Keep reading to learn more about the pros and cons of this ski, who it is best for, and other similar alternatives to consider.
- Where to buy: Amazon
- Best for: Intermediate skiers who want to be able to tackle a range of terrain. Good for those who ride in varied winter conditions as well.
- Pros: Solid construction. These skis are made for a range of different environments. Great shock absorption thanks to the Air Tip Vas technology. Playful. HD cores do a good job of balancing out damping and dive. Looks good as well.
- Cons: Not the best when going fast. You lose stability at higher speeds and will not be able to maintain your grip. Could be better at turning at speed as well. Won’t be enough for advanced skiers.
- Alternatives: Blizzard Bonafide 97, Armada ARV 96, Elan Ripstick 96
Why Trust Me
I’ve been hitting the slopes since I was a kid. I enjoy getting out in the snow and have hands-on experience with a wide range of different skiing items. I spent ample time researching these skis by breaking down their traits, talking to people who used them, and seeing how they handled in a broad scope of different conditions.
The Rossignol Experience 80 CI is a well-built ski that’s made to last. It will deliver solid performance across many environments, making it a great choice for riders who like to tackle different terrain. While it may not be enough for more advanced skiers, the ski is a strong choice for intermediate riders who want something that excels on groomers.
Construction and Durability
If there’s a shining light in the Experience 80’s design, it’s the construction. These skis are incredibly tough and have what it takes to move through many types of weather without worry. That’s mostly due to the wood construction and flared tail profile. In addition, the Carbon Core is extremely well-rounded in a way that gives you better stability, balance, and excellent power transfer.
Not only does that core help with performance and give you better overall durability, it also cuts down on weight. That’s a big bonus for me because I love lighter models, especially ones that do a great job of cutting ounces without sacrificing strength. These skis are quite strong, but you aren’t going to get a lot of fatigue riding them. That’s truly the best of both worlds.
As mentioned, the Experience 80 is a tough, all-environment ski that’s built to last. There are several reasons for that, but one of the most important is its unique shape. It comes with a longer, more progressive tip. In addition, the rear tail rises early, and there’s a 70 percent bend on top of a 30 percent light tip rocker. That combination is key because it enables you to get an all-terrain model that excels just about everywhere.
Lacking True Stability
As great as the Experience 80 is in certain areas, it’s not the best model for those who want stability. The skis struggle when you start building up speed, and they also don’t do well with grip after turns. That combination means that while they have reliable maneuverability, they won’t give you the smoothest ride. Rossignol tries to fight that with their special Line Control Technology, but it falls short of that goal.
That said, I did like the Air Tip Vas. This feature helps absorb shocks and gives you general balance when you aren’t going too fast. It does a nice job of helping you stay in control and actively promotes good power transfer. As with the Line Control, it’s not enough when you build up speed, but it does add some comfort in most other situations.
The Experience 80 is not going to blow the doors off when it comes to general performance. Even so, it still gets high marks here because of its versatility. Where some skis can only go in one area, the Experience 80 has what it takes to be used both in and out of bounds. You’re going to see good results when moving on powder, and you’ll still be able to hold your own on refrozen snow.
This is not necessarily a ski you’re going to want for long off-piste expeditions, nor is it something you’re going to want to take exclusively out of bounds. However, if you like to tackle groomers in addition to venturing out every now and then, you’ll be more than happy with the performance.
Price and Value
When it comes to value, there’s a lot to like about the Experience 80. Iit doesn’t cost too much money when compared to some of the top models out there. It’s not the cheapest option you’ll ever see, but it’s perfectly reasonable when you consider both the performance and durability. The ski is a tough model. If you’re someone who doesn’t like to buy replacement items, it’s a great option. The included bindings are nice too.
What I Like
My favorite part of the Experience 80 is the general versatility. Going out into a range of different conditions is always great, especially for skiers who live or ride in areas with shifting weather and dissimilar terrain. The core construction and outer build both give you good durability, which is key if you want to have true functionality across multiple areas.
Something else worth mentioning is the Xpress 11 Bindings. You’re not always going to see add-ons with skis, but here it’s a great bonus. I like them because of how well they affect the overall value. Equipped with a monoblock design, the items are incredibly lightweight. They also have a wonderful integrated system and are extremely comfortable. You don’t need any tools to adjust them either.
What I Dislike
I found the Experience 80’s most significant weakness to be how poorly it held up at speed. You can get moving with them strapped to your feet, but you’re still going to lose a lot of control once things really start to heat up. Not only that, but you won’t be able to turn too quickly when things get going either. Add that the pair loses a lot of grip after high-speed turns, and you’re getting a model that just isn’t built to go fast.
As great as the Experience 80 CI is, it’s not perfect. If you want a ski that’s similar in form or function with a few different key traits, these models will all provide you with excellent results:
- Blizzard Bonafide 97 – The Bonafide 97 is an all-mountain ski that differs from similar models due to its race-inspired design. They have a strong edge grip as well as some of the best chopped up snow performance around. They’re good both in the groomers and beyond. You also get decent fresh snow capabilities alongside a poppy and playful design.
- Armada ARV 96 – The ARV is an incredibly striking ski that, similar to the Experience 80, gives you a lot of all-mountain options. This model is more geared towards those who want to be able to hit the mountain as well as park features like rails and jumps. You’re going to be able to use it on fresh snow as well. Read my detailed review to learn more.
- Elan Ripstick 96 – The Ripstick 96 (review) is another all-mountain option, but it differs from the Experience 80 through its extremely playfulness. This model, while a bit pricier, gives you excellent downhill performance on top of solid stability. I’m a big fan of the unique Amphibio profile, as well as the lighter design.
What skiers are these best for?
The Experience 80 is a more advanced ski aimed at intermediate to more seasoned riders.
Do these come with the bindings included?
Yes. The Experience 80 comes with Xpress 11 Bindings at no extra cost.
What is the Experience 80 CI’s turning radius?
It has a pretty tight turning radius of 15.5 meters.
How much do the skis weigh?
With the bindings, each ski comes in at a little more than four pounds.
The Experience 80 is a solid ski, which you see in its numerous features and sturdy, long-lasting construction. It’s a model that will provide excellent versatility for riders who like to take on the elements in many different ways.
If you’re someone who wants a decently valued model with very few drawbacks, this is a good pick. It’s not the best option for hard-chargers who like to go fast, but the smooth ride and fun design both go a long way.