A teenaged worker at the October ski swap that benefited the Aspen School District set me up with the perfect pair of skis.
I had, of course, been merely looking to replace a busted binding on my old pair, and the easiest way to do that is simply to buy new skis and bindings. Or so I convinced myself.
The worker looked over the Rossignol Phantom SC87 skis I had picked out and said they likely had only one season on them. After testing the bindings — something I stupidly didn’t do when I bought my previous planks at the swap — I plucked down the $300. That’s about half the price when they were brand new in the 2009-10 season.
The 186-cm skis are the same length as my old pair, but with 86 mm under the boot, they are the fattest skis I have owned yet.
I’ve test-driven them twice on the hardpack at Snowmass and Aspen, and have already noticed a difference. They are simply easier to turn and also grip the snow better.
A Skiing magazine review noted that the model earned honors for stability at speed, though the reviewer also said they are “too planky and dominating for advanced skiers.”
As a terminal intermediate-level skier, they are a great fit for me. And they have bindings that actually, you know, function.
I spent last winter on a pair of skis that had only one binding that flipped down to prevent a runaway ski. So I was terrified of crashing, losing the ski and watching it fly down the hill. Not to mention that putting the ski on was a bitch because it moved back and forth as the binding flopped around. Had a ski patroller witnessed the broken gear, I’m sure I would’ve been escorted to the nearest ski shop for a new pair.
I can now push such anxiety aside and simply enjoy being on the hill.
Get Your Own
Rossignol Phantom SC87 skis
Available at various online retailers, including o2gearshop.com and outlet.altrec.com, for $272 to $332.