JanLoeffler op 16 January 2023 · 15:54
In case it's still relevant to you, I bought my pair of touring/off-piste skis with a huge discount because I bought the previous season's model in 2018, the Rossignol Sky 7HD (16/17 season). Compared with the following model, virtually nothing had changed.
What's important is the ski's dimensions as that will determine its radius, whilst the under-foot width and tip width will determine how well it floats. The ski's construction determines how well it handles on hard snow, and my ski has a wood core with additional carbon fibre mixed in to increase torsional rigidity.
Before any of that fancy marketing stuff really matters to you, you'll have to be a professional or semi-professional skier.
You'll always give up performance somewhere in order to make gains elsewhere, e.g. in jacket membranes you'll generally give up breathability for water-proofness, suppleness of fabric for abrasion resistance, packability for durability, etc etc...
In the hardware/ski department that means you'll buy the ability to float in powder with side-to-side agility on hard-pack snow, you'll give up stability at speed for how easy it is to initiate turns, etc etc.
For me personally, Rossignol have knocked it out of the park because - as I see it - this particular line of skis well above average in all categories, so you'll notice very little performance difference, provided you don't want to race down icy black runs in order to set a new record.
I've taken these skis on purely off-piste holidays in the Arlberg region with huge amounts of fresh snow (no problem), and I've taken them on 100% on-piste family ski holidays (no problem).
They DO NOT grip as well on really icy snow as a 100% piste-focussed, narrower slalom ski would, but given their level of versatility I'll accept that. I just need to ski more slowly and really dig my edges in and use my knees well.
As far as bindings are concerned, I ski on Fritschi Tecton 12 touring bindings, and they're fab, also on-piste. It's a pin binding but its back is the same as a normal downhill binding and the pins have a DIN setting, so the safety is as good as a downhill binding. Because of its back being fixed you have no problem transferring weight in turns, so you don't really give up downhill performance and you only really need one setup for downhill and off-piste holidays, which is very beneficial I think.
I hope this helps. Cheers