Volkl Mantra V-Werks 2019 – 2020 Ski | Review

Volkl's classic Mantra shape has gone under the knife to create the Mantra V-Werks

Lengths (cm): 170, 178 & 186
Sidecut (mm): 135 / 99 / 117 (178 cm)
Radius: 20.8 m (178cm)
Rocker Profile: Rocker-Camber-Rocker
Weight (per ski): 1680g (178 cm)
Price: £900


Why we chose the Volkl Mantra V-Werks: Lightweight, yet still high performance.

The Mantra quickly became Volkl’s most popular freeride ski, with a shape that gives fantastic all-mountain performance; one that’s able to cut its teeth in a wide range of conditions. Now into its fifth generation, Volkl have taken this shape, widened it slightly underfoot, and applied it to their V-Werks designs to create a pretty impressive all mountain ski touring machine.

Similar to the Marker “M-Werks” version of the Kingpin binding, the “V-Werks” division from Volkl represents the most serious touring side of the company; where weight stripping whilst also uploading a high level of performance is key. This high level of performance here has been kept up through a range of impressive technology. Let’s get nerdy. 

“The Mantra quickly became Volkl’s most popular freeride ski, with a shape that gives fantastic all-mountain performance”

As soon as you pick these skis up, the first thing you’ll notice is just how ridiculously thin they are towards the tips and tails. This lack of girth comes from Volkl’s 3D ridge technology, which incorporates a wooden core that’s thickest at the centre before tapering out towards the edges at the tips and tails.

This central wood core has been wrapped in a “carbon jacket,” something which adds stiffness and rebound to the ski exactly where it needs it and nowhere that it doesn’t.

This carbon jacket leaves a wafer thin section towards the edges which, of course, saves weight throughout the full length of the ski. With the weight taken off from the tips and tails, the Mantra V-Werks comes with an impressively light swing weight; meaning you’re able to throw them side-to-side easily in tight terrain (like steep couloirs). 

What good is buying such a lightweight pair of skis if they’re just going to get a load of snow and ice stuck on the top of them? A load of snow and ice that can, let’s face it, feel like an additional metric tonne when you’re ski touring. Volkl have looked to solve this problem with their all new “ice off topsheet” which utilises unique surface structure and material that helps ice and snow slide off the topsheet rather than get stuck on top.

Aside from the obvious reduction in weight and extra 3mm of width over that of the original Mantra, Volkl have kept true to this tried and tested shape meaning that if you’ve got on with previous iterations of the Mantra – you’ll get on well with the slightly more demanding ride of the V-Werks Mantra.

“If you’ve got on with previous iterations of the Mantra – you’ll get on well with the slightly more demanding ride of the V-Werks Mantra.”

We say slightly more demanding as that’s what’s to be expected when you strip weight from a damp ski, replace it with carbon and increase the radius slightly. There’s always trade-offs to make with touring equipment and this is certainly one of them. Here, you’re getting an extremely high performance ski that sits in the 1700g bracket.

Maybe people who like to trash their skis around the mountain might not be suited towards the V-Werks Mantra – the measures taken to strip weight from the Mantra comes with the downside of some decreased durability. Let’s just say we definitely wouldn’t like those thin edges to take a big hit from say a rock, or a tree.

A skin tail slot creates a solid platform for your skin to sit

This ski is so versatile in its shape and construction that it’ll work with both lightweight and mid-weight touring bindings, whatever your end goal may be. A Marker Alpinist would be suitable for those looking to go for a touring specific setup, whilst those looking to create a 50/50 resort-touring setup could drill a Marker Kingpin M-Werks.

It’s got to be said that in an effort to save weight, the metal binding reinforcement sheet underfoot is designed to accept the Marker bindings above – and only these bindings. These ski and bindings setups would all be ideally complemented with a boot in the 1500g range – say, the Dynafit Hoji Free or the Atomic Hawx 130 XTD.

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