Not since the first Cochise rolled off the production line some eight years ago has there been a Big Mountain ski like the new Völkl Mantra 102. You can feel the power percolating under the hood before you have it out of first gear. Even though it’s “only” 102mm underfoot, it feels more substantial. At slow speeds, its triple-radius sidecut (long-short-long) encourages the Mantra 102 to stay close to the fall line so it can pick up enough inertia to show its other moves. Once you’ve shown it you care by injecting speed into its veins, the Mantra 102 becomes more compliant. Even though it’s double rockered, its Titanal Frame design, which puts more mass around the tip and tail, keeps nearly the full length of the ski engaged. While not exactly nimble – its lowest score is for short turns – it doesn’t have to be, for whatever lies in its path better get out of its way or face extinction. As I noted on my test card, “The ends are a bit loose but otherwise its phenomenal security makes you feel as powerful as King Kong, like you can drive through anything. I would hate to be a pile of frozen snow between me and the bottom; the last thing it will ever see is the Völkl logo bearing down on it.”
Full Review with test scores available on members’ site.