Rossignol Soul 7: The Most Versatile Ski of 2013-2014
Photo: © rossignol.com What is the most versatile ski of the 2013-2014 season? Right now, among ski testers on both sides of the Atlantic, there is an uncommon degree of consensus on that topic. It’s Rossignol Soul 7. Since it was launched earlier in the year (winning an ISPO award in the process), it has generated excitement and received rave reviews. Why? “Because you can ski almost anywhere,” says Phil Gordon, Ski Equipment Buyer at the Snow + Rock. ski room. “It passes through the powder, firmly and stably through the crumb, and threaded tight lines through the tree. For a ski run of its size, it’s also unusually agile on groomed runs. Phil first skated on the Rossignol Soul 7 at the 2013 SIGB test in Kuhtai, Austria, on a mixture of thin powder, shredded snow and groomed – and it was really his ability on the piste that impressed him. “This is 136mm at the top, 126mm at the tail and 106mm under the trunk, so you can expect it to perform well in deep snow. But you would never guess its crossing speed. at such a good turn; nor the way it grips the frozen snow. Officially, it’s designed primarily for skiing, but it’s akin to a one-off ski run for skiers. as high-class as I’ve ever seen”.
Phil Gordon at the SIGB ski test in Kuhtai, 2013. Photo: © Jono Carmichael At this point, Phil adds that not everyone should be rushing out to buy it. “If you’re just starting to apply powder, you should choose something more delicate.” Because of how good its off-road performance is, the Soul 7 is still 106mm under the trunk: about 40mm wider than a typical ski track. Intermediates – even the less fortunate, athletic – will find it a few, and Phil suggests a more traditional “all-mountain” like the Salomon Q-90 or the Rossignol Experience 88 for them. “But if you are a confident and accomplished skier – level 6 and up – and spend more time on the slopes, this will have your name written on it,” he says.
Why is it so good? Here are a few contributing factors.
1. It’s fat – and, if you will, long.
Photo: rossignol.com As we said, this is a fat ski with lots of surface area – especially if you buy it long (it comes in four lengths of 164, 172, 180 and 188cm). This makes it very buoyant in powder form. That said, Phil suggests that if you’re in the business from traditional cross-country skiing to the Soul 7, you may not want to buy it as long as a more conventional off-piste charger, such as the old Squad 7, because you’ll be sacrificing some of Soul 7’s eye-catching maneuverability in the process.
2. For off-piste, it has a deep slope
Notice how many shapes Soul 7 has in the middle. This is a deep run for off-piste, and the result is a turn radius of 17m, just 4m more than the Head’s Worldcup Rebels slalom. This is one of the reasons it carves so well on pistons and and spins so easily at lower speeds than in dough.
3. Powder Turn Rocker is good for both pistes and dough
From the outside, the Soul 7 has a complex shape – with a reverse-turning top and top (“rocker”) and a recessed dome (“camber”) under the trunk. Rossignol’s name for the shape is Powder Turn Rocker: The camber under the trunk helps it carve and grip the piste, and the rocker ensures that – while it’s powdery – it’s much easier to rotate than flat skis.
4. On the slide feels like a short, controllable ski track
Check the shape of both the front and back of the ski track. The yellow head and tail are both long and tapered. That increases the maneuverability of the powder ski: it also means that the point of contact with the snow, when it is on the piste, is well placed back from the end of the slide (this video explains clear on this point). So when you’re skiing in velvet, you’ll feel like a much shorter ski than it really is.
5. The pointed tip doesn’t flap as much as on some checkered skateboards
Light honeycomb construction of Soul 7’s Air Tip. Photo: © Jono Carmichael One of the coolest features of Soul 7 is the honeycomb “Air Tip” texture on the head and tail. This means less weight at the ends of the ski run, on the parts that are not exposed to the snow when you are active or in rough condition. As a result, some ski testers report that the Rossignol Soul 7 experiences less vibrations and rattles in more challenging conditions.
6. it is light
Not only the honeycomb head and tail hold the weight of the skateboard, but also the paulownia core. In fact, it’s so light that skiers are planning to use it next season – and Rossignol has produced a pre-cut climbing skin to help them (this isn’t available in the UK yet, but you can be purchased in France). But that doesn’t mean it’s soft: and the performance in the lumpy crud form is very good.
7. Binding mount point is good
This is what Michael Meier, director of the Stoked ski school and sports shop in Zermatt points out. He’s another big fan of Soul 7 (in his opinion, “it’s the future of skiing”). He says, “Rossignol is one of the few brands on the market that has the right point of attachment for the laces: many manufacturers have placed it too far, making the tail of the ski gear heavy. Therefore, it is difficult to put pressure on the nose and get the skiing to work well.” So is there anything Soul 7 doesn’t do? Well, as you’d expect from such a light sledding, with a lot of skidding it’s not as stable as some when skiing straight down the mountain at high speed. Judging by the hard-charging experts’ comments featured in the Rossignol promotional video, below it’s billed as a light, maneuverable, ‘fun’ to ski when visibility comes market is not so good. Not something you would do in a panoramic video shoot. But that shouldn’t bother skiers, who aren’t quite as strong and dexterous, nor do they have budget-friendly production companies. After all, they will ski at lower speeds and on a variety of terrain and snow: and for them, the consensus is that this is a great ski. In fact, the buzz surrounding Soul 7 has completely eclipsed other skateboards in the freeride range of Rossignol, Squad 7, Super 7, Sin 7, and Smash 7. You can’t help but wonder if the company is. Did you notice anything? superstar they created when they released it. If you want to see some more Soul 7 footage, check out this video of a Soul 7s day in the Retallack cat ski resort in Canada.
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