The Gentemstick Giant Mantaray is a fun board that is a softer more playful version of the Mantaray and Stingray. It’s a great pow/freeride board for the resort rider that lives for first to last chair that tries to make the most of every day they have on the hill. The Giant Mantaray hasn’t changed from 2015-2017.
Conditions: Hard snow in the morning, medium snow mid day and soft to slushy in the afternoon. Every day was like this.
Boots: Burton Fiend LTD
Bindings: Burton Diode, Flux SF, Union Factory
Set Up: 15 front 0 back approx 23″ wide
Approximate Weight: Felt normal to bordering on light.
On Snow Feel: The Gentemstick Giant Mantaray felt like a soft playful version of the Stingray and Jones Hovercraft. It’s stable and playful for it’s wider directional flex. It’s the kind of board that shines in powder but also is really really fun when it comes to those inevitable groomer days. It’s perfect for a powder whore that still want’s to have a lot of fun on groomers if there is no pow.
Turn Initiation: Not super quick like the 154 stingray but the softer flex makes it easy to turn with a little leverage. It twists and flexes easier so even though it’s a little slow it’s not dead for shorter radius turns. Medium to wide radius turns are pretty fun and where this board is best. I prefered the Stingray for all kinds of turns over the Mantaray but it’s still really fun.
Flex: Really soft for a board of this shape and style. Very easy to butter and press.
Edge Hold: Good grip. A shade less than the Stingray but not enough to be a full notch lower.
Powder: No powder but this shape and camber profile is all about staying above the snow. Based on my experience with the Hovercraft, which took their design inspiration from Gentemstick, I know this will stay above the snow like a thick fish surfboard does on water. It’s also going to do really well in tracked up bumpy powder you see at the end of the day.
Carving: The Gentemstick Mantaray doesn’t carve back up the hill as well as the Stingray did but I bet if they were the same size (instead of 159 vs. 154) it would carve in a tighter radius turn well. Still it’s really fun to lay out a hard carve and you get a nice spring out of the turn.
Speed: Not a speed demon like the Stingray and you can feel the big blunt shovel nose flop a bit like a clown shoe. It’s nothing terrible but it talks to you as you pick up speed where other boards stay quiet.
Uneven Terrain: This is where the Mantaray Shines. It’s one of those great after lunch kind of boards that can hang in uneven to bumpy snow really well. The soft playful flex makes sloppy seconds much more fun. Instead of thinking about where other riders have been you have fun with what you are in.
Switch: Doable but not great
Jumps: Love the spring off the tail with this big board and it has a nice soft spring off the tail. Great for a method or many.
Jibbing: It’s soft flex makes it somewhat doable but I wouldn’t.
Pipe: I didn’t ride pipe with this but It didn’t make me feel like I’d have fun there. Just a little to big, wide and slow to throw it around in there.
So all in all the Gentemstick Giant Mantaray is one of those boards that’s fun but not exceptional in the morning but what really makes this board fun is it doesn’t loose it’s charm on the second half of the day like stiffer boards of a similar flex can do.