Now that my season has come to an end, I thought I would share my end of season Experience on the Rossi Experience 98's.
First a little about me. I am 57 years old, a strong level 8/9 skier. I am 5'9" and 190lbs and ski 25-35 days a year including participating in an adult race league. I bought the 98's in a 180 (Rossi's reccomendation for my size) mounted up with a Marker Griffon Schizo binding. My boots are Lange RX130's. I like to ski the ENTIRE mountain. Everything from groomers, bumps, trees to steeps and of course I love POWDER. This ski was purchased as a one ski quiver for the couple of ski trips that I take every year out west. I have other skis for back east.
As I mentioned in other threads, after a day of fiddling with the binding placement (back east) I settled on 15cm behind the mfg boot mark.. I skied these for 6 days in Mammoth back in January with mostly windpack and groomer conditions with occasional wind fluff and I just got back from 7 days skiing at Big Sky where we started off with heavy wet and sticky snow which turned to Powder! after a storm and then back to wetter spring conditions after the weather warmed up again later in the week.
Now my impressions on different types of snow:
Fresh groomers - These skis are outrageous! Huge trenches are childs play. They just rail as long as you stay on top of them and pressure the edges. Do not get in the back seat or you will be launched as happened to me a couple of times when I got lazy with my technique. My tailbone is still sore from a lapse of attention.
Frozen Crud - Could use some more dampening as you will rattle your fillings trying to ski fast through it.
Mixed snow - Easily transitions between snow types with the wide shovel plowing the way for you. Again, you need to keep centered on the ski.
Wind pack and hard pack - Excellent edge hold on firm snow. Never felt like I needed anything stiffer or longer for ripping the firm. Perhaps the best I have ever felt including my GS race skis. You set an edge and these puppies hold!
Bumps - Amazingly they worked quite well on the wider spaced bumps that you find out west. Firm or soft I was able to ski the fall line linking turns through the moguls.as if I was on a narrower ski. Perhaps a bit slower responding than say my Slalom race skis in a 160, but I did not feel that they hindered me at all. But, get in the back seat and you are done.
Powder - Worked well enough but at times I wished for a bit more float, which I had expected from the wide tip and 98 mm girth. But they certainly worked better than my Volkl AC 30's or either of my race skis.
Trees - Nimble enough for a wide stiff 180cm ski. I found myself skiing faster through the trees than I remember ever doing before.
Steeps - Firm or soft, these skis just plain hold! They gave me confidence to rip down the steepest lines with authority at speeds that I never imagined I was capable of.
In General - This is a big ski for skiing big lines at any speed you dare. But this ski will punish bad or lazy technique just as much as it rewards good technique. It definitley requires you to bring your A game. If you want to just cruise around there are better choices, but if you are a hard charging skier, looking to ski the entire mountain, this will be a great choice for all but the deepest powder days.
This ski definitely brought my skiing up to a higher level encouraging me to take the most difficult lines I could find at speeds I could have only imagined before.
A side note, a buddy of mine (similar size) bought the same set up as me. He is a good strong skier, but not quite at my level. He was with me at Big Sky plus he had 2 other week long trips out west earlier in the season. His Experience was quite different from mine. To put it simply, he struggled on them and wasn't very happy, to the point where he is thinking of selling them. I feel bad as he bought them partially on my reccomendation even though neither of us had skied them before purchase. It reinforces my belief that this ski requires a highlly skilled driver.
Just as a Porsche 911 rewards good driving skills and will punish bad, this ski requires you to be precise with your input in order to ski it well. Is this ski thrilling? Yes. Is it forgiving? A resounding NO!
I hope this helps anyone who might be considering this ski for next season.