Review: Romp Zorro 100

ski review, romp skis, all mountain

What is an all-mountain ski? Well, it's a ski that's suited for a wide variety of terrain and conditions. But in reality, there's no such thing as a "silver bullet," no one ski that'll satisfy every demand of every skier, across any mountain, in any part of the season. So, rather than simply touting the new Romp Zorro 100 as a do-it-all ripper (yawn), let's break it down and see where this ski really shines.

Right off the bat, these skis are built tough. They have beefy sidewalls and a thick topsheet. This stands out amongst a market of skis that are getting lighter each year, compromising not only durability, but also performance. Having a bit more heft beneath you will help you bust through choppy snow and maintain your balance with less effort. Not that the Zorros are particularly heavy—they clock in at 1775g (just under four pounds) per ski in the 178cm length, though we tested the 190cm, which are probably closer to 2000g (4.4 pounds). In my opinion, that's just right for a versatile in-bounds ski.

Next comes the shape, which fit my liking in some ways and left me wanting in others. I like that the Zorros don't have aggressively tapered tips—another trend in the ski industry has been to set back the contact points farther from the tips and closer to the center of the ski—think of the classic DPS design. Tapered tips let a ski initiate turns faster, especially in soft snow, but this comes with a huge compromise on edge hold by shortening the effective edge. The Zorro 100s have a more traditional tip-and-tail shape for powerful edge-hold, and at 100mm underfoot, they still turn quick enough for me. Actually, maybe too quick—I wished these skis had a wider sidecut radius. I don't have specs on the 190cm version's sidecut, but I reckon it's probably around 19m given that the 178cm model measures to 17m. In any case, these skis felt a bit squirrelly at high speeds, despite the behemoth length that we tested. But if you like making a variety of turn shapes at low-to-moderate speeds, the Zorro 100s are a great fit.

ski review, romp, custom skis

Another feature that plays into their quickness is the rocker profile—specifically, the short but pronounced tail rocker. This is a double-edged sword: it lets the tails break loose with ease when slashing turns in soft snow, but it doesn't give you as much snap out of a powerfully-carved turn as a flatter tail would. Combined with the tails' relatively soft flex, the skis feel really playful and easy to maneuver in powder. But I wished they had a little more umph after loading the tails through the apex of a turn.

The tips, on the other hand, left nothing to be desired for me. The tips are relatively stiff—almost as stiff as the tails—providing a solid platform for those who ski with an aggressive, forward-leaning stance. They have just the right amount of rocker to give this mid-width ski some decent float in powder, without compromising firm-snow carving ability. Two thumbs—er, tips—up.

If you're really picky about skis, Romp offers a customization process to fine-tune the flex and rocker profiles of the Zorro. It'll run you an extra $250, but you're guaranteed a ski that performs exactly how you like it. In their stock form, though, the Zorro 100 is a great option for those who want a ski that's durable, easy to maneuver, very stable at low-to-moderate speeds, and leaning towards the playful, slashy side.

rompskis.com; $800.