Dimensions (mm): 137-108-127
Sidecut Radius: 18 meters
Actual Tip to Tail Length (Straight Tape Pull): 186.7cm
Blister’s Measured Weight per Ski: 2012 & 2000 grams
Skier: 5’10”, 185lbs.
Boots: Lange Super Banshees
Bindings: Marker Jester, DIN 10
Test Locations: Craigieburn Valley, Mountain Olympus, New Zealand
Days Skied: 3
[Editor’s Note: Our review was conducted on the 13/14 Soul 7, which is unchanged for 14/15 and 15/16.]
This past August I was presented with a tough choice: keep mountain biking, or go skiing in New Zealand with the Blister crew.
I immediately threw my bike in a creek and packed my ski bags.
I spent several days at New Zealand’s Canterbury club fields on the Rossignol Soul 7, and I don’t doubt that these skis will be a hit with both eastern and western skiers.
Blister editor-in-chief, Jonathan “I will adopt a baby kea” Ellsworth, has already written a good review of the Soul 7, so my aims are to (a) elaborate on some of his points, (b) make some comparisons to the Line Sick Day 110, Line Sir Francis Bacon, and Moment Deathwish, and (c) weigh in on how I think the Soul 7 would fare as an everyday East Coast ski.
Jonathan calls the Soul 7 “smooth, intuitive, and well-balanced,” and I would add playful, fun, and stable (for such a light, playful ski).
While our time in New Zealand was characterized by a lot of great skiing, we also encountered some challenging, variable conditions. And the Soul 7 skied really well for me each time out.
I only skied these skis at the club fields, which means no true groomers. However, we did occasionally find some slopes that had either been wind-scoured or sun baked to a nice consistent plane, so I did get a chance to lay the Soul 7 over on edge. What I found was a ski that would reward either a forward, shovel-pressing stance or a more neutral, centered stance.
As Jonathan notes, the ski did break loose on higher-angle carves in harder snow, but when angled with a little less vigor, it would hold well. I skied it for two days on spring-like corn, and found that I could set almost whatever angle I wanted. For such a light ski, it was a pleasant surprise how solidly it held an edge.
And I suspect that given their sidecut and flex pattern, these skis will hold their own on the icy goodness of Vermont groomers this winter.
In pockets of wind-deposited pow, the Soul 7 was great—it felt like it had far more flotation than its 108mm waist would suggest.
It was also really easy to smear the Soul 7 across the fall line. I tried to do the same thing with the Line Sick Day 110— it would do it, but with more effort. The Soul 7 felt like it was on pivots, similar to the 184cm Moment Deathwish I regularly ski in Vermont.
Crud / Chop / Refrozen Chunder
One memorable day of the trip involved hiking out of bounds at Mt. Olympus to an adjacent peak, and skiing some of the gullies down to the rope tow. The snow at the top had numerous sections of soft wind deposits, but as soon as we dropped into the shaded gullies, the snow turned hard and icy, with frequent patches of refrozen pinwheels. The Soul 7 was not at home in these conditions, but handled them pretty well. I stayed centered and made short, choppy turns through the icy, somewhat-consistent sections.
When the going got rougher, I simply let the ski run more bases flat and I used a lighter touch on the edges. Instead of bouncing all over the place—which I would have expected from such a light ski—they managed to flex consistently over the crud. Granted, I was going slow and taking it easy. Had I been trying to charge through those conditions I think it would have been a different story.
Tight and Steep Terrain
Craigieburn Valley club field features some truly great chute skiing right off the ropetow. Without having to hike for it, you can go ski long, consistent fall line chutes between flutes of red rock. I took the Soul 7 in there to see what it could do.
The snow was not really soft at all—more like crunchy and scraped off, and the walls of the chutes were fairly tight at some points.
The Soul 7 did a great job in those conditions—this is a ski that likes to turn. I really noticed the low swing weight of the tips and tails in this type of terrain, and the tip and tail rocker made it incredibly easy to get the Soul 7 to turn quickly. I also found it to provide a pretty solid base when making jump-turns in these conditions. This ski feels remarkably stiff underfoot and holds an edge well when planted.
These conditions also gave me a good inkling of how the Soul 7 will handle tight Eastern trees or moguls. Spoiler alert—I think it will excel. The ski isn’t too fat to turn quickly, it’s light and so easy to swing around, and its sidecut radius is a quick 18 meters.
Where the Soul 7 won’t excel is charging. So if you like to straightline everything, or rely on the “when-in-doubt-point-it-out” strategy, this may not be your jam. It’ll run bases flat over consistent snow just fine, but the trouble comes when you get ready to shut it down, or you hit firm chop at higher speeds. (And in such instances, the Moment Deathwish probably beats both the Soul 7 and the Sick Day 110.)
I spent a good bit of time in New Zealand on the 186cm Line Sick Day 110 and the 190cm Line Sir Francis Bacon, two skis that also live in the 100-110mm underfoot, soft-snow/all-mountain territory that the Soul 7 inhabits. For me, this is how it breaks down
- 188cm Rossignol Soul 7 vs. 186cm Line Sick Day 110
My first few days skiing were on the Line Sick Day 110, another ski that could be described as versatile, maneuverable, easy, and light. Once I got on the Soul 7, however, I noticed right away that, while the Sick Day 110 was a good directional ski, the Soul 7 was a cut above when it came to popping off little terrain features or breaking it loose for a slash. Here, the Soul 7 reminded me a bit of the 184cm Moment Deathwish, in a lighter, even-easier-to-turn version.
The Sick Day 110 has a much flatter tail than the Soul 7 (the Sick Day 110 has 1 centimeter of tail splay), and I found that I was able to hold onto turns slightly longer than with the Soul 7, which I found very easy to break loose and slarve or slash in the right conditions.
The 188cm Soul 7 weighs 2000 grams, while the 186cm Sick Day 110 weights 2122 grams, and I found the Sick Day 110 to handle chop a little better than the Soul 7. But it isn’t a huge difference.
So if you want a lightweight, soft-snow ski with a tail well-suited for finishing turns cleanly, the Sick Day 110 might be the ticket. And if you’re looking for a ski with a more playful nature, I’d give the nod to the Soul 7.
- 188cm Rossignol Soul 7 vs. 190cm Line Sir Francis Bacon
These two skis felt very different to me. Where the Soul 7 encourages more turns rather than less, the SFB felt happier tracking straight. And this despite fairly similar stats—both are 108mm underfoot, both have sidecut radii of 18m, and both have rockered tip and tail profiles. The 190 SFBs are also roughly 250 grams heavier per ski, and they felt slightly stiffer than the Soul 7s, enough to make a subtle, but noticeable, on-snow difference.
Jonathan mentioned in his review that he feels very confident that skiers under 170 lbs. will really enjoy these skis. I don’t disagree with that, but just to be clear, I also don’t feel that 170 lbs. is the weight ceiling for the Soul 7 in this size. I weigh 185 lbs. and typically carry a backpack when I ski that usually weighs somewhere in the ~15-20 lbs. range. I didn’t find that I was overwhelming these skis at all, so long as I stuck to the turnier, more playful style that these skis favor.
I found the Soul 7 to be a fun, intuitive, versatile, and stable ski, especially given how light and playful it is. It required little effort to make it work, yet it still skied a variety of conditions quite well. Just expect to make a lot of smaller, shorter radius turns when the going gets choppy.
The Soul 7 will handle soft, inbounds conditions very well, and and it’ll be a fun out-of-bounds ski, too—it’s not heavy, it’s not too big to maneuver in tight runouts or creek exits, it’ll ski a tight chute well, and it’ll handle big, wide-open powdery bowls, too. In short, the Soul 7 will be fun in a whole lot of situations.