Assessing a pair of Skis is always very tricky. First of all, we get used to the skis we normally use and trying a new pair of ski for evaluation demands a certain time to adapt to that ski, yet alone get a good idea on how the ski performs.
Then, we're all different; weight, body-shape, personal technique, skiing preferences, terrain and snow conditions are as many variables that complicate the assessment and can throw the results into multiple directions.
This said, I tried two pairs of XO skis last year, made in Poland and distributed as a luxury, limited production in the United States. We tested the skis on groomed runs under perfect snow conditions I loved one of the model, the One Sixty Six that blended an incredible ease of turning, a great precision, unflinching stability and wonderful carving.
I loved that ski albeit I found it a little short for me (I'm used to ski on 180-188 cm long skis). At that time, I also tried another model, that I understood it was an all-mountain ski, dubbed the One Seventy Two. For me, this ski didn't compare as well as the other model, wasn't as steady and simply was more “work” to handle.
The sensation I got from that ski was that it was more difficult to ski on groomed run that any of the three pairs of skis I currently ski on (Rossignol Experience 88, 188 cm, Salomon Wing, 180 cm, Dynastar Powder Pack, 180 cm).
When I took the skis in powder, crud or other regular snow, that difficult behavior felt somehow amplified and demanded much work and focus on my part. This said, I can't pinpoint anything in particular that could cause the steering difficulties I experienced.
Was it the dimensional characteristics of the skis, their stiffness, I can't tell, but it demanded simply more attention, concentration and efforts than my normal skis, in an even shorter version...