Doing laps and hitting jumps off of the Collins and Wildcat lifts, the Sickle proved to be just as at home in the air as it is on the snow. Swing weight was pretty average — not too heavy, but not the lightest thing out there, either. And though my knee hasn’t been 100% all season, I was still easily able to throw any trick I wanted.
Another significant test of the Sickle occurred when the Baldy Chutes opened in early April. I was able to ski Tree Chute, which features a pretty tight choke approaching 50 degrees, a mandatory air, and a high speed run-out. The Sickle performed beautifully. I easily nailed the upper hop turns, had enough confidence in the ski to stomp the air, and charged through four, nice GS turns down into the bowl below.
Simply put, the Sickle has proven to be anything and everything I’ve ever wanted out of a ski. (This might be a good time to mention that the Sickle is the ski that Dylan Crossman used to win the 2010 Kirkwood Freeskiing World Tour event. Dylan can rip; so can the Sickle.)
Ok, enough gushing. You’re probably wondering whether there is anything negative to say about the Sickle. For me, given my height, weight, and how and where I ski, there is very little negative news to report.
The only snow condition the Sickle felt a little overwhelmed by was deep, manky snow on a super warm day at Snowbird. In that snow, the sidecut felt a little too tight and the shovel perhaps a little soft. (This is really nit picking; I’m struggling to come up with weak points of this ski.) I really only felt those sensations during a couple runs, and it was probably aided by the fact that I hadn’t waxed the bases in weeks.
The only other negative I can think of doesn’t really concern the performance of the ski, but rather Rossignol’s measuring methods. The Sickle I tested is listed at 186 cm, but measures just under 183 cm. I never really wished for more ski, even on one of the deepest runs of my life down the newly opened Alta/Snowbird Comma Chute. (I could only see shades of white billowing over my head the entire run.) I only mention these length stats because someone who is over 6’ and pushing 200 lbs. may wish that Rossi made the Sickle in a low-190’s cm length.
Rossignol Sickle vs. Rossi S7 and Super 7
Now to the big question: how does the Sickle compare to its more famous big brothers, the S7 and Super 7? (Read my full review of the Super 7 / S7 here.)
After spending a great deal of time on both skis, I found the Sickle to outperform both the S7 and the Super 7 in all respects. The Sickle floats better, busts crud better, handles speed better, jumps better, and is nearly as easy to ski.
Unlike the Rossignol S7, the Sickle has a full-length sidecut that translates to more stability at speed and far less deflection in crud. And even though the Sickle has a wider tail than the S7 / Super 7, the fully rockered shape still allows the skier to break the tails free in soft snow and get that soft, easy, smeary feeling that many love about the S7 shape.
If you are a beginner powder skier, you might prefer the softer flex and the shorter turn radius of the S7, but I would recommend the Sickle over the S7 to everyone else. In fact, if you are thinking of picking up the S7s, I would strongly recommend that you demo the Sickle before you buy.
The 110mm-underfoot Sickle may seem like too much plank for some, especially the East Coaster’s out there. For you, Rossi gave the S5 the same “U / Spin Turn Rocker” treatment as the Sickle for 2012. It has been renamed the Scimitar, and is 98 mm underfoot. If it skis anything like the Sickle – and we will let you know as soon as possible – it could very well be the perfect all-around ski for areas that don’t see 400+ inches a year. (You can now read our reviews of the Scimitar.)
If you like skiing every bit of the mountain, including steeps, bowls, trees, groomers, jumps, and cliffs, and you want a ski that will instill confidence on any terrain or snow conditions, then the 2012 Rossignol Sickle is the ski for you.
The Sickle has become my new personal favorite, and the reference ski I’ll use to compare all other skis in the tip and tail rockered, +/- 110mm category.