REVIEWS AND TESTS
Ski Tests & Reviews
Storm Skis - Inferno Lab 2009-2010 Model
(116-65-101) 12.6m radius @ 165cm
Storm Skis Ltd
18 Sanders Close
Ilkeston, Derbyshire DE7 9LN
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for direct-to-consumer sales and sales info.
Contact www.soundskis.co.uk for mail order sales through their Ebay webstore of some models. More retailers will be brought on-board for 2009-2010 season. Check their website for current listings.
Storm Skis is one of two ski companies in the U.K. (both born last year, testing their skis this season for retail sales next year...both led by guys named Andrew...go figure..). Storm Skis is another tiny company founded by an ex pro skier (Andy David was British Freestyle mogul champion in 2002-2003 competing for 6 years in Europa and Continental Cup tours and specializes in big mountain freeriding) who wanted to make skis to his design and have his own ski business. With skiing and testing based primarily out of Verbier, Switzerland (Chris David - Andy's brother [Another British Europa/Continental Cup mogul pro] - helped make Altitude Snowsport School (http://www.altitude-extreme.co.uk) in Verbier a big success a while ago and is working with the Storm Skis brand also), Storm Skis has the terrain to test and verify ski performance. Storm is building up a line of perhaps 10 models of skis for official sale in the 2009-2010 season. The skis are made to Storm's specifications at one of the oldest wood-core ski factories in the Czech Republic.
Race-carve, slalom-oriented frontside ski
Your Rating (with comments): (1="get me off these things"->10="I have to own a pair")
A grippy, muscular slalom race carver detuned from pure race-mode for civilian use on groomed surfaces. Capable of very quick edge-to-edge performance with easier turn initiation than many similar skis. Rewards a good technique, but could be just the ticket for advanced intermediate carvers looking for a ride to improve their game significantly. Great graphics, quick and secure. not for high speed crusing or soft snow. Accurate and tight.
Technical Ski Data:
Beech-Poplar wood core
Triaxial and biaxial fiberglass
Two Titanal sheets (one above and one below the core)
P-Tex 6000 base
"extra thick edges"
Sizes: 155cm (114-64-99) or 165 (116-65-101)
Price = €507
Manufactured in the Czech Republic
The Inferno Lab is a modern, piste carving tool with a contemporary geometry, strong torsional integrity, snappy rebound and really attractive graphics. Build quality and finish are very good. Good flex distribution for a hardpack carver with a strong tail and responsive, but not overly-rowdy feel to it. It just looks like it would lay down serious tracks at high edge angles.
Dry to semi-softening packed groomers. Val-D'Isere, France. March 2009.
The first couple hundred yards of turns confirmed my suspicion that the Inferno Lab is indeed a carving machine to be reckoned with. Accurate and tenacious grip in short and medium radius turns without having to over-concentrate on the job at hand. It feels like a detuned race ski or a high-performance carver cross-bred with a slalom ski. My first impression after the few hundred yards of turns was that this was an ideal East-coast USA ski, or a ski for piste carving fanatics who like high-pressure turns without the intensity or demanding nature of a race ski. The Storm Inferno Lab rewards any level of athleticism you want to put into it, and it can take some serious pressure and angulation without any weakness. Extremely quick edge-to-edge without being reckless or troublesome like a pure race ski can sometimes be. You do not have to be in premier olympic condition to drive the Inferno. It is a recreational race-carver with plenty of friendly attitude, but enough grip and acceleration and zing to keep an ex-racer paying attention and grinning. Unlike many race-oriented skis, the Inferno Lab initiates turns easily, which will give it appeal to advancing intermediates looking for a ride into expert carving techniques. Mid-turn pressure requirements are not intensive, so you can maintain a railed turn without burning all your calories to hold your line. This ski does want you to finish your turns, so sloppy technique is rewarded with "whoa-pay-attention" feedback from the ski as it wants to return to the fall line if you don't keep your act together. This is also what makes the Storm Inferno a real carving machine to link your turns from release to re-initiation on the new edge line. Great fun and grippy. Secure and snappy without throwing you into the back seat all the time. Good mix of performance and compassion for high-performance carving enthusiasts. If your favorite runs are buffed firm and smooth, the Inferno is a great tool to lay down nicely shaped arcs. Naturally, the Inferno is not content to run flat or at higher speeds since it has the shape of a slalom carver and it wants to be on-edge one way or the other. A cruiser it is not. Your feet will keep busy managing the activity under your boots if you run them flat for too long or get lazy. This is a turning, carving machine for lots of people to have fun with. Great turns without race-level concentration. Choppy terrain will keep you busy on this ski, but it can slice-and-dice and set itself anywhere you want to put it quickly and accurately, which is nice when picking lines through some uneven terrain. Not happy off-piste, but then again, how many slalom-geometry, dual titanal layer woodcore race carvers are? Excellent carving instrument with very cool graphics and good quality. Check out a pair if you can. I only wish they made a slightly longer version (155 and 165cm only) !
Analogies: (this ski is like...)
A civilian, tight-turn street-racer with flame graphics and performance to back up its appearance.
Self-Description of Skiing Style, Ability, Experience, Preferences:
Expert groomed-surface carver, "old-style" race inspired, "foot steerer" with fairly sensitive edging feel who loves the feel of powder floating and banking. Loves to hold long arcs with lots of pressure on the downhill ski (you know the type), but also loves the feel of both skis on-edge leaving tiny railroad track edge tracks. Not an instructor, but 10 year coach for youth race team in New England (bulletproof is the norm).
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