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SL Ski Stiffness

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 
How do you guys rank the following manufacturers with regards to stiffness for their SL race stock skis?

Atomic
Dynastar
Elan
Fischer
Head
Nordica
post #2 of 24
Nordica
Fischer
Atomic Black Plate FIS stock
Head
Elan
Atomic Silver Plate stock
Dynastar
post #3 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by doublediamond223 View Post
Nordica
Fischer
Atomic Black Plate FIS stock
Head
Elan
Atomic Silver Plate stock
Dynastar
That sounds about right, although I was under the impression the the Atomics were just about the stiffest things around. Also, my brother just bought a pair of last year's Fischer 166s with the hooked tip and they flex softer than my '06 Racetigers, which are not a stiff ski. Also, I've heard that the real race stock Dynastar, NOT the Omeglass Comp, is quite beefy.
post #4 of 24
How do the different brand's flex index compare

My SL 12s go at 37/25 how would that compare to others
post #5 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by D(C) View Post
That sounds about right, although I was under the impression the the Atomics were just about the stiffest things around. Also, my brother just bought a pair of last year's Fischer 166s with the hooked tip and they flex softer than my '06 Racetigers, which are not a stiff ski. Also, I've heard that the real race stock Dynastar, NOT the Omeglass Comp, is quite beefy.
I skied an Omeglass 64 a few years ago, I doubt it was "true" stock.

I've had black plate atomics, and although they are beefy, not more than a fischer or nordica IMHO. The Atomic stock GS skis, on the other hand, are 2x4's compared to the other brands.

I think tmas24 would have more expertise here than me, anyway.
post #6 of 24
I would love to comment but I have been skiing exlusivelyAtomic since the Race 11 series (1st aerospeed model) so I cannot really compare to anything else that is why I asked about how the different flex indexes for different brands compare. If its the same scale it would be easy to make the comparison. However I doupt it could be that simple.
post #7 of 24
For me, it completely depends on the length. For instance, a 161cm Fischer with the tip deflector (marked 166cm) skis completely differently than a true 166cm Fischer Slalom, and while it may be softer than, say, Nordica in one length, it may be stiffer in another. Often it depends on the flex of that particular pair of skis and the size athlete it was designed for.

That said, in general terms I agree with DD223's list.
post #8 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by TMAS29 View Post
I would love to comment but I have been skiing exlusivelyAtomic since the Race 11 series (1st aerospeed model) so I cannot really compare to anything else that is why I asked about how the different flex indexes for different brands compare. If its the same scale it would be easy to make the comparison. However I doupt it could be that simple.
What's with you Atomic people?

I roomed with a pretty good Atomic racer over Thanksgiving, and I asked him why Atomic? His answer was, "because I haven't skied anything else."
post #9 of 24
Yeah, the Dynastars are noodles. I would put rossi down there on the list as well. However, the stock Omeglass (blue bases/ full sidewall) are much stiffer than the retail. (anyone remember the first generation course 64s? [or was it 63?], anyway those things were like silly putty... )

'stiffness' in your hand and flex on the hill are different things, the ski's overall construction also comes into play.
post #10 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Voltron View Post
What's with you Atomic people?

I roomed with a pretty good Atomic racer over Thanksgiving, and I asked him why Atomic? His answer was, "because I haven't skied anything else."

Why ski anything else when you can ski ATOMIC
Absolute?
Total...
O... Orchestrated???
Mondial (bear with me here I'm doing my best)
Indefatiguable
Career...

Alright that was sad...

But the point is I dont see try another ski. When it aint broken why fix it. I must say though if someone was to tell me I could get even better on some other brand I would still hesitate to try it. I guess I'm too loyal:. Its a flaw:
post #11 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by TMAS29 View Post
Why ski anything else when you can ski ATOMIC
Absolute?
Total...
O... Orchestrated???
Mondial (bear with me here I'm doing my best)
Indefatiguable
Career...

Alright that was sad...

But the point is I dont see try another ski. When it aint broken why fix it. I must say though if someone was to tell me I could get even better on some other brand I would still hesitate to try it. I guess I'm too loyal:. Its a flaw:
Yeah, Atomic does that to people... I really don't get it!
post #12 of 24
The new race stock Dynastars are up there with Atomic and Head as the stiffest SL skis. Nordicas are definitely NOT the stiffest SLs- they're more in the medium category with Fischer and Volkl. Elan, Rossi, and Salomon continue to be on the softer side of the SL offerings. Can't comment on Stockli or K2.

My list would probably shape up as
Atomic
Dynastar
Head
Fischer
Volkl
Nordica
Elan
Rossi
Salomon
post #13 of 24
When considering the flex of a slalom ski, it is also important to consider the amount of sidecut AND the kind of rebound energy you are going to get from the ski. By standing in a shop and flexing one ski after the other you will have no idea how stiff each ski actually feels on the snow. For example, when flexed in a shop, Elans often come out on top in the stiffness category. However, the amount of sidecut that the skis offer, makes them very easy to bend once on edge. In Elans this creates a huge amount of rebound out of the ski, while maintaining a very springy, smooth feel. Fischers are in the same 'huge sidecut' spectrum, but they are stiffer yet, and incredibly torsionally stiff. They are the quickest turners of the bunch and definitely the most likely. Stability lacks in them though. Slalom skis like Head and Nordica are some of the more robust skis out there right now. Nordicas are interesting because they ski unlike any other ski out there right now. They are more like skiing on a tight turning GS ski. Very stable, very damp, and quite powerful. Few other slalom skis handle ruts like they do. Part of the reason for their unique feel is a 14m radius, versus the 12 and 13m raddi that most other brands are using. If in a flex test you didn't find a Nordica as stiff as say - a Fischer - that feeling might change once you were on the snow trying to turn them. Skis like the Nordica and Atomic require more input the get the same results that you can get with little input from skis like the Fischer and the Elan.

Basically, do not judge your slalom skis simply by stiffness in flex. Sidecut and torsional stiffness play a huge role, as do rebound and livliness.

Later

GREG
post #14 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by HeluvaSkier View Post
Sidecut and torsional stiffness play a huge role, as do rebound and livliness.
So what would your on hill list look like?
post #15 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by doublediamond223 View Post
I skied an Omeglass 64 a few years ago, I doubt it was "true" stock.

I've had black plate atomics, and although they are beefy, not more than a fischer or nordica IMHO. The Atomic stock GS skis, on the other hand, are 2x4's compared to the other brands.

I think tmas24 would have more expertise here than me, anyway.
Since the Atomic plate is a a 2 piece plate merely connnecting the 2 sections by a small thin piece of plastic it adds little or no stiffnness to the ski. It is more about standheight and vibration absorption.

We have 2 pair of Race Stock SL11.12 that are stiff as hell with the black & silver normal Atomic plate.

One thing that does contribute to the stiffness of all these skis is the adhesive used to place the plate on the ski. It is mainly used to hold it in place when the plate is mounted to the ski at the factory.

If you want to slightly soften any of these Slalom beasts, remove the plate, remove the adhesive backing and remount the plate. This allows the plate to flex (read slide uop and back slightly) more on the ski instead of holding it tight in the exact spot it was mounted.

Also keep in mind that Flex pattern is a huge contributing factor to on snow performance and feel.

I have found Atomic's beefier in the tip and tail but more forgiving underfoot with Fischer Race Stock Slalom to be a liitle more forgiving in the tip but ghastly stiff underfoot!
post #16 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Atomicman View Post

We have 2 pair of Race Stock SL11.12 that are stiff as hell with the black & silver normal Atomic plate.
The New Atomic atomic plate on the SLs is different than the older ones. It doesnt have the plastic middle and the plates are mounted closer together than the older ones... I doupt it will make any difference at all. Although the plates on my GS12s are the same as the old one exept they seem to have removed some plastic.
post #17 of 24
Ski flex is a bit complicated. One ski might feel stiff in the shop and soft on snow, another might feel soft when flexed in the shop, but stiff on snow. As HeluvaSkier says, sidecut plays a role, but I think flex patterns plays a bigger role.

A ski that has a stiff tip and/or tail and a relatively soft mid-section will feel quite different than a ski with opposite characteristica. A softer mid section of a ski is hard to determine by flexing a ski in the shop.
post #18 of 24
My on-hill list is probably Nordica, Fischer, Atomic, and Head in nor particular order. Most race stock skis are available in different flexes anyway. Last season I think I had a slightly stiffer version of the SLR than what was being used out west (not 100% on that though). I also agree about flex pattern. As NorSkier said above, skis with different flex patterns are going to behave much differently from each other.

Two interesting brands to consider are both Elan and Rossignol. They flex very stiff in a shop, but on the snow they are smooth as butter - and the Rossignol even has a noodlish feel to it. I used to think that flexing a ski by hand could give you an idea of how it might ski until I skied the Elan SLX Fusion Pro. That ski is STIFF when flexing it by hand. On snow it is a NOODLE - completely different from what you would expect (unless you are familiar with Elan).

Later

GREG
post #19 of 24
Torsional stiffness is also a big determining factor and is impossible to jusdge until skied.

Particularly with Head intelligence & Liquid metal Technology which stiffens when twisted.
post #20 of 24
I'm going to rank them as follows,

Salomon
Rossi
Elan
Volkl
Dynastar
Head
Fischer
Nordica
Atomic

because that seems to be the opposite of what people are saying. And I think it's a moot point trying to rank manufacturers by a single metric as simple as "stiffness."
post #21 of 24
Thread Starter 
I should have just asked which skis are the hardest to bend.
post #22 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Max_501 View Post
I should have just asked which skis are the hardest to bend.
The ones that offer the most resistance when being flexed.
post #23 of 24
This years Rossignol World Cups are stiff. My 2 choices this year was Rossi or Atomic, but I went with Atomic in the end. I couldn't believe how stiff there rossignols were.
post #24 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by scracer View Post
This years Rossignol World Cups are stiff. My 2 choices this year was Rossi or Atomic, but I went with Atomic in the end. I couldn't believe how stiff there rossignols were.
I had heard that same thing last season when they changed the ski, but I also heard that once on snow they were not as stiff as they seemed when flexing them in the store. The ski was a change of pace over the 2004/2005 ski that was a (wet) noodle.

Did you ski both skis? I'd be interested in how they compared to each other on snow.

Later

GREG
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