  and the list of Head dealers in Utah, I will start the investigations re:price and tune!

 

Thanks T-rex.

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