Ski Reviews

2020 Volkl Mantra 102 Ski Review

2020 Volkl Mantra 102 Ski Review: // Ski Reviews

Um, yeah, so if you're one of those people who didn't like the new Mantra M5 because you thought it was too narrow or was toned-down too much, you're going to get your wish in the new 2020 Volkl Mantra 102. This thing is a beast. The Titanal Frame construction from the new Kendo 88 and the Mantra M5 filters up to the 102, and in a really good way. The design makes the skis more playful and less planky while still retaining the high-performance edge control and power of the more traditional Mantra/Race-style build. When the Mantra 102 was invented, the Titanal Frame was a natural match. While some fans of the 100mm underfoot, fully-rockered Mantra were unsatisfied with the narrower M5, they won't have to show their disappointment for long. Those skiers should get on a Mantra 102 as fast as possible. Speaking of fast...

I skied these at the end of March, on a nice spring day that was firm and fast in the morning, and a bit mushy later in the day, but still with hard, icy snow covering most of the mountain. The Mantra 102 did not care. I kept thinking of that quote from Game of Thrones when Tywinn says that "A Lion does not concern itself with the opinions of sheep." The Mantra 102 is the Lion in this analogy, and the rest of the mountain is the sheep. The Mantra simply seemed to not care what was in front of it or beneath it. It just went. With the additional 8 mm of width as compared to the M5 Mantra, the 102 ends up being quite a bit heavier and burlier. Over the course of the 184 centimeters of ski, that 8 mm of width adds up and bulks the 102 up to heavyweight proportions. That said, and as substantial as it felt on my feet (noticeable on the chairlift), the Mantra 102 is a pretty nimble ski. It reacts quickly to input and, due to the Titanal Frame and 3D Radius sidecut. This sidecut shape makes it easier to vary up your turns depending on where you pressure the ski. In the tips and tails, the ski has a longer radius, so is better at going faster and straighter. In the middle of the ski, the radius is a bit shorter, so when you're making quick turns, you want to make sure your pressure is centered underfoot. Sounds weird, but it works. So yes, it is a heavier ski, and certainly meant more for inbounds and lift served terrain versus touring or backcountry, but the performance is far from brick-ish.

2020 Volkl Mantra 102 Ski Review: Ski Spec Image

I took them into the moguls, which were pretty hard and fast. The Mantra 102 did not care. They did not flinch. They were a bit of extra work when the lines tightened up, but for a stiff 102 mm underfoot ski, I could wiggle them around pretty well. This is not what they are designed for, by the way, so any mogul skiing being done on the Mantra 102 should be taken with a grain of salt. That said, the fact that they turned quickly (with pressure on the middle of the ski reducing turn radius) was very promising.

How about the woods? I couldn't help but think that if I decided to ski the Mantra 102 directly into the trunk of a tree, that it would take the tree down. I didn't, and it wouldn't, but the point is that the Mantra 102 feels like it will literally conquer anything. It's a fantastic tree ski that will go where you point it. When the woods get tight, sure, a nice light wood core twin-tip would be a better choice, but we're looking at the overall picture here, and in that regard, the Mantra 102 is a totally competent ski in the woods. Again, this was a relatively hard snow day, so I was staying right on top of the surface. With fresh or softer snow, I'd expect the 102 to totally shine. They have the width to float, for sure.

2020 Volkl Mantra 102 Ski Review: Action Image2020 Volkl Mantra 102 Ski Review: Action Image

I didn't get to test them out in powder, because it's hard to just phone in a pow day, but I'm willing to bet (and we can re-visit this later) that they're going to do just fine. There's not a lot of tip and tail taper, much like the M5 Mantra, and the rocker isn't terribly pronounced, but they're still 140 in the tip and 102 underfoot, so just based on surface area calculations, they'll float. Once that snow gets cut up, though, watch out. These things light up the crud and chop. Again, they simply do not care what's in front of them. They are some of the most un-wavering and stable skis that I've ever been on, and their ability to hold the edge regardless of the snow quality or condition, is unlike anything else I've experienced.

Back to the speed, and the ski's ability to make different turn shapes depending on pressure, the Mantra 102, for a wider ski, carves like a dream. It's a Cadillac out there, just motoring along not caring about anything else in the world. I was hesitant to point them down some of the steeper terrain here at Stowe, but it didn't take me long to realize that was a ridiculous thought. It was an "A-Ha" moment when I finally understood what was on my feet and what they were capable of. The sidecut makes a difference, because as you lean into the turn and increase speed, it's natural to want to move your pressure back from the forebody and into the underfoot and tail. You can really feel the ski pick up speed, mostly because the turn radius is increasing as your pressure moves back in the ski. In the transition of the turn, be ready to get back to the tip of the ski, because I'm pretty sure these things will take you for a ride if you're just turning from the midfoot back all day. But when you're balanced and when you figure out the 3Dimension Radius (there is a bit of a learning curve), you'll wonder why anyone would want a narrower ski for groomers and smooth terrain.

Best suited for skiers who are looking for a high-performance ski and who equate weight with stability, the 2020 Volkl Mantra 102 is a ridiculously amazing ski. The width, combined with the build, combine to create a ski that's an absolute blast to rip around on. It has pretty surprising slow-speed ability, so you don't have to be on it all the time, but good luck finding the speed limit on this thing. I'm 6'2" and 220 pounds all geared up, and I was on the 184. I think the 191 would be on the long side for me, especially here in the east. For a wide-open western ski, I'd most likely size up. But that 184 felt pretty good on my feet, and I think a whole lot of skiers are going to have the same experience. If you're at all serious about the sport of skiing, check out the Mantra 102 and don't be afraid to floor it.

2020 Volkl Mantra 102 Ski Review: Buy Now Image


Written by Bob St. Pierre on 06/13/19

67 thoughts on “2020 Volkl Mantra 102 Ski Review

  1. I would be very interested in hearing your thoughts on the Mantra 102 vs. the K2 Mindbender Ti 99.....Thanks

    1. Hi Bo!
      The main difference in my experience is swing weight. The K2 has a lighter and quicker swing to it, and is able to be skidded and smeared better. The 102 is more of a "locked in" type of feeling, one in which it takes some energy to break out of the turn. Even though it's a bit wider, the 102 is a stronger carver on-trail as well as being a better crud and chop ski. In flat-out straight powder, take your pick. The 99 is more playful and easier to manipulate turn shapes due to that lower swing weight. Both pretty sick skis.

    2. Hello,
      These skis have appeared in a local shop on a $300 discount. I’m a younger and pretty advanced skier doing primarily black and double black diamond runs, but I don’t go very often. I prefer ungroomed runs. Any advice? Do I go for the 2021 model instead (has the technology/design advanced much?) Thanks!

      1. Hi Kamron!
        I advise to go skiing more! No change from 2020 to 2021, so if you find the 102 at a good price, I say go for it! Have fun!

    1. Hi Hansjorg!
      I feel like we'll be seeing a lot of these questions with the 102. The Enforcer 100 is the most freeride-oriented, thanks to the longer rocker profile. The E100 also has the most consistent build versus the other two that have different materials in different spots to achieve different effects, such as the carbon in the tips of the Bonafide that reduce swing weight. I'd say the Mantra 102 is the least quick of the three, with the Bonafide being the quickest. The 100 is the best floater, and even at 102 underfoot, the Mantra is the strongest carver, with the Bonafide coming in a close second. At the end of the day, all three of these skis are burly builds with crazy stability and strength. Hope that helps!

  2. Hi guys, how does the mantra 102 compare to the enforcer 104 and the k2 pinnacle 105z.
    Thanks for your reviews, they are great!!

    1. Hi Alex!
      Bottom line, I'd go with the Pinnacle for powder, the Mantra for harder snow and crud, and the Enforcer for versatility. The longer tip rocker in the K2 really allows it to stay on top, while the twin-tip shape of the Enforcer gives it a playful feeling, while still being pretty stiff. The Mantra is stiff, stable, and unflinching at speed. The biggest gap is between the Mantra and the Pinnacle on hard snow--the tip of the Pinnacle really does not like harder snow. Hope that helps!

  3. Wow! Cant wait.
    Suprised about your length choice though ....
    We are similar in size, I may be an inch taller. I currently own and LOVE the M5 in the 191, and have a hard time mentally going down in size. I don't think I have ever once wished for the shorter length.
    Having said that, I have considerable knee damage, (motorcycle accident 30 years ago) and now 52, I worry about the longevity of said knee.
    I ski a million vertical a year, in Revelstoke. Should I be considering the 184?

    1. Hi Chris!
      To be fair, I haven't skied the 191 yet so I can't speak to how that one feels, but I did think the 184 was certainly enough ski for me. I've skied similar skis in the longer lengths, such as the Nordica Enforcer 100 in the 193, and did feel like those were a bit cumbersome sometimes, but not all the time. The stoutness of the 102 makes me lean to the 184, and as I ski primarily in the east with tighter trees/turns, I appreciate the extra maneuverability. Hope that helps!

      1. I am 67 years old, 6”2”, 220 and am skiing Volkl Katana 191s. Thinking about the 102 as the replacement. I ski the West with Squaw/Alpine/Mammoth my homes. Starting to slow down a bit, but still go off the top off piste. Some powder, but not as much as in the past unless we get lucky at Snowbird or Revelstoke. I have begun to embrace the groomers more. The Katanas are the best Volkl I have ever skied so am looking for a replacement. My 4 year old Mantras are ok but not nearly as good as the Katanas. If I go for the 102s should I stick with the 191s or downsize?

        1. Hi Yeti!
          I'd get the same size as your older Mantra. I'm your size and skied the 184 in the 102 and thought that was just about right. I was thinking the 191 might be long for me and where I ski. Hope that helps!

  4. I used the Mantra M5 last season and I am wondering whether to swop the 102.
    Any advice?
    I ski everything and anything I can, and predominantly ski in Europe. I am 191cm tall and weigh 86kg.

    1. Hi Tom!
      It's a very similar feel and behavior, just that extra width makes the ski that much burlier and stable. I was pretty blown away at how stable they were, but it did come at the cost of quickness, but at that power level, you didn't really have to move the skis too much because they just plow through everything. On groomers, they carved like a much narrower ski with fantastic edge grip. Worth a rip for sure.

  5. Im very interested in the vokl 102 Im getting new skis for this season and cant decide exactly I ski out west and usually get about twenty days in a year since I live in illinois Im more of an advanced skier and can make my way down double blacks but im certainly not the best skier on the mountain Im about 5,6 150 would these be a good choice thanks and I love your vids keep up the good work

    1. Hi John!
      The 102 is a great ski for western mountains and conditions. It's on the hefty side, so be prepared to put in a bit of effort. Other than that, they're about as smooth and stable as you could find! Have fun!

  6. I was all set to get the M5, but now this.... Help me decide between the Mantra 102 and M5.
    I'm 50 yo, 5'9" x 150 with skinny legs. I've been skiing for 40 years. I ski pretty aggressively, all over the mountain, probably 60% off-piste, but i also love to rail GS turns on the groomers. I mostly ski Mammoth mountain in CA. I average around 5-6 days a year.
    For the past 3 years I have been skiing the M4 mantra in a 170. I love this ski. I ski it in everything with no problems at all. But at that width with two sheets of metal, it is one heavy ski. Admittedly, it does sometimes wear me out by the end of a full ski day, especially if i ski bumps.
    So I have been thinking about getting a ski that is a half step down from the M4 in terms of weight and energy input required. Naturally the M5 came to mind. But I was concerned whether it would be enough ski for me, in terms of width and stability/dampness (i skied the old 90mm Kendo and felt it was too narrow and not damp enough).
    But, now I am thinking about getting the 102 instead. Do you think the 102 with the titanal frame and 3d sidecut will be easier to ski and lighter than the M4? Will i find the M5 too soft coming from the M4? Help me choose. I would purchase either ski in a 170. These skis do not ski short.
    Appreciate your input. LOVE the site guys.

    1. Hi BT!
      It sounds like you're leaning to the 102, and I agree. At 96 mm underfoot, the M5 isn't that much wider than the older Kendo, and if you're looking for wider and damper, the 102 iw the way to go. It's one of the most impressive skis I've been on in a while. Still energy required, but they blow through everything on the hill--very strong. Have fun!

        1. I have both the mantra M4 and the Mantra 102. The 102 is the most stable ski I've ever been on (more stable than the M4) and is just as easy to ski. If you're a carver or former racer, you'll love this ski!

    1. Hi Santiago!
      Yup! Although very stable, I think the 184 would feel short for someone your height/size. Have fun!

  7. Hey, I’m looking to replace my original bonifides that are 180s and I have loved for years but I demoed the newer bonifide 2 years ago and didn’t love it as much as the originals. Considering this years Mantra M5, Bonifide, mantra 102 but am struggling to make a decision any thoughts or other suggestions as I don’t get to demo many skis.
    I am 5’11 and 210lbs advanced - expert skier.

    1. Hi Aussie!
      If you're a fan of the old Bonafide, you'll probably love the Mantra 102. I'd go with the 184 in that model based on your stats. Also the Nordica Enforcer 100 is worth a look. Have fun!

      1. Thanks for the reply,
        Just out of interest why the 102 over the M5, and do they both ski short vs the Bonifide as the 177 length seems to be similar to the 180 in the Blizzard just wondering for the occasional bump run if the 184 may be a little long as I had the original mantras in 184? Regards Aussie.

        1. I have 2016 Mantra 170's and 2019 M5 170's. I am the same height and level of skier and am very aggressive skier but lighter than you at 78kg/172lb.
          Never thought I could get a better ski than my old Mantras, until I got Mantra M5's. Seriously an awesome ski that rips anything at any speed you like with zero complaints. So very similar to the 2016's, but sharper.
          Have not yet tried Mantra 102's, but as they are identical apart from width, and the tester's description is exactly as I would have described my M5's, you cannot go wrong. I will be getting a pair of 102's for powder days, have my M5's for every other day, and my trusty 2016's for the springier snow.
          Hey Volkl: Don't go skis ever made!

  8. Hi SE! Just came across your site and I'm really loving the work you're doing. Thanks so much for the great information!
    I'm in my late twenties, 5'7", 132lbs, advanced/expert (comfortable on any trail and deep in the woods), however my knees have been a bit weak in recent years. I've been riding a pair of 169cm Völkl Bridge Jr's on-and-off since 2009. It's time for me to get back into skiing and do a proper upgrade, so I'm looking for the right new Völkl model to be my daily drivers (one-ski-quiver) for lift-serve at Mad River this winter!
    I love long woods runs and going fast on-piste, and I'm also a fan of slamming through the bumps from time to time. I need a strong all-mountain ski that can do it all. For my purposes, I'm already sold on the Mantra family, however I'm stuck deciding between the 102, M5, and Mantra V.Werks. I love your take on the 102's and they seem best suited for my current ability, and the M5's look like a winner as well, but I'm worried that these pairs will be too hefty for me by the end of the day. Your reviews of the V.Werks Mantra really entice me, especially due to how lightweight they are, but I think those may prove to be too stiff and unforgiving--perhaps better suited to a pro skier or for touring. What do you think? Would I be crazy to jump straight to the V.Werks for my first upgrade in years? Are the heavier yet stable skis a better match for me than the lightweight yet unforgiving V.Werks?

    1. Hi Jack!
      I think the VWerks will be too stiff (but light enough) while the Mantra skis will be a bit too cumbersome on your knees for full day MRG skiing. Check out the Volkl 90Eight for a lighter yet stable ski. It's shaped similarly to the Vwerks, but is made from wood and fiberglass instead of wood and carbon. I'd also look at the Blizzard Rustler 9 (or 10 for a wider option) for a great ski with a blend of lightness and performance. Hope that helps!

      1. Wow, I had completely overlooked the 90Eight! Thanks so much for bringing it to my attention, that's incredibly helpful! You rule!

    2. Ok, here’s the deal. I bought the Mantra M5s at the end of last season a free trying a friends pair for only 1 turn. They are literally THE GREATEST all around ski $ can buy. Incredibly stable on groomers & are up everything non perfect. Damn good in deep powder but there are better deep snow skis. Still, you will be thrilled. They turn real fast in all conditions & hold a line like a race car

  9. Hey,
    first of all, thank you for these awesome reviews!! Really appreciate it.
    So, I'm in search for a new pair again. I got some blizzard for ripping groomers and some armada for park und big air. At the moment I'm shifting my focus more towards backcountry/touring/freeriding. I got some heavy 88mm blizzards but I wanna get into the 92-100mm range. It should be a fun and versatile freeride ski with a mixture of all-mountain and some touring aspects. Just something to have fun with and play around! Will be used 70% off-piste and 30% on-piste. They should be on the light side, playful and in the best case with less sacrifice in stability and maybe speed. I want something that gives my backcountry skiing the boost to the next level. Age 22/145 lbs/in between advanced to pro
    These are my favs: Elan - Ripstick 96 Black Edition / Line - Vision 98 and Sick Day 94 / Kästle - FX96 / Faction - Agent 2.0 and Dictator 2.0 / Dynastar - Legend 96 / Rossignol - SKY 7 HD / Head - Kore 99
    What's your recommendation? Any other suggestions?
    Thank you very much for your time and insight!!!

    1. Hi Flo!
      For a combination of light weight and stability, I like the Ripstick, Kastle, and Kore. I'm not as familiar with the Faction skis. No metal in any of the three I pointed out, but they all use carbon to generate stiffness and stability without adding weight. I've really been liking the looks of that Ripstick lately--if you can give it a try, it's pretty impressive. Hope that helps!

  10. Hi SE,
    Love your video reviews and write ups. I have been skiing on 2012 Mantra's with 98 underfoot and at 177(I am 5'10" and 200#). It has been a really fun ski, and my one quiver ski. I enjoy carving the groomers as well as skiing the steeps, bumps, and the trees in the Sierras.
    I am looking to get some new skis for this season. So, the 96 or the 102's? I do enjoy a snappier ski, but I have gotten used to the feel of the Mantra's. I could go with others, like the Bonafide or Enforcer. I just need to narrow my field of choices. Thanks for any insight and guidance.

    1. Hi Eric!
      I've thought that the 102 is a better transition from fans of the older 98's. Tons of power and precision, although not quite as quick as the 96. Nothing wrong with the Bonafide or Enforcer, but if you've been a Volkl fan in the past, there's no real reason to change. Have fun!

  11. Like someone above, I am looking at the Bonafide, Enforcer 100 and the Volkl 102.
    I live in the Midwest but would use these mainly out west (Utah) I am 52, 5'10 and about 220# I love to ski fast but love the bumps, powder, trees etc I am torn on lengths 177 or 184/185? I am also torn on which ski?
    Thank you.

    1. Hi Bryan!
      I think the Enforcer 100 provides the best match for your application. Handles speed, but is also versatile and flexible enough to mix it up. Mantra and Bonafide are on the stiffer side, but I'm not sure its worth the compromise. If you're skiing fast and aggressively, I'd size up and deal with the extra length/weight when you have to. Overall, I'd say the longer length will suit you better. Have fun!

      1. Hi there. Love this site.
        Me=5’9”, 178lbs, very aggressive tele skier. Ntn. Live in Colorado...Vail and Beaver Creek mostly, 80 days per year. Powder, bumps, name it.
        I am a lover of old no rocker mantras. I’ve owned 10 pairs. 2007 (red top sheet) and 2008 (white top sheet) and have lived off of buying them off craigslist. Ski the 2008s as my soft snow ski and for all but the deepest days they float just fine and they crush crud and cut snow. They are getting hard to find.
        I have tried a number of rockered skis...Shiro, Kastle BMX 105, JJ and have not really liked any of them.
        Might be hard for you to project to ntn tele but these 102s have caught my eye. Thoughts as a hard charging tele ski? Thinking the 177 which is what I ski the old mantras in.

        1. Hi David B!
          Yup, I'd say they'll do for your application. You get tip and tail rocker with these, but the camber underfoot loves to grip. I'd say the 177 is perfect--no need to change lengths here. Have fun!

  12. Hi SE
    Love your write up of 102s. I’ve very much got my eye on a pair for this season but am wondering which length to go for: 177 or 184. I’m an advanced -> expert skier, 190lbs, 6’1”. I typically ski in Europe and want something that will ski the whole mountain, including bumps and moguls. I’m thinking that 184 might feel a bit long for skiing bumps and tighter turns like moguls and that 177 might be a better all round compromise / be more responsive. Any advice / recommendations? Thanks!

    1. Thanks, Thomas!
      Yes, the 177 will be more responsive, but I think the 184 is a better overall choice. I'm 6/2 220 and felt that I wanted the 191, but never did I think I'd want the shorter length. But yes, in bumps and tight turns, the 184 will be slightly more demanding of your input. Have fun!

  13. Great write-up, thank you.
    Interested in your thoughts on the M102 vs the Fischer 107Ti, beyond the obvious difference in width... I have powder skis, so hese would be my daily drivers. Looking for stability and speed. Mostly on groomers, crud/chop. I love the sound of the M102s from the "Lion/sheep" line. But, I also like a lot of what I read about the Fischers.
    For reference, I have been skiing on some 2009 Black Diamond Verdicts which I have loved for their stiffness, ability to blast through anything, and less rockered/more traditional camber design. I purchased some Enforcer 100s at the beginning of the season. After 5 days, I hated them and sold them off. Too soft, flappy and chattery...
    I'm 5'9", 190, advanced-to-expert skier in Utah.

    1. Hi Gavin!
      Definitely more rocker in the 107--the Mantra does have tip and tail rocker, but it's pretty low--the carving performance as a result is pretty outstanding. The 107 is burly and fast, but not quite the tank-like stability of the 102. I'd lean to the 107 certainly in the powder category, but it sounds like you're looking for the Mantra build for your application. The tips of the Fischers are thinned out and carbonized (I just made up that word, if it didn't already exist) so they are a lot more playful than the Mantra, not necessarily more playful overall in the grand scheme. I'd go with the 102 in the 177 and have a blast!

      1. Thank you - needed a tie-breaker!
        One more to add to the equation; the Bonafide... If I hated the Enforcer, would I also dislike the Bonafide. And, Bonafide vs the Mantras?

  14. Your review of the new Mantra 102 is the best I've read. I have skied the 102 over 30 times this year both in the East and West and it is an amazing ski in any condition! I have a 4 year old pair of Mantra's, which I love, but I haven't had them out all year, as this ski is better in so many ways. I've had many people stop and ask me about my skis and I send them to read your review, because you nailed it!
    Thank you Bob for a terrific review!

  15. Bought the 102s. Now trying to figure out a good binding set up. What do you recommend? Have the Atomic Hawk 130 Alpine Touring cross boot. Don't think it makes sense to do a touring set up but could be convinced otherwise. I think.

    1. HI Bill!
      I don't think I'd try to convince you to put a touring binding on that ski. We pair the 102 with either the Tyrolia Attack 13 or the Marker Griffon. Have fun!

  16. Love your reviews! I just rented the 102s for a day to try them out and LOVE them so much I want to buy a pair. But I’m torn on what size to get. I’m 6’1” and 172lb, but with skinny legs... and so given the heft of these was thinking of getting the 170s (the size I demo’d). Am I crazy or should I get the 177s that every size guide I see says I should be getting? I love to rip fast down groomers but like bumps and trees... but given my slim frame Ive always liked a shorter ski to stay nimble. Thanks!

    1. Hi Kurt!
      I'm not going to talk you out of a ski in the length that you loved. If you know that you like shorter skis for quickness and nimbleness, then that's the right thing for you. You might be missing out on some stability at speed, but the 102 is inherently a stable ski, so that's not of great concern. Have fun!

  17. Hi. Thanks for an excellent review. Dithering about M5 or 102. Having skied the mantra for 5 years mostly in soft snow and off piste and really liked it I’m looking to upgrade it. I need a longer ski, I have 170 mantra and I was considering M5 177 or 102 177. I also have 2 year old 177 kendos which I use for day to day skiing around the piste (and some off piste) and feel like the correct length. I was concerned about the “slimming down” of the new mantra and it’s float in soft snow and also the “burlyness” of the 102.
    2 questions
    1 Does the M5 perform like (or better than) the old mantra in soft snow/powder despite the narrower waist and will it feel significantly different from my kendos?
    2 Will the 102 be too much of a handful as it significantly wider all round than old mantra?
    60 yr old pensioner advanced skier 5’8” 165 pounds skiing 2-3 months/year in French alps.
    Thanks for your expert advice

    1. Hi Dave!
      1. Not the same float as the older versions, especially if you have the full-rocker model. A very similar overall feel to the Kendo.
      2. I think the 102 is a better complement to the Kendo, and you'll learn when to use it appropriately, so even though it is more of a handful, it does have the merits of stability and float to tip the scales in its favor. I'd go 102 for sure, and even though the 177 is on the long side, you will appreciate the stability. No sense really in downsizing if you like the Kendo in the 177.
      Hope that helps, and have fun!

  18. I am 70 years old, 5 ft 9 in and 205 pounds. Presently I ski RTM 84 171 length skis. I enjoy the RTMs and primarily carve. What length you you recommend for the 102? My friend Joseph, see reply above, is a great salesman for the ski and has me convinced I would like it. Your review of the ski has me interested.

    1. Hi John!
      Great skis for sure! If you're comfortableon the 171 in the RTM, I'd go with the 170 in the 102. I think the 177 is a bit of a stretch unless you ski aggressively and know you like longer skis. Have fun!

  19. How does the Mantra 102 compare to the previous 2015-2018 fully-rockered, 100 underfoot Mantra? Really, really liked that ski, it could be skied pretty hard over all types of terrain yet was surprisingly nimble due to the full rocker. Was disappointed by the M5 Mantra, too skinny and less versatile.

    1. Hi Phreddie!
      The first time I skied the 102, I felt that it was a far more direct relation to the rockered Mantra. A bit more edge grip and power with the 102, but a bit less float due to the camber. If you're looking for more of a correlation, the 102 is the way to go--extremely smooth and capable. Have fun!

  20. I’ve skied on the older Mantras (not sure which version - have the dragon graphics and are pre full rocker) at 98 under foot and 184cm. I’ve loved them. Looking at the new 102 underfoot, but can’t decide if I should drop to the 177cm. I’m 49 years old, 5’10, 178lbs and ski aggressively. I ski everything, but enjoy trees and steeps the most. Thoughts?

    1. Hi Tyler!
      A lot of skiers who loved that pre-rockered Mantra tend to gravitate towards the 102. It's incredibly stable and strong, so if you're on the fence about sizing, I'd see no issue with downsizing, especially if you're in the trees. Have fun!

  21. Interesting review of the mantra 102. I'm 6' 4" at 240 lbs, 61 years old and ski pretty aggressive, just not as much in bumps anymore. Can usually be found at winter park or crested butte. Looking at the enforcer 100, mantra 102, and mindbender 99ti. Currently on 187 bonafides and really enjoy them, but am a little nervous getting another pair as it seems that they may be a little too soft for what I'm looking for. Which of these skis would ski like my 2015 bonafides

    1. Hi Craig!
      I'd say the Enforcer is the closest of the group as it has the two full-sheets of metal like the Bonafide. The Mantra 102 is still pretty burly but not quite as planky as the older Bonafide. I'm 6'2 220 and I loved the 2021 Bonafide 97 in the 189, for what it's worth. Have fun!

  22. Great review. I'm 49, 5'10", 150 lb. aggressive all-mountain skier (home hill Mt. Bachelor, OR). I currently ski a 181cm Volkl 100eight which I absolutely love (best one quiver ski I've ever owned). I'm looking to keep the 100eight for deeper days and get a second pair of skis for groomers/crud but still be able to hit the trees, etc. I owned an early pair of pre-rocker Mantras in 177cm length. Question: would you go with the 177cm or 184cm Mantra 102's?

    1. Hi Brad!
      If you liked the 177 Mantra, I'd stick with that size in the 102. They're remarkably stable and damp, and an absolute blast. Great complement to the floaty 100Eight!

  23. Hi!
    Would you put a Kingpin on the Mantra 102? Or does it need a frame binding/alpine binding in your opinion? I ski the BMT 109 and BMT 122 with pin-bindings (Ion and Kingpin) and loooove them. But earlier I skied more burly/charging skis and I miss that missile-feeling every now and then. So I thought I'd complete the set-up a bit. But I still want to be able to tour ok with it. I know we're talking like at least 25-30% heavier then the BMT 109. But weight is only one factor. The benefits in touring with a pin-binding vs a frame binding is even more decisive than weight if you ask me. So I would really like to mount Kingpins on them. Hence: would the Mantra 102 ski well also with a Kingpin you think? Or would that rather mean that I cant use the full potential of this beast of a ski :). One option could be the Shift or the Tecton... But they are both pretty new on the market so heard a bit about some issues on durability and handling...
    Thanks / Andy

    1. HI Andy!
      You're not going to get the same downhill performance with either a frame or a tech binding, but it's all about compromise, right? Ultimately, I'd rather see a shift on the 102, but I get the allure of a bit lighter weight on the uphills. Frame bindings still serve a good purpose for skiers who aren't looking to invest in a whole new setup, but the height and weight of the frame binding kind of kills the intended purpose of the ski--you're way stacked on the ski, making it twitchy and less floaty. I'd rather see a straight alpine binding on that ski, but if you're looking for tech, the Shift or the Duke PT are the burly bindings designed specifically for hard-charging skis like the 102. Hope that helps!

  24. Thanks! That sure does help! Was also the answer I feared. Haha 🙂 But will be looking at the Shift or the Duke PT rather then. The weight issue is sort of out of the window already when you think about touring on a 2230 gram heavy ski :). It's more that I want to be able to tour it if we all of a sudden see nice 45 minute skin option. Plus that I always feel safer in in general in the backcountry (also when boot-packing or traversing to it) when I know I have the option to turn back uphill for a buddy in need or when encountering bad terrain...
    And the heavier it is the better the workout right...? Eeeeh 🙂 But having been out there many years touring things like Völkl Kuro with first gen Dukes (now that's a heavy set up!) and Heavy Metal Katanas with FT 12's I suppose it's all relative. And I do have my Zero G's with ATK Crest and BMT's with Ion for the days I know I will be spending more uphillin'.
    Once again: thnks! Really helpful!
    / Andy

  25. SE - thanks for the great info. Sizing question for you.
    I’m 6’2 and 200 lbs (more with gear). Aggressive advanced/expert. I have the Bonafide 97s in 183 and love them - definitely wouldn’t want to go shorter on that ski - I ski it hard and find it super versatile. I’m considering the mantra 102 in 177 or 184. I would likely prefer the 184 if it was my only ski, but I have a decent quiver and am curious if you think I’d be OK on the 177s - want to rip groomers, etc. but also be maneuverable in tight trees and bumps. This would be an east coast ski for me (stowe, sugarbush). I don’t want to lose too much top end or have a twitchy ski that I’m overpowering, but if I gain a lot of extra maneuverability with the 177s and don’t lose much in terms of edge grip or top end, I’d go in that direction. Will just have to get over my mental block of being on shorter skis.
    The other ski I’m considering instead of the M102 is the K2 Mindbender 108TI in 186. Any thoughts on that ski (in 186) in terms of maneuverability, trees, fun in bumps, compared to the 177 mantra 102 - seems like it might be a better addition to the quiver with less overlap with my bones.

  26. Hi guys. Great info and appreciate all the reviews. I have been skiing the west on 2018 Volkl 98's in size 184. Super light ski and I am actually very impressed with its stability for being so light. I tend to like a heavier ski from past experience. I am looking for a one quiver ski for the Sierras. I am 6-4, 210lb and advanced ++ skier. How would you compare the new 102's to the 98's. I assume I would stick with the same length of 184 since I am 56 years old and slowing down a bit. Thoughts??

    1. HI Greg!
      If you like a heavier ski, then you're in luck with the 102. Amazingly, when you're skiing it, you don't feel the weight, only the stability. Sure, if you get in a tight spot, you have to work harder to get out of it, but for cruising groomers, these are total Cadillacs. In heavier Sierra snow, they will not flinch. I'd stick with 184. Have fun!

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