Yes, we’ve done it again. Bagged the top-notch ski of 2018/19 to give away to one very lucky Fall-Line reader
The Mantra. It has been a firm Fall-Line favourite since its inception. And not for the first time, this Völkl freeride fiend (or should that be friend?) has floated, hammered and carved its way to the very top of our annual leaderboard.
Its latest – and fifth – incarnation, the M5 Mantra (RRP £625), impressed the Fall-Line team so much at the Ski Test in Galtür, Austria, in March, that it wasn’t a tough call to decorate it with our very highest accolade, Overall Ski of the Year. Completely redesigned for 18/19 this Mantra, at 96mm underfoot, is 4mm narrower than its predecessor. It has carbon tips, a titanal frame and full sidewall. The new dimensions are built around a multi-layer wood core with a moderate tip and tail rocker (rather than full rocker), giving a playful yet powerful character. The turn radius is 21m in a 184 length, and the weight per pair is 4320kg, just a notch lighter than before. Yes, it’s still a substantial ski, but it’s an altogether livelier, less beefy prospect than its ancestors.
Enough tech-speak? Let’s hear what real skiers have to say about it. Fall-Line tester Will Robson says: “Hang on, I thought this was supposed to be harder work.” Publisher Dickie Fincher: “I’m four off-piste runs in and my legs aren’t waving the white flag. Whipping through soft moguls should surely be tricker than this on anything, let alone a Mantra.” Tester Hugh Shrive: “It’s amazing and yet so easy.”
We want a pair, and we knew you would too. We knew we had to get our mitts on one to give away to one of you. Oh, and by the way, it’ll come with the new Marker Griffon binding (RRP £180) in a ready-to-go package. All you’ll need to do is head to your local ski shop to get the bindings fitted (DIN range is 4-13 by the way), pack your bag and go hunt down some snow!
Turn to page 68 of our October issue (available to order here) to read our full review of the M5 Mantra – and our 27 other award-winning Skis of the Year 2018/19 Turn to page 14 to read a thank you letter from the winner of last year’s Ski of the Year. What lovely manners these Fall-Line readers have!