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Rossignol 9SL World Cup Slalom Ski - Issues

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 

Wanted to see if anyone else is experiencing this issue. It has been occurring on a few pair of Rossignol skis. 

 

My son races for his varsity High School team in Michigan (so we are not talking FIS World Cup here just competitive ski racing at the high school level). 

 

With over 20 racers on the team (my son is the only one using Rossignol) not ONE other skier has experienced ski tip issues with their Fischers, Atomics, Volkls -and they are now teasing him abotu the issues we have had with these skis like "dude, your skis suck, why did your Dad buy you such terrible skis...".  I purchased these because I have always owned and respected Rossignol since my days racing and they had seemingly good reviews. 

 

I purchased Rossignol 9SL World Cup skis in 2011. After a few days use the tips came flying off after contact with the gate (we are not talking major impact - just the standard contact that happens in ski racing). I tried every possible solution multiple times from gluing (spending $$$ on different glues, epoxies which never worked). to tightening and everything else in between - nothing worked and the tips would come off as soon as we tried skiing again.  It seems to me the design was flawed as when the tip came off it would take some of the ski material with the notch part of the ski (that held the tip on) with it, you could never get it to hold well again. This design has been changed on the newer model.

 

I contacted the dealer where I purchased the skis and they suggested we try gluing (already done, didn't work) and then installing replacement tips. When replacement tips finally came, they were for the wrong model ski...argh... .

 

After much frustration with these skis and many attempts to get the tips to stay on, I finally contacted Rossignol and they were very helpful and agreed to replace the skis. Problem solved right???? Not so fast....

 

After receiving the newer model of the 9SL skis and assuming they had fixed the design issues with the older model tips, my son was eager to use them and get past the constant "broken ski syndrome that these skis were giving him" (tips missing, etc). For racers, the last thing you need to be thinking about is whether your skis will break or not.

 

After the first day of practice, my son showed me where one of the new ski tips was bowed upward after making contact with a gate. I thought it must be ok since Rossignol must know what they are doing maybe they are designed to take a slight impact. I was wrong... two races later my son brings home a mangled ski tip which was ripped off of his ski the next gate he contacted. I taped up the tip of the ski with duct tape - so now he has a brand new ski with one tip missing and duct tape to boot.. I contacted Rossignol again and they said they didn't have replacement tips for this ski and the ski wasn't made for that level of racing and we should consider a different ski....!!! Whaaaaat!!!! .. the description of this ski reads:

"The Radical 9SL Slant Nose Ti is a full-throttle, fall line slalom ski for technical and race league skiers. World Cup sandwich construction, Oversize technology and Power Turn Rocker combine for a powerful and agile short turn radius ripper. Power Turn Rocker delivers faster turn initiation for more aggressive lines, while Slant Nose asymmetrical tips improve swing weight to put the ski on edge even faster. The 9SL is a full-on uber-carve tool with a ton of energy and snap for precise, short turn arching. "    I would consider High School racers to be "technical and race league skiers"....  In fact, the ski shop I bought the original pair at said this would be a better ski because it was NON-FIS and would favor a skier at this level.

They obviously have a durability issue with this ski.

 

Fast forward to regional ski meet, and my son is taking his slalom run when his binding (the whole binding) comes completely out of the skis the screws/plate (thank god he wasn't hurt in the resulting crash). Obviously he was disqualified from the race and lost his position for his team and the team result suffered. A bad result and something I have NEVER seen happen before on any ski. Upon inspection, I discovered the binding screws had pulled right out of the plates (where binding mounts to). The screw holes are made of plastic and apparently gave way under pressure? The binding came right out of the ski before the bindings had a chance to release. It was not even on a fall..just in the middle of the run. So another frustration. 

 

I contacted Rossignol again and they quickly sent new plates. This time the plates had metal threads where the binding screws attached and I remounted the bindings and they seem very secure. So I was finally happy thinking after two seasons of gluing and worrying about these skis..we were home free and could get through the season and compete at states with skis that just worked. We would just deal with the now missing tip as this was getting silly going back and forth with Rossignol. Until....... The second tip came off today and now both skis are broken....

 

I will take Rossignol up on their suggestion of addressing it post season (and they have been helpful as much as they could) but it is really too bad we have experienced so many problems with the durability of these skis (we really take good care of them). the biggest frustration is my sons last season of ski racing coming to a close and going to compete for state championships and has to consistently worry about his skis wondering what will break next and if they are secure.

 

Just wondering if others have experienced issues like this and how the ski company handled it. I was really wanting to like these skis and feel I took a chance on Rossignol when everybody else was saying "why are you buying Rossignol..why don't you buy Fischers?".. (actually he owns Atomics Redsters for GS and those are rock solid). So not only is it frustrating to have to go through this but I thought we would be showing other racers how good the Rossignols were ...now I feel sort of like a foolish for not sticking with what everybody suggested. I will update this thread when I find out how Rossignol handles this ongoing issue.

post #2 of 15

Rossignols are great skis, but if you are racing and training you need to get the racing models, not the consumer version. better plates, better bindings, better materials...

post #3 of 15

A lot of high school level racers around here use Rossignol. And a lot of high school racers around here are very fast. I have no personal experience with that particular ski, but perhaps your son needs skis higher up in Rossi's (or someone else's) race line. 

post #4 of 15

My kids ski Rossi SL's, although not Slant Nose Ti's, the Radical SL Pro's for U10 and up, have had no issues with the tips. Nor have any of their team members with Rossi's (a bunch). I ski Rossi SL FIS WC's, no issues. Also have not heard of issues with the Dynastar SL's, which are made in the same factory to same specs. Wonder if there were an issue with a specific production run.  :dunno

 

What I can say is that whatever the advertising blurb, I see most U16's and up on regular WC SL's with the R20 (or R18 if last season) plate. Maybe you should press Rossi for a replacement pair of those. 

post #5 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by beyond View Post
 

My kids ski Rossi SL's, although not Slant Nose Ti's, the Radical SL Pro's for U10 and up, have had no issues with the tips. Nor have any of their team members with Rossi's (a bunch). I ski Rossi SL FIS WC's, no issues. Also have not heard of issues with the Dynastar SL's, which are made in the same factory to same specs. Wonder if there were an issue with a specific production run.  :dunno

 

What I can say is that whatever the advertising blurb, I see most U16's and up on regular WC SL's with the R20 (or R18 if last season) plate. Maybe you should press Rossi for a replacement pair of those. 

 

I have also had no issues with the Dynastar and Rossignol FIS slaloms and I suspect mine see more gate time.  As I have indicated frequently here, if you are running gates buy the FIS version.  More expensive for a reason.   Also the OP mentions he bought these in 2011 and has already had one replacement pair.  3 years racing from a pair of slalom skis is not that bad in actual fact..

post #6 of 15

Same here. My 16 yr old has been on Dynastar FIS SLs for three years (155s, 165, and 165s). A broken plastic tip, and a small delam (half a dime sized) is the most damage. Keep in mind he beats the crap out them and stuffs them into the gates regularly.

post #7 of 15

and if you recall as I suggested when you were looking for recommendations originally....:rolleyes

 

10/1/12
 
  • 50x50px-LS-80d61d2a_MammothSlalom2.jpeg

 

 

 

For slalom, don't waste your money buying the non-fis, go for the real deal ski.  Slalom (even at HS level) requires the correct tool for the job if you are serious about trying to be competitive and that is the race stock version.  It also has the benefit that they are a slightly longer radius (~13m) than the non-fis (~11m) if he is going to use them for gs as well.  And it is not as if he is a lightweight.  And while you are getting the race stock versions, which is the best available to the public, rest assured these are not the full-on WC versions, despite what it says on the top sheet!  This is actually a good thing in most cases!

post #8 of 15

I have had two kids on Rossi FIS level SL skis for over 6 years (165 for a few years for my boy and 155 for several years for both boy and girl).  The only issues was minor delamination on the tip and some partially broken plastic tip protectors, but this was after a season or two when the ski became the trainer.   SL skis have a rough life, especially when the tips hit gates repeatedly.  Many kids out here in the Canadian Rockies use Rossi - it's one of the most popular ski for FIS, U16, and U14 racers.  Other than minor delamination from hitting gates, I have not heard about major problems with their SL skis. 

post #9 of 15

Goodguy, I consolidated all three of your threads and their replies into one.  Please do not post duplicate threads across the forums. 

post #10 of 15

Kudos to Rossignol for trying to make it right after a full season.  I'd probably try to glue the plastic tip on then drill a small hole or two and add screws or rivets through them to hold them on along with the epoxy.  But, regardless I wouldn't expect to get three seasons out of a pair of SLs.  Heck many folks have separate skis just for training and race day each season.  It can be expensive, but you seem to be getting by, albeit with a lot of tape and bailing wire.  Don't suppose the kid could get a job and earn money for skis instead of crying to daddy that what dad could afford isn't good enough.  The day my kid takes anything sports gear related for granted is the day I stop helping them pay for that gear.

post #11 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by crgildart View Post
 

Kudos to Rossignol for trying to make it right after a full season.  I'd probably try to glue the plastic tip on then drill a small hole or two and add screws or rivets through them to hold them on along with the epoxy.  But, regardless I wouldn't expect to get three seasons out of a pair of SLs.  Heck many folks have separate skis just for training and race day each season.  It can be expensive, but you seem to be getting by, albeit with a lot of tape and bailing wire.  Don't suppose the kid could get a job and earn money for skis instead of crying to daddy that what dad could afford isn't good enough.  The day my kid takes anything sports gear related for granted is the day I stop helping them pay for that gear.

maybe this post should be moved to the parenting forum?

post #12 of 15
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the advice. Like I said, the folks at Rossignol have been really good about standing behind the skis and I am now certain my sons level of skiing requires a higher end full breed racing ski. But at the time I purchased, the dealer (an experienced ski racing coach) said "don't get FIS level skis they will not initiate turns as easily as the Rossi 9SL's" ..I agreed with this sentiment as they performed well when used and were more forgiving...just not durable enough. 

 

Scots: I should have listened to your advice.  I was fooled by the top sheet marketing say "world cup..." etc.

 

Noticed on more issue (but I am sure Rossi will help) that cropped up this weekend. The ski edge has separated from the top sheet near the first 3 inches on ski on one side near front.

We really take good care of these skis but I was just wondering if this is common. Obviously not by your responses. His season is approx 35 days of skiing (including races and practices) Dec through late Feb. (multiplied by maybe an hour of actually running gates if that divided by 2 as half is GS = approx <15 hours of gates in a season on these skis...I would say 10 of those hours were without tips and other issues so maybe 5 actual racing hours when they were complete). One of the reasons we went with the nonFIS was the shorter radius seemingly suited Michigan short tight gate sets better...but now I know it is no big deal and would have been better off with a race stock ski.

 

I have been skiing for over 42 years and put 10-20 sets of skis through racing and much cheaper skis (and some other rough conditions), I have never experienced anything similar.

 

Regardless of the other issues, it seem to me you would not put a tip guard on a "slalom" ski if it had no function (did not actually guard the tip) other than maybe cosmetics -and- calling the ski "world cup" etc and marketing as "racing ski" (albeit non FIS).  Not all skis have the guard (head) and seem to do just fine. I know Fishers have tip cracking issues due to the hole/window but the fishers with tips seem robust. Volkl ?

 

It seems the ski is more a frontside groomer for those who want to have a racing "look" and response. But not sure I would recommend for actually running gates. 

 

In my opinion, you make a ski (or any product) for what it does well. Putting a tip guard on a ski where it is just cosmetic is like having a racing spoiler on a dodge neon. Perhaps marketing has gone too far with many products. I like things that are designed for a purpose and do that one thing very well. But I understand the need to appeal to many needs and tastes.

 

I have been impressed with Rossi's responsiveness and help but hopefully this can help someone considering a non full-on race durable ski for running gates on a regular basis.

post #13 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by goodguy View Post
 

I have been skiing for over 42 years and put 10-20 sets of skis through racing and much cheaper skis (and some other rough conditions), I have never experienced anything similar.

 

Regardless of the other issues, it seem to me you would not put a tip guard on a "slalom" ski if it had no function (did not actually guard the tip) other than maybe cosmetics -and- calling the ski "world cup" etc and marketing as "racing ski" (albeit non FIS).  Not all skis have the guard (head) and seem to do just fine. I know Fishers have tip cracking issues due to the hole/window but the fishers with tips seem robust. Volkl ?

 

It seems the ski is more a frontside groomer for those who want to have a racing "look" and response. But not sure I would recommend for actually running gates. 

 

In my opinion, you make a ski (or any product) for what it does well. Putting a tip guard on a ski where it is just cosmetic is like having a racing spoiler on a dodge neon. Perhaps marketing has gone too far with many products. I like things that are designed for a purpose and do that one thing very well. But I understand the need to appeal to many needs and tastes.

 

I have been impressed with Rossi's responsiveness and help but hopefully this can help someone considering a non full-on race durable ski for running gates on a regular basis.

 

OK, to summarize: 1) You're steamed about your experience with these skis. 2) We have not had the same issues you have. 3) You nonetheless keep arguing that Rossi's design is flawed.

 

There are two alternatives that you haven't considered. The first: Laws of probability guarantee that some small % of these tips will fail after relatively few impacts. Just like some small % will never fail. This is true for cars, clothes, skis, and any other object made by humans. Even after QC etc. You may have drawn the short lot twice. Yep, it happens, just like flipping tails 10 x in a row. Moreover, racing skis are not built to have the same lifespan as recreational skis because if you're sharpening them as often as you should, the edges will be thin in a season, gone in two. They're built to be very high performance, even at the expense of durability, like a thoroughbred. Most of the SL's I see juniors using and abusing look like they've been through a war. 

 

The second - trying to be honest here, not diplomatic - is that perhaps your son hits gates with his tips more often, or harder, than others. In any group of skiers, there will be some who largely miss the gates, others who really kill them, the rest fall somewhere in the middle. Not an indictment, obviously, since getting really close to the gates is a good thing. 

 

Conclusion: Whatever the cause, if this bothers you so much, switch brands. But understand that we may not nod and agree that Rossi's are doing deceptive marketing, or making crap products. That's not our experience. 

 

Good luck. 

post #14 of 15

I own the exact ski you are talking about in the 175 cm length. I have not had an issue with the tip guard, but I coach racing, and only occasionally run the gates myself. First off, I would echo what was said above, namely you got bad advice to buy the consumer version of Rossi's slalom ski. The race stock or FIS legal skis are much sturdier built and can take more abuse. I have skied both, and the performance is better on the race stock skis as well. I also think that this particular model, 9SL ti is a very stiff ski, stiffer than the race stock's, and that is not a good thing for a young racer, either. I am 6' 4" and 250lbs, so in a short ski, I need the stiffness and the ski works for my intended use. (skiing in icy, hard packed conditions). I had them out in soft packed snow recently, and the skis dug in and cut trenches in the snow, which was not very enjoyable. I didn't expect this as the skis have very wide tips and tails, but the stiffness doesn't allow the ski to contour much to the snow. On the hard pack, they work really well, though.

 

As far as the tip guard goes, I agree the design is not robust. I am a mechanical eng. and when I took the guard off to sharpen the skis, I was surprised the hold down screw does not go through the ski, if I remember right, it goes through a half round notch in the tip. I think I know where the ski cracked and caused the issue. If  you really want to fix them, drill 2-4 small holes through the guard and ski and use a very small screw and nut to hold it on. Another approach is to go to McMaster Carr and order some press on rubber edge guard material. Use 3M 5200 marine sealant to hold it on (screws will work too) and you will not have a problem. The 3M sealant is super sticky and rubbery so it can flex on impacts. I agree it is a lot of work to fix the ski. The guard is not a robust design on these skis. If you look at their FIS skis, there is a different tip protector which I expect is more durable.

 

I do think Rossi is correct that this ski is not really intended for heavy racing use, although the graphics are pretty much the same as the FIS skis. My son races and I went with Volkl race tigers and it was a mini research project to figure out which skis are race stock and which were not. They don't make it easy to identify them. I bought him the race stocks and have had no issues. The skis were used and have held up well.

post #15 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by goodguy View Post
 

Thanks for the advice. Like I said, the folks at Rossignol have been really good about standing behind the skis and I am now certain my sons level of skiing requires a higher end full breed racing ski. But at the time I purchased, the dealer (an experienced ski racing coach) said "don't get FIS level skis they will not initiate turns as easily as the Rossi 9SL's" ..I agreed with this sentiment as they performed well when used and were more forgiving...just not durable enough. 

 

Scots: I should have listened to your advice.  I was fooled by the top sheet marketing say "world cup..." etc.   

 

Noticed on more issue (but I am sure Rossi will help) that cropped up this weekend. The ski edge has separated from the top sheet near the first 3 inches on ski on one side near front.

We really take good care of these skis but I was just wondering if this is common. Obviously not by your responses. His season is approx 35 days of skiing (including races and practices) Dec through late Feb. (multiplied by maybe an hour of actually running gates if that divided by 2 as half is GS = approx <15 hours of gates in a season on these skis...I would say 10 of those hours were without tips and other issues so maybe 5 actual racing hours when they were complete). One of the reasons we went with the nonFIS was the shorter radius seemingly suited Michigan short tight gate sets better...but now I know it is no big deal and would have been better off with a race stock ski.

 

I have been skiing for over 42 years and put 10-20 sets of skis through racing and much cheaper skis (and some other rough conditions), I have never experienced anything similar.

 

Regardless of the other issues, it seem to me you would not put a tip guard on a "slalom" ski if it had no function (did not actually guard the tip) other than maybe cosmetics -and- calling the ski "world cup" etc and marketing as "racing ski" (albeit non FIS).  Not all skis have the guard (head) and seem to do just fine. I know Fishers have tip cracking issues due to the hole/window but the fishers with tips seem robust. Volkl ?

 

It seems the ski is more a frontside groomer for those who want to have a racing "look" and response. But not sure I would recommend for actually running gates. 

 

In my opinion, you make a ski (or any product) for what it does well. Putting a tip guard on a ski where it is just cosmetic is like having a racing spoiler on a dodge neon. Perhaps marketing has gone too far with many products. I like things that are designed for a purpose and do that one thing very well. But I understand the need to appeal to many needs and tastes.

 

I have been impressed with Rossi's responsiveness and help but hopefully this can help someone considering a non full-on race durable ski for running gates on a regular basis.

 

 

There you have it.  You have just self diagnosed.  The 9SL is exactly that, a lookalike that can be used for occasional racing.  You yourself (as you mentioned in your prior posts when you were considering buying them) made the very conscious decision to NOT buy the FIS ski and to NOT buy the Fischers that the other kids were having no issues with.  You were given very good advice here to reconsider but went in your own direction .   I do agree that it sounds as if the shop owner didn't give you the best of advice but this assumes that you gave him the complete picture as well.  It may also be that he didn't stock the FIS model and wanted to sell the 9SL he had in stock.   Dunno.

 

Anyway, what you have effectively (and admittedly) done is equivalent to buying a showroom spec Camry and expecting to race Nascar with it because it looks the same and has the same graphics as Tony Stewart's car. And you have experienced the predictable results.

 

What you also don't seem to realize is that if these have had 3 seasons of use, this is 100+ days, using the same ski for both GS and slalom.  If they are being worked in the gates then that is a LOT of use for even a FIS ski.  I don't expect to get more than 2 seasons out of a slalom training ski and that is with it only being one ski of a multi ski quiver.  Racing and training and free skiing on the same ski all the time is hard on any ski!!!     And if he is a typical HS kid it is probably also subject to all sorts of other stresses during free skiing!

 

Sorry to harsh your mellow, not intended that way, but it is simply intended to point out that the manufacturer has, IMHO, been more than generous to date.  And that seems to be a fairly consistent view here.  I do feel sorry for your son, hate to see any aspiring racer suffer like that.

 

You have though amply illustrated the point that I consistently make here, that if you want to race, buy a proper race ski up front, it is cheaper in the long run!  I dont make this point to sell skis, I do it to save people from mistakes such as this

 

Good luck ( and maybe cross your fingers that Rossignol Customer Service is NOT reading this thread! :))

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