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  1. #1
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    Mantra or other everyday Tahoe ski? blah blah blah

    Sorry, another Mantra related thread... Please help. I've searched and read pretty much every Mantra review post.

    Me- 5'8", 155lbs nekkid, been skiing for over 30 years, self taught hack, probably missing many finer points technique wise, but can pretty much ski everything I get myself into (might not always be pretty, but I can get down with some shred of decency). I like skiing pretty fast but would probably get blown over when many of the mags here slid by. Skis i've liked (not a lot of data to work with here): First gen Bandit XXs, older Karhu Jaks, Prior Originals. Skis I'm so so on- Nobis Inspired in a 188. Just feels a tad long for me, and looking for something different.

    Looking for an everyday stick for Tahoe area primarily.. I don't have a powder ski (been using my AT mounted Jaks at 97mm width), and I have the XX's for abysmal snow days, so I'm looking for something to fill a huge gap, with the expectation I someday get a dedicated powder board. Want something to blow thru crud, do pretty good in pow, and be fine on the groomers. I like skis with a 20-25ish radius, and the ability to run straight when I want em to, but have enough sidecut to not be overly demanding of my meager skilz.

    Everything I've reasd seems to suggest the Mantra in a 184 may be ticket for me? Other skis I've been considering are in the Elan M777 range, but I fear my needs are calling for someting at least 90 in the waist, with my current quiver. I love the frigging Jak at 127-97-117, if I could just add a little stiffness and maybe a hair narrower for an everyday ski...

    I have always feared the explosives, the LP's, thinking they might be too demanding for me and my hack skills...

    thoughts, purty please? thanks...

  2. #2
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    If you love the Jak keep that and bump up to the Gotama, @ 183 radius is 25.9. The Mantra is 95 at the waist not significantly narrower than the Jak. If you want to go narrower maybe the Bridge @ 92 waist. Screw all that just get, a pair of 179 Bro's and call it a day, change4anickel gets you $100 off.

  3. #3
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    thanks for the input. As much as I like the Jak I'd like to relegate it to bc use only, try not to log a bunch of resort days on my naxo 1.1s. Sooo. a little overlap on the jak portion of the quiver is not necessarily a bad thing. Gotomas are an interesting idea, but may lack the hasrd snow/groomer performance I need for such a wide gap in the quiver? Bros... sure. Beleive me the 179 is tempting... too much money though... my gear whoring has been curtailed substantially by new family additions! Also worried the Bro falls into the LP and Explosive camp, which I fear may be too much for me (probably incorrectly).

    Anyone else want to chime in? my tahoe everyday ski... what'll it be?

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chaka View Post
    As much as I like the Jak I'd like to relegate it to bc use only, try not to log a bunch of resort days on my naxo 1.1s.
    Actually, an AT binding isn't necessarily a bad thing to use for a dedicated pow day (inbounds) ski. Should be less stress on it in pow than, say, running moguls all day long.

    If you'd like to try out an Explosiv sometime up at Tahoe, let me know, you're welcome to borrow a set. IMHO a ski optimized for fresh powder is not going to be a ski optimized for crud-bashing, but there are ones that can do both in an acceptable fashion. If you like the Karhu flex, some of the K2s might work (medium stiffness sort of skis).

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by El Chupacabra View Post
    Actually, an AT binding isn't necessarily a bad thing to use for a dedicated pow day (inbounds) ski. Should be less stress on it in pow than, say, running moguls all day long.

    If you'd like to try out an Explosiv sometime up at Tahoe, let me know, you're welcome to borrow a set. IMHO a ski optimized for fresh powder is not going to be a ski optimized for crud-bashing, but there are ones that can do both in an acceptable fashion. If you like the Karhu flex, some of the K2s might work (medium stiffness sort of skis).
    thx for the demo offer Chup! I'm not really looking for a pow ski, but rather an everyday ski... definitely understand your point of a pow ski not be ideal for crud bashing. I'm looking for an everyday stick that has enough girth to do ok in pow, but not thinking about this as my long term pow solution... so I'm looking at high 80s to mid 90's in width primarily (unless someone convinces me there is a magic 100+ ski that really kills crud, groomers). So, the Mantra is on the list based on its fit as an supposed everyday west coast ski. I assume it is easier to ski than a Explosive? Maybe Prophet 90?

  6. #6
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    my everyday ski is a 180 explosiv, i'm a hack, and i love em. just do it man. you'll only get better even if they own you for a bit. best ski i've ever had for variable snow and crust, manageable on groomers, and great in pow and corn

  7. #7
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    186 Fischer Watea 94.

    I ski teh larger 101 and love them. Skied the 94 last year at a demo day and they rocked. Demo them and see what you think.

  8. #8
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    183 older gotama (black one)

    176 or 183 newer gotama (white or gold)

  9. #9
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    you might want to try out the nordica enforcer

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by sierraskier View Post
    183 older gotama (black one)

    176 or 183 newer gotama (white or gold)
    Sierraskier- I am guessing you suggested the shorter length for the new Gots because they are stiffer?

    thanks everyone for the suggestions!

    Interestingly enough, no one has seconded the idea of the Mantra. Coincidence or are you telling me its a bad idea

  11. #11
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    umm..Moment TAHOE...just some food for thought..they rip.

  12. #12
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    Go demo a Mantra and Gotama and decide if they fit the bill. Both should be pretty easy to get a hold of in Tahoe. 184 Mantras are a nice ski (I own the red ones from last year), but my 190 Gotamas are more fun, IMO.

  13. #13
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    I find it interesting that my beloved Jak + 6 to 7mm on each dimension = Gotama. Hmmmm. a supersized, stiffer Jak. Paradise for Chaka?

    Gotama twins, except for the first year, are not full, correct? Kinda like a Jak?
    Last edited by Chaka; 01-14-2008 at 09:24 AM.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chaka View Post
    Sierraskier- I am guessing you suggested the shorter length for the new Gots because they are stiffer?

    thanks everyone for the suggestions!

    Interestingly enough, no one has seconded the idea of the Mantra. Coincidence or are you telling me its a bad idea
    exactly. it is stiffer and has a slightly more sidecut. to me the older gotama leans a little more to side of a pow ski because it's a little softer and straighter, but still skiable every day in my opinion. the newer stiffer gotama performs a little better in variable conditions/hardpack.

    FWIW I haven't skied the Mantra. I hear it is a great all around ski, but if you are leaning slightly more towards something that will be really good in pow but you can still ski a lot of other days in Tahoe, I think the newer Gotama is probably the ski. I hear the Mantra has gotten progressively stiffer each year and has much more sidecut than the Gotama which for me both equate to a little less performance in pow. hope that helps...

  15. #15
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    Do not be afraid of wide waist. Some wider sticks rail groomers better them skis which are dedicated for hardpack. My everyday stick is K2 Apache Chief, 98 in waist. I dig my old Volants today as it was bulletproof. Beaten as hell but still skiable. They are around 72 in waist. Mistake. I wanted to throw them to woods.

    Edit: I've had Chiefs before on bulletproof and they rock if I compare with old Volants. Chiefs are my first 'fat' skis but I still think they are not that wide. I would say they are perfect hardpack ski. At least for me. I have 12 days on them. All on groomers. Im Euro. No pow so far this winter. I think I will buy Gotamas next season and rail groomers as I like the stability of fat skis. I think it makes me a better skier as well. Maybe Im not the only one who thinks so.
    Last edited by BeastOfTheEast; 01-14-2008 at 09:42 AM.

  16. #16
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    2nd on the Chiefs. I have 'em in the 188 and love 'em as an everyday ski. Super fun. They aren't as capable a ski as my 1st gen Big Daddies, but they are a lot more fun on days when I don't feel like skiing at 100% all the time.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by gimpy View Post
    my everyday ski is a 180 explosiv, i'm a hack, and i love em. just do it man. you'll only get better even if they own you for a bit. best ski i've ever had for variable snow and crust, manageable on groomers, and great in pow and corn
    i second that (except I'm not sure gimpy is much of a hack) - my resort ski is a 180 explosive and it's my favorite.

    For the backcountry I have a pair of 179 Bro Softs and i wouldn't be too worried about them being too much for ya - they are great in the soft stuff, but not nearly as versatile on the more "variable" conditions. A stiff Bro maybe more all-around.

    I have lately been contemplating myself whether to put AT bindings on my Explosivs or to get some Mantra's for the backcountry...

  18. #18
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    I got a pair of Scott Punisher 191s for that exact use...only used them one day this weekend but they RIP. 130-90-116...huge sidecut so they carve well, but the fat tip was big enough to blast through some of the choppy rain-induced crud at Kirkwood on Sunday. Absolutely nailed a rock, and there was only minor base damage. It took me a few runs to get used to them (the tip threw me a bit exiting turns initially) but once I was getting totally centered, they were some of the most fun skis I've been on. I have them mounted on center with Rossi Power 140s. It's a very light ski, although those bindings added significant weight. Still, a very agile ski.

    They are softer than my P4s, yet still very stable at speed, especially on edge.

    edit: I'm 5'10, 155lbs, if that helps.

  19. #19
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    thx skimoore- now I need to go research the Scotts

    lots of votes for Gotama, Explosiv. For those who have skied both, which demands more skill, technique from the pilot. Which one will kick the ass of someone with so so technique. I'm actually leaning towards the Got now, based on I think I would appreciate the girth more often than I would regret it.... I also like the similiarity to the dimensions of my fave Jaks (by similiarity I mean the Got is pretty +7mm on every Jak dim). The last two years of Gotamas have a half twin right, less than the twin of the first year?

    thanks again all, this is very helpful.
    Last edited by Chaka; 01-14-2008 at 09:33 PM.

  20. #20
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    The Explosives aren't that demanding in soft stuff. It is not one of those heavy feeling and super damp skis with lots of stiffness up front. Instead it has rather balanced flex and f you just skip those lowest speeds then it is rather lively. What is a bit demanding about it is pist skiing. With this little sidecut it needs an active technique to set the turn up. t will get you down the pist safely regardless of technique, but it isn't fun unless you angle it up a bit. For "semi" conditions (ie crud busting, cut up stuff, partially re-frozen etc) the Explosivs are hard to eat. There is something about how the relatively softer shovel just eats energy while the rest of the ski stay lively but dependable.

    The Gotama has some more sidecut and in this sense is easier when skiing hardpack. But it is also less livey and less fun IMO. In soft stuff, the Gotama will benefit from its softer flex overall and from its bigger surface area, so particular at slower speeds it will be easier.


    I'm your weight, Chaka, and the 190 Explosives are my all round skis. I have 184 Mantras and a pair of Sanouks too. I could easily do with only the Explosives. But the Mantras are still very fun and no doubt easier to handle when transporting yourself down tight stuff (but I personally rarely let that influence my choice of ski - they are easier, but Ex or Sanouk is easy enough too). The Mantras also give you more back with less input when skiing hardpack, particulalry if its not big and steep. The Mantra 184 also float pretty much as good as the Explosive 190 at my weight. But the Mantra does not handle cut up stuff as well. Good but not as the Explosive, particularly not at higher speeds.

  21. #21
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    the 180 explosiv is a puppy dog of a ski really
    i wouldnt reccomend an explosiv when the legend pro exists unless you absolutely hate damp smooth skis and want a lively more planky feel.

    if my no talent hack of a jong ass can ski them, someone with a 30yr background can sure as hell handle them. They hand flex stiff and ski that way on hard snow, but they have a very round even flex profile and a large shovel that lends well to skiing pow and crud. Theyre so amazing I actually go out searching the shittiest \ cruddiest snow I can find on the mountain to go carve and hop through it like it wasnt there.

    The explosiv was a great ski, but really the LP is its replacement.
    The explosiv does do a couple things better than the LP, ie trees and bumps, but the LP does just fine in those with the right input. They arent that demanding in all honesty.

    the other skis you might be interested in are a moment thunder or elan 777 or AK King Salmons or Bros

  22. #22
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    Agreed with pech on the LP, though they did own me for a while, I had been snowboarding exclusively for 8-9 years and had to rebuild my skiing from scratch. Mount them on the line if you get them, I had mine at +1,5, but after a remount to 795mm from the tail (on the bump, they are the old ones with orange top sheet) they feel even better, fast from edge to edge on groomers (did gs turns this weekend with tighter radii than the guy in front who was on 10,5m radius atomic metrons ), more stable than before and with less tail hooking.

    I have to say I´ve loved the 184 mantras when I´ve been on them though, they are stable skis, but not as stable as the LP´s, and a lot more playful and relaxing to ski. I also liked the all black gotamas in soft snow, but the white gots are not comparable to either the LP´s or mantras in crud and I feel they wash out on groomers.

    I haven´t skied the LP´s in pow after the remount, but earlier I felt they tended to submerge if you´re not going stupid fast, and they are a handful in trees as they don´t like going sideways. Mantras (both the black ones with orange sidewall and the red ones) felt better in pow at lower speed and in the trees.

    Short story: You can´t really go wrong with either 186 LP´s or 184 mantras. I´ll throw in the old black 189 maden ak as a dark horse for more pow oriented, easygoing allrounder though, it would be great value for money if you can find a decent pair. Groomer performance is lower, they get more deflected in crud but they are a lot better in pow and handle real well even in tighter trees, despite being something like 193cms long.
    simen@downskis.com DOWN SKIS

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by pechelman View Post
    explosiv ... a lively more planky feel.
    Just how i like it...

    Actually, the fact that Explosivs suck up big hit energy so well but still stays lively is one big reason I like the. For me, the Explosives just nail it when it comes to the compromise between getting good terrain feedback and still absorb big hits when you need it to.

    (The Mantra have a similar feel but get more nervous due to a softer overall flex and more sidecut.)

    Never tried the LP though. Might like that one too.

  24. #24
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    HitMe, Sist, everyone else. thanks for all of the great input, definitely have given me a lot of good info to mull over. I love this place.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chaka View Post
    lots of votes for Gotama, Explosiv. For those who have skied both, which demands more skill, technique from the pilot. Which one will kick the ass of someone with so so technique.
    Pechel and Hitme have already provided some good feedback, but I think answers to this question are going to vary based on the user and their skiing style. Explosivs are silly fun and easy in soft snow, if you are not afraid to let them run. I skied mine for a few years, but realized that the Gots gave nearly the same performance, but demanded less from me. Also, I got tired of how poorly the Explosivs did on harder snow. I know that some will disagree with me on this point. Yes, the Explosiv can be carved, but the Gotama (especially the newer one with a tad more sidecut) is far better on firmer snow, despite their wider girth. Just easier and more solid edge purchase.

    I sold my coveted White Wizard Explosivs last year since the Gotamas were getting all the playing time. I then sold the 183 Gotamas (2nd Gen) and now have 190 Gotamas from last season and am totally stoked on them. For this weekend warrior, the Gotama lets me "bring it" in my less-than-polished way and doesn't spank me for getting lazy. My Gotama's wide performance range erased any remorse about selling the Wizards.

    Hope that helps...

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