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Rossignol Experience 98

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 

Ski: Rossignol Experience 98

http://www.rossignol.com/US/US/experience-98-open_RA1EX01_product_alpine-men-skis-all-mountain-on-snow.html

Length: 188cm

Dimensions: 139-98-128 

Radius: 19.9m

Binding: PX12 Demo Binding

 

Age: 24

Height: 6'3

Weight: 205 lbs

Days/Season: About 10 lately

Background: Racer / Competitor - tip to turn

Location: Deer Valley

 

Conditions: I tried these from the free Rossi demo tent at Deer Valley. I was able to try them in a wide variety of conditions, as DV had received 8 inches of snow the night before. Conditions included soft groomers, very hard icy groomers, cut up crud over ice bumps (under empire lift), and powder over soft bumps in steep trees (centennial off lady morgan).

 

 

Review:

 

I liked these skis a lot. They claim to have a bit of tip rocker, but it is barely detectable. Although they have a layer of metal in them, I found the skis somewhat soft. The tips bend readily and they will make SL turns if you have the tipping skills. The ski grips very well in soft groomed snow, but had little grip on icy harder surfaces. There is a good chance that is due at least in part to the [lack of] tune, given that they were demo skis. The skis had almost zero rebound, even when heavily bent, so they are a good choice for finesse skiers.

 

Offpiste, the skis performed well. They release turns easily and the big, flexible tip makes it easy to stay on top of powder. The 188 skis short in my opinion, and I had no problem getting them around in trees and bumps. If they made a 195, I would like to ski that. They have somewhat of a speed limit in heavy cut-up stuff due to the soft tip. The skis just seemed to make everything easier. They respond well to race-like technique, but they will not punish you if you do not ski that way. 

 

I think many skiers would like this ski. It works quite well on anything besides icy groomers, and does not demand a lot from the skier while delivering good performance in return. 

 

Pros:

Tight SL turns on a 98mm wide ski. Effortless skiing in tight trees and cut-up powder. Big sweet spot. They seemed to be an "easy mode" tool. 

 

Cons:

Very strong skiers can overpower the flex. Soft tips can flap at speed. Very little rebound, which is a negative for me but some people may like that. Lack of hard snow grip (probably b/c of tune)


Edited by doublediamond223 - 3/26/13 at 9:53am
post #2 of 16

Weird - your link took me to Blossom skis.

 

Good review though!

post #3 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Lutes View Post

Weird - your link took me to Blossom skis.

 

 

Fixed - I pasted my template from a Blossom review, not sure how that happened though. 

post #4 of 16

Thanks for the review!  I just picked up a pair on clearance, really looking forward to them next season.

post #5 of 16

DD, could I get away with a 180cm for the East Coast... woods?   I am 195 and 5'10" with great turns.

post #6 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Jones View Post

DD, could I get away with a 180cm for the East Coast... woods?   I am 195 and 5'10" with great turns.

180 would be exactly the length you would want. There are very few folks at the local hill who ski the 188 as there's a good deal of steep more technical terrain. Those that do are generally over 6'2" and 210-215+lbs. Most skiers at your size and weight will not overpower the 180 though some might prefer the 188 depending on their locale. The 180's more manageable for teaching.. Easy to slow down and be precise, or just tip and rip. Agree completely with the review about short turns. While the tip is softish, the tail is stiffer. It's not a ski that rewards the back seat. smile.gif
post #7 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by markojp View Post


180 would be exactly the length you would want. There are very few folks at the local hill who ski the 188 as there's a good deal of steep more technical terrain. Those that do are generally over 6'2" and 210-215+lbs. Most skiers at your size and weight will not overpower the 180 though some might prefer the 188 depending on their locale. The 180's more manageable for teaching.. Easy to slow down and be precise, or just tip and rip. Agree completely with the review about short turns. While the tip is softish, the tail is stiffer. It's not a ski that rewards the back seat. smile.gif

 

icon14.gif Agreed. 

post #8 of 16

My understanding from the Rossi rep here in the NW that the 88 might be a better choice for the east coast. The narrower waist might handle ice and firm NE winters better. However, I tried the 98 here in the NW last March. Conditions were firm (not ice) to soft crud on the side. It handled every turn with ease. I had no problem carving at speeds and enjoyed plowing through the crud. It would split soft bumps and didn't jet me out of the troughs. So don't be afraid to ramp it up and use speed. The ski prefers itself to be used and pushed, especially if you have the room for fast, carving, GS turns.

post #9 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by ScubaSkier1 View Post
 

My understanding from the Rossi rep here in the NW that the 88 might be a better choice for the east coast. The narrower waist might handle ice and firm NE winters better. However, I tried the 98 here in the NW last March. Conditions were firm (not ice) to soft crud on the side. It handled every turn with ease. I had no problem carving at speeds and enjoyed plowing through the crud. It would split soft bumps and didn't jet me out of the troughs. So don't be afraid to ramp it up and use speed. The ski prefers itself to be used and pushed, especially if you have the room for fast, carving, GS turns.

 

I have both the 180 E98 and the 178 E88.  I think the construction of the E98 is better for hard snow than the E88 even though you might think the narrower width would be an advantage on ice.  IMO the E98 is a much harder charging ski than the E88 and excels at mid-long radius turns on hard-pack and crud.

post #10 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tetonpwdrjunkie View Post
 

 

I have both the 180 E98 and the 178 E88.  I think the construction of the E98 is better for hard snow than the E88 even though you might think the narrower width would be an advantage on ice.  IMO the E98 is a much harder charging ski than the E88 and excels at mid-long radius turns on hard-pack and crud.

 

The E88 does not have metal, so this makes sense to me. I wouldn't really want a ski softer than the E98, and certainly not on east coast ice. 

post #11 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by doublediamond223 View Post
 

 

The E88 does not have metal, so this makes sense to me. I wouldn't really want a ski softer than the E98, and certainly not on east coast ice. 

 

The E88 features an aramide basalt layer while the E98 has two sheets of titanol.  

 

I don't have a racing background like you do.  I disagree with your review where you say that the E98 has a big soft tip and zero rebound.  Maybe there was something wrong with your demo skis?  I don't know of anyone else who describes the E98 as soft.  I've never experienced tip flap from them.  In fact one of the things that I don't like about the E98 is how it skis powder.  It's OK, but I find the stiff tip tends to not float to the top.  This is about the opposite of your experience.

 

As an Ex Racer, you might not find the E88 to be stiff enough for your tastes.  IMO most people would find it plenty stiff enough to handle east coast hard snow.  It doesn't grip like my race stock slalom skis, but it does as well or better than any other ski in it's class, at least of the ones I've tried.

post #12 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by tetonpwdrjunkie View Post
 

 

...  In fact one of the things that I don't like about the E98 is how it skis powder.  It's OK, but I find the stiff tip tends to not float to the top.  This is about the opposite of your experience.

 

 

That ^ caught my eye.

 

@Bob Barnes shot a video of Betsy’s Powder Skiing Birthday last May 1st

 

That guy (her husband) in the white helmet and red coat that shows up with her at 30 sec’s is skiing the E98. 

 

You’ll see him appear a few segments skiing that stiff arse board ;)

 

 

post #13 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tetonpwdrjunkie View Post
 

I don't have a racing background like you do.  I disagree with your review where you say that the E98 has a big soft tip and zero rebound.  Maybe there was something wrong with your demo skis?  I don't know of anyone else who describes the E98 as soft. 

..........

As an Ex Racer, you might not find the E88 to be stiff enough for your tastes.

 

It's hard to write reviews that will apply to all skiers, as the experience I get from a ski will only truly apply to people who ski like me. I think all reviews need to be taken with a grain of salt for this reason. 

 

It's very possible that my demo skis did not represent the ideal E98; I tried them in late March from a free demo tent that I'm sure gets a lot of traffic. The flex and pop could have been skied out of them. I'm used to very stiff skis as my daily drivers, so what I consider soft is of course relative. The E98 wasn't soft overall, but the tip was significantly softer than the rest of the ski. I expected more beef from a ski with metal. 

 

As far as powder performance, I guess my experience is closer to DonDenver's.... YMMV.   

post #14 of 16

I don't believe that I ever said the E98 couldn't be used in powder.  I've skied plenty of powder with mine.  I just don't think they are that great for it.

post #15 of 16
Skied the 98 a couple runs on a long groomer last year. Railed like it was glued to the snow, fast, stable, impressive ski. Made me a Rossi fan again.
post #16 of 16

Yeah, definitely a great ski. As a lightweight, I like the 88 better; the 98 was a little too stiff. I feel like it is very weight dependent: the 98 is favored by most of the heavier skiers I know, the 88 by most of the lighter skiers.   We just ordered an 88 for a 5 foot 5, 130lb guy: he skied practically every Blizzard we had, every Kastle, a couple of Heads, and the Rossi 98 and 88: his faves were the FX94 and Experience 88, and as his budget was pretty tight (he has too many hobbies, he says), ordering the 88 was an easy choice. 

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