That's about right, and I'd also put Nordica up near the top in stiffness also. Some thoughts, going back to the OP:
- Just because a ski is longitudinally stiff doesn't mean it will hold better. It's only one part of the overall ski design, but in general
, a stiffer ski will be harder to bend into an arc, a softer ski will be easier...so how stiff a ski each of us should use is more of a how much do you weigh and how much force can you apply to the ski issue.
- Torsional stiffness has a lot to do with how well a ski will hold. Go ski something like a 180 all mountain ski with a GSish radius (19 or 20), then go ski a race stock GS ski in a 183...on hard snow or ice. The GS ski will stick like glue, the all mountain ski won't.
- There is, as somebody pointed out, race stock, and there is race stock. First of all, to be even considered race stock, a ski generally
has to be FIS legal...for somebody. For example, I don't ski a men's Atomic FIS legal GS ski, I ski a 184 Doubledeck, which is FIS legal for women. All my race skis are Atomic race stock, and they all have flex numbers inked on the tails, from my 165 D2 SLs all the way through my 210 Super Gs.
I *think* the way Atomic race stock works is like this:
- For the top guys, like Svindal and Benni Raich, I think Atomic custom makes skis, especially for speed events. If you look at Svindal, he's gigantic, at 6' 5" and something like 225 pounds, so it makes sense that he needs a beefier ski than even the other guys on the WC. Also, for speed events for the Euro classics especially, I think there is a small set of DH skis that don't get used elsewhere. As in, soft snow bases, hard snow bases, different sidecuts for more or less turny courses, and so forth. I think most of the WC guys are using something like a 217 or 218 for most DHs; I wouldn't surprised if at Wengen, some of them, such as Svindal, are on something as big as a 223, which you don't see much any more.
- I've found Atomic's manufacturing quality and base/edge finishing to be very good and very consistent over the last few seasons. Especially for tech skis, I think what Atomic does is make a bunch of skis, flex test them all, then match up skis that have the same length/sidecut/construction into pairs according to differences in the flex pattern, then stamp the serial numbers on each pair.
Then they have a pile o' 165 SLs, for example, in 4 or 5 different flex patterns. So they then let all their sponsored racers who are just below Svindal and Benni go pick out whatever skis they want to use to start the season, or for summer testing, or whatever. During the season, the major manufacturers are always experimenting with concepts that are newer/better/faster, so these new variations get introduced into the WC ski pools as well. Example, D2 race skis were only available to guys like me this year, but a lot of the Atomic sponsored racers were actively using them last season.
- Then Atomic takes whatever numbers of flex/marked race stock skis they figure they can sell in North America, and sends 'em on over to selected Atomic dealers...and I cruise in with my credit card, flex skis, and pick out what I hope are going to be winners on the Masters race circuit...
Originally Posted by mogulmuncher
For the brands I have actually skied, all on 165cm FIS stock, here's how I would rank them:
Head: Really stiff, too stiff for me personally.
Atomic, Fischer: Very similar to each other, still very stiff but a noticeable notch down from Head.
Dynastar: Quite a bit softer than Atomics.
Rossi: A little softer than Dynastar.