When I first contacted Stöckli’s importer in Spain, I was lucky to meet people who wanted to help and collaborate. This kind of relationship with companies is key to the success of our SkiReviewer project.
For the Stöckli’s 2013-2014 range test, thanks to the importer’s courtesy I had two assistants to assist me. They were two great skiers from the Pyrenees: Oriol Canal, Technical Director at the Camprodon Ski Club, with an Sports Science Degree from the University of Barcelona. A man who doesn’t remember life without skis. He was accompanied by Artur Martí, Spain’s Absolut Champion in the SL category in the 2010-2011 season. He is also trainer in the Camprodon Ski Club as well as an assistant in the Catalan Winter Sports Federation. It was an absolute pleasure being helped by these two wonderful skiers, specially since I had never been in that ski resort.
Stöckli is a worldwide renowned manufacturer, mainly for two reasons: exclusivity and quality. About the first, you just have to check it out in a crowded ski resort at any weekend. Soon you will discover it is not as popular as other brands. It is not either a big manufacturer with a huge line of products. Compare catalogues with other brands and this point will be soon certified. Related to quality, lots of Stöckli owners comply with the following condition: they are mental about skiing. Among them we may find ski instructors, trainers and people who, in general, have a strong relation with this sport. Apart from being a technical demanding customers, they also are in durability and general quality terms as well. Stöckli widely satisfies this demanding and distinguished group of people.
We can split the five tested models in two groups. On one side we can put the more specific discipline related skis (the Laser SL and GS models), and on the other side the other three. Being the latter the more multipurpose oriented and whose phylosophies are less affected by the script’s demands.
In general, Stöckli has been able to translate five different profiles into these five models beautifully. All models are designed with that specific type of skier in mind. Yes, that may sound obvious. You may be wondering why on earth wouldn’t had they been built for skiers. Well, they are really different from each other in terms of behavior and reactions. They all meet each profile’s standards in their own category. Here you have a manufacturer which stands for high quality, exclusivity and skis thought for skiers made by skiers. And this is a very good starting point.
Obeys without complaints. It will help us in every single turn we draw, to the point of skiing effortlessly all day long. A noble ski under any circumstance. It will do whatever it’s demanded, smoothly and with aplomb, providing safety and control feedback.
We will be the short turns King/Queen on the grooms, even though we are equipped with an 85mm waist. With all what this means out of the trails. This is a ski that will let us sew our favourite off-piste route with turns whenever it is packed with deep snow.
The best tool we can find to face any circumstance. It’s width will provide good buoyancy in deep snow. The appropriate proportion of measures will avoid noticing any difference inside the groomed trails. Medium radius turns meet its natural behavior, although we will be very comfortable widening or cutting them as well, feeling safe and connected to the snow.
We will discover short turns on the edge while drawing those two sharp rails on the snow is no more a matter of being a super-skier or not. That said, we should better be aware of its reactivity. Precise, easy, reactive and fast. These are the words that best describe this model. In short, a much more affordable SL ski than anyone would expect. We will ski faster, too.
A perfect ski to introduce ourselves in the GS category. Although being a GS (street model), it will tell us if we are doing it right or not without making us feel bad on them. Easy going and mobility are its stronger values.
Regarding aesthetics, manufacturers are usually in contact with the new fashion trends. We’ve seen lately some retro notes on skis, but also in some other environments. Specially on the textile sector. Retro sparkles added to the modernity blender.
Stöckli has always been known for having a fairly sober style, even a bit cold when compared to other brands. But it’s always been effective. Using some similar elements from their competitors but giving them another proportion, more austere, with the goal of being quite unique. An utterly achieved point, Stöckli’s designs have always been distinctive and elegant.
This season’s designs aren’t an exception. Flat colors with a few notes in the tip and tail (the brand’s name). The Laser SL and GS models are the most striking. The race range needs the warpaint. In contrast, the other models are of course distinguished by their elegance, a certain helvetic sobriety joined by soft colors.
They are all fitted with Salomon bindings. Inside the FIS competition range, bindings are a bit narrower and better quality built (apart from their specific higher standards) than the rest of the skis, for obvious reasons. However the size of the toecap’s wings are utterly disproportionate (too big) in the whole non-FIS range. They’re so big that in the models where they are not mounted a bit high in respect to the ski’s sole, they can even touch the ground if we extremely incline our legs. That being said, almost no one (actually anybody) will ski to that extreme degree. This fact only affects the Spirit Globe model. However, it’s difficult to understand why Salomon is not using more reasonable sizes in those wings as they are actually doing in their higher FIS competition collections. Less skilled skiers are precisely those who need the greatest possible aids. A big toecap helps stepping in but these ones are too much.
An excellent alternative is buying these great skis without bindings. You can then go to a specialized workshop and ask them to install a plate+binding system from Vist. Not only we will have a great ski under our feet, we also will have one of the best integrated systems in today’s market. An excellent combination of ski, plate and binding. This is the combination we’ve seen for many years on Stöckli skis.
Another detail that makes Stöckli unique is the addition of a die-cutting in the tail. Many manufacturers use plastic or hard rubber to protect the tails. Stöckli uses metal where they stamp the Series number of that particular ski. This is useful to distinguish ours from the rest. It doesn’t prevent theft, but it allows for a rapid inspection if we remember the number, and it’ll be helpful when reporting the incident to local authorities. All brands include some sort of numbering as Stöckli does but they do it with painting and in places where it can result damaged or scratched, making that identifier disappear or being unreadable. Small, high-quality details that distinguish Stöckli from the rest.
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