Individual Review UGASkiDawg's 2018-19 SIA Ski Reviews

Discussion in 'Gear Reviews and Comparisons' started by UGASkiDawg, Jun 4, 2018.

  1. UGASkiDawg

    UGASkiDawg AKA David Pugski Ski Tester

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2015
    Posts:
    1,419
    Location:
    CO
    Atomic Vantage 86 C
    Dimensions: 123-86-106.5
    Radius: [email protected]
    Sizes: 157, 165, 173, 181
    Size tested: 173
    Design: All New

    This is a great one-ski quiver candidate that turns really well when you want to but leaves you alone if you don’t. It has a nice shape and flex pattern for fun in the bumps.
    • Who is it for? Skiers looking for a lighter one-ski quiver on the narrower side of the Western all-mountain spectrum.
    • Who is it not for? Skiers looking for that nth degree of high-speed performance.
    • Insider tip: This very rewarding ski will allow you to push your performance envelope without intimidating you.
    Atomic Vantage 90 Ti
    Dimensions: 127.5-90-114*
    Radius: [email protected]
    Sizes: 161, 169, 176, 185
    Size tested: 176
    Design: All New
    *scaled sizing

    See everything I said about the 86 C but add a layer of metal and 4 mm of of width. If I had to pick between the 86 C and the 90 Ti, I’d go with the 86 as the more forgiving and versatile ski for my style. I didn’t notice the extra 4 mm but I definitely noticed the metal.
    • Who is it for? Bigger skiers with a strong technical background looking for stiffer high-speed machine.
    • Who is it not for? Lighter skiers and skiers who want an easier ride.
    • Insider tip: This ski has the chops to rip if you’ve got the thighs.

    Blizzard Firebird SRC
    Dimensions: 121-68-105
    Radius: [email protected]
    Sizes: 155, 160, 165, 170
    Size tested: 165
    Design: All New

    The Firebird SRC seems to initiate turns before you even think about it. This rewarding ski is precise and sneers at hard snow and ice. My racer kids would love it if they weren’t on race skis, but it's not a ski I would spend that much time on. It would be a beast off piste.
    • Who is it for? People who like to carve, and who carve very fast indeed.
    • Who is it not for? The lazy skier.
    • Insider tip: Start the turn and drive it to completion -- which will be very soon -- and then do it all over again.

    Fischer Pro MTN 86

    Dimensions: 128-86-116
    Radius: [email protected]
    Sizes: 161, 168, 175, 182
    Size tested: 175
    Design: Carryover

    What a blast! The Pro MTN 86 has power that is easy to tap; it rips off turns like a pro but does not demand too much of the rider. This ski is an amazing combo of serious and fun: it has serious grip yet still will have fun slashing and dancing if you prefer. If I were looking for a one-ski quiver, it would be right at the top of my demo list.
    • Who is it for? People who like to ski anything, anywhere, anytime.
    • Who is it not for? Snowboarders.
    • Insider tip: Bring these along and fun will happen, no matter what conditions you run into.

    Head Supershape iMagnum

    Dimensions: 131-72-110
    Radius: [email protected]
    Sizes: 149, 156, 163, 170, 177
    Size tested: 170
    Design: Carryover

    Surprisingly, this was my first time on the Head Supershape series. This is a high-performance carving ski, and there is no mistaking it for anything else. Lively, precise, and demanding! It eats up short turns and leaves you wanting more. It also leaves you breathless from all that work.
    • Who is it for? Advanced skiers who like to rip turns constantly.
    • Who is it not for? People who don’t like to turn and lazy skiers.
    • Insider tip: Grip it and rip it, as the golfers like to say.

    Liberty VMT V76

    Dimensions: 126-76-106
    Radius: [email protected]
    Sizes: 172, 179
    Size tested: 179
    Construction: All New

    I had never been on a Liberty ski before and was very pleasantly surprised by this ski from brand everyone pegs as pure free ski company. The V76 rewards goods technique but doesn’t demand it. It stands up to power on piste but is versatile enough for forays off the groomed.
    • Who is it for? People looking for a fun and forgiving but rewarding frontside ski with some versatility.
    • Who is it not for? People who want their skis to do only one thing well.
    • Insider tip: Check out their other skis; I sure will!

    Nordica Spitfire RB
    Dimensions: 122-72-102
    Radius: [email protected]
    Sizes: 156, 162, 168, 174, 180
    Size tested: 174
    Design: All New

    The Spitfire RB is a beast of a frontside ski that slings you from turn to turn til your thighs are quivering. I enjoyed my time on this ski, but I don’t enjoy making these types of turns enough to add it my quiver. Don’t get me wrong: these skis are rewarding on piste, but I try to spend as little time on piste as possible.
    • Who is it for? Skiers who love to make lots of precise fast turns -- in other words, not me.
    • Who is not for? Those looking for an approachable, friendly ski.
    • Insider tip: Click in and start turning. You’ll think to yourself either, "I’ve got to make room in my rooftop box for this sports car!" or "Wow. That was fun, but not what I’m looking for."

    Rossignol Experience 88 Ti
    Dimensions: 127-88-117
    Radius: [email protected]
    Sizes: 159, 166, 173, 180, 187
    Size tested: 180
    Design: Carryover

    I rode this ski back to back with the Fischer Pro MTN 86, and the Rossi a has more stable cruiser feel. It is not nearly as playful and lively but it is a bit more solid at high speeds. You might say it has a more serious personality than the Fischer.
    • Who is it for? Skiers looking for midfat biased toward a more traditional frontside feel but with the versatility to go everywhere.
    • Who is it not for? People looking for a lively and playful feel.
    • Insider tip: These skis have surprising edge hold and stability for a ski that feels on the lighter side.

    Stöckli Laser AX

    Dimensions: 123-78-110
    Radius: [email protected]
    Sizes: 159, 167, 175, 183
    Size tested: 175
    Design: Carryover

    A Stöckli rocketship! The Laser AX is one of the finest skis I have ever put on my feet. I rode it at the SIA test two years ago and loved it then; I love it even more now. This is mostly because my tastes have evolved: I was previously looking for a strong one-ski quiver candidate, and the Kästle FX95 HP narrowly edged out the Stormrider 95. Now I’m looking to fill out a two-ski quiver, and this ski will be my narrower everyday ski along with a One Oh Something for the deeper days.
    • Who is it for? People who like to have fun and spend money.
    • Who is it not for? Beginner-level skiers and people who don’t like to pay top dollar.
    • Insider tip: Raid the kids' college fund and/or your retirement accounts! Disclaimer: I make suggestions, you make decisions.

    Stöckli Scale Gamma
    Dimensions: 135-80-107
    Radius: [email protected]
    Sizes: 155, 165, 175, 185
    Size tested: 175
    Construction: Carryover

    I got on this ski at the behest of @Tricia, and I’m glad I did. (Of course, one almost always says that when the ski underfoot is from Stöckli.) It is a frontside-oriented all-conditions ski with that sublime Stöckli snow feel.
    • Who is it for? Skiers looking for technically competent narrower one-ski quiver with a traditional shape.
    • Who is it not for? People without lots of cash.
    • Insider tip: Demo next to the Stormrider 88 and Laser AX and then pick the one that best suits your needs.

    Stöckli Stormrider 88
    Dimensions: 128-88-114
    Radius: [email protected]
    Sizes: 168, 177, 186
    Size tested: 177
    Design: All New

    A one-ski-quiver candidate with enough but not too much tip rocker, the SR 88 skis more traditionally than, say, the Kästle FX series but still has that playful feel off piste. It was easy to drive in every condition that I could find but still able to rip on the groomers once you found the sweet spot.
    • Who is it for? If you are looking for a narrower one-ski quiver for western conditions, this is your ski.
    • Who is it not for? People who want a one-trick pony.
    • Insider tip: Like all Stöcklis, this one deserves a demo even if you aren’t going to buy just so you’ll know what the hype is all about.

    Völkl Deacon 76
    Dimensions: 122-76-103
    Radius: [email protected]
    Sizes: 171, 176, 181
    Size tested: 176
    Design: All New

    The Deacon is a new high-performance frontside piste ski from Volkl. It rewards good technique and desires to be driven at all times.
    • Who is it for? Skiers who love that Völkl feel and have the chops to stay on top of a damp, high-performance frontside ripper.
    • Who is not for? Those who would rather ride a ski rather than drive it.
    • Insider tip: Don’t expect a poppy ride but a stable, predictable ski with no speed limit.
     
    Kurt, Kyle, tball and 2 others like this.
  2. fatbob

    fatbob Making fresh tracks Skier

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2015
    Posts:
    2,227
    Just to clarify you are picking the AX for off groomer but non fresh conditions?

    Is that where Stockli are really pitching it? ( declared bias in Europe everything seems to be pitched at wealthy Swiss and German piste skiers aside from Stormriders)
     
  3. Seldomski

    Seldomski Paralysis by analysis Skier

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2017
    Posts:
    774
    @UGASkiDawg - do you have a bio/stats for yourself? Height, weight, boots, speed, and mountain/terrain you typically ski?
     
  4. SBrown

    SBrown Steve Admin Pugski Ski Tester

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2015
    Posts:
    5,330
    Location:
    Colorado
    If you click on a reviewer’s name and go to the profile page, then click on “Information,” all those stats are there. But you’re right, we need to make that info more readily accessible.
     
    Seldomski likes this.
  5. Seldomski

    Seldomski Paralysis by analysis Skier

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2017
    Posts:
    774
    Ah thanks. I went to view his username but didn't see the information tab. It defaults to "Profile Posts."
     


  6. Thread Starter
    TS
    UGASkiDawg

    UGASkiDawg AKA David Pugski Ski Tester

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2015
    Posts:
    1,419
    Location:
    CO
    I love the AX everywhere except on the deeper days I'd prefer a wider more fun shaped ski but I'd be perfectly happy on the AX in just about any conditions. It's a super "serious" ski that is very approachable and fun just about everywhere. Maybe a better way to put is that as Summit County CO skier averaging 55-60 days per year I would expect to be on this ski 40-45 of those days if I had a pair and my preferred terrain is off-piste.
     

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