Featured Image: Cam McLeod
With over a decade of heritage, the Mantra is a brand-defining ski for Völkl. The M6 Mantra continues the tradition of all-mountain, fall line performance while building on the M5 Mantra—a notably stiff, powerful ski—to make a more approachable product for a wider variety of skiers. The biggest leap forward came from adding Völkl’s 3D Radius Sidecut to the M6 Mantra, enabling a versatile turn shape via three radii in one ski.
“Going from a sidecut not connected to the rocker profile to one that combines with the rocker profile allows the three radii to build up into the ski with the inclination of the edge,” said Völkl Freeride Product Manager, Andreas Mann. “This brings enhanced stability, reliability, catch-free tip behavior and a smooth and easy exit out of the turn.”
Völkl also shifted from a 45 degree carbon fiber layer that went all the way through the tip of the M5 Mantra to stitching carbon fiber into precise positions in the tip of the M6 Mantra to provide smoother turn initiation. “We wanted the ski to have a more direct and precise reaction as opposed to a more rigid ski that has carbon throughout the tip which can make for an incredibly demanding and unforgiving ski,” said Mann. “The Tailored Carbon Tips make it possible to have this direct reaction occur at the very start of the turn.”
The Tailored Titanal Frame is one more bespoke addition to the M6 Mantra. While each length of the M6 Mantra features 0.3-millimeter-thick layer of Titanal underfoot for a stiff-flexing mid-body, the amount of Titanal in the tip and tail varies based on the length of the ski.
“Since longer skis are normally used by taller and heavier people, we added more Titanal before and behind the binding area so the skis are bulletproof when going fast,” Mann said. “Whereas, on the shorter lengths, there is less Titanal in those areas making the ski more approachable for smaller people going at more moderate speeds.”
Continuing the theme of versatility, the core of the M6 Mantra carries a heavier, stiffer and more durable beech wood along the sidewalls and center of the ski, whereas more flexible and lightweight poplar is concentrated in the tip and tail between the sidewalls. “The target was to build a ski that offers more pop and life on the groomers, is more resistant to tip deflection and provides greater predictability going into the crud on the backside,” said Mann. The bottom line? Completely overhauling the M6 Mantra with new technical features and core construction, Völkl now offers a more agreeable, less punishing ski, broadening the range of skiers that’ll be happy riding it.