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Rossignol S5 - 2011

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

Has anyone checked out the 2011 model of the S5? Local ski shops in my area brought in a bunch of these fat twins this season, but the ski has been largely ignored and is clearing out at some good prices. I don't see many reviews on-line. The excitement over the new "rocker" skis seems to have worked against the S5 which, despite being fat (129-98-121) appears to have only a standard camber. I flexed it in the shop and it seems to be stiffer in the mid-section than older models of the S5, with a softer flex in the tip and tail, reminiscent of the Dynastar Big. The Rossignol S3, with tip and tail rocker, has received a much better reception among local skiers. The S5 is billed as a 50% park, 50% powder ski. I would like to hear from anyone out there with experience on the S5.

post #2 of 6

I'm not exactly sure what the 2011 model is like.  


I'm on the very first model of the S5 (Barras) and I've had them since they came out.  They also advertised my model as 50% Pow 50% Park when I bought them so I don't know how much different they actually are.  Apparently they are considering them more of a park ski now, because of the rocker in their beefier ski section.


I've taken them just about everywhere and I love them.  They perform well in just about any situation.


 As much as I want to tell you to absolutely buy them, I'm not going to.  I noticed that a lot of reviews these days say something along the lines of, "Great Skis! No flaws!", or "They are so good you should have bought them yesterday!", or "You won't find a better ski!".  I'm convinced that these companies hire people to go write reviews like that on websites and such. Hah!


Instead I'll point out any and every single flaw I can think of, but keep in mind that I do think they are a great ski and I'm very happy with my decision to buy them. 1) They don't sit above powder the way that I would like them to.  Maybe I'm just too fat???  I'm 5'10 and 130lbs skiing on 178cm skis...  I'm a tiny guy on skis taller than I am.  I feel like they should float a little better.  2) Because the skis are a little longer than what most people my size would typically ski on, I can't flex the things to save my life.  My weight just doesn't seem to have much of an impact on the stiffness, so when I try to butter around in the park and such, I walk away with bruised shins... The stiffness also fights the force which causes the ski to flex to your turn when trying to do really tight carving (obviously not a carving, but I'm trying to be critical).  So, they don't grab onto the mountain quite as well. 3) If I could change one thing on the ski, I would increase the width under foot just a tad (might help to solve problem 1).  I tend to like wider skis.  I like the feel of longer, higher speed, and smooth turns which I usually get on something 100+mm under foot.  Two weeks ago I tried a pair of Prophet 100s in 186 cm and loved them.  They were more flexible than my S5's and yet they were a bit longer and wider.  The turns and edging felt really nice and I felt like I could plow through everything; however, they also had some flaws that convince me that I like my S5's more.  


Aside from those 3 (or 2.5) complaints, the S5's are pretty amazing in my opinion.  Really stable at high speeds, easy to maneuver in tight situations (bumps/trees and such), pretty stable landings off mild/moderate drops and hits.  I would recommend them to anyone who likes to bounce all over the mountain with just a few park runs for fun.  If it were me, I would take a look at the Line Blend as well.  I think they just added a mild amount of early rise and I believe they are 100mm under foot.  Seems to me like they might be a little better for a 50% Park 50% Powder.  It would be interesting to give them a try.


Hope I've helped.  Good luck!

post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 

Rossi S5 2011.jpg

This year's model of the S5.

post #4 of 6

It's interesting that the description Rossignol gives on the website is exactly the same as it was 3 years ago.  


It looks like they have made a few changes.  They did indeed stiffen the mid section and construct more flex in the tail and tip.  The 178s are no longer 98mm under foot and are now 96mm, which differs by 2mm depending on the size (174cm=94mm under foot and 185cm=98mm under foot).


I wouldn't call the S5's 50% pow 50% park anymore.  I would say they are more like 45% all mountain 55% park now with the changes.  I could be wrong though.


What are you likely to be skiing on any given day? Park? Pow? Groomers? And what size are you looking to get?


Graphic is still just as sick as it was 3 years ago, which is definitely a plus. Hah!

post #5 of 6
Thread Starter 

Yeah, the S5 looks good. Maybe I want it just for the graphics - Rideable Art!

I agree, the new S5 feels stiffer in the mid-section than the older models. It's probably less of a powder ski now and more of an all-mountain board. I would put it in the same league as the Big (aka Big Trouble) which was supposed to be Dynastar's back country powder ski, but ended up with a reputation as a good all-mountain ski.

If I get the S5, I will be using it mostly at Grouse Mountain, a small local mountain an hour's drive from me. I'm getting too lazy to drive to a big mountain with powder, like Whistler, so I usually settle for something closer to home. I mostly ride the blue groomers, searching for rolling terrain that will get me a bit of air. I take the occasional run through the park, not for tricks or big jumps, just for a foot or two of air. That's fun for me. Definitely not into bumps, as in moguls, or carving, as in carving one perfect arc after another all the way down the mountain. Again, too lazy!

Grouse Mountain is right on the Pacific coast of BC, so conditions are unpredictable. A nice dump of fresh snow will often turn into slush (or ice) in a matter of hours. A wide ski that can handle any kind of snow works best for me. I would be looking at the 178 cm length or maybe shorter (171 cm?) for quicker handling. From your description, I think the 178cm would be the way to go. Of course they tell us the best thing to do is demo, but I don't know where to find the S5 to demo, and if I wait until I find a demo pair, all the cheap skis will be snapped up. Time to make a decision

post #6 of 6

Alrighty.  Well based on what you will be skiing mostly I think you will be pretty pleased with them.  They're a great ski and can do just about anything.  I was knee deep in powder today and they did pretty well.  Then took a few park runs and they did well.  Then hit some bumps and guess what... They did well!



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