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Frontside Skis

The Best Women’s Frontside Skis of 2022: Rossignol Experience W 86 Basalt

This new Rossignol Experience model has the potential to change the lives of a whole new generation of frontside skiers.

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Brand: Rossignol

Model: Experience W 86 Basalt

Overall Ranking: #11

Overall Score: 3.5 / 5


Tip / Waist / Tail (mm)


Lengths (cm)

148, 157, 166, 175

Radius (m)

14m (166cm length)

Waist Width (mm)





Intermediate, Advanced

Rocker Technology


Core Material

Paulownia, Basalt

Stability at Speed

3.85 / 5

Quickness / Maneuverability

3.8 / 5


3.75 / 5


3.75 / 5

Hard Snow Performance

3.55 / 5

Crud Performance

3.3 / 5

Balance of Skills

3.55 / 5

Binding Included



2.65 / 5


When the Rossignol Experience line was first introduced a decade ago, it changed lives. It sounds cheesy, but those skis really did unlock a whole new ski experience for intermediate skiers who were struggling to progress beyond the blues. The all-new and improved Experience series aims to do just the same, but to reach even more skiers with a more versatile lineup. Case in point: the new Rossignol Experience W 86.

Testers had a blast on it on the slopes of Solitude Mountain Resort, calling it an exceedingly nimble ski that performed for everyone, everywhere. “What a fun little slalom ski, and turns easily through bumps,” notes tester Courtney Harkins. “It does tend to get overpowered if you try to ski larger-radius turns, but it would be the perfect ride for almost any woman who sticks to the frontside.”

Related: Carving vs. frontside skis—what’s the difference?

What stood out to testers most is this ski’s smooth, predictable flex and big sweet spot. These characteristics mean you can drive the Rossignol Experience W 86 more aggressively in a forward stance or stand upright and ski it more relaxed, and it will respond just the same.

“This ski feels so balanced, no matter where I moved on the ski,” comments tester Marina Knight. “Of all the skis in the Frontside category, this one lets you lay it over but it also feels nice to ski it more gently.”

Some ladies weren’t sure about Rossignol’s new Drive Tip Solution, which seeks to damp vibration in the tip of the ski; they felt it made the tip heavy and sluggish. Others loved the smooth ride it provided. Tip aside, all testers agreed that this new Rossignol Experience W 86 will change the lives of a whole new generation of frontside skiers. It will boost an intermediate’s confidence on and off the groomed, while experts will appreciate not having to work so hard for a nice arc or muscle their way down the mogul field.

“Skied these in a 157cm length, which is usually way too short for me, but it felt incredibly solid despite the short length,” adds Knight. “What a hero ski.”

  • Strengths: Stability at Speed (11th in category), Quickness (9th)
  • Weaknesses: Crud Performance (11th), Versatility (11th)

Learn More

See how this ski stacks up against the best women’s frontside skis of the year
Check Out Rossignol’s Award-Winning Skis and Boots

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