The Rossignol Experience 88 is back unchanged for 2016. It is still a fantastic all-mountain frontside ski that blends on piste performance with freeride versatility. It has the same light-weight Air Tip technology that Rossi utilizes in their freeride skis, keeping the swing weight low and the ski maneuverable. The Air Tip and rocker profile also help improve the soft snow and powder performance. It’s construction keeps things damp at speed, and capable in the variable terrain. The ski is also very capable on the groomers. It’s relatively easy to get on edge, and treats riders to an energetic and lively ride. It’s responsive and quick from edge to edge, but never demanding or overpowering. Intermediate skiers will appreciate the forgiveness, while experts will enjoy the power and energy. This is a great ski for those that want an exciting ride on the groomers without the ski asking too much of the skier. You can ski it as passively or aggressively as you want.
2016 Rossignol Experience 88 On Mountain Video Ski Review
Riders: Matt and Brian
Conditions: Soft Chop (5”), Groomers, Hard Pack, Bumps
Boots: Rossignol Alias Sensor 120
Bindings: Rossignol Axium 120 B90
On the Snow Feel: The Rossignol Experience 88 has a stable feel without being too catchy or locked in. It has almost 70% camber underfoot for stability, with 30% rocker for added maneuverability and soft snow performance. It has softer tail than the Experience 100, and is a bit easier to break free.
Powder: The Rossignol Experience 88 is a frontside oriented all-mountain ski. It has an 88mm waist and a small amount of rocker in the tip. This rocker adds a bit of soft snow versatility to the Experience 88, and it has good float for its width. Although it can’t compete with wider all mountain skis, it’s much better in the soft snow than any frontside specialist.
Turn Initiation and Carving: The Rossignol Experience 88 is a really fun ski on the frontside groomers. It has a decent amount of power and energy, but it never felt like too much ski. The light weight Air Tip helps to keep the ski maneuverable, and even at low edge angles the ski felt responsive. Still, the Experience 88 has an aggressive sidecut radius, and it likes to be tipped on edge. The lack of metal is noticeable, and the ski felt easier to bend into the turn than the Experience 100. The softer flexing tail also made it easier to break free when needed. At the same time the ski still felt powerful and energetic. Sure it’s not quite as powerful as the 100, but it was still very fun carving short to medium radius turns. The narrower waist also made it feel quicker from edge to edge. To me it felt like a ski that wanted to be carved aggressively, but it wasn’t going to punish you if you didn’t. It was lively and energetic, without being demanding. Those that want to push it will be rewarded with a fun ride.
Speed: The Rossignol Experience 88 lacks the metal found in the 100. Still, it’s a pretty decent ski at speed. Basalt fibers in the core are designed to provide dampness. At the same time the ski feels much easier to maneuver and turn sideways when needed. I think if I was planning on spending more time skiing fast the Experience 100 may be a better choice. However, those who want a nice balance of dampness and energy will enjoy the feel of the Experience 88.
Uneven Terrain: The Air Tip and rocker profile of the large shovel help to bust through crud and smooth out the terrain. The Experience 88 doesn’t have the same power of the wider and stiffer all mountain skis, but it does pretty well for its size. The deeper it gets, the harder the Experience 88 is to ski.
Moguls: The light-weight Air Tip helps to make the Rossignol Experience 88 one of the quickest skis in the all-mountain frontside category, and makes a pretty fun mogul ski. In addition to the Air Tip, the Experience’s tight sidecut makes it easy to arc the tight turns necessary in the bumps.
Edge Hold: The edge hold on the Rossignol Experience 88 is really good. The large shovel engages as soon as you put the ski on edge, ensuring edge hold even at low edge angles. As you put the ski on a higher angle, more of the edge engages, helping to ensure that it doesn’t skid out on you when you don’t want it to.
Flex: The Rossignol Experience 88 has a stiff but forgiving flex that is balanced.
The Rossignol Experience 88 is a great all-mountain frontside ski for intermediate to advanced riders. It’s most at home on the frontside groomers, but has enough versatility for a bit of off piste performance. The light-weight Air Tip helps to keep the ski maneuverable and it is one of the quickest in the category. Edge grip and stability are good, even at speed. It was fun opening things up, but it seems happier making short to medium radius turns. The ski has a good amount of power and pop. It’s not the best ski in the crud or powder, but for those who want a versatile all-mountain frontside ski, the Rossignol Experience 88 is one of the top contenders in the category.