Skiing: Rossignol's 'Experience' carves a name for itself
Canyons Resort • Most emphasis in ski technology has been on helping people who already know how to do the sport ski better. Little attention has been placed on helping newbies learn quickly to build confidence in their abilities.
Rossignol has been building skis and related equipment for more than a century. One of the company's latest creations not only makes learning to ski easier, but also gives experienced one-set-of-skis owners a solid choice for any conditions.
Rossignol's "Experience" all-mountain line hit slopes around the world last fall and quickly became recognized as one of the best skis on the market.
For this casual skier of three decades, a day on the Experience 78 skis started with a little frustration, a run or two of realization and, finally, freedom.
After hearing all the kudos thrown at the Experience line I was more than ready to be critical. That notion was reinforced early in the day as I felt like the edges of the skis were catching on the snow. It took a couple of short runs before I realized I may have been fighting the nature of the skis.
I slowly gave in to the need to force the skis to do my bidding. I began to trust the skis, something I'm not sure I have ever done. By the time we lifted up for the first long run of the day, I was ready to sit back and let the 78s do the work. I was not disappointed.
I heard laughing and realized it was coming from under my helmet. It seemed like I was on cruise control. Response to my demands to turn was instant and easy, almost like the skis were reading my mind. My turns were tighter as a result.
Rossignol utilizes several technologies on the Experience Line: AutoTurn rocker, Extended Sidecut and Cascade Tip.
The technologies combine to produce what Rossignol touts as a "brand new breed of all-mountain ski to take you everywhere, in any condition. Not just for expert skiers, the AutoTurn rocker combines traditional camber and rocker tip and tail to make skiing more fun, easy and secure than conventional skis."
AutoTurn rocker means the ski bows off a flat surface at the middle and then rises again at the tip and tail.
"We have been getting some great reviews," said John Guay, director of skier services at Deer Valley Resort, one of two Utah resorts to be part of the Rossignol Experience Center program featuring only Rossignol ski as rentals. "At a slow speed, less of the ski is engaged and there is less surface contact. That makes it easy to steer and it responds easily. At a faster speed, the higher edge angle makes for a stable and excellent carving ski."
Deer Valley uses the Experience 78 in its Performance rental package and the 83 and 88 models in the Premiere package.
"We are already looking at the order for next year, and we expect to increase the number in those categories," Guay said. "The guests have been really happy with them."
Extended Sidecut technology on the Experience line provides the carving ability Guay mentioned. Designers say the Sidecut "engages" from tip to tail providing confidence when making turns at high speeds.
The Cascade Tip feature is designed to improve swing weight, allowing skiers easier, smoother and faster turn initiation.
"Our motto is, 'Better mountain experiences by design,' and we mean it," said Nick Castagnoli, who works out of the U.S. headquarters of Rossignol in Park City. "We are confident the Experience line is the best high-performance, all-mountain line of skis out there."
Making it easy to learn how to ski
See a video about why the "Experience" line of skis from Rossignol makes it easier to learn how to ski or how to fine tune existing skiers: http://bit.ly/zBgHUt
Rossignol was born in 1907 in the French Alps. Utah is home to the North American Rossignol distribution center in Ogden. The U.S. headquarters are in Park City. There are two other Utah connections. Rossignol has eight Rossignol Experience Centers at resorts across the United States. The centers carry the 2011-12 line of Experience skis, touted "to make learning skiing easier, quicker and more fun for skiers of all ages." Deer Valley Resort and Canyons Resort, both in Park City, are part of the Rossignol Experience Center program.