The Jobe brand has existed for over 30 years. At one time or another, world records have been set on Jobe skis and world titles have been contested. The brand has gone through a number of changes since the glory days of the 1600 or Carbon V slalom skis. Today, Jobe has re-entered the US high end slalom ski market with the Rogue.
The hallmark of the Rogue is its forgiveness and stability. This is a ski that is well suited to a very wide range of skiers. Until the rope gets shorter than the width of the course, the Rogue is hard to beat. The basic shape of the ski makes it ride high on the water. The moderate flex of the ski makes it turn fast and predictably.
Technical skiing will make any ski perform better. Most ultra high end skis have a small performance envelope. In contrast, the Rogue is amazingly tolerant of imperfect skiing.
Off Side turns are as dependable as any ski on the market. The Rogue turns best with the skier’s weight centered or forward, but it can be pushed from the tail. When it is necessary to change direction in a hurry, the Rogue complies and exits the turn calmly and with plenty of angle.
On Side turns on the Rogue are practically automatic and are simply a joy. The ski flows out and back with as much or as little intensity is needed. The ski does not seem to care how much or how little front foot pressure is applied. Angle at exit of On Side is never an issue.
Edge changes and the path out to the ball line on both sides are stable and smooth. Width is easily achieved without unusual amounts of effort.
These forgiving attributes do come at a price. When it comes time to go for one more ball with reckless abandon the Rogue seems be missing some cross course speed. Ninety degree turns followed by hair on fire wake crossings seem to overwhelm the ski at the limit. The counter point to this is that the Rogue may get you farther down the rope before things get frantic.
For me, if I exit 2 ball on my hardest pass (38 off) in good position, I expect to run the pass. On the Rogue, I exited 2 ball in good position more often than normal, but then I ran the pass less often than I expected. It is a trade off. Do you want a ski that will give your more chances or the ski that helps you seal the deal when you get it right?
As a general purpose slalom ski, the Rogue can hold its own against any ski on the industry today. For skiers just starting to shorten the rope up to 35 off, the forgiving behavior of the Rogue perhaps overshadows its short comings.
Final note: The fit and finish of the ski is excellent with one exception: the inserts on the test ski that Jobe sent to me were all crooked. Jobe informed me that this was a known issue and would be fixed on future skis.