The Rossignol Hero Elite ST-Racing R20 is Rossignol’s proposal for the Slalom’s top position for the general public. The brand has gathered all its best technologies here: the Power Turn Rocker, the Prop Tech, the Minicap Sandwich construction and the R20 Racing plate.
Let’s dig a bit deeper into some of those technologies. The Power Turn Rocker allows an easier entry into the new turn. Some modern skis incorporate some rocker at the level of the tip, raising the whole area just a tiny bit to improve the engaging at the beginning of the turn. The Prop Tech is just the commercial name for the classic metal layer in a Sandwich construction. This technology is very old, which means it is well tested and reliable. The brand says they included it because of the new FIS regulations (new turn radius). That is not what we would call very accurate. Better said: it is untrue. 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 changes in FIS regulations through all those years. That put aside, Rossignol uses Zicral where many others use Titanal. But if we look deeper, we’ll find out that those are just commercial names of an aluminum alloy conventionally known in the industry as ‘7075’. The answer to the question why do manufacturers use this metal layer is: the 7075 aluminum alloy 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?
As for the construction method, the Rossignol Hero Elite ST-Racing R20 uses the Minicap Sandwich, which is a mixture of Cap and Sandwich individual methods. Both have good reasons to be defended 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 lack the power, stability and acceleration that come 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.
Inner bits aside, the Rossignol Hero Elite ST-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 effective plate–binding combination that allows to display all the benefits of this model.
The profile is somewhere 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 finishes with a 104 mm tail. The outcome is a 13 m radius for the 167 cm size. Speaking about sizes, the range goes as follows: 157 cm, 162cm, 167 cm and 172 cm. 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.
All in all, the Rossignol Hero Elite ST-Racing R20 is a great Slalom ski that will delight anyone willing to experience quick edge shifts, feel the powerful rebound of the Slalom discipline and end their skiing session with the turn counter more than high.