Originally Posted by Alpine-Al
For example, the race stock version Atomic GS11 might have a plain black plate with brass inserts in the screw holes - while the regular GS11 has pieces of aluminum over the heel and toe area of the plate.
Before anyone gets confused, that isn't true for all the "FIS" models from Atomic. Some of the laminate skis DO have the aluminum topped plate.
Also, someone said Atomics are the exception to race stock being laminate. Thats not true. The Atomic skis are laminate skis with a mostly cosmetic top/cap. The Salomon race stock skis are some of the only really true "cap" race skis, with a titanal cap.
Most skis will have vertical sidewalls, but (most) of the Atomics and the Salomons don't.
Note that the Atomics definitely have a laminated core with two layers of titanal, they just have an aesthetic cap to go along with it.
What kossack says is important as well. There may (or in some cases may not) be a difference between the race-stock gear you buy off the shelf in the store, the race stock gear the rep hooked the local star up with in January when they got the first few copies of next year's stuff produced, or the race stock gear that a WC athlete may have had particularly tailored to his/her preference.