Product: Rossignol Scimitar (2012)
Length Tested: 185 cm
Dimensions/Turn Radius: 128-98-121 & 21.3m
Camber: Full Rocker (but *very* slight in the middle --- they are pretty close to flat under the boot)
Binding: Rossi Axial2 140
Mount point: Factory suggested
Environment & Conditions:
Location of Test: Ski Santa Fe
Number of Runs: 4 full days (all over the mountain; around 25% green (with kids), 25% blue, 50% black)
Snow Conditions: 6" powder down to scraped hardpack (as icy as Santa Fe gets)
Demo or Own: Own
Height/Weight: 6'2" / 205 (sigh...)
Ski Days/Season: 20+
Years Skiing: around 18 (15 as kid, 10 year hiatus, now back for the past 3)
Aggressiveness: Moderate(Finesse) in bumps & trees / Aggressive(Driver) on groomers
Current Quiver: This, plus 2011 Elan 82xti
Home Area: Santa Fe & various Western PA ski areas
Preferred Terrain: bumps, off-piste, trees
(My first ski review, so please be gentle!)
I haven't seen much written about these skis (other than over at Blister), so I figured I would add some thoughts. I picked these skis up last summer as a complement to my Elans, which are wonderful high-speed grooming skis but are...less than optimal, shall we say...in bumps & trees. So, I was specifically *not* looking for a one-ski quiver, but rather something to pull out when I wanted to have a "fun" day rather than a "fast" day. This background is important, since I think these are great skis for some purposes, but not necessarily what I would want all of the time.
Conditions for the four days I have been on these have ranged from a 6+" storm that dropped a week ago, to groomer-based skiing with my nieces (i.e., very slow). I haven't had a chance to try them on East Coast ice, but it has been pretty scraped up over the past few days at Santa Fe. My comparison points (discussed more below) are demos on Watea 98s and Rossi E98s.
These are *very* quick skis that both carve & smear well. They are fun, responsive, and very easy to ski in a range of conditions (except heavy chop), though they strongly prefer to be skied from more centered stance. They are not "slay the powder" or hard-charging skis, but are great if you want something playful. I was worried that the skis might be too soft for someone of my size, but it has not been an issue. They are certainly the most fun skis that I have ridden in a very long time. I would buy them again in a heartbeat (again, given what I want from them).
Okay, on to some details...
* Trees: In my view, the Scimitars shine the best in the trees. I was able to make a range of turns in different conditions, as well as smear out of a turn at a moment's notice. Quite frankly, I skied the various open glades at Santa Fe better than I ever have (compared to being on my Elans, or the 98s that I demoed). The Scimitars behaved the same whether going through 6" of powder, or on hardpack with some rocks poking through, or (most importantly) when transitioning between these two.
* Bumps: For a ski of this width, they have been quite good in the bumps. The moguls at Santa Fe, particularly early season, are not always nicely shaped. These skis were perfectly happy to make irregular turns when necessary, but also to settle into a nice rhythm when possible. I was worried that the full rocker would mean no energy in the bumps, but the skis are reasonably lively. They obviously are not dedicated bump skis, but they provide a nice combination of quickness & rebound.
* Powder: I only had the one day with any powder, but the skis had no trouble up to 6" (even for a larger guy like me). I did not experience any tip dive, and the skis turned smoothly and consistently. They are not going to be a true powder ski for someone my size, but 12+" dumps are very rare at the places I tend to ski, so that doesn't really bother me.
* Chop: Well, it depends. Soft chop / crud that is not too deep is quite fun, since the skis easily bounce around. Heavy, consolidated chop was very unpleasant, as the skis transmit everything & cannot plow through anything. This doesn't really bother me, since NM snow tends to be quite light & so heavy chop is rare. But we did get a bit of heavy crud, and the skis definitely performed the worst in those conditions.
* Groomers: I have been very pleasantly surprised by their performance on groomed runs. They hold a carve much better than I expected, and have very little tip flap when they are on edge. It took me a little while to fully trust the Scimitars on groomers, and I still haven't pushed them to speeds at which I trust my Elans. But they carve stably even at quite high (for me) speeds. Having said that, these skis *hate* to run even close-to-flat. Even on long catwalks & run-outs, I had to stay on edge to avoid the "skiing on bars of soap" feeling with tons of tip flap. So, it is an easy-to-avoid issue, except when I was forgetful.
* Comparisons: I really disliked the Watea 98s, as they felt very "plank-y" and unresponsive. The Scimitars have been exactly what I hoped I would find in the Wateas --- playful, responsive, lively. I enjoyed the Rossi E98s, and I can see why they get so much praise as one-ski quivers. But they are substantially stiffer than the Scimitars, for better and for worse. The best way that I can think to describe the difference is: the E98s tend to cut & power through snow, while the Scimitars tend to flow over it. So, one's preference between these two will depend a lot on what kind of skiing one wants to do.