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60 skis tested by professionals

Ski Review 2019

Giant slalom


Type of ski: standard ski derived from competition skis
Type of user: competition skiers, good-to-excellent skiers
Main evaluation criteria: performance, suitability for non-competition skiers

Click on the name of a model to view a full review

Dynastar Speed Master GS R22 [click]
Type of ski : Giant slalom
Testers' ChoiceRecommended by our reviewers!
Already a winner last year, the Speed Master GS with its R22 "racing" plate has reaffirmed its incredible performance this year. Along with its twin, the Rossignol Hero Master, this ski out-paced all the competitors in the "Giant Slalom" category where we're looking, above all, for high-performing skis that nonetheless remain accessible to a non-racing public. The skis mainly stand out for their exceptional performance, including on hard pack at very high speed. Edge grip is faultless. The intuitive nature and smoothness of this super-charged, high-performing Speed Master is astonishing. The ski absolutely "rolls out turns" with no particular steering effort. The ski is also very reassuring, edge hold never seems to falter and the speeds it can reach are unbelievable. Obviously, it's a bit more demanding in shorter radius turns but it's still globally efficient. Featuring the group's R22 plate, the Speed Master from Dynastar and the Hero Master from Rossignol are exceptional skis that we recommend for a wide array of riders. Good and very good riders will love this very efficient and forgiving ski that will help them to up their performance and improve their technique. Expert and competition riders will get a great deal of pleasure out of it as it's more versatile and intuitive than a pure FIS competition ski.

Liked: A pure adrenalin-boosting machine Outstanding performance Incredible grip and stability Consistent, forgiving and relatively accessible Lively ...

Disliked: It's only logical, the ski is less comfortable and more demanding (but still good) in short turns...

Rossignol Hero Master R22 [click]
Type of ski : Giant slalom
Testers' ChoiceRecommended by our reviewers!
The ski is identical to Dynastar’s Speed Master GS R22: Already a medal winner last year, the Hero Master with the R22 race plate confirms its superior performance this year. This ski, along with the Speed Master GS R22 which is its twin, is head and shoulders above its rivals in this "Giant Slalom" category where we're mainly looking for high-performing but accessible skis for a non-race public. The skis stand out above all for their exceptional performance including at high speed on hard pack. In addition, they grip like glue. Incredibly efficient, the Hero Master R22’s intuitive performance and smoothness is awesome. The ski effortlessly "rolls out the turn" without any special steering needed. It's also very reassuring, grip is faultless and riders are amazed at the speeds they can hit. Obviously, it's a bit more demanding in shorter radius turns, but it's still globally efficient. Featuring the group's R22 plate, Rossignol’s Hero Master R22 and Dynastar’s Speed Master GS R22 are exceptional skis that we recommend for a wide range of skiers. Good and very good riders will discover a superbly efficient and forgiving ski that will help them to improve their performance and hone their technique. Expert riders and athletes will find that this ski gives them a great deal of pleasure, but is more versatile and intuitive than a true "FIS" race ski.

Liked: An adrenalin-boosting machine Exceptional performance Phenomenal stability and grip Reassuring, forgiving and relatively accessible Feisty rebo...

Disliked: It’s only natural, the ski is less comfortable and more demanding (but competent) in tight turns...

Elan GSX Fusion [click]
Type of ski : Giant slalom

The GSX Fusion from Elan is preselected every year for the PROSKILAB review and is unquestionably one of the market's star performers. It frequently wins or is close to first place on the podium. The ski is very much performance-oriented. With excellent grip and remarkable stability, the ski is simply majestic in long turns. Once the turn is initiated, it has incredibly solid edge hold and never seems to want to let go. The ski requires a certain degree of technical and prowess for optimum rides.

Liked: Good overall performance Excellent stability Good edge hold Loves long turns ...

Disliked: A technically and physically demanding ski Less intuitive and accessible than the Speed Master or the Hero Master ...

Atomic Redster G9 + X 12 TL [click]
Type of ski : Giant slalom

The Redster G9 from Atomic is definitely one of the best skis on the market in the "Giant Slalom" category of race-inspired skis designed for a non-racing public. "Consistent and reassuring", almost "perfect", it shines in this category in virtually every respect. The professional reviewers noted in particular its "very reassuring" character, with incisive turn entry and amazing stability at high speed. Efficient and docile, you'll feel really confident whatever the conditions. The only criticism concerns the tail, which was judged somewhat soft. There was a lack of energy in turn release for this category, making the exit more technically demanding. That's why it needs good positioning with forward pressure. The Redster G9 is a good ski that will satisfy all adrenalin-seeking fans of high-powered long turns.

Liked: Consistent Sound behaviour, reassuring Good overall performance Initiation, dynamic turn entry ...

Disliked: Soft tail Lacks rebound Turn exit requires some technical prowess Needs good positioning ...

Nordica Dobermann GSR RB FDT [click]
Type of ski : Giant slalom

The Dobermann GSR RB FDT is a tale in its own right. We can guess that GSR means "Giant Slalom Race", we know that RB means "Racing Bridge" but we're still trying to find what FDT means, although it seems to be linked to the plate which, in this case, is the firm's own "Recoil plate”. The ski is efficient and responsive. Edge hold is excellent and the Dobermann GSR RB FDT clings to every turn, even at high speed. After ringing the praises of the skis' qualities, the reviewers nonetheless regretted the lack of accessibility. The ski is both physically and technically demanding and needs to be steered with the right positioning. The Dobermann GSR RB FDT is an elite-level ski geared towards a very athletic expert skier.

Liked: Responsive Stable Great speed performance Excellent grip and hold Superb turn initiation ...

Disliked: Technically and physically demanding Difficult to get to grips with You need to find the right positioning ...

RX12 GS [click]
Type of ski : Giant slalom

The RX12 GS from Kästle is a very good ski that stands out for its great behavior when carving turns. The ski loves to be on edge and is remarkably easy and enjoyable in this context. On the other hand, it does far less well in the Giant Slalom programme. The ski's radius is too short for the programme and suffers from a lack of stiffness which reduces its performance. Pushed to the limit, it runs out of steam on hard pack at high speed as turn quality deteriorates and grip becomes more uncertain. The RX12 GS is a good sporty ski, but not specialised (despite its "GS" badge) or nimble enough for this competition-inspired category. It's still a very good ski and would have done well in the "Carvers" category. We recommend it for good to excellent riders who want a sporty ski without going over the top, and who're looking for a tool that's versatile and extremely happy carving to help them work on their performance.

Liked: User-friendly Good performance, except at high speeds Easy carving, enjoys sharp angles Energetic edge change Comfortable ...

Disliked: A flexible ski for this category Somewhat limited in performance Radius too short (16 m) for a giant slalom ski ...

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