or Connect
EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › Member Gear Reviews › Rossignol Experience 100, 182 (2015 model)
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Rossignol Experience 100, 182 (2015 model)

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

Product:  Rossignol Experience 100

Length Tested: 182

Dimensions/Turn Radius:  140-100-130 (but may be still 98 in the waist), 18m radius

Camber (select one, delete the rest): Early Rise Tip w/ camber

Binding: Demo

Mount point: Suggested (I ended up maybe 1-2 mm forward of the line)

 

 

Other Skis in Class:

* Blizzard Bonafide, Volkl Mantra, Stockli Stromrider 95, Nordica Hell&Back, Kastle MX98

 

Environment & Conditions:

Location of Test: Squaw Valley

Number of Runs: Most of the day

Snow Conditions: Firm and icy, with pockets of windblown snow

Demo or Own: Demo

 

Tester Info:

Username:alexzn

Age: 42

Height/Weight: 6/189

Ski Days/Season: 50

Years Skiing: 36

Aggressiveness: (select one, delete the rest): Aggressive(Driver)

Current Quiver: 182 Rossignol Radical GS FIS, 187 Blizzard Bonafide, 190 DPS Wailer 112RP.  

Home Area: Squaw Valley

Preferred Terrain (select one/all, delete the rest): off-piste

 

Experience 100 is a new incarnation of a fairly highly rated Rossi Experience 98.  I have not been on the old model, so my reference points would be my day ski- 187 Blizzard Bonafide.  This season I also put some hours (filled with some drills) on a "new for me" Rossi Radical GS race ski, so I think I have a pretty good reference for a real carving performance.   The test ski that I took out had a fresh 1/2 base/side Starthaus tune, which undoubtedly contributed to the way the ski felt.  

 

Camber profile and rocker profile:

 

The way this ski is built is fairly peculiar relative to the other 98 skis.  First, as you can see from the photos it has a ton of camber.  Moreover, when the ski is unloaded that camber extends all the way tip to tail.  The rockered profile only appears when the ski is loaded flat ( again, see the pictures).  Strangely, the rockered section is marked with an arrow on the base, it almost looks like Rossi was worried that people won't believe that the ski even has rocker, so they felt compelled to point it.  The design may have some implication to the way the ski feels on groomers, more to that later.  The base has also a rocker mark at the tail, but that's clearly a marketing decision, there is no tail rocker just a good old upturned tail.  The tail is another distinct feature of the ski, it's wide, and unabashedly substantial.  There is no trace of pintail or taper, the widest point of the tail is right where the upturn starts.   The ski is fairly heavy, as befits a ski with metal.  The flex feels a tad stiffer than the Bonafide but it may have to do more with the fact that my "Bones" are 3 years old and saw a fair number of days.  The overall flex is fairly even, the tail feels stiff but not as stiff as the old Mantra tail.  E100 is NOT a noodle by any measure.   I ski my bonafides in 187, the 182 E100 was only a few cm shorter, and it was plenty of ski for my 6/190 frame.   The top size E100 (190-something) would be a freight train.
 
Rocker marks (tip and tail) on the bases:

 

 

 
The day was fairly typical for sking Squaw in bad conditions- the upper mountain had plenty of coverage, but it felt mostly as wet snow and froze, so a lot of the off trail skiing was ice covers with some refrozen crud, and some wind packed snow if you are lucky.  Overall, pretty challenging conditions for a ski test.  I started with a few runs on the fresh corduroy, as I wanted to evaluate the carving performance.  It was pretty impressive.  The only other 95+mm ski I was on that gave me a comparable grip was the Stockli SR107.  No doubt a fresh quality tune helped, but the ski was downright fun on the partially frozen groomers off Squaw Creek and Red Dog.   Compared to my GS skis, E100 feels mellower, softer, and slower.  But the attributes that make a Rossi GS ski fun are definitely there, there is plenty of grip, the ski feels dead solid and damp, and you can definitely feel that tail.  There is no tip flap that I could feel and I went pretty fast.  The camber rocker relationship leads to an interesting feeling, when the ski is unloaded it puts the tip right on the snow, so the transition feels nice and planted.  That continues throghout the turn as the tip remains on the snow after you put the ski on the edge.  So you feel the whole length of the ski throughout the turn.  However, the rocker comes into play when the ski is loaded, so trying to modulate the turn shape by pressuring the tip does not quite feel the same as on a race ski.  The tail has a good rebound, but noticeably less than a race ski does.  But, as all mountain skis go the E100 is a pretty spectacular carver (again, the caveat is the fresh quality tune put in that ski).  Bonafide is also a very competent carver, but if I had to ski groomers all day on a 98, I would choose the E100 over the Blizzard.
 
After a quick lap on the Bones confirmed that the upper mountain had healthy coverage I headed up to the Siberia lift line and bumped into Xela, who told me - hey, National chute is open.  So we headed to Palisades to find the National chute in pristine conditions and with no crowds (we even stopped to take pictures- not a normal way for a first run off Palisades). Nothing else off the Palisades was open (and nothing looked skiable - this year Palisades lines are more in the rock climbing mode).  This is a low snow year, so the chute had a fairly gentle rollover entry, then a pretty steep choke mid-section with packed 40+ deg snow, and then a long soft chalky steep wider section dumping you on the runout across a frozen rutty traverse.  E100 had no problem gripping in the choke section, but it was not particularly quick across the fall line, which is often a liability in these kinds of places.  Snapping off turns in the soft lower section was pure delight.  So, no problem with off trail competence.  The rest of the day was at times futile search for the good snow across the mountain.  E100 felt best in wide open spaces where you can run GS turns across the fall line and load that tail.  The upturned tail is gentle enough and releases well not to create any problems in the steeps.   Quick work in tight spaces was not E100 forte, but I can see a stronger technical skier than me making it work quite well.  The telling moment was my second run down the National chute in the afternoon.  I was a bit late shifting the weight on one of the turns in the steep section, and on my Bones I could still quickly pivot the skis across the fall line and get back onto the rhythm, on the E100 I had to wait a tiny bit to regain the balance and by that time I was to close to the rock wall and had to brake and hop-turn to get back into the line.  So as the line gets harder, the E100 gets more demanding.  Again probably not a problem for a really good technical skier.   Generally, as the terrains gets sketchier the Bonafide tend smaller, but the E100 seems to get bigger.  Nevertheless it's a very solid ski and I would not have a problem skiing it in any terrain ( that edge grip was also confidence- inspiring).   There was no powder to be found, the snow never really became soft anywhere except the National Chute, so there was very little chance to evaluate float, but based on the width and the rocker shape, I don't anticipate any problems with that.  As expected, the tail was a bit of a liability in hard frozen bumps, but nothing extreme.  I was happy to ski on it all day and never felt the need to get back on my old ski. 
Testing the E100 in the National Chute at Squaw, (image by @Xela)

 

 
So, who is this ski for and is it better than the Bonafide? The quick answer to the last question for the vast majority of people is generally "no", but a better answer is  "it depends".  The Bone is better off piste, is a more versatile ski by some margin and has this magic combination of rocker shape, stiffness and flex that comes handy in a lot of situations.   On the other hand a skier who knows how to work a tail on a  ski and likes to do that would find E100 a more exciting partner.  I can see instructors going for E100 over the Bones (or someone who teaches carving turns in the morning and rips the off-piste in the afternoon).  Anyone who regularly skis in icy conditions or spends a significant time on groomers, would really like that type of ski.  The cliche of "wide GS ski" probably describes the E100 better than anything else.  Someone here said that this is what the Mantra should have been in the first place, I fully agree.  With the changes on the Mantra this year, I'd say that this is what the Mantra is this year and it may be the only normal price choice for the people who liked the original Mantra for the right reasons (with other pricier choices being Kastle and Stockli).  
 
Which brings me to the reason why this ski IMO would not sell so well despite being a great ride.  The graphics is just awful. It's bland and uninspiring to the point of you scratching your head and asking "what were they thinking". The old E98 was not a stunner, but had a confident restrained design that appealed to some people.  The current design will appeal mostly to people who like to spray-paint their skis.  The few design features on the ski are black on black and could only be seen under a certain angle.  The honeycomb tip is dull yellowish grey, which gets totally lost on a black ski, same true for the Rossi logo, black on black does not work.  The top sheet  is a catalog of missed opportunities.  Whoever designed the Soul 7 or the Rossi race line clearly went on vacation for the E100 design. Its a shame. 
 
Bottom line:  Real Mantra for real skiers.  Not a Bonafide killer, but a great ski in its own right.  
 
Other notes; This is my first time on the new Look heel, the click in is a lot more positive than before, it looks sleeker too.  Good binding before, and still good binding.  

Edited by alexzn - 2/27/14 at 12:14am
post #2 of 12

The shape looks nearly identical to my E98s, particularly the rocker/camber profile.  Sounds like Rossi tweaked the flex just slightly, added the air tip, and dropped on new graphics, and voila--the E100!   Your analysis sounds very similar to what I've experienced on the E98 (no pun intended, honest) in comparison to my experiences on the Bones. Perhaps Rossi kept the best features of the E98 and just mellowed it out ever so slightly on the E100, improving the off-piste performance just a bit for a better all-round product.

 

Great review, thanks!

post #3 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gunnerbob View Post
 

The shape looks nearly identical to my E98s, particularly the rocker/camber profile.  Sounds like Rossi tweaked the flex just slightly, added the air tip, and dropped on new graphics, and voila--the E100!   Your analysis sounds very similar to what I've experienced on the E98 (no pun intended, honest) in comparison to my experiences on the Bones. Perhaps Rossi kept the best features of the E98 and just mellowed it out ever so slightly on the E100, improving the off-piste performance just a bit for a better all-round product.

 

Great review, thanks!

 

Good review, thanks!  

 

If you get a chance, try and compare it to the new Motive 96.  Everyone, and I mean everyone, is raving about that ski.  Kevin just ordered a personal pair after skiing everything at the demo.  Since the Motive and Bonafide have metal, and the E100 does not, but is plenty stiff, it would be an nice comparison.    

post #4 of 12
Thread Starter 
I will if I get a chance. Are you sure E100 has no metal? Felt like it has some (damp and fairly stiff) and the top sheet may have said something about titanal. Weight surely felt like it has some metal.
Edited by alexzn - 2/22/14 at 10:55pm
post #5 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by alexzn View Post

I will if I get a chance. Are you sure E100 has no metal? Felt like it has done (damp and fairly stiff) and the top sheet may have said something about titanal. Weight surely felt like it has some metal.

 

The 14/15 catalog says it has Titanal.  I haven't skied it yet (hopefully next week), but I was told that the "old" E98 has two layers of titanal and the E100 has one layer.

 

It got really good reviews from the few people who tried it here two weeks ago.

post #6 of 12

Blister just posted up a good review.  Almost as detailed as Alex's.

 

Most of what I've read about this ski seems to highlight characteristics that I want in a significantly narrower ski.

 

Mild derail:  Dawg, did you ski the Motive 96?  I'm going to need to replace my trusty Nomad Savages soon, and despite current trends, I'll be looking for something with VERY similar skiing characteristics.  No rockered swivel-sticks, please.

post #7 of 12
E-100/98... What's the difference? Simply, a better soft snow ski than the 98. If it hasn't lost its hard snow tenacity, it's a chicken dinner winner in its class. Skied it in 10-13" of cut up powder and chunder, soft bumps, untracked, and low angle soft rolled groomers. Chunder, short radius, long, fast, slow... didn't matter. Baby's got front! Great ski for a front seat driver! Crushed everything with aplomb without the old ski's tendency to tip dive in softer,deeper snow. It, along with the MX 98 were the crust of the crud crushers. Which would I chose of those two? Honestly, IMHO, the Rossi will be
more versatile for the majority of people looking for this class of ski. I'm guess
Ing the mx98 will have better edge hold, but again, IMHO, will require a physically strong and precise skier unless you're quitting earlier in the day. They're plain old heavier.

No mistake, I like both the E100 and the mx98, but don't know that the latter truly offers multiple hundreds of dollars of greater performance. Bottom line, there are really no bad skis in the 95-100 category, only preferences. Of greater importance is choosing the correct length.
Edited by markojp - 2/23/14 at 2:24pm
post #8 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by alexzn View Post

I will if I get a chance. Are you sure E100 has no metal? Felt like it has some (damp and fairly stiff) and the top sheet may have said something about titanal. Weight surely felt like it has some metal.

 

No, definitely not sure!  The rep told me it didn't have metal, but who really trusts what ski reps (or most salespeople of any stripe) say?  Guess I shouldn't have either!

post #9 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by HRPufnStf View Post
 

Blister just posted up a good review.  Almost as detailed as Alex's.

 

Most of what I've read about this ski seems to highlight characteristics that I want in a significantly narrower ski.

 

Mild derail:  Dawg, did you ski the Motive 96?  I'm going to need to replace my trusty Nomad Savages soon, and despite current trends, I'll be looking for something with VERY similar skiing characteristics.  No rockered swivel-sticks, please.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by HRPufnStf View Post
 

Blister just posted up a good review.  Almost as detailed as Alex's.

 

Most of what I've read about this ski seems to highlight characteristics that I want in a significantly narrower ski.

 

Mild derail:  Dawg, did you ski the Motive 96?  I'm going to need to replace my trusty Nomad Savages soon, and despite current trends, I'll be looking for something with VERY similar skiing characteristics.  No rockered swivel-sticks, please.

 


No, I haven't skied the 96 yet, but several people I know have, not a bad word to be said.  The flex and tail profile is great for that person looking for a stronger ski and wants a clean turn finish (like a Hell & Back profile) but with a bit more rocker tip than some models.  I skied the Motive 86, was very impressed with the new flex pattern.  Good strong ski on and off-piste, easy to ski, damp, powerful, great edge grip, no tip flap. If the 96 is the same ski, just tweaked for more off-piste skiing, it will be a great alternative to the skis discussed here.

post #10 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by dawgcatching View Post

No, definitely not sure!  The rep told me it didn't have metal, but who really trusts what ski reps (or most salespeople of any stripe) say?  Guess I shouldn't have either!

Ironic. smile.gif
post #11 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by markojp View Post


Ironic. smile.gif


I am not above self-deprecation! 

post #12 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by dawgcatching View Post
 

 

 


No, I haven't skied the 96 yet, but several people I know have, not a bad word to be said.  The flex and tail profile is great for that person looking for a stronger ski and wants a clean turn finish (like a Hell & Back profile) but with a bit more rocker tip than some models.  I skied the Motive 86, was very impressed with the new flex pattern.  Good strong ski on and off-piste, easy to ski, damp, powerful, great edge grip, no tip flap. If the 96 is the same ski, just tweaked for more off-piste skiing, it will be a great alternative to the skis discussed here.

Thanks for the reply.  I'll have to put the Motive 96 on my Must Ski list for next year.

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Member Gear Reviews
EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › Member Gear Reviews › Rossignol Experience 100, 182 (2015 model)