BEST SKI IN A STORM
Light, powerful and hand-built, the Stöckli Stormrider family sits in a grey area between the backcountry, freeride and all-mountain categories. The 88 is the newest and lightest of the bunch, with the narrowest profile, a wood core and fibreglass topsheet. Swiss-made Stöckli doesn’t mess around with anything it creates, and in this ski the fibreglass, in particular: the glassing technique cuts weight by 25 per cent. Yet it also has Stöckli’s super-tough edges and sidewalls, and plenty of on-piste performance. It would be a good choice for someone who wants a ski for the backcountry as well as the resort, but doesn’t want the weight or width of a fatter ski. ($1,199; stoekli.ch)
STÖCKLI STORMRIDER 88
* BEST FOR: Western resort ski for advanced and up. * LENGTHS: 168, 177, 186 * RADIUS: 19@177 * SIDECUT: 128/88/114
Testers tried three different widths of the Stormrider (88, 95 and 105) and the 88mm-waisted version was the unanimous favourite. “Really fun and versatile,” said Ian March. “Has an energetic, playful feel, but with great power, edge grip and a solid, damp feel.” It inspired confidence in everyone who climbed aboard. “I would buy this ski. It made Blackcomb’s Saudan Couloir feel like a bunny hill,” said Paul LaPerriere. “At slow speeds it was forgiving and easy,” said Ryan Stuart. “And when I charged, it just felt more stable and silky smooth.” The Stormrider 88 would make a good choice to progress and build skills and confidence on, but our testers felt it offers the most value for a strong skier. The other two models were more challenging to ski in comparison, but definitely fun; they might be better in deeper snow conditions than we had during our test.