We loved the original Experience 88 on packed powder on and off-trail out West, but the lightweight and easy skiing feel fell short on real hardpack where the edge penetration just didn’t match that of heavier skis. But adding a sheet of metal would only spoil the lively fun. The fix: For 2017, Rossignol soups up its skis with an open weave of carbon and basalt dubbed Carbon Alloy Matrix. The carbon adds dynamic return (energy/pop) as the ski exits the turn. The basalt consumes vibration and allows the ski to contour the terrain without chattering. That restrained use of materials is key. Too much carbon and skis get brittle and nervous. Too much basalt and they feel dead. We praised it for the perfect balance between the two.
Swami gripe: It favors perfect corduroy.
Swami like: It’s like the old Experience 88, but with 20 percent more edge grip.
Overall: 4.5 Turn Shape Variability: 4.8 Carving: 4.7 Dimensions: 135/88/124