Rating: / 5
Waist Width: 77
Lengths: 144, 152, 160, 168, 176
The 2017 Rossignol Experience 77 is built for value, light weight, and forgiving performance. It returns with the same shape as the 2016 model, but with a new graphic and the addition of a reinforcing layer of basalt fiber (prized for its vibration dampening qualities). With its soft-flexing, poplar-core, cap construction, it's designed to happily cruise the groomed without making excessive demands on its novice/intermediate pilot. Sold only as a system, it comes with a lightweight 11-DIN Look Xpress binding. (Rossignol-branded bindings have been discontinued for 2017. Sister-brand Look now provides all bindings for Rossignol system skis.) The Experience 77 Basalt is part of Rossignol's All Mountain collection, designed for maximum versatility in all terrain and snow types that resort skiers encounter. The Experience line splits the difference between the powder/soft-snow smeariness of the highly successful 7 Series and the groomer/hard-snow carviness of the Pursuits. Waist widths range from 100 mm in the flagship model down to 75 mm in the value-priced model, with target abilities decreasing with size (fatter models for experts, narrower ones for intermediates and novices). The top four models in the line (100, 88, 84, and 80) all bear the new HD designation, meaning they are reinforced with Rossignol's new Carbon Alloy Matrix layer, which is a loose weave of carbon fibers (for energy and lightweight responsiveness) combined with basalt fiber (for mellowing dampness). All feature Rossi's Auto Turn Rocker-early rise in the tip and tail for shock absorption, soft-snow flotation, and easy-to-skid turn finishes-with camber under foot for hard-snow carvability. Rossignol's Extended Sidecut design moves the widest part of the ski beyond the fore and aft contact points: The ski won't feel hooky or unmanageable at low speeds and edge angles, but when pushed to higher speeds and edge angles the sidecut engages more edge for maximum stability. Air Tip-a translucent honeycomb of empty pockets-keeps the swing-weight down for enhanced quickness. The top four models (100, 88, 84, and 80) are wood-core, laminate constructions for maximum durability and edginess, with full or partial vertical sidewalls for edge strength. The value models (77 and 75) feature more forgiving and economical cap constructions, which are softer-flexing (for better performance at slower speeds) and less edgy (for optimal speed control). Rossignol, along with sister brands Dynastar, Lange, and Look, is based in Voiron, a small town near Grenoble in southeastern France, where it was founded in 1907 by avid skier Abel Rossignol. Its U.S. headquarters are in Park City, Utah. -J.C.