Review: Rossignol Blackops W 98 Open Skis · Women's · 2024

Published on 04/05/2024 · 3 min readCurated Experts have tested this product, and we have compiled their unbiased reviews to give you the definitive take.
Emilia Lopez-Ona, Ski Expert
Leo Cocchiara, Ski Expert
By Curated Experts Emilia Lopez-Ona and Leo Cocchiara
6 photos
Photo by Emilia Lopez-Ona & Leo Cocchiara

The Curated Take

4.7/5

The Rossignol Blackops W 98 Open Skis are ideal for advanced skiers seeking a versatile, high-performance ski. They have a durable construction and playful personality and excel in freestyle and off-piste terrain. The ski's versatility allows for use in various conditions, although it's not suited for super deep powder or beginners. These skis offer precision, stability, and consistent flex. While on the heavier side for a dedicated park ski, they provide excellent edge hold, flotation, and high-speed stability, making them a top choice for adventurous skiers looking to confidently explore the whole mountain.

Ideal for
  • Durable construction
  • A playful personality for freestyle and off-piste
  • Very versatile
Not ideal for
  • Not for super deep powder
  • Not for beginners
  • Heavier side for a dedicated park ski
Durability
Emilia Lopez-Ona, Curated Expert
Topsheet durability won't affect one's skiing, but if it did, this ski would last through it all. I find that Rossignol skis, in general, have incredibly durable topsheets, bases, and...Read more
Leo Cocchiara, Curated Expert
The Rossignol Blackops used to be made only for shop employees. One could only get it on pro deal. It was designed to perform at a level intended for industry...Read more
Versatility
Emilia Lopez-Ona, Curated Expert
I can confidently say that this is one of the most versatile skis on the market, particularly for a West Coast skier, which is what drew me to the ski...Read more
Flotation
Emilia Lopez-Ona, Curated Expert
For a ski at 98mm underfoot, it's got a wide enough tip with a rocker to float me if I get stuck in some surprise snow and great performance if...Read more
Leo Cocchiara, Curated Expert
Are fatter skis more fun in deep powder? Of course, they are. The more float and surf, the better. This ski's 98mm waist width, wide tips and tails, and plenty...Read more
Turn Ease
Emilia Lopez-Ona, Curated Expert
While the ski certainly does not have the lowest swing weight on the market, it has tons of camber underfoot. This means that the ski has significant rebound turn to...Read more
Leo Cocchiara, Curated Expert
At first glance, someone might mistake the Rossignol Blackops for a park ski, but it's not really. It's a lot more powerful than that and has slightly less of a...Read more
Playfulness
Emilia Lopez-Ona, Curated Expert
The Blackops 98 W will not be the most traditionally playful skis on the market simply because they are constructed with metal underfoot, giving the skier a damp, planted feeling...Read more
Leo Cocchiara, Curated Expert
There's more than one way to be playful, and the Rossignol Blackops takes its playfulness seriously. This ski is ideal for freeriding moguls, trees, and bowls with vigor. It's a...Read more
High Speed Stability
Emilia Lopez-Ona, Curated Expert
The Blackops 98 W is constructed to balance the playfulness and versatility of a wider twin tip with stability at speed. The ski has a poplar wood core with rubber...Read more
Leo Cocchiara, Curated Expert
The artistic topsheets of the Rossignol Blackops 98s give little indication of how very techy this ski is in its construction. Think of the layers in a ski like a...Read more
Carving
Emilia Lopez-Ona, Curated Expert
I've already mentioned the fantastic camber in these skis over and over and will do it again. There's so much shape to flex into the ski and have the entire...Read more
Leo Cocchiara, Curated Expert
A true carving ski has a very flat and square tail that locks into the snow and a quick turn radius to carve a sharp path. The carving purist might...Read more

Curated Experts are not sponsored by brands. Their reviews are based on their honest experiences testing products.
About the ski gear
  • Model: Rossignol Blackops W 98 Open Skis · Women's · 2024
Test conditions
  • When I bought these: End of last season
  • Where I’ve used them: CO resorts
  • How many times I've used it: 2

Expert Reviews of the Rossignol Blackops W 98 Open Skis

Emilia Lopez-Ona The Rossignol Blackops W 98 is an absolute all-mountain ripper that makes me want to hit every side jump, ski switch, and lay down some carves. This ski brings the ultimate, high-powered fun to any advanced skier looking for something that skis hard and likes to play. At 98mm underfoot, it fits the bill for a West Coast daily driver but isn't too wide at all to perform out East. The Blackops 98 W combines a straightforward poplar wood core with a full rectangular sidewall of wood, fiberglass, and metal to give precision, stability at speed, and a consistent flex. This ski also has a long tip and tail rocker to float skiers over that extra snow and tons of camber to propel them into their next turns. When skiing on this ski, I can carve, pop, and smear my way down steeps, bumps, and trees for endless fun.
 The Rossignol Blackops is a ski dreams are made of for advanced skiers looking for a blend of playful power that can be used as a daily driver and handle the most extreme terrains with style and performance. Its shape is just shy of being a true twin tip, so it's definitely playful enough in shape to land switch and throw some freestyle, but the core materials have a lot more beef and stability than a typical park ski with Rossignol's damp tech and a strip of titanal that's robust enough to rip groomers, moguls, and trees with pure confidence. At 98 underfoot, it has plenty of surface area to handle a good hit of powder as well.

Product Specs

Age GroupAdult
GenderWomen's
Includes bindingsNo
Model year2024
Ski typeFreeride
Skill levelAdvanced, Expert

Review Ratings

Averaged between reviewers, view below how all experts voted.

Durability

5/5
Emilia Lopez-Ona gave 5 of 5 stars. Topsheet durability won't affect one's skiing, but if it did, this ski would last through it all. I find that Rossignol skis, in general, have incredibly durable topsheets, bases, and edges. I've seen heavily used pairs of demo skis at the end of the season that look like they've only been used a couple of times.
 gave 5 of 5 stars. The Rossignol Blackops used to be made only for shop employees. One could only get it on pro deal. It was designed to perform at a level intended for industry experts and made to stand up to that use and abuse at a high level. The quality of construction in the Rossignol Blackops is second to none.

Versatility

5/5
Emilia Lopez-Ona gave 5 of 5 stars. I can confidently say that this is one of the most versatile skis on the market, particularly for a West Coast skier, which is what drew me to the ski in the first place. With its twin tip shape, it's capable of making all types of smearing, slashing, and pivoting turns, but its titanal reinforcement underfoot makes it a super grippy and stable carver. Its width and tip rocker also make it the ideal West Coast daily driver or one-ski quiver.

Flotation

4/5
Emilia Lopez-Ona gave 4 of 5 stars. For a ski at 98mm underfoot, it's got a wide enough tip with a rocker to float me if I get stuck in some surprise snow and great performance if I find myself back on piste on some skied-off trails. However, if it was a real powder day where it snowed over 6", I'd certainly reach for a ski that's built for flotation and has a wider waist width.
 gave 4 of 5 stars. Are fatter skis more fun in deep powder? Of course, they are. The more float and surf, the better. This ski's 98mm waist width, wide tips and tails, and plenty of rocker give it plenty of float in fresh snow.

Turn Ease

4/5
Emilia Lopez-Ona gave 4 of 5 stars. While the ski certainly does not have the lowest swing weight on the market, it has tons of camber underfoot. This means that the ski has significant rebound turn to turn, thus making turn initiation easier no matter what type of turn I'm looking to make—carving, smearing, pivoting, and more.
 gave 4 of 5 stars. At first glance, someone might mistake the Rossignol Blackops for a park ski, but it's not really. It's a lot more powerful than that and has slightly less of a true twin tail rocker. The reason so many people like twin tips outside of the park is that the raised tips and tails make it easier to turn, especially in tight spaces. The shape profile makes for quick turn initiation and release without losing stability.

Playfulness

5/5
Emilia Lopez-Ona gave 4 of 5 stars. The Blackops 98 W will not be the most traditionally playful skis on the market simply because they are constructed with metal underfoot, giving the skier a damp, planted feeling on the snow. However, these skis still want to play, given the significant amount of camber underfoot and the twin-tip shape. They have a sturdy landing platform and tons of pop but are definitely on the heavier side for a true park ski.
 gave 5 of 5 stars. There's more than one way to be playful, and the Rossignol Blackops takes its playfulness seriously. This ski is ideal for freeriding moguls, trees, and bowls with vigor. It's a ski that's out to make the whole mountain its playground.

High Speed Stability

5/5
Emilia Lopez-Ona gave 5 of 5 stars. The Blackops 98 W is constructed to balance the playfulness and versatility of a wider twin tip with stability at speed. The ski has a poplar wood core with rubber inserts, meant to dampen the skis, and a titanal beam underfoot, which dampens the skis even more and adds that extra planted feeling on the snow.
 gave 5 of 5 stars. The artistic topsheets of the Rossignol Blackops 98s give little indication of how very techy this ski is in its construction. Think of the layers in a ski like a sandwich. This isn't ham and cheese; this is an artisanal masterpiece. The titanium and diago race fibers layered into the poplar and paulowina wood cores are excellent for stability at speed.

Carving

5/5
Emilia Lopez-Ona gave 5 of 5 stars. I've already mentioned the fantastic camber in these skis over and over and will do it again. There's so much shape to flex into the ski and have the entire effective edge just grip wholeheartedly onto the snow. Not to mention, the metal underfoot that doesn't stretch the entire length of the ski gives a super controlled feeling where my boots attach but still allows for an accessible flex pattern into the tip and the tails.
 gave 4 of 5 stars. A true carving ski has a very flat and square tail that locks into the snow and a quick turn radius to carve a sharp path. The carving purist might scoff at the tapered tails, but make no mistake about how well the Blackops carve. The core materials help this ski stay locked into the turn, and the relatively quick turn radius of 14m at 160cm is plenty fast to come around.

FAQs

What do you love about this product?

Emilia Lopez-Ona This ski feels like it was made for me. I'm an advanced skier who loves to carve hard on groomers but spends most of my time off-piste, in the trees and bumps, and still loves to pull back on the speed and find some side hits. This ski has the energy and ability to excel in all of those areas.

What was your favorite moment with this gear?

Emilia Lopez-Ona I had been dying to try these skis the first time I hopped onto them at a demo day. I started picking up some speed and laid into my first carve. While I knew these skis would be playful, I was pleasantly surprised at how damp they felt and how much energy came out of the camber. It didn't take me long to need them in my quiver.
I've never had a bad day on the black ops but a day that really stands out was a demo in Solitude Utah that was a day or two after some fresh snow so it was still a little deep but wetter and heavy. The Blackops made handy work of the moguls, busted through crud in the trees, ripped groomer lines and had plenty and play to throw in style at every turn.

Why did you choose this product?

Emilia Lopez-Ona While I have multiple skis in my quiver, I still needed one dependable, go-to ski that could do it all. If I was surprised by a few inches of snow, it could float me to the surface. If I was riding some skied-off groomers, I could find edge grip and lay down some carves. If I spent the day in the trees, it could be nimble, responsive, and lively. At 98mm underfoot with lightweight wood and metal under the binding, this ski had the shape and construction for all of my needs.

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Emilia Lopez-Ona
Ski Expert
Leo Cocchiara
Ski Expert
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