Stöckli Stormrider 85 Motion ReviewAugust 31, 2018
- Damp & sturdy
- Bomber edge hold & fast edge-to-edge
- Solid as a rock
- Feels sluggish on steep terrain at speed
- The tips can hook up at speed
- Low turn shape variability
The Stöckli Stormrider 85 is a classic cruising ski with bomber edge hold plus a damp, sturdy personality. “You can feel the entire length of the edges engage in the turn,” says one tester. “It feels strong from the metal topsheet to the base.” When pressed, however, the dampness took over. “The ski feels sluggish when really pressed and it’s not super versatile,” says one tester. Ski testers gave the Stormrider 85 its highest marks for Carving Pleasure and Edge-hold followed by Stability. Lower marks came in for Turn Shape Variability and Resort Flotation.
The Swiss-made Stormrider is classified as freeride ski in Stöckli’s line up, however, testers felt that the 85-mm-waisted ski is a classic cruiser—born and bred for frontside groomers, ideally for aggressive intermediate to expert carvers. The Carving Pleasure and Edge-hold are punctuated by a weighty construction that glues the ski to the snow. Testers said the ski felt “solid as a rock,” heavy but not as a penalty, more as an advantage when carving on the groomers. But that heaviness has a price when the ski is pushed at speed or on steeps: “It feels like the metal takes over,” says one tester.
Though the Stormrider 85 felt weighty, Stöckli has implemented several weight-saving technologies. The Super Light Core, as Stockli calls it, includes balsa and pachaco in the wood core for their light but dynamic properties. The Solid Metal Edge Light in the sandwich sidewall construction is designed to reduce weight without reducing effective edge. A Thin Glass Laminate is purportedly 25 percent lighter than traditional laminates. The notch in the Touring Tail secures skins but also saves weight, according to Stöckli. Unique with the Stöckli Stormrider is that one of the Titanal layers is the topsheet, brushed with graphics. The tip has slight rocker and the flex—according to Stockli—is soft.
Though Stöckli has positioned the Stormrider as freeride ski, testers don’t see the qualities—like playfulness, the ability to butter and smear—that are typically applied to a freeride ski in North America. Instead, the Stormrider 85 is a directional classic, damp cruising ski—strong and powerful underfoot, with reliable edge grip and quick transfer edge to edge. It lacks versatility both in turn shape and snow conditions, though it’s more than a one-trick pony: “It’s an Eastern dream ski,” says one tester. “Also, it’s for a geeky performance-seeker who appreciates rock solid performance from this serious carver.”
The Stöckli Stormrider 85 received moderate marks for Stability. The Stability was bomber on the groomers when the ski was pushed moderately. “This ski is weighty, but not as a penalty, instead as an advantage because it glues to the snow,” says one tester. Some testers felt the tips hook up during turn transitions or staggered speeds.
Testers applauded the Edge-hold of the Stormrider 85 and in fact they scored it nearly as high as Carving Pleasure. “It’s an Eastern dream ski,” says one tester. “Also, It’s for a geeky performance-seeker who appreciates rock solid performance from this serious carver.”
Testers gave the 85-mm-waisted ski its lowest marks for Resort Flotation, due mostly to its burly build and sturdy personality. “It digs trenches and is stealthily fast edge-to-edge, but that’s its wheelhouse,” says one tester.
Testers gave the Stöckli Stormrider 85 its highest marks for Carving Pleasure. “This ski makes legit frontside trenches,” says one tester. “It’s predictable and solid as a rock.” Carving and cruising are the ski’s true calling, and testers appreciated that they could feel the entire length of the edge throughout the turn, or that it took little effort to lay the ski’s over. Edge-hold and a powerful feeling underfoot means that the Stormrider 85 can carve reliably down the groomers.
Turn Shape Variability
Testers gave lower all-around scores for Turn Shape Variability, though the turns the Stormrider does make well—it nails. The same confidence-inspiring bomber hold also hinders the ability to transition into different turn shapes quickly. “It feels like the metal topsheet takes over sometimes,” says one tester. “The ski felt sluggish as the terrain got challenging and the ski was pressed,” says another tester.Continue Reading
Krista Crabtree- Skiing
Passionate about women’s ski camps and women-specific gear, Krista organizes women’s ski programs at Eldora and Vail, including her own camp called She Skis. A former editor at SKI Magazine, she currently runs the ski test for OnTheSnow.com.