Best Soft Snow Ski
Rossignol Black Ops Sender Ti

The Black Ops series replace the massively popular Rossignol 7 series, which are some of the most recognizable skis on the slope and a perfect first set of skis. People loved them for their low-weight, maneuverability, and forgiving rocker. Rossignol announced this year that they were officially doing away with the series this year and introducing their Black Ops line, an updated model that strives to be a middle ground between the soft 7 and a more performance style ski. Though the Black Ops are intended to be an update, some see it as too far a departure from what made the 7 work. In either case, there are undeniably some big differences between the two.

Though stiffer and heavier than the 7 series, the Rossignol Black Ops skis actually run at about the middle of the pack in terms of overall bulk. Still, the wood and titanal base is solid enough to feel trustworthy when you ski hard. In fact, the Black Ops seem to favor a powerful style of skiing over the more casual and forgiving 7. It’s not something that will let you get away with skiing backseat in technical terrain and favors a far more formal style than its predecessor. But a more demanding ski can do things performance-wise that a soft one cannot.

The Black Ops shine everywhere the 7 series could not. They can do rail turns on hardpack, power through crud and powder, and absorb a landing–and as a whole, handle more advanced skiing techniques than the 7’s could. At the same time they’re still more forgiving than the most aggressive skis on this list, and can still release an edge pretty easily. There are skis out there that can offer more support, but the Black Ops Sender won’t hold you back.

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