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This has been one of the more fun-loving and exciting skis over the past five years or so, and that trend will continue on into 2024. The Blackops 98 fits the bill as a wonderful twin tip that excels in all-mountain conditions and terrain, also showing its freestyle prowess with park skills and natural feature acumen. This is a highly intuitive and confidence-inspiring ski that allows for creativity and fun-loving skiing all over the mountain. We’ve touted wider twin tips around here basically forever, and that love does not change. Rossignol has had this ski in one form or another, including way back into the Scratch BC days, and in that sense, they’ve been ahead of the curve. Since then, they’ve taken the ski and the style to new heights, all the while keeping the wonderful parts that make it unique and special.

For the most part, this ski has a pretty simple and straightforward build. We are getting a poplar wood core, multiple layers of fiberglass, a binding retention zone underfoot. In the tips and tails, Rossignol uses their damp tech rubberized material to soften the vibes and smooth out the whole apparatus. As a result, this ski is pretty heavy, as there needs to be quite a bit of epoxy used to keep the fiberglass adhered to the core. In the 182 cm length, this ski hits 2000 grams, which is pretty heavy for not having metal. That heft does equate to stability, as this ski is one of the most chatter-free skis on the planet, and that’s part of the charm. When we get into shape, it’s easy to see how the ski becomes more maneuverable and agile, but just based off of construction, it’s a pretty rugged overall feel. When you give it a rap with your knuckles, there’s not a whole lot of chatter going on at all—it definitely passes the phonics test.

162, 172, 182, 192 cm19 m at 182 cm131/98/121 mm

Poplar Wood
Damp Tech
Preferred Terrain
Soft Groomers
Natural Features

Built as a twin tip, but with more modest splay, this lower-profile ski is smooth and easy to use. In deep snow, this means that the tips and tails don’t get pushed down too hard, allowing for great flotation—better than some competitors for sure due to this shape. Overall, it’s pretty flat—not a ton of camber underfoot and containing width-appropriate rockers in the front and rear. Again, this leads to the silent and strong character of the ski that makes it fun and versatile. There’s some decent taper here, enhancing that flotation and working in harmony with the rocker profile. Turn initiation is smooth and easy and the finish portion of the turn is predictable and strong. Since the turn radius is a bit longer (19-meters in the 182), it’s more up to the skier to dictate the shape and duration of the turn rather than it being hooky or grabby. This falls in line with the freeride personality of the ski, keeping it squarely in the fun-loving category.

We’ve been huge fans of this ski in the past and will continue to be just that as long as they keep churning it out. There’s always room in the ski industry for these upper-90's twin tips, and this one falls on the sturdier side of the spectrum. What it lacks in pop and energy, it more than makes up for in versatility and stability. While the weight and the shape keep it somewhat out of the park-specific conversation, it’s still got some tricks up its sleeve, you just have to work a bit harder to make it cooperate.