Rossignol Experience 98 (2014)
You know that moment between turns after you’ve popped out of one and you’re levitating across the hill, just waiting for the perfect moment to pressure your tips and be swept into the next arc? Testers found it immensely pleasurable with the 98, whose blend of willing disengagement and eager bite seemed excellently balanced. “Feather it in,” said one, “and then the tip engages nicely. Absolutely slaughters groomers.” The E 98 defines the Explorer concept: rips groomers and flows smoothly everywhere else.
The returning Experience 98, an expert level ski for all-mountain conditions, continues to impress testers with its nonchalant versatility. It's wide enough for soft-snow flotation but carves hardpack effortlessly too. 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.
|Level||Advanced, Expert, Hi-Expert|
|Lengths||172, 180, 188|
|Rating: Stability at Speed||3.64 / 5|
|Rating: Maneuverability||3.55 / 5|
|Rating: Hard Snow Grip||3.10 / 5|
|Rating: Crud Performance||3.12 / 5|
|Rating: Forgiveness||3.43 / 5|
|Rating: Energy/Liveliness||3.09 / 5|
|Rating: Flotation||2.84 / 5|
|Rating: Versatility||2.96 / 5|
|Rating: Overall||3.22 / 5|