Update: 2011-2012 Rossignol Scimitar, 185cm

Ski: Rossignol Scimitar, 185cm photograph of the Rossignol Scimitar

Dimensions (mm): 128-98-121

Actual Tip to Tail length (straight tape pull): 181.3 cm

Boots / Bindings: Salomon Falcon Pro CS/ Rossignol Axial 120 ( DIN at 8 )

Mount location(s): -3 from center

Test Location: Arapahoe Basin, Keystone, Taos Ski Valley

Days Skied: 12

After spending a number of early season groomer days on the Rossignol Scimitar (which you can read about in my initial Scimitar review), I was very impressed with just how well the skis held an edge on firm snow given that they don’t have any camber underfoot. And after putting more time on them, I’m still just as happy with the carving performance of the Scimitar.

They don’t offer much energy and feedback from the turn as you snap the skis over from edge to edge in linking aggressively carved turns (as a ski with traditional camber would), but frankly, I don’t care.

The Scimitar’s fully rockered design, while responsible for this ever so slight characteristic, affords the ski a huge amount of versatility and makes it a blast to ride. For example, I’ve really enjoyed laying down high-angle carved turns and then, in the middle of an arch, disengaging the edge and throwing the skis sideways in a fast and slarvy slash.

With the Scimitar you have the option to make all sorts of turns, more than with a positively cambered ski. This ski is super fun to cruise around with on the occasional groomer day, but it is very capable of handling other terrain.   

Taos Ski Valley has some of the best snow and terrain open in the country right now, and it’s an ideal place to test a mid-fat, all mountain ski’s off piste performance. The first time I took the Scimitar off the groomed path was on a hike up TSV’s Highline Ridge. We were looking to catch some remaining powder from the previous storm, and we found plenty of it in laps down Corner Chute, Tresckow, and various backside steeps. Dropping in to Corner, we encountered about five inches of heavier, settled snow.

The Scimitar’s reverse camber profile works very well with its nearly symmetrical dimensions. Through the older powder, they felt predictable and nicely balanced as I wove in and out of trees. Making short, quick turns in the steeps couldn’t really be easier on a 98mm ski. Even with somewhat heavy demo bindings, the Scimitars felt light on my feet, probably due to their wood/fiberglass/microcell (foam) core construction. They don’t exactly blast through crud and chopped powder, but they are able to get through it without a problem. I consider the Scimitar’s powder performance to be excellent for a ski of this width and weight. On a day with a few inches of fresh snow, you’ll be totally happy with them. On deeper days, if the Scimitar happens to be your do-it-all ski, you’ll still be having a good time.

Will Brown on the Rossignol Scimitar, dropping off of Highline Ridge, Taos.
Will Brown, Highline Ridge, Taos.

33 comments on “Update: 2011-2012 Rossignol Scimitar, 185cm”

  1. How does the Scimitar compare to the Bridge for overall edge hold on firm snow?
    Which is the better all mountain 1 quiver ski? Lastly which works best for tighter turns in trees and bumps?

    Thanks!

    Trev

    • Hey Trevor,

      The Scimitar and Bridge are practically identical skis. They both feature the a subtle, full reverse camber profile, and have nearly the same dimensions. The Scimitar is 3mm wider underfoot, and while I have not had the Bridge in moguls I can say that the Scimitar is plenty maneuverable in tight spots and bumps. The Bridge has just a a hair more taper from tip to tail (13mm on the Bridge vs 7 on the Scimitar). In this respect, if I had to choose I’d probably go with the Scimitar (due to the more symmetrical dimensions, better for skiing switch), but I could be perfectly happy on either ski.

      As far as edge hold is concerned, I cannot confidently say that one ski performs better than the other. I have not skied the 187cm Bridge (just the 179) which would be the most direct comparison in this regard. But in my experience they both perform in a very similar fashion on groomed snow. Neither of them are rock solid on bulletproof hardpack, but what you give up there you’ll gain in tremendous versatility. While I would need to confirm this with a scale, I felt that the Scimitar may have had a slightly livelier feel to it in the air than the Bridge, though again, they’re both super playful and jibby.

      The Bridge’s wood core is composed of a poplar/beech, wrapped with fiberglass and reinforced with carbon stringers. The Scimitar uses a Microcell (Urethane) and wood core with fiberglass wrap. I like the moderate flex profile on both these skis, and they’re both extremely similar in that regard, too. Now, given the materials used the Bridge does come in at a slightly higher price point, so that may be somewhat of a deciding factor for you.

      You’re question is difficult to answer strongly in favor of one ski over the other. They’re both very similar and very good skis. These are the most specific differences I can think of, though they are very, very slight. Honestly, I think you will be happy either way.

      • I am in a pickle between purchasing the salomon testy twelve skis and the rossignol scimitar skis. I live in the east coast, skiing the steeps of sugarloaf and occasionally mount washington. Specifically, I am a all-mountain skier who will go into the park and ski off-piste. What are the differences, pros and cons between these two skis?
        Thank you

        • Hi Johnny A,

          We’re also curious to see how Salomon’s new Rocker 92, along with the new Shogun, stack up against skis like the Scimitar. Stay tuned!

          Will B

  2. Awesome review Will.

    I just picked up a set of these today to replace my crappy old Atomics. I like a shorter, lighter ski, so I got the 171.

    I ordered some Dynastar PX 12 Demos to throw on them, but now I’m wondering what mounting location would be the best. I’m a semi-agressive, advanced skiier. I’d say that the makeup of my average day is 10% groomers, 60% moguls and 30% steeps/steep moguls.

    I wanted something that would do better in steeps and powder than my frontside Atomics, but I still want to be able to zipper the bumps without wearing myself down in 2 runs.

    Any ideas or thoughts on which mounting position would be best for me based on the two you tried?

    Thanks for the help.

    Grant

    • Hey Grant,

      The Scimitars are very forgiving and maneuverable at low speeds at the factory mount location, and a little more so at -3 from Rossi’s “0” mark. As I say in the review, at -3 the skis were slightly more nimble from edge to edge and more sensitive to pressure driven through the boot cuff (which may not be preferable in hard steeps), but didn’t seem to hinder their edge hold if skied from a more centered stance. I moved them forward more to improve their switch skiing performance more than anything else. As you spend most of your time in moguls and in the steeps, I think factory recommended might be the best mount point. I you’re looking to zipper bumps, improve float in powder, and optimize stability in steeps, having a little less tail behind you may help. If you spent more time on groomers or jibbing around in the park, you might consider moving them forward a bit to get more pivoty playfulness and switch performance out of the ski. I hope this helps, let me know if there’s anything you’re still unsure about.

      Cheers,

      WB

  3. Hello,
    first off all, great reviews and I’m really glad I found this website.
    I’m currently in the market for a pair of new off piste ski and maybe you can help me with my decision.

    I want to replace my old Rossi Bandits B2 and I somehow ended with S3/Scimitar/Sickle.
    I usually ski in Austrian Alps or France (3 Valleys) mainly on groomers and hardpack/moguls which I leave behind as soon as the conditions allow and there is fresh snow and powder. I would rank myself as an advanced+ skier (since you guys are experts) but not very aggressive (ski now for almost 40 years). In my quiver I have also a pair of 2012 Rossi 9GS Ti and want to go for a second pair for off piste and powder (in powder I am more of an intermediate).

    After reading reviews on S3, Scimitar & Sickle I would appreciate your help with decision which one to choose and what size.
    To me it looks like S3 & Scimitar somehow fall in the same league (I’ more biased to Scimitar/Sickle than S3). Rossi are of course not the only option, but at the moment they are price-wise better deal than, say, K2.

    I’m 5’8″ and 163 lb, wonder which size to choose?

    Thanks for help!
    Greg

    • Hi, Greg, really sorry we seem to have missed your comment. The Scimitar and Sickle are very similar skis, and at your size – unless you are skiing a lot of really tight trees, I would recommend going with the Scimitar in a 185 or the Sickle in a 186.

      Obviously, at 110mm underfoot, the Sickle will provide more float. However, if you think you may want a ski that can handle 25 – 30 centimeter storms just fine, but also serve you really well on hardpack AND moguls, I’d lean a bit toward the Scimitar. (The width of the Sickle might be a bit less welcome in the bumps.)

  4. Alright, so I basically got these back in February when I did my last comment above and skied on them through the end of the season.

    I was VERY happy with their performance. Skiing on a fully rockered ski like this took some getting used to for me (like half a day to a day), but now that I’ve put 10 or 15 days on them, I’m skiing better than I ever have.

    They are a little sloppy when you’re charging straight on a groomer, but when you put an edge down, you’re locked on, no matter the incline. I found that I could put an edge down in some pretty steep stuff in the back bowls no problem and carve the whole way down the run. They gave me exactly the confidence to drop the steeps that I needed.

    The part that surprised me the most, however, is how willing and ready they were to tear up the bumps. They swing easier than any ski I’ve been on, which allowed me to make nice zipper line turns at ease. To give you an idea, I switched back to my traditional Atomics on a day late in the season because of poor conditions, and it was embarrassing. The Scimitars really attacked any and every side of the mountain better.

    If I could make one complaint it would be that the top sheet isn’t very durable. I ski with my skis pretty close together all the time and they got pretty torn up in the relatively short time I’ve used them. This is especially true on the front and back tips. I’m not really that concerned about it since to me, skis are more of a utilitarian item (if I wanted to look at them, I would have mounted them on my wall), but I just thought people should be aware of that fact if they are looking into this ski.

    All in all, I’d say this is a fantastic all mountain ski. 9/10 to Rossi on this one.

    Grant

  5. Hey Will,
    I just got these skis and was wondering for a recommendation on the mounting point. I like to ski pow and drop some cliffs, but also play around with riding switch and rarely in the park. What mounting point would you recommend?

    Thanks, galen

    • Hey Galen,

      As I say in my initial review, I started out with the Scimitar at the factory mount point, 2cm forward from traditional / standard (-5cm from true center). Like you, I like to ski around switch on the way back to the lift, which the Scimitars can do well at -5cm. The ski is far from slow or sluggish at the factory mount point so I’d definitely feel inclined to leave it there if you’re going to be dropping cliffs. IF you prefer to ski with a more centered stance all-around, or plan to do some real park riding, then -3 might be alright. I think it depends largely on where you’re going to be spending most or your time, and your riding style.

      Cheers,

      Will B

  6. Hi Will,

    I’m deciding between the Scimitar 185 and Sickle 186 as a one ski quiver for Montana, and based on my terrain preferences I’m leaning toward the Scimitar. I want adequate float in powder but don’t need so much that I sacrifice performance on hardpack and bumps. The only thing that still has me considering the Sickle is my size; I’m 6’4″ 215 lbs. If I like everything about the Scimitar, should I consider bumping up to the 110mm Sickle simply because I’m a bigger guy or will the Scimitar still provide me plenty of float at 98mm?

    Thank you!
    Ian

    • Hey Ian,

      Ah the one ski quiver dilemma. We all want adequate float w/out sacrificing performance on hardpack, but it’s hard to achieve both. I think your choice is going to depend primarily on where you spend most of your time in between storm days. If you’re going to be ripping groomers and searching out lines in the steeps, then the extra width of the Sickle probably won’t be a problem. But as you say, if you don’t want to lose any performance in bumps, so the Scimitar would probably be the better choice (it’s a narrower and quicker ski). You will get better float out of the Sickle in general. As for the Scimitar, it’s hard for me to say whether or not you’d consider its float “adequate” – but it seems like, even given your height and weight, you could still have a lot of fun skiing pow on the Scimitar. That being said, those are some generalizations that might change depending on your ability level. If you’re an expert who might be willing to deal with that extra width of the Sickle in bumps, it could be the answer. Let me know a little more about where and how you like to ski when it isn’t snowing, and I should be able to be more helpful.

      Best,

      Will

      • Realized i am no expert and went with the scimitar and have had 3 days on them on a midwest resort, taking almost no brakes 10-9pm. Haven’t had powder yet except some stashed in trees and that was fine. My lack of weight gave me pretty good float. I am from west of chicago, so a lot of groomed skiing, which lead me toward the narrow waist. But this year I’ll be in Reno, Winter Park, Copper Mountain, Monarch, Steamboat and maybe Jackson this year, so hopefully i won’t have to ski locally much! The laps i took on those three days were on very nice bluebird or at least mostly sunny days in march, just a hair over freezing during the day (perfect weather in my opinion) but this is the midwest and we ski into the night, and things ice up. I didn’t feel any loss in confidence when things iced up, in fact those were the times i maned up and took the steep mogul run and tiny couloirs they have at Granite Peak in Wisconsin. Last time i did that it was on demo vokl grizzlys (a good ski for ice) and i felt even more confident on scimitars than the vokls. The test of the west will see if i need a fatter ski, but if i do, it probably shows my ability went up as i’m able to tell.

  7. Hi Will,

    First, thanks for your amazing reviews and follow through with responses to comments & questions.

    As with Ian above, I’m mulling over the Rossignol Scimitar vs the Sickle. I’m an advanced, aggressive skier primarily hitting up the PNW mountains. Like Ian, I’m a bit larger/heavier than most of your team (I’m 6′ & ~210lbs). I’ve been rocking and loving my Moment Bibby Pro 190’s for the last 3 years and am likely to augment them with an even more powder specific pair of 196cm Praxis Protests (or maybe the BPS), but I need something to fill in the early season sparse snow, late season mank, groomers and rare trip through the park (I do love hitting up air on backcountry booters and other natural features as much as possible to). The 2011 Sickle and Scimitar are on clearance right now, so I want to hop on grabbing a pair (the latter nearly $100 cheaper). Ideally I’d love to pick up a pair of these in the high 180’s or low 190’s length, but alas, the 186/185’s will have to suffice. Give my weight & intended purpose, any thoughts on one over the other? Oh, I should add, I’m considering shoving some AT bindings one these for light touring/sidecountry when my Bibby’s aren’t appropriate.

    Thanks!
    – Cal

    • Hey Cal,

      Thanks for reading. If you’re primarily looking for some skis to rip around during the early and late season, I’d think the Scimitar would be more appropriate. The ski is so damn fun on groomers and would make a great bc jib ski in my opinion
      I’m also thinking about the fact that I’ve found the Bibbys to do really well on hardpack, so it seems like having the wider Sickle (vs the Scimitar) in your quiver might be a little redundant, though you might feel differently. The Scimitar will still hold up to some jibbing, would be great for touring (not so sure about hitting booters on AT bindings though) and is almost guaranteed to still let you have fun in the early or late in the season. Hope this helps!

      Will

      • Hi Will,

        Thanks for your quick reply and helpful comments (you guys rock). I hear ya with the Scimitar definitely having the edge on groomers over the Sickles. My biggest concern with them is that given my size (210+lbs), whether they’re going to be too small on anything soft and for touring – honestly, groomers are a necessary evil in my world, though it is nice to enjoy maching GS turns on them, but the name of the game is finding soft stashes, fun booters, and the occasional park lap. While I’ve found my Bibby’s ok on softer groomers, once it starts to harden up on low or high angle pitches, they do become some real work. From Jason’s initial review of the Sickle, he raves about its performance on hard pack, while I’m guessing I would suffer less tip dive and sinking with them in soft conditions vs. the Scimitars. Lastly, though not a huge difference, it sound like actual measurements put the Sickle at 183cm vs the Scimitar’s 181cm, and god knows I need every bit of length I can muster on these short, rockered skis. Thanks again for all your help,

        – Cal

        • Oh, and given my propensity for picking the days I head up and my ceaseless quest for the softest snow I can find on mountain, I’m definitely living in a land of overlap: Scimitars or Sickles (great all mountain skis), Bibby Pros (for gnarlier lines and more snow – but aging a bit 3 years on now), and soon Praxis Protests (for playing in those really deep days).

          – Cal

  8. Hi Will,

    I can’t speak highly enough of this review site. Nothing else out there can touch it! I currently have a pair of 179cm Obsethed’s that I haven’t ridden yet (traded up from some 182cm Atomic Access that I had at the end of last season) and am looking for something to use as more of a daily driver. I live just north of you in Denver and ski mostly in Summit County and occasionally Eagle (Vail). Right now my regular skis are some old 2008 172cm Salomon Hurricanes that I like on groomers and bumps (not a great bump skier but I enjoy playing in them sometimes). They get a bit unstable around 40-50MPH and bounce around in crud so I’m looking for something a bit more stable at higher speeds and damper in the crud. I am 5’8″ and weigh 130-135 depending on my eating habits at the time.

    I would consider myself a strong intermediate skier trying to push in to advanced territory (a lesson or two this season would be good). I like to ski off-piste a lot and can get down just about anything that doesn’t require big airs but most people I go with are groomer only *sigh* so my daily drivers need to have good on-piste performance. I was wondering if you’ve ridden the Armada TST’s and how they compare to the Scimitars. Reviews are good on both skis but from what I can gather the Scimitars are more park orientated but sound like they do great in a variety of conditions (I don’t ride park at all) and the TST’s are more of a heavier duty all-mountain ski. I was also considering the Moment PB&J’s but man the 2013 graphics are fugly to me lol (too bad I can’t find any of the 2012’s in a size I would like).

    Thanks and keep up the awesome reviews!
    Josh

    • Hi Josh,

      Really sorry I missed your comment until now. We’ve just posted a review of the TST, and you’re right in that its also a very nimble all-mountain ski with some serious edge hold and awesome groomer performance. The Scimitar isn’t quite as locked down on groomed snow, and isn’t quite as stable as the TST in variable/crud (as it has a flat tail and a lot of camber underfoot). If you’re not interested in doing any real switch riding or going into the park, then the TST really might be a good ski. It’s light, nimble, and great on groomers at speed, and has quite a bit of tip rocker that will help you bust through crud when you start getting into off-piste conditions. You man have made your choice by now, but let us know what you decided to go with and how you’re liking it.

      Cheers,

      Will

      • No worries! I didn’t catch the new review but I’ll look for it now. I wound up buying the TST’s a few months back and finally made it out for the first time this season last Saturday (horrible here in Summit/Eagle counties). Mounted some Sollie STH 12 Drivers on the line and had a blast. You are right about being super stable at speed on groomers, never had a moment of question. Off-piste was a bit limited, lots of rocks and bare patches but the little bit of powder I did find (3-4″…lol) felt great to ski on. Thanks again for this amazing site! Keep up the good work :)

  9. I’ve never tried a full rockered ski, and I have no chance to demo this one. Is there a big difference with a regular cambered ski? I ski around 60% on groomers and 40% off-piste. I preffer this ski before the experience 88 because of the twin tip, which i like for park. Would this ski suit me? I am 175cm high and 80kg. What size should I get?

    Thanks

    • Hi Juan,

      The Scimitar does feel different from a regular cambered ski, as most rockered skis will to some degree, but I think it’s a positive difference. It won’t feel as locked down as an Experience 88 will on groomers, but what you lose slightly on hardpack you gain whole lot of versatility in bumps and chopped snow. When not on edge the ski will have a looser, more playful feel and will be much easier to ski in powder, but you can still carve the ski very aggressively when you want. If you’re looking to ski park, the Scimitar can do that well – it’s very light for spinning and skis switch great. I think the 174cm would suit you well, but you might also consider taking a look at the Nordica Soul Rider. Take a look at that review and let me know if you have any further questions.

      Best,

      Will

  10. Hi, Its me again. I just bought this skis in a 178 (2011-2012) ski. I don’t know where to mount the bindings. I will use the ski mainly in groomers and off-piste. I do not visit the park regularly, but if I do ill just jump, no rails. Where should I mount the bindings?

    THanks

    Juan

    • Hey Juan,

      I moved the Scimitars forward from factory recommended (-5) to -3 only to improve their switch skiing and get a little more pivoty playfulness out of the ski on groomers (not that they aren’t very playful already). Unless you’re going to be spinning and skiing switch a whole lot, I don’t see any real reason to do that. I think factory recommended is the best mount point if you’re looking to ski more bumps, improve float in powder, and optimize stability in steeps and carving up groomers. The ski will still feel fine in the air if you’re hitting some park jumps from time to time. Seems like Rossi’s recommended line is the way for you to go.

      WB

  11. How would you compare the scrimtar to the Nordica Soul Rider or Moment PB&J. I am looking for a < 100 ski to compliment my Atomic Automatics for days when I am doing groomers, trees, and bumps (non fresh powder days, but still relatively soft conditions. I want something that can handle putting some edge on, but not feel overly damp or stiff so I can maintain quick maneurvability in the trees. I am looking to replace my line prophet 100's – which are great for groomers, but suffer a bit in the trees because they are not overly quick with any fresh on the ground (no tip rocker to stay on top). Also thinking about the prophet 98 because of the tip rocker, which may be a better groomer oriented choice? I don't do park or pipe, or ski switch, so that is not a concern, but I do like to pop off any natural features or small drops I find in my travels (< 10 ft). ..6'1", advanced skier, vail, CO) Thanks.

    • Hey Mike,

      The PB&J is a stiffer ski than the Soul Rider, especially in the tips and tails. For a good, quick, fun tree/bump & groomer ski, I think I’d pick the Sou Rider. If I was more concerned with having something to take on light powder days (which you’re not, as you have your Automatics) and ripping through firmed up crud in the days following, then I’d pick the PB&J – it’s stiffer and damper, but not as fun and poppy. Plus, the Soul Rider is a touch narrower underfoot, so it would be a little quicker edge-to-edge, and has less splay, so you may not notice the reduced running length as much. The Soul Rider also has a little better edge hold than the Scimitar, so it takes the lead by a nose in terms of groomer/carving feel.

      I haven’t skied the Prophet 98, but I do know that both this year’s and next year’s (13/14) is built with the metal matrix for stiffness, so I don’t know if it’s going to relieve you from the stiffness of your prophet 100s as much as you’d like. I think the Soul Rider might be the ski.

      Hope this helps,

      WIll

  12. Should I worry about ripping bindings out of a foam core ski? It’s happened in the past and left me in some sketchy situations. But My Sickles are retiring and I would love a more nimble narrower tool for when it hasn’t snowed 8″ on the meowntain. 5’10 160lbs skiing in Tahoe, BC and resort, mainly making the off piste my park.

    • Hi Mikus,

      The ski is built with a wood/microcell (foam) composite construction, not purely foam injection, and I can’t imagine the bindings aren’t being drilled into solid wood portions of that core laminate. I have no reason to think that binding retention is something to worry about. That aside, as a narrower Sickle, the Scimitar would seem to be just what you’re looking for.

      Will B

  13. Hi

    Great review as usual. Have you skied the Rossignol Slat which I believe is a replacement for the Scimitar ? I am quite intrigued by the Slat but there are not many reviews out there.

    thanks
    Ian

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