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Review: 2014 Stockli Stormrider SR107

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 

Review:

There is a lot of hoopla over the One-Oh-Somethings for next season. One of the skis that is creating a lot of that buzz is the new Stockli Stormrider SR107. Stockli hasn't been able to create the momentum they needed as of now, this seems to have changed. For 2014 we have seen a one minded vision from Stockli, and I will say it is a change for the good. At our Mammoth test earlier this month, I was unable to get on the SR107 but the buzz from our other testers was really good and that peaked my curiosity. Right before my days off this week (coinciding with a pending snowstorm), the rep dropped us off a few pair of skis at Start Haus to ski and test, including the SR107 which was put right into my car. 

 

At first, the SR107 didn't appeal to me visually with it's big STORMRIDER writting up one ski and a calligraphy S on the other on top of a matte silver/gray and black finish but as the day grew on, and when the ski wasn't buried in the fresh snow we had, the graphics grew on me. On the snow feel was actually a bit heavy, but not a bad heavy but more a teutonic heavy like an old school Mercedes, solid. What was unusual with the SR107 was the nimbleness for such a big ski with this feel and I think that had a lot to do with the shape and having a tail that has only 8mm of taper (relationship of the tip and tail width) in a segment where most skis have anywhere from 10-25mm of taper and turn radius's in the low to mid 20 meter range. I was able to take the SR107 is tight trees and some steep (for Northstar) pitches and never felt that the 107 wasn't enough for the foot plus snow or too much for the wind blown tight bumps I had to navigate. The balanced flex allowed the Stormrider's tail to follow the tip through a multitude of turn shapes and snow conditions. For 2014 my benchmark in this class so far has been the Nordica Vagabond which does ski lighter and more nimble despite it's on-paper TR of being 25M with almost identical dimensions confused.gif. The SR107 feels almost a cross between the Vagabond and the El Capo. My experience is when a ski gets into the price point that includes a comma in it, the materials that go onto it usually create a ski feel that separates itself from the pack, the SR is no exception. Stockli (and Kastle) have proven there is a market for these premium skis and I agree.  Skiing is a feel and tactile sport and for the specific skier who can discern these subtle differences in a ski, the SR107 will be appreciated by the discriminating skier and yes, the SR107 is worth the premium price, you are getting performance and substance and not just a name for your money. 

 

 

 

Other Skis in Class:

Blizzard Cochise

Kastle BMX108

Nordica Vagabond

Nordica El Capo

Volkl Gotama

Volkl V-Werks Katana

 

Product:

Length Tested: 183

Dimensions/Turn Radius: 135-107-127 19.2M

Camber: Early Rise tip & tail w/camber

Binding: Salomon Z14 Demo

Mount point: Suggested 

 

Environment & Conditions:

Location of Test: Northstar

Number of Runs: full day

Snow Conditions: 10-15" of fresh light snow over firm month old snow

Demo or Own: Demo

 

Tester Info:

Username: Philpug

Age: 49

Height/Weight: 5'10" 185lb

Ski Days/Season: 60+

Years Skiing: 35

Aggressiveness: Moderate (Finesse) 

Current Quiver: 

-Scott The Ski

-Blizzard Brahma 

-Blizzard Bonafide 

-Blizzard Gunsmoke

-Nordica Vagabond

-various vintage skis

Home Area: Squaw & Northstar

Preferred Terrain: bumps, off-piste, trees

post #2 of 23

Product: 2014 Stockli Stormrider 107

Length Tested: 183

Dimensions/Turn Radius: 135-107-127 19.2M

Rest is a same as for Philpug's review

 

Environment & Conditions:

Location of Test: Squaw/Alpine

Number of Runs: half day

Snow Conditions: two days after the storm

Demo or Own: Demo

 

Tester Info:

Username: alexzn

Age: 41

Height/Weight:  6ft/195lb

Ski Days/Season: 50

Years Skiing: 30+

Aggressiveness: (select one, delete the rest):  Aggressive(Driver)

Current Quiver: 187 Bonafide + 190 DPS112

Home Area: Squaw

Preferred Terrain (select one/all, delete the rest): off-piste

 

I always respected Stockli skis and their fearsome reputation of making skis that fully subscribe to the "ski me if you can" philosophy.  So, when I heard that the new Stormriders are the Stocklis for mortal men, I was pretty excited.  This Saturday also looked like a perfect day to test a 107 ski- good snow 2 days after the storm, not a powder day, but a day where you are likely to encounter all kinds of snow on the mountain- anything from a little powder stash to sun-baked and refrozen bits of crud and everything in between.

But first a bit more about the ski: SR107 is a fairly unusual entry in the 1-ohs category.  It has noticeably less rocker upfront than most of its peers, the tip has a nice early taper, there is an upturned rounded tail, but no tail rocker, and most unusually the tail is there in spades, it's almost as wide as the tip!.  To me the closest comparison to the shape would be the late ProRider 105.  SInce I don;t have that ski, I put the SR107 next to the old ProRider.  Note the general similarity of the shapes, but the SR has a lot more sidecut (19m vs 26 of the LPR).  Take a look also at the close-ups of the tip profile, tail profile, and rocker and camber sections (click on the images for larger versions):

 

 

 

 

I really like the graphics, its adult, unusual, classy, and as a bonus should be very tolerant to scratches.   The ski looks to be a high quality wood-metal laminate, no surprise here for a ski costing that much.  Another interesting thing was flex- I felt that the ski has softer tip and tail section and a pretty stout mid-section.  In my experience the Bonafide, Enforcer and Vagabond flex more evenly, and that's why they blend the rocker into the overall flex of the ski so well.  Stockli does not have much rocker, so maybe they don't have to worry about it.  Overall, the flex is what I would call medium-stiff, perfect for the intended purpose. 

 

Skiing impressions:  First of all, let me get one thing out of the way- this is the best 100+ ski on groomers that I have ever been on, and by some distance, it has fantastic edge hold, the ski initiates smoothly pulls you into the turn as quickly or as slowly as you want.  The substantial tail also helps, there is good energy in the turn finish. It literally feels like a carver just slower edge to edge.  Its a home run on groomed terrain. I actually wanted to ski groomers today, it was so much fun.   Here is shot taken on an easy groomer:

 

And a close-up of a different turn showing the skis in action (you can see that the ski engages the snow pretty close to the tip).  

 

 

Off-piste skiing is a bit more nuanced. The ride is pretty damp and controlled, you can go fast (see for example one of the runs in the POV video at the end, I purposely let the ski run through a cruddy bowl there).  It's not a tank-lik ride of the Pro-Rider, you gets tons more feedback and It feels like the tip section absorbs the imperfections in the snow.  That tail, despite its thickness releases well, and never felt unwieldy.  The ski is also amazingly nimble for a 107, and even though it is more at ease at a speed above a certain number (its a Sockli after all), it is still feels quick at any speed.  It does beg you to go fast, I was always feeling like I was being pushed to catch little airs and be more aggressive. Bumps felt pretty good, the stiffness was not punishing, probably because of the flex profile.  

Despite being used to rockered skis now, I had no problem with flotation in the softer stuff.  What the ski didn't like was driving from the middle, to get the most out of it, you have to drive it from the tip, knees forward.  This ski definitely feels more at home with high edge angles, so someone with race backround of skills better than mine will feel really good on this ski. Skiers who are used to lower angles, may still feel OK on it (remember, its quite nimble), but since this ski does not like to slide, there will be a moment when the Stormrider will balk.    There were a few times when I let it go, and the skis were not doing quite what I wanted them to do.  As soon as reminded myself to push forward, and get the skis from under my body, everything clicked.   In other words, despite being softer, its still a Stockli and needs a very skilled driver.  Actually the difference between bad and good technique feel is pretty extreme.  The softer tip and tail also make it ski shorter than it is, it felt like a shorter stouter 178 ski, albeit a pretty great one, so for me the SR107 would probably feel better in a 185-187 length.

 

So, who is this ski for- I'd classify it as expert-only, a great ski for someone who enjoys the feel of a  traditional ski in a new-ish geometry, and has the technique to get the most out of this design.  Whether its worth the price premium over a Vagabond is a tough call. Vagabond felt like a more "conventional" new shape, albeit done extremely well.  And neither Nordica nor Stockli has the trademark variable flex feeling of the Blizzard flipcore skis.  Of course, nothing can touch the Stockli on groomers.  So, for some people this traditional ski feel and groomer prowess may be worth the extra cash. 

 

Capsule review: Ripstick

 

Finally, a POV video from the day:

post #3 of 23

I'm really looking forward to getting on these new Stormriders at some point (Phil - hint, hint, maybe the 95 and 107 might make the Gathering journey?).

 

Alexzn - really nice review.  How would you compare the flex of the 107 to the 112RP?

 

BTW - glad to see I'm not the only one who gets a corner of their helmet stuck in their POV shots. wink.gif

post #4 of 23

Agree, very helpful reviews. Phil, you mention that it felt heavy, although not in a bad way. Curious if that might reflect your being used to the 112RP - since they're marketing this is a substantially lighter ski than the TT, or any other 100+ ski they've made - or if all the balsa wood doesn't prevent it from weighing more, or at least feeling like it, than its competitors. 

post #5 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by beyond View Post

Agree, very helpful reviews. Phil, you mention that it felt heavy, although not in a bad way. Curious if that might reflect your being used to the 112RP - since they're marketing this is a substantially lighter ski than the TT, or any other 100+ ski they've made - or if all the balsa wood doesn't prevent it from weighing more, or at least feeling like it, than its competitors. 

I haven't been on a 112RP in over a season. I am comparing it against the Vagabond. 

post #6 of 23

Wow, you love 'em and leave 'em. wink.gif Thanks for the info. Have not been on the Vagabond, so no point of comparison. 

post #7 of 23

Just a quick update after skiing essentially similar snow on my tired Bonafides the next day.  Wow, those Stocklis were really good on-piste... A lot of it has to do with the tune- the Stocklis had laser sharp edges and my Bones may need a grind, but if anything the SR107 felt more secure, grippier and well-planted on-piste.  And the Bonafide is really good on the groomed, for a 107 the Stormrider is simply phenomenal.    Off-pitse the Bones do feel like they have a more even balanced flex. On the other hand, on-edge the Stocklis is just as quick even though it has a wider waist.  As I said the Stormrider was the happiest on-edge, the Bone is happy either way.  I do appreciate what Stockli wanted to achieve with this ski a bit better.   

 

I tend to disagree with SJ on the role of the one-ohs, maybe my thinking has not adjusted yet, but I still think of them as Western one-ski quivers.  Actually, if I only had to have one ski to ski every day the SR107 could very well be that ski, the reason being the unusual combination of the hard snow grip and ability to handle the soft cruddy snow (check the third run in the POV video- that would be your typical GS-type turns through the cruddy uneven snow).   All you racers out there- this maybe your off-piste ski.    After thinking back a bit, most of my gripes were related to the length- I am now used to skis that are a bit longer, so the 183 was a bit short.  Unfortunately the next size up is 192, which I know will be a bear (remember- very little rocker).  OTOH, Stockli also makes the Stormrider Pro, which is also a one-oh ski, but that ski has two length- 190 and 201(!).  You get the picture...   Would be cool to get on the 190, just to see how hard it kicks my b&tt.  Leave  the 201 for Dahron Rahlves :-)

post #8 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by beyond View Post

Wow, you love 'em and leave 'em. wink.gif

Blame it on Tahoe weather.  My 112 only saw about 5 or 6 days this season.  

post #9 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Noodler View Post

Alexzn - really nice review.  How would you compare the flex of the 107 to the 112RP?

 

Thanks!  Shamefully, I have not flexed them side to side, and with the lack of powder days this year I am forgetting how the 112RP flexes.  My recollection is that its generally similar, the SR may be a bit stiffer mid body.  The difference is that the Wailers have a ton of rocker, the SRs have minimal rocker.  Both float, but way differently.  112 immediately rises to the surface, its an automatic powder turn, the SR need to be driven through the turn.  Very, very different skis in powder.   Funny that you are asking, that morning there were a couple of people skiing the same terrain on the 112RPs, one was clearly in the backseat, but he was still skiing a bit faster than I was, the 112RP is that much more tolerant.  If he had been on the Stocklis, he would have been upside down after the third turn. 

post #10 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by beyond View Post

Wow, you love 'em and leave 'em. wink.gif  Thanks for the info. Have not been on the Vagabond, so no point of comparison. 
I fall in lust with skis, not in love.

Alex mentioned getting on his (tired) Bonafides right after, coincidently I also followed up my next day also on some Bonafides...my freshly tuned 2014 Bonafides. While the snow wasn't as plentiful as awhen I skied the Stocklis, I was able to still find a few pockets of fresh and the while the Bonafide didn't do as well as the sr107' no surprise, it did hold its own. I will say, for being two very different skis, they ski more alike than they ski different. The Stockli is as nimble as the Bonafide is versatile. I will still say that I would still choose, the 98mm Bonafide over the 107 Stormrider...but if I was over 6' and or over 200lb, I would probably change my view.
post #11 of 23
I wish there had been better soft snow conditions when I tried them a week ago in whistler which i basically more like spring. But I concur with the things you guys have observed with regard to the sr107. They have all of the attributes I love in the stockli brand, and were amazing from the first run. The speed plus getting some air in a few spots was surprising and one without causing consternation. I don't ski this width typically, but this was the easiest transition I have ever experienced.

tw
post #12 of 23

The tail design on this ski is a departure, rounded shape and turned up. way more tolerant, versatile.

post #13 of 23

Dave:

 

We have an SR 95 in a 174 if you want to take a ride this week.

 

SJ
 

post #14 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by davluri View Post

The tail design on this ski is a departure, rounded shape and turned up. way more tolerant, versatile.


For sure.....like the LP

post #15 of 23

I own the same LP as Dave, so I'll jump in, the tail is different (see the photo in my post, way more rounded), it feels differently, but just as effective.  The feel is not unlike the ProRider105, but way more nimble, and "sportier", and almost as powerful.  Its a better everyday ski than LP105 for sure.  LP105 in 184 skied long(-ish), SR107 skis a bit short.    

post #16 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by SierraJim View Post

Dave:

 

We have an SR 95 in a 174 if you want to take a ride this week.

 

SJ
 

Wow, that's a generous offer. drool.gifLet me contemplate a minute. thanks.  (didn't read this till now).

Quote:
Originally Posted by alexzn View Post

I own the same LP as Dave, so I'll jump in, the tail is different (see the photo in my post, way more rounded), it feels differently, but just as effective.  The feel is not unlike the ProRider105, but way more nimble, and "sportier", and almost as powerful.  Its a better everyday ski than LP105 for sure.  LP105 in 184 skied long(-ish), SR107 skis a bit short.    

I meant also that the tail design closely resembled this year's Katana, and Mantra I believe.  Turned up and round.  Nice move for Stockli, good for more skiers. I wonder what Stockli is thinking, seeing how Kaestle has taken off in popularity. Motivating?

post #17 of 23

post #18 of 23

Mmmmmmmm ........ Stormriders at StartHaus  ....... will the summer never end??   Really looking forward to their arrival next Fall! 

post #19 of 23

hi phil, team,

i posted the other day over on another thread re stormrider 95/100/107 for telemarking but i suspect i picked a dead thread as i'm a bit of a forum newbie.

anyone over your way got an opinion on the new stockli's for freeheeling? i guess im after a pretty playful ski for japan/west coast side country. im happy to charge down the groomers but generally prefer to tackle the trees and the softer stuff. not really into tricks, but otherwise the line SFB seems a nice choice at about that width. 

me, skiing tele advanced, 40yo, 175lb; however my legs feel like they're getting old and forgiveness is a concept that appeals....smile.gif

appreciate any comments!

 

alex

post #20 of 23

I have not skied any of these, but the 107's weight - about 3950 gm for the 183, I believe - is light for a ski that size, but not very light for an AT ski. The 100 is the ski that Stockli appears to be positioning for AT, given it has tips and tails modified for skins, and is super light - recall under 3500 g for the 174 - while the 95 is in the 3850 g range for the 183, so bit lighter than typical, but nothing amazing. 

post #21 of 23

What lengths does it come in?

post #22 of 23

174

183

192

post #23 of 23

Suggested mounting point and bindings for the SR107?

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