2011 Stockli Stormrider VXL Ski
|Lengths||159, 169, 179, 189|
|Turn Radius||17.6m @ 169cm.|
|Construction||Fiberglass-titanal sandwich wrap|
|Recommended Use||All mountain, powder, off piste|
Stockli VXL: 85mm underfoot, 2 sheets of metal and wood core. Very traditional construction and profile, somewhere around an 18m radius. Skied in 179cm. Top-shelf construction, equivalent to that of Kastle. Stocklis are as expensive and built as well as Kastle, but don't seem to get the same buzz as Kastle, for whatever reason.
These were tested over several days: conditions included lots of manmade snow, firm and rock-hard bumps, fast groomers, a few inches of new snow, steeps, icy chutes, some heavy new snow, and a fair amount of crud. Since I only got a couple of runs on these skis, for the most part, I didn't do the 1-10 scale for these skis.
5 foot 9, 155lbs, competent all-mountain skier, and could zipper-line double-black 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. Overall fitness is high, as I am on my road bike 15+ hours a week 9 months of the year, and race pro-level races as a Cat1.
The first time I tried this ski, the ski was “out of the wrapper” and skied like crap. Needed a tune, as it was extremely railed. I was able to get on a tuned ski, and it was as good as anything I skied that day. The VXL is a softer version of the old XXXL, which is as stiff as any ski around. The re-designed VXL is a little softer underfoot and much softer at the tip, making it a more supple ski at moderate speeds. First run on this was in some crunchy, crappy snow, and the VXL is exceptionally smooth here. Zero tip deflection, a huge sweet spot, and it feels slightly softer than the Kastle MX88. I liked it better in bumps than the Kastle; it was just as stable in crud, but had a touch more feel, as I could work the tip a bit more with pressure when I wanted. For a ski that isn't overly stiff, it was superb at speed: no doubt, the 179cm length helps out. There is a lot of running surface on this ski. In the bumps, this is also a great choice; not too stiff, tail is forgiving enough that you can really ski aggressively. On groomers, it isn't the most exciting ski, but is very solid. The VXL is again in that big-turn mold, similar to the MX88, Apex, Kendo....a GS feel, damp, smooth, stable. Compared to it's closest competitor (MX88), the VXL really feels slightly more supple, and has a chameleon-like ability to really suck up terrain with a huge sweet spot, yet have no real top end when pushed. It will blast through crap snow as well as any ski we tested. It isn't as turny as the Legend 94, but is more stable in big arcs, and handles bumps at least as well. This is as good as a mid-fat ski gets in terms of versatility and performance. I personally felt it to a better choice than many ski tested here, for a guy my size.
Pros: smooth, supple, damp, refined, huge sweet spot, virtually no speed limit.
Cons: expensive, factory tune wasn't any good, maybe lacking energy for some.