Rossignol Experience 100 HD ReviewDecember 6, 2017
- Excellent carver
- Wonderfully damp
- Confident in all conditions
- Great edge hold
- Excellent balance
- More damp than lively
- Best for technical skiers
- Not as much float
- Bigger skiers might prefer the 182 cm length
Rossignol’s updated take on its all-terrain owning Experience 100 is one of the best skis in the All Mountain Category. It offers the kind of power and edge hold testers loved in the Blizzard Bonafide, and a level of Carving pleasure that help set the Elan Ripstick 96 and Nordica Enforcer 93 at the top of the class. Most importantly, it offers all these high performance results with a smooth, even handling feel that is the result of great technology, and wonderful ski balance. Rossignol’s All Mountain focused Air Tip and Auto Turn Rocker are instrumental in making the initiation of each turn feel effortless, while the Extended Sidecut increases the grip the faster you go and the more you angulate. The coup d’carve, however, is the Carbon Alloy Matrix construction, which enunciates all the aforementioned features with a feeling of hold and dampness that most skis just can’t match.
The Experience 100 is not for going slow, or for skidding or slarving. The ski does not have much sense of playfulness or liveliness. And it also doesn’t have the top Float in this category – despite the rockered tip. Some of our more standup style testers felt they had to angulate too much to completely engage the edge. And for those who put multiple lengths of this ski to the test, there is a preference for the 182 model over the 190, even for larger skiers, as it exhibited the most All Mountain versatility at the second longest available length. The 100’s mastery of all typical lift-served conditions make it a strong recommendation for advanced, technically proficient skiers from coast to coast.
Overall rankings for the Rossignol Experience 100 HD were among the top in the category. It scored a majority of 10s (out of a possible 10), a smattering of 8s, and two 6s from testers who wondered, “Is this ski too damp?” Those who loved their “experience,” talked about how “Explosively powerful,” the ski is, how “Incredibly solid,” the ski felt underfoot, and how in each turn it has “a smooth entry and exit.” On an Overall basis, the Experience 100 is one of the top skis in the All Mountain Category.
The same testers who gave the Rossignol Experience 100 HD lower Overall marks, also gave the ski below average marks for its Responsiveness. The reason, as noted in the Full Review, is that they wanted a livelier ski that wasn’t as damp. Of course, the same majority of testers who loved the ski, said the 100’s smooth carve in all conditions was all the Responsiveness they could ever want. In terms of how easily the Air Tip and Auto Rocker transition into each turn, and how well the Extended Sidecut continues to grab hold of each edge the more a skier pressures and angulates, the majority of test cards would indicate this a very Responsive ski in terms of initiation and grip.
For Stability, the Rossignol Experience 100 HD received across the board 10s, 9s, and 8s. Even our testers who questioned the ski’s Overall rating, and its Responsiveness, said that in terms of the 100 offering unshakeable Stability, there is no doubt. On hardpack, mixed crud, bumps, and any fresh or windblown powder that is less than six inches deep, this ski offers the same balanced, even performance. It just keeps steering through everything in its path.
The Experience 100 HD relies more on quick initiation, Stability, and constant ski-to-snow contact more than it does Resort Float – despite the ease of turn entry offered by the ski’s Auto Rocker and Air Tip. The ski dropped a couple porpoise points in this classification. Like the Blizzard Bonafide, one of the other true masters of the value of dampness over pop in this category, the 100 prefers to Carve instead of Float.
As one tester put it, the Rossignol Experience 100 HD was, “The best Carving, most stable ski of the All Mountain test.” It might not have been the overall winner in the Carving classification, especially up against the vacuum smooth skills of the Elan Ripstick 96, but the Experience 100 did provide a predictably great edge hold throughout the turn no matter where we skied it. So if you think of the art of Carving as an all-piste exercise – and not just for groomed – then the 100 is a master of all mediums, with the kind of balance you can rely on no matter where you ski it.Continue Reading
Peter Kray- Publisher
Peter Kray is a co-founder of the Gear Institute, and a longtime specialist in the testing of skis, snowboards and outdoor equipment.