Product: Rossignol Sick Birds
Length/size Tested: 185 cm - Dimensions: 128 / 98 / 121cm
Conventional Full Camber Ski
- Turn Radius: 21.3m
- Construction: Glass Sandwich (no metal)
- Core Material: Wood
- Base: R6000 Clear
- Tail: Twintip
- Binding System Used: Tyrolia/Head - RailFlex 14
- Weight: [Pair, 185cm] 8.9lb (4020g)
Mounting Info: "Ball of Foot" mounted to Center-Running-Surface (concurrent to 'Telemark' line mark on skis). This put the midsole mark (323 mm sole) 2 cm behind the 'Randonnee" mark on the skis.
Environment of Conditions:
*Location of review: Mammoth
*Runs Taken: Most of the Mtn
*Snow Conditions: 24+ POW, tracked POW, groomed POW, some windswept Hardpack
*Demo or Purchase: Purchase
Summery (inc. Strengths & Weaknesses):
Excellent All Mtn ski, especially for lighter weight skiers (under 190 lbs...), very even flex profile,
easy to initiate and vary turn radii from short to long.
Height/Weight: 168 lbs, 5' 11" and shrinkin
Average days on snow: 20-25
Years Skiing: 35+ on snow, not counting my recent re-entry after 10 yrs off...
Aggressiveness: Aggressive - in a olde pharte kinda way...
My comments are based solely on fixed-heel downhill skiing on these and in no way infer any comments in their uphill capabilites.
That said, these are a Great Ski! Incredible Fun Ski, perfectly suited to my needs for a POW ski and really may become my Go-to All Mtn Ski!
I fully expected it would be fun in POW, and expected to compensate a little once I started skiing faster thru tracked sections and on open groomers. However, this ski worked well at speed and more GS type turns and even went thru mogul fields much better than your average Big Mtn cruiser.
Chronologically, the 1st day of a 3 day ski trip found me skiing 16 inches of Fresh early in the morning, with snow depths of over 24 inches by afternoon and lift closing. I did iron wax on 'Blue' Holmenkohl before going to Mammoth, expecting cooler and dryer dumpage. Visibilty on Day 1 was poor, so we stayed in trees and the edges of any marked runs. The even ski flex and 99 mm waist made skiing deep pow a pure joy. No need to make large compensations, just 'surf' thru the snow. Because I had RailFlex Bindings, I did try moving the control point 1 cm backward and 1 cm forward - found my best sweet spot to be at the mount point = BOF on CRS, or 323 Midsole at -2cm from randonnee mark.
There was no hesistation to the turn initiation in tight terrain/trees and the ski reacted well to tipped turns on steeper terrain. The 99 waist and 21 m radius allowed me to get down into the snow nicely and porpoise turns - NICE!
Day 2 found a few lightly tracked steep runs on Avy Chutes, 'Climax', Dave's and Paranoids, but mostly the Mtn got tracked up quickly when the upper Mtn Lifts were opened, making for big transitions from small untracked to heavily tracked areas. These skis handled the transitions without much bother or concern. Steeper sections with soft moguls were plowed thru with little hesistation. These skis were confidence inspiring to allow them both to run or to initiate quick turns on skied over steeps. No problems in launching and landing small jumps.
I do believe that the very significant tail turnup makes The Sick Birds ski 'shorter' than this stated length might normally feel.
The combination of a lot of full length camber, moderate stiff longitudinal stiffness, strong torsional stiffness allowed these to have great energy in completing turns and transitions in linked turns. Popping off bumps and landing on the backsides of the next bumps was great fun.
Day 3 found soft snow in the few untracked tree lines, but mostly soft/varying depths on the steep runs and soft groomed on the trails. As with the prior day, it was a great day to just rip anything and everything.
At my weight, they rode well at GS speeds and carved wide open turns.
My only chance to test Edging on hard snow was at the top of the Mtn where the wind quickly sweep the snow off to the very hardpack surface below. From what I could determine, These will rail well on hard snow at slalom speeds. They edged well and consistently on very hard surface.
I'm not hard on ski topskin cosmetics, so even though these don't have any significant observed topsheet protect, they suffered very few cut marks during those 3 days.
I did run over some signifcant rocks on Upper Mammoth rock gardens dividing the upper chutes. I was surprised (after a particuarlyy nasty/noisy rip) that I did almost no damage to the base and minor edge snagging, even thought the edges appear thinner than most skis.
I took a chance when I bought these, and feel totally vindicated that these are a fantstic allround ski for someone like me. Hard charge but lighter weight. Heavier skiers who might enjoy an easier turner with still some GS rippage capabilites will also find them suitable.
Big (200+ lb) Guyz who charge hard might find these a little soft on the wide open groomers...
In all, these Rossi Sick Birds uphold the Rossi Ski heritage well - quick, snaky skis, predictable yet energetic. Great fun for the skier who decides to turn wherever and whenever he/she gets there... plenty of guts for the light and medium weight when you decide to just let them roll.
EDIT - added image
OK, maybe I should 'qualify' my review a little... if I say middlin flex, it's likely gonna be a bit stiffer than most other skiers might call middlin... I still regularly ski old, long straights of certain substance. So that old crappage affects my perception...
So these may be a little firmer than my comments might portray... it's what you are accustomed to... I like em...
Edited by moreoutdoor - 3/8/11 at 2:26pm