This article is the part 2 (of 3) about the Volkl Mantra. Please see Volkl Mantra Part 1: Evolution in time for one of the most popular ski in history. This iconic freeride ski that so many skier adopted now has different options to choose from and this is what we're presenting in this article.
At the time of writing this post, we have 25 Mantra available on our Ski Compare Application. It is also worth mentioning that our measures include older editions, so if you skied any older edition from as far as 2012, you can compare to the current versions.
Volkl Mantra Current Options: M5 vs M6 vs 102 vs V.Werks
Is the Volkl Mantra M5 still available?
A note about the presence of the M5 in my list: technically the M5 has been replaced by the M6. But some shops still sell the M5 which was produced for seasons 20/21. Also, you can make a link to the first section of this article. Having the M5 (same year) for both the first and second part is useful to compare nowadays options to the former evolutions of the Mantra.
What Are The Shape Differences Of The Volkl Mantra M5, M6, 102 and V.Werks?
As you can see in the graph, there are almost no differences in the shape. Since the camber, complemented with rockers, was re-introduced with the M5, the shapes are almost identical when comparing the M5, M6, 102 and V.Werks. One could argue that there is a slight variation on the 102, provided that the rocker seems slightly longer, but I would consider this very mild.
One difference we can state in the shape is the waist width. The M5 and M6 are identical at 95mm, the V.Werks is 98mm and the 102 is actually 101 for the 184cm length. The waist width is normally the first aspect of a shape a skier would need to choose from. On this aspect, it would simply come down to where do you usually ski. Anyone on the east cost would likely opt for the M6 (or M5) and anyone out west would likely chose the 102.
The radius varies slightly as well. The V.Werks has a radius of 23,4m, while the M5 and the 102 are at about 21m and the M6 is slightly narrower at 20m. Although those are not significant, the V.Werks has the largets radius, which seems logical since skiers would likely use it more in the backcountry, due to the lighter weight.
Which Volkl Mantra Is The Stiffest for Bending & Torsional Stiffness?
Based on the two charts below, it is very obvious that the level of torsional stiffness is the same, while there are some differences in the bending stiffness levels for the M5 19/20 and the V.Werks 21/22. The softest version of today's Mantra collection is the V.Werks. Furthermore, the M5 from 19/20 is slightly softer than the more recent options of the M5 20/21, the 102 21/22 and the M6 21/22.
Surface Weight Ratio - The Metric For Backcountry Skiers - How is the Vokl Mantra?
This is definitely where we observe another significant difference, not surprisingly, with the V.Werks. It is backcountry oriented, so it's normal to obtain a better score on the surface weight ratio. The other options are very similar, even the 102 which is wider. This graphs displays three lines which breakdown the options into four. Above the 1,2 line would be a touring ski optimized for weight and we would expect significant compromise on some other aspects, usually bending and/or torsional stiffness. When the surface weight ratio is between 1,2 and 1, we consider it's a freeride backcountry ski. In this case, some compromise are usually required, which could be on either bending or torsional or both. There's a high variability in the type of compromise we can observe. For the V.Werks, the bending stiffness is significantly softer and virtually no compromise was done for torsional stiffness, which is no surprise from Volkl. They usually present a higher level of torsional stiffness that provides a good edge grip, but are less playfull.
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Conclusion: Which Mantra Is Good For You?
As I always repeat, there are no good or bad options, simply options that suit you better and those are not necessarily the same as what your friend prefers! Volkl has been producing the Mantra line of skis for almost 20 years!
There has been several periods in the life of the Mantra. What remains consistent from nowadays to back before 2015 is the high level of torsional stiffness those skis provide. They are significantly stiffer than average, which translates into better edge grip, but less playful. Since the M5 was introduced, the camber was brought back to regular and complemented with rockers.
Today, the M6 is very similar to the M5. The 102 is arguably identical except 6 mm wider underfoot. The V.Werks is significantly lighter, despite being also 3 mm wider than the M6 underfoot. The compromise that was done to get a lighter version was on bending stiffness only. The V.Werks will offer the same level of grip as the other ones, due to the same torsional stiffness level.
Finally, there are minor variations on the radius. The M6 has a narrower radius of 20m, the M5 and the 102 are at 21m and the V.Werks at 23,4m.
You can find out prices for those skis following those links.
Volkl Mantra M5
Check price (20/21)
Volkl Mantra M6
Volkl Mantra 102
Volkl Mantra V.Werks
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