Volkl Mantra 2018 Skis Review

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2018 Volkl Mantra

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The 2018 Volkl Mantra skis are some of the best all mountain skis we've ever encountered.

They need plenty of power behind of them, but these bad boys redefine versatility on and off the piste.

  • Groomer Performance
    9
  • Powder Performance
    9.5
  • Edge Hold
    9.5
  • Ease of Use
    6
  • Construction Quality
    9
  • User Ratings (0 Votes)
    0

The Volkl Mantra 2018s may just be the best all mountain skis we’ve seen this year.

These hard chargers are an absolute dream regardless of where you are on the mountain: they’re truly versatile in all conditions and terrain.

volkl mantra review

The Volkl Mantra skis with their full-rocker profile, moderate taper, and prowess at carving might just be what you’re seeking.

But don’t be fooled: these bad boys are strictly for advanced skiers only thanks to their stiff, unforgiving profile that demands power and strength behind them.

Let’s find out more…

Volkl Mantra Skis: The Details

In a Nutshell

  • Lengths: 170, 177, 184, 191 cm
  • Sidecut: 132/100/118 mm (for 184 length)
  • Profile: Full rocker
  • Turn radius: 25.4 m (for 184 length)
  • Level: Advanced ++
  • Type: All Mountain

volkl mantra 2018 review

Features

Multi-Layer Wood Core

Extreme durability is the name of the game when it comes to the Volkl Mantras and this is definitely due to the core — a mixture of ash and poplar.

The dense ash provides the stability that we know and love while the pliant poplar brings a little snap to proceedings.

Full Titanal Laminates

The dual sheets of metal laminate add a high degree of strength, reliability and an all-over damp quality to the skis.

This is what facilitates the aggression and high speeds that make the Volkl Mantra skis sing.

Wide Waist

The 100m waist on the Volkl Mantra puts them firmly in the wide all mountain ski category.

This really ups their versatility and gives them an impressive advantage floating in powder compared to normal all-mountains.

Full Rocker Profile

A full rocker profile on wide all-mountain skis is actually fairly unusual — but we’re big fans.

If anything, it makes these skis absolutely perfect for big carving turns and really turns up the smear effect in fresh powder.

Some critics have said that the full rocker is actually closer to a rocker/flat/rocker profile, which we think is a fair comment. It’s certainly more stable than most traditional full rockers we’ve tried out.

As always with a full rocker, however, you’ll need to really amp up the strength and power to get the most out of the Mantras.

2018 volkl mantra review

Moderate Taper

The Mantras also feature a slight taper at the tips and the tail.

If you ever had a chance to try the old Volkl Mantra (pre 2015), you’ll notice that this taper has really improved the ski’s performance and stability off piste and on crud.

Base P-Tex 2100

This futuristic sounding material is a high-density and high molecular polyethylene base.

It makes the ski better equipped to float in snow and adds another layer of durability to proceedings.

When you are paying a lot of money for something, whether it’s skis or not, durability should be high on your must-have list. Thankfully, the Mantras have it in spades.

Full Sidewall

The vertical sidewalls on the Volkl Mantras run the full length of each ski. This ensures they are stable and that you get the most edge hold possible.

This unparalleled edge hold is one of our favorite things about these all mountain skis — it can edge on practically anything.

The sidewall combined with the fact that the Mantras are full rockered skis means you can use these on almost any terrain and in any conditions.

Get ready for some neat tricks out on the slopes!

Here’s a great rundown of all its features:

Volkl Mantra Skis Review

The Positives

Truly Versatile

We’re not alone when we say that the Volkl Mantras are some of the most versatile skis we’ve ever had the pleasure of testing.

Wherever you are on the mountain, they put in a sterling and reliable performance. They’re just as good at floating in powder as some strictly powder skis, and they can tear down groomers like no other.

Volkl describes the Mantra as “a never-failing, always-reliable workhorse,” and that doesn’t seem to be an exaggeration.

Whether you’re on a groomed slope, on-trail, or need to charge through some heavy slush, the Mantras will have no problem moving wherever you take them.

Powder or crunchy, wet snow will be no match for these skis. The conditions don’t matter; they will float, smear, turn, and pivot over any land.

If you want to get out on the slopes in blizzard conditions (because why not?), these will be the skis you’ll want to use. You will be the king of the mountain!

This is down to the truly expert engineering at work here: the wide waist, titanal laminates, full rocker profile and moderate taper are really quite a genius combination.

Powder Expert

We know that we’ve already covered the Volkl Mantra‘s prowess in powder but we want to touch on it again — it’s that good.

The wide waist and full rocker profile means that these skis are excellent at floating in any depth of powder. If you want a high degree of off-piste capability in your all-mountain skis, then these should definitely be on your short list.

They initiate easily and despite their sturdy strength, feel super maneuverable in fresh pow.

Unparalleled Edge Hold

Another feature that testers are unanimous on is the exceptional edge hold on offer here.

This is due to the metal sidewalls and full rocker again, and we absolutely love it. The Mantras can hold an edge in any terrain and you’ll always enjoy that incredible stability that they bring to the table.

Insane Carver

We’ve already mentioned how the Volkl Mantras are ideally designed for big carving turns thanks to that fantastic edge hold.

More than almost any other ski we can think of, you feel like you’re riding a knife when you’re carving with the Mantras. A seriously good time is on offer here.

They’re also great for small turns at high speed too — although they definitely require an expert behind them as they’re not the most responsive skis on the market.

best all mountain skis

Stability

If you’re looking for a pair of rock solid skis that provide just as much stability on groomers as in powder, then you need to take a second look at the Volkl Mantras.

These are not the lightweight skis that beginners and intermediates love so much.

These bad boys are strong and sturdy with metal reinforcements and a real presence on the snow.

Hard Charging

If you’re looking for a set of charger skis that will have you flying down the slopes, the Volkl Mantras are the ones for you.

They will charge as hard as you want to take them — and the harder you charge, the better they are.

The very stiff flex in this model makes sure they stay stable and durable, so you don’t have to worry when going through the cruddiest, wettest snow or slush out there. The metal at its core doesn’t hurt either.

You might even make a few of your fellow skiers jealous with the way you charge like an Olympian powering down through the slopes.

But Not Bad at Low Speeds Either

We definitely join the chorus of other testers who see that the Volkl Mantra skis are performing at their best when they are hard charging down the slopes with plenty of strength and power behind them.

But they’re also surprisingly adept when going a little slower as well. The stability stayed just as true as when during a charge and they still felt very reliable.

If you’re not hard charging with the Mantras then we think that you’re not using them to their full potential — but it’s nice to have the option to take it easy with them every once in a while too!

Damp

Besides the aluminum alloy and the multiple layers of wood at its core, the Mantra has built-in shock absorption.

You will feel very little vibration as you ride.

It’s always a positive when you don’t feel like your teeth are vibrating in your mouth as you go over rough terrain.

The aluminum alloy makes for an almost nonexistent amount of chatter when you’re skiing on hard snow. You will have a great, smooth ride on these skis without feeling every bump you hit.

Durable

As you might have guessed from all our gushing about the Mantra’s strength, stability and expert construction, they’re also super durable.

As soon as you step into your bindings you’ll be able to sense the superior materials and workmanship on show from Volkl in these wide all mountain skis.

As soon as you start carving, you’ll know just how reliable and long lasting they are.

best all mountain skis for powder

The Negatives

Advanced and Expert Only

These skis are not for beginner or even intermediate skiers. This is purely an advanced and above ski.

As stated above, these are plenty stiff and they need to have plenty of strength and power behind them to really make the most out of them.

An intermediate skier that is still learning the ropes — and certainly a beginner — will simply not be able to give these the power they need while still being able to maneuver them around safely.

The Mantra skies are also on the heavier side, which renders them a little less responsive than the lightweight models typically favored by snow novices. You really have to mean it when you’re riding on Volkl Mantras.

While we’d venture that this is an almost perfect all mountain ski for the advanced and expert skier, it’s simply overkill for someone with a little less experience.

As with all winter sports, don’t run before you can walk.

Overall Verdict

When looking at the pros and cons of the Volkl Mantra skis, we highly recommend them — but only for the most advanced skiers.

You need to be aggressive and prepared to bring the power to truly handle the stiffness and the weight of these skis, and to really bring out their full potential.

These babies were born for hard charging!

It would be a crime not to use the Volkl Mantras the way they were designed to be used: all over the mountain, floating in fresh powder and making big carving turns down groomers.

Their price is really very reasonable for the skill level they cater to, and they are an undeniably durable set of all mountain skis that will handle well for a long time.

Pros, it’s time to weigh it. Get on those slopes and enjoy the ride!

>> Read our full guide to the best all mountain skis of 2018 

Where to Buy the Volkl Mantra 2018 Skis

Being an incredibly popular all mountain ski, the Volkl Mantras are available in an array of stores both in person and online.

And, of course, they’re available on Amazon too.

volkl mantra 2018


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