Ski Review 2017
SKI REVIEWS 2017
Click on the name of a model to view a full review
Rossignol Hero Elite LT TI (Konect) [click]
Type of ski : On-piste cruisers
After several difficult seasons when the brand's products found it hard to convince the reviewers, since last year, Rossignol has been back with a vengeance with an excellent selection of products. Already picked out last year and selected again by PROSKILAB™ in the 2017 review, the Rossignol Elite LT (for Long Turn), fitted with the Konect plate, displays the same qualities...with the same results.
From the very first ride, you grasp all the generous character of this ski, judged as "very easy" and "immediately under control" by the PROSKILAB™ reviewers. It's also a remarkably comfortable model. It cushions the terrain, smoothes out any lumps and bumps to perfection and requires a minimum of effort in terms of control.
But it's when you step up the pace that the Elite LT really struts its stuff, especially its remarkable efficiency. Turn initiation is immediate and intuitive, and turn control is exceptional. It has grip, is stable, and, above all, is very precise. "The turns are drawn with a compass!" one of the reviewers enthused. It's a real jewel of precision and efficiency. Of course, with the DNA of a Giant slalom ski, it's amazing in long turns, but still remains a good performer in short turns.
It's a very versatile ski that will let you alternate effortless turns and long silky rides. It's as happy carving at high speeds on hard pack as it is in cool glides over soft snow.
Considered as a "perfect ski" by some reviewers, it's obvious that the Rossignol Elite LT outperformed this selection of what are considered as the best skis on the market. You can do everything with it, with little effort and, above all, amazing sensations. The combination of precision, efficiency and comfort is impressive and extremely enjoyable.
It's an excellent choice for a wide range of skiers, from intermediate level to expert.
Recommended by our reviewers!
Liked: Excellent overall performance
Very sound behaviour
A snappy, precise ski
Lively and responsive
Disliked: Nothing special...
Rossignol Hero Elite ST Ti (plaque R21 racing) [click]
Type of ski : Slalom
Once again, we noted how a change of plate can alter a ski's performance by playing on the stiffness of the waist.
During a discussion with the brand about the model to be reviewed in this category, we decided to test the Hero Elite ST (for Short Turns) that features a composite 'Race' plate (called R21 racing) and this choice proved highly judicious.
The Hero Elite ST has a standard "Konect" plate and is a good ski, but we did not feel its performance was quite good enough during the pre-reviews for this "Slalom" category.
The R21 plate provides the additional stiffness and performance that was lacking, putting it in first place, mainly due to the excellent accessibility/performance compromise.
The ski is remarkably efficient, while remaining very accessible and intuitive. Thanks to a relatively flexible tip, turn initiation is instinctive and fast, extremely incisive when going into the turn. It grips and holds the turn faultlessly and has good rebound at the end of the turn.
Very easy to handle, the ski is also very tolerant. It will forgive poor positioning and pressure, and does not jump into a push-off at the end of each turn like many other slalom skis.
Big surprise for a ski in this category: the ski is very versatile. It carves, skids and slides as you want, and will coolly alternate dynamic turns at high speed and silky smooth turns at medium speed, for both long and short turns.
The Elite ST Ti R21 is not a racing fiend but it stands out for the truly amazing compromise between accessibility and performance. With its R21 plate, it is remarkable for its incredible versatility and is perfect for a wide-ranging public, from the good to expert skier. We particularly recommend it for skiers who already have good technical skills and who want to improve their performance or even think about competitive skiing.
Recommended by our reviewers!
Liked: Sound and reassuring, intuitive, extremely easy to handle
Requires reasonable physical effort for this category
A really enjoyable ski for pleasure...
Disliked: Nothing special...
Rossignol Hero Master M21 [click]
Type of ski : Giant slalom
There's no getting away from it: the Hero Master with its R21 World Cup aluminum plate thrilled the reviewers.
The level of performance is extremely high and the ski is a real powerhouse. This model from Rossignol is incredibly incisive with fast turn initiation and great precision. Turns are carved with a scalpel and, once anchored, the Hero Master is absolutely unshakeable. Grip and stability are quite simply exceptional. The ski feels like it's fixed on a rail, totally steady even in dynamic turns on hard pack at very high speeds. The reliability of the push-off ("a solid ski under foot" as one reviewer said) in all situations is one of the main reasons for the enjoyment you get out of it. One of the reviewers said they had a "feeling of invulnerability".
Recommended by our reviewers!
Liked: A remarkably incisive ski
Excellent overall performance
Superior grip and turn performance
Disliked: Requires a certain degree of technical skills and physical engagement ...
Rossignol Pursuit 600 basalt [click]
Type of ski : Men's recreational groomers
In this category, we're looking for skis that will help riders make progress from their early steps (snowplough and skid turns) to more technical rides. The skis therefore need to be very accessible, with easy rotation, reassuring and consistent in skid turns, and requiring little physical engagement. They should also be able to retain their grip and stability at a faster pace, end ensure the transition to carving or even carved turns.
The Pursuit 600 Basalt unfortunately does not have what it takes to fulfill the first part of the contract. A very (too) good performer and relatively stiff for this category, it's not accessible enough for less technically skilled riders. In particular, the ski is a bit wobbly in skid turns at high speed.
Judged by the reviewers as an "excellent ski", designed for performance, and with remarkable punch and grip, it requires good technical skills and some carving experience.
Although the Pursuit 600 Basalt is not really adapted to the "Intermediate cruisers" category, we recommend it for intermediary to very good riders who're already well at ease at carving.
Liked: Good overall performance
Ski with character, good grip for this category
Happy and stable when carving
Excellent turn perfor...
Disliked: Tends to float in skid/slide turns at high speed
Requires a certain degree of technical prowess, especially for carving
Rossignol Soul 7 HD [click]
Type of ski : All Mountain 30/70
Rossignol's Soul 7 is one of those skis like the Ripstick or the H105 that aims for accessibility in a more technically difficult area.
Off-piste, the ski's excellent flotation is a pleasant surprise (true, the 106mm waist and large rocker helps), considerably reducing the skier's muscle work. Its agility in the powder is really good. It's wicked linking short turns on this type of snow on intermediary slopes.
However, the ski is not rigid enough to cut tracks through difficult snow or to handle hard pack on steep slopes... For the same reason, at high speeds, its performance is less clearcut and less reassuring.
We find the same qualities and weaknesses on the groomed slopes. While handling is excellent, its great flexibility means its grips is less than perfect. At high speeds, the ski finds it difficult to stay on track and tends to drift.
We need to be very clear: PROSKILAB™ selects and reviews the best skis on the market and is therefore extremely demanding. While it came last in this very exclusive selection, the Soul 7 is nonetheless a very good ski that will be a perfect tool for a wide range of skiers, especially newbie freeriders who are looking for an accessible and reassuring tool to discover this discipline.
Liked: Extremely easy to handle, very good rotation
Generally enjoyable at intermediary speeds
Good flotation in powder
Disliked: Performance is limited, lacks stability at high speeds
Very flexible tip that gives the impression of braking the ski
Lack of grip on the pistes
Rossignol Experience 88 HD (Konect) [click]
Type of ski : All Mountain 70/30
The reviewers agreed that the Experience 88 HD's performance had made great strides compared to its predecessors. The ski is enjoyable, reassuring and instantly manageable. The first rides are smooth and stress-free thanks to its well-balanced and healthy behaviour. The Experience 88 HD responds well and is docile. It's especially happy when carving, and on soft snow it's a real treat!
Off-piste, it will take riders wherever they want to go, although it fails to excel because of the shape which is too sharply carved (extremely narrow waist). However, its overall behaviour and, above all, performance in the crud had improved significantly compared to previous models.
In more demanding conditions, the ski's flexibility holds it back. At very high speeds, on hard pack and steep slopes, the ski shows its limits. Grip could be better and the ride becomes less precise.
Up against the best skis on the market, Rossignol's Experience 88 HD does well, despite its obviously more piste-oriented behaviour. We recommend this ski for average to good skiers who want to make progress on the manicured slopes and, above all, improve their carving or ride in the powder when the conditions are right.
Liked: Sound, well-balanced behaviour
An accessible and tolerant ski
Overall enjoyment, especially on soft snow
Good performance on the piste
Disliked: Shape still too strongly carved for freeride, tail hampers rotation
Performance slightly under par, especially on hard pack and steep slopes or at hi...
Rossignol Famous 8 [click]
Type of ski : Women's high-end
The Famous 8 from Rossignol displays sound and efficient behaviour that drew compliments from the reviewers. The ski is globally enjoyable, efficient and stable, even if we noted some loss of pressure in very dynamic carved turns.
Similar to Dynastar's Intense 10 (even if the sidewalls differ), turn entry is also hampered by the rocker which seems to hold back edge turn entry. Turn initiation requires substantial engagement, which is incompatible with this category. It's a shame because it reduces the ski's accessibility, comfort and agility, otherwise it would be perfect.
We therefore have mixed feelings about the Famous 8 whose basic behaviour seems sound, but which suffers from inertia in turn initiation that makes it less fun.
Liked: Good overall behaviour
Good stability and grip
Versatile in all snow conditions
Disliked: Inertia on initiation
Lack of precision
Inconsistent pressure in dynamic turn performance