Cage Match Comparison 2022 Atomic Maverick 95Ti vs 2022 Volkl M6 Mantra

Philpug

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We have two new skis to talk about and compare and contrast for the 2022 season. They are the all new Atomic Maverick 95Ti and the very much redesigned Volkl M6 Mantra. Both of these skis are very important for these two iconic European brands. Atomic is replacing the Vantage 97Ti, a ski that never really found its following, and the Mantra is well…the Mantra, still the ski in the segment that all others get compared with at one point or another. So, this Cage Match is Atomic’s turn to take a swipe at the King, the M6 Mantra.

I respect a brand that is willing to change direction when something isn’t as successful as they would have liked. Atomic did that with the outgoing Vantage collection and the new Mavericks. I recall riding the lift with Daron Rahlves last year and seeing his excitement with the new skis, and that made me really look forward to getting on them. Daron mentioned all of the incarnations of the designs and the process in time and detail that it took to get to the final product with the Mavericks and felt that they really hit their target. FWIW, Daron tends not to mince words.

What can be said about the sixth generation Mantra that hasn’t been said about past Mantras? Well, a lot. Volkl has done more with this new Mantra than almost any other previous Mantra (except maybe when they tried the zero camber 100 mm version, but let‘s let that sleeping dog lie). The new M6 incorporates Volkl’s very good 3D sidecut which has longer turn radii in the tip and tail but a tighter radius underfoot. IMHO, 3D sidecut, when added, has significantly enhanced the performance of every Volkl I have skied. Just as big of a change as the 3D sidecut is the tailoring (or scaling) of the construction of the Mantra; this is all new and it creates the same skiing experience for someone who is on the (new) 163 all the way to the 191. In the past, that just was not the case.
  • Why chose the Maverick 95ti: Light yet with a powerful feel, powerful yet with a playful peppiness. You are looking for a ski that not only can fight and handle crud but also dance down the hill.
  • Why choose the M6 Mantra: Now there is a Mantra for everyone…who likes to charge. If your previous Mantra generations worked for you, you will be at home here. Now with the “Tailored” sizing, there is a Mantra for skiers small and large who want to pound the mountain into submission.
 
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CO Freeskier

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I skied both at Loveland’s demo day not long ago and had a similar impression though neither ski was even close to the two favorites of the day (Bonafide 97 and Stance 96). For me the Mantra carved well with consistent snow but was really challenged on sections of the slopes where you had a mix of scraped piles of fresh/soft snow with patches of underlying exposed ice. The Bonafide and Stance just didn’t care about the conditions and were stable 100% of the time. The odd thing to me is how light the Mantra felt but I don’t believe it is known as a light ski.

The 95ti 188 also carved well on consistent snow but had seem way too light for my taste at 195 lbs and would fall into the “playful” category. That said I have a strong preference for heavier skis…Dynastar Pro Rider Factory/LPR 105 and I’m freqently on GS and SL skis.
 

Scotty I.

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I skied both at Loveland’s demo day not long ago and had a similar impression though neither ski was even close to the two favorites of the day (Bonafide 97 and Stance 96). For me the Mantra carved well with consistent snow but was really challenged on sections of the slopes where you had a mix of scraped piles of fresh/soft snow with patches of underlying exposed ice. The Bonafide and Stance just didn’t care about the conditions and were stable 100% of the time. The odd thing to me is how light the Mantra felt but I don’t believe it is known as a light ski.

The 95ti 188 also carved well on consistent snow but had seem way too light for my taste at 195 lbs and would fall into the “playful” category. That said I have a strong preference for heavier skis…Dynastar Pro Rider Factory/LPR 105 and I’m freqently on GS and SL skis.

The two skis that you mentioned that were your favorites would make for a good Cage Match (unless it's already been done and I missed it).
 

Bad Bob

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Spent the best part of a day on the Maverick 95TI last spring. Skied it in mixed snow and too short a length. The partner of the day was skiing at mach 3 on his hill, it was not a good combination for the ski or a fair test. It was stable in a 175 length for me, but not a comfortable ride. Would be interested in trying it in a longer length.
 

Yo Momma

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I just picked up the M6's and read this. I've owned Mantra's in the past and liked them. Then I tried the 2016's, flat underfoot...... OMG life changing ski. One of my absolute favorites! I'm very curious to get the M6 out on the slopes. I'm 210-215 lbs @6' and always ski the Mantras in a 177. I owned the 184's at one point, used them east and west and ended up selling them. I also love the flipcore Bones (Bonafide) in 180. Hmmm... starting to detect a low camber preference.... We'll see.
 

Noodler

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I skied both at Loveland’s demo day not long ago and had a similar impression though neither ski was even close to the two favorites of the day (Bonafide 97 and Stance 96). For me the Mantra carved well with consistent snow but was really challenged on sections of the slopes where you had a mix of scraped piles of fresh/soft snow with patches of underlying exposed ice. The Bonafide and Stance just didn’t care about the conditions and were stable 100% of the time. The odd thing to me is how light the Mantra felt but I don’t believe it is known as a light ski.

The 95ti 188 also carved well on consistent snow but had seem way too light for my taste at 195 lbs and would fall into the “playful” category. That said I have a strong preference for heavier skis…Dynastar Pro Rider Factory/LPR 105 and I’m freqently on GS and SL skis.

I also skied the M6 Mantra and the new Maverick 95Ti back-to-back at the LL demo day. My observation was that the skis had a similar on-snow feel, where they ski light, but don't perform like you would think a light ski would. They have excellent edge hold and a good amount of power in the turns. My immediate reaction on the M6 was that this is the fat ski for the ex-racer who like to rip SL turns. I couldn't believe just how quick the M6 could rip off tight carved turns. It really left me shaking my head in disbelief. The Maverick wasn't quite as quick (less sidecut), but I also think it's probably the more accessible ski for more skiers; the M6 can kind of have a "one track mind" at times, whereas the Maverick was more willing to listen... ;) Although I noted that the Maverick did seem a bit more "on/off" when edging and I think I would have liked to try a different mount point.

It should be noted that the conditions of the day were not when I would typically choose any of these skis. They were tested as big wide groomer zoomers, which they are not.

P.S. I'll add that in this category of skis, my favorite also was the Blizzard Bonafide. It just has more of the on-snow feel I prefer (more damp) and a very planted secure feel in all turns no matter the snow conditions.
 
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anders_nor

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The mantra m6 2022 is probably one of the best looking skis I've seen in a while
Ended 2020 jester's on the 2022 mantra just to get a match going, marker needs to up their red binding game.

The M6 reminds me (not shocking) about the older mantras, its less X factor and crazy panzertrain factor of the Mantra 102, and also better than the M5 and all previous generations.

It's back to beeing a jack of all trades, but not winning on anything. This ends up makeing it a very friendly allrounder you can charge and shutdown the charge easy, and you cant really go wrong with it. This is one of the few you grab if you have 0 idea of terrain and conditions your going to ski.

The M6 is a mantra for everyone, the M102 is for the 50-60mph+ ones. Where the M102 is a 10/10 for aggressive style, the M6 is a 7/10 or 8/10. But it reaches a much broader audience.

My 191 came with very well prepared bases, but I will put a slightly more aggressive tune on them.


2021-12-18 14.45.18.jpg
 

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