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Volkl M6 Mantra Review

With these on your feet, you'll be ready for anything the mountain has coming at you
Volkl M6 Mantra
Credit: Volkl
Editors' Choice Award
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Price:  $750 List | Check Price at REI
Compare prices at 3 resellers
Pros:  Stable, confidence inspiring, magnetic ride quality
Cons:  Damp, heavy
Manufacturer:   Volkl
By Bobby Garrett ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Sep 22, 2022
Our Editors independently research, test, and rate the best products. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Learn more
82
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#1 of 9
  • Stability at Speed - 20% 9.0
  • Carving Ability - 20% 9.0
  • Powder Performance - 20% 8.0
  • Crud Performance - 20% 9.0
  • Terrain Playfulness - 20% 6.0

Our Verdict

Once again, the Volkl M6 Mantra earns our Editors' Choice award. Simply put, the versatility this ski provides is unmatched in this year's ski lineup. The result is close to perfection with Volkl's innovative new technologies combined with an already tried and true recipe. Strong through long turns while still nimble in tight terrain, our testers always wanted another run on this ski. Through all of the scores, the M6 Mantra stood out above the rest and retained the title of Best All-Mountain Ski.

Editor’s Note: We updated our M6 Mantra review on September 22, 2022 to include an image of the latest graphics, which are pictured above. This slight change is the only difference between the new ski and the model we previously tested.

Compare to Similar Products

 
Volkl M6 Mantra
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Volkl M6 Mantra
Awards Editors' Choice Award Top Pick Award  Top Pick Award Best Buy Award 
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$599.99 at Amazon
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$960 List$750 List
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Pros Stable, confidence inspiring, magnetic ride qualityStiff, explosive, carving machineBurly construction, feels extremely well madePowerful float, stable at speed, can arc or smear turnsPlayful, responsive, versatile
Cons Damp, heavyHeavyHeavy, requires a strong and confident skierSome vibration, sometimes feels softVibrates at high speeds, overly soft tip
Bottom Line With these on your feet, you'll be ready for anything the mountain has coming at youA combination of raw explosive power and stability puts this ski well ahead of the competition for carving and is ideal for even the firmest snow daysThis big, burly ski requires a strong pilot but rewards you with equally strong performanceThe unique rocker/camber profile and wider 102-millimeter waist width promote versatile performance wherever your powder stash may bePlayful and adventurous, this ski is also manageable and forgiving. It encouraged us to explore the changing terrain over the whole mountain
Rating Categories Volkl M6 Mantra Nordica Enforcer 94 Black Crows Justis Blizzard Rustler 10 Faction Dictator 2.0
Stability at Speed (20%)
9.0
9.0
9.0
6.0
6.0
Carving Ability (20%)
9.0
10.0
7.0
5.0
7.0
Powder Performance (20%)
8.0
5.0
8.0
10.0
7.0
Crud Performance (20%)
9.0
9.0
9.0
7.0
5.0
Terrain Playfulness (20%)
6.0
7.0
5.0
7.0
9.0
Specs Volkl M6 Mantra Nordica Enforcer 94 Black Crows Justis Blizzard Rustler 10 Faction Dictator 2.0
Waist Width 96 mm 94 mm 100 mm 104 mm 96 mm
Sidecut (mm) 135-96-119 127-94-115.5 138-100-123 133-104-122.5 127-96-117
Available Lengths (cm) 163, 170, 177, 184, 191 165, 172, 179, 186,191 171.3, 177.4, 183.1, 189.3 164, 172, 180, 188 163, 171, 179, 187
Length Tested 177 cm 179 cm 177.4 cm 180 cm 179 cm
Turn Radius 18 m 17.1 m 20 m 17.5 m 19 m
Camber Profile Tip-Tail Rocker Rocker/Camber/Rocker Progressive front Rocker/Classic Camber/Slight rear Rocker Tip-Tail Rocker Tip Rocker/Freeride Flat Tail
Manufacturer Claimed Weight 9.4 lbs 8.9 lbs 9.0 lbs 8.9 lbs 8.2 lbs
Core Material Poplar/Beech/Double Titanal Wood/Double Titanium/ GR400 Carbon Glass Poplar/Fiberglass/Double Titanal Multi-layer Woodcore/Carbon /Fiberglass/Titanal Poplar Woodcore/Double Titanal

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Volkl M6 Mantra proves to be yet another top-notch product from the German manufacturer. Volkl builds on its success from previous Mantra models that also received our review's top award. The result is a true all-mountain machine offered at a very competitive price.

Coming in at 96 millimeters underfoot, the M6 Mantra includes Volkl's Tailored Titanal Frame and Tailored Carbon Tip Technologies. This combination creates a powerful concoction of stability no matter the snow conditions. Unlike some skis with double titanal sheets, the M6 remains accessible to a wide range of skier abilities and styles. Whether you occasionally venture off the groomed trails or are a more seasoned off-piste skier, we think this ski will support your skills well.

New to the Mantra is Volkl's 3D Radius Technology. The three built-in turn radii add to its impressive versatility and help the skier create the perfect turn for any situation. Our testers thoroughly enjoyed arcing with confidence down the entire mountain.

Performance Comparison


Volkl M6 Mantra all mountain skis - slice through the turns and carve up the terrain on the m6 mantra.
Slice through the turns and carve up the terrain on the M6 Mantra.
Credit: Scott Rokis

Stability at Speed


The M6 Mantra has a magnetic edge grip quality to it. We liked this ski/snow interaction sensation when on edge and at speed. Vibrations were aptly dampened and helped us remain confident even on early-morning frozen hardpack. Continuing in the Mantra tradition, torsional rigidity is superb. This ski keeps asking for more and more edge angles at high speed while maintaining solid ride quality.


Volkl's adjusts the Tailored Titanal Frame to each ski length. The designers strategically place these inserts above the sidewall at the tip and tail. In the 177-centimeter length we tested, we were impressed with the Mantra's superior stability at speed.

Volkl M6 Mantra all mountain skis - if you want to go fast and hold an edge, regardless of conditions...
If you want to go fast and hold an edge, regardless of conditions, look no further than the M6 Mantra.
Credit: Scott Rokis

Weight


Depending on your skiing style, having an extra touch of weight on your feet isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Any ski filled with two sheets of titanium will never be the lightest of the lot but will offer increased stability in exchange for a few hundred grams.


We didn’t mind having the additional weight underfoot on the M6 Mantra since it never seemed to affect edge-to-edge speed. We particularly appreciate this trade-off of weight for stability if it affords us the confidence to cut a deep carve at speed while cruising early-morning groomers.

Volkl M6 Mantra all mountain skis - from fresh early morning groomers to late spring crud and everything...
From fresh early morning groomers to late spring crud and everything in between, the Volkl M6 Mantra consistently performs for a variety of conditions and styles.
Credit: Scott Rokis

Carving Ability


Volkl gives us a mostly traditional blend of rocker/camber/rocker, which results in a predictable and progressive ski flex.


The overall feeling while carving on the M6 is confidence. The consistent ski flex helped our testers stay composed at both medium and high speeds. Damp and agile, the M6 Mantra kept our crew more than satisfied on-piste and encouraged us to "mix it up."

Volkl M6 Mantra all mountain skis - not sure where your next turn is going to be? the variable radius of...
Not sure where your next turn is going to be? The variable radius of the M6 Mantra allows this ski to adapt on-the-fly.
Credit: Scott Rokis

Turn Radius


With its patented 3D Radius Technology, the M6 Mantra boasts three turn radii in a one ski package: 30 meters up front; 18 meters underfoot; and 24 meters behind your boot. The tip and tail edges gripped and pulled our testers through longer turns at higher speeds. And when you need to make a fast move, the shorter turn radius built into the midsection of the ski helps you make short turns quickly.


Volkl's 3D radius did require some getting used to – our testers admit to feeling unimpressed with this technology initially. However, this review involves testing each ski's strengths and weaknesses over a longer period, not just two or three runs. This mileage allowed our testers to truly build a relationship with this new M6 Mantra, just as you might with your new pair of skis over your first few days on them. We feel confident that this technology from Volkl adds quality to the ski and will help more skiers experience different carving sensations.

Volkl M6 Mantra all mountain skis - more edge angle means more fun. tip the m6 mantra up on its edge and...
More edge angle means more fun. Tip the M6 Mantra up on its edge and hold on.
Credit: Scott Rokis

Powder Performance


Realistically, how many days are bottomless powder? Even after a five or six-inch storm, except in the heaviest snow conditions, you will likely find the bottom very quickly. There are endless what-ifs and ideal situations to hope for. As skiers, we are used to making the most of the situation.


With less titanal material than other, similar-width skis, the M6 Mantra floats noticeably better. Volkl's Tailored Carbon Tip technology shines in terms of powder performance, even if it is just out of sight.

Volkl M6 Mantra all mountain skis - the m6 mantra's tip-tail rocker supports solid all-mountain skiing.
The M6 Mantra's Tip-Tail Rocker supports solid all-mountain skiing.
Credit: OutdoorGearLab Review Team

Waist Width


Heli-skiing? No, we would not ever take the 96 mm M6 Mantra out for a bottomless day. But how about a big resort snow day facing the inevitability of tracked-out lines? Absolutely. This is the perfect day out for an all-mountain ski like the M6 Mantra – a ski with enough girth to float you through the morning but one that isn’t too fat to bump through moguls in the afternoon.


Other similar-waisted skis in this review tended to dive and get bogged down in softer snow. But the combination of a slightly extended tip rocker and less titanal material at the front of the ski proves to be versatile as ever – the M6 Mantra provided both the float and agility to keep our testers feeling confident on big resort storm days.

Volkl M6 Mantra all mountain skis - even in powder or slush, the ride is smooth and predictable on the...
Even in powder or slush, the ride is smooth and predictable on the M6 Mantra.
Credit: Scott Rokis

Crud Performance


Despite lacking the double titanal layer construction common among skis that perform well in this metric, the M6 Mantra more than holds its own. We figured there had to be something that would hold this ski back, but cruddy snow conditions seem to be no match for the M6 Mantra. The combination of Volkl's technologies, such as the Tailored Carbon Tip and the tried and true rocker/camber/rocker profile, serve to cement this ski as the true all-mountain machine.


Crud is best charged into and through with purpose. With just the right blend of characteristics, the M6 Mantra stays true even when submerged in the heaviest “Sierra Cement” snow. Simply put: Commit to your line and be rewarded.

Volkl M6 Mantra all mountain skis - ugly snow? no problem with the m6 mantra. just be sure to dodge the...
Ugly snow? No problem with the M6 Mantra. Just be sure to dodge the rocks.
Credit: Scott Rokis

Terrain Playfulness


The M6 Mantra retains its stability and nimbleness in bumps and tight terrain. Our testers sometimes noticed the 3D Radius Technology would "get in the way" through deep troughs or rock gardens. However, the narrower waist width and extended tip rocker were enough to keep things manageable and fun. By no means is the M6 a slouch, but it is also not a top pick for a freestyle session or bumps camp.


The "locked-in" feeling from carving on-piste served to hold some of our testers hostage in the bumps specifically – making quick adjustments while still on edge was more difficult than expected. After more and more laps with the Mantra, we learned how to control its tech and find its sweet spot, even in misshapen bumps. If you have a professional touch, the M6 Mantra remains a solid platform on which to chase your kids down the bumps after lunch.

Volkl M6 Mantra all mountain skis - though not as nimble through bumps as others, the m6 mantra can hold...
Though not as nimble through bumps as others, the M6 Mantra can hold its own.
Credit: Scott Rokis

Should You Buy the M6 Mantra?


Definitely yes – but with the caveat that your other skis may get jealous of your new go-to ski. The Volkl M6 Mantra is our go-to as an all-mountain charge for any terrain and in any condition. This ski checks all of the boxes for what we’re looking for in an all-mountain ski. And when compared to the rest of the competitors, the M6 is offered at a middle-of-the-road price point. The Volkl Mantra series is legendary, and the new M6 continues that lineage as a top-of-the-line, award-winning ski.

Volkl M6 Mantra all mountain skis - sometimes you just gotta get in the air. the volkl m6 mantra helps...
Sometimes you just gotta get in the air. The Volkl M6 Mantra helps you turn the entire mountain into a terrain park.
Credit: Scott Rokis

What Other All-Mountain Skis Should You Consider?


An all-mountain ripper like the Volkl M6 Mantra is ideally designed to thrive whenever and wherever you decide to take it skiing. But depending on your snow climate, terrain access, or skiing style, a few other models may be more up your alley. For those lucky enough to live in locales that enjoy plenty of powder, our top-pick Blizzard Rustler 10 or the wider-waisted Rossignol Black Ops Sender Ti are sure to add a dose of fun to your next snow day. For others looking for a particularly playful ski, the Faction Dictator 2.0 is lightweight, agile, and offers a universal value that will impress.

Volkl M6 Mantra all mountain skis - get creative and be rewarded. the m6 mantra will hang with you...
Get creative and be rewarded. The M6 Mantra will hang with you through it all.
Credit: Scott Rokis

Bobby Garrett
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