Pros:Stable and durable but still very fun and a pleasuer to ride all day.
Cons:Not a quick turning bump ski
The Bottom Line: An excelent balance of hardpack stability and mid-deep powder floatation with excelent handling in poor conditions. An all around winner for Western Rockies and West coast conditions.
Firstly, the Rossi Phantom SC85 is is stable, fast and great in most every front side condition possible. That right there is enough to justify the quite affordable pricetag.
There is no true ski for every condition but I can assure you this. The days that you don't have 4" plus of fresh powder for your fat 110+ mm under foot skies, then you will be on these. Here in the Pacific Northwest that's about 60% of the time depending on the winter. Don't get me wrong, these will slay the fresh overnight pow laid down on top of groomers, or the powder pocket that's not chopped out by noon. They handle speed with great control, they turn with ease and don't mind at all being pushed and put up on edge.
Although the manufacturer puts these in the 60% Off-piste / 40% Piste, I can say with confidence that you don't need another dedicated Piste ski. Unless you are an Eastern skier and have to deal with a lot of ice, these can handle the groomers without a second thought.
It was a nice surprise to see how they handle packed out and wet snow. The result was they handled it very well. While these conditions are not usually a favorite of recreational skiers, sometimes you just have to make the best of bad conditions. This is possibly the greatest attribute of this ski. A ski weekend out of town with a little softer than ideal conditions proved this for me. What could have been a spoiled weekend of HEAVY wet snow and even some rain was salvaged. These skis have enough float and all mountain flexibility that I was able to find fun skiable snow all weekend.
The Phantoms are super durable with titanium sandwiched around a wood core, giving them a lightweight feel but as a direct descendant of the Bandit B3/B4 series, they have a durability that is proven. They will pop through the chop and slop and crud with surefooted predictable responsiveness. But the best thing is that these skis are just a lot of fun! If you like to ski a lot more than sit in the lodge, these skis can keep up all day and won't wear you out. If you'd rather cruise than push them they are plenty easy to smear and ride relaxed on. If you get a little tired these ski's won't punish you for little technical mistakes and will skid when necessary rather than throw you over the handlebars like a Volkl might.
I remember thinking back in the days of straight skis that I wanted a ski that felt like an extension of my feet. You don't have to think about your feet the whole time when you are running and i didn't want to have to think about my skis the whole time I was skiing. This ski is as close as I have come!
I'm around 200# and 5'10 and I found the 185 length perfect for me. They ski longer than you might think. If you have ever skied the Bandit B3/B4 lines these are very simmilar but the Phantom's have the stiffness and the torsional rigidity to really lay into them.
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