Hands-on Gear Review

Rossignol Soul 7 HD Review

Soul 7 HD
Price:  $850 List | $749.59 at Amazon
Compare prices at 3 resellers
Pros:  Light, energetic, user-friendly
Cons:  Rearward mount position
Bottom line:  A reliable, all-mountain capable pow ski for a good price.
Editors' Rating:   
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Tested length (cm):  180
Weight Per Pair:  8.4 lbs
Available Lengths (cm):  164, 172, 180, 188
Manufacturer:   Rossignol

Our Verdict

The Soul 7 HD is a household name in the ski industry, and for good reason too. Hailing from the original all-mountain semi-fat ski, this contender continues to receive modifications in keeping with the evolution of the sport. Even though it falls in the manufacturer's freeride lineup, this ski is remarkably easy to drive both on and off piste. Regardless of their skiing style or ability level, our testers agreed that the Soul 7 HD is a dependable option for all-mountain performance.

New Version - September 2017
The Rossignol Soul 7 HD, pictured above, is completely redesigned for 2018. To familiarize yourself with the new features, look below where we detail the changes.



RELATED REVIEW: The Best Powder Skis for Men of 2018


Our Analysis and Test Results

Review by:
Rob Woodworth

Last Updated:
Thursday
September 7, 2017

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The 2018 Version Of The Rossignol Soul 7 HD Vs. The Previous Model


The topsheet graphics aren't the only update for the popular Soul 7 HD: the 2018 Soul 7 HD is a brand new ski, built from the ground up! The redesigned version flaunts the Airtip 2.0 which features a new 3D structure (vs the old AirTip 1.0 which was flat, not 3d). The Airtip 2.0 is also reinforced with VAS (Vibration Absorption System), which wasn't a component of the older model. In efforts to achieve a more consistent flex from tip to tail, the latest version of the Soul 7 HD integrates the tip fully into the core of the ski. The radius increases from 17 M to 18 M and you can now purchase the ski in a 156 cm length. The new rig will set you back $850, which is a bump up from the $750 price tag on the prior model.

Here are the two prototypes side by side, with the new Soul 7 HD on the left and the prior model on the right.
Soul 7 HD
Rossignol Soul 7 HD

Below is a summary of the updates:
  • Airtip 2.0 — New 3D structure for the tip (compared with the old, flat, AirTip 1.0).
  • VAS — The Vibration Absorption System (VAS) is added to keep vibrations in the tip to a minimal.
  • Fully Integrated Tip — The tip is integrated fully into the core of the ski (1.0 was not).
  • Increased Radius — The 2018 model has a radius of 18 M (compared with 17M).
  • Higher Price — The price is now $850 (compared with $750).
  • New Sizes — Rossignol adds a 156cm size option to the collection.
  • Updated Look — The aesthetic of this ski is completely redesigned. Look at the pictures above to see the makeover!

Since it's not quite wintertime yet, we haven't got to try these shiny new planks out. Until this momentous event occurs, the text below is representative of the older Soul 7 HD's.

Hands-On Review of the 2017 Soul 7 HD


Emerging for the 16/17 season, Rossignol has tweaked their best-selling design with the new Soul 7 HD. If there was any complaint about the previous model, it was that the tips would become chattery at high speeds on hardpack. To alleviate top-end squirreliness, Rossignol added a carbon weave to their already light and poppy Paulownia wood core. We believed the result was an ultra-smooth, burly, and responsive ride. With a non-existent learning curve, unmatched versatility, and affordable price, the Soul 7 HD has earned our Best Buy award.

Lead Test Editor  Rob Woodworth  sending the Soul 7 HD into Bernie's Bowl at Alpine Meadows.
Lead Test Editor, Rob Woodworth, sending the Soul 7 HD into Bernie's Bowl at Alpine Meadows.

Stability at Speed


As far as we can tell, top-end stability was the primary motivation for Rossignol to reboot this all-mountain weapon. On the earlier models of Soul 7, expert skiers found themselves hitting a speed limit when the tips would bounce and deflect on firm snow. For this reason, some people labeled the Soul 7 an 'intermediate pow-ski' that is easy to drive but lacks the backbone needed by an aggressive skier. It's apparent that this issue has been corrected in the 2017 Soul 7 HD.


Featuring a blended carbon and basalt weave, the already beefy woodcore of this ski now has what Rossignol is calling "high-definition energy, mobility, and strength"—hence, the HD. We can't say whether or not this ski makes HD turns, but we can say that the Soul 7 HD had undeniable power and security that allowed us to drive it fast down the fall line. Both damp and stiff, it remained calm and collected in high-speed runouts and chinese downhills. Not as sturdy as the Blizzard Spur, but much more nimble by comparison, the Soul 7 HD likes to go fast and has no problem getting you there. Other top scorers for this metric include the Moment Bibby, Volkl Confession, and Head A-Star.

The Soul 7 HD remains calm even on high-angle terrain.
The Soul 7 HD remains calm even on high-angle terrain.

Carving


With one of our highest scores in this metric (8 out of 10), It's clear that this ski was built to perform well on edge. Stiff flex and a pronounced sidecut make the Soul 7 HD feel much like a dedicated all-mountain carving ski. The minicap sandwich construction is not only durable but also leaves a considerable sidewall with which to lay an edge. The most narrow and smallest radius ski in the lineup, it was very quick to roll over and initiate a turn.


Through bumps, chunks, crust, and ice, the Soul 7 HD was confident in holding its edge. Though, it really shined whilst carving on manicured snow. With a narrower waist for easier initiation, you'll often compromise the ski's ability to track through variable snow in an arced turn. This wasn't the case with the Soul 7 HD; we found it remarkably easy to carve no matter where we found ourselves on the mountain. Comparable models include the Volkl Confession and Elan Ripstick 116.

Crud


Lighter than most contenders in this lineup, you may not expect the Soul 7 HD to perform well as a late afternoon crud-buster. It didn't punch through chop with the same force as the portly Volkl Confession. But all-in-all, this ski was ready to "go through anything", as one tester proclaimed.


Early-rise rocker construction allows the Soul 7 HD to track over chunky snow and powder alike, making it very reliable when the conditions are constantly changing. Even with tired legs, these boards remained relatively damp while traversing through layered trenches and sun-baked slop.

The Soul 7 HD is damp enough for brutal bumps.
The Soul 7 HD is damp enough for brutal bumps.

Float


Rossignol describes the Soul 7 HD as being 80% powder ski and 20% all-mountain ski. We would likely balance that ratio a little bit—our impression is that it performs best in variable conditions, not powder. Before all the Rossi fan-boys get upset, we should clarify; the Soul 7 HD is fully capable of floating through deep stuff. We just felt like that was overshadowed by its all-mountain proclivity.


But of course, if you're skiing the whole mountain, you're bound to find some fluffy white gold. In that case, this contender will rightfully perform as a powder too. Our testers were impressed by this ski's ability to float even with an aggressively forward stance. With great all-around performance, you won't have to switch gears when transitioning for hardpack to powder. Earning an above average score of 8 out of 10, this competitor was bested only by the Blizzard Spur and Line Pescado.

The (relatively) narrow-waisted Soul 7 HD still likes to get pitted.
The (relatively) narrow-waisted Soul 7 HD still likes to get pitted.

Playfulness


Stiff, straightforward, and directional, the Soul 7 HD isn't exactly the freerider's choice for a playful ski. This ski offers steadfast reliability and user-friendly turn shapes that bode well for high-speed rhythmic turning, not getting rowdy. While this pair remained stable for cliff drops and ridge transfers, it lacked the necessary pop to be considered a truly playful ski and took home an 8 out of 10. In this case, the trade-off for universal adaptability is a less stunty, more predictable ski. Top scorers for this metric were the Moment Bibby, Atomic Backland Bent Chetler, and Line Pescado, with the Salomon QST 118 performing similarly.


Versatility


This ski was no doubt the most handy and adaptable model in this review. If our testers were unsure about what they were looking for, we'd direct them to the Soul 7 HD. Similarly, it was the go-to choice if we were unsure about what type of snow we might encounter that day.


Scoring consistently high marks across the board, and receiving positive reviews from virtually every tester, the Soul 7 HD is truly a dynamo of all-mountain performance and earned a worthy score of 9 out of 10 - the highest in the fleet. Other versatile top contenders include the Moment Bibby, Atomic Backland Bent Chetler, Volkl Confession, Dynastar Cham 2.0 117, and Elan Ripstick 116.

The Soul 7 HD is ready to tackle anything.
The Soul 7 HD is ready to tackle anything.

Best Applications


As stated earlier, we believe this is an all-mountain ski that has a powder-oriented design and waist width. Many skiers would be very content with the Soul 7 HDas a daily driver or one-ski-quiver. However, more advanced or technically minded skiers would probably experience certain limitations with this design. But for beginner to intermediate skiers looking for a functional powder setup, they are an excellent choice.

Value


Not only was this ski the most affordable we reviewed, it also received the highest score for versatility. Because it will be enjoyed by a wide variety of skiers and is offered at such a good price, we believe the Soul 7 HD is a tremendous value, which explains why it is our Best Bang for the Buck winner.

Conclusion


We get it now...Rossignol is on to something with the Soul 7 HD.
We get it now...Rossignol is on to something with the Soul 7 HD.

We were hesitant to like this ski. It seems that everyone and their mother has sung the praises of the earlier Soul 7 and we weren't eager to jump on the bandwagon without a thorough investigation. But as our testing has proven, this ski is in demand for a reason. User-friendly dimensions, resilient performance, and bombproof construction all add up to universally reliable ski that won't disappoint no matter who you are or what you're skiing. All things considered, it's very easy to recommend the Soul 7 HD.

Other Versions


We tested the Soul 7 HD in the 180 cm length. It's also available at 164 cm, 172 cm, and 188 cm too.

Rob Woodworth

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Most recent review: April 12, 2018
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OutdoorGearLab Editors' Rating:  
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 (5.0)
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0% of 1 reviewers recommend it
 
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Skier

Apr 12, 2018 - 03:01pm
 
Ski Bum 73 · Skier

The most common place i've seen these planks this season in France is on piste, thankfully on other people. They are comedy in the more typical skiing environs (in Europe at least) of on piste. Makes me chuckle when i see them flapping around like a pair of giant clown feet. I'm sure they're ok in deep pow, but anywhere else and you'd want to give them a miss. Definitely not a one ski quivver, so unless you're up for tripping with 2 or more pairs of skis (or have a pad in resort somewhere) look elsewhere.



Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this product to a friend.


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