Lengths: 170, 177, 184, 191
Turn radius: 21m @ 184
Weight per pair: 4320g
Look, they’ve done stuff to the Mantra again! It’s now the fifth version, hence the M5 moniker, and some pretty key elements are swapped out.
Changes for this year include losing a couple of mm underfoot down to 96mm – edging towards All-Mountain proportions, though there are still sweepy turn radii of 19.9-23.3m depending on length.
Fall-Line SOTY: Völkl M5 Mantra
The full rocker goes and the ski gets camber underfoot with nose and tail rocker, plus all new construction with a lot of carefully-shaped titanal sheets, a mixed core of poplar and beech plus carbon and glassfibre making up the sandwich.
Allegedly this makes the ski lighter than before, but the M5 Mantra still feels beefy and when weighed against last year’s model – admittedly with (identical) bindings fitted, there appeared to be only around 50g difference. The ski-only weight is just over 2kg in a 177cm length, so it’s not the heaviest in the group by a couple of hundred grammes.
Even so, this construction means the M5 skis with the confidence of a high-performance piste weapon…even when the piste runs out. Everyone found it so lively and engaging, prompting comments like:
“Hang on, I thought this was supposed to be harder work” (FL tester Will Robson); and “It’s amazing and yet so easy” (FL tester Hugh Shrive). Dickie, our esteemed publisher and veteran of at least a dozen Ski Tests, declared: “I’m four off-piste runs in and my legs aren’t waving the white flag,” adding, “Whipping through soft moguls should surely be trickier than this on anything, let alone a Mantra?”
Yet firing a pair down the line and hanging on for the ride is just as thrilling. It goes without saying that they truly crank on piste – they’re just so safe and planted on the edges; choose whether to roll or flick M5 Mantra’s onto their ears and they’ll suck up whatever you can throw their way.
We at Fall-Line generally pick a Freeride model as our Ski of the Year because, like you, we want the best runs on the best snow to be the very finest they can be. But the real world isn’t always like that.
With the M5 Mantra you get the best runs on the best ski on ANY snow.
Available here at Ellis Brigham Online.