Skier: Trent Clifford
Ski Length: 186
Radius: 25 m
Burley, fast, buttery, playful— these are some immediate words I would use to describe the Rossignol Blackops Gamer 118. This seems to me as one of the most versatile powder skis on the market. To be honest, I don’t even consider it to be a powder ski, (although with a 118mm underfoot some might argue with me). I say this because its dimensions obviously excel in powder, but there’s so much more than that. More fittingly, I would put the Blackops in the “all mountain stunt stick” category of skis. This category encompasses the jumps, the groomers, the hard pack, the powder, the ice, and the slush; what you get is a beefy ski that can handle any conditions if you’re willing to work for it. I’ve been skiing on the Blackops 118 for the past three years and I haven’t found any other ski I enjoy more than this one.
With the dimensions of 146-118-141 and a 25 m turning radius, the Blackops are a very symmetrical ski with a mid to long turning radius. This is desirable because you can make long GS turns without feeling like you’re losing pressure/stability on the outside ski. Thus, with a little effort, you can pull off some seriously energetic turns. For the ability to butter with minimal effort, the tip and tail rocker is there for you, as well as buoyancy on those snorkel required days. I also enjoy slashing and wheeling on my tails while I ski— and these are soft in just the right places where you can sit back on your tails a satisfying slash turn.
And now on to my favorite part about the ski: its “stuntablity”. Don’t just take my word for it, go go watch the “Big Picture” series by Parker White and Chris logan. They pretty much designed this ski and they illuminate some incredible things that can be done on them. Personally, I’ve had a fantastic time stunting on these skis. One thing I like about this aspect is that you can feel the responsiveness of the ski when you pop. Even with a flat-ground ollie you can get a lot of pop out of the ski, and it’s even more rewarding off larger jumps. It’s soft enough for the pop, but stiff enough for big landings—a great combination. I have tried to push this ski to the limit with how big I can go, and the only limitations I’ve experienced are the bindings.
Coming from a park background to big mountain, I was looking for a ski that could be playful like a park ski but charge like a big mountain ski; the Rossignol Blackops Gamer 118 are it. However, I suggest looking at the Blackops Holy Shred if you’re looking for a more niche park ski. Albeit, few skis in my quiver have lasted three seasons, and that’s why the Blackops Gamer hold a special place in my heart.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW: This is a burley ski with top of the line stunt capabilities. If you’re looking for something you can charge on big lines as well as stunting hard on some booters, then this might be the ski for you. I would recommend this ski for someone who wants to ski big lines and hit big jumps, it’s not just a fat powder ski.
WHY I TOOK OFF POINTS:
I took off points just because it seems like this year they made the Blackops Gamer a little bit softer in the tips and tails from years past. This makes the ski a more playful and buttery, but takes away from the rigidity of the ski and its ability to be pushed hard.