2012-2013 Rossignol Squad 7

2012-2013 Rossignol Squad 7

Rossignol Squad 7, Blister Gear ReviewSki: 2012-2013 Rossignol Squad 7, 190cm

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.

Jason Hutchins, on the Rossignol Squad 7, Niseko.

Jason Hutchins on the Rossignol Squad 7, Niseko Village.

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.

Comments:

  1. I already own a pair. Everyday I ski them I find a new major advantage that no other Rossi has ever provided. You are right about it not being a RC112 crud killer, but that really is not necessary when there are so many more advantages. Buy this ski and you won’t want to buy any other after it! I kid you not.

  2. I have a pair of 195 Super 7′s and experience the same tip grab at high speeds in powder and crud. Moved the binding to minus 1 and still struggle with them with big lines on soft days. I do like their playfullness in the trees. Considering Liberty double helix, nordica patron, Armada ak jj. Ex racer weighing 190.

    Squad 7 looks like it still has the same problem. Also considering Nordica Girish. I have some nordica frontside nitrus ti’s on hard days that I still like.

  3. Have you guys skied the Helldorado or Patron. Curious to see how I would match up.

    • I spent a bit of time on the 185 Patron and can easily say I preferred the Squad over the Patron in all but super firm hardpack.

  4. Hey Jason, you should check out the 2011-2012 Surface Live Life 191′s. They have nearly an identical looking camber profile at the tip, tail, and underfoot as well as a very similar shape throughout the ski as the squad 7′s. They feel pretty damn stiff, are a little bit wider (156-120-135) and don’t have quite as much taper in the tip and tail as the Rossi’s however. I just got myself a pair for a great deal and I’d be interested in reading your comparisons of the two. BTW, Love your guys’ site! No from around the PNW though?

  5. I don’t see why you’d say they eliminated the pin tail when the dimension is 7mm wider in the tail than the waist????? The pin tail is a strength of the design, IMO. It may rise less, but it is very tapered. Your bias to charger skis is too strong.

    • There seems to be some mixing up of terminology here. So I’ll just reference what I was specifically talking about. When I said they basically eliminated the “pin-tail”, I was referring to the portion of the ski that resides behind the widest point of the tails sidecut, say the last 6″-8″ for example. And I stick with “the tail on the Squad 7 has been flared out into a more traditional square shape, substantially increasing surface area.”

      As for tip-to-tail ratio, yes, “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.”

      This shape definitely has it’s benefits and it’s draw-backs, and the Squad 7 had many more benefits than draw-backs!

      As for my bias, my two favorite skis are not “charging” skis, the Rossignol Sickle and Line Opus. When a company tells the world their ski is a “big mountain charger” (charger being my least favorite term of all time), it is my job to to put it to through that test to the best of my ability, and compare it to others claiming the same. The Squad7 lives up to Rossi’s claims for someone my size and I hope I made that clear. What it won’t do is satisfy people that love to bomb straight and fast, destroying everything in their path like those in love with the RC112, Moment Garbone, or Volkl Katana style of ski, and I have to provide that information.

  6. Hi Jason

    Nice review, man you sound really stoked about these. I love to ride big, fast turns but don’t want to give up the ability to turn on a dime in the woods in powder. I’m looking for a fat ski for deep powder days, heading to Neiseko in January too! I loved the Rocker 2 last year, not much of a fan of the Rossi Super 7s. I’d kind of decided on the Rocker 2 115 this year, but now you give me this review! Have you ridden both ski’s? Any comparisons? thoughts? I’m going to do touring with these skis so I’d be happy to go with the lighter ski. Thoughts?

  7. Hello Jason, I was wondering if you could discuss the differences between the 11/12 Sickles and the 12/13 Squad 7s. It seems like you really like both of the skis, and they can both work well in a variety of conditions. If you were restricted to one pair of skis for steeps and trees, crud and powder, for a few trips to Alta /Jackson Hole each year, which might you go with. I run about 5’11″ and 175, so I don’t think I’d overpower either. The Sickles are a lot cheaper as well, so I’m leaning that way, unless the Squads are that much better.

  8. Hello Jason,

    I have been following this website for the past week or so. You guys do an incredible job and sucks that I didn’t know about you sooner! I have been reading about 5 skis that I am interested in but can only choose one. Currently, I own the Salomon X-Wing Fury 2008 with the z12 bindings. They are at 164cm (a bit short for me now but they charge well allowing for nice speed while GS’ing), the right height for me when I first got them. I am 24 now, 5′ 9.5″ at 165 lbs. I’m an advanced+ ambitious skier looking to push forward.

    I want to get a ski that will complement the other and mainly use for just powder days. I like bowls and chutes, drops up to 12 ft or so, and skiing trees (as long as they are not too tight). I am not looking for a dedicated charger ski, but a ski that if I decide I would like to charge a bit, it will hold control. But, I am not looking for a ski thats too soft that would force me to smear as its only solution coming down. I ski neutral stance with the Dalbello Scorpion SF 110′s.

    Skis I am interested in:
    Nordica Helldorado
    Blizzard Cochise
    Line Opus
    Blizzard Gunsmoke
    Rossignol Sickle

    Thank you all for your incredible and unbiased reviewing! And thanks for any help in advance!

    Respectfully,
    Amit Gandelman

    • Oh! I completely forgot about the Rossignol Squad 7 (especially because I am on their posting)!!

      Thanks again!

      -Amit Gandelman

  9. What about mounting point for guy like me? I am 5 feet 8 inches and 194 lbs? I am kind of a feeling guy who likes agrressive rididing.

  10. Hi Jason!

    Great review! I’m trying to decide where to mount my Squads and I’m wondering if you could elaborate a bit on the difference between 0 and -1. In which way did you like the handling more at -1? Thanks!

  11. Hi,

    On my Squad 7s, there’s a little clear window on the ski with the big R. It appears to look through to the base, and there are a series of black lines that I assume to be the carbon stringers. They are not symmetrically distributed, being primarily on one side (the left) of the ski. You can actually see it in the photo at the top of this page.

    This would imply to me that the Squad 7 has a stiffer edge and a softer edge, and maybe a better left ski and right ski. Is this accurate in your opinion, or am I misunderstanding something?

    thanks!

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