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The Rossignol Sky 7 HD W benefits from a new construction and our testers were keen to see if they could find the Sky's limits.

Level
Advanced
Terrain
Freeride
Best for
Strong female skiers looking for a freeride starter ski to develop their off-piste skills.
Price
£425
Season
2016/17
lengths
162,170,178
Bindings?
Yes
Smoothness
6
Versatility
6
Energy
6
Value
6
Performance
6
Overall Score
6

Rossignol's Sky 7 HD range is its successor to the Sin 7 and while women didn't have their own version of Sin last year (boo!), this season they do get the Sky 7 HD W which replaces the Saffron 7 in the freeride department.

Cosmetically the difference is easy to see, with the tip and tail sporting a gentle pink colour rather than burnt orange, but under the hood there is very little difference between the sexes.

The Sky 7 HD W weighs in at 3.4kg per pair, just 0.2kg less than the men's version, and the sidecut (127-97-117) of the 170cm length gives a 16m turn radius that is comparable with the men's skis.

What has changed for both versions is the replacement of a poplar wood core with one made of paulownia wood. That is combined with what Rossignol terms its Carbon Alloy Matrix - the material that earns the 'HD' in the ski's title.

Basically it's a blend of carbon fibre and basalt fibre, which Rossignol says boosts the properties of "lightness, power transmission, shock absorbing and stabilising".

As the Sky 7 HD W sports the Grenoble-based company's recognisable honeycomb Air Tip and Powder Turn Rocker, it's unsurprising that on piste they aren't too comfortable with a lot of nose flap going on.

Off-piste the tips help with easy turn initiation but the midski area feels a little heavy in contrast, although we reckon this would be a good freeride starter ski for those developing their skills away from the groomed stuff.