Product: Rossignol S7
Length/size Tested: 188 cm
Environment of Conditions:
*Location of review: Smugglers Notch, VT
*Runs Taken: 25 runs over two days
*Snow Conditions: Powder / Crud / Packed Powder
*Demo or Purchase: Purchase
*Bindings: Marker Jester mounted on the line
Summary (inc. Strengths & Weaknesses):
I wasn't sure another review of the S7 was necessary given how much has been written about it. I was so blown away by the skis though that I thought I should write one. Also, I'm not sure I've seen an east coast review of the S7, so hopefully I can add something of value.
I bought these in December and planned to use them during the couple of trips out west I do each year. I took them with me on a trip to Smugglers Notch over the weekend partly because it looked like the conditions might be pretty good and they may actually be useful, but mostly because I just really wanted to get out on them.
I skied Friday on my Sultan 85s, and had a fantastic day. There was a big storm earlier in the week, and a few smaller snow falls that kept things fresh. There was plenty of powder if you went looking, great soft bumps all over the mountain, and excellent skiing to be had in the trees. The Sultans held their own, but I was kicking myself for leaving the S7s in the condo.
Saturday and Sunday were more of the same in terms of conditions. It was moderately snowing for most of both days - just enough to keep things fresh. Excluding a true powder day, the conditions were as good as I've skied on the east coast.
My first run on the S7s was a warm up on groomers. The skis felt bizarre for the first turn or two. Compared to the Sultans, I felt like I was basically standing on the tip of the ski, and there was a huge amount of tail. I'm not sure if it was just me, or that is really how the recommended mount sets them up, but it was a weird feeling. The feeling went away half a run in, so maybe it was just getting used to it.
With the group I skied with, I actually wound up on a few more groomers than I would have liked (maybe 25% of runs), and was shocked at how well the S7s carved. Admittedly, this wasn't east coast ice, and was reasonably soft, but I didn't find them at all difficult to put on edge and carve turns on moderately steep groomed runs. They held an edge surprisingly well, and when I did notice some chatter, it was inevitably my mistake and a quick correction to my form had the edges engaging properly again. I'd read about the flapping tips at speed, and wasn't really sure what I was expecting to see. There was definitely some vibration in the tips, but nothing nearly as bad as I feared.
When I was able to hit some deeper unskied spots, floatation was excellent as one would expect in a ski like this. It was my first time on a ski this wide and my first time on a rockered ski, so I don't have much to compare them to, but there was certainly no issues with keeping them on top of light, fluffy deep snow.
The areas in which I was most impressed with the S7s was in the trees and bumps. I was a little skeptical that I could throw around and make the types of tuns I need to with a ski this wide, but it was almost like I would think of the turn I needed to make, and the skis were already there. They made me feel like a better skier than I am. There were some instances where they felt a little cumbersome when things got really tight with 3 or 4 quick direction changes, but I put that down to my own limitations and the length (188cm) probably being a little longer than optimal for the tight trees I was skiing.
In summary, these skis were a revelation for me. I skied them in conditions that while very good, weren't the full powder that the skis were designed for. If they were this good in VT, I can't wait to get them out in UT in a couple of weeks.
Height/Weight: 6'1" / 195 lbs
Average days on snow: 11-25
Years Skiing: 0-5
Aggressiveness: Moderate to Aggressive / Competitor