Philpug

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Screen Shot 2018-10-18 at 12.12.51 PM.png
This is the Cage Match that I think will be most requested for this coming season because it involves two skis that have been completely reinvented for 2018-19. The only thing that carries over from their previous incarnations is their names. This is going to be the toughest of the matches for this season for two reasons: first, I didn’t ski the Rossignol, and second, although I did ski the Mantra M5, I never really connected with it. But like a good storyteller, I am not going to let facts get in the way of a good tale.

Let's start with Rossignol's Experience 94 Ti. The outgoing Experience 100 was more of a wide GS ski. Yes, that has been said about many other skis, but the Rossi with its flared shape and snub nose really felt like a wide GS ski. The all-new 94 with its more relaxed tip and more rounded tail is a ton more versatile. How do I know this if I didn’t ski it? Well, our other testers did, and they made comments like, “I’ve been waiting years for Rossi to build a ski like this” (@Drahtguy Kevin). Plus, I did spend a good amount of time on the Experience 88 Ti, which is the same design and construction.

The Mantra M5 gets back to its roots, back to a 96mm waist from the 100 mm it had bloated up to, and most importantly Volkl put camber back into it. Yes, even the most staunch German engineers can realize they went down a rabbit hole and redirect (of course, they will never admit it). Now I tested the Mantra M5 this past year more than any other ski, six times, simply because I couldn’t figure it out. I will humbly say, as it goes in a breakup, “It’s not you, it’s me.” With the M5, I know it was me, I just couldn’t figure the darn ski out. Then I did. It wasn’t me, it wasn't the ski; it was the negative ramp angle of the binding. Then it all made sense.
  • Why choose the Experience 94 Ti? Versatility. Even the biggest skis can charge, but this does not require you to. The 94 Ti is a powerful ski for powerful skiers who still want to relax at times.
  • Why choose the Mantra M5? The M5 is for people who thought they wanted a Mantra but didn’t have the strength for the most recent ones. This one goes back to when the Mantra was the reference mid-90mm ski.
 

Kbat117

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I'd be interested to try the Rossi. I loved the mantra in the spring slush/Frozen stuff that I demoed it in. Never had as much confidence on a ski in those conditions.
 

Daves not here

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I never had the chance to get on the Rossi. I did demo the Mantra - and really liked it. However I think my '15 Bonafides (1st Carbon model) are more versatile.
 

neonorchid

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I believe the M5 is a 96mm waisted ski.
It is althought that number alone doesn't necessarily mean M5 will have more float and or be more playful off-piste (trees/moguls), then the E 94 Ti

M5 Length Radius Sidecut Weight
without binding
170 17.9 134_96_117 1970 g -
177 19.8 134_96_117 2070 g -
184 21.2 134_96_117 2160 g -
191 23.3 134_96_117 2260 g
 

Dadier

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VERY long time lurker here, I mean I remember Richie Rich back on the Epic site reviewing the topsheets of Head skis.

I very respectfully await a better review of the M5 and Experience 94 than this one. Phil can bring it, but through the years you've hinted you never really connected with the Mantras (neither have I .. ever, more of a Bonafide type guy in this category). I'm not sure I understand what you "get now" and if that is really a good quality or just a comment of politeness.

Ski the Experience 94 and tell us what it's like. Unfortunately, until last year I could test about 10 new skis a year, those days are gone so I have to depend on reviews and either terrible ski shop advice ("The Experience100 is a one-dimensional ski"--wrong!) or bros saying "trust me on this.

I'm as confused by the Exp94 being a relaxing charger as the M5 being a reference ski. Once the Cali resorts open, maybe some clarity will develop.
 
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Viking9

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I remember seeing a lot of good skiers and Mantra’s',,,,,,,,those days are gone',,,,,,,,,,,,,,,
Long gone.
Long live the new 94.
 

neonorchid

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@Guy in Shorts rips the New Mantra M5 since the end of last season & also went with the 177!!!

:golfclap:

Great match up!
I like what Blister had to say about M5 but feel stuck between the 170 and 177. That @Guy in Shorts chose the 177cm, I'm thinking the 170cm may not be half bad for me. M5 is on my demo days list. E 94 Ti, only if everything else on my list is out at the time.
 

Brian Finch

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I like what Blister had to say about M5 but feel stuck between the 170 and 177. That @Guy in Shorts chose the 177cm, I'm thinking the 170cm may not be half bad for me. M5 is on my demo days list. E 94 Ti, only if everything else on my list is out at the time.
FWIW, I believe where a ski like the M5•94•Endurance98•Bones...... shines is being capable of ‘closing down the radius & cutting back’ ala Marcus Caston (ok none of us are that good)....... ya can’t do that if the ski is too long & you lose pressure over the running length.

I’d personally chose the 177cm.
 
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Philpug

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VERY long time lurker here, I mean I remember Richie Rich back on the Epic site reviewing the topsheets of Head skis.

I very respectfully await a better review of the M5 and Experience 94 than this one. Phil can bring it, but through the years you've hinted you never really connected with the Mantras (neither have I .. ever, more of a Bonafide type guy in this category). I'm not sure I understand what you "get now" and if that is really a good quality or just a comment of politeness.

Ski the Experience 94 and tell us what it's like. Unfortunately, until last year I could test about 10 new skis a year, those days are gone so I have to depend on reviews and either terrible ski shop advice ("The Experience100 is a one-dimensional ski"--wrong!) or bros saying "trust me on this.

I'm as confused by the Exp94 being a relaxing charger as the M5 being a reference ski. Once the Cali resorts open, maybe some clarity will develop.
These sre not meant to be full reviews buta quck comparision of two models that will rent to get compared.

I call the M5 a reference ski because of it's history and following..Many people who come into shor looking at skis in the mid 90's to 100mm will be asking, "How does it compare against the Mantra."
 

neonorchid

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FWIW, I believe where a ski like the M5•94•Endurance98•Bones...... shines is being capable of ‘closing done the radius & cutting back’ ala Marcus Caston (ok none of us are that good)....... ya can’t do that if the ski is too long & you lose pressure over the running length.

I’d personally chose the 177cm.
Great explanation! Reinforces Blister writing the rep said size up but they found otherwise.
Thx.
 

markojp

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My simple take was this... if I were handed s pair M5's for the season for a one and done, I'd be, "yeah, sure, these will work fine." The Rossi Exp 94? " Can't I trade this for a Black Ops 98? Pleeeeese?"
 

StephanS.

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Thanks for this comparison! But sorry guys, as I'am not a native speaker, it's hard for me to figure out the bottom-line of this cage match.
Can you please describe the target customer for each ski more clearly?

@Daves not here: in which way do you consider the Bonafide as more versatile then the M5?
 

Daves not here

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Thanks for this comparison! But sorry guys, as I'am not a native speaker, it's hard for me to figure out the bottom-line of this cage match.
Can you please describe the target customer for each ski more clearly?

@Daves not here: in which way do you consider the Bonafide as more versatile then the M5?
I found my Bonafide to better in crud and deeper snow but still be a good carver and charger. They felt a bit more damp as well. Again - mine are the first iteration of carbon (2015 I think) so not the same as the current Bonafide. I liked the Mantras - let’s be clear, I could ski them and have a darn good time doing so. I do think the Mantras were a better carver. I may be splitting hairs but for me I liked my Bones just a touch better.
 

markojp

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Older mantra, or current M5?
 
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Philpug

Philpug

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I believe the M5 is a 96mm waisted ski.
Yes and for some reason I cannot get it out of my head that it is a 94..when it IS a 96. Thanks for the correction, I updated it.
 

Pdub

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“It’s not you, it’s me.” With the M5, I know it was me, I just couldn’t figure the darn ski out. Then I did. It wasn’t me, it wasn't the ski; it was the negative ramp angle of the binding. Then it all made sense.
So which bindings worked and which didn't with the Mantras? I assume a positive ramp angle (heel higher then toe) was better?
 
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So which bindings worked and which didn't with the Mantras? I assume a positive ramp angle (heel higher then toe) was better?
The Griffon has a negative ramp. I really want to get on the M5 with Tyrolia, Salomon or ideally a Pivot.
 
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