Stowe had a demo day this past Saturday. Conditions were man-made snow on groomers. An inch or two had fallen the night before, and it was still snowing lightly. I took a few runs on a few random skis that I felt like trying:
Me: 6'2", 175 pounds, PSIA level 8.5, get about 50 days a year, ski more in a finesse style than a "power charger", but I do like to crank it a little more aggressively from time to time.
- DPS "Pure" Cassiar 85, 178cm length: There have been reviews posted on this ski on this forum before. I didn't feel it with this ski. I had trouble getting positive edge engagement prior to the fall line... felt like a very "drifty" turn (albeit in a controlled fashion) and then it would edge lock in the bottom third of the turn. Kind of disconcerting to say the least. Had a lot of trouble getting a short steery turn out of it as well, somewhat due to the edge-lock issue. I don't know if it was a tune issue or not. I didn't take it into bumps. I really wanted to like this ski based on the earlier reviews, but I wasn't feeling it.
- Blizzard X-Power 810 Ti, 174cm length: Very damp feeling ski. I felt a decent amount of "pop" at the end of a turn, but not in the "oh yeah, there it is" category either. It's there, but not "hang on" by any means. It did a great job of smoothing out the somewhat bouncy ride from all the various small piles of freshly fallen snow. I did take it through the bumps; it's not the worst bump ski I've ever been on by any means, but it sure isn't a top performer either. Just kind of "average" bump performance. For me, the point of a wider groomer cruiser is somewhat lost... The width helps smooth out the ride, but if there's a ride that needs smoothing (i.e,. soft fresh snow), that means that I'm not going to want to hang on groomers all day. But that's just me.
- Stocki Laser SX, 170cm length: I had always read that Stockli skis are highly demanding, require mach schnell speed, etc. I found it to be pretty forgiving actually and it worked just fine from low speed to "make sure the patrol isn't out" speed, from short radius to big radius turns, the gamut. For me, it seemed quite happy with whatever speed / radius you asked, but as the speed crept up, it was obvious t hat this thing can take all the speed you can give and then some. If you let it, these will launch you (literally) into the next turn. Again, it's not a great bump ski by any means (too stiff !), but it's manageable. I didn't ski it long enough (just two runs) to see if the stiffness would be exhausting or not. I imagine the 178cm length would be an awesome beer league cheater ski.
And then I got back on my personal Head Rally's (170cm length). The Rally is way, way better in bumps than the Blizzard or Stockli. The Blizzard is a smoother ride, the Stockli has a power reserve that could "light up Switzerland" (to quote a different review source)... The Rally destroys both in terms of versatility.