Yep, SL skis are definitely hot stuff......but so are GSs, Super Gs, DHs, and let's not forget fat skis for powder.
Right now, I have 3 pairs of SLs:
- 157 cm. Atomic SL11 from a few years back. These are now my all-mountain play skis (except when it gets seriously deep...then it's time for the Atomic R:EXs or Head Monster 88s). They're great for bumps, trees, gunk-holing, and because they're a SL ski, they're fine on the groomers and hard stuff. I like a shorter ski with a lot of sidecut and snappage if I'm going to be spending a day on a big mountain, such as Vail, where I'm likely to get into some tight spots.
- 165 cm. Volkl P60 SLs from a couple of years back...skied twice, they're basically new. These aren't race stock, just off-the-rack P60s. I skied them last weekend at Loveland, and they're pretty incredible. Very smooth and snaky, which is typical of the Volkls I've skied. Definitely more user friendly than the Fischers I was on last year, but still have a lot of energy, and stick like glue on the hard stuff. When we're doing free skiing drills (not training gates, just working on stuff), most of the folks on my Masters team get out the SLs, because it's easier to figure out a new move than on GSs, which require a lot of speed and real estate. That's what I think these Volkls are going to be.
- 165 cm. Atomic SL2s...this year's, and yes, they are race stock. Absolutely incredible ski. Atomic's been kind of on and off with their SL skis over the last few years, but this is easily the best Atomic and the best SL I'ved skied on...ever. I was on them last weekend, and it's like driving a Ferrari...or what I imagine that might be (closest I've come is 127 m. p. h. in my Mazda RX-7 before I blew a rotor). This is going to be the ski I save for gate training and races...