2020 Rossignol Hero Elite Plus Ti

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Testing skis so you don't have to.
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FairToMiddlin: Congratulations to Rossignol for the willingness to make a ski nobody else is trying to make. Sure, this spirit doesn’t always pan out, but it is also the beginning of every Next Best Thing. And it really is aiming in a different direction: yes, you can scour other ski makers' catalogs and find some skis that are 167 cm, 78 mm underfoot, with a 13m sidecut. But the others, all of them (near as I can tell, anyway) happen by accident, a byproduct of sizing down from the reference length. The 167 is Rossignol’s reference length, whatever comes after will be tweaks to the original, not the other way around. The rep I spoke to said it’s a ski for aging racers and instructors who want the shape of a high-performing SL without the bite of one, just a fraction of a Mississippi more leisurely from edge to edge.

It’s an apt description: rather than the usual frenetic wired-straight-to-your-brain-stem response of an SL, there’s half a heartbeat between the synapses, and then that familiar turn in shows up, followed by whoomp! as the ski loads up in the belly of the turn. The construction feels strong, and with good materials inside; motor through chopped-up groomers bases flat or on edge, and the Elite feels composed, not too short or too squirrely (compared to my SL skis, straightlining is much less disconcerting). Rossi retailers may have to explain this one a bit, and skiers might need an open-er mind to give them a try, but it’s well executed, and worth considering.
 
Awards
Who is it for?
Short-radius lovers who don’t need a feverish SL response time.
Who is it not for?
You still got to want to make turns, though.
Skier ability
Expert
Ski category
Race, Frontside
Ski attributes
Groomers
Segment
Men

Specifications

HighFives
Available sizes
160, 167, 174, 181
Dimensions
130-78-110
Rocker profile
Full camber
Construction design
New graphics only
Binding options
System

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NZRob

Skiing the Rock
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Recommended length for expert skier, 185lb, 6'1? Currently on 180cm Bones and (until recently) 177 iTitan. Thanks :)
 

Cheizz

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Recommended length for expert skier, 185lb, 6'1? Currently on 180cm Bones and (until recently) 177 iTitan. Thanks :)
Depends on the radius you want, really. The 167 is more than enough ski in the stability department, sizing up is not a necessity. For a longer radius, maybe.

174 / R 14
181 / R 15
 

tch

What do I know; I'm just some guy on the internet.
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c/c with new Head Rally, which is what I might have been looking at?
 

Cheizz

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The Hero Plus is a bit more aggressive than the new e-Rally. The Rally is smooth and definitely more friendly (than the Old Rally and than the Hero Elite Plus). The Hero Elite Plus is - literally - the consumer SL ski by Rossignol (the Hero Elite ST TI), but 10 mm wider. So it's more precise, snappier, and more poppy than the e-Rally. Not as all-round though, in terms of snow conditions it will shine in.
 

markojp

mtn rep for the gear on my feet
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Recommended length for expert skier, 185lb, 6'1? Currently on 180cm Bones and (until recently) 177 iTitan. Thanks :)
174
 

RSTuthill

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Bolton, CT
I just bought this ski. What I liked about it when I demo'd it around noon was precisely that it was slightly detuned and was not overly reactive to the piles of show (that got skied off in the morning) when you hit them. Lets you use the ski later into the day. That said, I primarily use SL skis these days early in the season, say for the first half dozen times on the hill. And a couple times mid season when I need a bit of a change in pace. On those latter occasions the whippiness of little SL skis never fails to bring a smile to my face.
 

RSTuthill

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Kinda depends, doesn't it? I am 6-0 220 and the way I use SL skis, 167 is the length. But I have a full quiver of race or race style skis as well as a pair of mid fats. If I am going faster that day I use a pair of beer league GS cheaters at 180. Faster yet a pair of 198 GS's or SG's or DH's. All depends on your situation.
 

markojp

mtn rep for the gear on my feet
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Kinda depends, doesn't it? I am 6-0 220 and the way I use SL skis, 167 is the length. But I have a full quiver of race or race style skis as well as a pair of mid fats. If I am going faster that day I use a pair of beer league GS cheaters at 180. Faster yet a pair of 198 GS's or SG's or DH's. All depends on your situation.
Yes, it always depends. If you wanted a no speed limit ski, we'd be talking about FIS GS skis and up. ogsmile Though I'm a bit shorter, and a few pounds lighter, and using your preferred Titan length as a datum, I said 174 for the Hero Plus. IMHO, to take full advantage of the versatility of a 14-16m ski at our size in a strong ski a la the Hero Plus or something like a Blizzard HRC, the mid 170's is a great length. Maybe I missed something and you were talking about a different ski need, or I simply misunderstood what you were looking for.

For reference, this is what I ski (or have skied) in the ski category you're interested in and the lengths:

Head iSpeed Pro 180 (free skiing focus, would want the iGS 25m 185 for gates)
Head iRace Pro 175
Head iSL FIS 165
Head Titan 177
Head Monster 88 184
(reference for an all mountain ski)
Blizzard HRC 174
Blizzard WRC 185
Rossi Hero Plus 174
Rossi Hero Master 180 (free skiing focus, would want the 185 for beer league.)

The cool thing is that there are really NO bad skis by any manufacturer in this category. ogsmile

(The bolded are skis I own or have owned.)

Background: USSA/FIS as a junior, Telemark Assoc of Japan full cert (former), PSIA L3, coach/trainer, boot fitter, ski tester and seller.
 

ScottB

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Boston
I would recommend you demo this ski before purchasing. I demo'd a number of mid 70 mm width carvers a couple of years ago and this was about the only ski I couldn't wait to get off of. I stopped skiing it before the day ended and got back on my own skis. It was dull and needed a tune, which didn't help its performance any. I was on the 181 cm length and it was a heavy snow, spring-ish day. I am a clyde, 6'4", 250 lbs. This ski felt very soft compared to others in its class, and at speed its tip was deflecting all over the place as I hit piles of snow. I guess you would say I totally overwhelmed this ski. I would call it the opposite of powerful. This ski felt very dangerous in that snow unless I was willing to throttle back my speed significantly.

I own a Rossi prosumer SL ski, 175cm , about 2012 vintage, slant nose 9S and it doesn't deflect at all. It is a lot stiffer and if anything is a bit reactionary or nervous at speed. I suppose the long length, 181cm, in the Hero Plus might just be too soft for its length, and in shorter lengths and with a lighter skier, the ski might work much better as a relaxed SL carver. I would recommend considering the other Rossi SL skis, I have heard good things about the MT (multi turn) version of this ski, I thing it is significantly stiffer and more a typical SL performer.

Recommended length for expert skier, 185lb, 6'1? Currently on 180cm Bones and (until recently) 177 iTitan. Thanks
My recommendation is look at Rossi's other SL skis and you could ski a 165-175 cm ski length. For your size I would recommend this ski in a 174cm length: Rossignol Hero Elite Multi 78
 
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NZRob

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Yes, it always depends. If you wanted a no speed limit ski, we'd be talking about FIS GS skis and up. ogsmile Though I'm a bit shorter, and a few pounds lighter, and using your preferred Titan length as a datum, I said 174 for the Hero Plus. IMHO, to take full advantage of the versatility of a 14-16m ski at our size in a strong ski a la the Hero Plus or something like a Blizzard HRC, the mid 170's is a great length. Maybe I missed something and you were talking about a different ski need, or I simply misunderstood what you were looking for.
@markojp you didn't miss anything. You hit the nail on the head with a 174 recommendation for me. The follow on "it depends" response was from a different pugskier!

I've just skied on the Elite Plus Ti in a 174 for an afternoon in challenging, very slick conditions and it was a stable, confidence inspiring ski, I loved it. I could comfortably ski longer but for much of local conditions the 174 is a more versatile choice.
 

markojp

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@markojp you didn't miss anything. You hit the nail on the head with a 174 recommendation for me. The follow on "it depends" response was from a different pugskier!

I've just skied on the Elite Plus Ti in a 174 for an afternoon in challenging, very slick conditions and it was a stable, confidence inspiring ski, I loved it. I could comfortably ski longer but for much of local conditions the 174 is a more versatile choice.
Glad they work for you! Great ski! For that type of ski, it makes sense to ski the shortest you can get away with. Thanks for the heads up on my confusion on who was posting what. :)
 
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DocGKR

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As I mentioned previously in another thread, I typically consider skis under 70 mm as dedicated racers; those 70-80 mm or so are on-piste recreational sport carvers, while those in the 80-100 mm range are great all-mountain resort skis. Markojp's comments above are in concordance with my experiences, although I am a bit bigger at 6' 215lbs now.

I like my 70-80mm waist sport carver's to have about a 15-16m turn radius. As such, I like the Rossi Hero Elite Plus Ti in the longer 174 and 181 length, as the shorter versions have a tighter turn radius and are more like a cheater SL--at that point, I feel the 165 Rossi FIS SL is a better way to go, as it free-ski's very well (nod to ScottsSkier for turning me on to the FIS SL!). I find my 181 Rossi Hero Elite Plus Ti w/15m radius to be an extremely fun and versatile ski for on-piste, all day use, as I wrote about here: https://www.pugski.com/threads/a-tale-of-two-racer-ish-skis.15691/#post-366574. Note that the 175 Head i.Race is a bit easier to ski and more like the Hero Elite than the 180 i.Race.

In comparison to other roughly 70-80 mm Sport Carvers, I enjoy my Hero Elite Plus more than my 177 Head i.Rally, as the Rossi is just as versatile for me, but has a higher top-end, more precision, and a better subjective "feel" to me. My 179 Liberty V76 is smile-inducing, versatile, smooth, and a bit more relaxed than the Hero Elite Plus, but does not have quite as high a top-end. On groomed runs the Hero Elite Plus is as fun as the excellent 177 Head SuperShape i.Speed (thanks to Muleski for recommending these!), but I find the Rossi more capable in variable snow conditions. My 177 Stockli SC and 182 Stockli AX are in the same sport carver category, but offer a more refined, smooth, and damp ride while being similarly quick, precise, and stable at speed (note that the 175 AX is closer in performance to the 181 Hero Elite than the somewhat stiffer 182 AX).
 
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