Expert Review: Salomon Stance 96 Skis · 2023
This review is my honest opinion of the skis, which I purchased with my own money in November of 2022.
About this Review: This review is my honest opinion of the skis, which I purchased with my own money in November of 2022.
The Salomon Stance 96 is a well-balanced, metal-reinforced, all-mountain ski that is smooth and quiet while remaining energetic and playful (enough). This is a great ski for skiers who love to charge, but want something with just enough forgiveness to be fun in less-than-ideal conditions.
About the skis I own
- Model: 2023 Salomon Stance 96
- Size: 188cm
- Height: 6’5”
- Weight: 220lbs
- Experience: 19 years of skiing
- When I bought these: November 2022
- Days tested: 8
- Mount position: Recommended
- Boots: 2021 Tecnica Cochise 130
- Boot Size: 29.5
- Bindings: 2023 Tyrolia Attack 14
- Where I’ve used it: Loveland Ski Area, Copper Mountain, Colorado
- Terrain: Trails, bumps, tracked powder
How they perform
What I was looking for
I was looking for a classic metal ski that would be a blast when new snow is hard to come by. I wanted it to be nice and sturdy on edge, but still be playful enough in shape to let me navigate bumps or take a little heat off a turn.
Why I chose this gear
Salomon gives this ski a touch of little tail splay and takes some metal material out in the tips and tails, making it just compliant enough for me to make all kinds of turn shapes. I was really satisfied with the build quality and durability of my Salomon skis in the past, so I decided to spring for the Stance in a very crowded category of mid-90mm, dual-metal, all-mountain skis. One ski I tried that follows this same formula, and for which I had high hopes, was the Faction Dancer 2.0 (formerly Dictator). That ski was loads of fun and had the shape I was looking for to ski the occasional bump, however, Faction does not remove any tip or tail material. So, I found the ski less compliant when I needed it to really bend and make different turn shapes. What Salomon has achieved feels smoother and more compliant while being equally as stable.
What I love about them
- Speed: These skis have no speed limit, just as I would expect from a burly big-mountain carver.
- Edge hold: The two sheets of metal and 96mm waist mean these things grip up in all conditions.
- Turns: These skis excel at long, fast carves. However, as an expert skier, I found that Salomon achieves a really great balance that retains that fast carving ability, but allows me to make really fun, high-energy, short turns as well.
- Groomers: This ski was built to ski groomers, no matter how recently groomed. They do it with poise and power.
- Moguls: Compared with other directional mountain skis meant to excel on trail, the Stance has just enough taper and splay to work in bumps for an expert skier—I consider that a win. I have other skis for bumps, but these are plenty of fun when I am ready to work for it.
- Durability: Salomon makes some of the highest-quality skis in the world. The topsheet material is beautiful and durable.
- Weight: These things are heavy in the right way. They have all the weight I want in a dual metal ski, but not more.
- Stability: These skis are very stable thanks to the camber and metal construction.
Issues I’ve encountered
- Powder: These skis lack float. It isn’t that they won’t ski powder, but they are firmly in the hard-snow camp for a mid-90s ski.
- Trees: As compliant as these skis are compared to their competitors, trees are still tough. One will need to bring their courage and a whole lot of strength.
- Park, Switch Riding, and Backcountry: Because these are heavy, metal, directional skis, they aren’t meant to be taken into the park nor backcountry and would not excel there. Neither do they excel at riding switch.
Favorite moment with this gear
I remember skiing one lift-line run on these where they really excelled in all facets. The run started with a long groomer which the Stance let me take with hip-to-the-snow carves. I then followed with some steep, soft bumps in which the Stance stayed super composed as I chose a very-aggressive line—opting to make less than a safe number of turns on the way down—and earned a few hollers from the lift above. The ski pulled the aggressive line out of me, but made me feel secure the whole way.
Value for the money vs. other options
The Stance is an exceptional value amongst metal skis. It comes in slightly cheaper than both the Faction Dancer (mentioned above) and the category-leading Volkl M6 Mantra.
The Salomon Stance 96 is a directional all-mountain charger that stands out from its competition thanks to its reasonable price point and nuanced construction. In a category where most skis do the main thing well—carve really fast on all snow—the Stance does the other things really well. It is happy to ski the additional bump and it loves to make all lengths of turns.