2018 Rossignol Experience 88 HD Skis 2018 Rossignol Experience 88 HD Skis

2018 Rossignol Experience 88 HD Skis

The Experience 88 HD from Rossignol has become a favorite among all mountain skiers who value good performance on groomed slopes, but want something they can take off trail now and then. It has an 88 mm waist width, Rossignol’s Auto Turn rocker profile, a poplar wood core, and most recently has been updated to include Rossignol’s Carbon Alloy Matrix which has given it increased torsional stiffness, edge grip, and a little bit more energy in and out of a turn. The new graphics of the Experience 88 HD are, in our opinion, the best yet and we expect the ski to remain a popular all mountain ski for the 2018 season.

Justin Perry tested the 180 cm length and thought it was a “great ski for anyone looking to carve out the groomers and hard pack.” Although it’s significantly wider than most dedicated carving skis, the entire Experience collection draws more influence from carving skis than anything else in terms of their shape. Full width tips and tails give the ski excellent edge contact with the snow, unlike a ski with more rocker and early taper where you have a shorter effective edge than the ski’s length when skiing on firm snow. While Justin found the ski to be impressively stable for not having full metal laminates, he did notice that the ski was deflected a bit in really choppy snow conditions thanks to the light swing weight achieved by the air tip. “Although it was incredibly stable at any speed, it had a hard time cutting through the crud.” A heavier ski will track better through choppy snow conditions (the Experience 100 HD that uses metal, for example). The light weight of the tips and tails, however, is what gives the Experience 88 HD such a quick, maneuverable feel.

Jake Inger, who skied the 188 cm Experience 88 HD, thought it would make a great “all around ski.” Although that sounds relatively vague, he’s right. If you’re only buying one pair of skis the Experience 88 HD is definitely a contender. Because it’s relatively light you’re able to ski it all day without major fatigue, but the Carbon Alloy Matrix gives it enough power and torsional stiffness for relatively aggressive skiing, then the 88 mm waist width completes the versatile nature of the Experience 88 HD. No matter where you live and ski this ski will get you out on the slopes and allow you to explore just about everything.

Matt McGinnis was impressed by the power provided by the Carbon Alloy Matrix, and noted that it’s not a ski for beginners despite its relative light weight. “The right customer for this ski is someone looking to ski with power and isn’t afraid to commit to a hard carve. Beginner skiers might be overwhelmed by the 88 and should opt for a narrower, less aggressive Experience ski. Any other skier looking to progress their skills would love this ski.” Matt was skiing the 180 cm length.

Our testers seemed most impressed by the stability and power generated by the Carbon Alloy Matrix in the Experience 88 HD. More than one of them referred to it as a “powerful frontside carver,” which is saying a lot considering it has an 88 mm waist width and doesn’t use any metal. While it does carve a turn well, it wouldn’t really compare to the power of a narrower carving ski that uses more metal. On the contrary it is tremendously more versatile and less fatiguing than such a ski and allows you to enjoy a full day of skiing over a variety of trail and terrain choices.


Justin Perry Ski Tester Headshot Image

Justin Perry

Age: 27Height: 5'9"Weight: 170 lbs.

Ski Style: Aggressive All Mountain Freeride

Matt McGinnis Ski Tester Headshot Image

Matt McGinnis

Age: 27Height: 5'7"Weight: 175 lbs.

Ski Style: Surfy Freeride with a Freestyle Background

Jake Inger Ski Tester Headshot Image

Jake Inger

Age: 20Height: 5'11"Weight: 170 lbs.

Ski Style: Fast and Energetic

30 Comments on the “2018 Rossignol Experience 88 HD Skis”

  1. I’m 6 ft (183) tall, about 100kg (not sure if that matters 🙂 ). Thinking of getting these, the 177cm long. I’m intermediate I think, I mostly go on black runs, but am still to learn proper carving. Had a knee injury a while back, so I’m likely never going to go super high speed, looking more for something that’ll give me a good mix of good speed and control. Wonder if these are good for that.

    The other ones I was looking at were head I. TITAN ERA 3.0 S or K 2 Apache Recon and Blizzard Quattro 8.4.

    1. Hi Julian!
      The Experience 88 is a great choice. There’s a lot in that ~88 underfoot category that work well for any and all conditions, so I’d stick in that arena versus the other skis on your list that are more on-trail oriented. Size sounds right to me! Have fun!

  2. Hi there,

    How would you compare 2018 Rossi Experience 84 vs 88? I am a 45-year old, 5’7″ tall intermediate skier looking to improve and am thinking of buying one of the two. Primarily ski groomed slopes in California mountains although would like to have flexibility to go off-piste as well.


    1. Hi Sam!
      In addition to the extra width, the 88 has metal in it while the 84 does not have the same construction. As a result, the 88 is more competent at speeds and is more stable than the 84. That said, it is more demanding while the 84 is a bit more user-friendly. If you’re looking to improve and hit higher speeds, I’d go with the 88. Hope that helps and have fun!

  3. Hi! I ve been skiing for 12 years now on a average of 15 days per year. I am 45 years old, 174cm height and 77 kilos. I ski with a Atomic bluster 166cm and i am looking to upgrade. I am intermediate to advance skier and i am debating between nordica enforcer 93 and rossignol experience 88 hd. Which should i go with? What length? Any other recommendation?? Thank you!!!

    1. Hi George!
      If you’re skiing all-mountain terrain with a variety of conditions, the ~88 underfoot skis are very versatile and fun. The Rossignol Experience 88, K2 Pinnacle 88, Blizzard Bushwacker, and Atomic Vantage 86 C are all great options. I’d put the Enforcer 93 into the advanced/expert category as it’s pretty stiff and can be demanding. I’d say anything in the 170-174 cm range would work great! Hope that helps!

  4. For all ppl that are looking for 88…I’m a 52 year old man who ski since 4 year old my season are average 40-70 days I’m aggressive all mountain guy from waist deep powder to all day mogul at highline vail and all between and over the years I tried like 500 or more skis and I did like some of them more or less but that was till I tried 88 all mountain with big A that’s 88 best carving skis for moguls I ever tried you can watch me at YouTube under racecleanmorons skiing on those skis. All my friends are owners of those and just another pair of big powder skis 88 r good up to foot of it if you know how to ski pow after you gone suffer so get 125s for real pow! I owe all models of this skis the latest version is the easiest of them all everywhere but up to 2018 model. The 19s I did not try yet so can’t be sure… The easiest ski for every thing up to 100km/h GS slalom np. (for the faster out there) there are simular skis I’ve try but not as easy in every terrain like exp88s… AMEN

  5. Hi I’m comparing the 88HD to the Blizzard Barhma. If you had to point out one major difference between one brand versus the other, what would it be? I skied a lot on the 88HD last season. I liked it a lot, but I have nothing to compare it to as I rented only the 88HD. Don’t mistake that choice for novice ski ability. I came back to the sport with a quick (re)learning curve. I like going steep (feel very comfortable going down double blues and some easier black diamonds); also like going really fast while carving. I can land jumps and go off some small ledges. I mainly ski out west in California (Squaw and Heavenly), but looking to do Colorado or Wyoming this year Looking to get take on new territory/challenges this season (more black diamonds). Any recommendations would be appreciated.

    1. Hey Shaun!
      The Brahma is a fairly good comparison to the Experience 88. They both love to be on-trail carving fast turns. If you’re skiing the steeps and want something with control, those are two great options. The Brahma is built a little more like a race ski while the Experience is a bit more user-friendly. If you’re looking for the ultimate in performance and stability, the Brahma is the way to go. Hope that helps!

  6. I am 49 years old,, 5 feet 4 inches,, weigh 143 pounds. I consider myself an advanced skier.
    i am doubting between de 156 cm or the 164 cm Rossignol 88 Experience. I ski 70% on groomers and 30% off piste.

    Thanks a lot for your help.

    1. Hi Jaime!

      I would go with the 156 cm length. The 164 cm would be a little bit taller than you, which is kind of long for the Experience 88 HD because it doesn’t use much rocker at all. 156 cm should be more appropriate, that will be about eyebrow height.

      Hope that helps!


      1. Thks a lot for your answer!!!

        I am trying to find a 156 cm length but it seems they dissapeared from everywhere. It looks like only 164 cm are available….

        I Will keep trying…

        Thks once more!!!!!

  7. I am 62 years old,, 5 feet 9 inches,, weigh 170 pounds. I ski since 5 years old and consider myself an advanced skier.
    i am doubting between de 164 cm or the 172 cm Rossignol 88 Experience. I ski 60% on groomers and 405 off piste.

    1. Hi Jorge!

      I replied to your comment over on our blog article as well. You’ll be just fine on the 172 cm length, I would worry that the 164 cm would feel a bit unstable for you.


  8. Hi would U recommend the experience 88hd 180cm I’m 95kg just under 6ft have researched a lot and really like em just not sure if to long a wide as haven’t bought my own pair of skis since I started when I was around 8 I like skiiing fast and carving but wanna get more in to jumps and a few little tricks and downhill skiing thanks

    1. Hi James!

      What kind of tricks are you thinking of? The Experience 88 HD is an awesome ski, but it’s definitely a directional all mountain ski, not something that you can go backwards on or that kind of thing. If you’re not thinking of anything involving going backwards I think it could be a fun ski for you! It has a great mix of performance for the whole mountain and carves exceptionally well. Have you been renting skis in recent years?


  9. Hi,

    It is nice to have a pair of skies which are light but still high performance. What I want to know is about the dampness. They do not use metal sheets , do you get a vibration on them at higher speeds? and also because of the extended side cut , how is the versatility comparing for example with Salomon XDR 80 TI which has slightly an early taper rocker, and comparing also the dampness between them ?
    Thank you!

    1. Hi Mihai!

      The Carbon Alloy Matrix definitely helped boost damping, but it’s not quite the same as a ski with metal. If you were to compare the Experience 88 directly across with the similar-width XDR 88 Ti I do think the XDR is a little more versatile with its rocker and early taper. It’s also a touch better for vibration damping at high speeds. Despite that, the Experience 88 does have better edge grip. Really long edge contact on the Experience 88 and great torsional stiffness from the carbon.

      Hope that helps!


      1. Thank you! Yes, this clarifies my questions. I think i will go for the experience for next season, great review keep up the good work 🙂

  10. Thanks for the advice I am gonna see if I can find the 88s in my size. If not I have heard the Ripstick 86 ski is getting good reviews also.

  11. Hey guys. I started skiing 2/17 and have about 30 days under my belt. Just started skiing blacks this weekend. Mostly ski East coast groomers but I want the ability to go off piste when the opportunity presents itself. I have been skiing atomic vantage 75s in a 156 cm. They are very unstable at speed so I want to upgrade. I am 5’’8 190 lbs and I got to demo this ski In a 172 and really enjoyed it. My question is, should I go up to 177 to progress with the ski? Also are there any other skis I should look at before jumping in? The 2019 88ti look really strong from what I have seen but who knows what the price is gonna be. Hoping I get a better look at them before I miss out on the remaining 2018 stock

    1. Hi Brian!

      I think a 172 cm Experience 88 would be a nice upgrade for you without being too overwhelming or challenging to ski. The 2019 version gets a little more powerful with that metal. It’s a great ski, but I don’t necessarily think you need it as you’re relatively new to the sport. Without checking I believe full price of the 2019 will be just about the same as the previous version. You could stick within the Vantage line and go with a ski like the Vantage 90 CTI? You’re familiar with that brand, but the 90 really takes the performance to a whole new level compared to your current skis.


      1. Thanks, I really did not like the Atomics so jumping to the 90 is not really something I would like to consider. Last question on the 88s, I have become rather aggressive and like to ski at high speeds. Do you think I should look for something with some metal in it?

      2. That’s pretty hard to say without seeing you ski, but I don’t think so, no. You really haven’t been skiing that long and skis with metal in their construction are a lot more demanding and a lot more fatiguing. The performance of the Experience 88 HD will blow your Atomics out of the water already. Getting something with an insane amount of stability (two sheets of metal) can actually be detrimental to skiers who are still progressing their technique as it can cause some bad habits.

  12. As you mentioned this all mountain ski can hang with the carvers…. but how does it do off the groomers? Bumps and trees? What if we get some powder? How does it score in playfulness and fun to ski category?
    Thank you for your awesome east coast reviews!

    – Joe

    1. Hi Joe!

      The Experience 88 isn’t the most playful or maneuverable ski in un-groomed terrain. It uses “Extended Sidecut” and a pretty low rise rocker, so it can feel a little bit catchy in tricky terrain. Pretty difficult to get the tail edge to release in soft snow, which is part of the reason why it skis so well as a carving ski. Rossi has updated the Experience shape for 2019 and it’s quite a bit different. Check out our review on our Chairlift Chat blog from a couple weeks ago.


  13. I just bought these skis and I am 100% in agreement with the comments made above by the testers. It is a great reactive machine even more if you push it to The limits.

    Russell Flanagan
    Quebec, Canada

    1. Thanks for sharing your experience Russell! Definitely a super responsive ski. So fun to lay down turns on it!

      Have a great season!

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