Advanced freeride skier
Craig's rating of this ski:
Considering his skiers profile:
"Powder bump runs with numerous face shots, creamy untracked pow turns, and even huge carve turns on empty groomed runs at the beginning of the day are my favorite. I am not a high speed skier."
Weight:82 kg180 lbs
My favourite freeride skis:
1. Blizzard Bonafide
2. Kästle BMX105
3. Liberty Genome
To all my reviews
Great one ski quiver, or second ski next to your powder skis
I have been skiing the Soul Rider and Blizzard Bonafide back to back, since I own both. These skis fit into the same category for me. They are the next ski in my quiver to my powder skis, for those firmer conditions. I am not a fan of the super light weight skis, that are currently popular in many ski lines (eg: Rossignol Soul 7). The Soul Rider does not fall into this category for me. The Soul Rider does not have metal in its layup, instead uses carbon. It does feel damp, and moderate in weight, but I still prefer the feel of metal in the Bonafide (personal preference). I put this ski together with my buddies 186 Rossignol S3. The skis are nearly identical in width, shape and length. Both are soft flex. The S3 has a more rounded and slightly higher rocker in the tip.
Tuning and detuning
I was unable to ski the Soul Rider with the (out of wrapper) factory tune. However, it did have a fresh shop tune with 1 degree bottom, and 2 degree side angle. I have talked with some techs that tune these skis at 2 and 2 to reduce edginess under foot. Both the Soul Rider and the Bonafide require careful moderation (to prevent chatter, due to their great edge hold) when pushing the ski into a skid, past it's turn radius at speed. I am still playing with tune and detuning on this ski. They are mounted with Marker Jester bindings at 1.5 forward of the classic position. Mount position seems ideal for this length.
Positives and negatives
The ski length was a touch on the long side in the bumps. A 181-182 cm. length would probably be ideal for my size, if it was available. The Soul Rider feels stiffer on my feet, than the impression I got hand flexing in the shop. The ski has a large sweet spot, and the tail releases easily. Performance on groomed terrain is impressive, and transitions from skied off spots to piles with ease.
- great in crud
- stable at speed
- excellent carver
- very good in bumps
- surprising edge hold
Negatives: with its low camber under foot, and moderate to high rocker tip and tail, it does not offer as smooth of carve compared to the Bonafide. Still working on fine tuning.
At this point in my evaluation, my preference for a metal layup, the Bonafide's slightly better carving characteristics, and the available 180 sizing, the Bone's get the nod for the second ski in my quiver.
Nordica about the Soul Rider
"The Soul Rider is an extremely playful and versatile all mountain twin. With a 97mm waist, traditional camber under foot and a slight bit of early rise rocker in the tip and tail, you can take this ski wherever you want with confidence. Built for a wide range of skiers, this ski will tackle the park to the peaks and everything in-between while putting a grin on you face from ear to ear.", says Nordica.