Rating: 3.43 / 5
Waist Width: 106
Stability at speed: 2.66 / 5
Hard snow performance: 2.50 / 5
Crud performance: 2.89 / 5
Flotation: 3.91 / 5
Forgiveness: 3.95 / 5
Overall: 3.43 / 5
"The only problem with this ski," said one tester, "is everybody's on it now." The Soul 7, which has sold so well, falls from the No. 1 spot this year. But testers still loved its unshakably positive at- titude. Its "biggest sweet spot ever" abides all but the worst technique, but it's not just an intermediate's ski. In powder, it's the best of the slashers, begging for speed and inspiring creativity that our experts didn't think they possessed. Larson: "There's a reason it's so popular. Fun, playful, and any level skier can enjoy it."
NOTES: The 2016 Rossignol Soul 7 will likely continue to be a sales champ for Rossi—it's the top selling ski on the U.S. market. The Soul's 106-mm waist hits the sweet spot for a lot of soft-snow junkies-wide enough for powder, where it excels, but happy enough on hardpack, thanks to camber and sidecut underfoot. Headed for the backcountry? The Soul's core is lightweight paulownia wood, and Rossi makes precut skins for all sizes.
It's part of Rossignol's highly successful 7 series, a five-model line of powder and soft-snow surfers ranging in width from 120 mm (the Super) down to 92 mm (the Smash). All are rockered tip and tail for buoyancy in soft snow and shock absorption in rough terrain. More importantly, most models (Smash 7 excepted) feature tapered tip and tail shapes, where the widest parts of the ski are moved closer to the foot. That makes them loose and smeary in deep snow and allows for quick speed checks and direction changes. The tip is honeycombed with translucent air pockets that reduce swing weight—a technology Rossi calls Air Tip. In this way the mass of the ski is effectively concentrated underfoot, and because the tip is lighter, tip flap is also noticeably reduced. Rossi's Powder Turn Rocker combines early rise in the tip and tail with camber underfoot for flotation in powder and carvability on hardpack. All are straight-ahead wood-core laminate constructions (except the Smash, which is a softer cap construction).