Stöckli has a knack for making perfect skis, then improving them. Judging by test cards from prior seasons, no one could imagine a better on-piste ski than the 2018 Laser SX. “Simply put, the best on-piste ski for the advanced skier,” proclaimed Cal Ski Company veteran Paul Jacobs. And that was before Stöckli improved its clever “turtle-shell” technology and subtly altered the Laser SX tip profile, a modification it calls Full Edge Contact, designed to enhance turn initiation. The new Turtle Shell Racing feature widens the S-shaped fissure that roughly bisects the thicker, bottom laminate of Titanal. The gap is filled with an elastic material, similar to the polymer used in actual turtle shells. When the ski is loaded, the flexing action closes the gap, stiffening the Titanal sheet and magnifying edge hold. When the load is released, the Titanal returns to its rest position, making the ski softer and easier to steer into the next turn. Because Turtle Shell Racing only acts when acted upon, skiers who lollygag down the hill will only feel a smooth-flexing ski, unaware that if they amp up their skiing the Laser SX will ignite. Danielle Goldsmith describes them as “NASA-built,” alluding to the Laser SX’s explosiveness. “These love power and fast turns. They will skid a turn, but they are a solid, heavy, full-metal ripper.” No other Technical ski earned higher marks for Rebound and Stability at Speed. It ducks into a turn faster than a cheetah after a gazelle and catapults the skier out the other end. The comment from one of the participants in a women’s program run by former US Team member Stacey Cook called Chix on Stix sums up the sentiments of a lot of Laser SX fans: “Do I have to give these back?” Another of Stacey’s Chix provides this concise assessment, “Ripping fast, damp and quick with pop.” And from another, “Stable and fun, best at higher speeds. Not for the lazy skier,” an admonition that should be underscored. “Very powerful, with lots of energy,” confirms Lucas from Footloose, “Easy to get bucked into the back seat.” Thanks to Turtle Shell tech, it’s possible to tootle along on the Laser SX and never realize the core is loaded with dynamite. If all you want to do is cruise at a trotter’s clip, there are many skis that will float your boat. No Laser SX should be forced to spend its life in the slow lane. When speed and pressure are brought to bear, no other Technical ski is as quick on and off the edge as the Laser SX.
Full Review with test scores available on members’ site.