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Rossignol Soul 7 HD W Review

A great choice for a West Coast woman who loves getting out in the soft snow.
Editors' Choice Award
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Price:  $750 List | $449.93 at REI
Compare prices at 2 resellers
Pros:  Great float in powder, playful, decent stability
Cons:  More expensive, slightly lumbering in bumps
Manufacturer:   Rossignol
By Renee McCormack ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Jan 24, 2018
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92
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#1 of 11
  • Stability at Speed - 20% 9
  • Carving - 20% 9
  • Crud - 20% 9
  • Powder - 20% 10
  • Playfulness - 15% 9
  • Bumps - 5% 8

Our Verdict

The Rossignol Soul 7 HD is the ultimate example of why we shouldn't judge a book by its cover (or a ski by its shape). We almost didn't even include this ski in our "all-mountain" ski review, because our lead reviewer is a snob about only declaring something "all-mountain" if it performs well on groomers as well as off-piste. We made assumptions about how it would perform based on its form, and they were promptly shattered! This ski deserves its place not only within the "all-mountain" category but at the very top of the pile and the winner of the Editors' Choice. Does it shine in powder and soft snow? Yes, absolutely. But does it also crush it in all other types of snow and terrain? 100%. If you're a competent upper intermediate skier, this ski will gently guide you into the exciting world of off-piste landscapes. If you are a hard-charging lady who wants something which will act as a powder ski but still be a riot in crud as well as on the groomers, you've found your birthday present to yourself!


Compare to Similar Products

 
Awards Editors' Choice Award Top Pick Award Top Pick Award Top Pick Award  
Price $449.93 at REI
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$779.98 at Backcountry
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$750 List$449.96 at Backcountry$475.86 at Amazon
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Overall Score Sort Icon
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Pros Great float in powder, playful, decent stabilityUnparalleled stability at speed, crud-buster, lends you strengthShort turn radius, very carvy, solid construction, fun in the powderA blast to ski, easy to turn, relatively stable, fantastic in powderVersatile, stiffer, reliable
Cons More expensive, slightly lumbering in bumpsVery pricey, prefers faster straighter linesCan be hokey in crud and bumpsNot perfect carvers, some deflection in crudNot particularly exciting
Bottom Line A great choice for a West Coast woman who loves getting out in the soft snow.If you like to go fast and want a one-ski quiver, this ski is absolutely worth the extra funds.A great ski for an advanced skier who wants to carve snappy turns on-piste and venture off trail into the deep powder.Ripping skis for ripping chicks, or those on their way to becoming one, so fun and flexible.A dependable ski, adept in all conditions, as long as you don't mind their lack of excitement.
Rating Categories Rossignol Soul 7 HD W Kastle FX95 HP Head Great Joy Elan Ripstick 94 W Blizzard Black Pearl 98
Stability At Speed (20%)
10
0
9
10
0
10
10
0
8
10
0
8
10
0
9
Carving (20%)
10
0
9
10
0
9
10
0
10
10
0
7
10
0
6
Crud (20%)
10
0
9
10
0
10
10
0
8
10
0
8
10
0
9
Powder (20%)
10
0
10
10
0
9
10
0
9
10
0
9
10
0
8
Playfulness (15%)
10
0
9
10
0
7
10
0
8
10
0
10
10
0
6
Bumps (5%)
10
0
8
10
0
8
10
0
6
10
0
9
10
0
8
Specs Rossignol Soul 7... Kastle FX95 HP Head Great Joy Elan Ripstick 94 W Blizzard Black...
Intended Purpose All mountain powder All mountain stability All mountain carver All mountain play All mountain reliable
Ability Level All levels All levels All levels All levels Advanced
Available Lengths 156, 164, 172, 180 173, 181, 189 153, 158, 163, 168, 173 156, 163, 170, 177 152, 159, 166, 173
Shape 136-106-126 126-95-115 142-98-125 135-95-110 135-98-119
Waist Width 106 95 98 95 98
Radius 18 18 15.3 16.2 16.5
Rocker Tip and tail, camber underfoot Tip and tail, camber underfoot Tip rocker, camber underfoot Tip and tail, cambered inside edge Tip and tail, camber underfoot
Weight Per Pair (Pounds) 7.7 9.62 8.2 lbs 6.725 7.625
Construction Type Sandwich Sandwich Sandwich cap SST sidewall Sandwich compound sidewall
Core Material Paulownia wood silver fir, beech, Titanal, fiberglass Wood & composite Tubelite wood Poplar and beech wood
Tested Length 172 173 173 170 173

Our Analysis and Test Results

Our favorite skis to take out on a deep powder day, the Soul 7s are also incredibly competent in all other snow conditions. Their tapered tip and tail shape make these fat planks easy to bring around in most environments and are surprisingly quick for their girth.

Performance Comparison


As the winner of the Editors Choice  the Soul 7 impressed us in all variety of terrain: Steeps  crud  powder  groomers - even skiing in the clouds as shown here!
As the winner of the Editors Choice, the Soul 7 impressed us in all variety of terrain: Steeps, crud, powder, groomers - even skiing in the clouds as shown here!

Stability at Speed


This was one of the arenas in which Rossignol really upped their game and caused us to choose this ski as the Editors Choice.


Rossi's use of their Air Tip technology, matched with a new Carbon Alloy Matrix, creates a ski that is as dependable as your favorite coffee mug. Despite the enormous rockered tips, which look like they would want to flap like a swallow's wings, there is amazing steadiness along the entire length of the ski. Not only do they love high-speed groomers, but we found they were confidence-building when gaining momentum in the steeps and off-piste conditions.

The Soul 7s lost their tip-flap of old with their updated construction  and now feel much more stable at speed.
The Soul 7s lost their tip-flap of old with their updated construction, and now feel much more stable at speed.

Their dampness absorbs rippling terrain and allows you the freedom to go mach-nuts. All our testers loved going their top speed on these babies! The Soul 7s still don't have quite the freight-train mentality of the Kastle FX 95 HP, on which we found ourselves going even faster than our maximums, and sometimes without noticing. Relative to the Elan Ripstick 94, they have just a tad less tip-wobble and compared to the Blizzard Black Pearl 98, they have just slightly more secure edge hold.

The edge grip is increased on this year's Soul 7.
The edge grip is increased on this year's Soul 7.

Carving Performance


One of the most impressive aspects of this ski is how easily you can engage the edge and carve a beautifully clean arc — despite their slightly obese waist of 106mm.


We couldn't believe how much fun we could have on such a fat ski on groomed runs! We found that when we made an effort to flip them over quickly, they responded well and rewarded us handsomely for getting a higher edge angle earlier in the turn. When you push them to engage earlier, they can feel like they have a tighter turn radius than 18m. We were thrilled with the rebound they provided when you pressure and then release them at just the right moment. They feel like they springboard you into the next turn.

We loved how the Soul 7s tipped and ripped on-piste  and rebounded us into our next flowing arc.
We loved how the Soul 7s tipped and ripped on-piste, and rebounded us into our next flowing arc.

While they love to carve when demanded, they are also happy to skid and butter their way through tight trees, and this versatility mesmerized us. We felt like they were slightly easier to effectively arc than the Elans, due to the RipSticks' rockered outside edge. Regarding edge hold in steep and firm terrain, they compared well with the Blizzards, and outperformed the Icelantic Oracle 88s and the Black Crows Camox Birdie by a landslide.

Charging over pow on the Soul 7s  our tester Holly Moseley gets a face-full of the good stuff.
Charging over pow on the Soul 7s, our tester Holly Moseley gets a face-full of the good stuff.

Powder Performance


As the winner of the "Best in Powder" category in previous reviews, we expected this ski to charge in the deep. It did not disappoint. Given its enormously rockered and spatula'd tips, it's no surprise that this beauty glides above any texture of fresh snow.


The chubby midsection of the Soul 7's allows the skier to maintain lift in deeper snow and butter the skis into the direction of her choosing. They are burly enough to plow through cruddy snow, but also pliable enough to bend in light powder.

These skis are built for soaring on top of deep snow  and we loved them for how they helped us fly over the soft stuff.
These skis are built for soaring on top of deep snow, and we loved them for how they helped us fly over the soft stuff.

The Soul 7s solidly beat out all the competition in this particular category. However, the Elans, the Heads and the Kastle all come relatively close to jostling them out of position.

The Soul 7 suffers very little deflection in crud.
The Soul 7 suffers very little deflection in crud.

Crud Performance


Something magical happened when Rossignol incorporated their Air Tip Technology and weaved the Carbon Alloy Matrix through these boards. The deflection we previously felt from the tips in the crud virtually disappeared. Instead, we found ourselves bombing fearlessly through whatever the mountain tossed at us — churned up powder, avalanche debris, breakable crust down into elephant snot below, chundery death cookies, and even wind-scoured sastrugi.


The Kastle FX 95 HP still have the competition beat when it comes to blasting through funky snow conditions, but the Soul 7s have certainly improved vastly. There were many strong competitors in this category this season, with many skis reaching for the top slot. Unfortunately, this is one area in which the softer skis, such as the Icelantics and the Atomics sit at the bottom of the pack; they will do alright in gentler crud, but if you want to charge it's worth trying something a tad stiffer like the Black Pearls.

Our testers all loved getting these things airborne; they launch easily and are a stable platform for landings.
Our testers all loved getting these things airborne; they launch easily and are a stable platform for landings.

Playfulness


We had a blast popping off of moguls, small jumps, and little rock drops on the Soul 7s. They are light enough that they get airborne with ease, and they create a solid platform for landing.


We found that we could get them to bend easily and that they had a fun rebound when we released the pressure. It's surprising that a ski with such bulk could be so giddy, but it won us over in this metric as well.

Holly rides the waves of joy that the liveliness of the Rossis brought us all.
Holly rides the waves of joy that the liveliness of the Rossis brought us all.

For an even sparkier experience, try the Elans, which take you on a truly wild ride — in a good way! The skis which performed well in crud, due in part to their stiffness, also seem to have a bit of a stiff upper lip. The Volkls, known for being a stiff line of skis with a stiff upper lip, looked down their noses at those having "too much fun".

The Rossignol Soul 7's tapered tip and tail shape will allow you to pivot through the bumps more easily than on other models.
The Rossignol Soul 7's tapered tip and tail shape will allow you to pivot through the bumps more easily than on other models.

Bumps Skiing Performance


With the Soul 7s zippy and quick-to-turn nature, they are no slouch in the moguls. However, they are still always going to act a bit like a bull in a china shop in delicate and precise terrain like the bumps.


Most women will want to select a larger size in this ski than they are accustomed to skiing, due to the extreme rocker at the fronts, which brings the skiable edge back quite far. Thus, when you take these massive planks into the moguls, they are going to feel slightly more cumbersome than a more traditional ski, like the Icelantics or the Black Pearls, which are easier to maneuver in tight spaces. The ski that danced through the zipper-lines was the Elan, which combined rebound with a tighter turn radius to make a banging bump ski.

Best Application


The Soul 7s, despite all their attributes elsewhere, is most at home in deeper snow and off-piste. This ski could certainly become an excellent one-ski quiver for a woman who is also most comfortable in variable terrain, but who wants something which offers a kick on-piste as well.

The Soul 7s are an ideal powder ski  but they offer strength in all environments. They can be one-ski quiver  with bonus powder day potential!
The Soul 7s are an ideal powder ski, but they offer strength in all environments. They can be one-ski quiver, with bonus powder day potential!

A similar ski in this regard is the Elan Ripstick, which floats well in powder but also do well on groomers. The Rossis are easy enough to ski that even higher-level intermediate skiers shouldn't be intimidated by the shape; they could offer a smooth transition into powder and ungroomed terrain. For something which offers an even mellower introduction to the new environment of variable snow, you should look into the Icelantics or the Atomics. Since this ski does sport some voluminous tip rocker, most women will want to opt for a size up from their normal length. Our tallest tester, at 5'10", wished we had tested the 180 length. That being said, our shortest tester, at 5'4" also wanted the same — but she packs a ton of energy into her tiny form!

Value


At a retail cost of $750, the Soul 7's aren't shy about their worth. Because they pack so much versatility into a potential one-ski quiver, we think they're worth every penny. We would think of it as buying a powder ski with benefits. The Elan Ripsticks also really pack a punch in many different arenas, and for less of a hit to your wallet, at $600. For a ski which does well in many different types of terrain, but isn't quite so snappy and jumpy, find reliability at an affordable price with the Blizzards at $600.

Get out and splash into the deep with the Soul 7 HD W.
Get out and splash into the deep with the Soul 7 HD W.

Conclusion


So much sprightlier than you would envision given their weight and width, the Soul 7s surprised us at every turn, literally. They sailed smoothly on top of powder and wind-buff, cruised through chop, and laid down beautiful tracks when we got back to the groomer at the bottom. They popped around like (predictable) jack-in-the-boxes and were so fun to get airborne. Despite their bulkiness in the bumps, they are still nimble enough to compete in the moguls. If you are a ripping chick who wants a new all-terrain vehicle or are hoping to become one, the Soul 7s might be your new Soul Mates.


Renee McCormack