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Rossignol have overhauled their freeride line this season, and the Blackops Rallybird appears the pick of the bunch in the ladies selection; we test whether the revolution has paid off

Level
Advanced
Flex Rating
0
Terrain
Freeride
Best for
All freeriders, from the tentative to the diehard
Price
£585
Season
2020/21
lengths
154, 162, 170
Bindings?
No
Float
9
Versatility
9
Playfulness
9
Energy
10
Value
10
Stability
10
Overall Score
9
+
Outstanding freeride performance and still approachable to a wide range of skiers
Graphics are to taste and the price might be a slight stretch...

The Blackops line from Rossignol has stormed the freeride tent this season, and their much-loved Soul 7 and Sky 7 models have been subject to some kind of extraordinary rendition, to torture a metaphor... Replacing such popular figures is risky, but as far as the Blackops Rallybird goes the coup appears to have been bloodless.

The specs of the Blackops Rallybird represent the flagship model of the family; 102mm underfoot is approachable for most freeride skiers without being off-putting to intermediates and the full wood core maintains some lightness and something of a forgiving nature, as does the retaining of the lightweight honeycomb tips that made their predecessors so popular.

The Blackops Rallybird is absolutely solid in wind packed off piste, and is super playful in powder snow. This ski would be perfect for the super confident skier wanting to ride off piste in any sort of terrain. But it's also a confidence building ski and is certainly not the sole preserve of experts. Great float in the powder and enough strength to glide through wind pack makes for a super smooth ride.

It can be a little reluctant to change edge quickly, which is to be expected in a mid-fat ski, but long, laid-out turns are solid both on and off piste. And this ski is more than happy at full charge anywhere on the hill.

The topsheet may divide opinion - mismatching the design in a flagship model is bold, but Rossignol will be hoping that element goes under the radar, because otherwise this is an outstanding freeride ski.