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Rossignol Black Ops W Rallybird Ti Review

Doesn’t ski as well as the discontinued Rossignol Soul 7, but it still handles powder ok
rossignol black ops w rallybird ti all mountain skis women review
Credit: Rossignol
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Price:  $800 List | $479.95 at Amazon
Pros:  Stiffer in the tip than most, floats decently in powder
Cons:  Nothing like the impressive old Rossi Soul line of skis, not playful
Manufacturer:   Rossignol
By Renee McCormack ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Mar 6, 2022
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52
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#11 of 14
  • Stability at Speed - 20% 6.0
  • Carving Ability - 20% 5.0
  • Powder Performance - 20% 7.0
  • Crud Performance - 20% 5.0
  • Terrain Playfulness - 15% 2.0
  • Bumps - 5% 5.0

Our Verdict

The new Rossignol Black Ops W Rallybird Ti performs just above average in powder and not particularly well in any other metric. We, like many others, hopped on this ski, hoping for an improvement on the old Rossignol Soul 7 HD W, which carried our Editors Choice award for many years in a row. We were deeply disappointed that the Black Ops Rallybird Ti was a significant step in the wrong direction. If you've never skied the Soul 7, you won't know what you're missing and be able to appreciate its flotation and tip construction. For the rest of us, this new iteration just bummed us out that our favorite ski has such a poor replacement.

Editor's Note: We updated this review for the Rossignol Black Ops W Rallybird Ti on March 6, 2022, to include an unbiased take on value and suggest other comparable ski options.

Compare to Similar Products

 
Awards  Editors' Choice Award Top Pick Award Best Buy Award Best Buy Award 
Price $800 List
$479.95 at Amazon
$750 List
$749.95 at REI
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Compare at 3 sellers
$599.00 at Amazon
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$679 List
Overall Score Sort Icon
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Star Rating
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Pros Stiffer in the tip than most, floats decently in powderCrud blaster, dependable, great one-ski quiver option, good for every ability levelCarving machine, powerful yet accessibleAwesome powder tool, fabulous fun factor even for light skiers, affordable priceGreat stability at high speeds, good on hard snow and crud, more affordable than others
Cons Nothing like the impressive old Rossi Soul line of skis, not playfulNo wow-factor, not a lot of reboundSinks a little in powder, too beefy for bumpsGets bouncy in crud, slight tip flap, doesn’t carve perfectlyOnly for shallower pow days, needs strong skier to guide them
Bottom Line Doesn’t ski as well as the discontinued Rossignol Soul 7, but it still handles powder okA great all-rounder ski that we think is the most versatile option for a one-ski quiverAccurate and easy to carve, this ski is a dream on the groomersA fun and responsive toy for powder days, groomer antics, and bumps, with a value-oriented price tagThis model will do great in everything but the deepest powder and is ideal for an aggressive skier
Rating Categories Rossignol Black Ops... Nordica Santa Ana 98 Kastle FX96 W - Wom... Elan Ripstick 94 W Faction Dictator 2.0X
Stability at Speed (20%)
6.0
8.0
8.0
7.0
9.0
Carving Ability (20%)
5.0
8.0
10.0
7.0
8.0
Powder Performance (20%)
7.0
7.0
6.0
9.0
5.0
Crud Performance (20%)
5.0
9.0
7.0
5.0
9.0
Terrain Playfulness (15%)
2.0
6.0
7.0
9.0
6.0
Bumps (5%)
5.0
7.0
4.0
8.0
5.0
Specs Rossignol Black Ops... Nordica Santa Ana 98 Kastle FX96 W - Wom... Elan Ripstick 94 W Faction Dictator 2.0X
Waist Width 102 mm 98 mm 96 mm 94 mm 96 mm
Sidecut (Tip-Waist-Tail width) 137-102-127 mm 132-98-120 mm 133-96-119 mm 136-94-110 mm 127-96-117 mm
Available Lengths 163, 171, 178 cm 151, 158, 165, 172, 179 cm 156, 164, 172 cm 154, 162, 170, 178 cm 155, 163, 171, 175, 179, 183, 187 cm
Length Tested 171 cm 172 cm 172 cm 178 cm 171 cm
Turn Radius 16 m 16.3 m 16 m 18 m 18 m
Camber Profile Rocker tip and tail, low camber underfoot Rocker tip and tail, camber underfoot Progressive rise, dual rise, low camber Rocker tip and tail, cambered inside edge, Amphibio tech Rocker tip and tail, camber underfoot
Weight Per Pair 7.9 lbs 8.1 lbs 8.0 lbs 7.4 lbs 7.9 lbs
Construction Type Full rectangular sidewall Energy Ti W Powerzone, sandwich-sidewall construction SST sidewall Sandwich
Core Material Paulownia Performance Wood & Metal Paulownia, beech, poplar Tubelite wood Paulownia & Poplar
Ability Level Advanced-Expert Intermediate-Expert Intermediate-Expert Intermediate-Expert Advanced-Expert

Our Analysis and Test Results

Rossignol seems very enthusiastic about their new Black Ops line of skis, but we are left wondering why they would discontinue the Soul series when they were obviously onto such a good thing. The old Rossignol Soul 7 HD W hit the very top of our charts in powder and playfulness and handled incredibly well in every other metric. This new Black Ops Rallybird Ti is only just above mediocre in the powder and frustrated us elsewhere. It can be relied upon in soft, fresh snow but doesn't provide the versatility to compete in other terrains.

Performance Comparison


rossignol black ops w rallybird ti all mountain skis women review - we missed the pure ecstasy we'd felt on the old rossi soul 7.
We missed the pure ecstasy we'd felt on the old Rossi Soul 7.
Credit: Scott Rokis

Stability at Speed


We could feel right away that the Black Ops Rallybird Ti has quality construction. In particular, we felt that designers built the tips of the skis solidly; we could move to the front of the ski and feel supported, and we didn't experience much of the dreaded tip-flap. It holds an edge well in a short turn, but it began to chatter when we brought it up to higher speeds and larger turns. It feels stable in a tight turn in the steeps and less stable in a bigger, faster turn.

rossignol black ops w rallybird ti all mountain skis women review - in a short turn, the rossi feels stable with no sloppy tips.
In a short turn, the Rossi feels stable with no sloppy tips.
Credit: Scott Rokis

Carving Ability


The Black Ops Rallybird Ti feels true to its publicized 16-meter turn radius; it prefers to make a tight turn. In this type of turn, it feels reliable to tip it on edge and hold it. Unfortunately, when we turned up the tempo and tried to carve a larger turn, it didn't hold the edge as well. However, we appreciated the feeling of solid tip construction in a short turn, allowing us to get the turn started with confidence. While it rolls from edge to edge with relative ease, there is not much rebound to help ping you into the next turn.

rossignol black ops w rallybird ti all mountain skis women review - the rallybird holds an edge well in short, slower speed turns, but...
The Rallybird holds an edge well in short, slower speed turns, but there's no real rebound factor.
Credit: Scott Rokis

Powder Performance


When we took the Black Ops Rallybird Ti in boot-top lightweight powder, it stayed afloat well and easily buttered across the surface. However, when one of our testers took this ski to Alaska for some properly deep pow, it struggled. She told us she didn't believe the ski had a progressive enough flex pattern to handle any inconsistencies in the snow texture; she felt it was a bit of a dead plank, bucking her into the backseat. For the rest of us mere mortals skiing resorts in the continental country, though, the Black Ops Rallybird Ti was more than adequate. It stays on top for the most part in 6 to 10 inches of fresh snow. We just missed the ever-present honeycomb tips of the old Soul 7, rising to the surface every turn without question and guiding us through the powder field.

rossignol black ops w rallybird ti all mountain skis women review - soft fresh snow is where this ski has a mastery over the terrain.
Soft fresh snow is where this ski has a mastery over the terrain.
Credit: Scott Rokis

Crud Performance


Rossignol has used an "extended core" in the Black Ops Rallybird Ti, which might account for the ski's stability extending to the tip, unlike many of its competitors. The more reinforced tip doesn't get deflected and pushed around in unpredictable snow. Overall, the ski's performance as a whole in choppy conditions was good but not mind-blowing.

rossignol black ops w rallybird ti all mountain skis women review - its strong tip construction helped us blast through chunky snow.
Its strong tip construction helped us blast through chunky snow.
Credit: Scott Rokis

Terrain Playfulness


Our testers agreed that this is not the Black Ops Rallybird Ti's strong suit, especially compared to the old Soul 7 which shined in this metric. It doesn't have much zip or energy, and the rebound exists but isn't outstanding. It did feel light enough to get in the air and provided a stable landing afterward. The pick-up-and-go feel just wasn't present.

Bumps


While the Black Ops Rallybird Ti makes a respectable carved short turn, it doesn't seem to love a softer edge, making skidding and pivoting through the bumps a little harder than we expected on a 16-meter turn radius. That said, it isn't as heavy as some others, so there is still enjoyment to be had in moguls.

rossignol black ops w rallybird ti all mountain skis women review - not a terrible ride in the bumps, but the rallybird didn't give us...
Not a terrible ride in the bumps, but the Rallybird didn't give us much feedback in general.
Credit: Scott Rokis

Should You Buy the Black Ops Rallybird Ti?


At this point, can you tell that we miss the old Rossignol Soul 7? The Black Ops Rallybird Ti simply does not hit the mark as a replacement for that legendary ski. Not only is this ski expensive, but it isn't versatile as an all-mountain ski, nor does it even excel as a powder ski. We believe it is better to spend your money elsewhere.

What Other Women's All-Mountain Skis Should You Consider?


Even though the Black Ops Rallybird Ti is one of the widest skis we tested, the more narrow Elan Ripstick 94 W is our go-to choice for powder skiing – not only is the Ripstick 94 W more playful in the light and fluffy, but it is much more versatile as an all-mountain ski. For those who enjoy the stability of metal, the K2 Mindbender 98Ti Alliance also includes two sheets of titanium.

rossignol black ops w rallybird ti all mountain skis women review - stable and quick turning in steeper terrain, the rossignol black ops...
Stable and quick turning in steeper terrain, the Rossignol Black Ops W Rallybird Ti is otherwise an unremarkable ski.
Credit: Scott Rokis

Renee McCormack
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