Dimensions (mm): 128-98-121
Actual Tip-to-Tail length (straight tape pull): 181.3 cm
Turn Radius: 21.3 meters
Boots / Bindings: Lange RX 130 / Rossignol Axial 120 (DIN at 10)
Mount location(s): recommended line
Days Skied: 7
Recently, a reader named Neil wrote to say that he was thinking of picking up the Rossi S3 or the Rossi Experience 98, because he is an advanced skier looking for something “more off piste biased” than his current ski, “with more float in powder and better in crud, but still able carve down an icy face in Val d’Isère!”
But given everything that Neil is looking for, all indicators actually point to a third Rossignol ski, the Scimitar. So Neil, please consider this review an answer to your question….
First of all, Will Brown’s review of the Rossignol Scimitar is spot on, so if you haven’t read it, you should begin there. My intention here is just to flesh out the picture a bit then discuss how the Scimitar compares to those two other 98mm skis made by Rossi, the Rossignol S3 and the Rossignol Experience 98.
I first got a little time on the Scimitar back in October, and was immediately impressed by the Scimitar’s ability to carve. Well, I’m even more impressed now, pretty blown away, actually.
Will mentions in his review how easy it is to put the Scimitar up on a very high edge angle, and he’s right. Really right. I haven’t skied the Rossignol Experience 98 since last season (so that might be an exception to what I’m about to write), but there is no other 98mm+ ski that I’ve been on that is easier to get up on edge—high on edge—and keeps you feeling completely locked in to the turn. The subtle, continuous rocker profile of the Scimitar is certainly responsible in large part for this, but it’s still somewhat surprising because the Scimitar is not some incredibly stiff, demanding racestock ski. It’s a medium/soft, pretty forgiving flex overall, with a very high speed limit and excellent edge hold.
The other quality I find most surprising about the Scimitar is that, given it’s relatively soft flex, this ski is a pretty capable charger.
On March 9 at Taos, John Gwynn and I ripped down a groomer for a warm up run, and I was once again extremely impressed by how exceptionally well the Scimitar carves, how much angulation it encourages.
Our second run, however, was down West Blitz, on a section that I had been skiing a good bit recently on the Rossignol Squad 7 and MOMENT Belafonte. I hated the Scimitars; they felt way too soft, they weren’t holding up at speed in bumps like the Belafonte had, and I was ticked off. I told Gwynn that I was going to go switch these out. (Admittedly, this is a terrible confession to make, but I didn’t have the patience that day to ski a tool that wasn’t right for the terrain and the conditions.)
But for some reason that I don’t remember, we decided to hit Chair 2 one more time before heading to the base, and we skied Reforma. The run went much better, and I made some casual comment that we might as well do another quick lap before heading down to the bottom.
The third lap? Even better. And that was the ongoing story of the day: With every lap in firm, bumped-up conditions, I kept putting more trust in the Scimitars, and kept pushing them harder, increasingly surprised at how much they could hold up to. (This is yet another example of why skis really need to be tested for multiple days, and not just for a couple of runs.)
On Reforma and West Blitz, I was skiing diagonally over steep bumps, turning in the air, landing hard, repeating. There was a lot of bashing going on here, a lot more bashing than finesse. The Scimitars aren’t some super damp, obviously solid platform, yet they were definitely getting the job done. Such faith is easy to place in a ski like the Belafonte—it’s simply burlier—but to a lot of skiers, it might also feel like too much. The Scimitar is a softer and more playful ski, and as Will Brown wrote, the Scimitars “don’t exactly blast through crud and chopped powder, but they are able to get through it without a problem.”
Lapping Stauffenberg, I continued to place more trust in the Scimitar, skiing it faster and faster and making fewer turns. Then, just as I had been doing on those Belafontes, I started straight-lining the entire apron and feeling increasingly comfortable doing so. The Scimitars didn’t smooth out the ride nearly as much as the Belafontes, but they handled it, and they handled it better than the S3.
Speaking of the S3, I’ll try to round out the picture of the Scimitar by comparing its performance directly to the S3 and to the Experience 98.