2016-2017 Rossignol Soul 7 HD

Jonathan Ellsworth reviews the Rossignol Soul 7 HD for Blister Gear Review.
2016-17 Rossignol Soul 7 HD

Ski: 2016-2017 Rossignol Soul 7 HD, 188 cm

Available Lengths: 164, 172, 180, 188 cm

Actual Tip-to-Tail Length (straight tape pull): 186.4 cm

Stated Dimensions (mm): 138-108-128

Blister’s Measured Dimensions (mm): 136-107.5-126

Stated Weight per Ski: 2300 grams

Blister’s Measured Weight per Ski: 2042 & 2069 grams

Stated Sidecut Radius (188 cm): 18 meters

Tip / Tail Splay (ski decambered): 79 mm / 34 mm

Traditional Camber Underfoot: ~6 mm

Core Construction: Paulownia + Carbon/Basalt Laminate

Factory Recommended Line:

“All Mountain” : – 5.9 cm from center; 87.3 cm from tail

“Freeride” : – 7.9 cm from center; 87.3 cm from tail

Days Skied: 2

Tested on the “All Mountain” Line

Test Location: Taos, NM


You’ve probably heard by now, but for the 16/17 season, Rossignol is tweaking one of the most popular skis out there.

We’ve been putting time on the new Soul 7 HD, and we need some more time before commenting — this ski hasn’t yet felt quite as straightforward as the current Soul 7, so we’re taking our time here before weighing in.

But here is some preliminary information:

(1) Flex Pattern

This ski is not a noodle. While the Soul 7 has been a ski that many less-experienced and very-experienced skiers have enjoyed, when hand flexing the Soul 7 HD, it feels stiff underfoot, pretty substantial in the tails, and doesn’t go as soft in the tips as one might think.

I’d describe the flex pattern like this:

  • Tail: 6 – 7 out of 10, which then ramps up to:
  • Underfoot: 9-10, which then softens to:
  • Tips: 6, maybe 5 ?

(2) Weight

Stamped on our pair of 188 cm skis is a stated weight of “2.3 kg”. That isn’t close to correct.

Our 188 cm Soul 7 HD’s weigh in at 2042 and 2069 grams, respectively.

And our current-model pair of 188 cm Soul 7’s come in at 2012 & 2000 grams.

Jonathan Ellsworth reviews the Rossignol Soul 7 HD for Blister Gear Review.
Jonathan Ellsworth on the Rossignol Soul 7 HD, Taos, NM. (photo by Warren Caldwell)

So don’t let the topsheets fool you: the Soul 7 HD didn’t gain a bunch of weight; it’s coming in just slightly heavier than the (current / previous) Soul 7.

Mount Point: “All Mountain” vs. “Freeride”

Rossignol is calling their “0” mount point their “all-mountain” line, and their “-2” mount point their freeride line.

That’s fairly confusing — we’d typically think that “freeride” would indicate a less-directional, more trick-oriented, and more forward mount point than an “all-mountain” mark.

But our initial suspicion is that a lot of directional skiers who aren’t tricking will be better off going with the farther back “freeride” / -7.9 cm mark.

But there is one other factor here…

On-Snow Feel

Rossignol cautioned that the new Soul 7 HD might require a little more break in time, given the carbon that’s been added to the ski. So in addition to the mount points that we’re still playing with, there is a potential break-in-period to take into account.

We’ll be reporting back on some of this soon in a Flash Review. Stay tuned…

NEXT: Rocker Profile Pics

31 comments on “2016-2017 Rossignol Soul 7 HD”

  1. Oh, man. I am clearly addicted, and you guys have just passed the goods under my nose so I could smell the goodness, but I can’t actually take a bite yet! More, please!!

        • Hey, guys – we wrote about the mount point of the HD in the Buyer’s Guide. You really ought to check it out. :)

          But long and short – you better have a damn good reason to mount in front of the freeride line.

          • Couple of the local shops think the ski works better on firmer snow/groomed if on the all mountain line and only go freeride if it’s a designated powder ski. My experience with the previous version is that no matter where it felt like a lot of tail behind me. Jon thoughts seem right on. Not enough rocker in tail to be that far forward in comparison to other skis.

  2. Any follow up on the Soul 7 HD yet? Curious about the mounting position. Seems like the freeride line is the way to go unless you’re a switch rider. I ski a lot of JJ’s and I understand being at -5 on that ski but Rossi all mountain like seems too far forward. I tried the older soul 7 and super 7 on the factory recommend in lines and they sure seem far forward it to me. Seem like I always had a lot of tail behind me but didn’t spend a ton of time on them. Nobody in the shops have much advice to offer and say just mount on the all mountain line.

    Any advice?

  3. This site more than any other has been consistently advising those on the fence to “size up” pretty much directing anyone taller than 5’10” and 180 lb to go for the 188. I’m assuming the Soul 7 HD sizing will be the same as the Soul 7 based on similar shapes and I’m hoping the added stiffness is all torsional and they haven’t messed with the soft flex for powder. I’m 6’1″ and 210 lb… fully laden with BC pack and all probably pushing closer to 240 lb. So if I follow typical sizing I’d be 188 easy. I’m 45 and probably an expert and I have a quiver of skis including the 192 bent chetler and the 185 cochise. So I can ski the 192 which is sweet on a big pow day but typically in the afternoons or when the snow at Fernie gets heavy I prefer the crushing power of the cochise. I drive those with the cochise 130 pro (green) from about 5 years back. The souls however are intended for mostly BC use and some resort. They will be mounted with Vipec Blacks and driven by La Sportiva Spectre 2.0’s… so basically a fairly soft boot and intended for seeking powder most days but it will be skied resort whenever slack country may be on the menu. Anyway, to the point. I demo’d the 188 and 180 Souls (not the HD) and was surprised that I found very little difference between the two sizes in terms of ride. The reason for this is I knew several folks who were as heavy as me that found the 180s to be great. And of course for a BC ski lighter is righter and often my below treeline excursions would appreciate a shorter ski. The 180s were quicker turning but not unstable. The 188s were plenty quick too but when picking my way down some early season alder patches I did notice the tails seemed a bit long (I’m not a lean back kind of guy). They reminded me of the long tails on my chetlers which contact when I walk herringbone if I don’t adopt a wide stance… sort of an artifact of long centre mounted skis. Anyway I also read that the extra length between 188 and 180 was all in the tails so I went to the store to check them out and found that is absolutely true. When the recommended all mountain mount line is lined up the tips of both skis are identical. So the front of the ski is the same in both. Also the same in both is the effective length or the length of contact as the skis are pressed together. All the added length is in the rocker tail that swoops up quite aggressively on the 188s. So given that the only difference is 2 mm width and that all the extra length is basically hanging off the back and completely inactive on hardpack (and I would argue soft groomers too since the rocker does does not contribute a consistent edge)… why in the world are you recommending a longer length when its pretty much the same ski? Basically one has more float but its all in the backseat… in the third row seats actually. I know the answer will be to go with what I liked better which is fair but I really can’t decide whether the duck tail is an asset or a liability. Ultimately if I’m touring and wanting more float the 188 is better and if I’m in super tight quarters the 180 is better but I don’t think they really vary in stability at all.

    • Oh and I also played with mount position on the 188s but to be fair my demo day did not have any deep untracked lines just chalky groomers and soft chop at -20C. (This may explain my similar feelings on the two lengths). The mount position testing was mostly groomed. Relative to the all mountain line I found the freeride line to cause a bit of tail wash out on steep slarving turns but once I adjusted for a more forward stance that went away. Basically it skied fine in freeride but required more forward pressure. Given the tail length however I could see how the freeride mount would balance better on the 188s, but maybe not the 180s? Given my bsl length varies between the spectre and future zero g guide pros by 20 cm the heavier boot will automatically move me back on the ski by 10 cm given the static tech toe. But still I have to decide mount position for the Spectres and was going to go with all mountain but maybe not now after some of this info.

      • I just picked up my 188cm soul7HD mounted at the -2 Freeride line and they look like there isnt very much tail behind the binding:). I guess we will find out this weekend. Again nobody in the local shops wants to do anything off of the all mountain line and thought I was crazy for doing it. they don’t think the ski will perform on groomed snow the way it was designed. I have a quiver of skis but wanted to buy this one as a ski that I can take on a trip as my softer snow ski but hoping it has the same fun characteristics on the groomed snow as my older JJ does.

        • Two things:

          (1) As I wrote in the Buyer’s Guide, this is not merely about torsional rigidity, the new HD has the feeling that you’re standing on a short, very stiff section underfoot. The previous Soul 7 did not feel this way.

          Especially in the shovel of the HD, that stiff mid-section creates the feel of a hinge point. So if you’re really driving the shovels, when mounted on the All-Mountain line, it feels like you have nothing in front of you. By backing up to the Freeride line, it mitigates that hinge point effect — which is all very similar to what we’d found in the last iteration of the Squad 7. (The new Super 7 RD does not have this feeling.)

          (2) This stiff section underfoot was least noticeable when skiing hard and fast on groomed snow. It is in steeper and bumped up terrain — precisely where you are putting a lot of force on to the shovels (and that hinge point) where what I’m describing was most noticeable. But on groomed, consistent snow, it was pretty easy to adjust my stance so that I could drive the ski fine from either the All Mountain or Freeride line. I.e., I disagree with the shop guys on that one — but it sounds like maybe they haven’t actually skied the HD on groomers on the Freeride line? We’ve skied the HD on piste and off piste on both lines.

  4. Jonathan, I have read the review in your buyers guide and I guess I’m confused about the new soul 7 hd compared to the previous iteration. I understand what you are saying about the hinge point. However without the added stiffer section in the previous version of the soul 7 there was “nothing in the front” as well, correct? At least now there is some added rigidity underfoot for some harder conditions?

    It was my intent when buying the soul 7 hd that I was getting a mostly back county some resort ski that was more playful and much quicker than other skis in the class while still having decent float. With emphasis put on this quickness and a tighter turning radius while having good float for the backcountry is there another ski you would favor? Do you favor the previous soul 7 to today’s soul 7 hd?

    • +1 for that, I had hoped the HD was an improvement for some of the reviewed shortcomings but I’ve only demo’d the older version. I don’t mind the older one and for BC I was hoping for a sweet soft flex. Perhaps for this purpose I’m better off on the old version? Also would midway between the lines achieve anything? Due to multiple BSL options my BC boot would center 1 cm further forward than my (future) zero g.

    • +1 for that, I had hoped the HD was an improvement for some of the reviewed shortcomings but I’ve only demo’d the older version. I don’t mind the older one and for BC I was hoping for a sweet soft flex. Perhaps for this purpose I’m better off on the old version? Also would midway between the lines achieve anything? Due to multiple BSL options my BC boot would center 1/2 cm further forward than my (future) zero g.

      • I asked about mounting in between the lines and Jon shot that down hard, lol. Looking at my new mounted skis at the freeride line does make for a fairly long tip but when I skied Soul 7 and super 7 two years ago on the all mountain line the skis felt very short in the shovels to me. FYI I have emailed rossignol directly three times to get a more detailed manufactures description for their markings with no response….. worst case scenario is I don’t like the freeride line and I decide to move them forward. Oh well. I ski a ton of moguls, varied terrain but we don’t have very steep/big mountain skiing in Spokane, WA. I compare wider skis to my older and newer JJ’s which I need to try and get out of my head to give the Rossi a chance to shine.

      • Guys, this just came to me from Rossignol

        The Soul 7 has 2 mounting positions as it can be skied slightly different in each position. The forward of the two positions causes the ski to be a bit more pivoty, which is great in all conditions and allows you to shut the ski down quickly in crud snow or in places where you need to dump speed.

        The rear of the two positions gives the ski a bit more drive down the hill, but you do loose a bit of the pivoty feeling.

        The Soul 7 is one of those skis that has such a huge balance point that you really cannot go wrong!

        • The mount point dilemma remains and I’ll get out on a borrowed pair to figure that out. However I’ve decided from the feedback here and elsewhere that I will return the HDs and find a 2016 version (which is also on sale). As a BC ski driven by softish boots I’m looking more for the sweet soft playful flex of the old version.

  5. So far so good on the freeride line and a very fun ski for sure. For me the HD is what the Soul 7 needed and I’m sure the Super 7 as well. The ski feels like it has some backbone to it now. At first I was thinking the freeride might be too far back the more I skied it I’m sure it’s the way to go. In all honesty I wish I would have split the difference in between the two lines just to eliminate the mind game and walk away:). But so far an incredibly fun ski!

  6. I’m a bit confused on sizing for the these…… me: 5′-6″ 145 pounds, an “older” 55 year old (40 years loving the sport) expert/advanced, all mountain…..groomers, powder,bumps (still love em). I am currently skiing on Nordica Nrgy 100’s in 169cm (feels right for me). The sizing charts seem to indicate that 164/165cm range is recommended for me…….would the 172cm “be too much” for me; the 169cm Nrgy 100’s are spot on for me in the terrain I ski….would I really need to size down to a 162cm in the Soul 7 HD’s especially given that they have way more rocker than my Nrgy’s ?

  7. Everything I’ve read about the Soul 7 HD has been for the most part positive. I do keep in mind that ski reviews come down to personal tastes and preferences. I was wondering what your thoughts were when looking at the Soul 7 HD compare to the stock (none custom) Romp 106. There seem to be a lot of similarities between the two skis, but I’ve never skied any Soul 7 or the 7 line in general. I’ve skied a pair of demo Romp 106 and liked them. They seems a touch soft, but the guys at Romp said they make the demo sticks a little softer because they don’t know the skill level of ride using them. What are you thoughts as the Soul 7 HD as competitor to the Romp 106 or maybe even a more budget friendly option? Thanks for the help.

  8. I’ve skied the 188cm at the mounting point around 5-6 days and I’ve decided to move the mounting point 2 cm back to the “freeride” line. Here’s why.

    -At the forward mounting point, the ski wants to carve through steeper, bumpy and snowy terrain rather than “plane” over the tops of bumps like a lot of rockered skis do. The forward mounting point puts more pressure on the tip which helps it initiate turns on groomers, but in bumpy terrain and trees the ski wants to aim for the trenches rather than pivoting off the tops of bumps making it much more tough to maneuver difficult variable terrain. The “looseness” in soft snow is what made the old Soul 7 fun, for this model it’s more business.
    -There’s PLENTY of tail with this ski. I think you could go back 3cm on this ski and still be ok.
    -If you were to put the 180cm and 188cm side by side, you’ll notice that the 180 and 188 have their respective mounting points the same distance from the front tip. Weird huh? I compared the mounting point for the 188 with several other skis I own and the 7’s mounting point is much farther forward mounting point than any of my other skis on the order of 2-3cm. If fact, if I put my Rossi Exp 88 180CM skis and the Soul 7’s 188cm side-by-side at the mounting point, the tips for BOTH skis are practically even You would think that the mounting line would be proportional to the length of the ski, meaning farther back for a longer ski, but it’s not. That means the 188 has a LOT more tail and disproportionally longer tail than the smaller 180cm model. If you’re skiing the 180 or shorter, I’d say stay at the with the factory recommended line, which I agree with after skiing on it for 5 days. For the 188cm go with the freeride line.
    -Posture with the forward mounting point for the 188 was an issue, for me at least. With the forward mounting point, I I was finding myself standing more upright and leaning farther forward feels a little awkward. Moving the bindings backwards encourage a more athletic and hands forward posture. .

    So far, I love the ski since it has a lot more beef than the previous model. For me it’s a good thing, I’m 6″0 and 200 lbs advanced skier. But I personally don’t think the forward mounting point really does anything for the ski except to help initiate turns on firmer snow. It’s lacks a little bit of the looseness and pivoty-ness but I feel, at least wtih my issues, can be resolved simply by moving the mount point back 2 cm. I’d also consider detuning the edges a little bit for soft snow. No worries, it’ll still carve great on everything except for hard frozen hardpack.

  9. Just received my new 2017 Soul 7 HD skis. I have read all the info. here on mounting points and have to admit I am a little confused. Me: 75yrs, advanced skier, purchased for those north Idaho powder days we get a lot of (2, 3 and 4 inche days) Ski everywhere. Got the 180’s and I weight 180. If my reading comprehension is ok I am reading mount on back line – freeride ? I guess I am a little confused on All Mt. vs. Freeride. Help. I will ski the trees and powder with these. I ski on Elan 88xti for my everyday ski and have some Praxis Protests for my deep day or cat/heli skiing. Your help will be appreciated, have Tyrolia attack 13 bindings to mount. Thanks in advance. Pete

    • Honestly, If you have the 180cm. I would just mount at the factory line. The 188 is a different story. If you put the 180 and 188cm side by side with the tips of the skis aligned, you’ll notice that the factory lines are exactly the same distance from the tip. So, in other words the 188cm has a much more forward mounting point. I mounted my 188cm at the freeride line. I’ve only skied a couple of days on it in really wet PAC NW type conditions. My takeaway from the so far is the ski skis stiffer because of moving the mounting point backward. I’ve yet to ski these in optimal conditions, but one thing I did notice with the 188 is that it is a lot less forgiving in bumpy terrain, mostly because it’s a much stiffer ski than the previous Soul 7. I would consider putting a binding like the Look Pivot 12 or Rossi FKS 120 to allow the ski to bend a little more naturally, plus these bindings are lower to the ground making it a little easier to control, unlike a Salomon STH 13 or a Marker Griffon.

  10. After a lot puff research I ended up mounting my 180’s on the factory line and I would recommend it. There is plenty of ski up front and I feel like I can pivot them a bit easier in tight spaces.

  11. OK, so seems that the All Mt line is the place to use on the 180cm ski ? Skiing ok on groomers is fine with me but really bought the skis for those 2in to 6 in days we get a lot of here in Northern Idaho and to ski the trees, glades etc.l Thanks for all your comments and guess I will go with the All Mtn. line.

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