Originally Posted by onyxjl
If I like these Ripsticks as much as I expect too, the SLX Fusion is a ski I will be very interested in trying out. Particularly if it performs well in resort all-mountain conditions like the SuperShape. If I am skiing with my girlfriend, which I am doing more of as she improves, I prefer to be on slalom skis but then need those skis to hold up well when I am off on my own later. Switching skis usually isn't an option.
The SuperShape and Metron B5 are the only two skis I have been on thus far that I think would perform this task well enough to make me consider upgrading the SL:9. Most the others have either been too demanding or about the same performance level anyway. That's asking a lot really because the SL:9 is a great ski for that purpose and I'm not in a huge hurry to replace it. Considering that I only spent $295 for them after buying new bindings, thats one hell of a deal.
What you describe is very relative. I like the SLX Fusion Pro and find it to be very versitile and easy to ski on. However, that is comparing them to my Nordica SLR's. If the SLX Fusion is one of the stiffest skis that you have ever been on, then you may find that your opinion of it is very different. My younger brother, who skis on that ski, thought that his skis were very stiff and not terribly versitile until he spent some time on a few pairs of Nordica SLR's. After that he went back to his own skis and realized how great they were just about everywhere. I on the other hand, felt that the SLX FP didn't have enough edgehold, where he said that he had more than enough edgehold on them.
So that said, skiing styles, and the skis that you are accustomed to skiing on will make a huge difference in your reaction to that particular ski. It is highly capable and very stiff, but due to the extreme sidecut skis very soft with a lot of rebound - and makes effortless turns. I can cruise on them all day at slow speeds and not skip a beat... but that doesn't mean that they don't like to be opened up now and then. If you do decide to venture into the SLX FP make sure you get the 165. After flexing them in the shop you may think I am crazy for suggesting a long length, but they ski short. A 160 has the quickness and ease of a 150 or 155, and they really do feel soft and springy on snow. For such a stiff ski it is an interesting characteristic. Sadly with the 160 I ran into the "not enough ski" problem just because you can push them so hard when you really get going on them. They don't have a bottomless void of energy like a race stock ski though.
I suspect that the Ripstick will have the same or at least similar characteristics. Due to the larger radius it may feel like more ski (after all it is the sidecut of the GSX Fusion Pro), but it will probably react better to slower speeds than the SLX because it lacks the multiple layers of metal. I think you will find that the Ripstick has a lot in common with skis like the Head i.Supershape, but with a slightly larger radius.
FWIW though, the SLX has always been a great choice for versatility for me. Over the last few years I have done all of my free skiing with my girl friend on a pair of SLX's, and actually she will be jumping onto a practically brand new pair of SLX WC's this season (hand-me-down from me). They have a wide range of application from slow medium sized turns to full on slalom race turns at high speeds. Plus they are soft and easy to control, and practically make the turns for you. For getting a skier to really 'feel' the carve I think they are one of the best skis out there.