Top All-Mountain Skis 2013: Rossignol Experience 98
ROSSIGNOL EXPERIENCE 98
Now in its second year, the Experience (which encourages you to "experience" more of the mountain) combines the soft snow performance of a fat ski with the precision edging of a much narrower carver. It gets its float using early rise in tip and tail and 30% rocker, and Rossi's Extended Sidecut—which engages more sidecut as a skier leans into an edge—gives it top-notch edge grip. It's a stiff, smooth ski, with traditional sandwich construction that includes a full wood core and a titanium sheet. SKI, which bestowed the 98 with its Gold Medal Gear award, thought it was ridiculously versatile, saying: "Its natural habitat is Western resort conditions: powder mornings, cruddy afternoons, chalky bumps, and velvet groomers between storms. But the E-98 will also thrive in all but the worst Eastern conditions (stay-home-anyway days)..." Powder, for its part, said it's "a race-car-feeling, everywhere, everyday kind of ski." Those are no small endorsements.
Best For: On- and off-trail versatility, but it may be too grippy for glades and moguls.
Overall: 3.75 | Carving: 3.99 | Float: 3.31
Length (cm): 172,180,188
Tip/Waist/Tail (mm): 139/98/128
$800; rossignol.com (on sale for $700)