Rossignol has been an instrumental leader in the freeride ski category since its inception in the mid-90’s. So much so, that their Soul 7 series has almost become synonymous with what they call “ride free” skiing. Visit any ski resort and you would be hard pressed not to find anyone riding on them. This shouldn’t come as a surprise. The Soul 7’s are a fun, playful freeski that are widely popular with the masses. Or, should I say, were popular? All good things must come to an end and so too did the reign of Rossignol’s 7 series.
A Black Ops Mission to Replace Rossignol’s Soul 7 Series
Much to the chagrin of many, the Souls now rest somewhere in heaven with the ski gods. They were taken down, quite literally, by a Black Ops mission in an effort to evolve and improve with the times. What started a few seasons ago as a covert mission to replace the 7 series has now finally come to fruition with Rossignol’s new Black Ops series.
The whole operation was actually quite hush hush. Part marketing ploy, part “they’re just not available yet,” the end result of the mission was a success. The Black Ops, Rossignol’s new and improved line, is highlighted by their go-to ski in the quiver, the Sender TI. Initial reactions have all been positive, garnering high marks from many publications as well as earning the coveted 2020-2021 Gear of the Year award from Outside. Not to shabby, but how do you take down a legend like the 7’s with this kind of success? Rossignol sent it…in the opposite direction.
The Black Ops Sender TI Charges Through All Conditions
Make no bones about it, the Black Ops Sender TI is not the Soul 7. It is a beast of a ski made for skiers who like to rip. True to its name, Rossignol really sent it with this one. If you are an advanced to expert skier who likes to charge the mountain through all conditions, then the Sender TI is for you.
Available in 180, 187, and 194 with lengths with 104, 106 and 108 respectively under foot, the Sender TI is wide enough to handle pow with enough shape to rip groomers. Width like this is ideal for dropping off piste into some pow as well as on in-bounds powder days. They are floaty handle all manners of softer snow with ease. But, not everyone is fortunate enough to ski pow every day. This begs the question, how well will it handle some of the firmer surfaces we find on the resort?
Actually, the Sender TI carves them up quite nicely. From the second you pull them out of the box, you realize that the Sender is a bigger, beefier ski. This added weight, provides tremendous stability that, along with combination camber-rocker design, makes holding an edge on groomers or even scraped off surfaces quite easy. One caveat, you must, must, must stay engaged. The Sender TI is not nearly as forgiving if you do not.
A Black Ops Mission That Replaced a Legend
Overall, Rossignol has replaced a legend with what feels like a totally new ski. The Sender TI is not the Soul 7 by any stretch of the imagination. What it is though is a ski that above average skiers can flat out rip with. Powder, loose snow, tight tree turns, groomers, hard pack…it really doesn’t matter. Rossignol’s Sender TI will blow through it all like the Black Ops mission it’s named for.
Rich Stoner is the founder of the après-ski lifestyle clothing and media brand, All About Après. No stranger to the ski and après-ski scene, Rich has been a long time contributor for many publications on topics like skiing, gear, beer and food. However, his passion is on the slopes and enjoying good times with good people. You can find him perfecting his craft carving turns and drinking beers in the Green Mountains of Vermont. @allaboutapres