Rossignol Soul 7HD Skis Review

Truly one of the best skis, wherever the mountain takes you, the Rossignol Soul 7HD. Although the Soul 7, with its 106mm waist, suggests its a big mountain ski; it is just as easy to ski on the piste as  85mm underfoot piste ski!

Taking the Soul 7’s away after two seasons out of skiing, and being use to a 85mm underfoot all mountain ski, it was safe to say that, even as a 23 year old confident chap, I thought I might of bitten off more than I can chew.

In my previous years skiing before my short break I would ski all of the mountain comfortably; including the odd hike to find some of the fresh snow in the untouched couloirs of the French/Italian Alps. Wanting to further my backcountry skiing the Rossignol Soul 7HD skis were highly recommended to me.

Rossignol Soul 7 Skis

The first day of my ski holiday came with the perfect conditions, lots of fresh snow, to throw me in the deep end with the new skis; the phrase ‘baptism by fire’ comes to mind. Although we are suggesting ‘fire’, myself and the Soul 7’s were in ‘heaven’. Instantly feeling so comfortable in the powder, strange noises of whoops of enjoyment were a regular occurrence. After each run through the trees or open couloirs I felt like my skiing had improved massively. The acknowledgement from my brother, a better powder skier than me (although I would never tell him), confirmed my thoughts. The family joke of ‘directional charging’ became much more of a reality as we were lapping the off piste sections.

As the week progressed unfortunately no more fresh snow was to come, no fresh powder but perfect corduroy piste with sunny conditions. This would be the real test on the hard pack piste with a 106mm waist. Again the Soul 7’s were unbelievably good. Carving made easy and edge hold with no chatter at all. Safe to say that I was highly impressed by the complete versatility of this ski. Towards the end of the week the snow became more hard pack, with some runs featuring ice patches. The best snow conditions were on the relatively untouched black runs which would prove to be the best test for the skis. The Soul 7’s is as easy to ski in the deep powder, and steep black runs, as it is on those leisurely blues and reds.

rossignol soul 7hd skis with bindings
The Soul 7’s is as easy to ski in the deep powder, and steep black runs, as it is on those leisurely blues and reds.

Therefore, for the advanced skier who wants to ski everything from deep powder to corduroy piste, with one ski, the Soul 7HD is the ski for you. But also for the more advanced intermediate who wants to get more into the big mountain skiing this is a great ski that makes life easier in all conditions.

Thanks Mark (skiing in January in the French/Italian Alps).

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When Should I Start My Water Ski Season?

Half to three quarters the way through the ‘off season’, where a lot of skiers have retired from the water for the winter, many of them are itching to return to the sound of spray falling, boats running and wakes lapping the banks. This urge leads them to the question of ‘when should I start my water ski season?’ 

The official beginning to the British Water-Ski Season is the 1st April, however as we all know, the water temperature and weather at this point in the year isn’t exactly for jumping around in shorts and impact vests! I tend to step into my first set in the middle of March, wrapped in layers and the same thought goes through my mind….’Jeez I can’t feel my feet!’

So how does a skier or water lover stay relatively warm and safe in the early season I hear you ask?! Well there are key ways in which this is possible.

water skier wearing a wetsuit
Wetsuits are great pieces of equipment that can keep you warm during these early season sessions.

Wetsuit

Wetsuits are great pieces of equipment that can keep you warm during these early season sessions. However finding and deciding upon the best wetsuit for yourself and the conditions in which you are skiing in can be a daunting task. Luckily Tallington Lakes Pro Shop have a wide range of wetsuits for all water temperatures, along with members of staff who are keen to help select a perfect fit!

Warm-Ups

Personally I believe warm-ups are very important, too, especially in colder conditions. I tend to take part in some pulse raising activities followed by some dynamic and static stretches just before I’m about to start my set. This can help prevent injury when on the water and can contribute to staying warm in the early season. One thing is for sure, if your body is uncomfortably cold when skiing, injury is twice as likely to occur.

Take An Easy Set

When stepping onto the water for the first time in the new season, take an easy set! For example if the previous season your personal best was four buoys at 36mph/58kph, you don’t want to be trying to water ski at those speeds straight out the block. Never be afraid to knock the speed down to a more comfortable velocity. This will help you find the rhythm of the course, allowing you spend more time on top of the water rather than in it.

These are just a few examples of how to keep warm and safe in the early season. Whenever you decide to jump into the waters of the United Kingdom, I hope you have a successful and fun-filled water ski season!

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Salomon XDR Skis Review

Salomon are replacing the X-Drive range of skis with the new range of Salomon XDR skis, next season, and let me tell you – its more than just a name change!

There will no doubt be plenty of articles explaining the technical merits of these skis; from the Snowsport Industries Great Britain (SIGB) Ski Test in March. This annual event is open to suppliers, retailers and the media; and provides them with an opportunity to thoroughly test next season’s skis. This year it’s in Kühtai, Austria.

They will no doubt explain the benefits of the full wood core, the single titanium laminate, the power zone, and the all terrain rocker – to name a few – and how these XDR skis meet Salomon’s desire to produce a ski that, in resort (or frontside as they like to call it) will handle a variety of snow conditions, such as carving groomed pistes, powering through crud or floating on fresh powder.

What I will say, “there isn’t an emoji with a big enough grin to express how much fun these skis are to ski”! I’m not going to explain the all mountain C/FX Shape; I’m going to say these are the best skis I have ever skied on; they are the skis for me!

So who am I? I’m the average recreational skier, who once a year travels to the mountains (Alps) to ski for six days. I like to ski on piste, and I’m extremely comfortable on red runs. I’m sure that ‘technically’ I could improve, but I’m on holiday, and my main focus is to have fun skiing in the mountains! I’m on the first lift and will ski all-day; so the ease with which I skied these skis, made them all the more delightful – and they look good too!

salomon xdr 80 Ti skis
I even ventured off-piste! Well a little area of ‘powder’ between the runs.

These skis took me where I wanted to go, on large carving turn, with excellent edge hold; even on the few ‘black’ runs these skis gave me the confidence to attack. The faster I went the more stable and confident I felt. I was having fun, run after run, and thanks to the lightweight construction I could – all day long!

I even ventured off-piste! Well a little area of ‘powder’ between the runs. I was awful, but the skis gave me plenty of float as I manoeuvred myself back to the haven of the neighbouring run. I tried it a few times, and marginally improved, however it only reinforced my love of the groomed ‘corduroy’ pistes – which is where I stayed!

So if reading this you’re thinking, “he sounds a bit like me”; there is a good chance that these Salomon XDR skis are the ones for you. Chad Blanc

But don’t just ‘take our word for it’; why not check out what the good people at Fall Line Skiing magazine have to say [Oct 2017]

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