Expert Review: Rossignol Soul 7 HD
This review is my own honest opinion of the skis, which I bought with my own money in February 2020.
About this review This review is my own honest opinion of the skis, which I bought with my own money in February 2020.
The Rossignol Soul 7 HD Skis are an all-around versatile powder ski that is best used to float on top of deep fresh snow, with enough capability as a nimble and light pair for touring. Great for intermediate to advanced level skiers who have a knack for exploring out of bounds.
About this gear
- Model: 2020 Rossignol Soul 7 HD
- Size: 180 cm
- Height: 6’0”
- Weight: 175 lbs
- Experience: 16 years
- When I bought these: February 2020
- Days tested: 15
- Mount position: -2.5 cm from true center
- Boots: Lange Fluid 100
- Boot Size: 29
- Bindings: Look NX Konect GW 12
- Where I’ve used it: Mt. Bachelor and Mt. Hood, Oregon
- Terrain: Deep powder (8-10"), light powder (3-5"), hard-packed groomers, moguls, chop, crud, ice.
How it performs
What I was looking for
After experiencing a particularly heavy winter with above-average snowfall, I realized my old setup, with its narrow 86mm waist, was just not going to cut it! I believe that variety is the spice of life, so I was looking for something truly versatile – a powder-oriented ski that could still do other things here and there, just in case I changed my mind mid-run. What I really wanted was a superior float on inches upon inches of fluffy fresh snow, without losing any ability to carve tight turns through the trees, and zig-zag any bumps on the way down.
Why I chose this gear
My friend recommended that I try out the Soul 7’s for a change, after I had told him about my misses with other mid-fat waisted powder skis of a similar size. What happened next was one of my most fun and memorable days skiing in recent memory
What I love about it
- Edge hold: For a ski that was never promoted as one that would rip up the groomed pack, the Soul 7 carved decently. They weren’t exceptional by any means, but to have a powder ski that has this quality in its back pocket made me very happy.
- Turns: The ski has a smooth rise in the tips that gives it this fantastic ability to plane over any type of terrain but especially deep powder. The airy tips also feature a sweet honeycomb pattern in a revamped construction that reduces weight at both ends, allowing for maneuverability and control with a ridiculously low swing weight. I can really feel this difference when I take the 7s through a really tight tree line where every centimeter matters! This pair is highly responsive so they will be quite easy to turn, even for more beginner/intermediate level skiers. It’s hard to express how much fun I had when I skied them for the first time ever and they gave me an almost intuitive feel – as if I’ve been riding them for much longer.
- Groomers: Quite honestly, I was expecting these powder skis to suck on the packed runs. But they showed me how well-rounded they could be by holding a decent carve, even when pushed around, variable terrain is involved in the mix.
- Powder: LOVE how buttery they feel on powder. I have never experienced any sinking with these, even in the really deep stuff. These are a powder hounds dream.
- Trees: Here is where these skis first surprised me! I was not expecting them to be so maneuverable and easy to initiate turns with, but they definitely feel sharp and responsive when I want to cut quickly.
- Moguls: I received another pleasant surprise in the bumps, as their powder rockered air tips plane me right over the smallest features, while also giving me a smooth transition from short turn to short turn. I never feel out of control on these even when the terrain is a bit variable with layers of fresh snow on top of old chop and crud.
- Backcountry: After slapping a touring binding on them, I confirmed this ski does splendidly off of the well-beaten path. While the Soul 7s were never purposed with this in mind, they are light enough for anyone to have an enjoyable time outside of the resort.
- Durability: After more than a year of using the Soul 7 HD skis, the bases, sidewalls, and topsheet have some normal wear and tear, but for the most part, they have held up favorably considering how often and hard I’ve pushed them.
- Weight: While it won’t win any awards as the lightest ski ever, I’m impressed with how light yet stable the setup feels on my feet. I’m a big fan of shedding weight in the core construction when and where it is necessary, and this feature makes it extremely easy to bounce around like I want to without losing any security of a heavier, damper ski.
- Other: They hold wax better than any ski I’ve ever owned, likely because of their sintered bases. One wax application can typically last me 5-8 trips, while most of my other skis feel petered out after 3-4.
Issues I’ve encountered
- Speed: Now, this is one distinct area that I think the skis lack performance in. On steeper black runs and high speed turns, the generous rise in the tips lend themselves to a good amount of unpleasant rattle. I do not feel as stable as I would like when trying to rip it harder on these.
- Park: This is another category that I immediately knew I was compromising on. It definitely feels awkward attempting to land jumps, rails, and boxes with the Soul 7s. Not a park ski by any stretch of the imagination, although the low swing weight is a welcome quality.
- Switch riding: Even though this plank holds a partial twin tip, it just doesn’t feel natural or effortless to ride switch on these as some others do. Something about the short sidecut paired with the tapered tail makes it more cumbersome to do a full revolution than I thought it would.
Favorite moment with this gear
One particular descent that stands out was on the first day of testing the Soul 7s. I started riding through some narrow tree-lined chutes that opened up into a small field of moguls that required shorter turns, which popped me out into a steeper slope filled with smaller bumps. After that zany stretch, I crossed a packed groomed run on my way behind a boundary to sit back on the ski, and layed some of the best lines down in deep untracked powder – this still gives me goosebumps thinking about it. While cutting back under the rope to get back to the lift line, I caught an unusual spot that was roughly iced over, and the combination of all of that in one single lap is what finally verified to me exactly how versatile this set could be on the right legs.
Value for the money vs. other options
Now that this line has been discontinued and replaced with the BlackOps by Rossignol, this ski is one of the thriftiest choices you can make for a floaty ski that patiently waits for more powder. It is comparable in powder performance with the Salomon QST 106 and Volkl Mantra, but way more forgiving and less stiff.
At the end of the snowy day, anyone looking for a lighter powder ski in the mid-100 waist width range, who can also make tight turns on a whim cannot go wrong here.