From tip to core, Rossignol reworked its popular Experience family of skis, merging knowledge from its freeride and race programs. From the fatter Seven skis comes a lightweight and rockered tip that floats in powder and initiates turns easily. From the Hero side of the family the Experience borrows LCT, a stringer technology used on World Cup race skis that keeps skis planted on the snow, resisting chatter that would otherwise release edge pressure. Depending on the model the stringer can be Titanal, ABS or carbon, male or female versions, and waist widths from 74 to 94mm, but it all helps to hold an edge more consistently, which aids in control and carving. Finally, Rossi flattened the tail to give the Experience skis better grip at the end of the turn. (from $450; rossignol.com)
ROSSIGNOL EXPERIENCE 88
$700 * BEST FOR: Stronger skiers who like to do it all.
LENGTHS: 159, 166, 173, 180, 187 * RADIUS: 16@180 * SIDECUT: 127/88/117
For this winter, Rossignol reworked its Experience line of all-mountain skis. Ranging from a 94-74mm waist, all share similar updates to the build: lighter tip and tail construction, a flatter tail and race-proven construction. The melding of freeride and race technology created seemingly contradictory attributes: lighter and stiffer, playful and powerful, grippy and floaty, nimble and stable. For example, “Light, lively and lots of fun,” wrote Meredith Youmans of the 84. “Perfect all-mountain ski that can rip on the groomers, too!” Increasing the waist width increased the ski’s playfulness, particularly in soft snow. Level IV instructor Mike Manara called the 88 the ideal West Coast all-mountain ski: “It’s super versatile.” The 94 inspired Mike Dempsey to hike for powder at Whistler. No matter the size, the only thing the Experience skis didn’t excel at was moguls, where the stiffer construction and flatter tail required more effort. Otherwise, the Experience skis didn’t seem to have a top-end speed, and the consensus was that they are best for advanced skiers and up.