Testers unanimously praised the new Squad 7. Its girthy 120-millimeter waist and prominently rockered and tapered tip planed easily over deep snow and crud. With astronomical scores in both the Maneuverability and Stability at Speed criteria, it can make just about any type of turn you can imagine, even on hardpack. Trees, chutes, wide-open bowls—it excels just about everywhere. “Well made from tip to tail,” said one tester. “Can a 120-millimeter ski be considered an all-mountain?” asked another.
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).