Last year I expressed great affection for the then fairly new line of T-Power shorty slaloms from Rossignol. These, I believed, were the wave of the future, and I myself bought the Rossi T-Power Cobra X [this year's T-Power Viper, I believe] in a 160 cm length. I weigh 145 pounds, stand 5'8", and I am the quintessential really mediocre skier, skiing mostly in Vermont. When I first reviewed this ski, I had not yet put in a season on them. Here is my current view: If easy turning and facile manipulation are what you seek, this is it. Turning is not an issue. Also, in my own experience, these short recreational slalom skis work as well as any on very hard. I now have discovered some downsides, some due to the ski, and some due to ME: In hard snow, I was no braver or more capable on steep, rugged trails than I was before. That's a function of my own limitations and the snow. The point is: What I had perceived a my "silver bullet" . . . wasn't. I's still just a ski, and the skier and the snow still make the difference. Also, due to the extremely shorter length, if you get into the "back seat", you're toast. Staying centered is essential, and while the ski may forgive you in making a turn on an easy trail, there's no for/aft room for error anywhere else. The back seat will squirt you like a watermelon seed under pressure. The other drawback: In deeper snow, I lack the skill to handle these. In order to avoid diving, I sit back - and that's all she wrote! Toast! When I used them on steeper, bumpier trails when "push piles" had developed, they'd jam into the pile - and STAY there. All in all, although they've given me a lot of pleasure, I think they should not be viewed as a ticket to Valhala or an all around ski for the average skier. In other words, although skis can indeed be skied shorter than in the past, there are better all around skis available for the average skier than this shorty slalom. More on that subject another time. By the way, the Rossi T-Power Cobra X of this model year is a different ski - wider,softer flexing. I intend to demo it as soon as I can. There may be no "silver bullet", but this hunt for "the Holy Grail" is exhilarating!
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10/13/01 at 7:15am