Back by popular demand, Völkl offers the same ski, with updated graphics. In recent years, the Mantra received rocker in the tip and a slightly wider sidecut (98 millimeters underfoot), adding better flotation and maneuverability. This year, testers gave it high scores for stability. "Metal construction makes the Mantra plenty stable and torsionally stiff," Crawford said. "It's a do-it-all tool for strong skiers." Race-inspired torsion box construction, vertical sidewalls, a layer of titanium and a wood core provide edge grip and stability for a backside race ski feel—particularly for athletic skiers. "It's easy to stay balanced through turn transitions," Zawacki said. "It was fun to shift from bumps to carving and feel solid everywhere."