The Rossignol Hero Elite ST-Ti is the second model in the Slalom style range from the French manufacturer. The genetics prevail and it is indeed almost the same Slalom ski as the top model, the Hero Elite ST-Racing (R20). They are brothers and this is the second one.
Being the second son, or better put not being the first born son, has a few drawbacks. Which are many times surpassed by the many advantages it offers. I know that from my own experience. You need to fight less for everything. Someone else has put the path before you. And yes, sometimes it’s not really your cup of tea but walking by a dusty rugged path is always better than climbing on the rocks with your naked hands and no established route. You now get the idea of the offered advantages. Now let’s see the not so good. And to start with, it’s the sense that you are always the last piece of the puzzle. Yes, you are important in the family but quite often you feel your opinion is a bit second relevant. However, as you grow up and others see you growing, things may change significantly. Now your opinion is taken not only seriously but to your surprise everyone is listening and paying lots of attention. And this is where you, my friend (yes you, the one reading these lines), must take a second look at the Rossignol Hero Elite ST-Ti.
This ski offers many advantages coming from its elder brother but without some of the drawbacks. Price is one of those, specially when skiing on the same plank for a lesser budget. Now you may feel some nervousness. How is it possible that a more than sound brand like Rossignol is doing this? Same plank but different name, at a different price? Are they fooling us? No they aren’t. You just need to take a look at the details. For some of you the plate-binding system is just one of those details. But it isn’t just a simple detail. Don’t think this “tiny detail” is important because of the safety provided. Well, it is because of that, but many of the problems from the past related to safety and bindings were already solved… in the past. The main difference between the Rossignol Hero Elite ST-Ti and the top range model the Hero Elite ST-Racing R20 is found in the plate-binding system. Where the latter uses the top model R20, the former uses a more civilized one, the TPX system.
There are some features that distinguish the two systems and can be a decisive factor when choosing in between. The TPX model incorporates a rail on top of the two halves forming the raisers. That rail will let, with the help of other pieces such a very handy lever, to adjust the binding to a different boot size. And this is a very handy feature if you plan to share a pair of skis, or if you are a rent shop. The downside is that rail will add some rigidity to the whole system, disallowing some of the free flex that this kind of modern binding permits. This trade off is worth it for the majority of skiers out there making the TPX a better system for skiers than the R20 found in the top model.
On the technological side of things, the manufacturer is using the best of the best in the Rossignol Hero Elite ST-Ti. The list of featured technologies is: Prop Tech, Minicap Sandwich and Power Turn Rocker. But surely this ski has a sinthered sole, which is good for speed, to add to the list. To get a deeper and better idea of these whole technologies, you can read either the review of the superior model the Rossignol Elite ST-Racing R20 or just take a look to the Rossignol’s Race general article.
As for the profile, it falls in between the ultra specific FIS model and some other commercial Slalom skis with generous dimensions. It starts with a 122 mm shovel, followed by a 68 mm waist and closing the draw a 104 mm tail. The result is a 13 m radius for the 167 cm size. Speaking about sizes, the range starts at 157 cm and the 162, the 167 cm and the 172 follow and close it respectively. The weight of the ski is 4.1 kg per pair. So they are not very heavy to transport although top range skis always feel a bit heavier since there is more stuff in them.
So, what to buy, the Rossignol Hero Elite ST-Racing (R20 Racing) or the Rossignol Hero Elite ST-Ti? Well, that is always up to you. I can tell you one thing. You won’t make a bad decision with neither of them. And just remember, same genetics but still different. Take a second look at your approach to skiing and the majority of you will apply better to the Rossignol Hero Elite ST-Ti. I bet you will.
This post is also available in Versión en Español.