Ski Canada Test 2019 On-Slope Reviews
THE TURTLE ALWAYS WINS
Rather than use an integral sheet of Titanal in the Laser AX’s sandwich construction, the Swiss craftsmen at Stöckli (or Stoeckli if you can’t make the two dots of an umlaut) cut a serpentine groove. At slow speeds it softens the Titanal layer; the ski feels forgiving and easy to turn. Under force, like higher speeds or heavy vibration, the layer locks up, making the topsheet feel more like a full metal sheet. It’s one of the many little details that define this luxury ski brand’s ski: it’s handmade with thicker edges for durability and longevity, the shape is carefully thought out to find a balance between easy initiation and powerful edge grip, and even the sparkly look of the topsheet is considered. ($1,399; stoeckli.ch)
STÖCKLI LASER AX
$1,399 * BEST FOR: Improving your carving, whether you’re an intermediate or a pro.
LENGTHS: 154, 161, 168, 175, 182 * RADIUS: 15.9@175 * SIDECUT: 124/78/111
One of the biggest surprises of the test reminded our testers not to judge a ski by its brand name. Stöckli is well known for its race skis and we expected this flashy stick to be stiff and powerful. It didn’t disappoint in that category. “Superlative carver with strong edge grip,” purred Ian March. “Snaps off short turns with ease and powers you from one turn to the next. Lay it out for long turns at speed and its smooth round arcs make you feel as if you can fly.” But it was also forgiving and easy to ski, impressing an intermediate skier. “It made me a better skier and carver,” said Nick Boulding. “It responded quickly to a little or a lot of power. I didn’t want to take it off.” The secret to the split personality is a cut through the Titanal sheet. It allows the ski to flex easily at slow speeds and then lock tightly when needed. An impressively versatile carving machine.
by RYAN STUART in Buyer’s Guide 2019 issueTags: frontside, Ski Canada Test, ski reviews, Stockli, Stockli Laser AX, Test 2019