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Slalom skis

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

After a mostly hard snow year I'd like to add a new short turning ski to my quiver.


I had a great time on my Head iSupershape Speed (170cm, 15.4m radius) skis but when things were icy and crowded I craved a shorter turner.  The Heads will make almost any turn shape you want but prefer to go fast.   I've considered masters racing but hate to be tied down so I doubt I will do it, at least not next year so free skiing is the purpose.  What I really want is a fun ski that holds the ice like crazy, gives me a workout and is versatile enough to spend the day on.


I am 5'11" and 165lbs, 48 yrs old, ski 50+ times/yr., decent modern technique but no Ted Ligety.


I have not found a good place to demo race skis but had a chance to demo a couple FIS SL skis at Alta on a hard snow day earlier this season:


Atomic RS D2 SL in a 158cm.  Brought a smile to my face on every run.  Felt a bit short/light but still super fun, easier to ski than I had imagined, more versatile & stable at speed than I had imagined.   Much more playful than the Nordicas I demoed.  I wish I could have tried it in the 165cm.


Nordica Dobermann SLR.  165cm.  More serious feeling than the Atomic.  I don't know how to describe it but they made such a strong platform when really pushed I felt like I would be invincible in a course (feel super torsionally stiff)  but I'd call them good/not great free skiing.   I've skied several Nordicas that make a strange hollow sound when they hit uneven surfaces that bugs me, anyone else notice this?


I've been asking around, both racers and non-racers.   Some say stick to FIS, other say consumer versions would be best.  Brands are all over the board with most adamant recommendations being Stockli.


Reading reviews and listening to recommendations, my ultimate demo day would include:


Stockli Laser SL & SC both FIS and non-FIS

Head iSL in FIS and non-FIS

Kastle RX SL

Dynastar Speed Omeglass WC & TI

Fischer Worldcup SC Pro

Blizzard SL Magnesium Power & SLR Magnesium IQ

Rossignol Radical Worldcup SL slant nose


I'm wondering if any of you has skied several brands and can give me input on the differences. 


Since I am not racing, I don't need the latest so I'm hoping to find a leftover 2011 or 2012.

post #2 of 7

That's a lot of stuff to get through, and I'm not sure I'd do all that.  What I would do is get on a pair of non-D2 Atomic SLs, probably 165, but 158 is good, too.  And you're probably not going to find any of this year's left in North America...

post #3 of 7

I haven't skied the latest offerings, but if their recent past examples are any indication, the Heads, Fischers and Atomics are very similar in ability, with the difference making itself known in subjective feel.  The Atomics feel the most solid, and the Fischers feel the least solid, but it is an illusion; the Fischers are plenty stable and will deliver the goods; you just have to trust them.  The risk with the Atomics is that you may not develop sensitivity and they will allow you to remain heavy handed (footed?).  Risk with the Fischers is you may not be as brave/aggressive as you could be.  Head splits the difference.  For all, the FIS is more of a hard charging and less versatile ski, while the not quite FIS skis are great at hard charging, but also respond well at normal speeds. 


I can tell you that the new Rossis are not the old forgiving easy going Rossis from a few years back, but can't say much more than that.


I wish I had the opportunity to try the others.


I suggest sticking to 13 m radius and 165 cm.  Even at that, I predict in a year or two you will miss the high-speed longer radius turns, so don't sell your speeds.



post #4 of 7
Thread Starter 

I plan on these skis complementing, not replacing the Speeds.   Depending on who I am skiing with, the conditions and the crowds, I think a <13m ski will be fun to have.

post #5 of 7

Forget the non-Fis ones, the 165 Fis skis have a slightly longer radius (~13m) and, surprisingly perhaps, work well out of the course as well.  If you stand on them right and keep them on edge you can still make big fast GS ish turns as well.  This season I have skied on Blizzard WC Sl, Atomic D2 FIS slalom and Dynastar WC Omeglass sl (genuine  world cup stock in this case!) , all in 165.  All great skis, with some slight differences.  If i was choosing one for all round as well as gates the D2 might get the nudge, it is an excellent ski.  (I haven't skied the non D2  Sl yet so SR55 is always the best sourcefor Atomic info).  It is strong in the gates as well as great fun for free-skiing.  The Dynastar slant nose (same as the Rossi) is a powerful ski.  Once you learn to really get on top of it it is superb.  Even skiing at 8/10ths it is powerful but manageable.   The Blizzard is also a strong ski, very similar in feel and characteristics to the Nordica (I skied Nordica in 155 last season).



post #6 of 7

I demoed Blizzard SLR Magnesiums and Volkl Racetiger Speedwall SLs,  both non-FIS 160 cm. I weigh 145 lbs and probably have a similar skill set.  Absolutely adored the Volkls.  Bought them on sale recently and skied them the last day of season.  Best ski I've ever been on.  They blow away my old Blizzard Supersonics, which are pretty decent carvers in their own right.  I haven't tried other skis on your list.

post #7 of 7
I added the omeglass ti to my quiver this year. One sheet of metal. WC has two
I love it. Does anything I want

My home hill is 250 vertical. Shoulda got a SL ski ten years ago

I bought these particular skis based on price and availability

Is there a race league nearby? Might get lots of info there
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