Ski Review 2019
SKI REVIEWS 2019
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
Elan SLX Fusion [click]
Type of ski : Slalom
Selected as one of the best skis on the market and reviewed for several years by PROSKILAB, the SLX Fusion from Elan has frequently got close to the top spot on the podium without ever winning it. This year, the ski finally got a well-deserved "Best ski" award thanks to its balanced combination of performance, consistency and pleasure.
You'll get plenty of performance. The ski is truly efficient in every area, from turn entry to exit with powerful rebound. "Well-balanced, it hugs the turn perfectly" one professional reviewer noted. The ski is "very precise and grippy", carving out turns with a scalpel. We reviewed a size slightly bigger than requested (170 cm) and the stick proved extremely frisky, especially comfortable in short turns, while still happy carving out great "S" shaped swoops.
The SLX Fusion is "playful and not too technical", "enjoyable and surprise-free", and particularly tolerant so it will forgive minor errors and is remarkably accessible for this category. The reviewers particularly noted its "consistent, predictable and well-balanced" behaviour.
The quality of snow contact, the ski's consistency and the moderate engagement required make it a "comfortable" ski.
The SLX Fusion is lively, precise and smooth, in short, a great adrenalin booster, and our reviewers came back with their test sheet full and a smile on their face.
The SLX Fusion once again confirmed all the qualities already noted in the past. It's the ideal ski for anyone looking for a dynamic, agile and precise slalom ski without the drawbacks of one that's too demanding.
Recommended by our reviewers!
Liked: A lively and playful ski
Reassuring, tolerant and consistent
Top flight performance
Performance and precision in turns
Disliked: Less dynamic than the Rossignol Hero Elite ST Ti with its R22 race plate...
Rossignol Hero Elite ST Ti R22 [click]
Type of ski : Slalom
The Rossignol Hero Elite ST Ti is regularly selected for review by PROSKILAB and is frequently picked among the winners.
Reviewed last year (to our great regret) with the general public "Konect" plate, it offered a good compromise between performance, accessibility and pleasure, but was not quite good enough to convince the reviewers eager for performance.
It’s back again this year with a much sharper shape and the R22 WC plate from Rossignol. We’ve discussed the impact of plates on the behaviour of skis many times in the past, especially on competition models. The Hero Elite ST Ti is no different and this change has given it an extra dash of energy that’s especially welcome in the Slalom category. Forget about the somewhat insipid and forgiving nature of the model reviewed last year... The Hero Elite ST Ti with its competition plate is now a weapon of war, designed for a truly athletic public.
Performance is exceptional, and the reviewers were full of praise: "razor sharp turn entry", "outstanding grip", "sensational exit". The ski is incredibly efficient in every area, including in long drawn out turns.
The ski needs focus and a certain number of technical skills, but it’s not exclusively reserved for high flyers. You can ride at intermediary speeds and the ski is even happy to take you for a gentle cruise along the piste. Its overall behaviour, while highly performance-oriented, remains reassuring, and it won't try to trip you up.
The Rossignol Hero Elite ST Ti, with its R22 plate, is a punchy ski that will thrill good to very good athletic riders, experts and competitors who want to hit the runs flying. Skiers looking for a bit more comfort and forgiveness will probably prefer the SLX Fusion from Elan.
Liked: Outstanding performance
Excellent hold whatever the radius, very precise turns
A truly dynamic ski with lively rebound
Reasonably accessible given...
Disliked: The ski needs good steering and handling skills with correct centre/forward positioning
Needs good technical skills to get the most out of it
RX12 SL [click]
Type of ski : Slalom
When we tried the Kästle models in January 2018, we found them very promising, so we decided to include the brand in the 2019 reviews.
The RX12 SL selected for the "Slalom" category was a great surprise. The reviewers found the ski easy to handle for this category, giving it plenty of praise, with "I loved it", "perfect flex for me", "an easy slalom ski"...
The performance isn't quite as good as the Rossignol Hero Elite St Ti R22, but it's absolutely fine. The ski is lively, responsive and extremely enjoyable: "it's such fun riding with such an easy slalom ski!"
Heavier reviewers found the ski's tail had a bit too much flex which cramped turn exit and rebound. To get the best stiffness and grip, the RX12 SL requires careful forward positioning.
We recommend the RX12 SL for light to average good to very good riders for sport or leisure-style short drive turns.
Liked: Good fun
Good overall performance
Good short/long turn versatility
Little physical engagement needed
Disliked: As the ski is stiffer at the front, it requires careful forward positioning.
The flexible tail reduces turn exit and rebound performance ...
Atomic Redster S9 + X12 TL [click]
Type of ski : Slalom
The Redster S9 is objectively a good ski, remarkably consistent and versatile. The reviewers liked the ski's easy handling, the overall enjoyment, and the very consistent behaviour that will reassure a lot of riders. It's especially comfortable and intuitive when carving out short turns.
On the other hand, the reviewers noted a slight lack of punch in very dynamic rides at high speed which showed the ski's limitations. The ski is globally efficient, but stiffness, edge grip and rebound at the end of a turn are not as good as some of its rivals.
The ski's programme is similar to the "Carvers" category, which the reviewers felt the ski would have done very well in. Something to think about for the next review.
The Redster S9 is a very good ski that we recommend especially for intermediary to very good riders who want to up their carving performance.
Liked: Easy to use
Good behaviour carving small turns
Disliked: A flexible ski for this programme
Slight lack of performance