Glenn : here's apretty good review for youy based onthis I and 5 of my friends all EASTERN Hardpack skiers (25/30 days /yr ) bought the SX10 . To a man we love them but hey DEMO DEMO DEMO
This review was by my buddy "Weirkong"
I'm an Eastern skier. Last Monday I demoed skis that I had narrowed down from various sources based on what was important to me. Before the demo the Head i.XRC 1100 chip was on top of my list with all of the following tied for 2nd place: Elan S12, Fischer RX8, Volkl 5*. I demoed all of these plus the Rossi 9S Oversize and the Atomic SX10 ( I had not actually considered these because I didn't care for the Metrons, and the waist of the SX10 seemed a little narrow compared to most of the others I was considering). My impressions at the end of the day (rating 1-5, lower number better):
#1 SX10 Smooth, great edge hold, stable at speed, responds to allmost anything asked of it ----- with ease.
#2 Elan S12 damp, great edge hold, stable at speed, blasts through crud, but a little more demanding than the Atomics.
#3 RX8 similar to the S12 but more energy, very turny (maybe too turny for me)
#4Rossi 9S competent but not great overall, except speed
#5 1100 chip and 5* both probably best edge grip of all the skis tested but also seemed the most demanding -- seemed to take more effort to turn at low speed especially.
Please note: All of these impressions are based on my skiing level and technique (also can't discount the tune of each ski). Other skiers may have different conclusions.
A local store had a great deal on the SX10. I bought them yesterday, and skied them today. This is a FUN ski. Performed very well in every situation and didn't beat me up. They were equally proficient going fast or slow, on hard snow or chopped up snow. Many times after purchasing something, I question my decision. This is NOT the case with the SX10 --- I am completely satisfied with them.
My experience emphasizes the importance of the demo! Reviews/advice/recommendations from others are good to whittle down the field, but individuals vary in their level, technique, likes, dislikes, etc, etc. The final decision is best done as a result of demoing. Sometimes, as in my case, you're surprised and end up liking a ski that you really weren't seriously considering.