Rossignol Squad 7 (2014)
Though there are plenty of chargers on the test team, it's telling that they all preferred the easier-to-manage Super 7 over its wider, burlier brother. But the Squad 7 held its own. It's not just wider than the Super, but heavier (the Super uses light paulownia wood), with a longer sidecut that prefers to gobble huge vert in as few turns as possible. Not as quick as the Super, it still shares key traits - surfy performance in pow, surprising carveability on hardpack - and offers superior crud performance. Hogen: "Begs for super-G turns. Likes to run full-throttle. Great for the fall-line charger."
The new Squad 7, with its 120 mm waist, is Rossignols fattest and most powder-specific ski. It's built for high speeds and big-mountain lines, with a never-hooky sidecut radius of 29.5 meters. Only two sizes of this expert-level ski are offered: 190 and 180. It's the new top model in the highly successful 7 series, which has been drastically revamped with new technologies for 2013-14. Chief among those technologies - 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).
|Level||Advanced, Expert, Hi-Expert|
|Awards||Gold Medal Gear|
|Rating: Stability at Speed||3.39 / 5|
|Rating: Maneuverability||2.92 / 5|
|Rating: Hard Snow Grip||2.01 / 5|
|Rating: Crud Performance||3.77 / 5|
|Rating: Forgiveness||3.18 / 5|
|Rating: Flotation||3.93 / 5|
|Rating: Overall||3.23 / 5|