Rossignol Experience Vs Rossignol Krypto

Last season the world of freeride snowboarding was a simpler place. There was powder in America, Europe was experience a typical season of epic snowfalls followed by torrential rainfall and flash thaws and the only snowboard to go for in the Rossignol line that could handle big mountain riding was the Experience Magtek. This season to put the proverbial cat among the pigeons Rossignol introduced a new board to their freeride line and to make things even more confusing they used the Experiences exact shape and camber profile. With so many people struggling to make a choice between the two boards, I felt it was’s duty to get hold of both the Krypto and Experience and put them through a vigorous SB-RV review.

Left: 2013 Rossignol Krypto. Right: 2012 Rossignol Experience

The Krypto and Experience are two pees from the same pod. Both boards share an identical directional shape with tips that have been blunted to the extreme, seven bump Magne-Traction edges and Rossignol’s All-Mountain Amptek hybrid camber profile, shallow camber between the feet and very gradual early rise rocker in the nose and tail. Build quality of both boards is top tier; the clear glossy topsheets are a great window into the manufacturing processes producing the boards in Rossi’s Chinese factory, but also an opportunity to see the differences between the two. The Experience packs a shed full of extra goodies into its construction including two bands of Carbon Stringers that run from 10cm shy of the start of the effective edge in the nose of the board to the end of the effective edge in the tail. If you look hard, you can also see two milled bands in the core which divide the core into three distinct sections. These sections are wrapped in fibreglass and then the whole core is wrapped creating a unibody torsion box… already you’re probably getting the impression that the Experience is a serious piece of hardware!  Additionally the Experience has a 7500 grade sintered base while the Krypto has to settle with a mere 4400 molecular weight sintered base… are you sensing the sarcasm?

I spent two days each on the Experience and Krypto in Bad Gastein, Austria. Over the four days I rode ice, slush, perfect pistes and even half a foot of powder, so bar an epic dump of fresh blower I’ve ridden the spectrum on these boards. Here are my thoughts:

Rossignol Experience

The Experience is a beast! Its flex pattern is almost as unique as its shape. Torsion box construction makes the Experience one of the stiffest boards torsionally I have ever ridden which is compounded by a ridiculously firm longitudinal flex at least between the bindings. The Experience’s saving grace is the soft and playful rockered tips, which unlike the marketing spiel says start transitioning from camber to rocker about 10cm from outside the widest inserts, not at the inserts. This helping of rocker means the Experience planes up on-top of any fresh snow at even slow speeds, it also enables the Experience to navigate tight surfy chutes and play within bumpy terrain where flowing riding involving heavy front foot initiation is required. The Experience is a lot more flowing than cambered boards of similar stiffness. Having a softer tail is also incredibly fun, in any depth of soft snow you can get the nose right up out of the snow and power slashy powder wheelies on command… it’s a fun board.

Strangely, you’ll notice the stiffness of the Experience and its Magne Traction edges when you absolutely need it and when you really don’t. Off piste I was riding at its deepest 20cm of fresh powder and at its thinnest 5cm on what can be described as a refrozen base. Coming flying off cliffs, pointing down gullies and touching down on the hard snow, the firm flex from my rear binding to the transition of the effective edge to the tail kick, despite being slightly early rise was stiff enough to set me down and allow me to slam-on the brakes with all my might. Careering into carves with no depth of powder to slow me down or to keep an edge on , the edge hold of the Experience was utterly ruthless , treating the sketchy conditions at worst like most boards would deal with a traverse across an unpisted red run. The Experience grips to a point at which your legs will fail you not the board’s edge hold. Here lies the issue for less experienced riders. I found that when I was carving on flatter terrain that my edge was locked-in for the duration of the turn, there was no skidding a turn because the torsional stiffness and Magne Traction sidecut kept the edge engaged like I was on train rails, and the stiffness of the board between the bindings and lack of any speed to use for powering the board into a tighter radius meant that I was locked into mellow cruisey turns. Also on low gradient slopes with hard packed snow I found turn initiation was pretty slow; the Experience needs to be tipped on a good edge for the early rise tips to engage the sidecut. On anything stepper than a nursery run or cat-track the Experience felt responsive but on the flatter stuff it took a bit of adjusting to.

Everybody knows that the Rossignol Experience is one of, if not the best big mountain snowboard on the market, stability and edge hold at speed are incredible. What I think needs highlighting is that this board is fun and more than capable in tight terrain where it isn’t possible to open up the throttle. To truly get the most out of the experience it needs to be ridden aggressively, for that reason alone I would only recommend the Rossignol Experience to strong riders with powerful legs.

Rossignol Krypto

The shape and profile of the Krypto and its big brother the Experience are identical, so as you’d imagine, the two boards are not worlds apart. They both hold carves until the bitter end, feel a little unresponsive on flat and hard groomers but come alive with the lightest sprinkling of soft snow, rip through sketchy snow conditions with ease and excel in steep freeride terrain.

The flex of the Krypto is noticeably softer than the Experience but that doesn’t mean it’s inadequate in fact for most riders I’d go as far as saying it’s superior. The Krypto is still firm between the bindings but it isn’t over the top like the Experience which gives the Krypto a much more soulful expressive feel on all terrain. It’s less effort to power the Krypto through turns, although the Experience is good at tight turns in soft snow the Krypto is better. Edge hold is still incredible on icy traverses and crusty wind slab turns but there are occasions when you really push it that an edge might be bumped hard and grip lost… this doesn’t happen with the Experience.

My personal opinion is that the Krypto makes a better powder board than the Experience and an awesome all-rounder for in-bounds and sidecountry assault. It is all 90% of freeriders will ever need as a freeride quiver board or a do-it-all deck. For those riders who are riding steep icy couloirs, exposed faces and other gnarly big mountain features in all types of snow conditions, the Experience is the board that should be under your feet. Its reluctance to lose grip and stompy tail might make the difference between glory or a heli evac! If you’re an intermediate who is comfortable in powder, carving on icy black runs and working a snowboard through its flex then the Krypto will make a nice freeride board, but don’t underestimate it. it’s not for four week intermediates.


The base on the Experience might not be your cup of tea, but it's a head turner

Posted by Rich Ewbank in Features.

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What colour is powder?

skip11 on March 11, 2012  at  09:55 PM

Hey Rich, do you know if the One Magtek is still on the Rossi line for 2013?

skip11 on March 11, 2012  at  09:56 PM

Oh and always nice review! =)

Rich Ewbank on March 12, 2012  at  08:02 AM

Hey Rico! Yeah the One Magtek is defintely back next season, but Rossi is also releasing a slighly softer version of the One Mag with a less aggresive 5 bumb Magne Traction. It’s called the Templar and looks rad. Got a Sh*t is Hot preview lined-up in the next couple of weeks, Arno @ Rossi talks about it in that.

alex on March 17, 2012  at  08:45 PM

Good review there, well done! Was that a 2013 colour scheme or a custom board? I agree with pretty much everything said, I rode the board this season in different conditions, both freeride and piste and I was blown away by its performance and speed (I am an advanced freerider). On a side note I would like to express a little disappointment with Rossignol for the build quality of this board. After having used the board only a few times rust has started to appear all around the edge (on the steel blade) proving a poor quality steel used -not Rossignol traditional alpine standards, more like chinese standards… The top lamination is also weak and chips very easily.. I have to say none of these two aspects affect in anyhow the performance of such a great board, but it’s just something you wouldn’t expect from a top range Rossignol board. I hope it won’t fall apart before the 12 months warranty!

Rich Ewbank on March 18, 2012  at  08:11 PM

Hey Alex, Yeah it’s a 2013 Krypto… exactly the same as the 2012 though apart from the graphics. Shame about the chips, don’t worry about the rust, just wipe it down at the end of a day’s riding.

skip11 on March 25, 2012  at  05:07 AM

Lookin forward to it Rich! =)

Ben on February 06, 2013  at  11:59 AM

Hi there,

Would you say the Krypto is a cheaper version of the Experience (a bit like the Salomon Powder Snake and the Sick Stick)?

I love my Experience 167 (2012) but I have the opportunity to get a Krypto 163 2013 (for about 200 euros). I’m an “all-moutain rider”. I love freeriding through the forest on fresh snow and going fast on hard slopes. I might consider the occasional jump in the park.

If I change, will I miss my Experience? Or should I just stick with it?

Have you tried the Sick Stick 2013? IS it more fun than the Experience?

Thanks for your help!

Dave on February 14, 2013  at  08:41 AM

I just rode the Krypto today and totally agree with this (very solid review).

Magnetraction was powerful but had no off switch.

Needed flowing room to get this board going.

Not as surfy nimble as my Arbor Abacus.

A very good looking deck!

mojomatic on November 16, 2014  at  09:40 PM

Hi - Nice review!  Just wondering… what length of the Experience did you demo and what is your weight?  I’m on the wrong side of 200lbs and find that if anything, some boards ‘wash out’ on me on hard turns on harder surfaces.