The Rossignol Experience looks like a traditional cambered board but if you look closer you notice this has a lot more nose turned up in the front for powder riding. The Experience is a board with exceptional edge hold that likes to go straight and fast. Its a great board for freeriders that find them selves in icy conditions a lot.
Size 167 and 163
Bindings Used- Flux SF 45, Burton Diode, Union SL
Boots: Burton SLX, Burton Ion, Nike Kaiju, Nike Zoom Ites.
Rossignol makes good boards but they don’t have the ultra fan boy following that many companies have. This board is cambered with Magnetraction but has something similar to Burton’s S-Rocker where it has an extra long nose that turns up a little bit past the binding. The 167 rides like a 163 on groomers but in the powder it rides bigger than it’s size. It holds right up there with the good Big Mountain Freeride boards. There aren’t enough freeride boards out there so we like to see 2 slightly different Jones creations out there. One thing we like over the Jones Flagship is that the Experience is softer than the Flagship. This year there is also a more mellow version of the Experience called the Krypto.
For 2011 Jeremy (Inspiration behind the Experience) started his own company and created the Jones Flagship which a stiffer version of the Experience. We thought when Jeremy left the Experience would die but it looks like the Experience will live on for 2011. For 2012 it rides pretty much the same as it was in 2011 except there is a little less chatter in the nose. 2013 is about the same as 2012 as well.
On Snow Feel: The mostly camber board with Magnetraction gives us a feeling of the mid 2000’s when camber MTX was everywhere so it was fun to re-visit this tech. This board is made for big mountain powder adventures but it performs pretty well on groomers. We had lots of fun riding down a steep long groomed run or a long intermediate run. The board was fun to make belly scratching turns and it does well at high speeds. The older models have a more chattery nose on firm snow but the newer years dont have as much chatter. It’s very stable between the feet and feels more like camber than hybrid camber. It’s not a duck into a tight tree line kind of board. This is the kind of board that likes big steep wide open runs and invites as much speed as you want to give it.
Powder: Here is what this board is made for. This extended nose does a great job of counteracting a cambered boards natural tendency to sink down and the size helps you deal with deep situations. The board has a decent set back, MTX to help you get through icy tops to the pow, the decent set back and a crazy big extended nose will keep you afloat in deep situations. The board is a great choice for powder especially if you like it in steep conditions. The board is very easy to turn for its size and will do fine in the trees. That being said it will be more fun in the steep and deep. Also the floppy sock feeling goes away when straight lining in powder because the nose is being engaged.
Turn Initiation and Carving– The Experience felt slow when it came to quick edge to edge turning and in tighter spots it required more attention and wasn’t ideal. It seems like there is a shallow side cut depth so it doesn’t like to turn quickly. Now as the turns get wider and bigger the Experience is more fun. When it comes to carving Its the kind of board that will let you get almost parallel to the snow on a wide arcing carve. There is also a good return out of the carve. We found this to be really fun to carve especially in firmer snow. In softer snow it has a little of that overly grippy feeling but you quickly get use to that.
Speed: The rocker in the nose is great in powder but on hard pack it flops a little. Each year this is getting better but it’s still there. After a while you get use to the clown shoe nose and you realize the rest of the board is stable and it becomes fun.
Uneven Terrain: Like many of the boards with this flex and design just aren’t fun with shitty bumpy snow.
Edge Hold: MTX with a mostly camber shape has an insane Grip and can turn a shitty hard pack morning into a good time. Some feel that this MTX is too grippy in good conditions or sticky snow. So it’s up to you to decide.
Flex– The board has a medium stiff flex that is just enough to make it easy to turn but be able to handle higher speeds. It’s a lot less stiff than the Jones Flagship and a little stiffer than the Rossignol Krypto.
Approximate Weight– It’s a bigger board but it feels pretty normal if you do an ounce to ounce comparison.
Nothing else really matters. This big board will climb a pipe wall well but won’t be able to throw around like a small board. The rails/boxes thing is doable but not recommendable. Switch is doable but not great and jumps are fine off of a cliff but not recommendable for the park.
We were really surprised that the board could ride the way it did on groomers and expected it to perform the way it did in powder. We feel it’s one of the better Rossignol boards out there and worth a try. It’s great for someone who wants to work on their freeriding to take it to the next level.