The Rossignol Hero Elite LT Racing R20 is the Race carver offer from the French brand. As Rossignol states, it is a recreational GS oriented ski aiming at technical and race-league skiers, although it does not comply with the actual FIS ruling. Despite the latter fact, it is indeed a good recreational GS ski for the general public.
As of technologies, the brand provides all its best artillery for the Rossignol Hero Elite LT Racing R20. The Power Turn Rocker allows an easier entry into the new turn while not being felt as intrusive. We also find the Prop Tech, which is just the commercial name for the classic metal layer in a Sandwich construction. This technology is quite old and the brand’s statement about it and why they included it in the Hero range is… false. The new FIS regulations, in terms of the new turn radius, are far from the need for this kind of technology. Every major brand has incorporated these metal layers for many years and we can go a long way back to the seventies, and even the fifties-sixties to find this old -then new- construction method. Needless to say, there have been many FIS regulations changes in between those years. That put aside, Rossignol uses Zicral where many others use Titanal. But if we dig a bit, we’ll find out that those are commercial names of the same product, which is an aluminum alloy conventionally called 7075. The answer to the question, why do they use this metal layer is: the aluminum alloy 7075 layers in skis are used to damp and smooth the fiber reactions, making the skis easier to ride, improving their response and maneuverability. The secret is always how thick the layer is, how it is distributed along the ski and its location, as well as the relation with the rest of the ski components. Easy, isn’t it?
Structurally, the Rossignol Hero Elite LT Racing R20 incorporates the Minicap Sandwich technology. What is that for? Well, Cap is one construction method and Sandwich is another one. Both have good reasons to be and both have their positive qualities, although there are some others that aren’t so good. Marrying the two has been a constant for many years now in recreational skis. Cap skis are usually lighter, easier to maneuver but lacking the power, stability and acceleration coming from the Sandwich-built ones. So in joining the two ideas into one ski, Rossignol is trying to get the best of both worlds and offer the end result to us. Does it succeed? Sure it does.
Finally the Cascade Tip technology closes the whole set. What is it? Nothing very clever in particular. The materials distribution (metal and fiberglass) end at some point in the ski’s length. And where they do, sometimes what is left is a small tiny step easy to notice by sliding your hand on the top surface. That step is what Rossignol calls Cascade Tip. Among the advantages in doing so, the brand states: “the objective is to reduce tip inertia and weight, giving a ski that is livelier and more receptive. This construction also delivers better torsional control of the tip, for more effective grip and very high precision in turns.” I don’t know about you, but the only thing I can read is: cost reduction. If that piece of material isn’t really useful and removing it is not noticeable for the end user, why leaving it there when you can cut it and save a lot of money? Specially considering you are building hundreds of thousands of boards every season.
Inner bits aside, the Rossignol Hero Elite LT Racing R20 has a wonderful plate system, the R20. It is splitted in two halves attached with 4 screws. Two of them (the ones at the ends) are floating ones, allowing some free movement, which is good for the ski´s flex pattern. The binding on the top bridges the gap between the two halves. It is a simple but yet effective plate–binding combination that allows to display all the goodness of this model.
The ski’s profile is quite narrow and this is where a good Race ski shows up. Wider profiles usually mean a preference for a wider buyer target, while narrower ones are in fact closer to the real FIS models (of course avoiding all the inconveniences from those). This is directly translated into the turn radius found in the Rossignol Hero Elite LT Racing R20. With a sidecut of 115-69-96, the end result is a radius of 19 m. Twelve pounds or nearly five kilograms per pair is the figure for this ski’s weight.
The length offering covers everyone’s needs going from the 162 cm to the 183 cm, passing through the 170 cm and 176 cm sizes. Unless you are very short, or very young, avoid the shorter size. If you are getting introduced into the GS discipline, go for either the 170 cm or 176 cm, depending on your height or weight. Those who already know what is the GS thing all about, just go for the 183 cm unless you still choose comfort over speed.
All these characteristics make the Rossignol Hero Elite LT Racing R20 a masterpiece GS ski. It has everything one may need to experience the speed, acceleration and powerful sensations from the GS skiing style. It’s got a narrow profile, a good and well balanced construction, a premier plate-binding system and a speedy porous sole. Chosen in a long length and skied at full speed, it will display all its capabilities. Stable, adaptable, maneuverable, obedient and fast are some of the defining words that will come to our mind to describe this Rossignol.
This post is also available in Versión en Español.