With our downunder season back on and almost here time to Gear Up – today’s choice the Rossignol Black Ops “Ride Free” series .. Equals Freeride backwards for those who came in late / stayed out late and are slow on the uptake today. Part of Rossi’s campaign to inject some youthful flair into the brand.
The Black Ops replace the legendary 7 series, awesome skis that set a benchmark for many. Their only failing may have been under-stated classic graphics. Things get funkier again with the Black Ops, which Snow Action had a chance to test late last season at and out of Thredbo.
Since they launched the 7 series with the release of the Soul 7 back in 2013, Rossignol have been working covertly to develop their newest weapon, the Black Ops range. They put it this way, “Get ready to RIDE FREE .. the Black Ops Range are for those who like to take their foot off the brake and let imagination lead the way.”
Indeed. Pedal-to-the-metal charging capability was a big feature of the 7 series, especially the top end widest Squad 7s, which have been my go to ski for a few seasons. Day in, day out somebody on a pair of carve boards would look enviously at them and say something like, “Oh, they must be a powder ski.” Well obviously, at 120mm underfoot, they were. But they truck on anything, and many is the time I’d say, “OK, let’s do a lap and see how they go on the groomer then..”
So the promise of even better performance is tempting indeed.
Constructed with an extended core, the new range increases ski-snow contact and torsional stability of the ski to boost precision and control in varied conditions. The Black Ops boast innovative technology such as 2LCT (Double Line Control Technology), which improves control without added weight. Offering plush suspension for variable snow conditions, the integrated Damp Tech insert will absorb vibrations to absorb irregularities in the terrain to ensure smooth sailing down the slopes.
Lead Tester Steve Crazy Leeder took out a set of the Black Ops Holyshred, and said:
“My kinda ski. Powerful enough to send anything. I wish I had more time on this ski to get into bigger terrain. Not for the faint hearted. If you want to turn YOU have to make it turn. A true free ride ski, turns tracked out, rutted, manky snow into smoothness. Never once did I feel not in control.”
The Holyshreds head up the All-Terrain offering in the Black Ops, with high camber for bite when you need to carve, and medium rocker tip and tail. A titanal beam underfoot adds to torsional stability at speed. At 98mm underfoot looking like very tempting one ski quiver buying. Available up to a 194cm length, they will suit up to the biggest skiers, and biggest chargers among them of all sizes.
Rossignol Black Ops Holyshred (Ski Only) RRP $AUD 1299
The Black Ops Sender TI & Sender
The aptly named Senders are designed to do just that, headline acts as the Freeride/Free Touring focus of the Black Ops Range.
The Sender TI is guaranteed to deliver ultimate speed and control being constructed with Rossignol’s Double LCT ABS technology combined with PEFC™ certified poplar wood core.
Built with a titanal beam, you’ll have the right amount of power under the foot with enhanced gripping across the entire length of the Sender TI. The combination of a Damp Tech insert and Carbon Alloy reinforcement add the perfect finishing touches to the Sender TI, creating a lighter snow feel for extra refinement together with top performance in powder. Did someone say home and away?
Rossignol Black Ops Sender TI (Ski Only) RRP $AUD 1499
The Black Ops Sender features a honeycomb core in the tip and tail, the combination of Double LCT Visco and AIR TIP technology gives amazing manoeuvrability and turn control all over, in bounds or out.
Rossignol Black Ops Sender (Ski Only) RRP $1299
Black Ops Rallybird TI and Rallybird
More one ski quiver contenders for all over riding, the Rallybirds deliver a lighter, easier-to-control ski as you gracefully shoot down the slopes with increased stability, and decreased weight and density thanks to the innovative honeycomb support skeleton in the tips and tails and AIR TIP technology. Built with FSC® certified paulownia wood and an extended core.
The Rallybird TI is available up to a 178cm, the Rallybird up to a 170cm.
Rossignol Black Ops Rallybird (Ski Only) RRP $1299
Rossignol Black Ops Rallybird TI (Ski Only) RRP $1399
As part of the Respect program, the new Black Ops range was designed with sustainability and eco-consciousness at the forefront of the design. Each ski has been created with entire FSC® or PEFC™ certified wood cores, which guarantees sustainable forest management. The Black Op range feature with 15% recycled materials into the topsheets, 30% in the bases and edges made from 100% recycled steel.
For more on the entire range and stockists check the link