REVIEWS AND TESTS
Ski Tests & Reviews
Ski Logik Skis
SKILOGIK Rock Star 2012-2013
2012-2013 Skilogik Rock Star
144-117-141 r=14m @ 188cm
Skilogik Rock Star (left)
(Front Burner - center, Occam's Razor - right)
P.O. Box 9480
Breckenridge, CO 80424
Suggested Retail Price (MSRP):
$790 usd plus shipping
Rating (with comments):
(1="get me off these things"->10="I have to own a pair")
8-9+ for athletic, moderate-to-hard charging skiing at speed, crud and powder
7-8 for tight, bumpy conditions or weak skiers
Quality is 9. Professional fit and finish. Cosmetics 10+ Beautiful.
After years of designing and building skis in the U.S.A, David Mazzarella ("Mazz") sought to build his own factory in China to his specifications and train his technicians to build his skis with care and artistry, not mass-production. David moved his family to Hainan Islan where they produce "about 5 pairs a day". Mazz says creating a workshop in China allowed him to create a ski where "price of materials and workmanship" was much, much lower to achieve the quality of ski he wanted to produce for the skiing public. Using the same quality of materials and labor hours in other countries would have placed the ski above the price point he was trying to meet for his target market. 95% of the wood used for the skis is sustainably harvested. SkiLogik works with the Nature Conservancy to plant one tree in the Atlantic Rainforest of Brazil. The black locust wood comes from family farmers.
"I moved with my wife and kids half way across the globe and set up our own factory so that I could design and produce with the best methods possible. I brought in engineers who shared my vision. We designed machinery that didn’t exist, hired craftspeople with better hands than ours, and taught them how to make great skis. And they taught me a lot. After working for two years to get the production center fully capable, I turned my focus to designing a new line of skis using better materials and more craftsmanship per pair. Our production facility pays all workers above the market rate to attract and retain a quality team. Our turnover rate is low and new hires are often friends of existing employees. On work days, all employees eat a hearty lunch together provided by our company. After 3 months on the job, all employees receive the following benefits: Health insurance, retirement, unemployment, disability,
"The ROCK STAR is designed for big mountain show skiing. Featuring a giant rockered tip and tail, near-flat camber, and a 14 meter sidecut, the Rock Star carves fat, butters, spins, and has excellent pop for kickers. The large, stiff nose and tail make awesome landing pads and float silly in pow. If you're looking for big mountain rocker skiing, the Rock Star is "who" you want to ski."
The SkiLogik description of the Rock Star is very accurate. The Rock Star is a high-performance ski that likes an athletic pilot in demanding situations since it has a robust platform front and rear, although becomes silky and smooth in pure powder thanks to its geometry. Prodigious edge grip for a ski this size when driven and centered, due to the black locust hardwood sidewalls and torsional strength. Crud busting power and solid, secure landing platform in a relatively turny 14 meter radius. Not a forgiving ride in bumps by any means, but provides a high degree of confidence and controlled grip or smear when called upon. Weaker skiers might find the moderately stiff forebody a bit demanding in tighter or bumpy terrain, although skilled pilots will love the authoritative hold under pressure. The harder you drive it, the better it performs. Loves to float a variety of turn shapes in pure powder without much effort. Gorgeous topsheet, addicting to look at. A real bargain at $790 msrp since it can ski so hard and well while looking like a piece of art.
Technical Ski Data:
Mixed hardwood (proprietary), vertically laminated core, selectively-placed metal components (not full-width, but they appear along some perimiter areas of the ski, perhaps to enhance edging behavior and torsional integrity without interfering with longitudinal flex...another proprietary design with patent pending according to SkiLogik - not indicated in diagram below taken from the SkiLogik website in January, 2013), Black locust hardwood widewalls, proprietary carbon/fiberglass matrix matting, rubber dampening strips, German carbon-infused racing bases, hand-inlaid wood veneer topsheet. 4,200 grams claimed weight (per pair w/o bindings). Measured weights: 2174 grams and 2143 grams per ski.
Construction Details From SkiLogik website - January 2013
Bindings and Boots Used:
Tyrolia SP 12 demo binding on the freeride mark
Salomon S-Max 120 boots.
Addictingly handsome to look at (try not letting it influence your opinion of the ski..you just *want" it to work as good as it looks). Beautiful wood inlay. Excellent fit and finish. Somewhat stout flex, with strong torsional integrity. Damp feel and resonance to the hand-gong test. Smooth, gradual sidecut geometry with gently tapered tip and tails. Solid construction and feel. "Wood" is the word you would use to describe its character in your hands. Excellent base finish out of the bag. Nice user manual/brochure included with the skis. Feels substantial.
Eastern corduroy, packed powder groomers, ungroomed packed powder with small bumps, boot-deep powder and sections of knee-deep powder. Windpack, crust, icy death-crust, chalky wind buff, dry powder, eastern boilerplate, frozen granular. Tight eastern trees and open terrain.
The Rock Stars are in the upper-level of edgehold for skis this size due to the torsional integrity, rock-solid edge platform (hardwood sidwalls) and somewhat stiff flex underfoot, although not what you would call "lightning quick" edge to edge. By comparison, a DPS Wailer 112 feels faster edge-to-edge, but not as solid at speed. The ski likes to be rolled up in GS-mode rather than punched in a slalom-style, but will deliver a confident, solid grip across hardpack and even icier surfaces when you set the edge where it needs to be and hold it firm. You will be hard pressed to over-edge this moderately large ski...it is strong enough to be driven hard without folding up or faltering. Long and short-wave vibrations are damped nicely, with no buzz or flap at all at a variety of speeds on hardpack. Quiet, confident hold. We experimented with a nearly flat base-bevel tune, and found it gripped really well, but became reluctant and railed-feeling because of its width without at least 1 degree of base bevel (like many skis). The Rock Star can rock hard surfaces better than most any other ski in its size category if you have the power and/or technique to drive it. Weak or lazy skiing on hard surfaces reaveals the ski's strong character and will let you know you're not operating the ski properly.
The Rock Stars love to cut through crud and crust. The faster the better. The more driven, the better. The tip and tail shapes gradually slice through the odd surfaces and hand over the arc-holding duty to the forebody and underfoot sections without any hookiness or cross-hill leash-pulling some skis exhibit. The moderately stout flex provides a really confidence-inspiring platform underfoot, and you find yourself pointing at crappy surfaces without caring what might happen because the Rock Star will stay on the line you select, and handle the instabilities or oddities in the snow surface along that line without any protest, deflection or deviation you don't ask for. As you do this, speed increases until you realize you are motoring through the junk and skimming the top of it instead of plowing through it. Great crud ski. We can't wait to get it into some spring corn and slush plowing situations...it might be just the ticket for late-season corn mashing.
The Skilogik Rock Stars can be somewhat abrupt and unfriendly in the bumps because they are stout of flex in front of the binding, and torsionally stiff, creating a quick feedback to the pilot when you hit a bump square-on. This can be great if you want to pop UP and over something, since you get lots of power for the upward rebound, but if you are lazy, tired or get in the back-seat, you can be in for a rough ride. Pound across the bumps with a proactive and centered stance, and you can get a rock-solid ride without deviation as long as you stay in the driver's seat. Get a bit lazy or behind, and you will know it right away. I personally found the Rock Stars a bit stiff for bumpy terrain.
If the Rock Stars were a bit rude in the bumps, they were dreamy in the pure powder. The tip and tail tapers, combined with the fluid shaping of the ski's forebody to the tail after flowing underfoot, creates a really silky, easy and elegant set of turns in pure powder conditions. The 14 meter radius seemed like a mis-labeled specification when the ski got into open-fluff conditions since it generated a smooth and silky set of turn shapes of small or large radii. The faster you go, the smoother the powder turns. I was completely surprised that this somewhat athletic big-mountain ski became an elegant powder ski in the fluff. Others commented the same thing, saying it's feel in the pure powder surfaces was elegant and addicting. You can smear along, or scrub speed, or ride a long, flat arc, varying depth as you want. You can pound along the tops of powdery bumps with complete confidence at speed. Nice.
High Speed/Open Terrain:
The Skilogik Rock Star likes speed, and begins to handle more easliy the faster you go. The stout torsion and longitudinal flex pattern prevents any bothersome flap, and there is really no chatter to speak of at speed. I found the higher speeds revealed the turny nature of the Rock Star more than tigher terrain Personally, the 188cm size is about the maximum length I would recommend for most Eastern terrain users. I felt very confident on the Rock Stars at speed, and never found a point-of-no-return where pushing the ski hard at high speeds resulted in washy or over-powered reactions. The Rock Star shines at being ridden hard at speed, despite its relatively narrow radius specification.
Slow Speed/Tight Conditions:
Thie Rock Stars felt a bit bulky and balky at slow speeds in the tight stuff unless you could pivot on top of terrain features (bumps, ridges, logs...etc.). The relatively stiff forebody and strong tail, combined with torsional strength, created the impression of a stout, wide ski in tight terrain, although underfoot bite and abilty to stomp things were very impressive. I found some other brands of softer-flexing skis with approximately the same dimensions (some even with camber underfoot) allowed me more agility with fewer calories-per-turn in the tight Eastern woods than the Rock Stars. As described by Mazz, the Rock Star is for "Big Mountain Show Skiing", and he is correct, but we had to take this ski into the tight terrain for a complete review. The faster you go in the tight terrain, the more the Rock Stars come alive...but you don't always have the room to get higher speeds going in the tight stuff.
Analogies: (this ski is like...)
Beautifully painted muscle car
Things I Would Change About This Ski:
I would offer a slightly softer version of the same geometry, leaving the torsional strength intact. This would broaden the appeal of this shape to a wider audience. Perhaps creating a "pro" and "stock" version of the Rock Star.
Short Answer When Someone Asks "What Do You Think About This Ski?":
This is a stout and torsionally strong ski for athletic skiers on big terrain unless you are a pure-powder hound, and then it is siky and great fun to ski. Somewhat demanding since it has great grip and power on-demand, this is no floppy noodle, but a peformance ski that wants to be driven, not ridden. Wonderful crud-buster and velvety powder ski...not too much fun in the bumpy terrain. Tons of edgehold when you want it. Keep it beveled and detuned properly for best results. A bargain.
Advice To People Considering This Ski:
Be sure you want a relatively stout ski in this size since it is not a noodle, but if you want something to hold up to rowdy skiing and never fold on you or wobble, the Rock Star might be just the ski to demo. A real bargain considering what it can do and how great-looking it is for $790 msrp.
"Though the girthy waist and aggressive tip and tail rocker might give the impression that the Rock Star is only a soft-snow tool, watch out when it finds an edge. It definitely prefers fresh, but it's a quick-turning machine that can yo-yo across hardpack. Its effortless nature was well received by testers, and all thought it an exciting mode of mountain travel suitable for a wide variety of skiers and skill levels."
Comments on EpicSki.com:
"This ski is a pretty stout ski; it may have a lot of rocker (looks to be on the order of 40cm both tip and tail), it has a fairly beefy layup. The rocker profile is mid-rise. Not as tall as the Super 7 I demoed that day, but taller than the Kastle and Blizzard low-rise rocker. I was told it "skis long" and is pretty stout by the guys at the booth.
Crud and new snow: in soft crud, this is quite a ski. It really has a high speed limit, and mows through the soft snow. The tip is quite stiff and somewhat unforgiving: it doesn't absorb terrain all that well, but more or less just blows through crap. Not a bouncy, floaty ski like an S7 or a Bent. It skis a bit long for a relatively short 179cm, and felt like a bigger radius ski than I had expected. It likes to be tipped up onto edge and responds well to skier input. It also holds it's line well in soft snow, not getting washed out like, say a 2010 Gotama. It was a touch bouncy in crud, probably due to the shorter underfoot profile than some, but then again, the stiff tip really transmits back to the skier; as long as I was on it, it wasn't an issue. In the soft and uncut snow, I could ski it aggressively, I could be active with my feet, pulling them back at the top of the turn to tighten up the radius, and the ski allowed me to do so very well; it has a progressive flex in the shovel. This ski, as expected, loved soft snow; a real treat in steeps as well. With the pretty aggressively rockered tail, I couldn't load up the tail as much as I would have liked in a steep chute, as I would tend to lose the tail a bit. In soft snow, not an issue, but the bite wasn't quite there as on the MX108. It however, well exceeded that of the S7. This is also a quick ski in tight spaces, especially edge to edge. Overall, felt like the Ullr's Chariot I also skied, but much more suited to soft snow and crud, and more fun. Also, perhaps a bit more expert-level in terms of performance and suitable ability.
Bumps: short running length underfoot and stiffish flex didn't lend itself well to bump skiing. The width wasn't as much an issue as the profile: it just felt a bit like skiing on metal pan in bumps. A little scary. I would have liked some softer, fresh snow bumps to try it in; these were firm and icy.
Groomers; gets you back to the lift. As this really isn't a funshape, and it has no camber underfoot, it isn't really built for that terrain. Dull, no energy, skis short; no real surprise.
MX108: the Kastle had more bite on the steeps and scraped off snow, and a bit higher speed limit as well. The Rockstar felt a bit quicker when active with the feet, you really could load up the tip and work the tail easily. Kastle is softer at the tip as well.
S7: somewhat similar profile to the Rockstar, much softer and more suited to less aggressive skiers. The Rockstar is more of a power ski, stiffer tail, and doesn't really like back seat driving. The S7 lets you get away with more, comes across as more relaxed, but doesn't bite or have the quickness like the Rockstar does.
Bottom line: a very versatile soft snow ski, well suited to steeps, fast skiing, and good skiers. I would perfer less (or lower rise) tail rocker for a bit more bite in mixed conditions; the tip felt just about right for aggressive skiing in soft snow. Overall, a lot of fun and an enjoyable ski. "
"I skied the 178cm Rock Star this past week at Heavenly in Sierra Cement, chop, and windblown (skied out cement that if you stuck your pole in the snow it would go in 3-4 feet). I am waiting for some more days on it, skiing at more speed and at least a few more runs down Mott (I was with one of my kids for most of the time) before writing a full review. So far so good. I weigh 20 lb more that dawgcatching so my initial thoughts are a bit different than his:
1) The ski rocks in powder, chop and crud. The stiff tips have no trouble floating in the powder due to their size and the later day chop was not even an issue. I think the dawg's description of the tip blowing through crap is about right.
2) The ski is unusual because it can also be easily skied slowly and at moderate speeds. So long as you are balanced, this ski works at every speed applied to it despite--or perhaps--of the relative stiffness. Flexing the ski makes you think it is just for experts, but I think anyone who can ski parallel could ski this without a problem provided they are not in the back seat.
3) The smaller and softer bumps I encountered were a joy on this ski. There was no hard snow or large bumps to ski on while I was there.
4) The learning curve was maybe three turns. Just stay neutral (to me that means hardpack "neutral") and go.
5) Tree skiing at Heavenly is, well, like skiing groomers compared to the tight trees found in the east. Regardless, these skis are super quick with a very tight radius. What impressed me is that they could be skied slowly and at speed. I initially thought that I could easily ski this at the longer length, but then again I had no trouble when I took it up to a little speed. At age 57, the 178cm is probably right since my "skiing stupid" days are long over.
6) These may be the easiest drifting skis I was ever on in soft or windswept snow. The turning radius doesn't get in the way of drifting longer radiused turns in powder.
7) These were an absolute blast on groomers. I could carve turns with them in the soft snow without a lot of effort (they are 117 underfoot). The ski has a smidgen of camber and this seems to help on groomers. There was no hard snow to try them on. The 14m radius does make for quick turns, perhaps too quick, when just rolling your knees. There was no issue steering these fats.
8) These skis, unlike my older Ullr's, have a top sheet with the "clear iron" (that is the material over the marquetry) given a slight radius. I didn't ask, but imagine this was done to prevent chipping. If so, it worked.
9) The skis arrived with perfectly flat bottoms. I have no idea if the edge angles are consistent (nothing in the garage to measure them), not that it matters in powder.
10) The Rock Star is billed as a "Big Mountain Show Skiing" ski with the stiffer tip and tail making it easier to pop kickers. I no longer huck anything taller than me and can't comment on that. I do think Ski Logik is either smart or lucky going with the stiffer extremities when many others build skis with a relatively softer tip. The stiffness paradoxically seems to have added to the versatility of the Rock Star while allowing it to be skied at a relatively shorter length.
11) Unlike some people here, I don't own a ski shop and don't test a zillion skis a year. Therefore, I am not qualified to make a lot of comparisons. I did demo the S7 two years ago and believe it skis softer than the Rock Star. The Rock Star seems more precise, yet can also be skied as slowly provided you ski neutral. I like the Rock Star better because it is more precise, quicker and more fun when on the groomers going back to the lift."
"Just came back from a week at Niseko, skiing mainly in the trees. Lots of powder but also lots of skiers, so I had a wide mix of virgin ankle- and knee-deep powder, chopped-up powder, heavy wet powder on groomers and bumps, powder, and did I mention powder?
I'm 180cm, 84kg. Skied the Ullr's Chariot RL in about a 180-something length on day 1. Meh. Swapped them out for a pair of Rossi S7s in 188cm (?). Chalk and cheese. The S7s were so easy to ski on, I was smiling and laughing after a few minutes. Flappy and hard to control on groomers though. Then on day 4 I went to the Rockstars (yes, this is actually an on-topic post) and they were perfect. Fantastic control in the trees, although they prefer tight turns to big sweepers; they just brushed all challenges aside. I pointed them and they went there. Superb fun. Completely different proposition on steep, deep-powder-covered bumps though. The ski's stiffness made turns very hard going for me. Or maybe I'm just a crap bumps skier (but hey, I used to fang through moguls on my old Kästle 205s, so that can't be right).
On our final day we hit Rusutsu with thigh-to-waist-deep fresh dry virgin powder through the trees, everywhere you went. Skiing Nirvana but also very hard work, and the Rockstars were the perfect tool for the job, as long as I stayed forward. They caned me every time I got lazy and went back-seat, but rewarded me in spades whenever I stayed forward and put in some effort.
My impression: A perfect powder ski for those who like to stay in control. Not an "easy rider" ski and only so-so on groomers, although not as flappy-floppy as the S7s and nowhere near as terrifying on fast run-outs.
Final point: the marquetry graphics on these skis are simply stunning, eliciting many comments from envious punters. Buy a pair and if you don't like them, just hang them on your living-room wall - they will still give you value for money.
Self-Description of Skiing Style, Ability, Experience, Preferences:
5' 11", 180 lbs. 53 year-old expert, "old-style" race inspired, "foot steerer" with fairly sensitive edging feel. 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. Loves powder when it's not tracked out. Trees and odd terrain angles are fun.
SkiLogik Rock Stars (3d from the left) compared to other skis of similar size
(click image for larger version)
(skis left to right: DPS Wailer 112, Down CD2, SkiLogik Rock Star, Praxis Concept, SCC Tubbies, PowderNorth Bullet, DPS Yvette (Wailer) 112)
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