A bit of background first, I work as a ski instructor at a local ski area. As such I am able to demo all sorts ski's. I tend to stick to the race breed of skis and am also on a local league. My daily ski is a Fischer FIS WC Slalom ski and I own the Rossignol Hero Master in a 180 length. I am around 200 lbs and around 6' tall. The boots I usually use are 130 flex Fischer vacuum boots. I am a very aggressive skier yet have a lot to learn.
The conditions this weekend were not ideal for GS ski demo as we had three inches of powder the night before. It was quite chopped up in the afternoon and a mix of conditions. With that stated I tend to like to use a more stable ski for these conditions. Slalom skis can be fun but a bit more work for these types of conditions. The worldcup rebels that I was able to rent where 175 cm in length. I would tend to normally rent a longer length but this is what they had in stock. The ski was around 17m which is a fairly decent cheater side cut.
The first run was to the top of the chair on a midwest black diamond run. This run tends to be my favorite as it has a few dips, ridges and drops that are quite fun. I usually wait for others to go fairly far down the run as I like to let skis like this run. This time I did not do that however and ended up right next to someone. It's one of those places that I don't like to be in because others can tend to push you into situations you don't want to be in. Instead of continuing on with my long turns I had to break them up into some rather quick radius turns. These skis seemed to be okay with whatever I would throw at them. They didn't have issues with the crud, and could go into fast transitions as well. The mid of the ski is around 66 and it makes a difference. I am used to my masters which are at a 70 waist and that tends to make for slower transitions. Even if you want to throw fast transitions at a Master they just don't really do it. These however seemed to oblige with pretty much any radius and transition that I would throw at them. They are of course not as fast as a slalom ski or as stable as a masters but feel right in the middle. I didn't get a ton of runs on them and was not able to throw them into a course. Still they would be up there on my list if I could run into them for a great price. I still don't know what the rebound is like either. I tend to like a lot of energy from a ski and if the slopes where groomed I would have launched them into the air on purpose. Still they felt very predictable and easy to initialize.
These skis feel like they could be a great ski as a cheater. As I stated they are faster to transition, and quite stable. Although after skiing on them I switched to my masters. Running the same hill things I felt with the Head ski the Rossignol would just go through like a tanker. They didn't even give me the feedback that I felt with the Head ski. Then again that could tend to lead to issues as well. This ski seems to be in the same league as the Volkl UVO GS as well. Either of those skis is on my short list if I can find one at a reasonable price. I still would like to run them through a course and see what the difference is between a Masters and a cheater ski. This is something hopefully I will be able to do at a later time this year. It would seem that a Masters ski will be more stable slower to transition and take more strength to utilize. The cheater skis are all less than 19m seem to be easier to ski, faster to transition and of course less strength to utilize. I would be interested in hearing anyone's comparison between masters and cheater GS skis. It would seem like if you have the strength you should be able to get more speed out of a masters ski.