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Rossignol – Seek 7
The Seek 7 took our test team by surprise at the ski test in K’htai this year. At first we weren’t quite sure what to make of it. ‘It’s part of Rossi’s ‘S7′ line’ So it must be a freeride ski, right?’ ‘But it’s so light’ and quite narrow ‘ maybe more all-mountain?’ Once we’d skied it we still didn’t know where to place it, just that we liked it. Really it could have won an award in several categories, but Rossi bill it as a touring ski so that’s what we’ll go with! Essentially the Seek 7 is the little brother of the Soul 7, one of our favourite skis of all time, but tweaked and with a new paulownia/microcell construction and updated Air Tip technology to make it even lighter. The character of the Soul is still there: fun, playful and flattering across the whole mountain; i.e., exactly what you want once you’ve just invested several hours hiking uphill and are wondering how on earth you’re supposed to enjoy the descent when your legs are already jelly! At just 1250 grams per ski the Seek 7 falls firmly in the ‘light is right’ class, and they’re certainly a joy to skin up with if you’re used to lugging your standard freeride skis along. The 86mm waist is skin track-friendly too, and grips well sidehilling up firm descents with a solid platform for precarious kick-turns. It’s when you point them downhill that real surprises start though. While most touring skis in this weight class are frankly a bit of a chore in anything other than perfect powder, the Seek 7 really does seem to channel the freeride spirit of its larger brothers. They’re not particularly stiff and they’re certainly not chargers, but there’s a certain confidence in their stride. The early-rise tips plane up quickly in the deep stuff, while the taper, flex and turn radius combine to make short swing turns as blissful as they look in those retro photos from the olden days. Once you hit the pistes, you’re in for another surprise. If you didn’t know otherwise, it would be very easy to think you’re on a pair of out-and-out all-mountain skis. Carving feels smooth and stable; OK, maybe not like a metal-laminate race ski, but with more than enough grip and power for most skiers. They make light work of moguls too, nipping through the troughs with aplomb. All of this performance comes at astonishing value too: the Seek 7 RRPs at just ‘665 ‘ INCLUDING a pin tech touring binding. Booya.