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2014-2015 Fischer Big Stix 110

Jonathan Ellsworth reviews the Fischer Big Stix 110, Blister Gear Review

14/15 Fischer Big Stix 110

Ski: 2014-2015 Fischer Big Stix 110, 186cm

Dimensions (mm): 139-110-124

Actual Tip-to-Tail Length (straight tape pull): 183.52cm

Sidecut Radius: 24 meters

BLISTER’s Measured Weight Per Ski: 2,174 grams & 2,140 grams

Boots/Bindings: Atomic Redster Pro 130 / Marker Jester (DIN at 10)

Mount Location: Recommended Line

Test Locations: Las Leñas Ski Resort

Days skied: 3

[Editor’s Note: Our review was conducted on the 12/13 Big Stix 110, which is unchanged for 13/14 & 14/15, except for the graphics.]

First, if you haven’t yet read our preview of the Fischer Big Stix 110, you should take a look.

So far, I like this ski quite a bit, and I think it will be a very good choice for certain skiers out there.

Hardpack Performance

Perhaps the most impressive thing about the Big Stix 110 is how well it carves. This makes sense, given the modest tip rocker, minimal tail rocker, and major camber underfoot. Couple that with the medium-to-medium/soft flex of these skis, which makes them very easy to bend, and you’ve got a fairly fat ski that is a serious pleasure to carve and to go very, very fast on groomers and hardpack.

Bigger, stiffer skis don’t bend as easily, and skis with more pronounced rocker rarely feel this locked down. Having skied so many rockered skis that are merely marginal when things get firm, it was fun in Las Leñas to finish a big line, then get on edge and rip the hell out of one of Las Leñas’ many long groomers, all the way back to the lift.

(Apologies to all the ski patrollers at the “DESPACIO” signs. We really were trying hard to remember to slow down.)

If I had to compare the Big Stix 110 on hardpack, I’d definitely put it up there among the best-in-class-on-hardpack, ~110mm underfoot, tip and tail rockered skis on the market, like the Nordica Patron & Helldorado. The Fischer Big Stix 110 is not as heavy as—nor does it have the monster rebound of—the Helldorado. But the Big Stix feels more precise and…smoother; it’s sort of like the difference between a Pontiac GTO and a Porsche 911.

Given how much camber the Big Stix 110 has, I was actually a little surprised that I wasn’t getting even more rebound out of them. But reviewer Will Brown and I both agree: this is a seriously fun carving ski that you can bend and drive, it tracks well and finishes a turn really well, and it is totally confidence inspiring—both Will and I were fully able to trust them once up on edge. Very cool.

Carving / Smearing

Off piste, the Big Stix 110 maintains its propensity to carve rather than smear, and it does its job quite well. These skis feel light and are easy to swing back and forth in tight chutes or bumped-up terrain. But, again, compared to a lot of other tip and tail rockered skis, they seem to shine when skied more on edge rather than with a bases-flat, pivot-fest style.

But given the Big Stix 110’s modest rocker and major camber underfoot, it should come as no surprise that they aren’t as eager to be thrown fully sideways as skis with less camber and more pronounced tip and tail rocker, like the Blizzard Cochise or Praxis MVP.

And yet: having said all that, you can still pivot the Big Stix 110 easily—you just need to detune the edges just beyond the rocker lines of the tips and tails (which I did before taking them out).

And another thing: I haven’t yet detuned these skis even further. But I’m confident that an even sweeter spot could be found where these skis would still hold an edge well, yet pivot and smear even better (you know, if you’re into that sort of thing). There is definitely room here to tweak and adjust to personal taste.

Off-Piste

The Big Stix 110 handled the rest of Las Leñas well, too. Las Leñas has a lot of tight, pretty steep entrances that ultimately give way to enormous, wide open aprons. I’ve liked the Big Stix in some of these steep, icy entrances. They are easy to maneuver, but also provide enough running length and edge to bite better than more heavily rockered skis when you really need them to.

Jonathan Ellsworth, Fischer Big Stix 110, Las Leñas, Blister Gear Review

Jonathan Ellsworth on the Fischer Big Stix 110, Las Leñas.

 

14 Comments

  1. OldSchooler January 4, 2013 Reply

    Well I pulled the trigger on a these skis based, in part, on your review Jonathan. Couldn’t be happier at this point.

    I was looking for a everyday lift-serviced ski. So basically 60% in-bounds or side country powder and 40% groomers. While I am a powder hound at heart, the unfortunately reality is that you have to get to the stashes and back to the lift. I picked these (mounted w/ Knee Carbon bindings) based on a couple of reasons: (1) my experience with the original Big Stix 106 and (2) review comments basically confirming this ski would be a good fit with my skiing needs and style. The original BS’s has the air carbon chassis and the new one maintains this. There’s something about this construction just clicks with me. Tried to love a pair of Dynastar Legend Pro 106’s as my everyday ride last year and they were a complete disaster.

    This will become part of my two-ski quiver with the Big Daddys getting the nod on those “special” days. Got to ride the Salomon Rocker2/115’s for half a day in some decent “full bodied”, shin deep coastal AK powder. Put the Big Stix on for the afternoon on the excact same runs in the exact same snow – no comparision, the BS’s smoked the Rockers. The only plus factor for the Rocker2 was straightlining on the groomed runouts. Less edge contact made the skis less “squirrely” but then you have the obnoxious tip flap to deal with.

    Keep the reports comings. Would like to hear about the BS 120s someday.

  2. Toadman March 30, 2013 Reply

    I didn’t get these into any 12″-18″ of fresh, or even not so fresh pow, but I did get them into some mank and chop. Basically I really liked these skis a lot. I still own the original Fischer Atua 96, and these remind me very much of my Atua’s, which I still ski as my rock ski. I grew up with that carve technique, honed on 200 cm K2 GS skis as a 6′, and 140lbs noodle.

    Having read your review, it pretty much sums up exactly what I was thinking about these skis. Although, I had no issus with the balance in the chop and crud. I guess part of that is my technique, and maybe a bit of the old Atua, just seemed to click with me. I had no issues skiing these in moguls. Certianly not as quick edge to edge as my Atuas. Nor as quick ast the Watea 106, which I think would make a good quiver pick, if you wanted to go with a bigger 115mm+ more powder specific tool.

    I think at the end of the day, what I really liked about the Big Stix 110 was that natural medium flexing, light carving, crud busting ski. For it’s size it was a great carver. IMO better than the K2 Annex 108, or the Nordica Patron 185, which had that tip flapping issue.

    I agree it does not go mach looney down the slopes like the Salomon Rocker 115, which they now call the Quest115. That is a stiffer ski, that has baiscally very little tip flap but can’t carve, or ski moguls like the Bix Stix 110.

  3. Toadman April 17, 2013 Reply

    Ordered myself up a pair of Big Stix 110’s. Thanks to all this new snow we are still getting in the PNW, I’m thinking I may still get these into some Cascade cement before the season is closed out! I’ll post more once I get a chance to get these into some real pow, and put a few thousand vert into them.

  4. Ullr Board September 23, 2013 Reply

    Nice write up! Skiing on Fischers this year for the first time and looking forward to it :)

  5. John December 30, 2013 Reply

    I could really benefit from some advice.

    I live in the North East. My typical weekly ski is 750′ vertical groomers and crud. Last year I picked up some Blizzard Magnum 8.1’s and they seem to work adequately for what we have.

    My problem is the once a year trip out west. I’m not expert, but the guys I follow are. There is pretty much no part of the mountain I won’t hike to and see if I can die trying.

    I need a ski that will work for the majority of what I might encounter. In the event we get that 3′ of powder like we got at Alta in April of 2011, then I’ll just have to deal with it. :)

    Will the Big Sticks fit the bill? I was also looking at some Hill Bill 180’s that look fun.

    Any opinions would be really helpful.
    also, I’m 5’9″ 170lbs

    • Dave February 12, 2014 Reply

      Hey John. I have a similar pattern myself, where I do a bunch of northeast skiing (Hunter, Poconos, etc) and then make a trip out west (LOVE Alta). I just demoed the Big Stix at hunter in an epic day of snow (14 inches i think) and I must say these skis can do it all. Carved up, choppy, powder, scrape, etc…and they really performed. I think they would be fine out west in deep powder, up until you get into some really crazy bowls.

    • john February 13, 2014 Reply

      Well, I bought em. My first day on them was on sheer ice. I took them off after a few runs, but in retrospect I should not have. I have since learned how to drive them and absolutely love them even in the crap we’ve been forced to ski this season. There is just enough camber on them to get purchase every time I need it.

      Tomorrow I go to Whistler. I hear they’re getting fresh powder every day this week. I can’t wait for the second half of my demo.

      btw I’m really happy with the 176’s. I’m not good enough for anything more than that.

      • john February 25, 2014 Reply

        Five days of powder on Baker and then in Whistler and I couldn’t be happier with these skis. A touch more rocker might have made a difference on the back side of Glacier and in some of the glades, but for me I’m not skiing that every day. I doubt any ski will handle everything, but for me this seems to be perfect 90% of the time.

  6. Toadman January 23, 2014 Reply

    Just a more recent update on these skis. I took these with me on a recent BC Powder Highway tour mid January. Unfortunately there was not a huge amount of powder on the highway, or at the ski areas when I made the drive. However, I did manage to spend some time in varied conditions, from dust on crust, dust on cream, and one day of heli-skiing in the Purcells in the trees, and open bowls. I was only once left wanting a wider ski, and that was skiing the backside of Paradise Bowl at Lake Louise, where I was on breakable wind crust. I ended up skiing these in day old cut up pow, and they were great. Tips always planning to the surface. They handle groomers incredibly well, and even in the soft bumps, they really are an easy ski, as easy as anything I can recall demoing in the 98mm waisted range. This includes my Rossi S3’s.

    The day skiing at RK Heli was on week old wind blown, and boot top heavier powder in the trees. (Area had received over a meter 5 days earlier, but 50-70mph winds over a two day period did a number on the snow.) The skis were very good in the nicely spaced trees. I like the old school pressure the tips technique, and these skis are perfect for my kind of technique. Never a worry, or issue with tip dive. In fact I would prefer to have been about .5cm to a 1cm forward of where I had my bindings set.

    We made several runs in open bowls, in the Alpine, and you would hit these rollovers, that had wind effected on top, and then drop into several inches of softish snow below. The 110’s handled the transition well. The tips do get deflected a bit, and I could hear them chatter, and bang together a couple times when conditions got choppy or firm. However, some of that is probably due to driver input too. The group I was with were skiing on similar size skis, with more tip and tail rocker, but I hung with them without issue. I don’t normally catch any air but with the guide and the group I was with encouraging me to drop some pillow lines, and off a few features, the biggest being about a 6′ feature, the skis just stomped the landing. Which gave me confidence to drop a few more features later on.

    Over all I have been very pleased with these skis. Would love to see Fisher expand this line just a bit, ala what Rossi has done with the S series, but the BigStix 110 really is a great ski for the resort skier who wants to go side country on a pow day, and then spend the afternoons playing inbounds hunting for pow stashes, and arcing beautiful GS turns on the groomers in the afternoon.

  7. Bill January 30, 2014 Reply

    This ski sounds really interesting for me. I’m 5’6″ and 160 lbs. What’s the right size for me. Would the 186 be too much, or make it maybe too limited for tight/technical lines?

    tx

  8. Toadman February 18, 2014 Reply

    Bill – If you are an advanced skier, you will have no problems skiing a 186CM length. I’m only a few pounds more, and have no issues. I did a day of heli skiing, and we did two tree runs, and the BigStix turn very easily. I have spent quite a bit of time skiing trees this season. I very much prefer open bowls to trees, but find myself in the trees more than before, just because I have a lot of confidence in their capabilities in tight spaces. Did a narrow steep chute a few weeks back, and being able to do kick turns/jump turns with the light weight of these skis was refreshing.

    Switching topics to snow depth, I finally got these in conditions where I found their limits. PNW got dumped on this week, and I had these in medium to heavier waist deep pow, and struggled a bit. Resort reported 23″ over 24 hours, and you have to stay centered to slightly back to keep the tips from diving. A guy on a pair of 190cm DPS 112’s looked to be having no problems. And the guy I broke trial with was on a pair of Volkl Shiros, and was bombing down the run. I ended up toward the bottom of the run with tired legs finally getting a bit too far forward and got sideways, and went down. Maybe with fresher legs, I could have held it together but it would have been tough to have skied all day in that snow with the BigStix.

    It’s still a great ski for powder, and I have had several fantastic days skiing in 12″-18″ of lighter powder. Or even a foot of heavier wind affected snow is no issues. Just that heavier, deeper cascade cement we can get in the PNW that the BigStix tend to get bogged down in and not float as well as wider skies with a bit more rocker. It’s still a great ski though for 90% of the conditions I’ve had it in, and I have not wished for something else under foot.

  9. AK April 1, 2015 Reply

    I keep coming back to the Big Stix as a ski I want to try. The 186 length is prefect for me and I love the idea of a fatter ski that carves. I have some reservations about the “soft” flex. My goal is to find an all around resort ski that’s going to work well everywhere, east and west. What the old Gotama or old Line Prophet 100 used to be for a lot of people.

    My daily driver is a 184 Mantra (2014) and I ski the 183 Shiro a lot as well. What I don’t have is something in between that I love. I have Katanas 184 and 183 Faction 3.zeros but I don’t love either one. The Katana kills it but just feels too harsh and stiff most of the time. I am a bigger guy and can handle it, but it doesn’t seem worth it most of the time. The 3.zero is new to me. Its a much easier ride then the Katana, but even mounted -1 from the back line it feels a little center mounted and jibby for my tastes. I like the medium-stiff flex and its increased dampness relative to the Katana. The Shiro is really really good and although it seemed short and “foldy” at first, I have figured out a way to make it work for me.

    I’m looking for a ski with the fun factor of the Shiro that’s a little more geared to hard snow. Maybe the Big Stix will fit the bill?

    Also, does anyone know how far the recommended mounting point is from true center?

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