Like video killing the radio star, this meticulous knife will convince any system-ski zealot to rethink his buying choices. It’s a flat ski with the precision of a plated race board, but its soft, rockered tip makes it highly maneuverable and forgiving. It’s great for the Eastern all-mountain skier or the Western frontsider who skis groomers 60 percent of the time. “Forgiving enough for old Dad, but plenty of performance for ex-racer types.”
The 88 is similar in construction to the Experience 98, but is a centimeter narrower, which makes it quicker edge-to-edge and grippier on hard snow, and has basalt-fiber reinforcement, which dampens vibrations like metal but is lighter. With its shorter sidecut radius, it prefers tighter arcs. It's part of Rossignol's All Mountain collection, designed for maximum versatility in all the terrain and snow types that resort skiers encounter. Waist widths vary widely in the series, from 98 mm in the flagship model down to 74 mm, with target abilities decreasing with size (fatter models for experts, narrower ones for intermediates). All feature Rossi's Auto Turn Rocker - early-rise tip and tail for shock absorption and soft-snow float, camber under foot for hard-snow carvability. Extended Sidecut moves the widest part of the ski beyond the fore and aft contact points: The ski won't feel hooky or unmanageable at low speeds and edge angles, but when pushed to higher speeds and edge angles the sidecut engages more edge for maximum stability. All are wood-core, laminate constructions with reinforcing laminates of different weights and densities, including metal (Experience 98), basalt (88 and 83), carbon fiber (78 and 74) and aramide fiber (76). All have vertical sidewalls (with the exception of the Experience 76 and 74) for maximum transmission of energy to the edge. Most also feature Rossi's distinctive Cascade Tip design: like a leaf spring in a car, the ski gets thinner, lighter and more flexible near the tip, reducing swing-weight and promoting easy turn initiation.