As the season starts to wind down, it’s time for a look back at how the Rockers worked out.
Ski specs: 166cm Rocker 2 108 mounted +3 (recommended) with Salomon Guardians.
Me: 5′ 4″, 120lbs, confident but not especially aggressive. Previous daily driver was the Salomon Shogun.
Skiing conditions to date: 25 days total. 8 backcountry tours ranging from meadow skipping to a 1300m climb to the glacier on Mt Cayoosh. Resort days at Whistler and Baker including pretty much everything from deep powder to icy bumps.
At 108 underfoot with full hybrid rocker, this ski was made for softer snow but is proving impressively versatile in a range of conditions. In the soft and deep, it shines. It has a tremendously playful feel, which translates to a surfy ease in deeper powder. In fresh chop and crud, the tip rocker really smooths out the ride and I can blast over stuff that I’m pretty sure would have pitched me around on other skis.
I’m not a cliff hucker by any means, but it’s an easy ski to pop off bumps – it feels comfortable in the air and solid on landings. You don’t need a lot of depth for the fun to begin, either; as soon as it gets into even a couple of inches of softer snow, the Rockers come alive. On PNW cement it just surfs through; in the fluff, it floats. In boot deep or beyond it’s hard to wipe the grin from your face.
The camber underfoot translates to surprisingly decent hard snow performance for a ski of this width. It took a few runs to figure out the sweet spot but once I had it dialed I had no problem getting them up on edge, and they carve a good, solid turn. One thing I did find is that if I didn’t stay on top of them, the tails had a tendency to wash out on ice and hardpack. When I got tired or sloppy I’d find myself sliding through the second half of the turn rather than getting a clean carve. However, the good news is that if the snow is anything other than bulletproof, the Rockers are easy to carve and a ton of fun.
The ski and binding combination I have is definitely on the weighty side for touring, but feels absolutely bombproof on the downhill. The forward mount (+3) felt odd for the first couple of runs, until I got used to it; it likes a more centred stance and isn’t particularly forgiving of lapses into the backseat, when the amount of tail behind you suddenly becomes very apparent. With the right stance, however, this isn’t an issue.
I had originally intended to make this my resort/sidecountry ski, with a much lighter setup for touring, but as the season progressed I found that this was the ski I wanted to have with me in the backcountry simply because it’s such a ridiculous amount of fun on the downhill. I ended up selling my old backcountry skis, and next season I plan on drilling the Rockers for a dual Dynafit/Guardian setup (as long as the mount pattern allows) to provide a friendlier option for longer tours.
The Rockers have proven versatile enough to be a one ski quiver for almost all conditions, and are my first pick on all but the really icy days. They have such a fun, playful feel to them; and for a skier at my level, they’re proving to be a game changer in terms of handling soft, deep snow and trickier off-piste conditions.