Expert Review: 2023 Salomon Stance 96 Skis [with Video]
Ski Experts Rob G. and Thomas Harari tested the 2023 Salomon Stance 96 skis on carving, freestyle, and freeride at Powder Mountain in Utah.
Curated Ski Experts Rob G. and Thomas Harari tested the 2023 Salomon Stance 96 this spring at Powder Mountain in Utah. Check out how it performed in the carving, freestyle, and freeride categories, but consider the fact that each and every skier is different. If you have any questions about the Stance 96 or need recommendations on which ski would be best for you, reach out to a Ski Expert here on Curated.
One final point before we dive in: It's worth noting that Curated Experts are not sponsored by any brands. All of these reviews are completely unbiased.
What does Salomon claim about this ski? [Thomas] Salomon has the QST line and the Stance line, both which are very much all-mountain oriented. The Stance is claimed as more on the firm snow-oriented, East Coast, groomer side of things, though.
What is your overall impression of this ski? [Rob] I skied these earlier today when there wasn't a whole lot of fresh snow, and I was really impressed with how they carved on terrain for a 96 millimeter wafered ski. In fact, I'm used to skiing much narrower carving skis. I was expecting that these would be a little bit difficult to get on edge, but I was wrong. They were really fun to turn, really fun to carve turns, and when I took them into the trees, they responded really well.
[Thomas] So first impressions, it may look really sunny right now, but yesterday morning, when we jumped on these at first, it was totally socked in. There was some new snow overnight. I felt really confident on these. These are really good on a groomer. They're really good and fast on a groomer. They're going to ski a little bit of everything else, too. The all-mountain skier who’s looking to ski everything but knows that there's always some sort of crust underneath, these are going to be really confident and inspiring for them.
How is the shape of the ski and its profile? And how does this impact the ride? [Thomas] These are mostly cambered. They do have a decent amount of rocker in the tip, but that camber is going to allow it to make those snappy fun turns on the groomers.
If this is a carving ski, why would someone choose this one over any other carving ski that's out there? Anything that would help?
[Thomas] Well, so it's not really a carving ski. It's a wider carving ski to do everything else. So while it's mostly meant for firm snow and ice and groomers, it is a little bit wider than a lot of the skis of a similar category. This is going to work really well for someone who is skiing mostly firm snow and ice but does occasionally ski powder or takes that trip out west from the east and wants to be able to have one ski that can do both.
How does it turn? [Rob] The Stance is a really nice carving ski for its width. It initiates turns well. There's energy coming out of the turn. I really like how it felt. I really liked the energy and bounce I was getting from turn to turn when I was skiing this ski.
[Thomas] So this ski is great for carving forwards. This ski will go backwards if you want it to. Once again, it's not a buttery playful ski; it's not something you're going to take to the park. It's not something you're really going to ski backwards on, but if you're going backwards for a little bit while your kids are coming down or whatever, they'll do just great for that.
How does it perform at speed? How easy is it to control? What about it makes it harder to control if not?
[Thomas] This is a really confidence-inspiring ski on firm snow at any speed, really. It has a lot of Titanal metal in it. It reduces the vibrations, and those edges feel really locked in at whatever speed you want to go.
How is its energy of acceleration? [Rob] I really like the energy and rebound I was getting from turn to turn while I was skiing this ski.
How playful is it and how is its pop?
[Thomas] So this is definitely a point it and go kind of ski. This is not a playful ski; this is not a poppy ski. It doesn't have any tail rocker. You can definitely bounce around a little bit on this if you want to. This is more suited for someone who's looking to make nice smooth turns or go fast and bounce around the mountain.
How would it be in powder?
[Rob] At 96 millimeters underfoot, it is a little narrow for a true powder ski. But for someone who's going to spend half their time on groomers and half their time off piece, this is a solid choice. It's going to float pretty well on the powder. I would not hesitate to ski it on a deep day if this was the only ski I had.
[Thomas] Yeah, so I didn't get a chance to really ski these in powder beyond the half an inch that we got overnight. They do have a decent amount of rocker in the tips, and they are 96 underfoot. They're not going to be a powder ski, although, for what they are and what they're made for, they're going to do pretty reasonably well in powder.
How about uneven terrain and chunder? [Thomas] These have a lot of metal in them. They're relatively stiff. They're going to punch through any sort of weird snow. So for anyone skiing lots of variable conditions, these are going to do really well for that.
How is its maneuverability riding in the trees? [Thomas] In the trees, these want to carve a little more than they want to slarve or slide. So they're not the quickest turning ski, but they're really meant for more the groomers. They'll ski a little bit of it all.
What would be the best location for it? [Rob] If you're on the East Coast, this would be a great ski for those six inches to one foot days that start off really sweet for a couple of runs.
[Thomas] These skis are great for someone who’s going to live in the East, ski the East, or wants to ski the full mountain in the East and ski powder but also wants one ski that they can then take West and be confident on a groomer or on somewhat of a powder day or whatever the conditions are.
What is your favorite thing about it? [Rob] My favorite thing about the Stance is that I could go from carving turns on a groomer to slarving turns in the trees on the same run and back again. It's a really versatile ski for someone who likes to spend a fair amount of time on a groomer.
Who would you recommend this ski to? [Rob] This is definitely a directional ski. It feels a little bit more accessible than some of the really, really stiff hard-charging skis that I've been on. It’s great for an advanced expert or even a strong intermediate. At 96 millimeters underfoot, this would be a really versatile ski and great for someone who mixes their time between skiing in the Midwest and the East with one or two trips out west each year.
[Thomas] So these skis are for the moderately aggressive skier skiing somewhere that's primarily firm snow but also wanting to ski powder, whether that's also on the East or in the West or wherever they're going.
Who should avoid this ski? [Thomas] This is not a good first ski for somebody. You should not be transitioning out of rentals to this unless you are feeling really confident. If you're hitting the park, you want a ski switch. If you want something bouncy and flexy and playful, this is also not a good ski for you.
No two skis are the same, and no ski is perfect for every skier. If you want help finding the right ski for you, reach out to Rob, Thomas, or any other Ski Expert here on Curated. They’ll help you find the best skis for you.