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Demo Day: Rossignol Soul 7, Nordica Hell & Back, Blizzard Bonafides

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

Had the opportunity a few days ago to take out the above skis for a test drive during several days in a row of fresh snow every morning at Copper Mountain. Good variable conditions, from 5 – 8” freshies in the bowls and woods, to packed powder on the groomed runs. Looking to see what’s out there as a possible replacement for my Dynastar Legend 95’s.

 

First about me:

Age: 57

Height/Weight: 5’-11”/190 lbs

Ski Days/Season: @25

Years Skiing: 53

Aggressiveness: Moderate(Finesse) to Aggressive(Driver) depending on the run and my energy level.

Quiver: Fischer RC4 WC Pro, Blizzard Magnum 7.6, Dynastar Legend 94

 

Product: Rossignol Soul 7

Length Tested: 180

Camber: Other

Binding: Demo

 

I found this to be a very interesting ski. Had the good fortune to grab a first chair with @8” of new snow and these skis on my feet. Boy, these are a great powder ski, even in relatively shallow amounts of new snow. After a few runs, the best way I can describe these skis as they feel like waterskies. I found them to be a bit of a challenge on the first few runs. As soon as I got used to staying centered on the skis, they handled wonderfully. But they didn’t seem to like getting driven hard although they were a bit better if I got in the back seat and had to ride the tails. They just seemed to work at their best when I just got on top, tipped them up and rode them around the turn. They were at their worst, skiing back to the base and trying to drive them in big GS turns like I do my Dynastar’s. Again, felt better just staying centered and riding the ski as opposed to aggressively driving the ski.

 

Product: Nordica Hell and Back

Length Tested: 177

Camber: Early Rise Tip w/Camber

Binding: Demo

 

Liked this ski as well. I skied this right after the Rossi’s, so it was quite a change. This ski feels most like my Legend’s. The early rise tip and the lack of metal gives it a touch more float than the Legend’s, but still more of a plow through feeling than the float on top sensation that the Rossi’s had. Great at blasting through the cut-up crud and riding through the deeper piles of stacked powder. I liked the pop and lively feel of the ski, but it still felt very stable with impressive edge grip when opening up the speed on the groomers back to the lift. As other reviews have stated, you don’t notice the lack of metal when bombing down the groomers. Like my Legend’s, struggled a bit in the bumps with this ski, but have to add that bump skiing is not my favorite terrain, so I don’t find bump skiing easy on any ski.

 

Product: Blizzard Bonafide

Length Tested: 180

Camber: Early Rise Tip & Tail w/camber

Binding: Demo

 

Another very nice ski. Fits nicely between the Nordica and the Rossignol. Has slightly more early rise in the tip than the Nordica, so it really handled the powder well. Even when the tips sank below the surface, I still had a bit more floating feeling than plowing. Like the Nordica, it ski felt great going through the cut-up powder. Of the three skis, I’d give it the best marks for skiing the bumps. Had a nice supple feel that just inspired a bit of flow through the bumps rather than bashing them. Can definitely see why everyone raves about this ski. Only negative – didn’t like the tip flap when opening them up on the groomed runs. My GPS said I was doing @45mph and the skis didn’t feel stable to me.

 

Summary – None of these are bad skies by any stretch of the imagination, but each has strengths that the other may lack.   If I was spending the day in the bowls skiing 8+ inches of powder, I’d take the Rossi’s in a heartbeat. For overall versatility, I’d pick the Bonafide’s. They do most everything really well, even if they give up a bit of powder ability to the Rossi’s and a bit of hard snow edge to the Nordica’s. For strict in-bounds skiing at a popular western resort (aka everything is skied out by 10:00am most powder days), I might favor the Nordica’s, as the tighter turning radius at 177cm and lighter feel would give it an edge, to me, in the trees, along with better hard snow performance over the Bonafide’s and the Soul’s

post #2 of 13
Thanks for your review. I bet we skied the same pair of H&Bs from Copper rocker. I just got my new pair in 185 yesterday and can't wait to try them at least one day before the end of the year.
post #3 of 13
Thread Starter 

Actually did my demo's through Christy's.  Should add that although I liked all the skis, none of them wow'd me enough to make me want to give up my Dynastar's.  The Blizzard's came closest as I'd give them an edge in powder skiing, but I didn't see much difference in the crud and I certainly missed the full camber of my Legends when it came time to ski Andy's Encore to Rossi's and back to the east village at Copper.

post #4 of 13

most people who get tip flap on bonafides do not let the ski engage and arc and carve.....

post #5 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Josh Matta View Post
 

most people who get tip flap on bonafides do not let the ski engage and arc and carve.....

Or we just ski a little faster than you! ;)

post #6 of 13

^^^^^ Assume he'll note the wink, meanwhile my .02 about tip flap: Deserves to be in the weekly NYT "meh list." As in, over. Not that vital anymore. Why? Because:

 

1) Why are you looking at your tips, anyway?

 

2) Tip flap = a visual distraction. Have not found a rockered front end that doesn't show a bit. 

 

2) Tip flap, as Josh notes, happens with skis are running flat or nearly flat, and can occur with the driver a bit in the back seat. Solution: Don't blame the ski. 

 

3) For those who nonetheless think tip flap is a deal-breaker, you can still find Head 103's around new. 

 

Out. 

post #7 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by beyond View Post
 

^^^^^ Assume he'll note the wink, meanwhile my .02 about tip flap: Deserves to be in the weekly NYT "meh list." As in, over. Not that vital anymore. Why? Because:

 

1) Why are you looking at your tips, anyway?

 

2) Tip flap = a visual distraction. Have not found a rockered front end that doesn't show a bit. 

 

2) Tip flap, as Josh notes, happens with skis are running flat or nearly flat, and can occur with the driver a bit in the back seat. Solution: Don't blame the ski. 

 

3) For those who nonetheless think tip flap is a deal-breaker, you can still find Head 103's around new. 

 

Out. 

 

 

like all basically all my skis except for my Super bros, kastle MX83 and Rossi GS skis tip flap when flat, but on edge none of them really do it. even the patrons tend to drive and just carve. 

post #8 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Josh Matta View Post
 

 

 

like all basically all my skis except for my Super bros, kastle MX83 and Rossi GS skis tip flap when flat, but on edge none of them really do it. even the patrons tend to drive and just carve. 

Agree completely.  Was just funnin a bit.  Whatever is the point of skiing modern skis flat, anyway?  The joy is on the edge.  A little, a lot, or somewhere in between, I believe I'm always on edge.

 

Partly based on your impressions Josh, I grabbed a pair of Patrons without demoing (near 55% off!).  Now I just need some late season dumpage!

 

And I'm pretty sure I won't be worrying about tip flap.

post #9 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tag View Post
 

Had the opportunity a few days ago to take out the above skis for a test drive during several days in a row of fresh snow every morning at Copper Mountain. Good variable conditions, from 5 – 8” freshies in the bowls and woods, to packed powder on the groomed runs. Looking to see what’s out there as a possible replacement for my Dynastar Legend 95’s.

 

First about me:

Age: 57

Height/Weight: 5’-11”/190 lbs

Ski Days/Season: @25

Years Skiing: 53

Aggressiveness: Moderate(Finesse) to Aggressive(Driver) depending on the run and my energy level.

Quiver: Fischer RC4 WC Pro, Blizzard Magnum 7.6, Dynastar Legend 94

 

Product: Rossignol Soul 7

Length Tested: 180

Camber: Other

Binding: Demo

 

I found this to be a very interesting ski. Had the good fortune to grab a first chair with @8” of new snow and these skis on my feet. Boy, these are a great powder ski, even in relatively shallow amounts of new snow. After a few runs, the best way I can describe these skis as they feel like waterskies. I found them to be a bit of a challenge on the first few runs. As soon as I got used to staying centered on the skis, they handled wonderfully. But they didn’t seem to like getting driven hard although they were a bit better if I got in the back seat and had to ride the tails. They just seemed to work at their best when I just got on top, tipped them up and rode them around the turn. They were at their worst, skiing back to the base and trying to drive them in big GS turns like I do my Dynastar’s. Again, felt better just staying centered and riding the ski as opposed to aggressively driving the ski.

 

 

Yep pretty much my experience on those skis also. I skied them in 5-6" of new snow and they scared the heck out of me. I have rarely skied a ski that seemed like it was built to be skidded in the turn. Driving the skis in any way is not a good idea, they seemed to reward lazy skiing, but they sell a pile of them. 

post #10 of 13

I find experiences like these hard to process cuz my experience is so different; owned a S7, which was a lot more radical in rocker rise and length, my wife owns the S110W, and we both found/find them easy to carve, as well as to slarve short radius or pivot in bumps. In fact, they're a hoot on edge or in tight bumps. Not super stable at speed, as is well known, and not ice skates, but that's not their mission. Just bought a pair of Super 7's, not mounted yet, expect them to be a bit more stable, hopefully just as much fun.

 

IME, the key to the S's is to mount them a bit back, to allow for more pressure, and drive the H out of the fronts. Which will pay attention. Until you ease off them, at which point the ski changes character and wants to smear and slide from a neutral stance. It can take a while to get used to, the morphing. 

 

That said, you're talking about seriously rockered and fairly soft wide skis, so the sensations of getting up on edge - as well as the running surface and the odd fore-aft balance points -  are going to be different than on a pair of 80 mm carvers. You gotta really commit yourself to it and then relax.  :dunno

 

The list of fatties that are truly solid carvers is pretty short, and they're not usually considered "fun skis." Stockli Stormrider 107's. Kastle BMX 108's and 118's. Blizzard Cochise's and perhaps the Bodacious. Fischer Big Stix 110's. Note they all have very minimal rocker, and it's low. Josh thinks the Patron, which has more, is wonderful on edge, and he has videos to prove it. Maybe that's the ticket.

post #11 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Josh Matta View Post
 

most people who get tip flap on bonafides do not let the ski engage and arc and carve.....


Silly me.  Here and I was just pointing 'em straight down the mountain until I stopped at the bottom.

post #12 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by beyond View Post
 

I find experiences like these hard to process cuz my experience is so different; owned a S7, which was a lot more radical in rocker rise and length, my wife owns the S110W, and we both found/find them easy to carve, as well as to slarve short radius or pivot in bumps. In fact, they're a hoot on edge or in tight bumps. Not super stable at speed, as is well known, and not ice skates, but that's not their mission. Just bought a pair of Super 7's, not mounted yet, expect them to be a bit more stable, hopefully just as much fun.

 

IME, the key to the S's is to mount them a bit back, to allow for more pressure, and drive the H out of the fronts. Which will pay attention. Until you ease off them, at which point the ski changes character and wants to smear and slide from a neutral stance. It can take a while to get used to, the morphing. 

 

That said, you're talking about seriously rockered and fairly soft wide skis, so the sensations of getting up on edge - as well as the running surface and the odd fore-aft balance points -  are going to be different than on a pair of 80 mm carvers. You gotta really commit yourself to it and then relax.  :dunno

 

The list of fatties that are truly solid carvers is pretty short, and they're not usually considered "fun skis." Stockli Stormrider 107's. Kastle BMX 108's and 118's. Blizzard Cochise's and perhaps the Bodacious. Fischer Big Stix 110's. Note they all have very minimal rocker, and it's low. Josh thinks the Patron, which has more, is wonderful on edge, and he has videos to prove it. Maybe that's the ticket.

I agree with this, although I didn't mount mine back.

 

@Tag, a 180 is too small for you, as well. I am a couple inches and 50lb lighter than you, and I find it just right. It certainly just might not be the right ski for you, period, in any length, but it is not merely a skidder. 

 

All that said, I really do not like it in heavy or otherwise dense snow, and I picked up a Blizzard Dakota (female Cochise) to deal with that, and those are much better. But I have really enjoyed the Soul7's this season, especially in steep, tight terrain like Pali lift at ABasin and then Crested Butte. The "morphing" is perfect in places like that, because sometimes you just need to sliiiide past a stump or through rocks before engaging again. 

post #13 of 13
Thread Starter 

SB, you may be right - the 180 may indeed have been too short a length for me, but that's what Christy's had available.

 

If I could justify having a straight powder ski, the Rossi's would definitely be on the list of possibilities. I liked the ski.  I liked all three skis.  I just didn't like any of them enough to make me want to give up my Dynastar's.  I never said the Rossi's were skidders.  I said they worked best for me when I stayed centered, put them on edge and rode them around the turns.  I thought they were very capable of both carving and smearing turns in the soft snow and powder in Spaulding and Jupiter Bowl.  Not sure why it's a big surprise that, for me, they, as a 106 wide, rockered ski, didn't perform as well as my 94mm wide - fully cambered skis when I took Andy's Encore to Rossi's Run back to Christy's.

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