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One our favourites for the 2017 winter in the men's version, the Sky 7 HD are now available as women's specific freeride skis - but do they match up to expectations?

Level
Advanced, Recreational
Terrain
Freeride
Best for
Recreation and advanced female skiers looking to get into off-piste and all terrain skiing
Price
£525
Season
2017/18
lengths
162, 170, 178
Bindings?
No
Float
8
Versatility
7
Playfulness
8
Energy
7
Value
8
Stability
7
Overall Score
7
+
Glides over the crud with a touch of playfulness
Flappy, flappy nose at higher speeds.

The 2018 Rossignol Sky 7 HD W replaces the Saffron 7 in the women's freeride collection. Incorporating the Carbon Alloy Matrix (ooh, sounds fancy!) and Air Tip construction means these seriously rockered skis travel over just about anything. Initially, they feel wider than expected underfoot which takes a bit of getting used to, but works nicely in the off-piste, giving tons of float.

 

On-piste we not too convinced, which when you look at the side profile of the rocker and camber is understandable. The nose is very flappy and the ski-snow contact point makes us a little nervous of ramping up the speed, with the stability feeling questionable - though in fairness held the edge reasonably well. This does fit with the target audience of the entry level freeride skier too.

 

Off-piste is where the skis are designed to be. Rossignol's latest core layer is the Carbon Alloy Matrix-a weave of carbon fibre and basalt-that gets added to the paulownia wood core to enhance performance and dampen the vibrations, increasing power and stability through challenging snow or at top speeds. The honeycomb-shaped Air Tip technology designed for flotation and manoeuvrability works well, and the stiffness that works against the skis on-piste gives power to the off-piste performance with the rocker simply gliding over the crud.

 

The advanced skier needs some adaptability to make the best of them, and as long as they aren't spending too much time on the piste, they could be worth the £525 without binding. The ability to ski with weight and power focused underfoot means we would recommend this to someone who is new to heading off the groomed slopes and into more variable, off-piste terrain.