The last straw for the 188 Super 7 was when the pow turned to crud. Skiing fast through the heavily chopped up snow felt like I was slacklining down the mountain. The skis felt like they had two hinges in them, one just in front of the binding and one just behind the binding. I felt like I was constantly going to go over the tips (which I did a few times) or else I was going to pull massive wheelies (which is only cool on bikes). The amount of concentration needed to ride these skis in perfect balance was incredibly exhausting – both mentally and physically (much like reading this review!)- and more importantly, it just wasn’t fun. I had reached my boiling point and desperately wanted to get rid of these.
Fortunately, a friend of mine had picked up a pair of the 2012 195’s, and he wasn’t really loving the ride. He wished he’d gone with the 188cm Super 7’s. I call him up and ask if he wants to trade for a bit, and he does. Luckily our boot sole length is very similar and both sets of skis are using Rossi/Look Pivots. By going to the 195’s I’m basically abandoning the one ski quiver idea and now just looking to have a ski that will rip the super deep and chopped up leftovers. I figure I’ll have to purchase another shorter ski for a playful ride later in the season when I save up more money. Then, even more good luck: another low-pressure system lines up for the Wasatch and dumps another 3 to 4 feet at Alta over 3 days. Perfect!
The 195 Super 7’s have seen a few changes for 2012. The waist and tail width has been increased a few mm’s to 120 and 130 respectively, which decreases the overall tip to tail taper of the ski a quite a bit. Rossignol did this to give the skier a little more support from the tail when charging hard and landing big airs. After skiing the 195, I can definitely say that with the 195s, the pintail feeling is reduced, which is good and bad. It’s good because the 195 felt like it had more support and more power through the finish of a turn than the 188, and the tails offered more float in the pow. The bad is that the ski has now lost some of its signature low speed, extremely easy, quick turning ability.
The other negative effect of the wider waist and tail is that with the added float of the tail, the 195 had the exact same tip diving characteristic of the shorter 188 in deep snow. To be fair, the 195’s were mounted at +1.5 vs +1 on the 188’s. With my goal of these monster 195’s being a powder and left over chop ski, I think I would have preferred a mount closer to 0 or even slightly further back. This would make for an increasingly one-dimensional ski, but I believe it would help the skis work their best for the intended conditions.
I also found the 195’s to have that same hinge feeling just in front of and behind the bindings that I felt on the 188’s. Again, blasting through crud was a constant balancing act that required too much focus and not enough fun.
Overall, after skiing four days on the 195’s, I still wasn’t impressed (though more impressed than I was by the 188’s) and returned the skis to my friend. With the 188’s back in my possession and more storms lined up, I quickly sold the skis, kept the P14’s, and started looking for a ski to put a smile back on my face.
So what’s the take home message of this story? Do I think these skis are the worst ever created? Absolutely not. Do I think they are the best skis out there for advanced level skiers? Absolutely not.
If you are new to powder, new to skiing steeps, or new to tree skiing, the Rossignol S7 is your ski, not the Super 7. If you are a lightweight, advanced-level skier who doesn’t like to ski very fast, the Super 7 could be for you, but you should demo it for a couple days. Finally, if you’re looking for a ski to add to your quiver that has a different feel than the rest and also has a super cool graphic, the Super 7 should be on your list.
So who should skip the Super 7? Any advanced or expert skier who likes to send cliffs, leave railroad tracks down mogul fields, hit booters, straight-line chutes, or ski with any bit of power. Also, if you are looking for a straight up, dedicated powder ski, I suggest moving on. There are other options out there that provide more float, more stability, more fun, and better performance later in the day once the powder has been cut up. (The K2 Hellbent, K2 Obsethed, MOMENT Bibby Pro, and the Black Diamond Amperage (previously called the AMP), just to name a few.) Finally, there probably aren’t a lot of backcountry jibbers out there who are considering this ski, but if you are, you’ll want to find something more symmetrical and with a more balanced swing weight.
For those of you who have been considering the Super 7 and are now having second thoughts, don’t worry: Rossignol has a ski for you. It’s called the Sickle, formerly called the S6. It’s a versatile ski that is playful and can still charge, and it might just be exactly what you’re looking for.
Check out my review of the Rossignol Sickle.