Rossignol Rip Chick Women’s Telemark Skis

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Rossignol Rip Chick Women’s Telemark Skis (2008 model)

Dimensions: 120/83/110
Core: Wood
Weight 6 lbs. 6 oz (based on 160)
Skied length: 160
Bindings: Rottefella Cobra

What Rossignol says: Women free-heel skiers seeking out the back bowls and glades at their local mountains will like the versatility of Rossignol's Rip Chick telemark ski. With Rossignol's Shark Nose tip and a slightly raised tail the Rip Chick skis well in powder and will still have the positive edge hold needed for a long on-piste GS carve. The slightly raised tail of the Rip Chick makes it easy to get on and off your edges, so you can quickly get out of trouble when you find a gully or an unfriendly glade. The Shark Tip nose helps the ski tips stay up in powder without making you drive from the backseat. With a 120/83/110mm sidecut, the Rip Chick skis make carving turns on-piste and in variable backcountry conditions easy.

What I say: I’ve skied a lot of telemark skis – most notably and recently Black Diamond’s Havoc with Hammerhead bindings, Dynastar’s Little Big Fat with Hammerhead bindings (these are actually a soft alpine ski), K2’s Dawn Patrol with G3 Targa bindings, and Atomic’s classic TM22 with Rottefella Chili bindings. The TM22s are long gone, but after just a few days on the Rip Chicks I’m ready to call the Little Big Fats my rock skis, sell the Havocs, and leave the Dawn Patrols for easy backcountry tours.

I bought the Rip Chicks after overhearing a very accomplished telemark skier and instructor at our local hill in northwestern Montana call them the best telemark skis she’d ever skied on. My Rip Chicks are gently used boards that I mounted with a pair of used Cobra bindings. I had no expectations of the set-up, but after just a few runs I realized I had something special. Our local ski mountain boasts fairly steep and ugly terrain – double fall lines, lots of ice (especially in an El Niño year), poor visibility, and very few intermediate runs. The Rip Chicks handled all of these conditions right out of the gate – no adjustment on my part necessary. The boards are wide enough to float in powder, have a great sidecut that allows for short-radius, fast turns (noticeably faster and tighter than my other skis), and are springy and responsive in the bumps. The moderately upturned tails release from turns quickly, and the dimensions also allow for speed, control, and great carving on hard groomers and ice. The Rip Chicks are also lighter than my Havocs and Little Big Fats, and I appreciate the decrease in swing weight in the bumps and on the lift. I was surprised how stable these skis feel at speed – with their lighter weight I expected chatter or skitter – but they felt solid and safe.

The Cobra bindings aren’t optimized for backcountry skiing, but with a different binding I wouldn’t hesitate to take the Rip Chicks into any variety of backcountry terrain. These skis would pair very well with a free-pivot binding such as the Black Diamond 01 or the Voile Switchback – and this may be where I choose to spend my gear dollars next season – in which case I’d consider the Rip Chicks to be my “quiver-of-one” ski.

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