2011 Stockli Laser SX Ski
|Lengths||154, 162, 170, 178|
|Turn Radius||15.6m @ 170 cm.|
|Recommended Use||Frontside groomers|
Stockli Laser SX: 70mm waist, 15.6m radius in 170cm, more of a GS version of the CX, although the radius changes very little.
1st day: manmade, hard snow at Winter Park, at the US industry demo. Definitely the skis of choice for these days: most everyone was ripping around on frontside type skis, and I don't think I have ever seen such a high concentration of reallygood skiers (like ex-World or Europa Cup level) in one place. These conditions were made for the skis tested here; a good carver makes a bulletproof day a hell of a lot of fun. Definitely the most fun skis, especially on that kevlar-vest like groomer down to the base area, were the most powerful, pseudo-race skis. We all had big grins on our faces.
2nd day was in mostly softer snow and groomers, at Alpine Meadows. These skis still performed well (4 inches of crud isn't going to slow down a frontside type ski), although it wasn't the pure hard snow of Winter Park.
3rd day was mostly hard snow (rain over snow, then frozen) with some crud thrown in. Pretty good conditions to test out edge hold, although the snow wasn't as predictable as the 1st and 2nd demo. Still worth demoing these skis though, especially on groomers.
About me: 5 foot 9, 155lbs, competent all-mountain skier, and could zipper-line expert-level bumps for the first time in my life by early spring. Probably ski 40-50 days per year. I tend to enjoy big open, high speed bowls, bumps, trees, fast groomers. My skiing speed is fast to full-on.
Again, this ski was mounted on top of a Stockli plate, so it was taller than I would have preferred. Having skied this just after the CX, I was able to get a good feel for the difference, which was similar to what I had expected. Speed limit, already high on the CX, was best-in-class on this ski. There simply wasn't a speed limit. Energy was a bit lower: the ski felt a bit more glued to the snow, not quite as snappy, really damp, effortless when gliding along. The tip was quick to engage and it hooked up powerfully; running flat, it was more at home than the CX. There was a definite ability to cruise with low edge angle, tip the inner foot, engage the sidecut, and then be flying across the fall line in no time. The SX doesn't turn automatically. Rather, it waits for input, then takes off like a bat out of hell. Turn initiation feel was hard to describe: it did exactly what I asked of it, nothing more, nothing less. Again, full railroad tracks on bulletproof snow on steep groomers. It really doesn't get much better for a frontside ski. And, this ski insprires the confidence I needed to get forward and let my COM get down the fall line into the new turn. The SX was there for me, and would hook up as soon as I was over the neutral point and tipping the skis again, drawing up the inside foot and getting pressure outside. Besides racing my bike in a high-level crit, this was as close as I have ever come to feeling like I was driving an F1 car. I would buy this ski in a heartbeat.
Cons: In bumps, it was a bit stiff and a bit long. Again, adequate, but not great.
Pros: This is a groomer machine. There is no denying that this ski is a ripper. There might not be a better hard snow ski on the market. At least one that is this forgiving: plenty of consumer race GS skis have this amount of horsepower, but the Stockli goes a bit further in that it really can work at moderate speeds, and go from frontside carver to detuned race GS. This is one of the best frontside skis I have ever had the privilege of demoing.