Dimensions (mm): 146-120-127
Turn Radius: 29.5 meters
Actual Tip-to-Tail Length (Straight Tape Pull): 186.5cm
Weight Per Ski: 2,400 grams / 5.3 lbs.
Boots / Binding: Nordica Enforcer 28.5 / Look PX 12 (DIN) 10
Mount Locations: -2 to +1.5 (settled on +1.5 from recommended)
Test Location: Niseko, Japan
Days Skied: 3[Editor’s Note: We posted this review by Jason Hutchins in February, and if you missed it back then, you don’t want to miss it now.]
My review of the Rossignol Super 7 left little question of how I felt about the ski’s “hard charging” performance. I wanted to love the Super 7, but after riding both the 188cm and 195cm Super 7 for over a month, I had to conclude that they just didn’t work for me.
As it turns out, I must not have been the only skier looking for a higher performing ski based on the S7 design, and when Rossignol answered the call with the addition of the 12/13 Squad 7, I couldn’t wait to get on it.
Lucky for me, the Squad 7 made the trip to Japan with us, and I called first dibs.
From the very first look, it’s obvious that Rossignol has really changed things up with the Squad 7.
The heavily-tapered pintail that made its way from the S7 to the Super 7 has basically been eliminated. The tail on the Squad 7 has been flared out into a more traditional square shape, substantially increasing surface area.
The ski still has a slightly exaggerated tip to tail taper compared to a more “traditional” shape, with its 146-120-127 dimensions, but it is less pronounced on the new Squad 7.
The ski also still features Rossi’s centered sidecut, which places the widest points of the sidecut further down the shovel of the ski giving the Squad 7 an inside radius length (the length from the widest point of the shovel to the widest point of the tail) of approximately 138 centimeters, but the turning radius has been stretched out to 29.5 meters.
The rocker profile has also been completely revamped tip to tail.
Tip rocker appears to be slightly longer than the S7 / Super 7, and the rocker height or splay has been reduced. The very tip is also less upturned and exaggerated, producing a much more gradual angle of entry for deeper snow.
The Squad 7 has a similar camber section underfoot to that of the S7 / Super 7, which is actually fairly substantial by today’s pow ski standards.
The tail rocker is where Rossignol has introduced the biggest changes, where they have significantly reduced the rocker line length and splay.
Construction of the new Squad 7 has also been completely revamped. Rossi took out the Titanal, beefed up the full sandwich wood core with fiberglass laminate, and added carbon stringers. A simple hand flex shows that these skis have guts. This is especially true through the middle half of the ski and through the tail, compared to the Super 7s. The Squad 7’s shovel is still a fairly soft to medium flex, but even here, they do feel a bit more stout than the Super 7’s.
Excited by what my initial inspection of the Squad 7 revealed, I was ready to take them up to Niseko, where there is no shortage of pow, trees, deeper pow, pillows, tree jibs, groomers, natural jumps, crud…and more pow.
My first few days exploring Niseko have not disappointed, and neither did the Squad 7.
The first day we spent the bulk of our time flying through the tight trees found off of the Niseko Gondola and the Center 4 chair at Grand Hirafu. It was here that I immediately discovered that even though Rossi has said that the Squad 7 was created for big time skiers to charge big lines, they didn’t forget the critical attributes of the S7 that made it such a game changer in the ski industry.
The Squad 7 still offers enough sidecut to be quick when you need it to be, and it also retains the ability to blow the tails free and break into any length slarve you desire. The Squad 7 made negotiating tight spots a breeze, and allowed last second direction changes to fly off quickly approaching hidden pillows.