2018 Rossignol Ski Preview: A Comprehensive Gear Guide // Ski Reviews
Rossignol has over a century of experience building skis. Well, okay, maybe not quite a century, but Abel Rossignol did found the company in 1907 to produce wood products for the textile industry, so for the sake of simplicity let’s call it over a century. They’ve been on the leading edge of design and engineering developments within the ski industry for years and perhaps more noticeably in recent years than ever before. Remember the S3 and S7? Those skis have paved the way for their iconic 7 Series, which now holds some of the most popular all mountain freeride skis on the market with some of the most unique and innovative designs and construction. What can you expect from Rossignol moving into 2018? We’re here to give you the low-down.
Rossignol has some new, very exciting developments in their 7 Series skis for 2018, but before we dive into the new skis let’s cover some existing favorites that are back with just graphic updates. After all, if it ain’t broke, why fix it? While it’s exciting to get a whole new line of skis with new designs, construction, etc, there’s something to be said about retaining an existing collection of skis that has been proven to perform. A perfect example of that are the Pursuit and Famous lines of carving skis for men and women respectively.
2018 Rossignol Pursuit Men's Skis and Famous Women's Skis:
The Pursuit collection holds four skis ranging from the top of the line Pursuit 800 Ti CAM to the more intermediate-oriented, budget-friendly Pursuit 200 Carbon. These skis use a whole lot of high end technology, even when we’re talking about the $399 Pursuit 200. Rossignol has become somewhat famous for their lightweight tips, and their carving skis are no different. The Pursuit skis use Rossignol’s Prop Tip, which, following the theme of most of their skis, removes some material to lighten the swing weight of the ski. The tip also is designed to give the ski super quick, smooth turn initiation. In addition to the Prop Tip these skis also use what Rossignol calls “Prop Tech”. This is an integrated system found half way between the binding toe piece and tip that is designed to provide adaptive torsional stiffness. This means the ski can actually adjust its own torsional stiffness based on changes in terrain. It provides incredible edge contact even through slightly bump snow conditions and makes for a super smooth ride. Rossignol’s “Power Turn Rocker” profile and “Oversized Sidecut” round out the design of the Pursuit skis and combine to give the ski incredible edge hold, smooth turn initiation, and explosive energy out of a turn.
The Pursuit 800 Ti CAM that sits at the top of the line takes all this technology and supports it with a poplar wood core, titanium laminates, and Carbon Alloy that we see used in lots of other Rossignol skis. This provides the ultimate in responsiveness, torsional stiffness, stability, and vibration dampening. If you love skiing fast and aggressively on groomed slopes you’ll be psyched with the Pursuit 800. As you move through the line Rossignol strategically drops certain materials from the construction to make the skis slightly more user friendly. The Pursuit 700 loses the Carbon Alloy, giving it a slightly more forgiving feel at the expense of some responsiveness. The Pursuit 600 drops titanium, but does use Carbon Alloy, which in turn takes away some torsional stiffness and vibration dampening, but makes the ski significantly lighter, less fatiguing, and a little bit more approachable for less aggressive skiers. The Pursuit 200 is a cap construction ski that just uses a wood core and some carbon stringers. It’s far and away the most beginner/intermediate oriented ski within the line.
The women’s Famous collection follows a similar pattern, although the Famous 10, the top of the line ski, doesn’t use metal or Carbon Alloy, it just uses a poplar wood core. The Famous 6 then moves to a Paulownia wood core, and lastly the Famous 2 loses its vertical sidewalls and moves to all cap construction, giving it less torsional stiffness and much easier turn initiation for beginner and intermediate skiers. Because none of the Famous collection uses metal we do think there are some really aggressive women skiers who may prefer being on a men’s Pursuit, but for the rest the Famous line offers light, smooth, fun performance for groomed slopes.
2018 Rossignol Experience Men's Skis and Temptation Women's Skis:
Next up are the Experience and Temptation lines for men and women respectively. These skis have been on the market for quite a while now and have undergone a series of changes over the course of their existence. Most recently the Experience and Temptation skis were updated with Carbon Alloy Matrix giving them far better torsional stiffness and energy compared to the models they replaced. They also use Rossignol’s Air Tip that helps reduce swing weight, an Extended Sidecut that gives skis consistent, smooth edge contact, and an Auto Turn Rocker profile that encourages turn initiation and also gives the ski more versatility for use in varying terrain and conditions.
Both the Experience and Temptation lines contain a ton of skis, but let’s run through them all really quickly. Much like the Pursuit and Famous collections all these skis follow the same theme and share design elements, but Rossignol removes certain elements from their construction as we move through them. We’ll start with the widest and go from there, which is the Experience 100 HD. First off, every time you see HD it means the ski uses Carbon Alloy Matrix so it’s going to have greater torsional stiffness and better responsiveness than those without. The Experience 100 HD is the only ski within the line that uses metal laminates as well and is far and away the burliest. It is also, arguably, the most versatile with its 100 mm waist width. As we move down in width the Experience 88 HD loses the metal laminates. It has become a favorite among a wide range of skiers from intermediate to expert who want a relatively lightweight all mountain ski that still performs at a high level. The Experience 84 HD replaces Poplar with a lighter weight Paulownia wood core. The Experience 80 HD uses a partial vertical sidewall underfoot with cap construction in the tips and tails. The Experience 77 BA replaces the Carbon Alloy Matrix with Basalt, but moves back to a poplar wood core to retain some stability. The Experience 75 CA, the most beginner/intermediate oriented, uses a straight forward poplar core with carbon stringers, much like we see in the Pursuit 200.
The women’s Temptation line follows the same concept, although there are some minor differences. First off, and most obvious, there is no Temptation 100. Next we only see Carbon Alloy Matrix used in the Temptation 88 HD and 84 HD, not in the 80. The Temptation 77 uses carbon instead of basalt, and the 75 drops carbon entirely using just a poplar wood core and nothing else. In both the Experience and Temptation collections there’s going to be a good choice for every type of skier. We recommend trying to match your own level of aggressiveness to the construction of the ski. The most aggressive skiers will want Carbon Alloy Matrix and potentially metal. As we move down the spectrum towards more cautious, slower skiing it’s smart to move to a ski with a little bit less torsional stiffness, less weight, etc. If you’re having trouble choosing your ski don’t hesitate to contact our customer service team; we’re happy to walk you through the selection process.
2018 Rossignol Men's and Women's 7 Series Skis:
And now, without further ado, the new 7 Series! This is likely what many of you came here to read about. The Sky, Soul, and Super 7 HD have been incredibly popular skis over the past few seasons. They’re lightweight, they’re strong, they have the ability to ski a wide range of terrain and conditions, and now they’re totally changed going into 2018. It makes a lot of us nervous when a company changes a ski that’s been so popular, but we’re pretty darn excited about these new skis. First and most importantly the skis have a whole new tip construction called Air Tip 2.0. While it might not seem like changing the tip of the ski will have a drastic effect on performance this new technology definitely changes the feel of these skis. The Air Tip 2.0 is both lighter and stronger than the previous version thanks to a fully integrated 3D structure. It has increased stability, it’s quieter and calmer through variable, bumpy terrain, yet it has lighter swing weight. That makes the skis lighter, stronger, and allows you to push the boundaries of your skiing and terrain choices even further.
Other than the new tip shape the 7 Series Freeride collection largely stays the same in terms of the breakdown in widths and sizes. The Super 7 HD is the most powder-oriented of the bunch with its relatively wide 116 mm waist width. Skiers who love to search for powder and those lucky enough to live in a part of the world that gets a lot of this gravitate to the Super 7 HD. It’s early tapered tips, prominent rocker profile, and combination of light weight and strength make it hard to beat as a powder ski. The Soul 7 HD, arguably one of the most popular, most successful skis in recent years, is slightly more versatile with its 106 mm waist width. You see a lot of skiers choose the Soul 7 HD as their everyday ski. It handles off-piste terrain like a dream with incredible maneuverability, yet can still lay down some responsive, energetic turns on firm snow. Then there’s the Sky 7 HD coming in at 98 mm under foot. These are arguably the most versatile of the three and have proven to be a favorite, especially for eastern skiers looking for that elusive “one ski quiver”. The women’s Soul 7 HD and Sky 7 HD are actually identical to the men’s skis , although there is no women’s Super 7 HD.
In addition to the Sky, Soul, and Super 7 HD skis there are other skis within the Freeride collection to get excited about. Rossignol has brought back the Sin 7, which essentially removes the Carbon Alloy Matrix from the Sky 7 HD making it even lighter and extremely appropriate as an alpine touring ski. Along the same lines Rossignol has introduced the all new Seek 7 and Spicy 7 (for men and women respectively). These are superlight alpine touring skis that are designed to be the ultimate choice for those that really want a light touring setup to reduce overall fatigue and make the most of their time in the backcountry. Realistically you’re not going to want to mount anything other than an AT binding on these skis, as their weight of 2.5 kg/pair just screams, “I want to go uphill!” They use the new Air Tip 2.0, have a versatile 86 mm waist width, and are your ticket to backcountry adventures for the 2018 season. Rossignol then rounds out the 7 Series with the Smash 7 and Sassy 7. These are budget-oriented all mountain skis that are perfect for teens or developing beginner and intermediate skiers. Unlike a lot of beginner/intermediate oriented skis the Smash 7 and Sassy 7 have 92 and 90 mm waist widths respectively, allowing their users to explore more terrain and enjoy soft snow skiing much more easily than on traditional skis in this category.
And there you have it! Without diving into race and freestyle specific skis or junior skis, that’s what you can expect from Rossignol moving into 2018. As always we think they have done a great job putting the line together and think there is definitely a “right” ski for everyone within their collection. Whether you’re a ripping frontside skier, an all mountain skier that likes to do a bit of everything, or an adventurous freeride skier Rossignol has got you covered between their Pursuit, Experience, and 7 Series collections.