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Rossignol s86 for an "expert" skier

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

Hey y'all,


I am looking to get my first pair of new skis in 7 years, and was wondering what people thought of the Rossignol S86 for me.


I am a 33 year old male, 6 feet, 186lbs, advanced/expert skier. I ski about 10 times per year (half east coast half west coast). I love fresh powder, bumps, trees, and skiing "wicked" fast on steep groomers. Most of the day is spent on blacks. Right now I am skiing on a pair of 2004 Rossignol Bandit B1s 170cm. The skis are very forgiving, which I like because even though I can handle the hardest terrain, I am still a recreational skier and don't need to kill myself out there. They are also very narrow by today's standards (69cm). What I like about my old skis is that they are a ton of fun in the bumps and trees. I can also bombed down the mountain groomers, and pretty much no one ever passes me, but the skis don't feel that confident on harder pack or crud. Also, they've been OK in powder, but if I keep skiing out West it would be nice to have skis that are less effortful in deep pow.


I was hoping that the Rossignol S86s might fit the bill. Still be a ton of fun in the bumps/trees, but also be more confident at speed and on hardpack/crud. Of course, since they are much wider, I am sure they'll be much more fun in the powder, too. Some websites have been listing the s86 as an "intermediate" ski. I don't really care about labels, but I do ski pretty hard down some very challenging terrain and wanted to make sure that the S86s aren't built for going "medium" speeds down blue squares. I am not a pro racer, but I do want skis that can handle some respectable "recreational" speed without punishing me. 


So, what do y'all think?? Is the S86 a good fit? Would the 178s be the right size since I like skiing bumped up trails/trees? Any other skis I should consider (Dynastar Sultan 85)? 

post #2 of 4

Welcome to epic.  Careful touting yourself as an "expert" on here.  You may get a lot of heat mostly because the general view is


1. real experts know how much they don't know and rarely refer to themselves as experts

2. skiing 10 times a year and being "expert" usually don't go hand in hand.  Being able to bomb a groomer says nothing about your skiing....in fact, stating it as something you do pretty much points to the opposite end of the spectrum.


Anyways, regardless of your skill level, I would say a 178 length is a good place to start for your size.  If you truly a very good skier, then you may even want to go longer depending on what your ski and how aggressive you are.  I don't know much about the S86, but I did grab a pair of sultan 85's in a 178 this year.  I really have enjoyed it as an all-around ski.  It floats decent in powder (I'm only 5'8" 155lbs), and plows through crud pretty well.  It carves a lot better than I would expect and has plenty of energy on groomed.  I had a lot of fun with them in the trees.  They could be a bit more nimble in bumps, but it's not bad.  Overall, I'm pretty impressed as it does everything pretty good. 


post #3 of 4
Thread Starter 



Thanks for getting back to me. Didn't mean to be presumptuous about my skiing. I know there are many better skiers on these forums and that there is no clear definition of what an expert skier is. (That's why I put in quotes in the title).  Personally, I dislike the word "expert" because it implies that one has achieved the highest level and there is no room for improvement. And, like most of us, there are a bunch of areas I want to improve on. Despite my distaste for the word "expert," I used it to be a bit provocative. I think my last skis (the Bandit B1s, which I loved) were not enough ski for me and gave up on hardpack/crud at higher speeds. So, depending on whatever people defined as "expert", I was hoping they might comment on whether the S86 was solid enough to handle challenging terrain (blacks and double blacks) and do OK in hardpack/crud and bumps. 

post #4 of 4

again, I don't know much about the S86, but the sultan 85's do not have a speed limit for me in hardpack/crud and I have skiied them pretty aggressive/fast.  Do a search on S86's on this forum and you'll find a lot of discussions/reviews surrounding them.  Another piece of advice is DEMO DEMO DEMO.  Or if u're a savy shopper..buy a pair of used skis for really good price and ski them for a year.  If you like them, awesome.  If not, you should be able to sell it for minimal loss.  My friend has done this for a few years and sometimes he even makes money on the skis.  Good luck!

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