Ski Club 2.0 Home
Snow Reports
FAQFAQ

Mail for help.Help!!

Log in to snowHeads to make it MUCH better!
Username:-
 Password:
Remember me:
durr, I forgot...
Or Register
(to be a proper snow-head, all official-like!)

Update review: all round skis - decision time

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Tested:

Blizzard - Bonafide lengths; 166 - 173 - 180

Völkl - 90EIGHT; 177
- Mantra; 177 versions 15/16 and 16/17

Skis provided by the excellent Concept Pro in Chamonix. Disclosure, Mme's Sister's better half works there and the crew are all good chums. We send clients there as well. So beer may have featured.

About us: skied at least 40 years, quite extensively, probs ~1,400 days each. Some race experience. Like to think we're technical. Weight around 60kgs and height 168 for me. Madame pleads the 5th.

Conditions: mostly at least hardpack, much man made, occasional pockets of powder.

Objectives:
- replace the Mantras that have finally given up the ghost at the end of last season (6 seasons/300 odd days, not bad, eh?)
- similar target - happy in lightest fluffy powder - capable of throwing off the rubbishiest crust - fun on pistes esp. hard pack and ice - surely not a problem?

TL;DR version;

---------------------------------------------------

Top marks - Mantra 16/17 - apparently Völkl saw the error of their ways and took the Mantra more or less back to 14/15 spec, with minimal rocker. Skis so much like our old skis that Madame got her wallet out. I am hesitating, but will almost certainly follow suit.

I mean, basically this is a fat GS skis. Handles hard pack and ice with aplomb, and at speed. Shoulders its way through crap and with a little finesse floats happily through powder. Can't say we tested the latter two, but we're pretty confident in our judgements.

---------------------------------------------------

Nice but not nice enough - Blizzard Bonafide

Hmmm. I am really in two minds here. The ski gives you immense confidence to just go fast as long as there's nothing in your way. Almost a fat SG. I mean, seriously, warp factor 11 from get go. However, NOT very lively nor responsive. Lacked a bit of VIF! or VAVOOM!. Bizarrely, having said that, very nice in the few freshies we managed to get. Every time I switched back on to them, I liked them more. I think the skis may have a split personality disorder. One thing or the other and nothing between.

Taking the 173 back out this weekend just to make sure. Also - it does feel as though they ski really short (at least for us).

---------------------------------------------------

A lovely ski but not quite beefy enough, 90EIGHT

If this had been the only ski available, Mme would have been happy enough. Very easy to ski, good edge hold but not in Mantra territory. But a quality product. If you are less aggressive, definitely a great alternative to the Mantra. Only weird thing is we both found ourselves back seated in powder. We think that's due to the super soft tip planing and angling the ski backwards. No doubt with a few runs we'd compensate, but odd nonetheless. There is a girls version which I can see having a pretty solid audience.

May try Elan Ripsticks at the weekend but suspect too soft.


Last edited by Poster: A snowHead on Sun 25-12-16 10:52; edited 4 times in total
snow report     
 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
PS the weird thing is that on paper the Bonafides and 90eights have identical geometry but do NOT ski in any way similarly. I appreciate rigidity aspects but still!!
latest report     
 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Good to get your feedback and glad you got sorted.

I seem to remember suggesting the 90Eights to you as a possibility...so I'm glad they weren't shyte.
snow report     
 You need to Login to know who's really who.
You need to Login to know who's really who.
@Old Fartbag, thanks, I think you did. They were really very nice. I think they'd make a nice teaching ski, bizarrely.

But we need (!) the meatiness of the Mantra wink
snow report     
 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Good write-up! It's a pity you have found yours already, as having access to ski resources you could provide an interesting read snowHead C'mon, you have to try it all!
latest report     
 You'll need to Register first of course.
You'll need to Register first of course.
under a new name, Nice bit of info, interesting about the Mantra, heard last season that it was going to be changed for this season. Good job too as a lot of people were finding the same thing you said last year about them.

I bought some in 2015, found the same as you did then - I actually returned them and replaced with a pair of Kendos which I found skied like the old Mantra from a few years ago.
I don't quite need the width of the Mantra - the Kendo suits me fine. Handles all that I threw at it last season, in very varied conditions, basically suits my style I suppose.
snow report     
 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
@mooney058, there are other skis that I plan to demo through the season including all sorts of things Happy

@Bones, i tried the 2013 Kendo when I made the schoolboy error of thinking our Mantras were in Chamonix when we'd left them in Geneva... Embarassed

Conditions were mostly refrozen slush. They coped admirably well. Possibly better than the then Mantras would have. A good, solid ski.
snow report     
 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
@under a new name,

Didn't feel like trying some stocklis? I suspect stormrider 95s were pretty much designed for your tastes.

Just out of curiosity given you are based in the alps so carriage isn't an issue why are you set on finding one pair of skis to do it all vs say a pair of GS and a pair of soft snow skis?
latest report     
 You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
@jedster, brother in law works at Concept and the guys are friends and we send clients there so we feel that we should support them abd buy from their range. Stocklis would certainly have been of interest as would the Nordica Enforcer...

But there's also an element that we really found the Mantras hit the sweet spot, so finding that again...

re single ski to do it all? I have 14 pairs of skis in the garage, of varying levels of usefulness. Including a pair of GS, two pairs of SGs... but really, you only take one pair out on a day so if it is fun in anything, that's a good thing Happy
snow report     
 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
@under a new name, interesting to hear your opinion on the new Mantra as I was looking at those in Blues Edinburgh a couple of weeks ago, mindful of comments they had been toned down in recent years, and they did look like the sturdy trad wide ski you say they are again. I really must catch up by spending some time on skis > 72mm this season.

14 pairs just for yourself?
snow report     
 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
@balernoStu, yep. Assembled over many years. Could probably do with a clearout...
ski holidays     
 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
Quote:

but really, you only take one pair out on a day so if it is fun in anything, that's a good thing


I know what you mean - it's the days when you don't know what the conditions are going to be like or you know you will be skiing mainly on piste but just might get the chance to sneak off and do something more adventurous. I tend to err on the side of an offpiste ski which is then a bit unsatisfying on firm pistes.
That said the traditional camber and sidecut of mantras (and similar) does make them a little less fun in the deep (just need to be more careful about tip dive and hooking the tail - but some would say that sort of discipline is good for the soul Very Happy )
snow report     
 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
jedster wrote:
That said the traditional camber and sidecut of mantras (and similar)


Mantras have full rocker. I'm still getting my head around camber and rocker - I understand the metal in the Mantras will make them stiffer and better on the piste, but rocker shouldn't?
ski holidays     
 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
@Themasterpiece, there is only a very little rocker compared to last year's model - certainly not so much as we could notice vs the traditional ones we have just retired.
snow report     
 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
@jedster, being light of weight I find the Mantras quite fine in the fluffy.
ski holidays     
 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
under a new name wrote:
@balernoStu, yep. Assembled over many years. Could probably do with a clearout...


I did the count: 13.That's having dumped an old pair of GS skis last year as a concession to a clear out, after pressure to use less space in the garage.
ski holidays     
 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@balernoStu, I need to get rid of some skis. How many pairs of rockhoppers does one need? Puzzled
ski holidays     
 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
@under a new name, you tried anything from the Whitedot stable?
snow report     
 You need to Login to know who's really who.
You need to Login to know who's really who.
under a new name, New kendos from 2016, totally different ski with some camber, and a bit of tip 'n' tail rocker. They are even different from the 2015 Kendo - which the general consensus was they messed up.

In UT this year you couldn't find a pair of Kendo's in the state while we were there in any decent length. Shops full of 2016 and 2015 Mantras.
ski holidays     
 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
I just spent my first week on Cham 97's mounted with Dynafit Rad 2s. Good on piste and in chopped off piste, perhaps a little soft for me in the pow. A good option for a do it all ski.
snow conditions     
 You'll need to Register first of course.
You'll need to Register first of course.
I just spent my first week on Cham 97's mounted with Dynafit Rad 2s. Good on piste and in chopped off piste, perhaps a little soft for me in the pow. A good option for a do it all ski.
snow conditions     
 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
@kitenski, no. I haven't but I am keen to. I intend,snow permitting to do so.
ski holidays     
 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
@Bones, yeah, I'm not sure what Völkl got up to the past two seasons but it was not good.

They seem to have got their at back together, just as they are being sold off... Shocked
ski holidays     
 You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
under a new name, Agreed, I was talking to a gent who worked for their Tennis side of things last season in UT, as you do on chairlifts, and basically that's what he was saying. He couldn't believe they kept the Mantra the same for two seasons having seen how bad it was for the first !!

He was skiing on Kendos too - which is how we got talking, obviously his were free though Smile Shame they are getting sold off, at last I've got them now Cool
ski holidays     
 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
Quote:

@jedster, being light of weight I find the Mantras quite fine in the fluffy.


I'm sure. They ARE completely fine in the powder. We're talking about small differences here but flatter skis with a bit of rocker ARE even better in the powder. I skied on something similar to mantras for several seasons and moving to Ranger CLs meant I could be a bit freer and less careful with being centred (you know if you are off piste in powder and you go over a lip, release pressure, skis ping back into their camber then if your weight is a little forward you can manage to stick the tips in - that's where flat camber and rocker gives you a bigger envelope) and less careful rolling the tails out to transition (when its deepish and not too light the big shaped tails can turn into kedge anchors if you are thuggy). Like I say - first world problems!
snow report     
 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
So at the weekend we were back out on the hard pack of Champoluc. I had Bonafide 173s as I wanted to make sure, BSL same as Mrs so I could back to back her new Mantras and zzz had a pair of Ripsticks.

Ripsticks? - very nice, but too soft. Would be fun on a soft snow day but a soft snow day would call maybe for something fatter. Shame as a really nice colour. Cool

Aaargh. I really like the Blizzards. And back to back with the Mantras I could really feel rocker, minimal though it is; the Mantras were just too skittish for my liking and style.

The Bonafides do need to be skied actively but are totally rock solid.

So this weekend I am taking out, again, the Bonafides 180 just to make sure I am not buying too short. Then we'll be done. I think.
ski holidays     
 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
So... in the end, much to everyone's surprise, I bought a pair of Bonafide 173s.

The 180s didn't contribute any additional stability and were just ever so slightly on the oil tanker side of responsiveness.

I expect the 173s to have quite enough float in soft stuff.
snow report     
 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
Just bringing this back up a year on and things are changing again i.e. Brand new Mantra M5 for next season going back to more traditional camber underfoot with tip & tail rocker. New shape for the Bonafide this season and slightly softer flex (allegedly a bit more easy going and versatile in turn shape). 90Eight construction beefed up significantly this season, which sounds like a good move on what was already a very nice lightweight ski.

So I'm thinking seriously about what to buy for next season in this category? I'm keeping my original construction 90Eights as early season rock-hoppers and as a chill-out ski (I really appreciate their light weight and ability to bend into whatever radius you feel like), so I was thinking about adding the brand new Mantra as a crud charger. But the latest Bonafide is extremely tempting too, especially if it is a little more playful with the revised shape and flex pattern.

Basically I love modern 100 ish mm AM skis and often wonder if I need anything else in my quiver? So I've now started looking at building a quiver of 100 mm skis with different attitudes, lol.
ski holidays     
 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
@uktrailmonster,
Quote:

Basically I love modern 100 ish mm AM skis and often wonder if I need anything else in my quiver? So I've now started looking at building a quiver of 100 mm skis with different attitudes, lol.


I have a set of Mantras (2013 or 14 I think) -- mounted with Outlaw tele bindings. They really are a "do it all" ski -- just a bit heavy to tour on. Piste, pow, bumps -- they do it all Very Happy
snow report     
 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Yeah Mantras are famous for good reason. Looks like the new M5 will be a little more piste oriented than the current full rockered version, but still should be good in nearly any condition. The one thing the 90Eight lacks is crud smashing ability, so I was thinking of adding a pair of Mantras for when conditions are heavy going, typically a day or two after a storm when everything is tracked out.
ski holidays     
 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
New Mantras will probably be where they should have been a couple of years ago wink They basically made a big mistake going to full rockered, they didn't sell in the volume they used to. This is from a Volkl guy I was talking to in UT a couple of years ago. I'm just surprised it taken this long to re add the camber.
snow report     
 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
I know we're talking back in the day but do Volkl offer a current version of the 'Karma' these days ?
latest report     
 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Nearly bought Bonafides but went Black Crows Camox. 97mm with tip and tail rocker. Very happy everywhere from wide open high speed to steep bumps and 20-30cm powder. I'd agree that the 100mm area makes a great one ski quiver with off piste bias, but I'd still love to own a full fat powder ski and see how much better it is on the 2-3 days I'd ever get to use it!
snow report     
 You need to Login to know who's really who.
You need to Login to know who's really who.
Mantra more “piste oriented” WTF?

Weird positioning...
ski holidays     
 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
under a new name wrote:
Mantra more “piste oriented” WTF?

Weird positioning...


It's just a relative thing. Of course it will still be very much an on/off piste ski, but definitely a slight move toward increased on-piste performance at the slight loss of off-piste user-friendliness. It's also going to be 5 mm narrower than the current rockered version. Blister Gear interviewed the Volkl designer and he basically said they made the changes based on customer demand i.e. the average "Mantra" customer typically spends a little more time on piste than off and can comfortably handle a cambered ski off-piste without issues anyway.

If I was looking for a single ski to use literally everywhere I would probably try to snap up a set of the current "rockered" Mantras, but the new ones sound great as the central part of a quiver of 2 or 3 skis. I was thinking of pairing it with something like the Nordica Enforcer 110 or Salomon QST 106 next season. That would cover me nicely for everything from icy piste, right through to knee deep powder.
snow report     
 You'll need to Register first of course.
You'll need to Register first of course.
very useful discussion for me ATM, as i trashed my cham 97s (ver 1.0) and loved that ski. Have been guided to the new Mantra M5s, Nordica enforcer 100 or kastle BMX 105. additional views appreciated, as I dont really have ability to demo anything and will kinda go on blind faith of ski shop and what I read and learn here.

piste/off piste/side country use mainly. I think i will keep an alpine set up for the whatever I buy as I have touring equipment, and those instances seem more infrequent these day. USA does not have as much off piste in alps sense, but I would live off trail at alta if I could. High speed GS turns are super fun when off trail conditions sux, and bumps because they are there (not because I like to bash bumps). Live in Boston, so New England hard pack/Ice, but I dont really ski that much out here (maybe 5 days), so my bigger trips to rockies and alps are my main concern.

Would love and perspective anyone has.
snow report     
 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
These german tests were carried out in co-operation with realskiers, same weight but dynastar better rated - anyone tried both the 90eight's and the Lengend X 96's?


Völkl 90Eight
https://www.skiinfo.de/ausruestung/a/10574/freeride-ski-test-2017-2018/völkl/90eight--2017-2018-

Dynastar Legend X 96
https://www.skiinfo.de/ausruestung/a/10558/freeride-ski-test-2017-2018/dynastar/legend-x-96--2017-2018-
snow report     
 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Redwine wrote:
Have been guided to the new Mantra M5s, Nordica enforcer 100 or kastle BMX 105.


The BMX 105 is the odd one out there. Shouldn't you be considering the FX95 HP in that company?
latest report     
 You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
DB wrote:
anyone tried both the 90eight's and the Lengend X 96's?



I've only skied the 90Eights (about 12 weeks solid in every condition except ice) and they are pretty hard to fault as a do-it-all ski. Having read the full Realskiers review I would imagine the X96 is pretty similar. FWIW they rated the X96 marginally higher right across the board.
snow report     
 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
@uktrailmonster,

Thanks I have a pair of 16/17 90eights as a soft snow touring setup. Was looking to see if anybody had tried both the 90eights and X 96's and agreed or disagreed with realskiers.
latest report     



Terms and conditions  Privacy Policy