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2023 Rossignol Black Ops 98 - Black

SkiTalk Test Team

Testing skis so you don't have to.
SkiTalk Tester
Mar 5, 2017
Updated from previous season ...

Is Rossignol just really our to #%$ with us? First this ski was the Black Ops then it was the Black Ops Holyshred and now the Black Ops 98 Black. Settle on a name will ya already? After I skied the Black Ops 98 Black formally known as the Black Ops Holyshred, I was looking for more reasons to ski it. Rossignol created a ski (and collection) that has power and control but not to the point that it is overly demanding. Instead, it is more refined and has a connection to the snow that Rossi never had in this category. Ever.

During my first round of testing at Winter Park, the conditions were 8 to 12 in. of heavy snow over a firm base. I took the (then) Holyshred down some good-sized bumps that were blown in, and the ski wasn't fazed at all -- in fact, it seemed to enjoy the challenge. The second time I skied the Holyshred was at Snowbasin on firm groomers, and the 19m radius felt optimistic; the Holyshred skis well below that number, feeling more like 17 or 18 m.
  • Insider tip 1: With 10cm increments, some skiers will fall in between sizes.
  • Insider tip 2: The original Black Ops and now full circle or maybe a figure eight, hell I dont know any more ...
  • One thing I would change: Settle on a name! Oh, and get away from the 10 CM increments.
Andy Mink
Size tested: 182 cm
Location tested: Mammoth Mountain, CA
Conditions tested in: Soft, cut up mid day groomers

It carves, it slarves, it slices and dices. The Black Ops 98 looks, at first glance, like a wider park/terrain park oriented ski. Looks can be deceiving. In the mid-day cut up, softening, piling snow, the 98 just cuts right through with little to no tip deflection, while holding a solid carve once on edge. At 98 underfoot, you won't be slinging slalom turns though. Easy does it turn to turn. If you chose, though, the Black Ops is just as happy getting its tail pushed around. It can be driven as a charging ski, or played with. Your choice.

The ski is made to ski the entire mountain.
  • Insider tip: Don't get carried away with a racy edge bevel; 1:2 is fine as there's a lot of effective edge when tipped.
  • One thing I would change: Nothing, I even like the graphics!
Wade Holiday
Size tested: 182
Location tested: Mammoth
Conditions tested in: hard snow, mixed terrain.

After the Black Ops brother, the Sender, I was worried Rossi’s tunes for this demo may not be up the polished snow I was seeking out, but I was wrong! This slightly wider, less “serious” looking ski, that had a big twin and looked like a park ski had a wonderful tune and feel to it. I don’t know if it has metal, or what the sidecut shape is (I think they go for less info on the Blackops on purpose, which I like), but it skied nice and solid, quiet even. Carved turns were engaging; the big twin in the back didn’t bother me anywhere (and they often do). The ski shifted turn shapes from 3d snow to bumps to fast carved turns at will. With a super fun shape, it has a great feel and is a great partner. I could own this as my 1 ski quiver.
  • Insider tip: This mount point felt forward at step in, but the 182 with the big twin skied perfectly balanced.
Who is it for?
Skiers who bring their A-game every day -- and want to be rewarded for it. Wow, just about anyone who wants to ski anywhere on a west coast mtn, or the newer snow option for the east coast.
Who is it not for?
Lighter skiers may get pushed around. It may be playful, but it's pretty strong. Someone who wants all their information printed on the ski or thinks their ski should look like a wide race ski.
Skier ability
  1. Advanced
  2. Expert
Ski category
  1. All Mountain
  2. Powder
Ski attributes
  1. Moguls
  2. Off Piste
  3. Trees
  4. Touring/Backcountry
  1. Men


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Available sizes
162, 172, 182, 192
Rocker profile
  1. Camber with tip and tail rocker
Size Scaling
  1. None
Construction design
  1. New graphics
Binding options
  1. Flat


Out on the slopes
SkiTalk Tester
Nov 30, 2015
North Tahoe
thinking i want a 98 everything ski for this year, and I thought back on my time on this ski at Mammoth, and my final comment at that time, "I could own this as my 1 ski quiver".
I put my money where my mouth was at that time, and just bought one. Mounting next week with a demo binding so I can tweak mount point and make sure it's right for me.
I'll go more in depth on my review as I actually get some good milage on it. First rossi I'll own since the 7xk 198 way back in the early 90s...


Out on the slopes
Dec 29, 2020
Does anyone know how this one compares to the "original" BlackOps 98. The Panther ski? The panther in 182 (I'm 6'2 and 175) is my current one-arrow ski.