Volkl Mantra Part 3: Explore Alternatives In Other Brands 

 December 5, 2021

By  Marius Bulota

This is the third and final part of our series about the Volkl Mantra. In part 1, we described the evolution of the Volkl Mantra over time. The evolution over time integrated new trends in the ski world such as a full rocker (reverse camber), flat camber and front/back rockers. Nowadays, there are three sub-models of the Volkl Mantra, namely the M6 (direct descendent of the M5), the 102 (larger option) and the V.Werks (lighter option for backcountry skiers). The comparison of those three sub-models was covered in part 2 of our series. 

In this final part, I will cover alternatives to the Volkl Mantra. Are there equivalents to the Volkl Mantra? What could compare the most to the Volkl Mantra M6 and 102? What ski would be similar to the Volkl Mantra V.Werks? 

Are There Equivalents To The Volkl Mantra?

Do I dare state that there may be equivalents to the Mantra in other brands? Yes, I will... and maybe I will be criticized... but this is my evaluation based on measured properties of skis. Some stuff we do not measure, such as passion for a brand or the standing of a product! I should also say that at the time of writing this article, we have the ability to measure vibration, damping and robustness of skis. However, we do not perform this mainly due to the cost. One day... perhaps we will.

What Are Good Alternatives To The Volkl Mantra M6 & 102?

The Volkl Mantra M6 has a 95mm waist and the 102 actually has a 101mm waist. To identify similar options to those in our comparator, I simply input a search for skis that fall into these criteria:

  • 184 to 190mm length
  • 95 to 104 mm waist width
  • Radius of 20 to 22m

I encourage you to try the Ski Comparator Application to explore further. Here are some options I hand picked for this article from the 16 results matching the criteria above, so similar in size and radius, but  considerable differences in rockers, cambers and flex patterns (use this link to see the full comparison). Note that I maintained only the Mantra 102 as a reference in the graphs, but as we saw in the previous article, the M6 is very similar except for the width.

Atomic Maverick 100 Ti 188cm 21/22

The Atomic Maverick 100 Ti is the lightest of the four skis compared, with just over 1800 grams a ski. It has one of the largest setback, higher tip, long front and back rockers and a subtle camber of 6mm. Besides this, what stands out is the high level of torsional stiffness. Yes, it is stiffer than the Volkl Mantra 102 and M6. I guess this statement may surprise a few skiers. However, look at the flex profile in details and you'll notice the front area of the Mantra is significantly stiffer. With that stiff front area, the Mantra will feel it grips early in the turn. I would consider the Maverick to be very similar to the Mantra 102, but with a longer tip and a bit lighter. Now don't get confused, it's not because it's lighter that it's closer to the V.Werks. The V.Werks has significantly lower bending stiffness in addition to a slightly lower torsional stiffness.  

Black Crows Camox 186,5cm 21/22

Whether you are looking at the Ski Flex Average Pattern or the Ski Flex Profiles, it is very clear that the Black Crows Camox is the ski with the lowest stiffness. There's another key property that stands out: the camber. With 17mm, this is more than most slalom skis! Furthermore, the Camox has sorter rockers, front and back, compared to the others. So even if this ski has a similar sidecut to the Mantra, it is very different. Considering the flex information, this ski will be a good progression ski, offering good stability on piste. It will adapt easily, forgive and feel more playful than the Mantra. But don't expect the same edge grip as the Mantra and perhaps less oriented towards soft snow.

Elan Ripstick 106 188cm 21/22

Elan's Ripstick is in a certain way the opposite flex pattern to the Mantra. In this comparison, it has the highest bending stiffness and a low torsional stiffness. I'd say this ski can take more speed compared to the other ones. For the rest, the nearly flat camber, the larger setback and the rockers are very similar to the Mantra. So the big difference with the Mantra being the flex pattern, I'd say it will require less technical precision and feel more playful than the Mantra, but offer a bit less edge grip.

Rossignol Blackops Sender Ti 187cm 21/22

The Rossignol Blackops Sender Ti has a very similar flex to the Elan Ripstick, so opposite to the Mantra as well. However, it's more nuanced than the Ripstick with a lower bending stiffness. It has less setback than the Ripstick. I'd consider the Blackops Sender Ti to be between the Black Crows Camox and the Elan Ripstick. It's a ski that will be easy to adopt and feature a good stability. The front rocker is not as long as the Mantra, but it's longer than the Ripstick and the Camox. This will provider easy management of variable terrain and snow compared to the Ripstick and the Camox. The back rocker is shorter, but not as short as the Camox. So more support in the back which is helpful on piste. 

Ski Shape Comparison

Ski Detailed Tip And Tail Including Rockers

Ski Flex Average Pattern (Bending And Torsional Average Stiffness)

Ski Flex Profile (Bending And Torsional Stiffness Distribution)

Ski Surface Weigh Ratio Comparison

Ski Detailed Comparison Table

What Are Good Alternatives to The Volk Mantra V.Werks?

Using our Ski Comparator Application to filter skis that have a similar size and weight to the Volkl Mantra V.Werks, I obtain 15 results! So there are options, but let's see how some of the most similar sizes actually compare.

Input filters:

  • 184 to 190 cm length
  • 95 to 104 mm waist width
  • Under 1800 grams / ski

I encourage you to try the Ski Compare Application to explore all 15 options, but here are some I hand picked for this article. All are very similar in geometry, but very different for what's under the top sheet.

Armada Tracer 98 188cm 21/22

If I had to select a ski that has a similar flex pattern, this is the one I would suggest. Among the many options with similar sizes, only the Armada Tracer 98 can compete on the torsional stiffness level, with less than 10% difference compared to the Volkl Mantra V.Werks 186. However, the bending stiffness is about 25% stiffer on the Armada Tracer. 

Atomic Backland 100 188cm 21/22

Further higher in bending and slightly lower on torsional stiffness, we would encounter the Atomic Backland 100. Now about the Atomic Backland 100, I'm amazed of the weight of this ski. At 1435 grams per ski, it is one of the lightest skis around with an incredible surface weight ratio of 1,26 and yet it rivals the stiffness of the V.Werks on torsional and it is 27% stiffer in bending! Impressive!

Black Crows Navis Freebird 185,8cm 21/22

Almost equivalent to the Atomic Backland 100, with a very similar torsional stiffness level, I would suggest the Black Crows Navis Freebird. But this ski is even stiffer on the bending value, we're now at about 35% stiffer in bending compared to the Mantra V.Werks.

Blizzard Zero G 105 188cm 21/22

Finally, at the other side of the spectrum for bending stiffness, we could consider the Blizzard Zero G 105 188cm. I consider it still competes with the torsional stiffness of the Mantra V.Werks. The average seems a lot lower (40%), but if you look at the tip and tail (where is matters for torsional values), we're in the same ball park. On the another hand, if you enjoy skis with a high level of bending stiffness, this one would be 50% stiffer!

Ski Shape Comparison

Ski Detailed Tip And Tail Including Rockers

Ski Flex Average Pattern (Bending And Torsional Average Stiffness)

Ski Flex Profile (Bending And Torsional Stiffness Distribution)

Ski Surface Weigh Ratio Comparison

Ski Detailed Comparison Table


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Conclusion: what skis could compare to the Volkl Mantra M6, 102 and V.Werks?

This article features four skis that have very similar waist width, length and sidecut to the Mantra 102 and V.Werks. It is clear that those skis are not all equivalent to the Mantra. In this category of skis, you can find important variations in cambers, rockers and flex patterns. It's not because the Volkl Mantra has a legendary reputation that you will also love it. If you intend to spend more time on hard surface and don't really enjoy skiing at mach 5, the Black Crows Camox may be a good option for you! If you want a backcountry ski that is more playful, you may consider the Zero G!

At the end, within the skis presented, they all have similar aspects to the Mantra, but I would state that the Atomic Maverick 100 Ti is the closest to the Mantra 102 and that the Armada Tracer 98 is the closest to the Mantra V.Werks.

I hope you enjoyed this 3 part article about the Mantra and I do encourage you to search for skis and compare them on our Ski Comparator Application. It's free and very insightful, especially if did not have the chance to demo your next purchase.

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To help us further develop our measuring technology and our Ski Comparator Application, we have integrated some affiliate links and we also refer to shops who have welcomed us to measure the skis they sell. We may receive indirect compensation from shops if you use an affiliate link either from our website or our  Ski Comparator Application. We may also refer skiers to shops that support our project by giving us access to measure skis. We thank you for helping us maintain our Ski Comparator Application 100% free

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Marius Bulota

Marius is the co-founder of SoothSki. He's also an electrical engineer, passionate of innovative technologies. Marius skis at Mont-Sainte-Anne in Canada and has travelled the world on remote backcountry adventures.

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