Pros: Great intermediate ski
Cons: Not much fun
The skis: Rossignol Zenith Z10, all mountain; Sidecut: 126/74/105; Radius: 170cm = r14.8; I skied them in a 170 (a little short, but that's all they had).
Boots were my own, carried along on the plane.
Me: 6'2", 220, advanced (I think), but certainly no expert; my regular ski is the Head Supershape Speed, 08/09 model
I was pleasantly surprised by these. All the reviews I've read about the Rossi Zenith line were mostly lukewarm. So I wasn't expecting great things, but Hey, they were the best that I could find in the area (the only alternative being beginner-level rental stuff of dubious quality).
The first thing that struck me was that they really wanted to turn -- just rolled 'em on edge and around they went. Not as versatile as my SS Speeds, in that when they were in a turn, it was harder to change direction or turn radius. My Speeds go wherever I want them to, almost intuitively -- with the Rossi's I wasn't exactly locked in a turn, but it took more effort to get them to maneuver. Still, they were pretty good, and fun to make turns with. Rather quick edge-to-edge, too.
Edge hold was so-so, but this seemed to partly be due to tune -- they didn't seem very sharp, and skidded a lot on hardpack. Wax was crappy too -- the usual universal all-temp wax in the rental shop pots. It was cold that day (-25 deg. C), and the wax was not right at all. This didn't matter too much once I got them going on a steeper fast run, but getting them started sure showed the poor glide. Not the skis fault, though.
What I really liked about them was their stability -- these things were solid. Very stable and confidence-inspiring. Nothing squirrely or jumpy about them. Might have been the wider waist than I'm used to, but they were also quite heavy and very damp, which certainly helped in the stability department. Very little vibration came through to the boots. Large sweet spot, never felt off balance. Swing weight was surprisingly light for a heavy solid ski.
But while I liked their stability, the trade-off for that seemed to be their excessive dampness. They just seemed kind of dead underfoot. None of the fun liveliness that I'm used to with the Heads, and Heads aren't exactly known for being the most lively either. The Rossi's didn't have as much rebound or energy from the tail as I'm used to, either.
So overall, a great ski for an intermediate learning technique, as they will not throw you around in the rough stuff, are easy to turn, are quite forgiving and very stable. I felt I could easily take them down some steep and challenging slopes, and they would hold on and be there for me. As I said -- confidence inspiring. If these had been my first skis, I would probably have learned a lot faster, and these would be excellent for an intermediate struggling with a lively, unstable ski that they're having trouble controlling.
They seemed well made, and decent quality. But, bottom line for me, was that they were just not a lot of fun. Kind of dull and boring after a while, and made the day kind of plod along, rather than give me some YeeHaw! moments.
I guess what impressed me the most was, being wider than my past and present skis, how quick and easy to turn they were. I've never skied on anything wider than 70mm in the waist, and they were certainly quicker edge-to-edge than I expected. One more bias shot down. Nice....