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Rossignol Experience 88 HD (2017) - Ski Mag

Rossignol Experience 88 HD (2017)

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Rossignol Experience 88 HD

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Rating: 3.18 / 5
Price: $800.00
Year: 2017
Level: 3
Gender: Male
Waist Width: 88
Tip/Tail/Waist: 135-88-124
Lengths: 156, 164, 172, 180, 188

Stability at speed: 3.56 / 5
Hard snow performance: 3.44 / 5
Crud performance: 3.14 / 5
Flotation: 2.41 / 5
Forgiveness: 3.13 / 5
Overall: 3.18 / 5

Significantly narrower than the top-of-the-line 100, the 2017 Rossignol Experience 88 is appreciably quicker edge-to-edge. And while it lacks the speed-loving metal used in the 100, its poplar core (same as the 100) is carbon-reinforced for lightweight strength and snappy responsiveness. Compared to the 100, it trades some soft-snow flotation for hardpack edginess that will suit Eastern and Midwestern skiers. It returns for 2017 with the same shape but with a new graphic and Rossi's new Carbon Alloy Matrix reinforcement layer (indicated by the "HD" in its name). It's sold flat or, for $200 more, with a 12 DIN Look SPX binding. (Rossignol-branded bindings have been discontinued for 2017. Sister-brand Look now provides all bindings for Rossignol system skis.)

The 88 HD 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 float, and smearable 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.

A longtime tester favorite gets an update for 2017. The new HD-version Experience models, like Rossi’s super-popular 7 Series skis, feature a new reinforcement laminate that blends strong, snappy carbon with mel- low, damp basalt fiber. The new Experience 88 still specializes—perhaps more than ever—in long, high-speed arcs, with edge grip that belies its width and a smooth, quiet ride. Rogan: “A great ski for this category.”

Notes: Significantly narrower than the top-of-the-line 100, the 2017 Rossignol Experience 88 is appreciably quicker edge-to-edge. And while it lacks the speed-loving metal used in the 100, its poplar core (same as the 100) is carbon-reinforced for lightweight strength and snappy responsiveness. Compared to the 100, it trades some soft-snow flotation for hardpack edginess that will suit Eastern and Midwestern skiers. It returns for 2017 with the same shape but with a new graphic and Rossi's new Carbon Alloy Matrix reinforcement layer (indicated by the "HD" in its name). It's sold flat or, for $200 more, with a 12 DIN Look SPX binding. (Rossignol-branded bindings have been discontinued for 2017. Sister-brand Look now provides all bindings for Rossignol system skis.)

The 88 HD 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 float, and smearable 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.

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