Compliant with all ISMF regulations, the La Sportiva RSR rando race skis are extremely light and responsive. Floppy noodles they aren't, as the Italians craft a carbon fiber torsion box around the ultra lightweight Paulownia wood core, using Formula One influenced construction techniques. This provides an exceptional torsional rigidity in a ski light enough to win world cup ski mountaineering competitions.
- Paulownia wood core is the new standard in lightness and durability.
- Multiple carbon fiber laminates, including Stratos 3k and a carbon fiber / glass twill combo, add rigidity so you can trust your turns.
- Binding reinforcement plates made of carbon fiber to keep you locked in with no weight penalty.
- Lightweight P-Tex 5000 has the glide to skate over the finish line.
- Notch in the tip for hooking your favorite race skin or making a rescue sled.
- 7mm of camber helps the edge dig into icy couloirs and bump runs when the course heads in-bounds.
- Flat tail gives you the control of a longer ski while helping you cut a Rutschblock or simple column.
||7mm camber, flat tail|
||Race shape, low sidecut for steeps|
||Cap, carbon fiber torsion box|
||Vertical laminated Karuba Paulownia wood|
|Skimo Co Says|
|Usage||Randonee racing, training|
|Notes||Liberal use of 3k carbon fiber maximizes strength-to-weight and reinforces binding mounts|
|Bottom Line||Top-quality race ski that won't blow the bank|
Questions & Reviews
I intended to use the RSR only as a late season ski and the DPS Wailer 99 the rest of the time. But have ended up skiing them exclusively for the past 2 years. Having never held a pair of skimo race skis before I was a bit skeptical of their durability based on the lack of mass. But this has proved unfounded structurally. Admittedly, as A Ok alluded to above they will not take hits like a freeride ski, but they don't self destruct either. I'm using 50mm wide skins so there is a lot of base on show and have left the skis on to rock crawl over sections of dirt and gravel without any damage. And have happily skied over poor coverage areas that only left a few marks in the bases as I would expect from any ski.
One area that has taken quit a bit of damage, cosmetically for the most part, is the top sheet. The tips of the skis have areas where the surface has been shaved off by the edges of the other ski from deflection and while skinning. The wood core has been exposed only once from a fall but this does highlight the thinness of the materials used. So far just bit of epoxy has covered the areas without further issues. Beside the one time hits to the topsheet have caused a chipping effect rather a gouge or crack and as such have not propagated. Using the Superlite's I can not comment to the durability of the topsheet with a flat position binding.
The skis are surprisingly stiff. Torsionally they hold a very good edge in icy conditions though you notice a lot more vibration in comparison to a regular ski in such situations. The tips are a very traditional shape as is the tail which is stiff resulting in a longitudinal flex that is spot on and makes use of all the available length to good effect.
The tip notch is, as stated, a little shallow but I have not had the an issue with it, as a note I'm using 3/4 length skins with DIY attachments.
The flat tails have a hard rubber (almost leathery) end on them which holds full length skins clips in place with negligible sideways slip. Though I only used the full length skins for one day the camming effect of the clips does mark the topsheet somewhat but it is not so noticeable with the matte finish of the ski.
Overall a very impressive tool if you are looking at race skis.
The topsheets aren't all glossy like most skis offer, they're more of a matte finish. This finish seems to repel the adhesion of snow while skinning (a major weight booster) much more than glossy skis. Bases are pretty solid, never got a core shot despite hitting rocks in the bc.
The tip notch is a little shallow for keeping bungee-style skin strings in place throughout a lengthy tour. Filing it a bit deeper is a no-brainer, and not hard to do with a regular file. Problem solved. The only problem with these skis - and the reason for the 4 star rating - is the ease with which I delivered an edge compression when hitting a rock in the backcountry. Fortunately, it's a very small compression.. Despite that, if you're an uphill racer, these skis are well worth your consideration.
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