Latest Gear: New Volkl Mantra Ski – The All Mountain Legend
Do a quick google search on the Volkl Mantra and you quickly get the idea that it is one of the most respected freeride skis ever produced.
Volkl have changed it here and there over the years as trends in ski shape have come and gone, but every year the Mantra stands out as a real benchmark ski for serious freeriders who want a ski that can handle just about anything you can throw at it.
The big change for the Mantra this winter is the move into a full rocker shape. The Mantra has always had either full camber or camber with tip and tail rocker, but for winter 2014/2015 Volkl have brought their premier ski right up to date and given it full tip to tail rocker. This gives the Mantra more float in powder and easier turn initiation and by matching the stiffness and sidecut to the rocker shape, the Mantra has retained the legendary edge hold and stability that Volkl skis are known for.
Another change comes in the shape of the increased waist width. The 2015 Mantra now has a 100mm waist width which gives the ski a little more beef under foot combined with better deep snow performance and the ability to charge through crud with ease. A little taper in the tip and tail also adds to the ease at which this ski handles powder.
Internally the Mantra retains Volkl’s proven Power Construction. This consists of vertical side walls and a titanium reinforced multi layer wood core. The wood core provides the much loved combination of power and stability combined with a really smooth feel through the turn. By tweaking the core materials Volkl can adjust the stiffness of their skis and the 2015 Mantra is much more flexible through the middle of the ski than past models but now has a stiffer tip and tail. This works nicely with the sidecut and rocker to produce a ski that turns easily yet has added pop and power out of the turn. It also adds an element of playfulness to the Mantra that further increases the ski’s versatility.
In fact the word versatile probably best sums up the new Mantra. The addition of rocker, a wider waist and early tip taper really adds to the ski’s performance in powder yet the solid, stable ride that Volkl skis are so well known for remains. This gives the Mantra a pretty unbeatable combination for the serious all mountain freeskier who likes to hit all types of terrain, in all conditions.
Read more of Andy's reviews back in our news feed - search 'Latest Gear' or visit his website.