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Rossignol Reviews: Z9 and VS

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
Height: 5' 7"
Weight: 160lbs
Ability/Prefered Style: Racer/Carver (9ish)
Boots: Dobie 150
Other Skis Liked: Nordica SLR, Elan SLX, Elan GSX
Conditions: Ice and Granular with patches of fluffy fresh snow (very sparse on the fluffy stuff)

***Skied only groomers***

Today I took out both the Z9 and the VS. I will start with a brief review of the Z9.

Zenith Z9 Oversize TPI:
This ski will pretty much ski anything. I really should have skied it shorter in a 170 (all that they had was a 176), but I was able to make it do pretty much anything. We had a lot of patches of granular piled up and they skied from the ice to the piles and back again pretty well. I was able to even ski slalom turns on these things. They didn't amaze me with rebound, but that is pretty typical of a Rossi. My father who is of similar build to me took out the 170 and he loved it. He was cautious that the length might be too long to make tighter carves, but they really served him nicely. I suspect that the 162 would be too short for both him and I. If you are looking for a cruiser, this is a great ski. It probably won't wow you in any category. It is alright at most things, but didn't really shine in any one area. It was really easy to ski on though, even in a 176 at my size.

VS Oversize Ti:
So this is pretty much a 9S with a new name. I didn't expect much out of this ski, as I didn't really care for the older model retail 9S. Much to my surprise I found this ski very easy to turn on. Initially I took it out in a 158.

The 158 seemed like it was the length that Rossi had intended for someone of my size, but after doing most of my recent slalom skiing on a race stock 165cm ski, I wasn't too thrilled with it's stability. It was however buttery smooth, easy, and quick. It didn't like to be powered though. The mounting position seems to be more forward than I am used to, and would probably suit a female skier quite well. I am actually considering looking at this ski for my girlfriend for next year. I could really bend the ski pretty well, and it just wanted to be rolled back and forth in short slalom turns... but it didn't like abrupt movements.

The 165 felt like a different ski. I think it had a larger turn radius. I was still able to get tight slalom turns on it. I really enjoyed the added stability of the 165 though. It was less of a finess ski, and more of a ski that rewarded slightly more harsh carving technique. I was disappointed with the tune on them. They weren't very sharp. The 158 had a great tune, and held well for a retail race ski, but the 165 was in need of some love from a file, and didn't like to hold when I hit ice that was shinny.

I wouldn't buy this ski to race on, but it might make a decent coaching ski or cruiser ski. I still wasn't amazed by the ski, but it was fun to ski on. If you're a guy, buy the 165. Women looking for a high performance short turn carver should seriously look at the 158.

Overall, nothing really blew me away today. My dad really enjoyed the 170cm Z9. It seemed to reward how he turns a ski... which depending on your point of view can be either a good or bad thing - that dicussion is best left for the instruction section though. My brother still prefered his Elan SX Pro's over the Rossi VS (and skis much better on his Elans). I was looking for the Z9 to blow me away, but it really didn't. The VS is a good ski, but again, nothing that you can't get elsewhere in another ski.


post #2 of 6
Did you think the Z9 was very damp? I was surprised by how smooth it was when I tried it yesterday and loved the ride. Silky smooth and stable. Like your father I enjoyed it because it was so easy to turn and accomodated the way I turn. I suspect it is masking some technique flaw on my part perhaps but it was effortless and did anything I asked it to and handled very well at higher speeds without feelling the least bit twitchy like some of the other oversized sidecut skis I have tried. I was having fun for once without worying about keeping my speed down.

Also I tried the 170 and think you might have enjoyed that more perhaps if short turns are your thing. I hardly even had to think about turning and around I went.
post #3 of 6
The 162cm Z9 is definitely too short. I had pretty much the same review of them from my demo, but I would have much rather been on a longer pair. They felt like they skied a little short to me, even in the 162.
post #4 of 6
Thread Starter 
The Z9 is definitely damp... not quite dead (close) but definitely damp.
post #5 of 6
Originally Posted by HeluvaSkier
The Z9 is definitely damp... not quite dead (close) but definitely damp.
That's a Rossi trait, IMO.

I liked the Z9 though, and would possibly have considered a pair. They're way too soft for someone my size.

BTW Greg-Nice reviews.
post #6 of 6

I tried the Z9

I do not normally try out skis but I happen to have my alpine boots on for the first time this year for the purpose of answering some questions I had about equipment.

Skier wt 215lbs, 5' 9"
Level skier 9
Ankle flexibility, poor 9-10 degrees.
Boots cheap Dalbello CXR Carvers from about 6 years ago.
Normal ski Rossi T3 telemark

The ski I tried was a Rossi Zeneth Z9 in a 170 length. Tune was 1 degree base, 2 degree side and bindings were demo with a slight ramp of about 2 degrees.

Sorry Heluvaskier but this ski did wow me. I really liked this ski. I has the right balance and flex for the sidecut. This ski loves to be driven from a centered stance much the way that I ski. I could easily run it onto a much higher edge than any other ski I have tried. The rebound is very predictable and balanced giving me the gas pedal out of the apex that I have sought for years.

I could get very short high energy turns that shot me 90 degrees across the fall line at suprisingly slow speeds. I loved the feel of this ski but suspect someone who has a lot of flexibility might find it lacks the ability to be leveraged.

In contrast I borrowed last years Volkl P60 slalom ski in around a 160 length and 10 m sidecut. On this ski I felt the bindings were a little too aft for me and with my flexibility was never able to consistently carve from the sweet spot. Consequently the rebound out of the ski was inconsistent and I was never able to get them as high on edge or a tight of a turn as I could get from the Z9. I would like to have tried the P60 with the bindings about and inch forward of where they were.

I would recommend these for a finesse type of expert who drives from the center. I doubt they would appeal to an aggressive expert who uses the full range of fore and aft leveraging and jumps onto and off of edge fast. I was able to overdrive the boots before the Z9 skis. As a gaper ski they do not have the $ appeal of the Metrons.
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