French manufacturer, Rossignol, has been in business for over 100 years. Abel Rossignol originally intended his company to produce textiles for nordic athletes, but eventually he used his skills in carpentry to produce a solid wood ski. Since then, Rossignol has become a prominent force in the ski industry. My first pair of “Rossis” were the Equipe 4S from the early ’90s. It seems like every decade, Rossignol introduces a breakthrough ski that changes the game. The Bandit series gave skiers their first taste of parabolic, shaped skis. It also got skiers used to wider, shorter boards. With the coming of the new decade, we saw the debut of the S7’s.
The Rossignol S7 Ski addresses every aspect of skiing. It’s ridiculously versatile. The S7 excels in deep powder, small stashes, hard snow, tight lines and open faces. Rossignol utilizes Amptek technology – a reverse rocker (Rocker-Camber-Rocker) ski. The ski tip has an early rise to float better so the ski doesn’t dive. The tail has zero drag, zero hook and tapers early so that skiers can turn effortlessly back and forth. Amptek effectively cocks the ski at a certain angle so it’s easier to blast through deep powder. Wider at the tip than the tail, it is a directional powder/all mountain ski.
I recently got my hands on a pair of Rossignol S7 skis for 2012. The S7 is not suited for the timid or faint of heart. These boards require an athletic, big mountain skier who’s a hard charger. It took about an hour to get used to the feel of the reverse rocker. I noticed that back-seating on my tails whipped the skis away from me. If I wasn’t aggressive, the skis owned me. In deep powder, the tip cocked up while the tail sank down, floating brilliantly. The faster I went, the more stable the ski felt. I liked how the early rise feature allowed the skis to force me to stay forward right on my shins without compromising any balance. On bumps, it felt natural. Initially, I thought that the 188cm length would be tough, but I had no problem plowing through hero bumps and hard packed moguls. On groomers, the skis were remarkably responsive. The sidecut provided plenty of bite and snappiness. Stability and maneuverability increased with speed. The only drawback is that the skis didn’t handle well at pedestrian speeds – it was hard to snowplow around obstacles. But, that’s a relatively small price to pay for all the aforementioned virtues the S7 showed in spades.
After a nice day in 16-24 inches of 18 degree powder, the S7s could become my all mountain weapon in the quiver.
My setup: Rossignol S7 188cm length, G3 Targa Telemark Bindings (0.75cm forward from center point of the sidecut), and Garmont Ener-G boots. At 188cm, the sidecut of 145-115-123 provides a high octane 17.5m turn radius.