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Rossignol S3 review

post #1 of 56
Thread Starter 

Me: 58 year old level 8 skier.  5'9" 185lbs.

 

Skis: 2011 Rossignol S3 178  98 underfoot with moderate camber.  Rockered tips and tails.  Freeski2 120XL bindings mounted flat on the line.

 

Terrain/Conditions:  Have skied them 11 days in Colorado and about the same out east.  Powder (about a foot fresh maximum) untracked and cutup.  Soft groomers.  Soft bumps.  Hard groomers.  Icy groomers.  Spring snow.  Slush on crust.  Soft snow in glades. 

 

These skis are amazing.  The only thing I can say they don't really do particularly well is float, but that could be the length to my weight ratio.  They pretty much do everything well.  The rocker tips make them very quick turning in spite of the turn radius of 20.5 I believe.  On hard snow they drift a little if you don't make a real effort to get them on edge.  They leave railroad tracks if you want or smear if you want.

 

Long radius high speed turns feel stable enough, not their strength, but they do it fine.  They ski short on groomers.  I put them base to base against my 165 Slalom skis and the running surface is shorter.  Get them in soft snow and they ski a bit longer.

 

They power through cut up snow and crud.  They perform steered and carved turns with ease, the latter requiring some focus on getting decent edge angles.

 

My bias for years has been for short turning carving skis.  I bought these for soft snow and my western trip.  After going back to my carvers for one day I have retired them for the season and am skiing the S3's only - this in Massachusetts and Vermont!

 

Short speed controlled turns on steep trails - no problem.

 

Reference maneuvers for PSIA evaluation (wedge turns, wedge christies, falling leafs, etc.) - fantastic.

 

Flat 360's, skiing backwards - a breeze.

 

Spring slush - excellent.

 

I love these skis.  Rossi got them right.  I'd never think of a 98 underfoot ski as a daily driver for the east, but for now that's what they are.

 

 

post #2 of 56

Similar size, but I'm on the 186's.  Agree with everything you say, though they do have a speed limit.  I'm now trying to figure out how to get the playfulness of the S3's with the stability of my Kastles.  The search continues...

post #3 of 56

Very cool SkiMangoJazz. Was waiting for this review. Everything I hear about that ski is good. I am sure your three will be very happy together. ;)

 

 

post #4 of 56
Thread Starter 

To add to the review:  As to high speed and the speed limit RPTW mentions.  I am not skiing really fast these days, so my "Long radius high speed turns" might not be as fast as others.  At Vail on big wide open blue cruisers I opened them up, but am a bit conservative with speed.

 

Also I said they do "pretty much everything well."  I can't include icy big bumps in that list, as I don't do those well, so how could the skis? smile.gif

 

Next year's Experience 98's look like they might be more to your liking RPTW.  Not on Rossi's website yet, but mentioned on their Facebook page.  More camber then the S3's and less Rocker.  Also make an Experience 88 which is intriguing to me for an Eastern ski.  I'm liking the rocker, tip in particular.  Tails tend to get hooked on top of each other on liftlines, and people getting off of lifts next to you can ski under the tails and thus knock you down.

post #5 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by SkiMangoJazz View Post

To add to the review:  As to high speed and the speed limit RPTW mentions.  I am not skiing really fast these days, so my "Long radius high speed turns" might not be as fast as others.  At Vail on big wide open blue cruisers I opened them up, but am a bit conservative with speed.

 

Also I said they do "pretty much everything well."  I can't include icy big bumps in that list, as I don't do those well, so how could the skis? smile.gif

 

Next year's Experience 98's look like they might be more to your liking RPTW.  Not on Rossi's website yet, but mentioned on their Facebook page.  More camber then the S3's and less Rocker.  Also make an Experience 88 which is intriguing to me for an Eastern ski.  I'm liking the rocker, tip in particular.  Tails tend to get hooked on top of each other on liftlines, and people getting off of lifts next to you can ski under the tails and thus knock you down.

Haven't been knocked down yet, but shooting out slush rooster tails today was fun.ski.gif

 

 

post #6 of 56
Thread Starter 

Yeah those rooster tails keep people from following you too closely too.

 

I had someone ski under my tails (very slowly, we were basically stopped.)  Knocked me right over as my skis lost their grip on the snow.

post #7 of 56

After 20 days on the S3s here at Sugarbush in VT and a week in the deep pow out at Red and Whitewater in B.C., I'd say these skis are hands down winnners. I almost feel like I'm cheating they make the bumps, tight trees and groomers so much fun. 

 

When I first tried them I assumed the 98 width underfoot would make them hard to turn. Nothing could be further from the truth. These puppies are some of the quickest skis I've ever skied edge to edge and have opened up whole new areas of woods i always thought were too tight.

 

No they're not great at speed if you ski them flat. Duh! But lean them over and they carve as well as any of the other 4 pairs of skis in my quiver. 

 

They're only limitation is ice, but I can't say my stiff race like Fischer ski's are much more fun on ice either, they do they grip a bit better. Ice is usually a reason to head for the woods anyways.

 

And FUN! Yikes, pop these skis onto their tails and you can do wheelies. 

 

The S3 is in my opinion the hands down most fun, most versatile, and most forgiving ski ever. My only complaint is they've totally spoiled me and I've been neglecting my other skis. No matter the conditions I just keep reaching for the fun boards.

 

I may be 58, but these skis make me feel like I'm 16. 

post #8 of 56
Thread Starter 

cdcski maybe the key is that we're both 58!

 

You used a word I didn't use in my review but thought of later - "forgiving."  Very much.  I too feel like I'm cheating they make things so easy.

 

On back to back days first thing in the morning I made railroad tracks on them and on my Fischer Progressors and looked at the tracks on the lift going up afterwards.  They railed better then the Fischers!

 

On ice the idea of digging in the edges and trying to hold on is pretty crappy technique anyways, and as you say the carvers don't do it that well either.  Having a little drift and not minding it on the ice works good for me.

 

What's your weight and what length are you on?

post #9 of 56

I'm at 160 lbs and skiing on the 168s, and thanks to the fat tips, when I went cat skiing this year, for the first time I didn't need to rent powder skis, the S3s did it all. If I was to buy them again, I might demo the 178s, but I'm a happy camper with these.

 

And I got the S3s just after finishing up tearing my ACL. But thanks to there easy turning, and a knee brace, I'm been able to ski 95% as hard as usual and postpone the upcoming visit to the leg carpenter to get the ACL stuck back together.

post #10 of 56
Thread Starter 

For me at 185-190 on the 178's they don't have much float, but they are super fun.  I think the next length up would be better in the deeper snow, but I don't know if I'm willing to give up the playfullness.  Probably get S7's for the deep days!  

post #11 of 56

ive been able to get into about a foot and a half of fresh snow and be just fine, but im really light weight so that may be why. never used in spring conditions... was going to find out tommarow but weather changed :) now a foot of snow with high of 20!

post #12 of 56

Has anyone here also tried the S7's ?  If so, how do they compare to the S3's ?  I've heard great things about both but haven't had a chance to demo either yet.

post #13 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by RatherPlayThanWork View Post

Similar size, but I'm on the 186's.  Agree with everything you say, though they do have a speed limit.  I'm now trying to figure out how to get the playfulness of the S3's with the stability of my Kastles.  The search continues...



The Experience 98 is NOT the answer to this question. Closest that I know of is the 2012 Blizzard Bonafide.

 

SJ

Reply
post #14 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by SkiMangoJazz View Post

For me at 185-190 on the 178's they don't have much float, but they are super fun.  I think the next length up would be better in the deeper snow, but I don't know if I'm willing to give up the playfullness.  Probably get S7's for the deep days!  


SMJ  I have the next size up 186cm, you would not necessarily lose the playfulness but the quickness ( and only from the physical length of the ski) if you are in really tight trees on steeper terrain. I feel they float me pretty good in powder well lets say no major tip dives happening. I'm 6' 205lbs.

 

post #15 of 56



 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Snowbowler View Post




SMJ  I have the next size up 186cm, you would not necessarily lose the playfulness but the quickness ( and only from the physical length of the ski) if you are in really tight trees on steeper terrain. I feel they float me pretty good in powder well lets say no major tip dives happening. I'm 6' 205lbs.

 


At 5'9" and 185 lbs, I'm on the 186's and feel they are plenty quick and playful.  If the size down has the same running length, I don't see how these would be any slower.  Since I bought them as my soft snow ski, I figured more float would be better.  Haven't had them in more than 20" of snow, but they were fine there (though these are also the widest skis I've ever owned). I figure if I'm every lucky enough to have a truly bottomless day, I'll gladly pay for some fat demos.

 

post #16 of 56

I do not get the powder ski design on a less than 105mm ish ski.  makes no sense at all. th_dunno-1[1].gif got to go to the S7 in that situation.

post #17 of 56
I own the S7's, skied the S3's this year. For most things off piste prefer the 7. But in tight trees or narrow lines where you can't pick the place to initiate, the 3's feel quicker and easier to pivot. On hard snow actually prefer the 7's.
post #18 of 56


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by RatherPlayThanWork View Post



 


At 5'9" and 185 lbs, I'm on the 186's and feel they are plenty quick and playful.  If the size down has the same running length, I don't see how these would be any slower.  Since I bought them as my soft snow ski, I figured more float would be better.  Haven't had them in more than 20" of snow, but they were fine there (though these are also the widest skis I've ever owned). I figure if I'm every lucky enough to have a truly bottomless day, I'll gladly pay for some fat demos.

 


I'm talking about the actual length of the ski, 186cm is a lot of ski for the really steep tree runs I have been trying to ski. My definition of a tree run is knocking the branches out of your way to get into 1 -3 turns of powder then knocking more branches out for the next set of turns.There is no real set of lines.  When it is steep and there is no room to throw them sideways 2-4' width of space is tough. Low angle trees are a blast on them but the lower angle keeps the speed down and I have more time to find a line or two. Wide open glades or slopes they are insanely easy to ski on.

 

post #19 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by Snowbowler View Post


 


I'm talking about the actual length of the ski, 186cm is a lot of ski for the really steep tree runs I have been trying to ski. My definition of a tree run is knocking the branches out of your way to get into 1 -3 turns of powder then knocking more branches out for the next set of turns.There is no real set of lines.  When it is steep and there is no room to throw them sideways 2-4' width of space is tough. Low angle trees are a blast on them but the lower angle keeps the speed down and I have more time to find a line or two. Wide open glades or slopes they are insanely easy to ski on.

 


Maybe that's why I'm constantly banging into trees. I thought it was just my poor vision.eek.gif They're still better than any other ski I have tried in the trees.
 

 

post #20 of 56

I have the S7s in a 188 length and S3s in 177.  I prefer the S3s in all but the heaviest, deepest snow.  I'm 5'10"  and weigh 168.  Both surf over anything deep and chopped up effortlessly and, because they have camber underfoot, are perfectly useful on harder snow.  Because of the shorter length and narrower waist, the S3s are, naturally, more nimble and excel in trees.  Both are excellent skis.  If all I skied was deep and/or heavy snow, I'd use the S7s more.

post #21 of 56
Thread Starter 

As it's still winter in the NE and packed powder skiing, I went back to my Fischer Progressor 8+'s the last few days.  72 under foot.  170 length.

 

As much as I love the S3's any thoughts about them being really good on groomers is now downgraded to merely good, or OK.  A carver is a carver, they are much better on groomed slopes then the fun shape ski.

 

duh.

post #22 of 56

Me: 6' & 165lbs. I had the chance to demo the S3 in the 177cm and the 186cm. Took out the 177 first as that was all they had at the time. There was a few inches of new on top of some refrozen or cut up snow on the north facing aspects. The 177 is very easy to ski. Turns on a dime, and has no problems with the rockered tip to just float over the chopped up crud. Skis soft moguls very easy. You can simply slarve turns on the tops of moguls with this ski. I have a pair of Fischer Atuas TT in a 186CM, in which the tails tend to get hooky. Not so with the S3 in either length. The tail releases very easy with the rockered tail. Didn't really try the 177 in powder but I skied through some wind blown with a firm but soft top that I broke through, and no issues with tip dive. You could really drive the front of the ski and not worry about tip dive, especially the 186cm length. The one thing I noticed as I took them over some dust on crust, as the tips just go over the top of refrozen chunks and death cookies. Both lengths railed the groomers. I personally let these things go (the 186cm version) and straight lined a black run. No issues with tip flap or chatter. Maybe I don't ski as fast as others here but I passed everybody and was hauling a to the double s, and if these have a speed limit, I simply need to find a steeper, longer run to find their limit. The 177 version did tend to get a bit of a wobble or not track straight on the flatter sections or cat tracks a bit of flapping of the tips as I let them open up but not so much so that I feared crashing. 

 

I did hike up to a section of untracked pow as I really wanted to get a feel for the 186 in powder. Just a few turns in about a foot of fresh was all I needed to confirm these things float me effortlessly. As mentioned above on the way back to the demo tent, I just tucked it on a black run and went for it, doing my best Bode Miller impression and the skis were solid as a rock. I can see how the 177 would be great for trees, light pow days of under 6" or so, and just a nice ski for the day after a storm. It was very easy and forgiving and went through moguls like no other 90+mm ski I have been on. Or 80+mm ski for that matter! But I really want the float that the 186cm has, and in all honesty it is almost as easy to ski as the 177,  just not as quick in tight spaces, and not quite as quick to come around in the moguls but more stable at speed than the 177. But the 186 S3 simply has everything I was looking for and more to replace my Atuas. 

 

 


Edited by Toadman - 3/28/11 at 8:27am
post #23 of 56

I bought a lightly used pair while in British Columbia skiing 13 days of powder with one thigh rest day in the middle.  I would have to agree with cdski.  I am 57, have been a strong skier all my life but the last 10 years (hey I'm a slow learner) I have made quantum leaps.  The Tao and physics of it are all coming together for me, and at a time when they make amazing skiis like this.  Yes it is cheating.  I haven't skiied that many other skiis like it, but I just skiied 2 days of corn and mush in Maine and these skiis ripped.  Powder of course yes they're good, but talk about crud, settled heavy powder, these skiis demolish it.  My entire definition of good and bad conditions is rapidly evolving. 

 

But don't talk of skking groomers or fast with these, please, They're not for that.  After 40 MPH they get to violent chattering, a message to slow the frick down and go get your carving boards.  Trees, glade,s bumps, tight fast  fall line turns on the edge to stay out of the way of recreational skiers on a groomer?  Yeah, they're all about that.

 

BTW, when I say BC, people assume I mean Whistler, or the more knowlegable think Fernie, whitewater or Red.  Now all of those places are legendary, but strike Whistler.  I have had some great times on the glaciers and chutes, but unless you live there and can pick your days, your chances of getting some funky coastal weather are simply too high.  Like rain right to the top Jan 3. 

 

No, get in your car and drive about 15 hours straight north to Hudson Bay Mountain in the town of Smithers.  Smallish area but just bought by some large Corp who have an approved expansion plan that would make this one of the top powder meccas in North America.  That seems a stretch to me cause the place is so damn hard to get to.  Going north in a turbo prop in the winter is not like making the "Jackson Hole" gate just before boarding.  You may get there that day or maybe not.  These plans can't land in just any weather and regularly turn back.

 

The best thing about HBM would be wrecked if they expand, that is, lack of crowds.  I have skied knee deep powder all day when there is 27 cars in the parking lot.  I have made powder turns at 10 AM on a major run then come back at 2 PM to cross my still unbroken tracks.  My recent trip there I might have skied groomed 3 or 4 times.  They don't do a lot of grooming, they can't afford to and why bother.  I skied bottomless, semi bottomless and at least boot powder every day.  It is rare to see another person on a run your on.  There is an out of bounds area almost as large as the ski area that starts in open treed meadows (as the whole mountain does)  then decends to thighter trees, then to openings and small runs cleared by the locals. 

 

Yes there is steep.  My droid, which has an app (OSM Tracker) that records speed, altitude, and incline had me at 54 degrees on a run called holy smoke.  The other great thing is this is so far north that the tree line is at 6000 feet.  Yeah that's right! That's about where the ski area tops out.  Then you have another 3500 vertical of alpine terrain, highly accessable with touring gear.  That whole flank of the mountain is 25 to 30 degrees all the way to the top.  You can do that piece then when you appraoch the top of the area, hang a left and drop into Simpsons gulch, a north facing gulch that keeps good pow even when it's not good anywhere else.  The Corp's expansion plan goes in there.  From there you can ski another 2000 vertical, then ski a logging raod back to town.

 

And get this - no avalanch hazard.  They get such consistent snow and no warm ups, I have never heard the word even spoken. 

 

I don't want to keep this all to myself, my biggest fear is a closed mountain.  I have been going here 30 years, have a cabin on the mountain and they have almost bit the weenie 2 or 3 times.  Google it a see for yourself.

post #24 of 56

How do people feel about a s97 compared to the s3? Similar dimensions, just no twin tip. Does it lose its playfullness and turniness for trees etc? Has anyone had experience on the s97?

 

Cheers guys

post #25 of 56

I demoed both skis on the same day. Got a foot of snow the night before.
 

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by OllieTheKiwi View Post

How do people feel about a s97 compared to the s3? Similar dimensions, just no twin tip. Does it lose its playfullness and turniness for trees etc? Has anyone had experience on the s97?

 

Cheers guys


The S3: Fun off the piste. Fun in the fresh stuff. Adequate on groomers. Spent over two hours on this ski. I'd be happy with this ski.
 

The S97: Heavy, dead, ski didn't like to turn (but is was very stable at speed on the groomers). Was like skiing on a 2X4. It was amazing how deep in the fresh snow the ski sank considering its width. I actually hated the ski. I expected it to be simply a wider version of the highly regarded S86. It wasn't. Five runs was all I could stand.

 

post #26 of 56

wow, very informative. bonafide or sentinel it is then!


Edited by OllieTheKiwi - 5/7/11 at 12:23am
post #27 of 56

Question,

      I just bought S3- 186   I'm 6'0'' @ 215.  I was going to buy 178 length because  I ski bumps 40 to 50% of the time.  Ross rep moved me to longer length.  I now ski on a Dynastar legend 8000 174 length.  Any thoughts on my dilemma on length.

post #28 of 56


the 186cm is the right length for you, the S3 skis like a big snowblade. 

Quote:
Originally Posted by seniwjoe View Post

Question,

      I just bought S3- 186   I'm 6'0'' @ 215.  I was going to buy 178 length because  I ski bumps 40 to 50% of the time.  Ross rep moved me to longer length.  I now ski on a Dynastar legend 8000 174 length.  Any thoughts on my dilemma on length.



 

post #29 of 56

The S7 and S3 are a great combo quiver for the PNW.   I like the combination because there's not much of an adjustment when you switch from one ski to the other.   They also suit my skiing style, which is more playful than charging.  The S7 is for deep storm days.  The S3 is for everything else.  

 

In fact, they're so great that I have no desire to acquire any new skis this year, which for me is really saying something! 

post #30 of 56

considering the s3. why does rossignol rate it as a mid-level skill ski? Am I mis interpreting their skill rating of the ski? As an expert skiier that gets into the gnar gnar at times, I want a ski that will preform for me. what is the limit for this ski? will i regret a turn into steep deep icy mogals or a narrow choasy chute? I usually love these challenges as long as I am confident in my boards. Iv'e been on Nordica Afterburners 84 for the last 3years and been really satisfied frontside in most all conditions. I dont get too many deep days, but looking to change that and get more out the back.  other boards I am condsidering are the Nordica Hell and Back, K2 Aftershock, Volkl RTM84.

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