Individual Review Mantra M6 "Ball of Confusion"

Yo Momma

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I'm confused. Are the new skis coming out, actually THIS good? After 6 - 7 hrs of intense and complicated drills both fwd & switch, this is the most incredible ski I've ever had the pleasure of putting on.
Is the tech behind this ski and result as precise and intuitive as I'm feeling on the snow? ...to the point whereby I had real trouble figuring out where my feet ended and skis began. It was freaky, like they became a part of me. That's coming from a skier that has not at all been a huge fan of "Planky" feeling carbon laden skis.

@ 177 and my 215 lbs, 6' it's no surprise that the skis become squirrely in the top speed zone. It seems this ski is more a lighter quality finesse ski than it was in the past. I can easily control them from the fwd position, center or back. The old Mantras always seemed to have a solid tail... to the point whereby sometimes it actually got in the way a bit esp in moguls. No such prob on this version. Well balanced and light seems to be what they were reaching for. My older sets of Mantras were really fast but nowhere in the stratosphere even close to my older set of Bones - Blizzard Bonafides (not sure many skis are) but then you suffer the two sheets of metal weight penalty. Light skis like the new M6 just don't seem to breach that top level speed quotient as easily, nor were they meant to. IMHO.


Volkl tends to nail down tight the factory tune. Or at least they did in the past w/ 5 sets of past Mantras in the books I've barely ever had to touch the factory tune. The M6 requires active input and finesse moves... more slalom than GS input. I'd save the GS for 184's. I personally prefer to ski w/ an aggressive tip and tail detune w/ a reduced "lock" during the end of turns.

One of the strengths of the M6 is that they whip from side to side as fast, if not faster than you can transition. Please report if you have taken this ski through the paces as I'm searching for weaknesses, and I'm curious about the results of others that have tried this ski for at least a few days in varying conditions.

Mounting the M6 was a breeze. I hope that ski manufacturers will take note and get on board w/ clearly marking the midline of the ski in several positions like they did on the M6.
 

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ARL67

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Great write-up :thumb:
I was just looking at the M6 sizing of 163, 170, 177, 184 and 191.
At your size and being super happy on the 177, I'd be scratching my head at what size to get for me -> I'm only 5'8" 160 lbs and could not bring myself to buy a ski that wide in 170. I'd probably still opt for the 177.

Love The Temptations !
I also like the Love and Rockets version of Ball Of Confusion.

 

anders_nor

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too friendly might be my only negative remark about the m6. (skied the 184 and 191, currently own 191)
 

Scruffy

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I know nothing about those M6 skis, but I liked your post, @Yo Momma, cause you mounting your own boards and I love the Temptations and esp. Ball of Confusion. That song still rings true today.

"Oh, great googa-looga, can't you hear me talking to you..."
 
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Yo Momma

Yo Momma

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Great write-up :thumb:
I was just looking at the M6 sizing of 163, 170, 177, 184 and 191.
At your size and being super happy on the 177, I'd be scratching my head at what size to get for me -> I'm only 5'8" 160 lbs and could not bring myself to buy a ski that wide in 170. I'd probably still opt for the 177.

Love The Temptations !
I also like the Love and Rockets version of Ball Of Confusion.

Based on my observations your choice, a 170 vs 177 vs 184 would depend on your preference for Finesse vs Speed, Slalom vs GS and/or Trees vs Open slopes. At my size, If I were skiing out west and had to choose the M6, I'd be on the 184's. I personally don't need the 184 (East Coast) because I have the 180 Bones for GS and speed. Hard to beat two sheets of metal for speed & stability in a pint size pkg. The reason I posted my pic was to show the size differential. The M6 looks tiny on me but they easily handle my wgt.
 
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Yo Momma

Yo Momma

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too friendly might be my only negative remark about the m6. (skied the 184 and 191, currently own 191)
Interesting to note but for a ski w/ some metal in the construction and the ability to handle my wgt at a 177, this ski is def not in the noodle category. For reference... years ago after two days of skiing them in a variety of eastern conditions, I found ... I think they were 185's back then, the Nordica Enforcer 100's at the edge of that noodle category, for my tastes and IMHO. Although responsive, and a nice ski, they just did not give me a sense of confidence on hardpack and packed pow (of course realizing that they were not primarily designed for those conditions).
 
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Rdputnam515

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I'm confused. Are the new skis coming out, actually THIS good? After 6 - 7 hrs of intense and complicated drills both fwd & switch, this is the most incredible ski I've ever had the pleasure of putting on.
Is the tech behind this ski and result as precise and intuitive as I'm feeling on the snow? ...to the point whereby I had real trouble figuring out where my feet ended and skis began. It was freaky, like they became a part of me. That's coming from a skier that has not at all been a huge fan of "Planky" feeling carbon laden skis.

@ 177 and my 215 lbs, 6' it's no surprise that the skis become squirrely in the top speed zone. It seems this ski is more a lighter quality finesse ski than it was in the past. I can easily control them from the fwd position, center or back. The old Mantras always seemed to have a solid tail... to the point whereby sometimes it actually got in the way a bit esp in moguls. No such prob on this version. Well balanced and light seems to be what they were reaching for. My older sets of Mantras were really fast but nowhere in the stratosphere even close to my older set of Bones - Blizzard Bonafides (not sure many skis are) but then you suffer the two sheets of metal weight penalty. Light skis like the new M6 just don't seem to breach that top level speed quotient as easily, nor were they meant to. IMHO.


Volkl tends to nail down tight the factory tune. Or at least they did in the past w/ 5 sets of past Mantras in the books I've barely ever had to touch the factory tune. The M6 requires active input and finesse moves... more slalom than GS input. I'd save the GS for 184's. I personally prefer to ski w/ an aggressive tip and tail detune w/ a reduced "lock" during the end of turns.

One of the strengths of the M6 is that they whip from side to side as fast, if not faster than you can transition. Please report if you have taken this ski through the paces as I'm searching for weaknesses, and I'm curious about the results of others that have tried this ski for at least a few days in varying conditions.

Mounting the M6 was a breeze. I hope that ski manufacturers will take note and get on board w/ clearly marking the midline of the ski in several positions like they did on the M6.
Nice! Sometimes you just find a ski you really click with. I’ve had the pleasure of finding a few. It is a pretty great feeling!
nice write up and great song
 

anders_nor

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said too friendly, not too soft, ref I'm 250lbs and I can ski both 184/191 and drive the ski endlessly, I skied them at 55-60mph+ both on edge .They dont have the huge X factor the M102 has and power and umph through crud, the "I dont get knocked around" attitude of the M102. But I think 95% people will choose the M6 over the M102 when getting a demo on both.

To say more, the M6 doesnt do anything unexpected, anything wild, but it doesnt say "hey lets try to do 50-60mph through that skied out run with ice and piles" but it will actually do it. The M102 is like "hey yeah that sounds like a good idea" the M6 is "yeah I can do that if you want to"

M6 is that trusty quiet friend that is always there, doing just what you want supporting you, M102 is your slightly crazy and stupid friend that says doooooooit (and will let you down going slow in tight trees)

When looking at weight numbers on the M6 it feels way way way lighter skiiing it and is fairly fast side to side (can think of faster in 90mm)


Just got home from doing 3000m vert of skied out bumpy hills, M6 is an energetic ski and I was doing the bouncy bouncy, but you can haul ass through bumps, was playing around really really getting to the tighter radius of the ski.


I think it will be a topseller. It is probably the easiest to ski mantra to this day (I've owned and skied all) intermediate will find it nice, but you have to be a pretty good skier to access the tighter radius of it.
 

Tom K.

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M102 is your slightly crazy and stupid friend that says doooooooit

Isn't this guy just the BEST?! :ogbiggrin:

I found my OG Ranger 115s like this. I'd have a great run, jump on the lift, and they'd be whispering in my ear "Sure, fun, but whey so many turns?! Why not just go a lot faster?!"

Funny how a ski can seem to have an actual personality.
 

Marker

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Isn't this guy just the BEST?! :ogbiggrin:

I found my OG Ranger 115s like this. I'd have a great run, jump on the lift, and they'd be whispering in my ear "Sure, fun, but whey so many turns?! Why not just go a lot faster?!"

Funny how a ski can seem to have an actual personality.
There are days when the OG 115's seem like playful carvy powder skis. Other days they grab my a** and just take me for a ride. I don't get enough of those days and have enough experience to know the why of the difference.
 

coldski

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3rd day on the M6 after 3 seasons on the M5 (170 cm) Me - 5'8" 145 lb
1st impression (after a couple of runs) - Maybe a little quicker than the M5 but otherwise pretty much the same.
2nd impression (after a couple of days) - Much quicker and much better at slow speeds than the previous version. Lots easier in the trees and bumps. Hard snow grip the same. Feels the same going fast. Excellent skis and at least for me a big upgrade over the M5.
 

Tony S

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3rd day on the M6 after 3 seasons on the M5 (170 cm) Me - 5'8" 145 lb
1st impression (after a couple of runs) - Maybe a little quicker than the M5 but otherwise pretty much the same.
2nd impression (after a couple of days) - Much quicker and much better at slow speeds than the previous version. Lots easier in the trees and bumps. Hard snow grip the same. Feels the same going fast. Excellent skis and at least for me a big upgrade over the M5.
This kind of lines up with some of the early feedback when the ski came out. I wonder if the fact that you are smaller (my size) and on the 170 could account for some of this. I.e., if you're Standard American Guy size skiing on a 180 or whatever, you're probably not going to see a big difference in a model change whose biggest claim to fame is that the construction has been "scaled," because you're the reference skier on the reference size already. But if you're coldski (or me) you might.
 

Tony S

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I was going to say the same thing! I want those pants because they’d match my ski jacket! LOL.

That is all.

Wait….no it’s not. What boots are you skiing in that photo?
They look like the well known Tecnica "Spats" model.
 

coldski

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This kind of lines up with some of the early feedback when the ski came out. I wonder if the fact that you are smaller (my size) and on the 170 could account for some of this. I.e., if you're Standard American Guy size skiing on a 180 or whatever, you're probably not going to see a big difference in a model change whose biggest claim to fame is that the construction has been "scaled," because you're the reference skier on the reference size already. But if you're coldski (or me) you might.
Agreed. The shorter lengths now should get a softer flex. But I think the new sidecut plays a role too. Once I backed off from trying to pressure the tips hard and skied in a more neutral stance making short radius turns seemed to get a lot easier. I guess because I was engaging the tighter radius underfoot ? Whatever the reasons - Pretty nice skis
 

AlexisLD

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This kind of lines up with some of the early feedback when the ski came out. I wonder if the fact that you are smaller (my size) and on the 170 could account for some of this. I.e., if you're Standard American Guy size skiing on a 180 or whatever, you're probably not going to see a big difference in a model change whose biggest claim to fame is that the construction has been "scaled," because you're the reference skier on the reference size already. But if you're coldski (or me) you might.
According to our measurements, the M5 in 170 and 177 were the exact same stiffnesses.

The M6 177 is softer than both M5. The M6 170 is softer than the M6 177.
 
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