Although some devoted skiers confine themselves solely to the bumps or the parks, or stick strictly to groomed slopes, that kind of specialization is by no means the norm. Most skiers prefer to be able to mix things up, whether that means tackling an occasional bit of powder or occasionally heading for the crusty glades. As a result, the most appropriate skis for the average participant in the sport tend to be those that are designed to handle a variety of challenges. All-mountain skis that can hold their own under just about any conditions and setting might not always excel at any particular set of them, but the best will sometimes come pretty close.Volkl Mantra
skis have for the last several years been building up a reputation of exactly this kind. volkl mantra 2014 review
have historically been known more so for specialization than for versatility, with many accomplished racers, for example, sporting the company's slalom or giant slalom planks. With the unveiling of its Volkl Mantra skis a few years back, though, the fairly traditional company seemed set on creating something that would serve the average recreational skier especially well.
Since then, it has become clear that Volk's designers did their homework. Volkl Mantra skis stray from the usual all-mountain mold in a couple of notable ways, most obviously by incorporating a full-length rocker. The usual price to be paid for that design choice is something of a loss of edging power on harder snow, but reviewers seem to believe that the company has made up for this in other ways.
Looking beyond that most obvious of quirks, the Mantra tends to impress all over the mountain. Reviewers invariably compliment its groomed slope performance, praising a mix of tractability and performance that will please everyone from beginners needing some forgiveness to more advanced skiers who are eager to carve it up. Likewise does the Mantra have a reputation for being especially easy to handle when the snow gets fluffier, with a 100-millimeter center section offering enough flotation under foot to keep even newcomers riding high.
If the Mantra does lag behind a little, it will typically be exactly where it would be expected
. That full rocker design delivers undoubted dividends through a wide range of conditions, but it can make the Mantra a little slippery when the snow starts turning into ice. For those who regularly grapple with such conditions, as in the Northeast of the United States, the Mantra might not always be the top choice, but just about everyone else will do well to look into it.