A winning powder ski has to do more than just float through the feathers. It also has to be light enough to access the goods, and stiff and strong enough to rail when the pow turns less powdery. The Soul 7 delivers. Weighing in at just over 4 pounds per ski, it’s one of the lightest powder skis we tested. It has a wood core with racer-light fiber laminates (to add stiffness), and an innovative design that seriously aided our surfing. The key? Cutouts in each tip—in which a polycarbonate honeycomb structure replaces wood—reduce swing weight by 30 percent and, according to one tester, make it “super floaty.”
But it’s also “strong, quick, and feisty enough to power gracefully through snow that transitions from powder to chunder [thickened pow].” Other testers praised its long turning radius (designed for powerful, sweeping GS-style turns), short, centered * (for balance in snow that bucks even the strongest shredders), and enhanced rocker in the tip and tail (for smooth and gentle transitions, which leads to less tip chatter on hard snow and more float through deep powder). All of this means faster, floatier skiing for intermediate to advanced rippers. As one tester says, “I felt like I was surfing a 2,000-foot bowl rather than skiing it.” $800; 8 lbs. 5 oz. (180); 164 (132-102-122), 172 (134-104-124), 180 (136-106-126), 188 (138-108-128); rossignol.com
*Sidecut The tapered curvature of a ski, which affects the length and shape of a turn. A greater differentiation between a ski’s tip/tail and waist indicates a bigger sidecut, and a “turnier” ski.