Rossignol Soul 7 (2014)
If Rossi's new Air Tip looks gimmicky, testers are here to tell you it isn't. The honeycombed tip and tail concentrate mass under the foot, reduce swing weight, and eliminate the nasty tip-flap that plagues heavily rockered skis in nonpowder situations. The result is a tangible improvement to the S7, a ski that didn't seem to need it. In a category that would otherwise be dominated by edgy, directional constructions, this playful surfer seduced testers with its easy-pivoting quickness and unmatched forgiveness. Beekman: "Push your boundaries with confidence. Makes you feel like a rock star."
The new Soul 7 is more nimble than the Super 7, and with its narrower waist (106) and lightweight paulownia wood core, it's well suited for freeride touring. Rossi even makes a pre-cut skin specially for it. But resort skiers who expect to see their share of powder days could consider it as an everyday inbounds ski. It's part of Rossi's highly successful 7 series, which has been drastically revamped with new technologies for 2013-14. Chief among them - and by far most visible - is Air Tip, which is employed in the top three models of the series, all of which are new. The tip and tail are honeycombed with air pockets that reduce swing weight by concentrating the mass of the ski underfoot. Because the tip is lighter, tip flap is also noticeably reduced. All models feature stiffer tails than previous 7 series models, for stronger turn finishes, and Powder Turn Rocker, which combines early rise tip and tail with camber underfoot for flotation in powder and carvability on hardpack. More importantly, most models (Smash 7 excepted) feature tapered tip and tail shapes that keep them loose and smeary in deep snow and allow for quick speed checks and direction changes. New Light Core construction uses paulownia wood to reduce weight by about 20 percent compared to previous 7 series models. All are straight-ahead wood-core laminate constructions (except the Smash, which is a softer cap construction). All are sold flat (no binding).
|Level||Intermediate, Advanced, Expert, Hi-Expert|
|Awards||Gold Medal Gear|
|Lengths||164, 172, 180, 188|
|Rating: Stability at Speed||3.68 / 5|
|Rating: Maneuverability||3.91 / 5|
|Rating: Hard Snow Grip||3.41 / 5|
|Rating: Crud Performance||3.93 / 5|
|Rating: Forgiveness||4.12 / 5|
|Rating: Flotation||4.00 / 5|
|Rating: Overall||3.78 / 5|