By now the Mantra must be setting all kinds of ski industry longevity records. And that just might be its most compelling selling point: If people didn’t adore it, it wouldn’t still be around for what will be its 13th year. As it always has, the 2017-18 Mantra, with its metal reinforcement and stout vertical sidewalls, offers a sturdy, stable, dense, reliable feel for freeskiers who like to set an edge and stand on it. The Mantra will hammer—rather than dance or slither—through all terrain and conditions, and it sure as hell won’t pout if there’s no powder. To be sure, this venerable model has adapted capably with the times. There’s a lot more smear to it these days than there was in the original 2005-06 version, and it’s nominally wider. But Volkl diehards can rest assured. It stil3l prefers to carve rather than slarve its turns, and it still likes to be driven hard by a capable pilot. Remember, Volkl offers two different flavors at this waist width, so if you’re looking for a lighter, less aggressive ride with similar flotation, check out the metal-free 90Eight. But for an aggressive attack and expert-level speeds, the supple, knifey Mantra is hard to beat.
David W. : “I have owned multiple pairs over the years, and I saved it for last today. It’s like an old reliable friend. Rock solid and always under your feet. A true benchmark.”
Jake I. : “Great ski for carving. Holds an edge on anything. Stiff and powerful, but the rocker gives it a little playfulness.”
Brooks C. : “Versatile fun for turns of all shapes. Very stable on edge. Holds like a race ski in the middle of the turn, but with quiet rebound from one turn to the next. Good for a relaxed ride or can be arced with confidence at high speeds.”