Olesya C

Always learning
Skier
Joined
Feb 21, 2016
Posts
199
Location
East Coast
I was fortunate to be at Alta during their spring demo day today. The demoing is free, just have to fill out a form with your information and give them a credit card number at the registration tent.

About me: 6'1" tall, weight is probably somewhere between 185-190 pounds currently, advanced skier, moderately fast/aggressive on a good day, tentative on a bad day. Due to weight/height/ability I only demoed men's/unisex skis in 178-184 cm length. Women's skis that are long enough for me are very few and are not found at demo days. I demoed with @ADKmel and she demoed women's skis. My current quiver is Head Magnum, Armada Invictus 89 Ti and Kästle BMX 105 HP.

Conditions: a few inches of fresh that were covering refrozen chunky stuff off-piste, piles with frozen stuff underneath on the groomers. Towards the end of the day snow was softening up. The visibility was low most of the time we were demoing. So conditions were somewhat challenging which is good for demoing.

Skis:

Stöckli Edge 100, 177 cm length, 100 mm waist width, 18.8 m turn radius
I was very excited to finally demo Stöckli! But I did not love both of the Stöckli skis I demoed. They were fun but didn't wow me. I was very surprised I didn't love them, since based on reviews I read I expected to love them.
Stöckli Edge were fun, easy to turn, carved well and held edge on firms spots between piles. They are very light, even with demo bindings, but for me they were not substantial enough - I thought the tip was very soft and got deflected in choppy snow and refrozen crud. They were very nimble at any speed but the flex felt too soft for me. Sidecut felt good, it was easy to carve in them despite the length. I did wonder if I need to size up to 186 and maybe they would have felt better. These are marketed for touring/backcountry and I would recommend those who do touring, very light and adequate performance on variable conditions, in my opinion.

Stöckli SR 105, 179 cm length, 105 mm waist width, 20 m turn radius
These felt very similar to Edge, just wider, tip deflected in chop, easygoing, nimble ski, easy to carve for something so wide, but too soft for me. The Stöckli rep said that the construction between Edge and SR 105 are not very different except stiffer tail. I think because I was skiing on my Kastles for a while I am used to a burlier ski, but again maybe 179 in these skis is too short for me.

Elan Wingman 86 Cti, 178 cm length, 86 mm waist width, 16.5 m turn radius.

I was excited about trying out Elans, heard great things about them. The Elan rep recommended to try the Wingman for the conditions we had. I was surprised he didn't recommend anything wider. But I took the Wingman out and oh boy those were fantastic! So stable, cut through piles and gripped on firm spots, but also very nimble. Flex felt just right and so did the sidecut, very easy to carve on them and easy to pivot them in bumps. I think I like them better than my Armada Invictus! And yes I covet them now - the unfortunate side effect of demoing.

DPS Wailer 100 Alchemist, 184 cm length, 100 mm waist width, 15 m turn radius
These were a lot of fun, very easy going, nimble ski, very comfortable to ski on. The length in 184 felt just right. Flex and sidecut felt good, very nimble and lively ski. However I thought that they got deflected in heavy piles and refrozen chunks. I think in nice soft snow these would feel amazing, but not in heavy chop with slick patches in between. Again my thoughts were I prefer a damper ski and perhaps a stiffer one too. Not sure if sizing up to the next size would have helped with tip deflection.

Atomic Vantage 97ti, 180 cm length, 97 mm waist width, 19.1 m turn radius

Oh My G!! I loved those, so stable and nimble at the same time. Super confidence inspiring. Easy to put on edge and carve, smooth out the piles, super fun in bumps. I took them into a somewhat steep gully that was forming bumps toward the end of the day and skied it much faster than I usually do. These felt great in everything, bumps, groomers. chop, whatever I threw at them. Sidecut, flex and length felt perfect. Want these!

All in all great demo day in somewhat challenging conditions. Also I think it safe to say I prefer a somewhat burlier and damper skis, probably due to size, not due to being an aggressive skier.
 

ARL67

Invisible Airwaves Crackle With Life
Skier
Joined
Jan 15, 2016
Posts
655
Location
Waterloo, ON, Canada
Nice reviews, thanks for posting :thumb:
Your snow conditions made the lighter-weight skis show their limitations for that day's terrain -> horses for courses.
( hence why I always bring 2-3 skis with me in the back of the wagon )
Good to hear that you found a clear winner in the Vantage 97ti.
 

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