|GEAR REVIEWS||SKI TECHNOLOGY||HELPFUL HINTS||INTERVIEWS||INDUSTRY NEWS||STORIES|
2014 Rossignol Soul 7 Skis Review
It is very rare that I get on a ski and say, “I’ve got to have it!” But that was exactly the case on a recent day when I had the chance to demo the 2014 Rossignol Soul 7. This ski is brand new for the 2014 season and is Rossignol’s attempt at making a super accessible all mountain freeride ski. The Rossignol Soul 7 is 106mm in the waist, and features tip and tail rocker, combined with camber. These traits combined with a flex that’s moderately stiff for a ski with no metal, make for one ski that’s highly capable of any type of terrain or conditions.
It was on a sunny day up in Stowe, Vermont when I had the chance to take these skis out. At first I’ll admit, I was a little wary of seeing how these skis would hold up at higher speeds. The honeycombed air tip seemed like it could be susceptible to chattering when things got a little hairy. Plus, I usually find ultra light skis to feel insubstantial at times when you need your skis to charge through crud.
The temperature that day was in the mid-teens, and we’d been enjoying a light snow all week. The resulting conditions were a mix of firm trail riding, with softer snow to be found trailside and in the trees. For a ski reviewer, these are the perfect conditions. Any more snow and you can’t gauge hard snow performance. If there were less snow, I wouldn’t have been able to judge how the Rossignol Soul 7 handles soft snow. Seeing as the Rossignol Soul 7 is marked as an ideal all mountain freeride ski, I was excited that the conditions would allow me to really put these skis to the test.
Now because the honeycomb tip was my major concern, I want to address that first. Let me just say, the honeycomb Airtip does not negatively affect the ski’s performance in the slightest. On the day of testing, I took the Rossignol Soul 7 through endless piles of crud, and not once did I feel like I was leaving it behind. It does however, make the ski incredibly light. From what I’ve heard, one of the goals with the Rossigonl Soul 7, was to create a ski that you could use as a touring ski as easily as a resort ski. With this in mind, the airtip makes perfect sense. Rather than sacrifice core materials that keep the ski stiff, Rossignol decided to simply reduce the weight in the tip and tail. They were able to do this by ending the core, and instead inserting an ABS Resin material, molded into a honeycomb pattern. The result is a ski that doesn’t compromise, and is also 20% lighter than comparable skis on the market.
In terms of the manueverability of these skis, I was equally impressed. The Rossignol Soul 7 aims to be a one ski quiver, and it succeeds. Even in the mixed snow conditions, these skis transitioned perfectly from soft snow, to crud, and then to hardpack without skipping a beat. Thanks to the skis rocker profile as well as camber underfoot, these skis were able to perform flawlessly across all types of snow. The Soul 7’s 106mm waist combined with a 136mm tip and 126mm tail gives this ski an amazingly manueverable turn radius of just 17m. Additionally, those wide tips and tails make it super easy to get these skis up on top of soft snow.
All in all, I was very impressed by the 2014 Rossignol Soul 7 Skis. Like I said, it’s very rare for me to get on a pair of skis and think, “I need these.” But the Rossignol Soul 7 made me a believer. For years everyone’s holy grail has been the “one ski quiver.” And while these skis won’t lay down the tightest slalom turns or float effortlessly over feet of powder, I can assure you that you will have no trouble carving down any trail, or skiing powder on these skis. So while a true one ski quiver may be forever unobtainable, I can tell you that the 2014 Rossignol Soul 7 Skis may just be as close as we’ll ever come. And by the way, I am happy to say that I now own a pair.
Posted by David Wolfgang on 2/13/13