Review: Stöckli Montero AS

Model year: 2023-2024
Sidecut: 127-76-107
Size: 178
Radius: > 16 m (that’s what it says)
Technology: Wood core, full sidewall, tip rocker, double titanal

About this ski

There once were the Laser AX and AR, a 78 and 83-ish mm wide all-condition piste ski that spoke to many skiers because of their immense sweet spot and boringly forgiving yet stable feel. They were replaced by the Montero AX and AR, taking away some of the magic (it turns out you can ruin a great team by changing its winning formula).

Enter the Montero AS – ‘all-mountain slalom’, as Stöckli call them. 76 mm underfoot, noticeably stiffer than the other Monteros, and a sidecut radius over 16 m in the ski length that is appropriate for me, given that it’s an ‘all-mountain’ ski with some rocker, according to the manufacturer. Spoiler alert: it’s neither ‘all-mountain’ (not even all-condition), nor ‘slalom’ in any way.

Entitled, overpriced bully

Whether you like the Montero AX or AR, there is no denying that they did have a huge sweet spot and were super stable without needing too much input. Intermediate skiers could get on them and ski without thinking (or thrills). The AS is very different. They do not turn very easily, they take a lot of precise and powerful input. The problem is: they don’t give much back.

They are stiff and damp, much like a ski with a race plate. But there’s no agility, no snappiness, no energy returned. No immediately being pulled into a turn either – something you might expect from something that has ‘slalom’ in its description and very name! No, the Montero AS is hard to ski, takes a lot of energy, and gives none back. In skied-up runs, bumps, and softer snow, they are even more of a handful. No forgiveness of any kind. Just hard work that you have to pay a lot of money for. The sweet spot is gone. It is a sour ski that completely misuses the family reputation. Several people on the test team confirmed these findings. 

Conclusion

A hard-to-ski and relentless pair of skis. If you like the other Monteros, please ski the AX or the AR. The AS is something else. The AS is the mean and jealous bastard son of the family, riding on the family name and ruining it in the process.

This is a ski with a (small) potential audience. But they shouldn’t have named it ‘Montero’, nor ‘all-mountain’, nor ‘slalom’. 

Characteristics

PlayfulStable
ForgivingPunishing
LivelyDamp
SkiddingCarving
Low speedHigh speed
Short turnLong turn
Soft snowHard snow

2 comments on “Review: Stöckli Montero ASAdd yours →

  1. There are so few reviews for the AS, but all I’ve seen so far have been raving – very surprised to see one that’s a polar opposite (especially having JUST bought a pair this morning)!

    I’m a “strong intermediate” skier, 185 cm 86 kg – I demoed the AS in 172 and didn’t feel that it was super stiff or demanding. I didn’t enjoy it in machine made snow sprinkled over ice, but can any ski be enjoyed on such a surface? It was fine on hard groomers – I thought it carved a little longer than the stated radius and was less responsive than the AX in 173 but also attributed it to my technique. Not being able to ski or demo any more this season, I pulled the trigger on the AS hoping to get a ski that’s slightly faster into the turn than the AX.

    Since you’ve skied the 178, could it be that this ski’s sweet spot is 172?

    1. I also tested it and found it to be playfull and forgiving. Less scharp then the sc I demoed the next day.
      About the turning radius, the 178 has a 16m radius. I was on a 166 which had a radius of 13,6 which makes it much more slalom.

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