Review: Rossignol Experience 86 Basalt

Model year: 2021-2022
Sidecut: 132-86-120
Size: 176 cm
Radius: 16 m
Technology: full sidewall, wood core, basalt reinforcements, tip-rocker

About this ski

Rossignol’s Experience line has been their all-mountain line for a few generations now. Actually, Rossignol says they’re all-mountain skis. Whether or not they do ski all over the mountain well depends on the generation. The first generation was quite sturdy demanding carving skis for groomers (tough, stiff, not at all good in soft snow).
The previous generation did have some all-mountain capabilities though. With a much bigger and lighter tip (a bit like the Soul 7s and Sky 7s in terms of shape), but still quite demanding (the 88 and 94 at least, the lighter 84 AI was a brilliant all-mountain ski for lighter weight skiers). The new Experience skis are narrower (86 is the widest before that was 94 mm), and also much more groomer-oriented. A step back, if you will, in terms of versatility (or lack thereof). 

Soft spot

The skis are much less demanding. At least, this Basalt version. There is also a TI version, which has a bit more energy. With a medium radius and direct shape, this basically is a wider groomer ski. The extended sidecut is a bit hooky in 3D snow. Float is not really there. Off the groomers, this ski is not in its natural habitat.

The Experience 86 Basalt lack a bit of energy and umph. It holds an edge, it turns smoothly – both carved and skidded turn, although it prefers to carve. But it has a speed and stability limit that any advanced skier will definitely hit at some point. But it is a smooth cruising ride. Nothing bad about that. It’s just a break of character compared to the older Experience 88s.

In conclusion

The Experience 86 Basalt is a nice guy, a gentle and smooth ride. There is no thrill, though, and definitely a performance limit.

Characteristics

PlayfulStable
ForgivingPunishing
LivelyDamp
SkiddingCarving
Low speedHigh speed
Short turnLong turn
Soft snowHard snow

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