When the Völkl M5 Mantra appeared last season, it was received like an answered prayer by thousands of Mantra fans who didn’t much care for the iteration that preceded it. The attributes that had been erased over time – and that the M5 Mantra restored – were a tighter waist for more accurate hard-snow steering and conventional camber underfoot, for greater grip and control over trajectory. Völkl didn’t just resurrect an old Mantra concept; it created an entirely new recipe using the same classic components – wood, fiberglass and Titanal – that had helped put the original Mantra on the map. The new configuration is called Titanal Frame, for the difference maker is in how the top sheet of Titanal has been re-imagined. Instead of a solid, end –to-end laminate, Völkl broke the topsheet into three pieces: a .6mm thick section in the forebody that runs around the perimeter and over the tip; a similar .6mm U-shaped part in the tail; and an independent .4 mm plate in the middle. By making it easier to bow underfoot, the skier can more readily compress the fat sheet of fiberglass right below the metal bits, loading the ski with energy and delivering another element Mantra fans had been missing: rebound.
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