Rossignol S86 Freeride (2011) - Ski Mag

Rossignol S86 Freeride (2011)

Rossignol had a great test this year, and here’s the poster child of the Rooster’s fully fledged return to relevance. The S86 is an accomplished generalist. Sidecut and traditional camber underfoot combined with a wood-core, metal-reinforced construction make it surefooted on hard snow. But rocker and reverse camber tip-and-tail make it fun and easy in powder, crud, even bumps. It pivots, skids, smears, carves—whatever is asked of it—making it a great choice for anything but the deepest powder or hardest ice. “Hungry for fun in all conditions, especially crud and bumps,” said Scholey.
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Rosignol S86

Rating: / 5
Price: $800.00
Year: 2011
Level: 2
Gender: Male
Waist Width:
Tip/Tail/Waist: 130/86.5/116
Lengths: 186

Stability at speed: 3.63 / 5
Hard snow performance: 3.49 / 5
Crud performance: 3.34 / 5
Forgiveness: 3.74 / 5

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Rosignol S86

Rossignol S86 Freeride (2011)

Rossignol had a great test this year, and here’s the poster child of the Rooster’s fully fledged return to relevance. The S86 is an accomplished generalist. Sidecut and traditional camber underfoot combined with a wood-core, metal-reinforced construction make it surefooted on hard snow. But rocker and reverse camber tip-and-tail make it fun and easy in powder, crud, even bumps. It pivots, skids, smears, carves—whatever is asked of it—making it a great choice for anything but the deepest powder or hardest ice. “Hungry for fun in all conditions, especially crud and bumps,” said Scholey.

2011 Rosignol S86W Freeski

Rossignol S86W Freeski (2011)

Rossignol’s S86 ranked No. 1 in the Men’s Mixed Snow category (see p. 73). The women’s version is, thankfully, not watered down: Vertical sidewalls, two sheets of metal and a full wood core give it plenty of hard-snow integrity. Meanwhile, a rockered tip and tail ease through crud and bumps like water running downhill. (It scored No. 3 in Forgiveness.) Testers agreed that the S86W suited the category perfectly: a Jill of all trades that scored highly in every criterion, but didn’t stand out in any one. A very versatile ski for all levels. “Super fun and smooth,” said Gillet. “You could really take them anywhere.”

Rossignol S110W (2011) thumb

Rossignol S110W (2011)

Rossi was among the first to incorporate rocker into a women’s ski (Voodoo Pro BC110). Now it unveils the S110W Freeski, one of the first women’s skis with rocker and reverse sidecut. Hence its funny shape: The tapered tip and tail smear better in the deep. With roughly the same dynamics as the hugely popular S7 (No. 1 in Men’s Deep Snow), the S110W is not built for versatility; it’s built to float effortlessly through feet of velvety powder, where it handles speed so well you hardly notice the trees are a blur. For deep-snow purists, it can’t be beat (No. 1 in Overall Impression). “It could float the Titanic,” said Dawson.

2011 Volkl Gotma

Volkl Gotama (2011)

The original backcountry twin-tip returns with minor modification this year. It’s fully, but subtly, rockered, with a long, gradual tip-to-tail bend. Völkl takes care to make sure rocker and sidecut work together: Tip a Gotama up on groomers, and there’s plenty of edge-to-snow contact for easy carving. But it’s built for soft snow. It surfs and smears readily in powder and smoothly manages crud. There were more dynamic skis in the test, but the Gotama won accolades for versatility and mellow user-friendliness. “A versatile tool for powder and crud—even carves on hardpack; fun and easy,” said Casey.

2011 Rossignol S7

Rossignol S7 (2011)

Think you’re not a very good powder skier? Don’t decide till you try the category-crushing S7. There’s nothing special about the construction: A sheet of Titanal gives it just enough power and dampness; 30-degree sidewalls take a beating. The secret’s in the shape. Traditional camber and sidecut underfoot provide a comfy home base. Tip and tail are rockered and reverse-sidecut. The tip is smeary, floaty, undemanding; the tail sinks readily when you need to dump speed. The S7—No. 1 in six criteria—forgives almost any mistake; and we tested the 195 cm. Ski as aggressively as you dare; it bails you out every time. “The ultimate powder tool,” said Preston.

2011 Rossignol S6

Rossignol S6 Jib (2011)

Yes, it’s part of Rossi’s “jib” collection, and yes, it’s a full twin-tip, but the sensibly priced S6 impressed testers (most of whom never ski backward—at least on purpose) with its combination of powder-day surfiness and everyday skiability. This year’s version is rockered tip-to-tail, so it has a pleasing, buttery feel in soft snow. But its rocker and sidecut work together to lay a nice long edge on hardpack. You have to be patient, but it’ll carve. Testers clearly preferred Rossi’s S7 (p. 69) for pure powder applications, but the S6 offers more all-mountain versatility. “Best in deep snow, but handles all surfaces nicely,” said Garrett.

K2 Aftershock

K2 After Shock (2011)

K2 goes deep with rocker. Almost every ski in the line gets some, from huge helpings in powder skis to subtle tip rocker that makes hard-snow skis easier for skidders to pivot. In an all-mountain ski like the After Shock, a 15-cm section of tip rocker gives it float in powder, smooth shock-absorption and quickness in bumps and crud, and forgiving maneuverability on hard snow. That left our 174 cm test length with about 160 cm of traditional camber—plus two sheets of metal—with which to carve trenches as deep as we cared to. “Fun, lively, quick and easy. A true one-ski-quiver ski,” said Garrett.

2011 Head iSupershape Titan

Head iSupershape Titan (2011)

Head added 7 mm to the waist of its top-end Supershape, giving the perennial winner an added measure of versatility. But it still has the deepest sidecut in the category—a 13.5-meter radius that dives in and carves at the barest hint of edge angle. What continues to surprise us is its combination of thrilling high-speed performance with an undomineering personality and versatility of turn shapes. Crud? Not on the menu. But Titan slithered through bumps with ease. At its heart it’s a slalom race ski, but fun to freeski as well. “Instantaneous hookup, rally-car performance; versatile for a carver,” said Gleason.