Date: March 22, 2009
Location: Sunday River, Maine
Weather: cloudy, mid 30s
Conditions: hard boilerplate above 2000’; mix of boilerplate and corn closer to the base.
Ski Tested: 08/09 Rossi CS 70, 155cm.
Me: 5’ 7”, 130lbs, 46yo, level 8
I stumbled on an opportunity to try this ski for free. Novelty for me, in that I rarely ski anything this turny or this short. And make no mistake: a 155 with a 70mm waist and a 112mm tail is very turny.
First impression: This ski is fun. Makes a modest hill seem bigger – which suited my agenda on this day, when I was skiing with some slower folks. At low to moderate speeds on firm snow, very easy to adapt to the short length – felt longer than 155. Nice and smooth, not too abrupt. No unwanted high-powered ejection at the end of the turn. Decent – not superlative - edge hold on the hard stuff - enough to give confidence in the arc, but not enough to make you feel like Superman.(I did not take a serious look at the tune. There's a pretty big wildcard.)
At higher speeds on an easy to moderate pitch, this ski felt more stable than I expected, and I was able to crank out some GS-style turns without any trouble. When I poured on more gas, I did get to a point where I got nervous, when getting a bit of air off of some rollers, about the size of the platform under me. Only natural.
On the down side, I was much less happy in the corn and emerging small bumps. With a ski that’s slightly on the stiff side – at least for me – the short length doesn’t provide enough flex and shock absorbtion for soft snow or sudden terrain changes. Smeary / skiddy moves are made difficult by the edgy nature of the ski. This is really a criticism of short slalom-type skis generally, not of this ski in particular. I know some people like this kind of ski in the bumps. I don’t.
Bottom line is that this was a really fun ski to play with for an afternoon, but is not something I would ever want to own unless I had a 5 ski quiver. It’s not sufficiently amazing or speed tolerant on the bullet proof to make me want it as a hard-snow specialty ski, and it’s not versatile enough to be anything else. For the right skier, though – say, someone who wants to crank out hundreds of turns on as small hill without quite the effort or precision required to drive a full-on slalom racer - this could easily be the perfect ski.