Updated: Jan 25
By Gregory Gardner and James Rauch
Best Price: 2020 Version $299 from Level 9
Length Tested: 180
Width Tested: 98
Test Bindings: Marker Barron 16
Test Locations: Vail CO, Copper CO, Bridger Bowl MT, Big Sky MT, Whistler BC, Taos NM, Whiteface NY, Gore NY, , Buffalo Ski Center NY, Killington VT, Sugarbush VT
Technical Terrain: 8
Less than ideal conditions: 2
Touring Capabilities: 6
The Rossignol Sky 7 HD, the jack of all, master of none. The Rossignol Sky 7 is an ultra versatile all mountain ski coming in at 98mm underfoot. The sky 7 was designed to handle everything from powder to the tightest moguls, all while maintaining a light weight of 1800g. These characteristics make it a fantastic one ski quiver for those interested in touring. To allow the Sky 7 HD to perform in this manner, Rossignol implemented a lightweight Paulownia wood core in conjunction with their 'carbon alloy matrix' technology for improved dampening. That being said, like many other Rossignol models, these skis are fairly soft. In turn, this makes them a bit more suitable for lighter weight riders, as their weight will better match the flex patterns. The Rossignol Sky 7 HD is the perfect ski for intermediate to advanced skiers who prefer finesse over hard charging.
On the hardpack, the Sky 7 delivers, but did not quite meet our expectations. Our tester, James, said he had no issues laying the skis over in soft corduroy conditions, but when conditions were a bit harder, the ski requires a large amount of pressure on the outside ski to obtain edge hold. Additionally, he describes the ski as feeling 'dead' on the turns exit. In other words, it does not do the best job of springing you into your next turn when compared to a carving ski. That being said, the Sky 7 handles carving when paired with a skilled rider, but not as well as some of the other skis we have reviewed like the Line Sakana or the Icelantic Pioneer 96. Beginners and Intermediates who are still developing their carving technique should be weary of this, as it will make learning the fundamentals much more difficult.
In the moguls, the Sky 7 HD performs quite well. Due to the thin waste and early rise rocker profile, the ski is super easy to throw around and navigate through tight moguls. This is because the effective edge is shorter than some other all mountain skis of this length (due to the rocker profile), making them feel shorter than they are. Additionally, the soft core, in conjunction with the camber and carbon dampening technology absorbs impacts, making it easier to rebound into your next turn. Overall, this is a great ski for tackling moguls, regardless of ability level.
Click The Image To See James Featured on the @skitheeast Instagram!
Despite only being 98mm underfoot, the Sky 7 HD excels in resort type powder conditions, and even some backcountry type conditions (see photo above). This is in large part due to the wide shovels that float the ski to the surface. Additionally the flex is very conducive to powder skiing as it allows for a little bounce through the turn. Our tester, James, has skied these all over North America, and feels confident on any powder day under 24 inches. Not to mention, he was ecstatic about how well you can feel the whole ski in the deeper conditions, and in turn, obtain unparalleled control.
Similar to its performance in the moguls, the Sky 7 HD excels in technical terrain. The skis are very maneuverable between obstacles, and the overall feel of the ski provides plenty of feedback to keep you in control on your decent. Not to mention, it handles very well in the mixed conditions that are often present in more technical lines.
Less Than Ideal Conditions:
James is a die hard east coast skier, and as a result, he is frequently faced with icy conditions. In his eyes, this is where the Sky 7 falls short. Even with the sharpest of edges, the Sky 7s slide and skid when faced with Ice. This can make it difficult, and even scary to control them when tackling east coast ice conditions. This is in large part due to the shorter effective edge (that helps with moguls), and the softer flex profile providing less rigidity. If you spend all of your time on east coast mountains, we would strongly suggest opting for a stiffer ski like the Blizzard Bonafide.
The Sky 7 HD is by no means intended for park applications. The exit rocker will help with switch landings, but the ski is not center mounted, and is directional so it will not provide the same experience as a park specific ski. When it comes to hitting natural features, they will provide enough pop, and a stable platform to stomp your landing.
James has a pair of Marker Barrons on his Sky 7 HDs. If you are not familiar with the marker Barrons, they are essentially a traditional alpine binding that allows you to unlock the rear of the binding creating a pivot point at the front (See photo). While these bindings are heavy, they are the perfect application for this ski due to their uncompromised downhill performance that is necessary for a ski that will primarily be used at the resort. Additionally, they do not require boots with tech inserts vastly expanding your options. The Sky 7 HD as a whole wouldn't be the best 'touring only' ski as there are other models out there, like the Moment Deathwish, that are lighter and provide better backcountry type performance. That being said, as a 75% Resort/25% Backcountry ski these are great. They weigh 1800g making them light enough for shorter day trips, and they handle powder type conditions very well. As James said, " they are perfect for the resort skier that likes earning turns once in a while or just wants to put 'ski touring' in their instagram bio."
As we mentioned in the first line of this review, the Rossignol Sky 7 HD is the jack of many, master of none. These skis can handle pretty much anything you throw in their path. As to be expected with any all mountain ski, they do not have any particular categories in which they offer outstanding performance, because outstanding performance often comes with sacrifice in other areas. That being said, these are the perfect ski for someone who wants a true 'one-ski-quiver'. If you are a die hard Rossi fan, you will love these as they provide the Rossi feel and flex you are used to. If you have never skied on a Rossignol product, its definitely and acquired taste, but if you are relatively light and an intermediate or advanced skier, you will love the versatility that these provide!