2020 Rossignol Experience 88 Ti Women's Ski Review: // Ski Reviews
Ripping around the mountain has never been more fun and exciting than on the Rossignol Experience 88 Ti women's skis. Following the lead of the successful men's Experience line, the women's version is an impressive all-mountain ski with versatility to spare. We talk a lot about the 88 mm underfoot all-mountain skis here at SkiEssentials.com, as both industry personnel and the skiing public has found this to be right in the sweet spot of the one-ski quiver conversation. These are your set it and forget it skis that you can just click in, push off, and go. Aimed at intermediate to expert level skiers, the Experience 88 Ti women's skis appear utilitarian, and they are, but they're surprisingly agile, strong, and incredibly fun.
Racing technology has a funny way of filtering down into recreational products. They'll come up with something in the race room, have some success on the circuit, and then pass that tech down the line. We consumers are the direct recipients of that high-level design, and in the Experience 88's case, it's their Line Control Technology, or LCT. There are a lot of ski companies that are experimenting with vertical laminates as opposed to, or in addition to, horizontal layers, and in our experience, it's paying some serious dividends. For the Experience 88 Ti, the central metal strut does a few things. First, it keeps the fore/aft flex of the ski consistent and stiff while keeping weight to a minimum. Second, it prevents counter-flexing, which is kind of a fancy way of saying "big vibrations." The result is a super-smooth ride with stability to spare. It's pretty impressive what the LCT does for the Experience 88 Ti W, and it's no wonder that we're seeing this type of technology expand across ski company lines.
Built with a wood core mixed with basalt, the Experience 88 Ti W has a fairly typical construction. It's mostly vertical sidewall until the tips, where it tapers to a more cap-like build. At this point, Rossignol's Air Tip VAS comes in to play. The Vibration Absorption System is comprised of shock-absorbing elastomer that helps keep the ski quiet and on track. Seeing as though the first thing to come in contact with the snow is the tip area of the ski, it makes perfect sense to put the absorbent material here. This material, combined with the thinner sidewall, make for a light swing weight and easy maneuverability. It all adds up to a strong-performing ski with a ton of upside.
On the groomers and firmer surfaces, the 88 mm underfooted Experience loves to be put on edge. From one turn to the next, these skis are supremely competent and capable carvers. At the 159 cm length, they have a pretty short 13-meter radius, so skiers should expect to make a fair amount of turns. In terms of turn initiation, the lighter tips, paired with a 30% tip rocker profile, create an easy to turn ski that smoothly begins and transitions from turn to turn. Underfoot, the edge grip is quite impressive, even for an 88, and inspires a great deal of confidence and promotes improvement for skiers from a wide variety of ability levels. For most skiers, this width and shape are all that is needed for all-mountain skiing and fun.
As a potential one-ski quiver, the Experience 88 needs to perform off-piste as well. Fortunately, this just so happens to be the case. While not a powder ski by any stretch, the 127 mm tip width combined with the lighter swing-weight and softer flex in the tip create a ski that can easily handle soft and broken snow. The tail prefers to be engaged, but is slightly turned-up to relieve some pressure and hookiness. It's fonder of plowing through chunky snow than it is dancing over it, and that's fine for an all-mountain ski. It's when you get into the wider ski platforms that you need a bit of extra rocker and taper for that floating sensation. But for the vast majority of skiers looking for an 88 underfoot ski, that personality doesn't really exist at this shape.
Fans of mogul skiing will love the softer-flexing tip and the edge to edge quickness of the E88. Whether you're an experienced zipper-line skier or someone who prefers to take the long way around a mogul, the Experience 88 Ti W is way more of a help than a hindrance in the bumps. The tip rocker makes them easy to maneuver from crest to trough. They're kind of the perfect weight for moguls as well, not too light that they get bounced around, but not too heavy that you get sucked into one particular turn. As with most 88's the well-roundedness stands out, as the skis exist in the Goldilocks zone of everything being just right.
Same goes for skiing the trees. The tips seemingly steer you right through your intended line, as if you're being pulled by some invisible string at the bottom of the run. They're effortless and fun, and work well in all types of conditions in the woods. Here at Stowe, we have a fair amount of tight trees, and these skis never diverge off of their intended trajectory. It's a point-and-shoot style of ski that responds well to input and gives appropriate feedback. The flatter tail, while not quite as playful as some softer and lighter skis, provides ample support when you're trying to make quick turns, so skiers at or above the intermediate level will be able to generate power and rebound even in softer snow.
On-trail or off, carving or skidding, floating or dancing, the 2020 Rossignol Experience 88 Ti W is a shining example of a pure all-mountain ski. Built to live right in the middle of everything, the Experience 88 is a ski that you don't have to think too hard about. It's above-average in pretty much all categories, and really excels in on-piste carving. Intermediate skiers will feel challenged, but not overwhelmed, and advanced and experts will love the precision, poise, and power that can be generated out of these all-mountain beauties. Rossignol has really nailed it over the past two years with this new Experience design, providing skiers with a modern and technological product that just simply works.