Me: 5'-11", 195 lbs, level 8 skier.
Skis: Rossignol Phantom SC97 - Stats: 178 - 130/97/115
Skiing Conditions: Winter Park w/ packed powder/ 6+ powder/ cut-up powder
Have been searching for a replacement for a pair of Nordica Enforcer’s. Looking for something in what Skiing Magazine calls the Resort Off-piste category: ie. mostly in-bounds back bowl skiing that requires some time on the groomed and handles the crud when the powder is tracked out. Wanted to demo several different brands, but time and materials were lacking, so went with the Rossi’s after discussions with a couple of good friends who had managed to demo them and finding a great price on a pair.
Day 1: Leftover’s from about 3+ inches the day before – mostly packed powder, softer windblown to hard pack/scraped snow off the Panorama lift, freshly groomed snow off the Olympia lift. Great day to test the on-piste performance of the Phantom’s
First impressions were very good with this ski. One of the main criteria that I wanted in this ski was groomed performance, the ability to carve turns on the groomed runs without feeling like ½ ton pickup truck. The Phantoms were remarkably good! When I put them up on edge, they carved wonderfully well. I did find that they liked a slightly more aggressive approach. While they perform better when you stay neutral to forward, they are not excessively punishing on backseat driving. They also like speed and their performance picks up the more you let them run. For planks of this width, they were above average, to me, in side to side quickness, still not as quick as my GS skis, but better than other wide-waisted skis I’ve tried. I hit the groomed trails off the Olympia lift first. With few people out on the hill, I was able to lay down some big GS arcs on freshly groomed Jabberwocky. The skis carved beautifully and had great edge hold. Again, with no one else around, I could really open up and the faster I went, the better and more GS race-like the skis became. Very stable, good rebound into the next turn.
Day 2: 6+ inches of fresh powder, cut-up powder. A few runs off the Olympia lift again - @3” of new snow on top of the groomed, then to the Pioneer lift for some freshies on Gambler, Aces & Eights, and the other runs on Pioneer.
The first runs on Olympia were like Day 1 only better. Not a lot of powder to float in, but the skis tracked beautifully. Over on the Pioneer lift, had several fresh tracks in the slightly deeper snow and the skis felt great. Nice bit of float, effortless to turn, and still would give a nice ‘railed’ feel when there was room to open them up and make some bigger GS turns. The biggest surprise came in the bumps on Gambler and Aces & Eights. I was a bit surprised to find some fresh stashes by this time in the morning, but there were still fresh tracks to be had. I am not a big fan of bump skiing, but bumps in powder are a different matter. Still, it is not my forté. However, I did find the skis to be a good bump tool when I was able to stay on top of them. I expect on the feet of someone more accomplished in bumps than I am these would be a good bump/powder ski.
I hope to be able to try these out in deeper powder before the season ends. That’s about the only aspect of these skis I haven’t been able to test. Otherwise, I’m really happy with this purchase and would enthusiastically recommend them.