The Experience 84 HD is a relatively versatile all mountain ski that’s designed to be approachable for a wide range of ability levels. It has an 84 mm waist width, uses Rossignol’s Carbon Alloy Matrix technology and Auto Turn rocker profile, but instead of a relatively dense poplar wood core found in the 88 and 100, it uses a lighter Paulownia wood core. This reduces swing weight even more than the Air Tip already does, makes the ski slightly softer flexing, and ultimately more user-friendly for less aggressive skiers. Our three testers on the Experience 84 HD all skied the 178 cm length.
Jake Inger described the Experience 84 HD as a “fun all mountain ski.” He thought it was “poppy, carved well, and was very quick.” He thinks it would be a great all mountain ski and found that it handled a variety of terrain quite well, including icy slopes. Somewhat surprisingly to Jake it “handled some of the icy bumps well.” He also commented that it “didn’t feel too heavy,” which is partially thanks to the Paulownia wood core, but really all of the Experience collection skis are known for feeling relatively light weight (with the exception being the 100, which uses metal).
Mike Aidala thought it was a great “mid-fat all mountain option.” While mid-fat is a term that seems to change from year to year, we know what he means. It’s not super wide, but it’s not a super narrow, dedicated carving ski. It does borrow some design elements from both types of skis, however, with camber under foot and some subtle tip and tail rocker. It’s this Auto Turn tip and tail rocker that helps make turn initiation very smooth and easy, something that Mike picked right up on. “It initiates turns very easily and finishes the turn without much effort.” We think that’s the perfect way to describe how Rossignol’s Auto Turn rocker feels; it allows for seemingly effortless turns whether skidding, carving, or something in between.
Matt McGinnis had a great reaction to the Experience 84 HD, so we’re going to share his entire response: “The two words I would use to describe the ski are easy and capable. With the short turn radius the ski is super maneuverable, lending itself to anyone from beginners to advanced intermediate skiers who prefer a frontside ski that’s ready to change directions on a whim. I’d also use the word “capable” as the ski didn’t chatter, despite hard snow pack and quick speeds. The weaknesses are obvious as they’re exactly what the ski isn’t for: powder, playfulness, skiing switch, etc. All in all these skis perform the job they were designed for at a high level.”
We think Matt really describes the ski well there, although the one thing we’d mention in response to his reaction is that there are arguably more appropriate Experience skis for true beginners. A first time skier would likely find the Carbon Alloy Matrix provides too much torsional stiffness for them to feel comfortable, although a first time skier might not even realize the ski is overpowering them. On contrary, the Experience 84 HD is impressively approachable for less aggressive skiers and is definitely a great choice for a developing intermediate skier or even a beginner who has found rental skis, or more beginner oriented skis, just don’t provide enough performance for them.