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.”
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2011 Rosignol S86W Freeski

Rating: / 5
Price: $750.00
Year: 2011
Level: 2
Gender: Female
Waist Width:
Tip/Tail/Waist: 130/86/116
Lengths: 170

Stability at speed: 3.23 / 5
Hard snow performance: 3.37 / 5
Crud performance: 3.23 / 5
Forgiveness: 3.07 / 5

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2011 Rossignol Avenger 85Ti

Rossignol Avenger 82 Ti (2011)

In a category of race-bred Type A carvers, the Avenger isn’t afraid to let its fun, playful side show, and testers universally loved it for that. Talk about balance of skills: The Avenger earned the top mark in only one criterion, but was so strong across the board that it earned the No. 1 ranking overall. That one criterion? Forgiveness. Sure, it’s a race-ready, wood-core construction with two sheets of metal and stout sidewalls, but it never forgets that skiing is supposed to be enjoyable. “Easy, smooth, creamy feel,” said Preston. “An all-around winner.”

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 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.

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.

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 Atomic Elysian

Atomic Elysian (2011)

Atomic has two winners in this category. The wider-waisted Elysian shined in soft snow; the narrower Seventh Heaven (see No. 10) in hard. A twin-tip with traditional camber—one of the few in the category with no rocker—the Elysian lays its whole edge on the snow, making it supremely stable at speed. Try to rein it in, though, and it will groan and drag, feeling sluggish underfoot. Nothing flashy here; just a simple, solid ski that performs. For Westerners skiing mostly off-piste, it’s a great ski. “Very solid base without feeling heavy or damp,” said Wilde. (Easterners: Look to the right. The Seventh Heaven is a better bet.)

2011 Line Prophet 90

Line Prophet 90 (2011)

Line this year introduced the Flite (see No. 10) as a dialed-back, lighter, more forgiving version of the venerable 90. Interestingly, while the 90 is still marketed by Line as the “higher-performing” model, testers found the Flite more to their liking, scoring it slightly higher across the board. Still, hard chargers will love the 90’s hefty, powerful, damp vibe, and the metal-reinforced construction feels especially rugged and durable. Like the Flite, it’s also one of the better values in the test. “Built for the all-mountain ripper: stable, solid and well balanced, though you have to be ready to work a little,” said Scholey.

Dynastar Legend Sultan 85

Dynastar Legend Sultan 85 (2011)

High marks across the board speak to the Sultan 85’s balance of skills. It’s an ideal intro-to-rocker ski for the traditionalist. A touch of early rise—starting about 18 cm back from the tip of the ski—gives it smoothness and flow in powder and crud. But bomber construction—vertical sidewalls, wood core, two sheets of metal—and traditional camber along the majority of its length give it the snap and rebound that some all-mountain experts still prefer. It’s solid and fluid, quiet on the snow but never lifeless. “A solid ski for solid skiers,” said Preston.