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2017-2018 Rossignol Super 7 HD

Jonathan Ellsworth reviews the Rossignol Super 7 HD for Blister Review

2017-2018 Rossignol Super 7 HD

Ski: 2017-2018 Rossignol Super 7 HD, 188 cm

Available Lengths: 172, 180, 188 cm

Blister’s Measured Tip-to-Tail Length: 186.3 cm

Stated Weight per Ski: 2100 grams

Blister’s Measured Weight per Ski: 2006 & 2011 grams

Stated Dimensions: 140-116-130 mm

Blister’s Measured Dimensions: 137.5-114-128 mm

Stated Sidecut Radius (188 cm): 21 meters

Tip & Tail Splay (ski decambered): 88 mm / 40 mm

Traditional Camber Underfoot: 5 mm

Core: Paulownia + Carbon & Basalt Laminate

Base: “Sintered HD”

Factory Recommended Mount Point: -7.75 cm from center; 85.4 cm from tail

 

Ski: 2016-2017 Rossignol Super 7 HD, 188

Available Lengths: 164, 172, 180, 188 cm

Actual Length (straight tape pull): 186.3 cm

Stated Weight per Ski: 2100 g

Blister’s Measured Weight per Ski: 2087 & 2110 grams

Stated Dimensions: 140-116-130 mm

Blister’s Measured Dimensions: 139-115-129 mm

Stated Sidecut Radius (188 cm): 20 meters

Tip & Tail Splay (ski decambered): 83 mm / 35 mm

Traditional Camber Underfoot: 5 mm

Core: Paulownia + Carbon / Basalt Laminate

Factory Recommended Mount Point:

  • “All Mountain” Line: -5.65 cm from center; 87.5 cm from tail
  • “Freeride” Line: -7.65 cm / 85.5 cm from tail

Intro

For 17/18, Rossignol tweaked the 16/17 Super 7 HD (as well as the 17/18 Soul 7 HD), and here’s what Rossignol has to say about it:

“The most celebrated powder ski in the world, the 100% redesigned, all-new Super 7 HD continues to make powder skiing easier, more natural, and more fun. Featuring our all-new Air Tip 2.0 and Carbon Alloy Matrix technologies, at 116 mm underfoot, the Super 7 HD supplies effortless floatation and instant speed control for unrivaled big-mountain performance in the deepest snow conditions.”

So let’s dissect this a bit…

“100% Redesigned” / “All-New”

Hmm, so Rossi completely redesigned the “most celebrated powder ski in the world”? That’s ballsy, right? Especially since the 16/17 Super 7 HD is a pretty nice ski.

So this of course begs the question, How similar or different does the 17/18 Super 7 HD look from the 16/17 Super 7 HD?

Dimensions / Sidecut Radius: 16/17 Super 7 HD vs. 17/18 Super 7 HD

The skis are the exact same length (I just re-measured both skis again). But the widest point of the shovels has been slightly toned down on the 17/18 Super 7 HD — from 139 mm down to 137.5 mm, and the widest point of the tails has also been narrowed a touch (129 vs. 128 mm).

It’s possible that these changes are simply within an acceptable tolerance range, but Rossignol does assign a slightly larger sidecut radius to the 17/18 Super 7 (21 meters vs. the 16/17’s stated 20 meter radius), so I am ready to believe that these subtle changes are intentional — even if Rossi’s stated dimensions remain the same for 16/17 and 17/18?

The amount of traditional camber underfoot remains the same, but the 17/18 now have (slightly) bevelled sidewalls at the tip and tail.

Shape / Rocker Profile

Our test pair of 17/18 Super 7 HD’s has just a touch more tip and tail splay than the 16/17s. But looking at the two skis side-by-side, it’s very difficult to notice any obvious difference.

Flex Pattern

Handflexing the 188 cm, 17/18 Super 7 HD, I’d sum up the flex pattern like this:

Tips: 5-6
Shovels: 7-8
In Front of the Toe piece: 10
Underfoot: 10
Behind the Heel piece: 10-9
Tails: 7-6

Flexing this back-to-back with the 16/17 Super 7 HD, there are a few very subtle differences, but I am a bit more inclined to chalk those up to acceptable tolerance differences. But for what it’s worth, our test pair of 17/18 Super 7 HD’s feels a bit stiffer in front of the toe piece than the 16/17. (And again, I’d mostly advise you to ignore this, but our 16/17s might actually feel just a touch stiffer behind the heel piece than the 17/18’s.)

Point is, if there are any differences in the flex pattern, they are subtle. The bigger point here is that these skis really are stiff through the middle-third of the ski, so anybody calling these “noodles” is simply wrong. They are light for their weight and length, but — like most pow skis — it’s really just the tips / shovels that are soft. Speaking of weight…

Weight

Rossignol claims that the new “Air Tip 2.0” construction is “15% lighter” than the previous tip design, and the 17/18 skis are just a touch lighter, so we’re prepared to believe that there has been a bit of weight savings here. But as we just discussed, the 17/18 skis are slightly narrower at the tip, waist, and tail, too, so some weight savings will be realized there.

Long and short: the new Super 7 HD is slightly lighter.

Mount Point

Honestly, this is one of the most obvious and noteworthy differences between the 16/17 and 17/18 Super 7 HD — on the 16/17 ski, Rossignol marked two recommended mount points, the “All Mountain” line (-5.65 cm behind true center), and the “Freeride” line (-7.65 cm behind true center.

But on the 17/18 ski, Rossignol only marks one recommended mount point … and it is basically back at the “Freeride” line on the 16/17 ski.

What makes that particularly interesting to us is that we really liked the 16/17 Super 7 HD on the more forward “All Mountain” line, and recommended that mount. To be clear, that wasn’t because we particularly disliked the more rearward mount, we just thought the ski felt quite balanced and quick at -5.65 cm.

Anyway, Rossignol seems to have felt differently, or maybe they just flipped a coin. We don’t know, but this is something we’ll be weighing in on.

Relevant Comparisons

Now that we’ve covered what stays the same and what changes, here’s a look at some of the primary skis we’ll be considering as comparisons to the 17/18 Super 7 HD:

(1) The 16/17 Super 7 HD: Duh. We’ve compared them on paper, and we spent a good bit of the spring A/B-ing them on snow. Stay tuned.

(2) DPS Wailer 112 Alchemist: We’ll weigh in on these two celebrated powder skis, that also happen to be two skis that are stiffer through their midsection then some folks might realize.

(3) Blizzard Rustler 11: The two skis come in at a similar weight — 2006 & 2011 g for the 188 cm Super 7 HD, 2034 & 2052 grams for the 188 cm Rustler 11 — they have very similar dimensions, and they have the same stated sidecut. So how similar or different do they perform on snow?

(4) HEAD Kore 117: While the Kore series has received a lot of attention for its lightweight construction, Rossignol might like to have you know that their 188 cm Super 7 HD is exactly in line weight-wise with the 189 cm Kore 117, which comes in at 1973 & 2020 grams. I’m not sure how many people are considering both the Super 7 HD and the Kore 117, but maybe you should be.

(5) Salomon QST 118: How does the new Super 7 HD compare to Salomon’s widest ski? And is the QST 118 more similar to the Super 7 HD or the Super 7 RD?

(6) Rossignol Super 7 RD: This is worth noting — the Super 7 RD did not get “100% redesigned” for 17/18. And we are totally fine with this, because the Super 7 RD is great and didn’t need to be redesigned. But the question is how similar or different the new Super 7 HD is from the Super 7 RD.

Bottom Line

“100% redesigned” can mean a whole range of things in the ski industry. In the case of the “all new” Super 7 HD, the primary updates seem to be construction changes, especially around the tip and tail of the ski. And we don’t mean to downplay construction changes — such tweaks can certainly lead to durability improvements and performance differences.

So we’ll be weighing in soon to note how how significant or subtle we’ve found these changes to affect the new Super 7 HD’s performance on snow.

NEXT: Rocker Profile Pics

3 Comments

  1. Troy September 22, 2017 Reply

    I noticed they only have one mounting line on the new Soul 7 HD. And to me it looks like it lines up with last years -2 free ride line as well. But there is quite a bit less tail rocker in the new version compared to last years. That worries me…..

    Interesting to see the difference in the Super 7 as well. Hopefully they figure out their marks some day:)

  2. Blister Member
    Bruno Schull September 24, 2017 Reply

    I will always have a soft spot in my heart for the Rossignol Super 7. This is the ski that really opened my mind to how you can ski off piste. For several years (largely unsuccessfully) I was trying to develop off piste skills. Then, one winter, I decided to finally rent one of the “modern” fat skis with tip and tail rocker and so on (inspired by Jonathan’s words about fat skis with rocker). I rented a Super 7. I think that’s what it was called. It was about 116 underfoot, and bright orange like a florescent marking pen. I’m sure you remember the generation. On that ski I learned what was possible. For the first time, I could ski anywhere and everywhere, I was in control, and I had so much fun. It changed my whole perspective. Later, I was able to transfer the same feeling and skills to more traditional skis. I bought a pair of Soul 7s, thinking they would give me the same freedom as the Super 7s, but be a little better on piste, but I then discovered the limitations of the design. I weigh 95 kg, and for me the Soul 7 was just too flexible on hard snow. I did rent that same big orange Super 7 a few more times, and it was as nice as I remembered. I really think that’s one of the great things about the 7 series; the way it allows people to access terrain/skiing styles they would not otherwise be able to experience, even with years of technique and skill training. And calling these “intermediate” or “transition” ski is not a bad thing! They are probably the most appropriate skis for many people (myself included). And I don’t want to create the impression that I think these are “only” for beginners or intermediate skies trying to get off piste–they are still the skis, or the kind of skis, that I would choose in the right conditions. I just don’t ski fast enough, steep enough, or hard enough to need more ski.

    All that said, I’m a little disappointed about how Rossignol keeps changing the 7 series line up every year. Maybe each generation is an improvement, but it doesn’t seem that way (Soul 7 hinge point?). I know ski companies (all companies) need to constantly search for the “new” to stay relevant, but I think that the lack of consistency and product identity year-to-year just confuses people.

    Looking over the 7 series for this year, I’m glad to see that the top three skis in this line, the Super 7, the Soul 7, and the Sky 7, have similar graphics, and apparently similar constructions. You can see this in the slightly-visible inlays under the tips, and on the progressively descending waist widths and weights (more on that later), which shows they are probably unified in design and construction.

    Unfortunately, then you have some skis which don’t seem to really fit into the 7 series.

    First there’s the Sin 7, which I think has the same shape and waist width as the Sky 7, but uses an older style of construction. You can see this construction in the tip and in the weight. The Sin 7 is heavier than the new Sky 7. I think it has more wood and less carbon. I’m sure they include the Sin 7 to offer a ski at a lower price, but maybe the weight actually makes the Sin 7 a more stable and damp ski? Might be interesting to compare new light Sky 7 vs old heavy Sin 7.

    Then there’s the Smash 7, which is again different in graphics, design, weight, and price point.

    Finally, perhaps most interesting, there is the Seek 7, apparently positioned as a touring or 50/50 ski, with an 86 mm waist, and a listed weight of 2.5 kg. Does the Seek 7 actually have the regular 7 series shape, with substantial tip and tail rocker and traditional camber underfoot? If so, wouldn’t that be a strange combination in an 86 mm underfoot ski? Are there any other narrow and light touring skis with this shape? How is this going to work?

    Of course, I understand that Rossignol is just tying to offer skis at different for different potential buyers at different price points, but why create a cohesive 7 series at all if it just mixes a bunch of varied skis? Another way to put that would be, do any skis, other than the Super, Soul, and Sky 7, really fit into the 7 series? Or would they be better placed elsewhere?

    By means of comparison, some of the other Rossignol lines look really coherent. For example, the All Mountain Experience series, and the Piste Pursuit series, are really consistent, with unified graphics and design elements through all the skis from top to bottom. That seems like the way to create a ski series. I wish Rossignol would apply the same reasoning to the Freeride series.

    Maybe what this really shows is that the Freeride category itself is extremely varied and hard to define?

    Anyway, that old orange Super 7 was an awesome ski, and I would love to learn more about the Seek 7.

    Go Rossignol!

    Bruno

  3. Zachary October 25, 2017 Reply

    Hello,
    I am in the market for a new fat pair of skis; I currently ride the first generation line opus’s for reference. I am between the blizzard rustler 11’s and the rossignol super 7 hd. Which ski do you like better for someone that really likes to carve (switch between slalom and gs type turns), charge hard in most conditions (needs stability) and jibs around the mountain (hop cliffs, throw the occasional 360 off something, ride switch). I was also thinking of using this ski to tour on. Thank you for the assistance.

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