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Advice please! Might have fallen for Rossi Experience 88s

UtahDesert

Certified Ski Diva
#1
My first post, after lurking off and on over the years. I fell in love with a pair of skis yesterday, after trying them at the Rossi yurt at Deer Valley, and would really like to discuss my impressions and get advice.

Background on me: I'm a late-start skier, having started when I was 45, because my family was living 15 minutes from Winter Park and I wasn't going to be the one staying home and cooking dinner while everyone else skied. (85 days my first season, 107 the second.) Fifteen years later, I live in Salt Lake and ski ten to twenty days a year. I can pick my days and like powder, but with the crowds and congestion in the Cottonwoods I've resigned myself to getting in very few powder days any more. After breaking my leg at Vail a couple years ago and getting diagnosed with osteoporosis I'm a pretty conservative skier. (I've always been timid.) But I like to ski well. I really enjoy rolling blues; I like some steeps interspersed with less steep stuff; I like to be able to do gentle trees, and while I'm probably never going to like actual bump runs, I want to do short stretches of bumped-up terrain. I don't want crud to stop me.

So, yesterday, for the second time, I left my eleven-year-old Volkl Queen Attivas in the rack at the Rossi yurt, and tried out some skis. I did two hours on the Rossignol Experience 88 Ti Womens--159s; and then I did two hours on the 166s. Here's what I found: I have never skied as well as this on scraped, skied-out trails with some hint of steepness. In the past on the steeper ones I would do decent turns, but with a whole lot of sliding in between the turns so that I felt no real sense of satisfaction. (The falling down the mountain standing up thing, if you know what I mean.) In the Experience 88s I was always leaving tracks I felt good about; I was in control. I was liking steeper sections I used to avoid. I had tried them out briefly before and discovered that I had to work a bit more with these skis, but once I knew what I was doing I felt like they were great for any size turn--and the confidence and stability were just a revelation. Crud was no problem--I felt like they could cut through anything.

Now, the limitations. The Soul 7s I also tried were definitely better in bumps and in the kids' trails in the trees, but I'm hoping the Experience 88s were any worse here than my old skis. I have to figure out where at Deer Valley I could try them on the kinds of trails I love at Brighton, where there are irregular bumps you make your way around. These are stiffer skis, so that makes a difference. Obviously I haven't had a chance to try them in powder. I'm comfortable with my old skis' limitations there, and these are roughly the same underfoot (88 instead of 87).

So I'm pretty much head over heels for these skis. The only concerns that are stopping me from ordering them right now are these:
1) 166s? I liked them just fine, but I liked the 159s just fine too. (And if the 166s went a little better, it might be me getting more used to this type of ski.) If it's a weight thing, there's a decent chance (no promises) that I might lose 15 pounds before next ski season. (145 now.) Is there any chance I'd have trouble getting control over the 166s if I'm that much lighter?
2) I probably should wait for the end-of-season sales, right?
3) Should I consider a different ski? What about the Nordica Santa Anas 93s? Or the Volkl Secret 92s? (I suppose I may have to pay to demo some others, but I want to make sure the shop has the right skis, so which ones?)
 

marzNC

Angel Diva
#2
Glad you decided to post for advice. Always nice to "meet" a new Diva!

I did two hours on the Rossignol Experience 88 Ti Womens--159s; and then I did two hours on the 166s.
The Soul 7s I also tried were definitely better in bumps and in the kids' trails in the trees, but I'm hoping the Experience 88s were any worse here than my old skis. I have to figure out where at Deer Valley I could try them on the kinds of trails I love at Brighton, where there are irregular bumps you make your way around.
So I'm pretty much head over heels for these skis. The only concerns that are stopping me from ordering them right now are these:
1) 166s? I liked them just fine, but I liked the 159s just fine too. (And if the 166s went a little better, it might be me getting more used to this type of ski.) If it's a weight thing, there's a decent chance (no promises) that I might lose 15 pounds before next ski season. (145 now.) Is there any chance I'd have trouble getting control over the 166s if I'm that much lighter?
2) I probably should wait for the end-of-season sales, right?
3) Should I consider a different ski? What about the Nordica Santa Anas 93s? Or the Volkl Secret 92s? (I suppose I may have to pay to demo some others, but I want to make sure the shop has the right skis, so which ones?)
Without knowing your height/weight, it's pretty hard to comment on length. The skis that I own span 10cm depending on design and width underfoot. I demo the same model at more than one length whenever I can. Shorter is always easier to turn but I prefer longer for skis that I intend to use in assorted conditions, including fresh snow more than 8 inches.

I don't consider the Soul 7 as a good "all-mountain" model, even for Utah. It's too wide to be easy fun on groomers, although certainly slide well over crud and smaller bumps or around more open trees. I spent a few days on the Soul 7 at Big Sky mid-season last winter, but that was during and after a pretty big snowstorm.

If you are willing to wait, any chance of getting to the Alta Demo Day in early April? Of course, no guarantee that what you are interested in checking out will be there. But if you get there early, should be able to try a few models given that the lengths of interest aren't too short or too long.

There are quite a few models that you'd probably enjoy. Then again, if you really liked the Experience 88 then finding a good deal now means more fun in the next month or two.
 

Jilly

Moderator
Staff member
#3
The 7's are the free ride series. Not all mountain like the 88's. I'm 5'4 and when I had my 88's (old temptation version) I was around 160lbs. They were 161 I think. Remember these skis are rocketed tip and tail. So effective length is shorter.

They make you smile...buy them!!
 

UtahDesert

Certified Ski Diva
#4
I'm not considering the Soul 7s right now, although I was originally looking at them as a ski that would complement my Volkl Queen Attivas by becoming my ride for powder days. Now I'm instead looking at replacing my Queen Attivas for two reasons:
1) The Experience 88s are strikingly superior to them for a lot of stuff, and probably at least as good on everything else.
2) I'm just not sure how much use I'm going to get out of skis I only pull out on powder days. (But I still might consider something like the Soul 7s next year if I decide I can afford to expand my quiver after replacing my old skis.)

My height is 5'5" and my weight is 140-145. I'd like to attend the Alta Demo Day (if I don't jump and buy before then), but I worry about getting up the canyon on a Saturday, even with just the demo day as an attraction increasing the traffic.
 
#5
@UtahDesert I was at DV demoing Rossi's as well yesterday. I fell in love with the Soul 7 in 164. I am 5'1" 130 lb.

They seemed adequate on the firm groomers and fabulous on the softer snow. I would love to try them in powder. Though I have to admit that my powder days are few.

I liked how light and quick turning they were. However, I have to consider whether purchasing them makes sense for the conditions I normally ski.

Have you tried the Sky 7? I enjoyed those as well and you might like the narrower width.

I suggest you try the Experience 88s again before committing. Also, if you can demo some similar skis that would be great.

I certainly intend to try some different brands and to wait for late season sales before any purchase.

Good luck.
 

Jilly

Moderator
Staff member
#6
Your Queen Attiva's are pretty old and have a different construction compared to those made in the last few years. Even the Experience 88W is different from my Temptation 88's. (Which are the skis I'm on in my Avatar)

I'm not surprised that you found these skis superior to your old ones.
 

UtahDesert

Certified Ski Diva
#7
You know, if I hadn't tried the Experience 88s and seen how superior their performance for me over my old skis on most trails is, I'd be seriously considering the Soul 7s as a second ski in my quiver. I too found them not bad on the groomers, as long as I followed the advice of the guys from the yurt and stayed forward consistently. (The thing that always scared me off of dedicated powder skis in the past was that I didn't want to be shaky or uncomfortable when I found myself on relatively hard-packed groomers.)

But right now I'm convinced that it's a higher priority to me (given that my powder days are few too) to have better performance and confidence and stability on most days than I currently have.

I did try the Sky 7s last month, and both they and the Soul 7s were an improvement over my old skis in terms of "nimbleness" in irregular terrain, or in charging through any kind of crud in the trees in between trails ("point and shoot"?), but neither of them provided the "oh, my God, point me towards a steep" confidence of the Experience 88s.

I was thinking that on my next Deer Valley day I'll first scope out some of the trails I know on or leading to Little Baldy that can get pretty scuffed up (Mountaineer if it hasn't been groomed too recently), and see what might be a nice challenge before I pick up the demos.
 

marzNC

Angel Diva
#8
My height is 5'5" and my weight is 140-145. I'd like to attend the Alta Demo Day (if I don't jump and buy before then), but I worry about getting up the canyon on a Saturday, even with just the demo day as an attraction increasing the traffic.
Based on having been around Alta for the April Demo Day in recent years, you're unlikely to have to deal with major traffic first thing in the morning. Last spring was one of the few times that there was anything resembling good soft snow off the groomers. Even so, the parking lot didn't fill up until after 10:30. I stay at Alta Lodge during late season. I usually wander down around 8:30 to walk around the demo tents as they are setting up to see where I want to go first. Once it gets busy, I usually just pick a tent with a short line. Also good to do the paperwork early, if not already done before that day.

Alta Demo Day 2019 report
https://www.theskidiva.com/forums/index.php?threads/demo-day-at-alta-april-2019.23867/

For a reference point on length, I'm petite, (5'0", 111 lbs), older, solid advanced but not aggressive and rented the Soul 7 @162 at Big Sky. My all-mountain skis that are 85 underfoot are 159cm, as are my old BPs (2011, 88mm). I liked the SA93 @161 in fresh snow at Bridger last season. Had a couple good demo runs on groomers on the SA88 @158 in the northeast last spring. Also enjoyed the BP88 @145 at Taos for bumps and groomers (no black terrain open due to low snow). So making a decision about length is an art, not a science.
 
#9
The Rossi 88 was a very close second to the Kore 93w skis I ended up buying. If you're still looking to demo, I would suggest that ski as another option. Definitely light but has the chops to lay down some nice turns and handle chop easily. I'm never worried I'm going to get bucked around because they just motor through piles. The waist width of the Kore is reduced as the skis are shortened. The 162 length comes in at 89. Since you are stuck between 159 and 166 on the Rossi, this length splits the difference.
 

contesstant

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#10
@UtahDesert, where do you normally ski?
I'm one of those who says, "if you demoed it and you loved it, there's your answer!" But, if you ski in tighter quarters normally than what is found at Deer Valley, or on vastly different snow, then that could factor into any decisions you make.

Another factor that people don't think about with older skis: worn out tune. Sometimes, they just need a good base grind and restructuring and the edges sharpened again! So, sometimes the new stuff feels amazing because the edges hold and they glide better. I'm definitely an advocate of updating equipment every few seasons at a minimum, but you can also breathe life into a pair of old favorites with some TLC.
 

UtahDesert

Certified Ski Diva
#13
I'll add the Head Kore 93s to my "try" list, HikenSki--thanks!

Contesttant, I've got the Ikon Base Pass, so I divide my time between Brighton, Deer Valley, Solitude, Alta, and Snowbird. Plus I usually get in a couple days at Winter Park. I generally ski on-piste, but I do like to be able to go off-piste where it's not too challenging. And even though my schedule is pretty flexible, I'm realizing that I rarely make it out on true powder days, and I like the idea of being able to enjoy myself even when it's hard-pack and/or skied out.

I did have a good tune-up ("Do whatever you need to!") at the end of last year, and unless my memory is deceiving me, my current/old skis never could do the things the Experience 88s can do. Vickie, I like your advice.
 

contesstant

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#16
I'll add the Head Kore 93s to my "try" list, HikenSki--thanks!

Contesttant, I've got the Ikon Base Pass, so I divide my time between Brighton, Deer Valley, Solitude, Alta, and Snowbird. Plus I usually get in a couple days at Winter Park. I generally ski on-piste, but I do like to be able to go off-piste where it's not too challenging. And even though my schedule is pretty flexible, I'm realizing that I rarely make it out on true powder days, and I like the idea of being able to enjoy myself even when it's hard-pack and/or skied out.

I did have a good tune-up ("Do whatever you need to!") at the end of last year, and unless my memory is deceiving me, my current/old skis never could do the things the Experience 88s can do. Vickie, I like your advice.
Then get them! You demoed where you'll ski them plus similar resorts to where you skied them, and loved them. Also, if both sizes felt good, with where you ski, I'd go with the 166. UNLESS you plan to start slaying moguls on a regular basis.
 
#17
If you've found them for a good price, I'd grab them especially if you need a common size. That was my issue last spring. I couldn't find any of the mens Kore version because I require the most common size. Also, I believe the Exp 88 comes as a system ski with Look SPX bindings or flat, allowing you to choose your own binding. Yet another thing to think about...
 

UtahDesert

Certified Ski Diva
#18
I was about to make the plunge and then I thought it over. The truth is that these are the first "contemporary" skis of this kind of profile that I've tried, so maybe there might be something I'd like just as much? So I called up Christy Sports at Deer Valley, and it turns out that 1) with advance reservations they can have the Nordica Santa Ana 93s, the Volkl Secret 92s, and the Head Kore 93 Ws in my preferred lengths ready for me to try out; 2) the demo rental price (two days) can go to a purchase; and 3) they're willing to meet the prices I see online.

Any others I should try? I'm looking for something with all of the Experience 88's best qualities (stability and confidence on the groomers; ability to get an edge in and not slide, making pretty turns on even the most scraped out steeper trails; quick turns; can handle chop) with a little more nimbleness. Or perhaps is there an inevitable trade-off between the kind of stiffness that gives me what I love about the Experience 88s and the kind of flexibility that I think I'm more comfortable with in irregular terrain like bumps?
 
#20
Won't make a difference for the BP82, but Blizzard made changes for the 2021 BP88. In general, the Black Pearl 88 has kept evolving since it's introduction around 2010. So it pays to ask questions about the construction when taking a pair out for demo runs. My old Black Pearls (2011) are very different from the BP88 that I had for a couple days at Taos in 2018.

https://www.skimag.com/gear/new-blizzard-black-pearl-bonafide-brahma-details

So I called up Christy Sports at Deer Valley, and it turns out that 1) with advance reservations they can have the Nordica Santa Ana 93s, the Volkl Secret 92s, and the Head Kore 93 Ws in my preferred lengths ready for me to try out; 2) the demo rental price (two days) can go to a purchase; and 3) they're willing to meet the prices I see online.
Nice list! I had a very good time on the Head Kore 99 at a northeast demo day.
 

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