An Expert Guide to Rossignol SkisPublished on 06/01/2023 · 13 min readFrom all-mountain skis to carving skis, and everything in between - Rossignol has a ton of great ski options to choose from! Check them out in the guide below!
Photo by Maarten Duineveld
Rossignol offers various ski types that cater to all skier types, such as all-mountain, carving, freeride, racing, and twin tip, with innovative technologies to enhance performance and cater to all skiers. This article breaks down the features that define different skis to help skiers find the right Rossignol ski for their needs.
The rooster logo of Rossignol is arguably one of the most recognizable icons in the ski industry, and for good reason; for over a century, Rossignol has made high-end skis aimed at all varieties of skiers, from pure beginners to Olympic Medalists. I’ll break down Rossignol skis in this article and see what makes them tick.
So why should you listen to what I have to say on the matter? Well, for one, I’ve been doing this for a while now. I grew up alpine racing in the Midwest, then moved West and cut my teeth, competing in Big Mountain Freeride competitions and exploring the best resorts that the Rockies, Tetons, Sierras, and the Wasatch have to offer. Most recently, I’ve taken my ski skills into the backcountry and ski mountaineering, and I’ve now skied from the summit of the Grand Teton, Mount Rainier, and Mount Denali, the highest peak in North America. It's been exhausting, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything.
Simply put, skiing takes me to some of the most beautiful places in the world, and I love helping others find the gear that works for them to do the same. However, sliding down snow is a special experience that starts by finding the right skis for you. Below, we dive into the different types of skis Rossignol offers and, hopefully, help you determine what would work best for you.
This storied brand began in 1907 under the auspices of Abel Rossignol, who worked in the wood manufacturing industry. Abel designed and constructed a pair of wood skis for himself, and the rest, as they say, is history.
Over the years, Rossignol has expanded its ski line to cater to all skill levels and all skier types. What makes Rossignol unique is their dedication to pushing the boundaries of ski technology to ensure the best combination of control, precision, and stability in all of their gear. And in addition to ski gear, Rossignol now offers a wide array of products, from apparel to ski boots to hard goods and footwear products. In the past decade, Rossignol has even started building their own bikes as well.
What has set Rossignol apart from other brands over the last several years is its renewed focus on producing sustainable products, combined with eco-friendly initiatives in its manufacturing process. So when you go with a Rossignol setup, you invest in world-class gear and contribute to a more sustainable future; it’s hard to beat that!
What to Consider When Buying Rossignol Skis
1. What Is Your Skiing Ability and Style?
While understanding your skill level is important when selecting a Rossignol ski, Rossignol produces such a wide breadth of available skis that there is sure to be one that matches your needs. For the most part, beginners may opt for more forgiving skis with a narrower waist and softer flex to ensure easier turns, while advanced skiers will be drawn to heavier and stiffer skis for stability. Rossignol skis run the full gamut, from beginner to all-mountain to freeride to racing skis.
2. What Size Skis Should You Choose?
Ski length significantly impacts your skiing experience. Therefore, you should consider factors like height, weight, and ability. Generally, beginners should select shorter skis for easier control, while advanced skiers may prefer longer skis for stability at high speeds.
3. How Much Should Rossignol Skis Cost?
Rossignol offers skis at various price points to accommodate different budgets. Entry-level skis typically range from $300 to $600, providing solid performance for beginners. Mid-range models, priced between $600 and $900, offer better technology and materials, catering to intermediate skiers. Finally, high-end skis, priced above $900, deliver advanced features, top-quality materials, and exceptional performance for experts and racers.
4. What Type of Terrain Will You Be Skiing On?
It’s best to ask yourself what types of terrain you tend to ski. Do you prefer to stick to cut, groomed runs with more uniform snow conditions? Or do you prefer to venture off-piste into uncut, ungroomed runs such as moguls, trees, or more technical steeps? For example, Rossignol’s Experience line of skis is best on groomed runs, while the Sender line is better for all-mountain options designed to tackle more varied snow and terrain.
5. Do You Need Skis With Integrated Bindings?
Many Rossignol skis are known as “system skis,” meaning they come with their own bindings. This integrated system can significantly cut costs and save you the hassle of picking out a binding, but there are also a few drawbacks. Many integrated bindings are aimed at more conservative skiers, so more aggressive skiers may find them lacking. Also, integrated bindings work only with the ski they come with, so if you upgrade your skis in the future to a more advanced ski with no integrated binding, you will not be able to transfer your old bindings to your new skis.
What Are the Different Types of Rossignol Skis?
Rossignol offers a variety of skis to meet every rider's needs. I have listed the different types and their strengths and weaknesses below.
1. All-Mountain Skis
These versatile skis are perfect for skiing on groomed runs, crud, and occasionally powder. They're designed to handle a bit of everything, making them an ideal choice for beginners and skiers exploring various terrains. Rossignol's all-mountain skis, like the Experience series, provide a great balance of performance and ease of use.
- Suitable for various terrains and snow conditions, providing a versatile skiing experience.
- Great for improving skills while prioritizing control.
- Ideal for those who want one pair of skis to cover most of their skiing needs.
Keep in mind:
- These skis tend to run on the more narrow side and may suffer in deeper snow conditions.
- Advanced to expert skiers may find these skis limiting in more advanced terrain and more challenging snow conditions.
2. Carving Skis
If you're a skier who prefers tight, aggressive turns on-piste, carving skis are your go-to. Carving skis tend to be much narrower underfoot to allow for quick edge transitions while having a much more aggressive sidecut profile to slice and dice your way down groomed runs. Rossignol's Forza series is an excellent example of carving skis that help you carve those perfect turns with ease.
- Carving skis provide a magnetic edge grip on firm snow, an excellent edge grip, and quick turns on groomed runs, making for a smooth skiing experience.
- Ideal for skiers who enjoy carving turns and spending most of their time on groomed slopes.
Keep in mind:
- With some of the most narrow waists in the Rossignol lineup, these skis are allergic to powder.
- These skis are made strictly for on-piste skiing; they will suffer mightily in any off-piste terrain with varied snow.
3. Freeride Skis
Freeride skis are the best option for skiers who like to explore the untamed off-piste terrain. In general, Rossignol’s freeride skis tend to be wider underfoot to provide more float in soft snow, and they also sport rocker profiles, allowing the skis to pivot and turn easier in tighter terrain.
- Superior flotation in deep snow and powder, providing a fun and playful skiing experience.
- Wider waist width allows for better stability and control in off-piste conditions.
Keep in mind:
- Heavier and wider skis may be harder to maneuver for beginners.
- Not the most suitable option for groomed runs or carving, as their wider designs can result in inferior edge grip on firmer snow and make edge transitions more difficult.
4. Racing Skis
Racing skis are for advanced and expert skiers and racers who want high-performance gear. They're built for speed and precision, stiffer, with a more aggressive sidecut, offering maximum control and power. The Rossignol Hero series is specifically designed for those seeking that competitive edge on the slopes.
- Built for speed and precision, delivering high performance on groomed runs.
- Stiffer construction provides better control and power transfer for aggressive skiing.
Keep in mind:
- Less forgiving and harder to control for beginners or intermediate skiers.
- Limited versatility, as they're mainly designed for racing and groomed runs.
5. Twin Tip Skis
These skis have upturned tips and tails, allowing for easier forward and backward skiing. They're popular among freestyle and park skiers who love to perform tricks and jumps, but they are not limited to just the park; some of these skis are built much wider for powder skiing.
- Allows for skiing in both directions, making them perfect for freestyle and park skiing.
- Playful and maneuverable, perfect for skiers whose main priority is tricks and spins, whether over a tabletop or on a backcountry kicker.
Keep in mind:
- Not the most suitable for high-speed carving or aggressive skiing, as their playful nature can compromise stability.
- The twin-tip design may make them less efficient on groomed runs and in powder than specialized skis.
- Women’s Freestyle Skis Trixie
- BlackOps 98
- BlackOps Tatum 118
Remember, each type of ski is designed for specific skiing styles and terrains. Consider your preferences and skill level, and connect with your Curated Skiing Expert to find the best Rossignol skis for you!
Features to Look for in Rossignol Skis
Rossignol is well known for their groundbreaking ski technology and years of innovation. Here, I break down some key factors and highlight some specific Rossignol designs:
- Construction: Skis come in different constructions like sandwich, cap, or hybrid. Rossignol uses the LCT (Line Control Technology) in their skis, like the Experience and React series. LCT integrates a central power rail from tip to tail, enhancing stability and reducing counter-flexing for smoother control. In wider skis, Rossignol uses the Double LCT.
- Rocker/Camber Profile: The profile of your skis is very important, as it impacts how they perform. Rocker (upturned tips/tails) improves floatation in powder and maneuverability but results in less edge control. Camber (a slight arch in the middle) does the opposite: it enhances edge grip and power but can limit maneuverability. Rossignol skis often seek the best of both worlds with Auto Turn Rocker, a blend of rocker and camber that offers versatility for various conditions.
- Core Material: The core material affects the ski's weight, flex, and performance. Rossignol uses innovative materials like the HD Core, found in the Blackops series, which combines hardwood and microcell foam for a lightweight yet powerful ride.
- Drive Tip/Air Tip Solution: This unique tip blends directional fibers with a soft visco material to absorb vibrations in the snow surface, making it simple and easy to initiate a turn. Air Tip, implemented in many freeride skis, is a honeycomb-like material that traps air, making the tip lighter and giving it more float in powder.
- Flex: The ski's flex is its stiffness or softness, impacting its responsiveness and performance. Rossignol's Flex Tip technology, seen in the Experience series, integrates a softer tip and tail for easier turn initiation and better shock absorption.
- Bindings: Integrated bindings, like Rossignol's Konect system, ensure compatibility and seamless performance. The Konect system allows for precise power transmission and quick, easy adjustments.
Focus on finding skis with a construction, profile, and flex to suit your skill level and preferred terrain. Rossignol offers a wide range of skis with innovative technologies that cater to all types of skiers, so you're sure to find a pair that's perfect for you!
How to Choose the Right Rossignol Skis for You
Choosing the right ski can seem like an overwhelming task, but now we’ve got a better understanding of what to look for in the different Rossignol models, we can narrow down what options work best for different skiers. Below, I’ve created three very different ski personalities and highlighted what features they should look for in a Rossignol ski:
- Stability and control
- Strong edge grip
- Easy turn initiation
Features to look for:
- Drive Tip Solution
- Flex Tip
- Integrated bindings
Products to consider:
- Rossignol Experience 80 Carbon: With a narrow waist and a lightweight build, the Experience 80 is an awesome tool for a brand-new skier who wants the best control for on-piste skiing. But the carbon layer paired with a wood core ensures the Experience is built to help you progress up to intermediate and even more advanced terrain.
- Experience 86 Ti: The Experience 86 Ti was Ski Magazine’s top frontside ski. A titanal metal layer gives the ultimate ski stability at any speed, and the Drive Tip provides a smooth and effortless ride over snow conditions.
All-Mountain Expert Skier
- Float for varying snow conditions
- Stability at high speeds
Features to look for:
- Rocker/Camber Profile
- Double LCT
- Air Tip
Products to consider:
- Rallybird 102: The Rallybird 102 is built for progressive lady rippers who want a ski that can tackle the whole mountain. The 102mm waist gives it float on all but the deepest of deep days. The ski is built with titanal metal to keep it lively and poppy, but the Double LCT construction ensures a strong edge grip on firmer snow.
- Sender 94 Ti: This is arguably the most versatile of Rossignol’s Freeride line. A mid-fat 94mm waist combined with two sheets of Titanal creates amazing control when carving on groomers. Still, the Air and Rocker tip allows creativity when venturing into ungroomed and off-piste terrain.
- Twin-tip design for both forward and backward skiing
- Soft tips and tails for nose presses/butters/smooth landings
- Lightweight construction for agility
Features to look for:
- Core material
- Twin-tip design
Products to consider:
- BlackOps 98: The BlackOps can do it thanks to a lively wood core that keeps it popping, but titanal metal layers that give it stability at high speed. Hit jumps in the park? Check. Rail high-speed turns on groomers? Check. Rip through trees and steeps off-piste? Check. Many brands claim to have finally built the quiver-killer ski, but this ski is as close as anyone has come.
- Women’s BlackOps 92: This is a progressive freeride ski for younger or lighter female skiers ready to take their skiing up a notch but don’t want to break the bank. They sport a twin-tip design for playfulness, a lightweight wood core, and integrated bindings to cut down on cost.
Whether you are a brand-new skier or a veteran ripper, Rossignol makes some of the most trusted and most approachable skis in the world, and even the most experienced snow enthusiasts would be hard pressed to not find a ski with the rooster logo that doesn’t work for them. Their primary focus on sustainability efforts and using recyclable materials also ensures you will have more fun skiing and feel better. If you would like help picking out the right Rossignol ski for you, don’t hesitate to contact me or any of my fellow Curated Skiing Experts today.