Pugski Ski Tester
- Nov 1, 2015
- Reno, eNVy
Rossignol BlackOps Sender Ti
Radius: [email protected]
Sizes: 180, 187, 194
Size tested: 180
Design: All New
This is going to be a polarizing review. Our preview thread has shown that people have a lot of preconceived ideas about the new Sender Ti, ideas based on past experiences with other Rossignol products. Well, when you are replacing a ski that was as wildly successful as the Soul 7, you open yourself up to such criticism. Say what you want about the the Soul 7, it was good for Rossignol, it was good for skiers, it was good for the industry. It opened up parts of the mountain to skiers who never before had the wherewithal to get there. Was it the ski for me and others? No, but it was a powder ski for the masses, and for that it was blamed for its success.
Rossignol saw this change coming a few seasons ago when it started a dark marketing campaign with the BlackOps program, skis that were for shop people and athletes. This was intended to show us that Rossignol remembered how to make skis for skiers, not just for people who ski.
For 2021, Rossignol took the BlackOps public, and as the Soul 7 was the face of its collection, the Sender Ti is the face of this one. I can say with complete confidence that the Sender Ti will make you forget everything you thought you knew about Rossignol and the Soul 7. It is a ski for hard chargers and rippers. Where the Soul 7 hit a speed limit, the Sender Ti is just hitting its next gear. Where the Soul 7’s tip and tail started getting floppy and unstable, the Sender Ti is solid and planted. This is not a ski for the light or the meek.
I previewed the Sender Ti a few weeks ago when Tricia and I went on a tour of Rossignol’s headquarters in Park City. I immediately knew it was going to be a big-boy ski, especially since it was coming in a 194 (@DoryBreaux, your chariot awaits). I usually ski most skis one size down from the longest length; for the Sender Ti, that would be a 187. I feel comfortable on few skis longer than 185, especially now that I am a bit lighter while remaining on the finesse side of the finesse-power band. Skiing the Soul 7 in a 180 was downright scary; I had to ski the 188 to get an inkling of confidence. When asked if I wanted the 180 or 187 Sender Ti, knowing its flex and profile, I rolled the dice and chose the 180. After a day at Squaw, I couldn’t be happier with that decision.
I have learned to do a little research before taking a drill to a ski. I compare centerlines and profiles with other reference skis in the segment, and since Rossignol provides multiple mount options for the Sender Ti, I can only assume it’s okay to look at options there, too. I used a few other skis that I have in our test fleet for points of reference; I found that the suggested mount point for the 180 was a little forward, so I chose the -2cm point for mounting the provided Pivot 15. Had Rossignol sent me the 187, I probably would have mounted to the suggested “0” line.
As soon as I got the Sender Ti on snow, I knew I had gone two for two (ie, the length and the mount). To reiterate, the Sender Ti is so not the Soul 7. Where the Soul was light and pinged on the snow, feeling and sounding almost synthetic, the Sender Ti is confidence-inspiring. The conditions for testing were a bit unusual for Squaw. It rained slightly the previous night but never really froze, nor did it get too heavy or even manky. The glossy spots were firm but breakable, and the places people had skied were almost like corn but with more resistance than spring corn. Throw in some flat light in sections, and a ski whose main trait is stability was indeed a solid weapon of choice.
We were only out for couple of hours or so and started on the undulating bumps on the Saddle where the 180 Sender Ti was actually playful. Then we were off to Siberia chair and a couple of runs down the face along with traverses over to East Wall and down. I was duly impressed with the way the Sender Ti handled the mixed conditions, and the 180 never felt short.
The published turning radius of the 187 is 21 m, which means the 180 is probably just under that, around 20 m, and it felt all of that. This longer turn radius was noticeable on the flats, and the ski wasn’t quite as quick across the hill as some others. But that's fine, because those skis aren’t as good off piste as this one. Rossignol committed to making an off-piste charger, and by golly it succeeded.
- Who is it for? If you can’t decide between playful and power in this segment, this is your ski.
- Who is it not for: Those who are happy with their Soul 7s should look elsewhere. To quote Albert Potato, “This is not Mel Torme” (obscure movie reference).
- Insider tip 1: Don’t hesitate to mount -2 (on the 180); it is money.
- Insider tip 2: I have seen few new ski campaigns receive so much immediate disdain. Come on people, get over yourselves. You complained that the outgoing collections weren’t core enough or that they opened up your stashes to weekend warriors. Now Rossi builds the ski you asked for, and you whine that the campaign is trying to be too cool. You just can’t make some people happy. Lighten up, Francis. Signed, Boomer.
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