2022 Rossignol Experience 86 Ti Ski Review: Lead Image

Ski Reviews

2022 Rossignol Experience 86 Ti Ski Review

It feels crazy to say, but we’re easily half way through ski season right now. At this point, we’ve already tested just about every single 2022 ski from the 18 major ski brands we work with. We’ve shared some exciting new skis already, and today’s article marks another significant change to a major player in the ski industry: the Rossignol Experience line. Today, we’re specifically going to talk about the Experience 86 Ti, but Rossignol has revamped the entire Experience collection for both men and women with new shapes, new construction, and a new attitude. The Experience line has always been home to some of the most well-rounded skis with a very broad appeal for different skiers, and although they do feel different, these new skis carry that idea forward, which I think is important.

Perhaps most obviously, we have new widths in the Experience line. The widest Experience skis are now 86 mm underfoot, contrasting previous Experience skis which got all the way up to 100 mm wide in the waist back in the day. We get two constructions in that same width range and shape: Titanal and Basalt. There’s also both an 82 Ti and 82 Basalt, taking the place of the previous Experience 84. That’s basically the bulk of the line, but then we do also get some less-expensive options in the 80, 78, and 76 mm widths. So, new widths are the headline, but what makes these skis different?

AT A GLANCE


2022 Rossignol Experience 86 Ti Skis



AVAILABLE SIZES

TURN RADIUS

SIDECUT

CORE

STRENGTHS

167, 176, 185 cm

16 m at 176 cm

132 / 86 / 120 mm

Poplar, Titanal, Carbon Alloy Matrix, Drive Tip Solution

Edge Grip, Stability, Compliance


Let’s start with construction. Rossignol has been using a lot of different technologies in their skis in recent years, and that’s certainly true with the Experience 86 Ti. To start, we get an eco-friendly poplar wood core that comes with a PEFC Certification ensuring sustainable forest management. Cool! In fact, Rossignol is very committed to sustainable manufacturing, which is fantastic, and is something they’re really emphasizing for 2022. Their factory is powered by 100% carbon-free energy! That’s pretty darn cool too. Okay, so a poplar wood core starts things off, then we get two Titanal laminates. The Experience 88 Ti that these skis are replacing also used metal, but in Rossignol’s Line Control Technology method, utilizing a vertical strip of metal rather than horizonal laminates. The sheet of metal under the core is full width, and basically full length of the ski, while the metal on top of the core is full width underfoot, then tapers as it reaches the tips and tails, somewhat similarly to what we see in the K2 Disruption construction. We also get Rossignol’s Carbon Alloy Matrix weave and a new Drive Tip Solution. Longitudinal visco fibers in the tip of the ski absorb energy from bumps and variations in the snow surface, then the energy is dissipated through an open cell material in the forebody of the ski, resulting in a much smoother feel by the time those vibrations reach your foot. So, like we said, there’s a lot going on in these skis, but it’s all carefully engineered, and works really well, which we’ll get to.

Then there’s the shape. The Experience skis have gone through some changes over the past decade or so. We used to have extended sidecut, then in recent years they used more taper to increase versatility, kind of borrowing some shaping concepts from the 7 Series skis. Now, however, we’ve moving back to more of an extended sidecut design in what Rossignol is calling All Trail Sidecut. It’s designed to engage quicker, strengthen through the tail, and give the ski more purchase on the snow. It’s paired with All Trail Profile, which actually utilizes a good amount of tip rocker. The idea is to give the ski a progressive feeling in how it absorbs uneven terrain, without sacrificing edge grip when you tip it on edge. We get 3 lengths in the Experience 86 Ti, 167, 176, and 185, with turn radii ranging from 14 to 17 meters.

2022 Rossignol Experience 86 Ti Ski Review: Camber Profile Image

Alright, let’s talk performance, and let’s start with groomers. Groomers have always been an application where the Experience skis shine, and this new version is the best ever. It’s not just better by a little bit, in my opinion, it’s significantly better, which is saying a lot. If the previous versions shone on groomers, this new Experience 86 Ti is absolutely glowing. The damp, smooth, quiet feel they achieve with the new metal laminates and the Drive Tip Solution surpasses anything Rossignol has achieved in these skis in past years. They are exceptionally smooth. They also feel more powerful than previous versions of the Experience skis. Both the original shape with the extended sidecut, and the most recent version with Line Control Technology. You can really stand on these skis and push harder and harder and harder without finding much of a limit.

What’s really interesting, and a big reason why they’re so good, is they also feel relatively light on your feet and still have some forgiveness that’s sometimes lost on powerful skis in this width range. The shorter turn radius helps with that. The 16 m radius in the 176 cm length that I (Jeff) tested really helps the ski come across the fall line. I had a similar experience on the Elan Wingman 86 CTI, which makes sense as there are a decent number of similarities between those two skis. It’s also not jarringly stiff, and the tip shape makes turn engagement smooth and relatively effortless. There are definitely more aggressive skis out there, but the Experience 86 Ti achieves a really nice balance of stability, power, and edge grip, while still remaining lighter on your feet, less fatiguing, and more approachable for skiers who aren’t just charging all the time. Simply put, if you’re looking for an all-mountain ski and you value carving performance, these are really, really good.

2022 Rossignol Experience 86 Ti Ski Review: Full Width Action Image 1 2022 Rossignol Experience 86 Ti Ski Review: Full Width Action Image 2

Of course, we wouldn’t want to completely sacrifice all-mountain versatility for increased carving and firm snow performance, and this is another area where I think Rossignol struck a nice balance. Rossignol has plenty of skis that are designed more for off-piste terrain or soft snow conditions, so in my opinion it makes perfect sense to lean a little more towards the carving side of things, but we found they’re still capable when you go off trail as well. In fact, Bob St.Pierre was particularly enamored by their performance in moguls, and in light of that, this feels like a good time to insert a Bob quote:

In my two ski days on the Experience 86 Ti, I've found two very strong high points. The first is smoothness through the carve, as the long effective edge feels great from tip to tail. They are quiet, strong, and stable, and accomplish this feat in a lighter weight than some of the beefier 86-88 skis. While the outgoing 88 had more of a versatile, all-mountain feeling, these 86's now certainly border more, and compete with, the wider front side skis (Elan Wingman 86, Volkl Deacon 84, or Fischer RC One 86 GT). They manage to do this with a lighter weight and a quicker feeling than those skis, so it still does retain an all-mountain personality. The second merit of these skis is their mogul performance. At 86 mm wide and with a quicker-turning ability due to the weight, they are very fun in the bumps. Even though they have metal in them, they're not too stiff that they put you in the back seat, rather they have a nice sturdy feeling that allows them to provide positive feedback without being too demanding. Overall, between their intuitive nature on the groomers and their accessibility in bumps, I'm pretty stoked on these new Experience 86 Ti's, as they make a fantastic eastern and firm snow ski.

I’ll be the first to admit that when I saw the new shape and even when I took my first runs on them, mogul performance isn’t something I was thinking about. I think that’s natural for someone with a lot of experience on different skis. I see an extended sidecut shape and think: “that’ll be catchy in moguls.” While the shape of the previous skis, as Bob mentions, is more versatile in the sense that it’s providing more float and/or feels more agile in tight terrain, but this new version certainly didn’t lose all of that. The ability to release the tail edge is still there, and although it may require a little more skier input, it feels like a perfectly reasonable tradeoff given the improved performance on firm snow. I also find the tip and tail rocker profile really helps in moguls and other off-piste terrain. That Drive Tip Solution is undoubtedly also helping. With the shape of the tip and that technology, the ski absorbs and adapts to different terrain really well, which helps a ton when you’re driving your tips into bumps like Bob.

All in all, I think it’s safe to say this is the best Experience yet. I said it the first time I skied them, and I still feel that way after 4-5 days on them. They are responsive, smooth, damp, and very rewarding linking turns on firm snow. Versatile enough to release the tail edge and ski some steeper terrain without feeling like you’re locked into a turn. Agile enough for moguls and low-snow trees. It’s still a true all-mountain ski, but I think the difference now is it’s going to better satisfy high level carvers. Bob listed some heavy hitters in this category, and I think he’s right. It’ll go head to head with those skis without any hesitation and brings with it its own unique characteristics.

2022 Rossignol Experience 86 Ti Ski Review: Buy Now Image

Written by Jeff Neagle on 02/18/21

7 thoughts on “2022 Rossignol Experience 86 Ti Ski Review

  1. Thanks for this great review! I am 6'2" 215 lbs. advanced intermediate looking for a primarily frontside ski. I had been considering the Nordica Navigator 85 and the Rossi Experience 88 because I understood them to be good carvers that could still be fun if you let up on the gas a little bit. I like to hit the blacks in the Midwest, but I spend a lot of time on blues with my kids. I tried the Navigator, and liked them, though there were times I wanted something slightly stiffer. Are these skis I should wait for? What length would be good?

    1. HI Christopher!
      I like the Navigator comparison, but I'd say the Experience 86 initiates a bit better and is a slightly stiffer ski overall, but still not too demanding. I think a lot of skiers like you are going to successfully gravitate towards the Experience 86. There's nothing wrong with the outgoing 88, it's just a bit heavier and not quite as sophisticated or intuitive. I'd wait, and I'd go with the 176 if you're still on the mellower side, or the 185 if you're interested in more stability at speed (at the cost of quickness and ease). Have fun!
      SE

  2. Hey Jeff and Bob! Awesome review. Sounds like this ski may be a good ticket for high end carving performance with some decent mogul capability as well, which is what I'm looking for. Have a 172cm 74mm pair of carvers, but have been looking for something wider that still retains a lot of edge hold and dampness at speed, but makes some concessions for moguls / variable snow, as these carvers as you mention are catchy in the moguls and have a very stiff, flat tail. I also have a 177cm Fischer Ranger 102 FR which are really fun if the snow is soft / smooth, but I want something with a higher speed limit that is better on hard snow and blasting through chewy stuff.

    In addition to this ski, do you guys recommend any other skis to consider? I'm an advanced skier based in the Mid Atlantic, ~145lbs / 5'8".

    Thanks in advance!

    1. HI Gordon!
      I'm also a big fan of the K2 Mindbender 90Ti for that application, with a good blend of carving and mogul performance, also able to blast through crud. The 86Ti is cool because it's a bit narrower than the 88-90 skis, so it does have a different feel to it, especially in terms of quickness. It still has that all-mountain feel to it, while something like the Fischer RC One 86 GT or Elan Wingman 86 Ti/CTi are more carving oriented, but in a wider shape. I like the all-mountain skis for what you're looking for, and the new Experience 86 is one of the better ones we've been on lately. I'd look to the high 160's to low 170's for length. Have fun!
      SE

      1. Thanks for the feedback, super helpful! I'll definitely check out the Mindbender alongside these Experiences. Just to clarify, when you say you like the all-mountain skis for what I'm looking for, are you saying something like the Wingman or RC One is a little too much of a piste ski? The skis that were spinning around in my brain were exactly those two skis, along with more freeridey things like Enforcer 88, Navigator 85, and Brahma 88/82 - although I wonder if the Brahma's are a little too burly for my application. Would be curious your thoughts on those as well.

        Thanks again!

      2. Thanks for the quick feedback, super helpful! I'll definitely check out the Mindbenders alongside these Experiences. One thing to clarify though - when you say you like the all mountain skis for what I'm looking for, are you saying that the Wingman / RC One you mention are more piste-oriented than you'd recommend? I ask because I had exactly those two skis spinning around in my brain, as well as more freeridey alternatives like the Enforcer 88, Navigator 85, Kendo 88, and Brahma 88/82. I wonder your thoughts on some of these as well, if you don't mind.

        Thanks again! Hoping to maybe get to Stowe next season and come visit you guys in person! 🙂

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