At the end of last season, I happened to be looking at a photo of my wife and myself from before we were married (13 years ago). I suddenly realized that my skis in the photo were the same ones that I was still cutting turns on! I was long overdue for an upgrade but what to buy and where to buy it?… Knowing that new gear can be expensive, I searched for an economical way to get some new planks under my ski boots. Having used the amazing Ski Butlers (skibutlers.com) in the past I checked to see if this company (who delivers, fits and rents gear to enthusiasts in America and Europe) ever sells any of their used gear. As it turns out- they do! FYI- The price of their skis tends to fluctuate a bit depending on wear, time of year sold, the ski itself and the year of the model. In my case I got a pair of Rossignol Experience 84’s which were only one season old and included the bindings for only $250! (Typically, Ski Butlers sell their skis from anywhere between $250 and $400.)
My new, affordable skis were a huge improvement over my former Rossi Scratch’s. Scratch’s are twintips used largely in terrain parks but these days I prefer to spend my onslope time carving groomed terrain and occasionally playing in the soft stuff on the sides and in the trees. Offering a sweet mix of camber and rocker, my Experience 84’s are extremely easy to control and their Extended Sidecut design provides loads of power and stability when you’re on edge. Extended Sidecut means the widest part of the ski is beyond the fore and aft contact points. This in turn, means the ski won’t feel out-of-sorts at lower speeds and edge angles but when you push them to higher speeds and edge angles the sidecut offers you more edge which will increase your stability.
Touted by the manufacturer to be “…designed for the skier that wants an all-mountain, do-it-all ski that will handle everything a resort has to offer” I have to say that they hit the mark. The Experience 84’s have a rockered Air Tip which reduces weight for better float and easier control and an 84mm waist (hence the name). This width is ideal for my groomer skiing, but the light tip and tail rocker help greatly in my occasional off piste adventure. Smartly, Rossignol added a layer of carbon in this wood-made stick that stiffens the ski without adding too much weight. The overall feel of the 84’s thanks largely to their AirTip Technology is that they are very lightweight which of course translates into a very maneuverable ski. The AirTip’s translucent honeycomb of empty pockets helps keep the tips of the skis on the top of the snow while reducing chatter on hard pack. I learned this first hand when I tried my 84’s out at my column sponsor Shawnee Mountain in Shawnee, PA. It was an eye opening, revolutionary experience. (Pun intended!)
In tribute to the company that has again made me a happy two-planker (and since my first column of the season usually features a Warren Miller film to get us all psyched for the upcoming season,) please be sure to click http://www.rossignol.com/US/US/news–23y5ceh4k7ul.html?utm_campaign=generic_campaign_name&utm_content=news_B2C_LiteYears_1718_NORAM_ROSSI&utm_medium=email&utm_source=newsletter. There you will find a Milleresque flick called Lite Years which is the first film from the creators of the Web series The Big Picture which follows the skiing of Parker White, Chris Logan and friends. Enjoy it and think snow!!!