Corvus VS Mindbender 108ti, Mantra 102, Wrenegade 102ti

Corvus VS Mindbender 108ti, Mantra 102, Wrenegade 102ti

  • Black Crows Corvus

  • K2 Mindbender 108ti

  • Volkl Mantra 102

  • ON3P Wrenegade 102ti


Results are only viewable after voting.

ATS446

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Hey friends,

I’m in the market for new skis, but stuck on a decision. Hoping for some advice…

Background:
I’m 35, 6ft, 180lbs+ Lower level advanced skier. I like to go as fast/aggressive as my skills allow and I often push boundaries into new terrain. (I try to ski it all). I’ll ski 60+ days this year (if I stay healthy). - I primarily ski the bigger east coast mountains (mostly Vermont), with 1-2 trips out west every year. I prefer stable skis that I can point straight through “oh shit” moments, but enjoy maneuverability in the trees and bumps

*** This year I’m going to be out west for a couple months, visiting friends/family, chasing storms, (Icon mountains - Sierras, Cascades, Canadian Rockies) so I’m looking to add a western daily driver to the quiver. ***

Current “quiver”:
2020 Nordic’s Enforcer 88 179cm – eastern daily driver, also works well out west with no fresh snow. Favorite ski I’ve owned. I can charge, ski any terrain, but also sit in the backseat at the end of the day when my legs are cooked. Fun all day long.

2021 Elan Ripstick 106 188cm - my 50/50 ski with marker dukes. Fun, light, dynamic ski. BUT I have a speed limit on them. For a wider ski, they carve really well and don’t mind ice, but they just don’t hold up at speed (edge or tips). - but they work great for eastern powder days and uphill

Other skis I’ve really liked:
2015 Volkl Kendo 177cm – Beloved eastern charger, just like a precision knife. They unfortunately didn’t let me backseat drive at all (had to be on point all day), BUT when I drove them, they were exactly how I want my skis to feel. (The 177 felt too short out west)

2019 Fischer Ranger 108ti 188cm - felt a lot like the Ripstick, but the Rangers held up better at speed. Very stable, yet light swing weight due to the carbon tips. (They just didn’t hold up long term - durability issues)


New skis I’m looking at:
K2 Mindbender 108ti 186cm
Volkl Mantra 102 184cm
Black Crows Corvus 183cm
ON3P Wrenegade 102ti 184cm

Last note: I know the safe bet is a wider enforcer, but I’m trying to find something slightly different. I enjoy spending time on different skis and learning their personalities.
Also, I haven’t had good experience with Fischer durability combined with my aggressive style (I’m hard on gear) – so staying away from the 102FR

Thanks for your help!

TLDR:
I’m looking for a (western) daily driver, strong stable charger that doesn’t completely punish me all day (and will pair well with the Enforcer 88, Ripstick 106) for variable conditions (sierras, cascades, Canadian Rockies)
 

Philpug

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TLDR:
I’m looking for a (western) daily driver, strong stable charger that doesn’t completely punish me all day
A 102-108mm "Daily Driver" is for condtions you hope to ski verses condtions that you will actually ski ... daily.

Other skis I’ve really liked:
2015 Volkl Kendo 177cm – Beloved eastern charger, just like a precision knife. They unfortunately didn’t let me backseat drive at all (had to be on point all day), BUT when I drove them, they were exactly how I want my skis to feel. (The 177 felt too short out west)
If these didn't let you backseat drive, the Mantra 102/108 sure as hell won't either.
 

AngryAnalyst

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Haven't ever been on a Corvus and have only briefly demoed a Mindbender 108ti but some thoughts/comparisons from someone your height but about 40 lbs heavier that owns a Wren 96 Ti in 189 and a Mantra 102 in 191:
  1. The Mantra 102 in 184 is almost surely going to be strongest on edge of those skis. The more you want to use this ski every day out west, the more strongly I'd recommend it. It isn't a great powder ski for me but you might be lighter enough my experience wouldn't translate to you.
  2. The Mindbender 108 Ti is probably the best pow and crud ski of the bunch, based both on my limited time on them and my interpretation of the Blister reviews of the skis you are considering. The full reverse camber Corvus of recent days is probably, going by Blister, somewhat similar seeming. I don't think either is going to feel as strong on 2D snow as the Mantra in exchange. Do you feel like you need this ski to work in 6+ inches of powder?
  3. The Wren 96 Ti I have has a notably more splayed shape (I'm pretty sure from memory) than the Mantras but is comparably stiff. I can't comment on the 102 Ti specifically, but I think they just added 6 mm of waist and adjusted sidecut a bit between the models which is why I'm guessing my experience might translate somewhat. ON3P's bamboo cores have a sort of weirdly "spring-y" feel, even with metal, that isn't really present in any other company's product. Assuming my experience on the 96 Ti translates to the 102 Ti, I think the Wren 102 Ti is probably pretty balanced in terms of performance attributes between the Mindbender and the Mantra 102. I usually decide whether to bring my Wrenegade or Mantra 102 based on how important it is I ski with precision and power (Mantra 102) vs. a somewhat looser more smeary style (Wrenegade). The Wren also feels a bit more like it goes over crud instead of bull dozing through it like the Mantra.
  4. I think the new Ranger 102 is a great ski and more accessible than the Mantra 102 while maintaining most of the top end. My belief is Fischer changed the construction from the 102 FR so not sure if you still need to worry about durability or not.
  5. Phil is, as usual, being insightful. The Mantra 102, even in the 184, is a pretty big ski. If you had issues driving a shorter Kendo (I don't know the model year differences), I'm a bit unsure you'd get along with the Mantra 102 in a longer length.
 
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ATS446

ATS446

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A 102-108mm "Daily Driver" is for condtions you hope to ski verses condtions that you will actually ski ... daily.
Haha agreed, that's why I have the enforcer 88's... but this winter I get to go chase snow, so for a couple months I'll be moving around (weekly) to where 102-108 will be the daily driver

If these didn't let you backseat drive, the Mantra 102/108 sure as hell won't either.
This is the reason I haven't pulled trigger on 102's, and am leaning towards the Mindbenders... Any recommendation for a ski with the 102's stability at speed, but is more friendlier when on the heels?
 

Philpug

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This is the reason I haven't pulled trigger on 102's, and am leaning towards the Mindbenders... Any recommendation for a ski with the 102's stability at speed, but is more friendlier when on the heels?
The obvious answer to start with is to stay out of the back seat ;) . With that out of the way, The Fischer Ranger 102, Rossi Sender 102Ti, Head Kore 105. These are all skis that still have a tail to hold you up when in the backseat unlike a ski that has a lot of rise in the tail that will wash out when when you get in the back.
 

David Chaus

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Actually the ON3P is a great choice, very stable and capable of charging. They do have more tip and tail rise than the other skis. If you want a little more maneuverability, consider the Woodsman. Amazing how damp and stable the Woodsman is without the additional weight of metal layers (the Wren 102 does have Titanal).

My Woodsman 102 was excellent when I took it into deep powder, or crud, or needed to pivot, smear and turn in trees. They are made of the type of conditions we get in the PNW, and I've found they work great in BC, UT, CO as well.

With the bamboo core they are springy, but I found that to be more the case with the Jeffrey ( more center-mounted and more of a freestyle ski, meaning forwards/switch, jump off things, venture into the terrain park once in a while). They do have a unique sound when in "noisy" snow, kind of a hollow hissing sound through the turn, but the ski remains unflappable.

The ON3P's are really well made, excellent top sheet durability and thick bases and metal edges. Also the waxing and the tune out of the box is perfect. That said, they come with a 1 degree base/1 degree side tune from the factory and I found that a 2 degree side bevel tune made them much more versatile and grippy on groomers, much better feel on piste with easier edge engagement .
 
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ATS446

ATS446

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Haven't ever been on a Corvus and have only briefly demoed a Mindbender 108ti but some thoughts/comparisons from someone your height but about 40 lbs heavier that owns a Wren 96 Ti in 189 and a Mantra 102 in 191:
  1. The Mantra 102 in 184 is almost surely going to be strongest on edge of those skis. The more you want to use this ski every day out west, the more strongly I'd recommend it. It isn't a great powder ski for me but you might be lighter enough my experience wouldn't translate to you.
  2. The Mindbender 108 Ti is probably the best pow and crud ski of the bunch, based both on my limited time on them and my interpretation of the Blister reviews of the skis you are considering. The full reverse camber Corvus of recent days is probably, going by Blister, somewhat similar seeming. I don't think either is going to feel as strong on 2D snow as the Mantra in exchange. Do you feel like you need this ski to work in 6+ inches of powder?
  3. The Wren 96 Ti I have has a notably more splayed shape (I'm pretty sure from memory) than the Mantras but is comparably stiff. I can't comment on the 102 Ti specifically, but I think they just added 6 mm of waist and adjusted sidecut a bit between the models which is why I'm guessing my experience might translate somewhat. ON3P's bamboo cores have a sort of weirdly "spring-y" feel, even with metal, that isn't really present in any other company's product. Assuming my experience on the 96 Ti translates to the 102 Ti, I think the Wren 102 Ti is probably pretty balanced in terms of performance attributes between the Mindbender and the Mantra 102. I usually decide whether to bring my Wrenegade or Mantra 102 based on how important it is I ski with precision and power (Mantra 102) vs. a somewhat looser more smeary style (Wrenegade). The Wren also feels a bit more like it goes over crud instead of bull dozing through it like the Mantra.
  4. I think the new Ranger 102 is a great ski and more accessible than the Mantra 102 while maintaining most of the top end. My belief is Fischer changed the construction from the 102 FR so not sure if you still need to worry about durability or not.
  5. Phil is, as usual, being insightful. The Mantra 102, even in the 184, is a pretty big ski. If you had issues driving a shorter Kendo (I don't know the model year differences), I'm a bit unsure you'd get along with the Mantra 102 in a longer length.
Awesome, thanks for the info...

I definitely want a ski that can handle 6-12 inches of powder... but also something that ill feel confident on when I end up in some crusted over leftovers or cement snow (not the Ripstick 106)

I should clarify about the Kendo's, I loved those skis. I never felt like they were too much... they just never let me rest.(I'm also stronger skier now) The idea of a similar ski in the Mantra excites me... how well do they do in 6-12" of powder compared to your Wrenegades?
 

tromano

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I voted mantra from your list. You skied the Fischer 108ti in a 188, the mantra 102 184 would not be too much ski if your comfortable on the 108ti. It seems like the mantra is what you want and if youre mostly in open terrain out west it would work well for that. It also compliments your Elan's which you can use as more of a pow day ski.
 

GregK

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The 186cm Nordica Unleashed 108 would be a perfect mix of all of your skis above but more versatile if you ski more than just groomers or wide open bowls. Would have similar weight to your Enforcer 88 but with a more uniform flex pattern(more forgiving tail), a longer turn radius for better stability and longer effective edge for great edge grip. More fun and playful in trees and off piste than any of the above options but still could rip a soft groomer at speed.

Would be a fun ski in soft, Spring or any new snow in the West or East. Going to steal lots of Enforcer Free and Indie skis sales this year.
 

AngryAnalyst

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I should clarify about the Kendo's, I loved those skis. I never felt like they were too much... they just never let me rest.(I'm also stronger skier now) The idea of a similar ski in the Mantra excites me... how well do they do in 6-12" of powder compared to your Wrenegades?

Different feelings in powder. The Mantra is a toned down freeride comp ski that still likes going straight and fast, the Wren is more of a fall line biased version of the Woodsman David told you about. I’d be very surprised if the Wren didn’t float better than the Mantra, which would matter to me a lot in over 6 inches of fresh.

I tend to think that assuming you can manage the mantra, it probably does offer extra breadth to a travel quiver with the Elan vs. the Wren. I’m pretty clear I’d rather have my Mantra for open terrain on hard snow if that helps.
 

BMC

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The 186cm Nordica Unleashed 108 would be a perfect mix of all of your skis above but more versatile if you ski more than just groomers or wide open bowls. Would have similar weight to your Enforcer 88 but with a more uniform flex pattern(more forgiving tail), a longer turn radius for better stability and longer effective edge for great edge grip. More fun and playful in trees and off piste than any of the above options but still could rip a soft groomer at speed.

Would be a fun ski in soft, Spring or any new snow in the West or East. Going to steal lots of Enforcer Free and Indie skis sales this year.
Agree.
 

Bandit Man

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I‘ve got 20 lbs on you and own the 184 M102 (and 184 Katana K108) and 186 MB108 Ti. I have many days on each of them. Never skied the Corvus. Owned an earlier version of the 189 Wren 108 (before the Ti version was made), but sold it.

I agree with much of what has been shared. The M102 is the real charger of the bunch And is so versatile. If you are strong enough, it will rail on groomers and do 70-MPH will ample composure. It’s also great in crud and about 8” or less of powder. Mind you, the 22-23 version has a tighter sidecut under foot and is slightly “tamed” but just a little. I ski the PNW and it’s my daily driver. My 5’ 10” 155 lb 18-yo son skis the 184 M102 (he likes to ski fast) as his daily driver with no issues. again, if you stay on it, it is powerful, but manageable. I’m happy to chat about the K108, but that wasn’t on your list. I think it’s easier to ski than the M102, and is much better in powder. ❄️❄️❄️

In comparison, the MB108 is a much more friendly and somewhat forgiving ski. Or rather the previous version was. K2 beefed up the ski and took much of the rocker out of the tail. I haven’t skied the new one, but it sounds closer to the Volkl M102/K108. The previous MB108 is an amazing powder ski for 108 in the waist and floats and smears in deep snow like a much wider ski. Yet, it has great manner on soft groomers. They have a softer tip, which allows them to float in POW and be bent into a turn easier than the Volkl. The tail also releases quite easily and has a smeary feel in deep, soft snow. The drawback of the MB is that is can get pushed around a bit in heavy, variable snow, where the softer shovel becomes a weak point. That just means you have to throttle back in those conditions, whereas the Volkls thrive there.

Never skied the Corvus. They seem to have a very polarizing effect. I see lots for sale with lIke three to five days on them, which is odd. Personally, I never understood the appeal of a ski trying to be light and be a charge, unless it’s for touring. Burliness and weight/mass just seem to yield the best results for a true all-Mtn charger.

I’m a big fan of ON3P powder skis. I’m less enthusiastic about their all-Mtn skis. I’ve owned a few, but they seem quite “meh” compared to similar models from Volkl, Blizzard, or Nordica. I haven’t been on th Ti models, but I’m also done going to that well and leaving underwhelmed. YMMV.
 

Bandit Man

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And I LOVE that the M102 is in your list. It’s an under appreciated ski and much more accessible than most people give it credit.
 

charlier

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One comment. The Corvus is an outstanding touring ski. Relatively light weight (2100 gms), stable, and damp for its weight. A favorite ski for many backcountry ski guides in the Pac NW. Perhaps best in class for stability. See Blister (an appropriate review), https://blisterreview.com/gear-reviews/2018-2019-black-crows-corvus.
For my skiing, an outstanding backcountry ski with Amer Sports tech bindings.
 

anders_nor

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mantra 102 <3
its a strong stable charger, but is it right? probably not

if your tecqnique is superb, and or fairly open terrarin, its awesome, and super chilling, its so heavy it just irons out everything, I use the Mantra 102 when I'm filming someone and I have to keep up no matter where they go, and I can't focus on terrain that much or whats coming

When you get tired, you ski slow, wet snow, supertight trees, narrow chutes etc... it's probably one of my most horrible experiences. switched to E110 for that terrain next day and just lolled, so easy to ski.

I'm not sure what is my worst experience, FIS GS skis down from glacier in the bumps in 0 visbility in a snowstorm, or mantra 102, 191cm in deep wet snow in way to tight trees. both took me hours to get down :D



How do you like your enforcer 88s? do they have enought power/topend for you? if so you can look into friendler skis like E104, E110, CT 3.0, 102FR

The mantra is a 9/10 on my chargy list, the E88 is a 5/10.
 

Bandit Man

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mantra 102 <3
its a strong stable charger, but is it right? probably not

if your tecqnique is superb, and or fairly open terrarin, its awesome, and super chilling, its so heavy it just irons out everything, I use the Mantra 102 when I'm filming someone and I have to keep up no matter where they go, and I can't focus on terrain that much or whats coming

When you get tired, you ski slow, wet snow, supertight trees, narrow chutes etc... it's probably one of my most horrible experiences. switched to E110 for that terrain next day and just lolled, so easy to ski.

I'm not sure what is my worst experience, FIS GS skis down from glacier in the bumps in 0 visbility in a snowstorm, or mantra 102, 191cm in deep wet snow in way to tight trees. both took me hours to get down :D



How do you like your enforcer 88s? do they have enought power/topend for you? if so you can look into friendler skis like E104, E110, CT 3.0, 102FR

The mantra is a 9/10 on my chargy list, the E88 is a 5/10.
Haha…the 191 M102 is a BEAST! I have a pair and even at 200-lbs, they take a lot of manage. The 184 is a toy in comparison. I’d not recommend the 191 for anyone but the biggest, hardest charging experts. I’m not keeping them and likely selling them to my 6’ 3” 215-lb buddy. The 184 works way better for me.
 

anders_nor

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Haha…the 191 M102 is a BEAST! I have a pair and even at 200-lbs, they take a lot of manage. The 184 is a toy in comparison. I’d not recommend the 191 for anyone but the biggest, hardest charging experts. I’m not keeping them and likely selling them to my 6’ 3” 215-lb buddy. The 184 works way better for me.
2 pairs of 191s, 1 pair of 184s just to try now, never really skied the 184.

when I heard they changed it I got both backup pairs for a steal price.

I'd be stoked if I could hit 200lbs, my leanest was around 210, and loved them there. now I'm at a nippy 248lbs, and goal is 240 for the season.
the 191s does not like slower runs though, they like speed, they like edge angle. anything under 60-70kmh = nogo


2022-10-28 20.39.31.jpg
 

The Retired Skier

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You probably should at least consider adding the Rossignol Sender 104 Ti to your list. Bomber ski that is lighter than some but is super-stable in just about any condition.
 

SFJeff

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2 pairs of 191s, 1 pair of 184s just to try now, never really skied the 184.

when I heard they changed it I got both backup pairs for a steal price.

I'd be stoked if I could hit 200lbs, my leanest was around 210, and loved them there. now I'm at a nippy 248lbs, and goal is 240 for the season.
the 191s does not like slower runs though, they like speed, they like edge angle. anything under 60-70kmh = nogo


View attachment 181813
Nice collection - I had the Volkl Deacon Lowride for a day and loved them (until stolen at the base of Squaw Valley - err, Palisades) but they were excellent frontside carvers at 215 pounds.

I like your comment about people often selling the Corvus with just a few days on them. I also have the Corvus in a 183 and go back and forth in liking them and being ready to trade them out. I find the Corvus very directional -- wanting to go faster and straighter than I want -- but they have also performed well in steep, narrow, tight, powder-filled moguls. I have them set up with Shift bindings for occasional backcountry. So, appreciation for the Corvus does not just seem to vary by person, but for me, day by day. ;-)
 
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