2020-2021 Volkl Mantra M5

Jonathan Ellsworth reviews the Volkl Mantra M5
Volkl Mantra M5, 18/19 Graphic

2020-2021 Volkl Mantra M5, 177 cm

Available Lengths: 170, 177, 184, 191 cm

Blister’s Measured Tip-to-Tail Length: 178.2 cm

Blister’s Measured Weight per Ski (177 cm): 2049 & 2065 grams

Stated Dimensions: 134-96-117 mm

Blister’s Measured Dimensions: 133.9-95.9-116.8 mm

Stated Sidecut Radius (for each available length): 17.9, 19.8, 21.2, 23.3 m

Measured Tip & Tail Splay (ski decambered): 55 mm / 18 mm

Measured Traditional Camber Underfoot: ~3 mm

Core Construction: poplar + beech (binding mounting area) / fiberglass / titanal / carbon

Base: P-Tex 2100

Factory Recommended Mount Point: -11.5 cm from center; 77.6 cm from tail
(There is also a +1 cm and +2 cm mount mark on the ski)

Test Locations: Telluride Ski Resort, CO; Solden, Austria

[Note: Our review was conducted on the 18/19 Mantra M5, which was not changed for 19/20 or 20/21, apart from graphics.]

2018-2019 Volkl Secret

Available Lengths: 149, 156, 163, 170 cm

Stated Sidecut Radius (for each available length): 12.6, 14.2, 16.0, 17.9 m

Stated Dimensions: 130-92-113 mm

Traditional Camber Underfoot: ~2 mm

Stated Weight: TBA

Core Construction: poplar + beech (binding mounting area) / fiberglass / titanal / carbon

Base: P-Tex 2100


For the 2018-2019 season, Volkl is introducing the 5th generation of their popular all-mountain ski, the Mantra, calling it the “Mantra M5.” They’re also introducing a women’s version of the Mantra M5 called the Secret. If you haven’t already, you should definitely check out our Gear:30 podcast with Volkl’s lead engineers behind the new Mantra M5 and Secret. They go into great detail about the skis’ evolution, and what makes these newest versions so interesting.

Now that we have the skis in hand, we can share our initial impressions, as well as Sam Shaheen’s comments on the 177 cm Mantra M5’s on-snow performance.


Just a heads up: our “177 cm” M5 is measuring long, coming in at 178.2 cm, which actually makes them 1 or 2 cm longer than many other 177 cm skis, and putting them more in line with 180 and 181 cm skis.

Shape and Rocker Profile

The new Mantra M5 features a rocker-camber-rocker profile, which is a significant departure from the current, full reverse camber version. The new Mantra M5 has about 3 mm of camber underfoot and it’s tip and tail rocker lines are actually quite deep — they start far deeper into the ski than the last cambered version of the Mantra (2013-2014). However, the tip and tail splay on the Mantra M5 is pretty subtle. Of the skis we’re going to be mentioning here, the most similar rocker profile is the 17/18 – 18/19 Blizzard Bonafide.

The Mantra M5 is also narrower than the last version — 96 mm underfoot (as opposed to the current 100 mm), and has a tighter sidecut radius (19.8 m vs 23.7 m in a 177 cm).

Mount Point

The mount point of the new Mantra M5 is more than 2 cm further back than the mount point on the 17/18 Mantra, though Volkl does include marks for +1 cm and +2 cm in front of that mark. So we’ll be sure to weigh in on how the ski feels on snow at these different mount points (and how sensitive / not sensitive the ski feels to these different mount positions).

Flex Pattern

Hand flexing the ski, we’d sum up the flex pattern like this:

Tips: 8 or 8.5
Shovels: 8.5-9
In Front of Toe Piece: 9-9.5
Underfoot: 10
Behind Heel Piece: 9.5-9
Tails: 9-8.5

I like this flex pattern quite a bit. It’s solid. But it’s not over-the-top burly. I.e., I’d say that the M5 feels like a Mantra should.

Flex Pattern (and Length) Comparisons

177 cm Head Monster 98

Compared to the 177 cm HEAD Monster 98, the tails of the Mantra M5 are quite similar and the shovels of the Mantra M5 are noticeably softer. It’s not a massive difference, but the M5 is definitely softer. (And FWIW, the 177 cm Monster 98 is also a couple cm shorter.)

180 cm Blizzard Bonafide

The Bonafide’s tail is slightly stiffer than the M5’s. And the Bonafide’s shovels are slightly softer than the M5’s..

Also, the 180 cm Bonafide actually measures at 177.6 cm, so the “177 cm” M5 is actually longer.

181 cm J Skis Masterblaster

The Masterblaster has softer tips & tails than the M5.

And at a length of 178.25 cm, the 181 cm Masterblaster is almost the identical length as 177 cm M5.

185 cm Nordica Enforcer 100

The Enforcer 100 has slightly softer tails than the M5, but there is not much difference here. The Enforcer also has slightly softer tips — but I was actually expecting the Enforcer 100’s tips to feel softer (compared to the M5’s) than they actually do.

Point is, there is less difference between the flex pattern of the two skis than I was expecting, but do keep in mind that we’re comparing the 177 cm M5 to the 185 cm Enforcer 100.


For reference, here are our measured weights (per ski in grams) for some other notable skis in this category, including some previous iterations of the Mantra:

1894 & 1980 Black Crows Daemon, 183.6 cm
1985 & 2006 Parlor Skis Cardinal 100, 185 cm
2024 & 2029 Salomon QST 99, 188 cm
2049 & 2065 Volkl Mantra M5, 177 cm (2018-2019)
2054 & 2059 ON3P Wrenegade 98, 184 cm
2058 & 2071 Volkl Mantra, 184 cm (2013-2014)
2078 & 2092 Volkl Mantra, 177 cm (2017-2018)
2145 & 2165 Volkl Mantra, 184 cm (2017-2018)
2115 & 2149 J Skis Masterblaster, 181 cm
2124 & 2137 Blizzard Bonafide, 180 cm
2131 & 2189 Nordica Enforcer 100, 185 cm
2373 & 2397 Head Monster 98, 184 cm

So, while Volkl does talk about the weight savings of the new Mantra M5, it’s not coming in drastically lighter than our 17/18 pair — though it’s important to note the M5 is ~4 mm narrower underfoot. The new Mantra M5 weighs in right around the middle of the pack for the 95-100 mm all-mountain category.

NEXT: Initial On-Snow Review

43 comments on “2020-2021 Volkl Mantra M5”

  1. We “all” look forward to you putting the new M5 up against the 17/18 Mantra, the Blizzard Bonafide, the Nordica Enforcer 100 & Enforcer 93, and the HEAD Kore 93 and new Kore 99.

    • Jonathan, I have recently discovered your site concurrently with rediscovering skiing itself. Been off for a couple of decades… horrible.
      My new adventure after now skiing 19 times in 2 seasons while trying about 10 different skis leads me to this: All this technology is some trip!
      1. First day on 177 M4 Mantras was tons of fun on chalky snow including bumps but called for a bit too much work in the soft. Almost a buying decision.
      Skied Bonafides, Enforcer 93 and 100’s. nope…
      2. The M5 – a completely euphoric first day with 8″ of fresh on a hard base. Could bust off the treed pitches and turn quickly anywhere and with speed. Day 2 was similar with 10″ of soft but piling up. Great energy and rebound when compressing into a turn with speed. Fun!
      The steep faces below cornices in wind blown snow tracked perfectly but didn’t release readily so was making those 20m carves. (Would rather slash a direction change halfway through.)
      *I read your review after this and agree wirh you 100%!
      * The stability was really confidence inspiring and the spectrum of the M5 definitely broader than last years M4. Turning was intuitive and smooth -love short and fast turns reactive to the terrain. I did not notice a compromise from the M4. Boot-top powder was effortless. Frankly, I don’t know how such a substantial ski is so intuitive. A clearly improved ski!
      All that ’cause I’m a kid in extacy (So what if I’m 62)
      Here’s my issue:
      I am completely taken with your description of the Liberty Origen 96.
      I would prefer the 182’s as I’ll give up a little bit of high end stablily in trade for a more reactive ride. My dream concept is now the M5 with a little more ‘freedom’ to make crud busting turns wherever. Will I like this ski better than the M5?
      Looking forward to your next review of the Origen 96.

  2. Hi, I’m looking for a new pair of skis.
    I want a pair of skis that handles well on piste (I’m still 40-50% of my time on piste) but I’m more and more going off piste and on steeper, more difficult terrain so I was thinking about a a wider ski that excels in chopped, variable conditions. I’m also a pretty playful playful skier that likes to jump of little drops, do 360’s/180’s of little jumps and do some park from time to time. I only ski 2 weeks a year so I don’t have the luxury to pick my skiing days depending on the weather. I’m also a very lightweight skier, being 5’11 and weighing 135 lbs.
    Right now I’m skiing the Volkl Kink 16’s at 171 (who are 89mm width) and although I love them on piste and in the air, I find them a little to narrow/ difficult off piste.
    Do you think the Volkl Mantra’s would be a good ski for me? And what other ski’s would you recommend?
    Hope you can help, thanks!

  3. I’m a tele skiier and my first mantra was the 2007 version. It’s been skiied so hard and so much that it had been relegated last year to being my marginal conditions/rock ski. And with this year’s snowpack conditions in the west, it got even more banged up, and I just need to replace it next year. I simply love the way it carves and powers through all matter of conditions. It really has been my go to ski at the resorts for everything but the deepest powder days. So I’m looking to replace with a similar performing ski, and until I heard about the return of the traditional camber in the M5, I had been scouring ebay for the older pre ’15 models. Now I’m going to reconsider. Look forward to hearing more about how the M5 performs, especially in comparison to the 2017-18 model.
    Many thanks Jonathan for all the work you do!

  4. I spent time on the M5 at Loon this week for demo days. Skied it back to back with the new Bonafide and Enforcer 100(among many others). I preferred both of those to the mantra. Mantra def felt lighter and less damp than those 2 skis. Very interested to hear your comparisons.

  5. I see you guys refer to the “tune” a lot in your articles. I have always thought the tune of the ski applies almost exclusively on firm conditions when the ski can bite. Seems crazy to me that sharp vs dull edges would make a big difference in heavy untracked and variable snow. If heavier and variable snow is what I mainly ski, what would be the ideal tune? Thx

  6. When you talk about being eager to compare all your favorite damp, metal laden, chargy, all mountain skis, I can’t for the life of me figure out how the Kastle MX98’s never made it into the rotation (I guess it would be FX96HPs now, unfortunately, as they sound toned down). Haven’t skied the latter, but have skied the MX98s and found that they made bonafides etc. feel like rental skis.

    The only ski in your damp, chargy line up I haven’t skied is the monster series, and I imagine that would be the closest cousin to the Kastle.

  7. I would love it if you’d include the M3 Mantra in your comparisons with the M5, as it seems like both the M4 and M3 are major influencers of the M5.

  8. I’ve been skiing on these for the last several weeks and mostly concur with your review. I find the gap in the middle of the ski, between the fore- and aft- titinal perimeter frames, makes the mid-section softer flexing than the last four years’ Mantras. Coupled with the relatively long, if subtle, rocker, the ski seems to want to maintain contact with the snow throughout the turn radius. Behavior-wise I’d say “more playful” is accurate, while still being a solid ski for charging hard in many conditions. At speed, when you aren’t on edge (for example on run-outs in the Sierra), the reduction in yaw felt in the prior generation, full camber skis, is noticeably reduced. The camber improves the tracking. It’s a very fun ski that will suit advanced to expert skiers, and its now suitable for a physically stronger intermediate skier who wants to progress in technique.

  9. Could these be mounted with Tech bindings? Would you want to or would the weight of these skis preclude you from ever deciding to take these skis in the BC.

    • You could for sure — I mean, you can pretty much drag anything into the backcountry, right? But these days, there are so many good skis — longer and wider good skis — that are coming in 200-300 grams lighter than the Mantra, that I *personally* wouldn’t be inclined to put a tech binding on the Mantra and tour on it. Then again, if I was mostly skiing difficult conditions in the backcountry, the more inclined I might be to tour on a Mantra. So this one really comes down to personal preference.

  10. Took delivery of an “early release” pair of 2019 Mantra M5’s in 184cm and put ten days on them so far — in Colorado’s firm and fast conditions plus a little powder. Incredibly impressed with their performance across a range of snow types. They are definitely “friendlier” than previous iterations, yet still provide stimulating response to skilled, aggressive skiers.

    As background, I spent three seasons on the M2 (2009 model), followed by five seasons on the M3 (2012 model), always in 184cm. Both previous iterations were demanding but fun, rewarding, versatile skis for skilled pilots. Like many stronger skiers, initially I migrated to the Mantras after free-skiing SL and GS racing skis for decades. With their softened, wide, race core construction, the Mantras were a wonderful all-mountain ski. They felt familiar but even better.

    Reviews of Volkl’s fully-rockered M4 version struck me as mixed, so I wasn’t sure there would be another pair of Mantras in my future. The all-new M5 changed that, with a return to traditional camber underfoot plus low-profile rocker in the tip and tail sections. The initial M5 reviews were compelling, so I took a chance on buying an early-release pair this winter.

    Performance is exactly as described: Classic Mantra athleticism, confidence and carving ability but with a lighter, more lively feel and a bigger “sweet spot”, offering the line’s impressive competence stretched across a wider range of speeds and turn radii. Pressure the tips and the skis promptly engage, delivering a rich flow of feedback and satisfaction.

    Reviewers characterize the M5’s as “intuitive” — your brain thinks about doing something and the skis respond. That captures my experience. They do a lot of things really well. For inspiring, all-mountain performance, I could not be happier with them. They are consistent with the M2 and M3, while offering a “category jump” in improvements over both.

    Last but not least, the 2019 M5’s look beautiful. Many people comment about their clean, understated, elegant graphics, given added interest and depth by their Titanal “Frame Technology” around the perimeter of the M5’s tips and tails.

    All in all, I think Volkl has fashioned a winner, breathing new life into its highly successful Mantra franchise. Well done!

  11. Skieed 6 days on these through lots of different conditions. Firm groomers, iced up skieed off runs at end of alps ski day, heavy eastern us “pow”, off piste cut up stuff and a few untracked runs. I’m not great at describing things, but really lined the ski. Felt u had to work them, and they didn’t allow u to cheat and ride them off the back at all. Trying to figure out flex points, but short radius is possible , medium is easy, but long turns feel awkward. Bump require some skill, but u can slide through them if you are aggressive. I ski the 177s on traditional bindings.

  12. So – I’ve been on pure piste skis always, skiing hard and slalomy – right now I’m on Head iTitans (177). I ski at leat 3 weeks in European alps most years – lately, maybe it’s an age thing, I’ve turned 42 – I’ve been thinking about a wider and longer racecarver. I do like to wander off, but weighing 210 pounds, I sink on my Heads. Also, the Titans are simply too turny at high speeds; if I lean over at full throttle, the ski turn so sharply it looses grip. So I have been thinking wider, longer for a year or so. My instinct was to go Volkl rtm 86 – but lately I’ve been looking at things like the Mantra and the Bonifide (I love Blizzards racecarvers – like Bentleys). I don’t ski icy racetracks anymore. But i love a stiff tail. The thing is – will the Mantra or the Bonifide feel like a noodle under my feet? I would love at ski that I could take into the deep, but wouldn’t sacrifice the high speed GS-turns, that I love. I’ll be keeping my Heads for skiing with the kids og icy days, but I can feel the need for a longer radius, wider than 80mm under foot, and longer than 177… I was thinking Mantra 184 og Bonafide 187… but I have never skiid all-mountains skis before – always Blizzar, Voklk, Head og Atomic racecarvers…Will I be fast and safe on Mantras og Bonafides?

  13. How does the Mantra feel jumping? I don’t see much commentary about that. I ski in Tahoe and like to rip variable terrain pretty hard but am always looking for side hits or small cliffs to launch off. Wondering how the Mantra handles that type of thing or if it’s more intended for ex-GS-racers who don’t think about hitting cliffs etc. Have also been looking at the Masterblaster as an all-mountain ski.

    • I don’t think any of us really think of the M5 as a jump ski – there’s really nothing playful about the ski per se. But for straightforward directional airs, I don’t see any real reason to steer clear of the M5, either. Then again, if you’ve read our Masterblaster review, you will get most of the stability of the M5, less precision, and a bit more playfulness. So, in short, I think you could be happy on either, but the more playful you want this ski to be, the more we’d steer you toward the Masterblaster.

      • Thanks for the help! Sounds like the Masterblaster is the way to go. Thinking about it now, the fact that I’ve only ever used the word ‘piste’ in an ironic way probably tells you all you need to know about which ski I should pick…

  14. Any thoughts on the M5 vs the older, carbon-tipped Bonafides? Wasn’t a big fan of the fully-rockered Matras and always liked the Bonefides, but based on your new reviews I’m thinking the 2019 version might not be my cup of tea. Wasn’t sure how the M5 compared between the three. Thanks!

  15. Skied the M5 at Fernie last weekend on the groomers, powder and some chop. It performed beautifully in the latter two, jury still out on the groomers.

    In powder and chop, they felt very intuitive, fast and stable. Super easy and fun to ski at relatively high speed.

    I think I need to find their sweet spot for the groomers – was trying some short radius turns and that didn’t work all that well. They may do better at medium radius turns.

    As for sizing, I originally thought I would try the 184 but ended up using the 177, and it was perfect for me. I am 5’11”, 185 pounds and ski aggressively most of the time.

  16. hi
    if i where to put a ntn telemark binding on the m5 mantra. would you put it at the recomended middle point or on the +1 or +2 point?

  17. How does the ski handle at the different mount points ?
    I Purchased the Mantra M5 184 but have not mounted the bindings yet.
    I am considering mounting them +2.
    I demoed a pair of the same. The front of the skis did not grab and initiate turns as quickly as my 2010 Mantras, which steer like a Corvette. Might +2 help them initiate turns quicker?
    Even though the Mantra is not a true twin tip, I still ski switch a lot. So I am thinking that +1 or +2 might work better. What do you think ?

  18. I have had my Mantras out since January 2019 and waxed them immediately. I now find the bases really dried out. I know I was lazy but for a base to look so dry after one month seems wrong. Anyone else have a comment?
    And yes I will wax them today

  19. Hi, I was looking for a new ski to buy and Im not sure which one to buy.

    I am 1.76m and 60kg atm. Currently I was looking at the new Mantra M5 and the enforcer 93 as I want an all mountain ski that performs very well on hard snow/groomers when going at high speeds (I am an agressive skier) so I can get an easy edge hold when carving (my current ski, Salomon threats def do not allow me to do this whatsoever), while also allowing me to ski off-piste.

    I was told however, that the Mantra M5 is quite stiff and it would be hard for me to flex it because of my weight. The ski does seem to meet everything I want from it though so I am not sure what to buy. The enforcer 93 on the other hand also looked very promising.

    Any input on this?

  20. Mantra M5 sizing question? The review talks about the 177cm, but not 184cm?

    Can you provide any more information comparing the Mantra M5 184cm to Enforcer 100 185cm? Seems like the weight of these two are in the same ballpark +/- 2150g

    Referring to larger skiers: 6’-2”+ and 210lbs+

  21. I’m interested if anyone could compare the M5 (184) to the Kartel 96 (181)?
    6’2″ 210lb. Looking for a more playful, maneuverable bumb and tree ski. Both have a tight turn radius, and from reviews, it seems these both have deep rocker line that would allow for more smearing while still having some stiffness and stability. I’ve got some Belafonte 187’s, but they are more ski than I want for most days.

  22. I just purchased a pair of the M5 Mantras in 170cm. I am 169cm tall x 165 pounds personal size. I have not mounted yet, but plan to mount on the +1 line. My boots sole length is 293mm, so thinking that my ball of foot will be slightly rearward of average BSL if mounted on standard line. Anybody skiing on these at +1 or +2?
    Am I using good logic?

  23. just to report back after skiing the M5 Mantras mounted +1. Love these skis. Super fun, precise, rewarding skis. It’s so nice to have a ski that pulls me in to a turn when edged. I can make any size turn, no problem, just pay attention, and ski it like you mean it. I’ve skied these on firm groomers, heavy crud, bumps, everything except deep powder. These skis will do anything I ask them to so long as I stay energetic, and focused.
    By the way, I am so glad I bought the 170cm instead of the 177, ( the 177 were all sold out)these are plenty of ski for me in the stability department, not squirrelly at all.

  24. Disclaimer: I’m still pretty new to skiing. Skiiing blacks with effort, but not yet well versed in all the gear.

    So I recently purchased these (not yet fitted with bindings), but was wondering if it’s possible to mount Shift Binding on these for Resort and Side-country/pre-cursor to getting into backcountry. I’m sure I’m not taking into account many many things, but would like to learn.

    You’re input is greatly appreciated!!

  25. Between these and the enforcer 93’s, which skis would you say feel like “more ski”? I am looking at the M5’s in a 177 and am on the fence between the 177 and 185 in the Enforcers. Im 5’10 180 and prefer a bit more dynamic skiing style, and want the ability to make shorter turns in steeps, bumps, trees. I need to fill the narrower ski spot in my quiver for Utah. I was thinking the M5s would ski a bit longer than the 177 Enforcer, but not as long as the 185. Any thoughts would be appreciated!

  26. I’m usually satisfied with Blister reviews, but the M5 at 177 is compared to other skis at 184? Seems like it deserves to be compared to skis at the same length.

    • Ideally, we would have also been able to test the 184 cm Mantra M5 to have a more apples-to-apples comparison, but we haven’t yet been able to get on that length of the ski. We’ve been trying to get on the 184 cm M5, and hopefully we’ll be able to do so during the coming 19/20 season.

      • Good to hear! I scored a demo pair of 184 M5’s so I’ll be able to thrown in my 2 cents once I ski them back to back with my 185 Enforcers.

  27. Hi, my right leg is 14mm shorter than my left and I have a 10mm wedge that goes under my orthotics in my shoes.

    I have Solomon X-Pro 120 boots that have been fitted with my orthotics inside and they fit me like a glove and are really comfortable. My issue is that I find it allot harder to turn left on the new wide skis.

    It has been suggested that I should have a 10mm lift/spacer put under the binding on my right ski.

    Do you think this is a good idea.

  28. Measurements:
    215 lbs
    Home Resort: Snowbird
    Style: Out-of-Shape Aggressive
    Ski Length: 184

    The “Bird” had ridiculously good snow last year. As I recall, it snowed 20 days each in February and March. (Not every storm dumped 12”+, though many did.) I spent most of the season on skis in the 105mm – 108mm range. Snowbird gets tracked up pretty quickly so I rarely go with a full pow ski.

    I was able to ski the M5s on hard pack; soft, day-old loose snow; and mixed spring corn with crust in spots. The M5 was really solid in all conditions.

    Oh, and I also skied them late season in 15” – 18” of what I’ll call “Wasatch cement” – terrible, absolutely the wrong ski. Road to Provo opened the day after the storm and was much heavier than I thought it would be and deeper than I thought it would be.

    One of Volkl’s full reverse camber skis has been my daily driver for over 10 years, including the Gotama, the Manta M4, and the 100eight. I was expecting to miss the super easy turn initiation and surfy feel of those skis. While the M5’s profile can’t match those skis in those categories, turn initiation was surprisingly easy as was getting edge to edge – not surfy but very smooth.

    On hard pack, I could ski the M5s as fast as I wanted – good edge hold, very stable, quicker than I thought they would be. Good versatility in shaping different kinds of turns, as well.

    If hard pack were the standard fare offered by my resort, I don’t think the M5s would be my daily driver, but it wouldn’t be a bad option. In regular conditions like that, I’d opt for a ski with more pop coming out turns. I’m fairly confident in saying that I tend to make quicker, shorter turns than the young shredders that seem to dominate forums like Blister.

    High-speed stability is great, but I only open the throttle all the way for an occasional, fun change of pace (literally). Getting edge to edge and rebound energy is more important to me.

    Soft, loose snow, which is the standard fare at Snowbird, is, in my opinion, the easiest type of snow to ski. If the snow isn’t piled high, it almost doesn’t matter what skis you’re on. Turns are easy, don’t need great edge grip, easy to check, bounce, feather, whatever.

    That said, the M5s provided a fun, new (sort of) experience for me vs the other lineup of Volkls mentioned above – ripping and blasting vs bouncing and surfing. It reminded me of skiing, appropriately enough, my first pair of Mantras circa 2009 but more precise.

    Yes, it was precise ripping and blasting. Not sure how else to put it. Almost like skiing gates, honestly.

    I hate to say it, but the 2009 Mantras were more fun in loose snow. Mostly, I think, because of the full, traditional camber and torsion box, vertical sidewall construction. Tons of rebound energy. Great for blasting crud. Never skied a better setup on a tracked out run under the Little Cloud lift.

    So, the M5s are really good in loose snow if you want to surgically slay the hill rather than bash it to death or just play around with it cat and mouse like before letting the mouse go.

    Crusty, mixed spring corn. The M5s were perfect. Just the right amount of blast, the right amount of bounce, good versatility in shaping different turns and getting quick turns off on very lumpy, variable slopes. Lower Primrose – an absolute blast.

    So who is the M5 for? IMHO, a fairly aggressive, advanced skier in variable terrain and snow conditions. Perfect for late season runs where the snow is cold and hard at the top, softer and variable in the middle, and maybe even a bit mushy at the bottom. Would also be very good in day-old soft snow where you’re alternating between hard pack and softer, loose snow.

  29. Hi there, can anyone thats skied these help me out with sizing? I’m 5’10” 155lbs, stuck between the 170 or 177. Currently skiing older bonafides in 173… I like the ease of turning off piste, but they do get a bit squirrely at top speeds. Go up? Go down? Im a pretty strong skier so Im thinking 177, but will also patrol on these so I can NOT be fighting long skies when pulling a guest in a toboggan. Ugh. Can I buy both?

  30. Hi, I’m looking for a sizing recommendation on the Mantra M5 as well. I’m 6’2″, 205 lbs and ski aggressively, with 80% of my time on piste and the rest off. I’m debating the 184 M5’s, but haven’t seen any reviews of that length. Any insights are appreciated!


    • Hey there. Last season I demoed the 177 M5 and thought I was in love. Then I tried the 184 and learned what love really is. I’m 5 foot 9, 195 lb, 47 yrs old, and like a charging ski like others around here appear to. For everything I loved the 177 for, the 184 was better for me. I doubt you’d be sorry you tried 184s but there’s only one way to find out.

  31. Looking hard at these M5’s, have beaten my M1’s with Hammerheads up pretty well but they are still fun. Originally thinking to stick with the 184’s but wondering how it would feel to go down a notch. Going to put a set of Axl’s on them, I’m pretty aggressive and looking for a resort setup that I can drop off the side on if conditions warrant. I’m 6′ and 200 lbs. Should I go for the 177’s or 184?

  32. I recently demoed a few pairs of 18-19 Volkls: The Kanjo, Kendo, and Mantra. I spend a lot of time skiing on moguls, and while demoing found that the stiffer flex of the Mantra and Kendo were pretty unforgiving through more rutted mogul terrain. The softer ride of the Kanjos were fantastic in the moguls, and I found them more responsive than the other pairs for carving in general. The narrow underfoot was the major downside of the Kanjos, as I am looking for a pair of all-mountain skis that will work well on powder days.

    I am hoping to find a ski with a similar softness/playfulness to the Kanjos. I find your ‘Flex Pattern’ description really helpful to compare across skis, but unfortunately you don’t have a review for the Kanjos. Do you know how you would rate the Flex Pattern of tha Kanjos compared to say, the Kendos and the comparable Brahmas? (https://blisterreview.com/gear-reviews/ski-reviews/2018-2019-blizzard-brahma)

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