Rossignol Experience 100 TI Review
Cons: Grabby, tough to ski in variable conditions, pricey
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Experience 100 was preferred by testers as a firm snow and groomed terrain ski that felt somewhat like a wide bodied GS race ski. It has generous amounts of camber underfoot, slight tip rocker and almost unnoticeable tail rocker. This is a shapely ski with a very turny 18m radius. When you drive this ski hard it is not dissimilar to a high performance sports car, plenty of power, smooth and fast. We tested the 182 cm Rossignol Experience 100. It is a wood core ski with a 100mm waist.
Stability at Speed
The Experience 100 is stiff and heavy. It does not mind staying on the ground and taking on speed quickly. The edgehold of the Experience is excellent and on par with the Blizzard Bonafide. While the Bonafide needs speed to really shine, the Rossignol Experience can vary its speed more easily. Its stiffness helps it to perform at speed but it is easy to ski thanks to its big sidecut and rocker which assists turn initiation. These skis are easy to get on edge and once in the turn, they are smooth and like to run. Some of us felt that this ski was not especially damp and was prone to chattering and transmitting vibration if you didn't stay on top of them.
Along with the Blizzard Bonafide, the Rossignol Experience 100 was the best ski for skiing on-piste in our review. It is smooth and easy to ski on groomers at any speed. When opened up at high speed, they are stable and have excellent edge hold. Skiers who stay on the ground and make lots of small to medium radius carved turns will love this ski.
Edge to edge quickness was surprisingly fast for a ski 100mm underfoot. Left, right, left, right. Big left, small right…Settling into a rhythm of deep carves is pretty easy on the Experience 100, but it is responsive and poppy enough to vary up the timing and shape of your turns in a pinch. While not a GS race ski, the Experience 100 preferred speed and takes an aggressive skier to get the most out of its carving ability. Lighter skiers would benefit from erring on the side of the smaller sizes in order to flex it and not have to work too hard.
Powder Skiing Performance
The Experience 100 did not fare well in the powder. The wide tip led us to believe that we'd get more float than we did. Although this ski features an early rise tip, we would barely classify it as such, a small lift when compared to another on-piste performer like the Dynastar Powertrack 89, which although more narrow, actually skied better in powder and off piste in general. More rise in the tip may help the Experience stay on top, but we also generally didn't like the feel of this ski in the soft stuff. A little too stiff to bounce around and too eager to get back on edge to open it up in search of face shots.
Off piste the Rossignol Experience 100 is best reserved for very strong skiers. They are not as comfortable at speed in variable terrain as they are on-piste. The wide tail hooks up and they feel twitchy in skied up snow. Other stiff skis like the Volkl Mantra benefitted from more rocker and a less aggressive shape to make them easier to ski in varied terrain and snow.
If carving turns on groomers is your idea of play time, the Experience 100 is a playful ski. It is snappy and quick. However, it is one dimensional in the big picture. It does not adapt well to change and prefers to stay on the ground. Most of us felt that it took work to ski them off-piste and didn't give us any time to relax and enjoy the ski outside of its comfort zone.
Bump Skiing Performance
This ski was nothing short of exciting in the bumps. Stiff, hooky and a need for speed left us feeling worked after a lap through the bumps. Find something softer and less prone to holding you hostage in the turn if you seek out bump lines.
This is an all-mountain ski that is most at home on groomed runs. It is ideal for the skier who wants to spend a majority of his time on-piste, and take short excursions off-piste. The Experience 100 thrives with the ski pressed firmly against the snow. Its obvious strengths in this snow type outweigh its ability to tackle variable conditions. Its stiff demeanor and desire to stay on edge left us feeling a little bit uneasy off-piste on this ski. Whenever we let off of them, it is easy to get bucked around when conditions got choppy or bumpy. In soft snow they tend to dive more than other 100 mm underfoot skis like the Volkl Mantra and the Nordica NRGy 100. The wide tail on the Experience is easy to get hooked up and hold you in a turn just when you may want to turn quickly or slow down. We feel like there are better skis in our review that balance the ability to more easily ski different snow types and terrain, like the Volk Mantra or the Dynastar Cham 2.0 97.
This is not a good value for an all-mountain ski. It are expensive and is best for pretty specific applications.
The Rossignol Experience 100 will suit the on-piste specialist well. We would recommend this ski for someone who spends most of their season skiing on groomed terrain and firm snow. There is no doubt that this is a high performance ski but we think that it does not meet our criteria for a well rounded all-mountain ski. The Experience 100 is easier to ski than the Blizzard Bonafide and is just as quick edge to edge as the much narrower Dynastar Powertrack 89. Consider more versatile skis like the Volkl Mantra or the Dynastar Cham 97 for getting more performance all over the mountain. The Dynastar Cham 97 is our Best Buy Award winner.
The Rossignol Experience 100 is available in four lengths (166cm, 174cm, 182cm and 190cm). The Experience series is available in a variety of waist widths (75-100mm) and some of these options are available with a system binding.
— Mike Phillips