Expert Review: Rossignol Black Ops Escaper Skis · 2022
This review is my honest opinion of the skis, which I purchased with my own money in November of 2021.
About this Review: This review is my honest opinion of the skis, which I purchased with my own money in November of 2021.
The Rossignol Black Ops Escaper is a great all-mountain ski that allows the skier to ski just about every condition, except the extremes like icy groomer or deep, deep powder conditions. These skis are geared toward the intermediate to advanced skier looking for a ski that can do it all. These skis get away from the heavy “charger” skis and, with a nice update, make a much easier and more playful profile.
About the gear
- Model: 2022 Rossignol Black Ops Escaper
- Size: 186cm
- Height: 6’0’’
- Weight: 175lbs
- Experience: 26 years skiing and 16 years ski racing
- When I bought these: November 2021
- Days tested: 15+
- Mount position: Factory Recommended
- Boots: 2021 Rossignol All Track Elite 130 LV
- Boot Size: 26.5
- Bindings: 2021 Look SPX 12
- Where I’ve used it: Oregon (Mt. Bachelor, Hoodoo, and Mt. Hood)
- Terrain: Groomer, mixed snow, and light powder.
How they perform
What I was looking for
I wanted a good ski that could act as a decent carver but wide enough to ski everything, meaning all-mountain and some powder. I also wanted a ski that was fun to ski everything all over the mountain, no matter the weather conditions. I was also looking for a ski that wasn’t as bulky as some all-mountain skis, so weight was important as I picked out a ski.
Why I chose this gear
With an underfoot measurement of 94mm, it was a perfect ski set up to carve on groomer conditions that also gave me the ability to ski around everywhere with an all-mountain feel. No metal in the ski core allows a lighter ski than average. However, it gives great performance without all the extra weight.
What I love about them
- Speed: Speed on these is decent. Overall, the speed is okay. The base is made up of 30% recycled material, which is a fun addition. No directional base grind out of the plastic, so the speed improves when given a base grind.
- Edge hold: Good edge hold, as these skis have a nice hip shape, allowing for good edge contact and turning.
- Turns: Turns are good. These skis have a medium turning radius of 21m, allowing me to make big long turns. They can turn pretty quickly.
- Groomers: Hold great on groomers. These skis hold an edge well and allow me to carve into groomers well, considering this is not a carver-focused ski. I was able to take big carving turns and shorter slalom-like turns.
- Powder: These skis aren’t meant for deep powder conditions, but they handle some soft snow and a little bit of powder well. For 2-6 inches of snow, they work great. However, any deeper, a skier would need some bigger skis.
- Trees: The Escapers are quick, nimble, and easy to turn for some quick, reactive skiing in the trees. The wood core helps give some “pop” to the ski and allows for playful skiing in the trees and the soft snow.
- Backcountry: Being they are 95mm underfoot, the Escapers are a perfect fit for backcountry touring and skiing. Not wide enough to be sluggish or too big and not too skinny not to be able to float in the soft snow. The Escapers are meant to be that all-mountain ski that can do everything, and they can handle the backcountry well.
- Weight: Weight is very light, without compromising the strength of the ski. The wood core allows the ski to be lighter but doesn't compromise the ski.
- Stability: As an all-mountain ski, the Escapers can handle all conditions with ease and great stability.
Issues I’ve encountered
- Durability: Unfortunately, the entire Black Ops series from Rossignol these last few years, including 2022, has a weak topsheet that is rounded and capped over the ski. This design allows the plastic to chip easily, cuts the topsheet, and exposes the core very quickly.
- Other: Flotation is decent. This ski won’t get one around in deep snow, nor will it allow one to carve super hard like a race ski, but it can do everything else just fine and with ease.
Favorite moment with this gear
I skied the Rossignol Black Ops Escapers in some new snow in the backcountry off of Mt. Bachelor, and I was pleasantly surprised to have an extremely light and versatile all-mountain ski. The playful skis popped really well as I made fun turns in the powder. For being so light, these skis also turned well. Super fun ski to ski it all in.
Value for the money vs. other options
As for the ski that can do it all for a 90-99mm underfoot all-mountain ski, the Rossignol Black Ops Escaper is a top choice in its category. It is extremely lightweight, charges and skis well through all conditions, and is well priced for the value. It’s a good value for what one gets, which is a ski that is lighter and stronger than competitors. Other options in the same ski category are the Volkl Blaze 94 and the Armada Tracer 98, which are also great skis. Just about every ski in this category has its own positives.
The Rossignol Black Ops Escaper is a great versatile ski that can ski everything. This ski is great for both resort skiing and in the backcountry. The Escaper carves well on groomers and can charge all other conditions over the mountain.