Me: 5-6" 165lbs or so.
Midlevel skier. So these reviews are not from an expert's perspevtive. Could be useful to other midlevel types tho.
I would describe my skiing preference/style as 70/30, but when I am off the groomers I don't want to be on a 70/30 ski, if you know what I mean. To that end I began my search for new skis. Something that I would call an all day ski for me. Not a pure powder ski, but something wider than my Afterburners that does well in 12-18 inches of power, yet is decent on groomed runs
Conditions: both days had the same kinda snow. Snowed the day before. 8" to 12" of new snow. Groomers were on the softish side. Basically perfect conditions. Mid week, so there was still a fair amount of un-skied out areas for me to test the demos.
Rossi S3 in a 169. 128/96/118: Nice ski. Spent half a day on these. What impressed me was how the ski handled ungroomed snow. Once I got moving the ski actually rose up in the snow. Didn't have to lean back much. Easy to turn. Fun, fun, fun. On the groomers, not so much. I mean they were OK, but they had a serious speed limit-and I am not a fast skier. I felt like I was on 145cm skis. Such is the effect of tip and tail rockering. Sure I could go longer, but IMO I would have to go too long (for me) to get acceptable groomer performance
My feeling is that the S3 is a ski for those days when you spend most of the day on soft ungroomed snow and mostly use the groomers to get to the lift, lodge or parking lot.
Rossi S97 in a 170. 130/97/115 I hated this ski. My wife just got the S86w and loves it. We have similar tastes in skis, so I figured I'd like the S97. Not the case. Gads! It was like driving a truck. A big truck. Hard to turn. Felt dead. Dead like skiing on a 2x12. I was actually hesitant to take it off the groomers. I did a short straight run between two groomed runs and the skis sank more than I thought a 97mm ski should. I pulled a leg muscle on the fifth run, so back to demo shop. Maybe this ski would be fine for a heavy, strong skier.
Salomon Lord in a 177. 128/87/115. I needed something easy after the S97. It was. Delightful ski. Fun and easy in the ungroomed. Did well on the groomed runs. Easy to turn on and off piste. IMO a great learning tool for those just starting to go off piste. For me it would be a ski that I would only keep for a season to develop my powder skills. I felt like I was too strong for the ski and it was only 3mm wider than my Afterburners. But all in all, a good ski. Does surprisingly well in power for an 87mm ski. Must be the rockered tip. I didn't have to lean back at all, but the skis did sink a bit due to the width.
So there you have it!
Edited by Mr5150 - 12/22/10 at 9:26am