A bit about me, 6' tall around 180 lbs. Very aggressive skier that learned on very long 204 k2 712's. Mostly ski on hard pack in the upper mid west now on what most people would call ice. I have not been in any leagues but always have people ask where I race. Most of my racing is in Nastar and I always qualify for the Championships. Also started instructing this year and find it to be more enjoyable than I expected.
Demo days came early this year and I was already thinking of buying a slalom ski. My go to ski was a 2009 Volkl RC Racetiger 15.5 side cut that I have been using for everything till last year. Then I switched to a true GS ski and only used the Volkl for slalom. The Volkl was really a youth gs ski which was very stiff and a 168 length. Either way I wanted to switch to a true slalom ski this year and ditch the Volkl. My reasoning is not really that it did anything bad it was just not great. So early on this year we had a great surprise visit from quite a few vendors. The skis I was able to demo where, Blizzard, K2, Elan, Head, Rossignol, Fischer, and Technica. All of the skis were slalom skis except the Blizzard and the K2. The rest were either world cup slalom or regular store bought slalom skis. The Fischer ski that day happened to be a non world cup or what used to be the sc version of the ski. I could go through the nuances of the different skis what I liked about each one but I will move on.
The Fischer SL 165 non world cup ski was a unique ski that stood out to me. Every slalom ski I was able to demo seemed very close. they all seemed to do a few things very similar. The amount of input to the corners was quite a bit less than my Volkl skis. They all seemed very responsive, and could turn on a dime. The difference I felt was more about the over all arc of the corner. The crispness of the corner and how the ski actually carved. I felt that most all the slalom ski's almost wash in the tail even when putting them on an angle which should cause them to carve. Some of the ski's felt better than others with the Head coming out as a close second. It also could be that the skis were carving I just couldn't feel it the same way. The Fischer was just an over all different animal. Not only could it carve like I have never felt a ski do the transition from side to side could be done at a blistering pace. The weight of the ski with those funky tails and the cut out tip really do make a difference in transitions. It might sound odd to use this comparison but I also snowboard. When on a snowboard it is nothing but pure carving and that is what I felt with this ski. Nothing but pure edge tip to tail everything in the corner was translated back to me. I even was able to demo the 155 length and although it was extremely short it was still the same ski. I never felt that it was all that short either till going quite fast.
The Fischer SL was a revelation, but as good as it was I still was on the fence. That day I also got to demo a Blizzard 770 ti. The Blizzard's that were available didn't have a slalom ski so the 770 ti was recommended. The ski I got was a 167 length so a 17m turn radius, not really a slalom radius but still enough to jam some tight corners out. It was a huge surprise as it could transition and carve but it had a lot of pop as well. I wouldn't suggest that it carved as good as the Fischer but it was a joy to pop into the air. I found the ski to be lively and predictable in that after a few runs I knew how to lean forward just right to pop them whenever I wanted. The energy that the ski had was phenomenology fun and left me grinning ear to ear. Obviously popping a ski is not something you necessary want on a race course, but so fun when free skiing.
Then I got to demo the Fischer WC Slalom ski. A lot of instructors have told me this ski is too much for them. After a few runs I could see why. Not only could the ski carve just like the non world cup ski, it had an enormous amount of energy in it. This ski is not for the faint of heart. If you put it on an edge and push into it the ski will return more than you put into it. I found it increasingly difficult to stay forward at all. Most of my runs I was fighting as much as I could to stay upright and not end up on the tails. Even so it left me smiling at the end of each run. On the chair ride up I could see that my tracks had left the snow each and every corner. It didn't matter how flat the run was at spots either it would spring anytime. It left me breathless in so many ways that I ended up purchasing the ski. Since then I have found that you can ski without popping it but its not as predictable as the Blizzard. In order to keep the energy out of the ski you have to wash the tail. Of course you can also not rock on it back and forth but either method is not really the right way to ski. Also if you are on a slow run it seems to quite down quite a bit. I have also found it to be a wonderful ski to demonstrate parallel skiing to students as I can carve it at any speed. Either way I find the ski to not be for the faint of heart and extremely fun which is what skiing should be.