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Rossignol Black Ops Gamer 118, the best powder/crud ski being made? (at least for lighter and some medium sized skiers)

blue

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Free mod then for your Enforcer 104 would be to move the bindings up a cm or two to initiate turns quicker as well as making pivoting easier. Factory mount is -8.9cm from Center Vs the -2.5cm Factory mount of the BO 118. Had mine at plus 2cm but I’d go plus 1cm if I did it again to keep stability high.
I’d also check that the bases are flat as Enforcers are notoriously often edge high which makes skis feel heavier and slower edge to edge than they should be.

The Enforcer 104 is definitely an easier ski to ski but it’s not bombproof like a true charger that you can lazily ski and not have to think about through crud at high speeds with. Comes alive and is lots of fun at moderate speeds though.

MFree 108 are more tapered than an Enforcer Free so excel in soft snow and are more surfy feeling especially in the 182cm length. The 192cm length is more “serious” feeling but still won’t have the precise feel of an less tapered designs like the Unleashed, Sender Free 110 or Blackops 118.
The Revolt 121 has a more surfy feel too but has a solid weight and flex pattern behind it so decent in crud and tracked snow. New Revolt 114 I hear is “more directional” so might be less loose than the 121.

I’d adjust your mount and check the tune as you may already own your perfect “middle ski” that just hasn’t shown its full potential yet.
Thanks for the information on how those skis compare. The enforcer 104 tune is on my bucket list. I tried to tune it earlier this season at a resort, but the turnaround time was longer than my trip. I plan to have it tuned before next season.
 

blue

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Thats what he said! Was inclined to trust him considering his free ride background haha
I wonder if that’s because volkl and Rossi have different factory tunes? I think volkl is 1-2 degrees sharper than Rossi? I’m shocked to hear that too because it doesn’t sound like what blister review has said about it.
 

GregK

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Thats what he said! Was inclined to trust him considering his free ride background haha
It’s shocking to me the lack of tuning knowledge out there or on other websites(especially a Teton one) where no one seems to get their new skis properly tuned and are still detuning modern skis that are clearly edge high/railed. Shakes head…….

I wonder if that’s because volkl and Rossi have different factory tunes? I think volkl is 1-2 degrees sharper than Rossi? I’m shocked to hear that too because it doesn’t sound like what blister review has said about it.
Both manufacturers use the industry standard 1/2(1 degree base/2 degree side angle) for most of their skis but that’s just what they are “spec’d at.” Every pair can vary along each edge and the base can also vary in how uniformly flat the base is along the ski.

Would guess the Revolt 121 was edge high/railed on the base with spots along the base bevel edge not uniform at 1 degree. This would cause the ski to be “stuck in a turn” or too grabby and give the illusion of great grip. The BO 118 could be over beveled(larger than 1 degree base bevel) and/or base high which makes the ski seem surfier and less stable than it is. You REALLY have to tip it over to get edge grip on an over beveled ski and a base high ski is like skiing on marbles especially if the high spots are underfoot.

Edge high skis are more common but have had lots of skis including my Enforcer 104, Rustler 9, 184cm CT 3.0 and Blackops 118 that were base high from the factory.
 
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ski otter 2

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Great on benefit of tuning and flattening those skis, @GregK . You probably know, but maybe for others, base does not need to be absolutely flat.
If the ski is flat 1/2" to 1" in from the edges, that ski will ski flat, right edge grip. Especially on a fatter ski if it's rail high, you would be wasting a lot of edge/base depth/material by completely flattening it - unnecessarily.
(Doing this flattening by hand, a lot of time and elbow grease would be wasted also.)

The 121 Revolt I have not skied. So with that caveat, I've been told that ski likes a more upright style, not so much more forward.
For me, this is a big factor. I want to be able to both ski more upright at times and drive the tips at least a bit at times, for more options in many situations.

But the Black Ops 118 has very good hold when turned right, including 1/2 tunes. (1/3 would be fine also.)

When a ski is tuned right, for normal, more traditional skiing and for freeriding, it doesn't need a gummy de-tuning. Instead, it sometimes benefits from doing what most racers do: increase the base bevel towards tip (and usually tail), in a graduated manner, just a bit, in small increments, so as not to overdo it before testing on the slopes.

Tuning by hand, looking down on the ski base, what you're doing is steepening the drop off of the base in this way, just a bit, making the drop off of the base bevel gradually slightly steeper towards the tip and tail. Only a few relatively short strokes will often do this, moving the closer-to-center end of these strokes towards the tips more each stroke, shorter and shorter (alternating with an occasional stroke on the edge bevel side to prevent a burr), shorter and shorter, to only a few inches long for the last of them. This is fast and easy, the edges remain sharp all along the effective edge, and the results are dramatic - the tips don't catch or get hooky. You are free to carve or pivot, your choice, on most skis.
 
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abdul

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For an "in between" ski of that width, I've been trying out the Peak 110/188 and the Salomon Blank 112/194, a work in progress. Still uncertain.
(Have you tried the Blank in its longest length?)

Right now, I like both. But....
the Peak 110/188 is just a bit too light and unstable, for my skier profile, so far, in crud rough uneven and steeper. I'll have to get more used to it, maybe.
(and/or do some work on its tuning and base, maybe).

The Blank 194 is up next, so I'll see. At first, the Peaks had the edge for me, after a few days on each. Now, the Blanks have the edge: they are heavier and more stable in crud that way without any special treatment (like laying it over more, for the Peaks). And they have a slightly tighter turn radius than normal, especially for a 194 ski (r=18), so they turn very easily and charge more SG also, not burly - versatile and forgiving. (While the Peaks have an incredible, dialed in carve when laid over more, on both groomers and mild off piste crud; but I have to remember to do this, as a "go to" stabilizer.)

With the longer Blanks, I don't notice the length the way I did with the 190 CT 3.0s. But they are almost as stable at speed, and more dialed in turning, for my size/profile. They feel like they are a good deal shorter - and more turny/manageable, in spite of being 194. (The shorter versions all feel like a different ski model, without the crud stomping ability at speed, and without the surprisingly stable ease of turning of the 194.)

So we shall see.
I switched from the Peak 110 to the Volkl Katana 184cm. So much more stable and more solid in the crud, on steeps, and at speed. Started on the back mount line but moved forward 1cm and turn shape is much more versatile. It still likes to be skied in a forward stance but for me, moving forward 1cm puts me in a more fun stance on the Katana. (i really wanted to like the Peak 110, but i just couldnt click with it in crud and chop... too many scary recovery turns. The katanas are just 'solid' and fun.)
 

SpeedyKevin

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It’s shocking to me the lack of tuning knowledge out there or on other websites(especially a Teton one) where no one seems to get their new skis properly tuned and are still detuning modern skis that are clearly edge high/railed. Shakes head…….


Both manufacturers use the industry standard 1/2(1 degree base/2 degree side angle) for most of their skis but that’s just what they are “spec’d at.” Every pair can vary along each edge and the base can also vary in how uniformly flat the base is along the ski.

Would guess the Revolt 121 was edge high/railed on the base with spots along the base bevel edge not uniform at 1 degree. This would cause the ski to be “stuck in a turn” or too grabby and give the illusion of great grip. The BO 118 could be over beveled(larger than 1 degree base bevel) and/or base high which makes the ski seem surfier and less stable than it is. You REALLY have to tip it over to get edge grip on an over beveled ski and a base high ski is like skiing on marbles especially if the high spots are underfoot.

Edge high skis are more common but have had lots of skis including my Enforcer 104, Rustler 9, 184cm CT 3.0 and Blackops 118 that were base high from the factory.
You know, that might be it. I actually just had the B0118 tuned by my trusted shop and definitely noticed the edge improvement. Didn't want to tune it after I bought it as the previous owner recently had it tune but glad I changed my mind
 

GregK

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All my skis(even the wide ones) are totally flat across their width tip to tail and find the first stone grind usually is the most intense. Maintenance ones after a lot of ski days or when damaged usually take fewer passes.

If I see any light coming through under a true bar/straight edge on a new ski, it’s getting ground to make it flat. Best $20-$30 I spend on gear for sure. Then I hand tune it from there. Find I don’t have to detune or ever have base bevels above 1 if the bases are flat.
The trick is finding a place that you trust that checks their work. Ski will perform better, be less tiring to ski and easier to wax/scrape.

You can do about 250-300 plus passes on a stone on an average ski and still have edge and base left. I usually get 8-12 passes on my grinds as that’s usually enough to solve most issues but have had some skis take 20 plus. A race grind would be in the 20-40 pass range to reset the edge bevels and totally flatten the ski and those skis may have thinner edges so there’s more a limit to number of blanking/race grinds with them. Many places just go to sandpaper first as it’s quicker for badly uneven bases and finish on the stone. I get techs to use stone only for my grinds so it takes less off.

Just had my CT 2.0 reground after hitting lots of stuff out west and they look perfect again. Probably close to 2 million vert on those skis and think I’ve done 5 grinds on them but you’d never know it.
 

AngryAnalyst

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I do not get the preference for the m-free 108 versus the m-free 118. To me, in both powder and crud, on different terrain, the 118 was/is noticeably better: it floated better, cut/carved more decisively and fast, was better in soft bumps; better in crud and chop also, damper; driftier; more playful; stronger when treated in a more directional way; better. :)

Haven't tried the 118 M-Free, but what I love about the 108 M-Free (only in the 192 length) is that it feels about as "surfy" as a Billy Goat or another dedicated powder ski in soft snow. However, it doesn't feel as tiring as most of the wider skis on hard snow if you have an overly optimistic forecast interpretation.

I was also honestly impressed by how well the 108 did at busting through very heavy glop/crud if I kept my shins glued to the front of the boot. The degree of required ankle engagement was such I could only do it for about 30 seconds at a time, but I was going very fast for those 30 seconds.

The M-Free 118 is probably joining the BO 118 on my demo list, hopefully I'll get a chance to actually do that someday.
 

givethepigeye

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The Free 118 is not a light ski. no metal, but certainly handles both nice pow and chopped up well. I mounted mine on the line - never felt it needed to be anywhere else. Not what I would pick for a day that I would spend more than 40% on a groomer - but they are super sharp out of the plastic (mine will get a +1 base tune). Not the ski I want to be doing a lot of side stepping with at my age, but certainly great when you get there. pivots on a dime as well. Pretty decent day at Alta on them


F128B365-A39A-48EA-9D98-02C7BC17E1DB.jpeg
 

Chuck danache

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Finally got out on my new BO118 Saturday on a warm spring day at Mammoth. Started the day on my M102 and switched to the BO around 1:00. My car read 60 degrees at the bottom of chair two. Definitely a hot spring day.

The Mtn claimed 3” to 5” of new Thur/Fri. Not sure there was that much. Anyway, started up ion Climax skier right in thick, soft crud. I am amazed how stable, planted, and quick(ish) these turned in these conditions. Handled the cruddy runout calmly. Headed over to the Avy Chutes…nice firm chalky conditions. Skis bit well, super stable, and if I’m not mistaken, quicker to turn. I had some trepidation with the weight of these skis prior to skiing them but like others have stated in this thread, I never thought about the weight, it was a non issue.

Anyway, back to the bottom of Avy and the hard crud…almost felt like skiing a groomer. As the day progressed I realized the truth of the tank like quality of these ski. I was beginning to smile. These skis are realllly fun! Hit some soft bumps at the bottom of Viva, kinda bulldozing some medium turns through a few bumps at a time. Wow, still trucking and easy to turn. I thought ok, how about turns in a more zipper like fashion. I actually started laughing This ski should not be this quick and loose in bumps at this width.

I was anxious to hit more conditions…super fun in the slush and does not understand what crudst is, calmly planes right through it like packed powder.

This ski is definitely an outlier, I see why Greg K bought a backup pair.

Looking forward to getting back on them in May.

Me, 5’-10”, 160#, skiing Mammoth for 50 years. Mounted 2 cm behind recommended.

Enough of my rambling, I appreciate the dialogue in this thread. Greg K and SO2 hit the nail on the head on these skis, mount point, the skis attributes, and skier size suited for this ski. Cheers!
 

GregK

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Finally got out on my new BO118 Saturday on a warm spring day at Mammoth. Started the day on my M102 and switched to the BO around 1:00. My car read 60 degrees at the bottom of chair two. Definitely a hot spring day.

The Mtn claimed 3” to 5” of new Thur/Fri. Not sure there was that much. Anyway, started up ion Climax skier right in thick, soft crud. I am amazed how stable, planted, and quick(ish) these turned in these conditions. Handled the cruddy runout calmly. Headed over to the Avy Chutes…nice firm chalky conditions. Skis bit well, super stable, and if I’m not mistaken, quicker to turn. I had some trepidation with the weight of these skis prior to skiing them but like others have stated in this thread, I never thought about the weight, it was a non issue.

Anyway, back to the bottom of Avy and the hard crud…almost felt like skiing a groomer. As the day progressed I realized the truth of the tank like quality of these ski. I was beginning to smile. These skis are realllly fun! Hit some soft bumps at the bottom of Viva, kinda bulldozing some medium turns through a few bumps at a time. Wow, still trucking and easy to turn. I thought ok, how about turns in a more zipper like fashion. I actually started laughing This ski should not be this quick and loose in bumps at this width.

I was anxious to hit more conditions…super fun in the slush and does not understand what crudst is, calmly planes right through it like packed powder.

This ski is definitely an outlier, I see why Greg K bought a backup pair.

Looking forward to getting back on them in May.

Me, 5’-10”, 160#, skiing Mammoth for 50 years. Mounted 2 cm behind recommended.

Enough of my rambling, I appreciate the dialogue in this thread. Greg K and SO2 hit the nail on the head on these skis, mount point, the skis attributes, and skier size suited for this ski. Cheers!
Good to hear! On the Faction thread, I always tense up a bit when I see new reviews of skis I’ve hyped up and hope that the skier will love them as much as I do. So the pressure is more on @ski otter 2 on this one! Haha

I knew I’d love the Blackops 118 based on his great reviews of them and the similar shape to the 21 Factions.
Instantly felt at home on them and like you, find myself giggling through crud on them which is a great sign.
The tune and finding the correct mount point for that person is usually the only time I’ve seen people not loving them.

Between the Blackops 118 and 190cm CT 3.0, my Moment Wildcat is now the odd one out on many days now.
 

Chuck danache

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Good to hear! On the Faction thread, I always tense up a bit when I see new reviews of skis I’ve hyped up and hope that the skier will love them as much as I do. So the pressure is more on @ski otter 2 on this one! Haha

I knew I’d love the Blackops 118 based on his great reviews of them and the similar shape to the 21 Factions.
Instantly felt at home on them and like you, find myself giggling through crud on them which is a great sign.
The tune and finding the correct mount point for that person is usually the only time I’ve seen people not loving them.

Between the Blackops 118 and 190cm CT 3.0, my Moment Wildcat is now the odd one out on many days now.
Your’s and SO2’s reviews of these skis are the reason I pulled the trigger on them. You are both spot on on describing these skis. I especially appreciate the mount point info/suggestions and skier size recommendations in your posts. I could never get this kind of feedback in a shop. I did run into a guy in the JHMR tram line skiing them. He raved about them.

The wealth of gear knowledge (and ski knowledge in general) on this site is unparalleled and I am quite thankful for this site!

As to your Faction Thread comment, I follow the thread and as a result picked up the 2022 CT 2.0 in a 183 while at a conference in Stowe last Summer, $299. Couldn’t pass it up. I have not been on the 2021 CTs of any size, but understood the nature of this ski’s shape and lighter build reading the Thread and couldn’t pass them up. Had them out at Mammoth last weekend as well (and at Copper Mt in January) and they are a blast! This is a really fun ski! Wish I had found the 2021 version. Oh well. Thanks again for the info on the BO118. Keep up the posts, I enjoy them!
 

GregK

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Your’s and SO2’s reviews of these skis are the reason I pulled the trigger on them. You are both spot on on describing these skis. I especially appreciate the mount point info/suggestions and skier size recommendations in your posts. I could never get this kind of feedback in a shop. I did run into a guy in the JHMR tram line skiing them. He raved about them.

The wealth of gear knowledge (and ski knowledge in general) on this site is unparalleled and I am quite thankful for this site!

As to your Faction Thread comment, I follow the thread and as a result picked up the 2022 CT 2.0 in a 183 while at a conference in Stowe last Summer, $299. Couldn’t pass it up. I have not been on the 2021 CTs of any size, but understood the nature of this ski’s shape and lighter build reading the Thread and couldn’t pass them up. Had them out at Mammoth last weekend as well (and at Copper Mt in January) and they are a blast! This is a really fun ski! Wish I had found the 2021 version. Oh well. Thanks again for the info on the BO118. Keep up the posts, I enjoy them!
Agree there is a wealth of information on this site as there are lots of us that have been on a ton of skis over the years. Many like myself love helping others spend money on gear! Haha

The 22 CT 2.0 has the same shape as the 21 CT but less mass and damping. The 21 CT 2.0(and 1.0) feel more like a narrow Blackops 118. At $299, it’s a great buy for the 22 version as it’s getting tough to find the 21 versions now. I’m currently trying to grab some shorter lengths of the 21 CT 2.0 and CT 2.0x in Canada while I still can as I’m sure someone could use them eventually.
 

GregK

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In case there is anyone looking for the Blackops 118 at 40% and missed out on the Corbetts deal, Skiis&Bikes now have the 186cm and 176cm on at that price and they ship to the States if needed. $569.99 CAN with free shipping/$425 US plus $20 US shipping for the 186cm and $30 CAN less for the Tatum 176cm size.

 

ARL67

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Those Tatums look sooo good every time I take a peek at them !
But I know they are not in my wheel-house for where I ski.

We recently moved / down-sized, so I no longer have my home-office where I had some skis with unique top-sheets as ornaments / works-of-art, or I might buy that last set of Tatums ( there is 1 set left )
 
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GregK

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They look even better in person!! You’d get use out of them in the Spring at Blue like I do on mine there. A riot in the heavy Spring crud!

IMG_1984.jpeg
 

GregK

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It was overkill but took the 118s out for spring afternoon crud. Boy were they a blast! (As long as your legs weren't tired before using them)
Agree and jealous you’re still skiing in Spring conditions which are second only to powder in my mind!
Btw-Overkill or the right amount?! Hehe
 
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ski otter 2

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Apologies if someone has already posted this, somewhere.

From what I've heard, Rossi is sending out very soon, early fall, their prototypes for 24/25 skis to early testers/buyers,
and it's likely to be an all in situation, so far very exciting to the Rossi U.S. folks. And some folks in ski shops:
Rossi is coming out with a new line of skis based on the S7,
their one time flagship and maybe revolutionary powder ski.
(Lots of folks still have that ski and use it.)

(By the way, the last ski based on the S7 as a starting point - according to the Rossi reps at the time - was the 118 Black Ops.)
 

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