Expert Review: 2024 Decathlon Rookie 90 Skis [with Video]Published on 10/01/2023 · 5 min readSkiing Expert Hayden Wright tested the 2024 Decathlon Rookie 90 skis in the carving, freestyle, and freeride categories.
Curated Skiing Expert Hayden Wright got his hands on the 2024 Decathlon Rookie 90 this spring. Check out how it performed in the carving, freestyle, and freeride categories, but consider the fact that each and every skier is different; if you have any questions about the Rookie 90 or need recommendations on which ski would be best for you, reach out to a Skiing Expert here on Curated.
Before we get started, it's worth noting that Curated Experts are not sponsored by any brands. All of these reviews are completely unbiased.
What does Decathlon claim about this ski? Decathlon claims this is a frontside, beginner friendly ski that you're not going to immediately out advance. They’re made for going all over the ski resort whether it’s greens, blues, and even some black runs.
What is your overall impression of the ski? The Decathlon Rookie 90 is a super approachable ski that’s not intimidating at all. This is a very beginner friendly ski. It has a Beech and Pine wood core, 89 mm underfoot width, a real quick edge to edge, and a low swing weight. They felt great!
These also come with the Tyrolia PR 11 bindings which are real approachable and cater to a wide range of skiers.
How does the shape of the ski affect the way it rides? I rode the Decathlon Rookie 90s in the 178 length and they have an 18 m turn radius, and I did find that true. It's got a nice easy edge to edge feel. It's also not a very heavy ski, so it's not going to tire you out or beat you up over the course of the day.
How does the ski turn? At 89 mm underfoot, it is quick edge to edge. It’s a mellow skiing ski.
What is the edge hold like? It has a little bit of camber underfoot so it holds an edge great on trail.
What about dampness? Any chatter in the skis? I noticed at higher speeds you would get a little bit of chatter. Although, at those slow to medium speeds, it has a real stable feel and it's going to help you build your confidence and grow.
How is it for freestyle skiing? I would not classify this as a freestyle ski. It’s just not what it’s designed for. But I did take it in the little terrain park and did some small jumps and Spread Eagles.
Is it good for skiing switch? They have just barely a bit of early rise in the tail, so skiing switch on these is not ideal. It’s also a directional ski, meaning it is wider in the front and tapers off in the tail.
If you're just learning how to ski and you want to learn how to ski backwards, you can definitely pivot around and practice skiing switch slowly on groomed runs. But, I wouldn't ski backwards at high speeds and I wouldn't land jumps switch.
How is it for freeride skiing? If there are little side jibs and hits along the sides of the groomers trails where you are skiing, feel free to take these off them. They hold their own on those!
Now, if you're trying to progress in the terrain parks and bigger mountain skiing, this isn't the ski for that. It's just not going to hold its own. It's a little bit too soft, and the 89 millimeters underfoot isn't going to be the best.
How is it in powder? In anything more than 4 or 5 inches of snow, these are going to struggle. They do have a little bit of early rise but, with that 89 millimeter waist, it is a more on trail designed ski.
How is it skiing in the trees? How is its maneuverability? I took it into a little bit of trees and it skied fine. There were only a few inches and some pockets of leftover snow from the storm from a few days back, and I think the early rise and the bigger shovels helped it ski decently well in the trees.
With the wood core and light swing weight, it was easy to ski in the moguls. If you happen to miss your line and you bash over a mogul, the ski is going to absorb a lot of that and it's not going to bite back or pop off by any means.
What terrain is this ski good for? The Decathlon Rookie 90s really excelled on the groomed trails and in the bumps, but I would say it's more of an on trail, easy carving ski.
What terrain should skiers avoid with it? They did not excel when I found pockets of deeper powder, like more than 4 or 5 inches. It was just a little bit too deep for them and they were punching down to the bottom.
Who would you recommend these skis to? I recommend these skis to anybody that is just getting into the sport. If you've rented once and you're ready for your own skis, these would be great for you. They're not intimidating and they’re easy skiing. They're going to allow you to build your confidence, learn your parallel turns, progress your skiing, and then become that intermediate to advanced skier you’ve been wanting to become!
Who should avoid these skis, there are better options out there for them? If you're an intermediate skier going every weekend and you're not spending all of your time on the main groomed runs, the Decathlon Rookie 90s may not be the ski for you. I would just be worried that you might out progress this ski, so just keep that in mind when shopping.
If you're an advanced skier, this ski is not going to be enough ski for you.
Skis work differently for different types of skiers. If you are wondering whether the Rookie 90 is the right ski for you, chat with Hayden or any other Skiing Experts here on Curated, and they’ll put together free, personalized ski recommendations on the best skis for your needs.