.scott.So…I had a pair of ‘17 Mantras that bit the dust last year. They were 184s but I am questioning whether I would like a set of 177s if I buy the new model this season, since they have the 3D sidecut.
For reference, I am 5’10” 195 in my mid thirties. I’m in my thirties and sadly have a real job so I don’t ski as many days as I did in my youth, but I’m still strong and ski aggressively on any terrain (just not with the same stamina). I wonder if I was working extra hard with the ski length that I had.
So, do you guys think I should stick with 184s or switch to 177s?
First, do you have the '17 reverse camber mantra? If so, they are not the same shape at all to the current M6...
Regarding lengths, my comments below are based on the data found here
in the Sooth database. As a disclaimer, I haven't skied these skis, just interpreting the data. You can look at Blister's reviews if needed. Long story short, they say both lengths feel quite similar. Here is why...
You can see in the data that both lengths of M6 are quite similar skis. You can see that the 177 and 184 have the same camber profile and that they touch the snow at the same point when flat (they have the same running length). You can see they also have pretty much the same width, the 184 having a slightly longer sidecut radius (20 vs 19m) and sidecut length. The shapes are different at the tip. The 184 has a tip/tail rocker that doesn't rise as quickly but that extend further. Combined with the slightly longer sidecut length of the 184, when you put it at high edge angle, specially in softer snow, you might start engaging that part of the ski and get more stability. In very soft snow you will also have more float and stability from the longer tip of the 184 regardless of edge angle.
They have pretty much identical bending and torsional stiffnesses. Quite similar weights too (within 40 g). So I would not expect very different feels in term of speed limit, stability, edge grip, etc.
In this case, from all our measurements, both lengths are extremely similar. When choosing a ski, I would think mostly about the terrain that you intend to ski, as suggested by The-Albino. Do you want float and stability in soft snow, or would you benefit from shortened tip/tail to go around thigh trees and moguls?
** As a side note, the differences between the 170 and 177 are much more pronounced than between the 177 and 184.