I've just Ordered a set of the Hero Long Turn elites - 168 cm, and I'm loving them.
I'd describe myself as an aggressive and confident intermediate skier, not yet an advanced skier. About 160 pounds, 5'6'', and I started the season on Fischer Progressor 700s, in a 155. They're nice on piste skis, easy to carve with, and a sensible 14/17 meter dual radius. I'll be keeping them as the start of the season gentler leg rebuilder skis, and for the school holiday weeks when the resorts are packed, and a tighter turning ski will be more fun than a fast ski I can't really make the best of.
I'm Skiing at the Southern end of the French Alps( Ubaye valley, resort reviews incoming), and in good conditions have up to 2000 vertical feet to play with.
I had the chance to try a range of skis last week. I was only able to do a run or two on each, but as I was looking at 100% on piste soft race skis, it was enough to get a feel for them. I was taking them down a 1000 foot drop red I know well on hardpack in reasonable conditions with plenty of room. I tried-
A Kastle all mountain in a 170ish. I'm not sure why the rep got me to try them, given I had told him what I was looking for!. You can tell how impressed I was by the level of detail that stuck in my mind....Nothing wrong with them, just not the ski I was looking for.
A Kastle soft race, in a 165ish. This was the shortest ski I tried, and there was nothing wrong with it, but it just felt too similar to what I was already using. The rep said they had the same in a longer length, but the skiier trying them went AWOL, so I never got to try them 170ish I was looking for.
Stockli SX lasers in a 170. These were really rather nice. A lovely physical ski, that was giving back everything I could put into it. I would happily have had them there and then, but the 1000 euro price tag but me off.
Rossignol Hero LT elites in a 167
These were great. Fast, stable, responsive, and nicely stiff. I was just about able to get them carving, and when I did- WOW. They are not intermediate skis- they require you to commit 100% to them, and won't forgive anything. I misjudged a transition and have some nice bruises to show for it The thing that clinched it was finding an ex-demo set, skiied for 4-5 days only, for 230 euros, rather than the 700 euro MRP.