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Every evening in Telluride, we would go over who was going to be getting on which skis the next day. And the night Jonathan told me I was going to start the next day on the Soul 7 HD, I was pretty bummed — I didn’t think I would like it at all. I thought it was going to be a wimpy, pivoty, ski with little energy or power.
But then I skied my first lap on it the next morning.
The first turn I made on the Soul 7 HD was dipping my feet under a rope to milk a single pow turn next to a cat track. I had done the exact same turn on the Faction Dictator 4.0 the previous day, and was therefore thrown completely off guard when the tails of the Soul 7 HD popped me off the ground on the exit of the turn — Whoa!
The Soul 7 has a ton of camber underfoot (9 mm!) and a stiff platform that produces a very energetic and fun ride. It would rocket me out of turns and put a smile on my face instantly. In my opinion, this ski is just plain fun.
After jumping, slashing, hacking, and tight carving my way down to Telluride’s Mountain Village, I decided to try to open it up a bit more on the next run. The result? The Soul 7 HD is surprisingly happy being driven, in fact, I think the Soul 7 HD prefers a driven stance to a neutral stance. (In some ways, this shouldn’t be too surprising given the -10 cm mount point on this most recent version of the Soul 7.) The more I’d drive this ski, the more energy it returned — while still feeling incredibly easy and intuitive if I wanted to get lazy.
I kept finding myself thinking that the Soul 7 would be perfect for a skier like my dad — he’s a ripping skier who likes to ski moguls, tight trees, and steeps, but he is less interested in hitting mach speeds in variable conditions.
So I really think it’s time to put to bed the notion that this is a ski for “intermediates.” You might prefer a ski that is heavier or has metal or has a stiffer tip, but I think any advanced or expert skier who likes to jump or pop or play will enjoy the ride of the Soul 7.
Comparison: Rossi Soul 7 HD v. 18/19 Salomon QST 109
In Telluride, we kept talking about the Soul 7 HD vs the 18/19 Salomon QST 106. And here’s how I would characterize the main differences:
Soul 7 is considerably more playful than the QST 106
Soul 7 feels less directional than the QST 106
Soul 7 has a slightly lower top end than the QST 106
Soul 7 has a touch less edge hold and carving confidence than the QST 106 (granted, the QST 106 rails groomers for a 106 mm waisted ski)
Soul 7 seems a bit less demanding than the QST 106
On the two days I spent on the Soul 7 HD, I was happy after each lap I was on it. It’s an easy ski that can also be pushed hard. It has a ton of energy, but it isn’t catchy or difficult to release a turn.
Bottom line, so far?
I didn’t think I would like the Soul 7 HD at all. But the truth is, I think I love this ski.