Learning to ski or snowboard at an early age is the perfect way to help young children instill a love for winter. Exploring the slopes helps kids build self-confidence, meet new friends and develop a lifelong affinity for the outdoors.
I feel like I should start this review with a disclaimer, which is to say that I am not a gear expert. Growing up in a family of hardcore, no-whining, East Coast skiers who also happened to be frugal Yankees, my attitude toward ski equipment tends toward the “if it gets you down the hill, it’s just fine” side of things.
That means when I started skiing again four years ago after a long hiatus from the slopes, I didn’t immediately invest in new equipment, choosing instead to use whatever rentals fate threw my way. Occasionally a shop tech would sell me on a nice pair of high-end demo skis instead of the generic rentals and I’d realize that yeah, OK, maybe I could turn a little tighter, ski a little faster, take a better line on steep bumpy trails. Generally I’d ignore this and just tell myself to grow up and work a bit harder on my form.
But then, this winter, Rossignol was kind of enough to send me a pair of Temptation 82 Open skis mounted with Saphir 110L bindings to try. And oh me, oh my I realized what I had been missing. From my very first run I had a grin on my face. These skis were a lot of fun.
I love the Rossignol Temptation 82 Open skis because they make me a better all-around skier on all kinds of trails and in all kinds of conditions.
I’m a pretty aggressive and fast skier, but most of all what I am is ecumenical – I get bored skiing only groomers and I really like to mix things up by skiing trees, bumps, and steep, narrow trails. (That said, do I have a picture of myself skiing and looking awesome on all kinds of trails? No: Only one hundred pictures of my sons on the slopes. So you’ll have to take my word for it.)
It’s also true that as someone who doesn’t live close to the slopes, I have to plan my ski vacations in advance and often end up on snow that’s less than ideal because once I get to the mountains, I’m going to ski pretty much no matter what the snow is like. During the winter of 2013-14, for instance, I spent half the season skiing in extreme cold on icy manmade snow and the other half enjoying freshly packed powder.
Temptation 82 Open skis are perfect for me because they are designed for versatility. When it was icy, I felt like I had good control and my skis moved smoothly without loosing contact with the surface of the snow – in skiing lingo that means these skis cause a minimum of “chatter”. When the snow was softer, they turned like a dream and more than once I had a temptation to yee-haw my way down the mountain.
These skis make use of both old and new technology. They have a traditional camber in the center of the ski – this is the upward curve in the middle of the ski with contact points close to the ends. Camber gives the skier power and stability. But they also have what is known as a “rocker” feature. Rocker is the opposite of camber; having the skis angled up in this way at either end makes it easier to steer and turn at every speed. At least that’s what the Rossignol website says – and I believe it based on my own experience.
When I have these skis on, my legs feel incredibly light and I am able to turn just where I want to. I’ve been able to work a lot more on my form, something I need to do on the bumps, because I can easily keep my legs close together.
According to the chart on the Rossignol site and other ski length calculators I checked out online my 152-centimeter skis are a little bit short for my height and ability level than they should be (I’m an intermediate-expert skier and am 5’ 5” or 165 centimeters tall and 140 pounds).
With that said, I haven’t felt like the ski length has held me back – I’ve definitely skied all kinds of terrain and haven’t felt kicked around. It may be that since I can’t ski all the time, it’s good for me to have a little less ski to turn since my legs aren’t going through those motions all the time. At some point I would like try a longer pair just to see how they feel; but for now I’m more than happy to stay on these short, zippy skis.
And laugh at me if you will but I also like these skis because they are pretty. Nothing wrong with appealing to my feminine side, especially when these babies get me down the mountain so darn fast.
Many thanks to Rossignol for giving me these skis to try – and showing me that yes, what I have on my feet does matter when I’m on the mountain.
Fall 2015 Update: The Temptation 82 is no longer produced by Rossignol, but the Rossignol Temptation 80 and Rossignol Temptation 84 W Xelium are great alternatives and similar in performance to the 82.