2011-2012 Rossignol Sickle

Off-Piste Hardpack

I’ve also skied the Sickle on many hardpack days. In Montana, I skied Moonlight Basin’s Headwaters chutes on the upper ridge after high winds and cold temperatures left the mountain covered in wind-scoured, frozen ski tracks. All of these chutes were no-fall zones, given the unforgiving conditions and terrain. While the Sickle did chatter across the bumps, it performed better than any other ski I have ridden on this sort of extreme hard pack.

The Sickle has a very slight rocker and large sidecut, so when I put the ski on edge, the entire length of the ski engages. With more edge surface in contact with the snow, the ski chatters less and feels more stable.

Again, this was a stark contrast to the DPS Nina 99, which chattered excessively on hardpack but more importantly did not feel stable. The Sickle chatters much less than the Nina but also feels very stable. The 168cm Atomic Elysian, on the other hand, feels very stable on hard pack as well but chatters a little more than the Sickle.

Trees / Bumps / Groomers

As far as terrain goes, the Sickle has performed exceptionally well in a wide variety of terrain. I love skiing the Sickle through trees, such as Fred’s or Eagle’s Nest at Alta, because they are very responsive and extremely consistent.

I can also open up the Sickle up into higher-speed, large-radius turns down Stone Crusher or Thirds with confidence because they feel so stable and consistent. This was a similar feeling to skiing on the wider (120mm underfoot) H2O Kodiak in these areas. In contrast, skis with the widest part of the tip farther back and with larger splay at the tips and tails, such as the Nina 99, Rossignol S7, and Armada TST, felt their best using only smaller radii turns at lower speeds.

Rossignol Sickle, Blister Gear Review
Stells Selden on the Rossignol Sickle, Alta Ski Area.

The Sickle is also really fun on groomers in both small- and large-radius turns. Because the rocker is so slight, it is easy to engage the entire length of the ski, making the ski feel very stable at high speeds. Also, the tails are stiff enough that they do not wash out at the end of turns. Instead I can push them through the complete turn while engaging the entire edge.

In moguls, the Sickle does really well in wider spaced and less-formed bumps. The Sickle turns quickly, but in tight moguls I did notice the tails getting stuck a little. I have my bindings set at +2 cm so there is a lot of tail, plus the tails are over 129mm wide. Skiing moguls on the Sickle is still fun but just a little more work. I have noticed that the Atomic Elysian’s tails do not get stuck like this, but they are also only 117mm wide. Also, I have never skied with that progressive of a mounting position, so it may just take more time getting used to skiing moguls on the Sickle.

Overall, I have been so impressed with the versatility of the Sickle. On any given day, no matter what the ski conditions are, I am always confident in the Sickle and their ability to perform on any snow or terrain.

Playfulness

Not only can the Sickle conquer a variety of conditions and terrain, but I found it to be a blast doing so. The Sickle is damp enough to feel stable through variable snow and at high speeds, yet it is soft and energetic enough that it has a very playful feel.

Rossignol Sickle, Blister Gear Review
Stella Selden, Eagle’s Nest, Alta Ski Area.

Last winter when I skied the 174cm H2O Kodiak, I loved how it could charge through everything, but it did not feel playful. On the other end of the spectrum, both the DPS Nina 99 and Rossignol S7 are playful in their ability to turn extremely quickly, but neither gave me the stability I needed to feel like I could play on them, especially at higher speeds or in variable snow.

Transitioning from turn to turn, it is easy to use the energy from the Sickle to launch myself into the next turn. I also feel comfortable popping off moguls because even if I don’t land quite centered, the Sickle is so forgiving I know I can recover. Like I said earlier, the Sickle is equally good at carving and smearing, so I can change my skiing style and play around more on natural features.

Bottom Line

The Sickle is advertised as a backcountry jib ski, but I think the Sickle is much more versatile. I would recommend the Sickle to any male or female looking for an all-mountain ski that can dominate any snow condition while inspiring confidence and fun.

Rossignol has discontinued the Sickle for 2013-2014, but they can still be found. If I had more cash, I would get an extra pair (or five) so I’d be stocked for life.

 

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7 comments on “2011-2012 Rossignol Sickle”

  1. These really are fantastic skis, even for the east coast. For anyone in Canada, check out Sport Chek (of all places), they have the S6 which is pretty much the same ski for $220!

  2. BE AWARE!
    The 175 Sickle ski totally diferent from 186! While 186 Sickle is a big powerfull ski, 175 will not work for anybody 5’3″ or taller! I skied boths lengths and while 186 felt VERY substantial and way TOO long for me, 175 felt tiny and short. I was constantly owerpowering 175 at speed and had to work hard to bring ski to the surface in powder at least at transition between turns. So if you ussualy ski 170 to 176cm lengths you are too big for 175 Sickle

  3. I am 5′ 7″ and 154 lbs and ski the 174 cm (170 cm actual length, straight tape pull) and have not had issues with flotation in up to knee-deep powder (sure they don’t float as well as the Atomic Automatics but I find they float pretty well and are easy to steer in powder),

    As per the reviews on Blister, they are amazingly versatile skis and really easy to ski (like Stella, I got on them and needed no time at all to adjust to them). I am not an expert skier but I do ski double blacks and all over the mountain and in my experience, the Sickles can handle anything and everything except sheet ice. Powder, moguls, crud and groomers are all handled extremely capably in pretty much any turn shape you fancy except slalom.

  4. I feel like this puts me in a bit of a pickle. From the reviews, it sounds to me that these or the bibbys are my holy grail. Would you mind doing a quick compare/contrast, bibby vs sickle? Would be super helpful!

    About me: 5’11”. 160lbs. Aggressive big mountain skier. 65% resort / 35% touring. In the market for a fun, snappy ski that can handle crud well, between 106 & 120 waist.

  5. Hi,
    Great review and you got my attention so I just grabbed a pair of the sickles for a pretty good deal (171 cm), and have a set of Fritschi Freeride Pros ready to mount. Any suggestions on boot center position? I mostly ski BC back country, powder and a lot of trees. I am 5’6 male and 160 lbs (trying to loose 10 lbs though). Going to retire my DPS 112’s (184 cm) as was never my ski, but lots of my ski friends love them!
    Thanks.

  6. Do the 2013 model ski any different from the 2012? I would be getting the 171 for the 2013 and 174 for the 2012. Hopefully somebody responds. Thank you.

  7. I’m trying to decide between the 2012 174 and 2013 171 version of this ski. Very little has been written about the 2013 Sickle, so I’m wondering if I should play it safe and spend a few extra dollars for the 2012 version. The 2013 “171” actually measures about 167 tip to tail but the quoted turn radius is the same. I’m about 130lb, 5’5 and ski primarily in the PNW.
    Does anyone have any suggestions for me and know how the two versions compare? I’m stoked to get on this ski!

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