The R&D department at Rossignol must not be conversant with the expression “resting on one’s laurels.” Two years ago, Rossi’s Big Mountain model, the Soul 7, was the top selling ski in America, despite being 106mm underfoot in a ski nation that travels mostly on groomed runs. Rather than let its star product luxuriate in victory, Rossi added its exceptional Carbon Alloy Matrix to the ski last year, tacking the suffix “HD” to the name to indicate the presence of this performance-boosting latticework of carbon, basalt and glass.

The Carbon Alloy Matrix works particularly well on models like the Soul 7 that don’t have any Titanal in their lay-up, so adding the HD feature was a significant upgrade to what was already a wildly popular model. But Rossi didn’t allow itself a season of complacency, redesigning its signature Air Tip so it’s unified with the main body of the ski. It also tweaked the forward contact point, moving it up the thinner Air Tip 2.0 shovel so it connects to the snow earlier when edging. Air Tip 2.0 is also an integral part of the 2018 Super 7 HD, Sky 7 HD, Soul 7 HD W and Sky 7 HD W.

The stunning visual appeal of Air Tip 2.0 – when lit from behind, it looks bejeweled – tends to distract attention away from Rossi’s fab Frontside skis, Pursuit for men and Famous for women. In keeping with Rossi’s insuppressible urge to innovate, the 2018 Pursuit and Famous family has also been equipped with minor upgrades that smooth the ride of these committed carvers.