REVIEWS AND TESTS
Ski Tests & Reviews
Stereo Piste V3 178cm 2020-2021
Suggested Retail Price (MSRP):
Wide-ish All-Mountain GS Carver
Rating (with comments):
(1="get me off these things"->10="I have to own a pair")
9 for groomer trenching and cruising
8+ for mixed conditions
Jens-Martin Johnsrud started Stereo skis in 2008 by making twin-tip wakeboards and brought his passion to snow skis with design help fron Norwegian ski champions. Jens-Martin has launched a full fleet of powder, freeride and carving skis designed in Norway and manufactured by the modern, renewable-energy powered Skandinavian ski facility at Åre Skidfabrik in Sweden.
"The new Piste V3 is built with the same materials as racing skis, but is wider to add stability and range of use. The titanal construction, a beech/poplar wood core and rubber dampening makes it excel at charging turns on perfect conditions. At the same time, it performs very well in mixed conditions and is perfect for skiing anywhere on the mountain. A ski that fits intermediate to advanced skiers. The upgrade for version 3 is tip and tail rubber dampening.."
Technical Ski Data:
Dual Titanal sheets
Marker WC Piston race plate
VDS rubber dampening
Pre-peg Triaxial fiberglass
Slight early rise tip - cambered, essentially flat tail
Measured 1812g & 1829g
2 Year warranty
Bindings, Boots & Wax Used:
Tyrolia PRD12 Demo Bindings
Salomon S-Max 130 Carbon boots
Lange RX 130 boots
Green Ice Waxes
The Piste V3 looks like it's built for large-radius carving, even though it's 86mm underfoot (178cm version)..almost like a scaled-up GS-like cruiser. Moderate hand flex stiffness, with elegantly rounded shape throughout the body..no hinge points and relatively firm underfoot. It give the impression of a ski meant to ride nice arcs at speed. Handsome, business-like graphics. Textured topsheet. Fit and finish are excellent, with a nice tune and basegrind out of the box. Looks and feels like a high-quality, specialty ski for groomer etching. Damp feel by hand rebound. Torsionally strong but not burly.
Eastern boilerplate, man-made hardpack, packed powder, corduroy, multi-day regroomed and windbuffed surfaces, boot-deep powder and skied-out conditions.
The Stereo Piste V3 is a smooth, quiet, impressively effective groomer carver with a wider range of terrain and performance levels than it specs indicate, and is incredibly intuitive. The Piste V3 delivers an elegant feel across a spectrum of turn intensities with the ability to deeply trench into hardpack at high angles and pressure levels, or cruise nearly-flat with a quiet, refined personality. The softish shovel allows easy early engagement and intuitive carving sequences, with a nicely rounded turn shape available at a variety of radii without much effort from the pilot. At highest speeds, the softish early forebody section can waiver a bit...(see Vimeo Video) signaling a gradual disruption of attachment to the snow up front, signaling that red-line has been achieved..but for 95% of resort skiing, the Piste V3 hits the sweet spot of all-mountain carver-cruising..trading off race-level top-speeds for ease of engagement and turn shape variation at different speeds and intensities.
Technically-inclined skiers (advanced instructors, ex-racers, carving enthusiasts) will immediately feel at-home on the Piste V3 and start driving the V3 into intense carving episodes and serious angular cruising across the hill while feeling quiet, confidence-inspiring grip and acceleration. Advancing intermediates might find the Piste V3 can take them to the next level of all-mountain cruise-carving without intimidation by offering excellent high-end carving behaviors without needing intense, precise input from the skier. The 86mm waist (178cm version) and 133mm shovel with mild early-rise profile deliver a solid frontside all-mountain platform for mixed conditions, and the titanal-infused construction provide a quiet, refined feel underfoot with the ability to cruise through pretty much any surface inconsistencies without a care.
The Piste V3 feels like it occupies a space between typical directonal all-mountain skis and race-carvers...melding the best of both worlds. The more you ski the Piste V3, the more it disappears underfoot...which is a good thing in our book. For me, the Piste V3 became the go-to-ski for any day where conditions indicated a full-on groomer fest because there was no new snow for days (groomed, regroomed, regroomed, regroomed runs), or if several inches of new snow may have fallen the night before, resulting in a predictable skied-out surface condition leading to scrape-down to the previous day's regroomed, regroomed base. The more you ski the Piste V3, the more it grows on you.
Hardpack and Boilerplate:
The Piste V3 grips firm surfaces quietly and smoothly at a wide range of speeds and edge angles, delivering a confident grip at nearly all times and situations with very little effort. You may feel a bit of unease in the tip of the ski at the highest speeds and race-like pressures, but most skiers rarely sustain those speed levels, and the ski telegraphs its condition predictably and gradually so you can keep it in its sweet spot. If you want more top-speed, Stereo kindly provides the race-inspired Piste RS model to satisfy your addiction to eye-watering speed handling. Vibration control in the Piste V3 is excellent, with zero buzz, waver or distruption through the chassis of the ski to the skier, yet you retain a great feel for the snow without feeling the ski deadening all your senses and communication between your feet and the surface. Silky is a good word to describe the feel of the Piste V3 on hardpack. Edge grip is excellent without resorting to athletic antics to get the V3 to hold under pressure, and the ski seems to neutralize oddities in the surface texture of hardpack really, really well. Stereo's Piste V3 excels at grabbing any kind of groomed, or buffed-out surfaces and arcing medium to large-radius turns across those surfaces with smooth authority and refined turn shapes. We found the factory tune needed just a few passes with a stone and gummy up front to reduce a slighly grabby feel right out of the box. From that point on...it was all smiles on hardpack.
Mixed Surface & Variable Conditions:
For a ski billed by its designers as "Developed for charging GS turns in any terrain", the Piste V3 is remarkably adept and easy to bang around in mixed conditions, cut-up, skied-out snow surfaces with a ton of fun and very little effort. Smooth-and-silky is the best way to describe the Piste V3 in variable conditions. 86mm underfoot is perfectly decent for most frontside mixed-snow days, but combine it with the damp, yet energetic layup Stereo has built into the Piste V3, you get a really fun, easy-to-drive tool to rip around the mountain after some fresh snow has fallen. Those skiers who love laying down big GS turns across a skied-out tundra of irregular surface textures like their being pulled on a string will love the way the Piste V3 arcs through mixed conditions. There's enough early rise up front to get some intial float and surface absorbancy and avoid a plowing condition, yet the nicely dampened, powerful forebody before the toepiece, midsection and tail set up a confidence-inspiring platform to traverse the surfaces with confidence and an elegant feel to the ride. The Piste V3 feels like it smooths out the surface without being driven or demanding the skier feel every inconsistancy in snow density as it does its thing. We were surprised how well this "GS Charger" really delivered a fun and athletic ride through variable conditions without forcing the skier to expel tons of energy to make it happen or keep it under control. The low level of effort required to get high-performance behaviors out of the Piste V3 was unexpected.
We only got a chance to ski the Piste V3 in boot-deep fresh powder, but what little fluff we were offered was a playground for the Piste V3, especially because it exhibited very little tip dive and with some moderate speed, would plane and bank its turns when asked...even deliver a bit of smeary slash at times without feeling like you were going to get caught and high-side in 3D snow. What impressed testers was the ability of the Piste V3 to perform well in multiple conditions with a low level of input from the skier. While not super floaty, and definitely directional and frontside-oriented, you will have no hesitation taking the Piste V3 out in fresh snow early in the morning, especially when you bring it up to speed and feel it set into an arc in the soft snow without fighting back or protesting in any way. For real powder skiing, get a powder ski, but for all-mountain resort skiing, the Piste V3 is perfectly fun and capable in powder when called upon.
Turn Initiation, Apex & Finish:
The Stereo Piste V3 initiates turns with very little effort. As my father used to say, "...You can wiggle your ears and it comes around...". Like the other skis in Stereo's lineup we tested, turn intiation seems to be a priority for the designers. The Piste V3 has a slight early rise to the tip (see photo), but nothing serious to shorten its effective edge feel and feedback, and it has a slightly soft-ish shovel section to allow the forebody to begin to capture the snow under very little pressure and feed the progression down the length of the ski to where the strong midbody can carry the increasing load and further sink the edge into the snow to create the smoothly-rounded arc and finish to the tail. You can release the V3 from its arc on-demand, and adjust your radius en-route, which is handy for those who don't want that "locked-in-or-else" feeling of some GS-like race carvers, meaning the V3 has a great turn versatility in different kinds of terrain. If you try to force it to bend tighter than its 19 meter radius (at 178cm), it will resist, but not protest or wash-away. You simply have to dedicate your drive to making the Piste V3 arc a little tighter than it's naturally inclined to do, but don't force it... convince it and it delivers. The shape of the V3s turns is best described as "elegant" or "refined". The geometry of the ski combined with its camber profile along its tip, forebody, center and tail delivers a great responsive feel, smooth reaction behavior and spunk-fun finish (if you want it) or gradual release. You can feather the Piste V3 at the top of its turn transition, or drive it decisively. In either case, the feel and feedback is intuitive.
Manufacturer's Mounting Position:
Most testers liked it mounted on-the-line, while one tester thought -1cm was better for higher-speed cruising.
Analogies: ("This ski is like...")
An Audi RS4 Avant sport wagon with stock suspension (The Piste RS feels like it has aftermarket suspension). Drive to the store in your sandals for the Sunday paper listening to Theloneus Monk, or take a few months-worth of tread off your Pirelli P Zeros going down the mountain road from the alps listening to Hendrix.
Notable Tester Comments:
The most obvious starting point for the skis from Stereo is to talk about them as a group. What I appreciated from all of them is that they felt like a well thought out and coherent family of skis. Often times manufacturers produce things that seem unrelated or aberrant in nature. These all appeared to be well thought out with a similar lineage and feel.
It was quite effortless to change from one ski to the next ski without having to feel that I would re-learn the brand or have to adjust. The Piste V3 has a beautiful semi cap construction with a textured top sheet and very luxurious feel. Nice touches are the multi angled tip and tail and the vertical side walls that match the white on the graphics.
Riding this set up was absolutely effortless on intermediate terrain and was fun to a degree on expert groomed trails. Once the speed hit terminal velocity or the outside ski pressure became excessive, the shovel actually flexed to a point where the tip failed to engage anymore and rose off/above the snow surface. This was quite nerve-racking the first couple times it occurred and caused me to hit the pause button on more than a few runs. To be fair, I was skiing with rowdy racer folks on 190 FIS GS sticks.
Once I dialed it back into its comfort zone, the ski was beautiful at noodling in around through the trees, semi firm bumps and shined in crud. These boards favored a very neutral two footed set up and delivered and absolutely buttery smooth ride on all sorts of ungroomed and chunky terrain. The flex was nice and balanced throughout the length of the turn.
I would see the ideal consumer being a level one or level two certified ski instructor who desires to improve their technique and get more comfortable at speed.
Quiet, impressively controlled race-like GS turns without intense effort.
High-quality ride. Thoroughly refined feel.
Remarkably versatile and capable of variable turn shapes.
Things I Would Change About This Ski:
Offer it without a plate or with other plate options.Nothing...other than *maybe* stiffen up the shovel area a little...very little...
Short Answer When Someone Asks "What Do You Think About This Ski?":
The Stereo Piste V3 is a prime example of what a refined all-mountain GS cruiser can be. Zero intimidation with a really intuitive feel, yet delivers high levels of quiet, elegant carving excellence with confidence with very little effort required from the skier. High quality ski with high-quality behaviors all over the resort.
What kind of skier is this ski good for and not suitable for?
The Piste V3 is for the ex-racer, technical carving enthusiast, smooth cruising addict who loves to lay out carved turns at speed or upper-level instructor looking for a ski to demonstrate arcing technique. Intermediates looking for a ski to bring them into the world of elegantly-executed carving at speed may find the Piste V3 the perfect tool to take them there. Hard-core racer-types should opt for the Piste RS instead if they want a ski with a higher speed limit more suited to race-like sessions with fewer skiers on the slopes.
Advice To People Considering This Ski:
These skis feel true-to-size on snow. They deserve to be kept in impeccable tune and waxed condition. You may start searching for a more pro-look Euro jacket and ticket to Norway and after spending time on the Piste V3.
Vidcap from Stereo Promo Video with Ole Kristian Furuseth and Herald Strand Nilsen
Piste V3 skiing from Stereo Ski Co on Vimeo.
Stereo Piste V3 Tip Detail
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