Individual Review Stöckli Laser SC 170cm: the ski everyone should own

Chriscray

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May 3, 2017
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Park City
The AX and SC are quite similar. But I like the tip of the SC over the AX. AX may be a touch more versatile, but the SC is plenty versatile to start with for what I need in a ski like this. The tip bites earlier in the turn and provides better feedback. If my needs were a shade more "all-mountain frontside ski that is a capable carver" instead of "frontside carver capable of all-mountain conditions" then I would get the AX instead. The AX is a popular teaching ski for that reason; it can be skied in any condition, slow or fast. Different shades of a similar construction. They are all very impressive skis, and I love that Stöckli gives us a great range of skis to choose from in this category.
I totally agree with this. Tghe SC seemed like it made only one type of turn when getting it, which it did well. The AX was not as much of a carver, but has better do it all capabilities. I work for Jans in Park City, and since my first Stöckli ride I have always been in love with the brand. I own the Laser GS only because we have a house account. Even at 50% off it is still $600. let alone the plate and a decent binding. They are like a luxury exotic race car!
 

Turnoisier

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I’d be very interested in any advice anyone can give me about the laser SC. I’ve been mulling it over for a while, and I think it is probably what I’m after. However, I am torn between the 163 and the 170 lengths. I demoed the stormrider 88 in 177 and 170, and the laser AX in 175 earlier this year. The laser AX felt a bit long in tight situations, and I couldn’t demo the 167. The stormrider felt good in both lengths, so I eventually went for the 177, and I’ve been delighted with it. I’m now looking for something a little more hard piste specific to replace a 168cm Salomon Enduro XT 800 from about 2012, which is still basically alright, but which has always felt a little cumbersome. Having been extremely impressed by Stöckli, I had been thinking that the laser AX in 167 would be that ski, but on reflection, I think it might be too similar to the Stormrider. Hence my interest in the laser SC. I have read every single review and discussion I can find, including several here and on Epic (before it died). Dawgcatching’s review of the ski, especially his description of it as ‘frontside carver capable of all-mountain conditions’, makes it sound almost perfect. I could wait and find a demo next season, but there are some reasonable offers to be had right now (especially on the 170).

I’m 5’10, but I’m light – 145lbs – advanced but no expert, mid 40s, fit, ski about 40 days a season. For deeper snow I also have the Enforcer 100 in 177cm, which I’m very happy with. I’ve recently spent some time on a Fischer Ranger 90 172cm (too short), and a Völkl 90eight 170cm (didn’t really feel too short, but it did bounce me around a bit). All totally different skis to the laser SC, obviously, but I thought I’d mention some other recent experiences in the interests of full disclosure. Other than the AX, I can’t remember skiing anything narrower than 80mm in recent years other than a pair of atomics that I can’t really remember anything about. I ski entirely in the Alps, and my local mountains go from 1200m to 3000m, so I need some versatility, especially towards spring. I don’t spend much time going very fast, but I like knowing I can if I want to. However, it absolutely has to be manageable at lower speeds for when I’m with my daughter. Bumps aren’t exactly a priority, but, again, it’s nice not to specifically avoid them...

So, 163 or 170 in the laser SC? Am I just going to be between sizes? Am I wrong to think the AX will be too similar to the Stormrider? Any help anyone could offer would be most welcome!
 

Turnoisier

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Thank you, Francois! Precisely the kind of to-the-point information I was looking for, but which I have been completely unable to find in any number of other discussions.
 

Gorav

At the base lodge
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Feb 18, 2018
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I demoed the Head Supershape Irally and loved them for east coast, ice groomers. I tried the Stöckli Laser SC and enjoyed them as much if not more. Everyone seems oto rave about these Stöckli's. How do you compare them? Are the Stöckli's worth the added expense?
 

Ben

Aka Effortless
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Nov 12, 2015
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Dolomites Italy
I’d be very interested in any advice anyone can give me about the laser SC. I’ve been mulling it over for a while, and I think it is probably what I’m after. However, I am torn between the 163 and the 170 lengths. I demoed the stormrider 88 in 177 and 170, and the laser AX in 175 earlier this year. The laser AX felt a bit long in tight situations, and I couldn’t demo the 167. The stormrider felt good in both lengths, so I eventually went for the 177, and I’ve been delighted with it. I’m now looking for something a little more hard piste specific to replace a 168cm Salomon Enduro XT 800 from about 2012, which is still basically alright, but which has always felt a little cumbersome. Having been extremely impressed by Stöckli, I had been thinking that the laser AX in 167 would be that ski, but on reflection, I think it might be too similar to the Stormrider. Hence my interest in the laser SC. I have read every single review and discussion I can find, including several here and on Epic (before it died). Dawgcatching’s review of the ski, especially his description of it as ‘frontside carver capable of all-mountain conditions’, makes it sound almost perfect. I could wait and find a demo next season, but there are some reasonable offers to be had right now (especially on the 170).

I’m 5’10, but I’m light – 145lbs – advanced but no expert, mid 40s, fit, ski about 40 days a season. For deeper snow I also have the Enforcer 100 in 177cm, which I’m very happy with. I’ve recently spent some time on a Fischer Ranger 90 172cm (too short), and a Völkl 90eight 170cm (didn’t really feel too short, but it did bounce me around a bit). All totally different skis to the laser SC, obviously, but I thought I’d mention some other recent experiences in the interests of full disclosure. Other than the AX, I can’t remember skiing anything narrower than 80mm in recent years other than a pair of atomics that I can’t really remember anything about. I ski entirely in the Alps, and my local mountains go from 1200m to 3000m, so I need some versatility, especially towards spring. I don’t spend much time going very fast, but I like knowing I can if I want to. However, it absolutely has to be manageable at lower speeds for when I’m with my daughter. Bumps aren’t exactly a priority, but, again, it’s nice not to specifically avoid them...

So, 163 or 170 in the laser SC? Am I just going to be between sizes? Am I wrong to think the AX will be too similar to the Stormrider? Any help anyone could offer would be most welcome!
I own the SR 95 and Laser GS 175
I would say that Stöckli is a waste of money for those who aren't expert skiers. It's not that they over-power less experienced skiers but the subtleties to be found in Stöckli can really only be appreciated by those who have the technical abilities to understand/sense those subtle differences.
I went on a test day with several friends. All of them are good skiers but most decided that they couldn't tell the difference between something else and a Stöckli.
Stöckli have a silkiness that other skis don't have. It's a bit like wine - if you just want a good bottle that tastes great and gets you 'where you want to be' then don't spend more that 10 dollars BUT if you are someone who searches for subtle difference, searches for unusual and thought provoking tastes (and can afford to pay 1000's of dollars) then you might buy something that others would consider a waste of money. The same can be said about Stöckli.
If you have a chance to demo the laser SC, SL and GS then try all three because they're all slightly different BUT ALL GREAT!!!!! and try in different lengths. All have that Stöckli feeling but one of them will be the ski for you!
 

1chris5

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Chester Springs, PA
Nice review by the way.

I can find absolutely nothing on the web reviewing the laser gs. It comes in various lengths and I am interested in the 175, 180 and maybe the 188 though my feeling is that the 188 might be a little gs specific. Please, can someone go and test and review the laser gs and if possible make a comparison review between the gs, sc and sx.

Last year I skied on the laser gs and was so totally impressed but I can't remember the length and didn't have time to test the others mentioned above. Also, it was a boiler plate day and my worry is that, although the gs was bloody awesome in such conditions I always feel that a ski should be able to do many things well and ski well in a number of conditions at least for recreational enthusiasts like me.

All comments welcome

Thanks
I just Demo'd the laser gs today for a couple runs. I thought this ski was awesome! It was super fast but silky smoothe. It was very easy to ski. I skied it at Blue Mountain in the Poconos on a little ice but mostly soft snow. The length was 180 and I think the turn radius is 18. I could easily carve a variety of turn shapes. It was almost a religious experience. I thought 180 might be a little short for me and the rep said the 185 needs to be special ordered. On the other hand, how long does one really need at Blue. It's pricy at $1,600 with plate and bindings. My question is, what is a comparable ski or skis without the high price tag?
As an aside, I tried the 170 sc today and didn't like it. I didn't feel comfortable at speed. The turn radius also didn't suit me, it seemed a little short.
 

Jim McDonald

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Nov 15, 2015
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Tokyo
I dunno. I'm pretty much a crap skier but my SR95 skied like nothing else I'd ever been on.
I doubt I was taking full advantage of all their subtleties, but I was certainly getting my money's worth.
Same with the AX.
I haven't had that with the SR107, but I'm hoping that was just the tune and that we'll be sole brothers again this weekend.
 

ski otter 2

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Nov 20, 2015
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Front Range, Colorado
I just Demo'd the laser gs today for a couple runs. I thought this ski was awesome! It was super fast but silky smooth. It was very easy to ski. I skied it at Blue Mountain in the Poconos on a little ice but mostly soft snow. The length was 180 and I think the turn radius is 18. I could easily carve a variety of turn shapes. It was almost a religious experience. I thought 180 might be a little short for me and the rep said the 185 needs to be special ordered. On the other hand, how long does one really need at Blue. It's pricey at $1,600 with plate and bindings. My question is, what is a comparable ski or skis without the high price tag?
As an aside, I tried the 170 sc today and didn't like it. I didn't feel comfortable at speed. The turn radius also didn't suit me, it seemed a little short.
The Head WC Rebel RD ispeed Pro, 180/c.18. This ski is wonderful, and to me comparable. It is also retail still around $1,200.00 (not sure if this price sometimes includes the plate and binding), but can at times be found cheaper.

The "RD" means it's from their race department, race construction. The "Pro" means it has a metal race plate and race binding. By getting the non-"Pro" version, with a lesser plastic or no plate, both, the ski is still wonderful, but softer flexing and more immediate to the snow - more civilian, you might say. And cheaper. I've loved this ski too and its various versions, when I 've demoed them: to me the non-pro, with or without the lesser plate, feels more flexy, less demanding, even more versatile, maybe, but still similarly wonderful and precise in turns. These are all, to me, really special skis, and I'd be happy with them in place of my Stöckli Laser GSs, which may be slightly stiffer.

Many former racers and older dudes who ski well but more carefully these days, use one of the versions of these Heads, in addition to the Head iSL WC Rebel RDs in c. 156 and c. 16x.

Where I'm coming from: I own a pair of Stöckli Laser GS 180/c.18s, with an all metal 14 or 16 race binding and race plate. Love em, a dream, and very versatile for such a ski. For me, it skis like a race ski, but more versatile, one between a slalom ski and a full on FIS GS (I also own four of these, in 183/23 and 188/30.)
 
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Rebound Hound

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Dec 23, 2019
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Saalbach, Austria
I found the 180 GS a lot of ski to handle. If you're not on it, it will kick you back and you have to fight to get back. Really exhausting but really fast and exciting. The way it rips you into a turn feels great and the power you can build up in can be almost overwhelming. Perhaps the length was a bit much for me but I really enjoyed skiing it so much - possibly being on the edge of control added to the thrill. Comparatively the SC 177cm is much easier to handle. Still pop and rebound but a very smooth ski for long and short turns. It felt much more suitable for a variety of turns than the GS and almost playful compared to the GS. I found the SC to be more responsive and lively than the Stöckli with 'turtle shell' than the SX or AX. I think I technically ski better on the SC with a lot less effort yet i'm still very tempted by the GS. Perhaps the GS in 175 would be good for me? All were tested with an SRT speed race plate and SRT 12 binding.
 
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