Expert Review: Salomon QST Stella 106 Skis · Women's · 2022

Published on 01/31/2023 · 6 min readThis review is my honest opinion of the skis, which I purchased with my own money in January of 2022.
Hannah R., Ski Expert
By Ski Expert Hannah R.

Salomon QST Stella 106s in the sun! All photos courtesy of Hannah R.

About this Review: This review is my honest opinion of the skis, which I purchased with my own money in January of 2022.

My take

The Salomon QST Stella 106 is my absolute favorite all-mountain ski, from skiing couloirs to charging down groomers. It’s a smooth ride in all conditions and is built for intermediate to advanced skiers.

Earlier this winter, scoping which line we want to ski off the south facing A-Zs

About the skis I own

  • Model: 2022 Salomon QST Stella 106
  • Size: 167

About me

  • Height: 5’5”
  • Weight: 125lbs
  • Experience: 12 years of snowboarding/skiing

Test conditions

  • When I bought these: January 2022
  • Days tested: 70+
  • Mount position: Recommended
  • Boots: 2021 Atomic Hawx Ultra XTD 115 W Alpine Touring Ski Boots
  • Boot Size: 25/25.5
  • Bindings: 2018 Look Pivot 12 GW Ski Bindings
  • Where I’ve used it: Big Sky Resort, Bridger Bowl, Grand Targhee, Lost Trail
  • Terrain: Couloirs, steep slopes, technical terrain, trees, glades, groomers.

How they perform

Durability
5/5
Flotation
5/5
Turn Ease
5/5
Versatility
5/5
Carving
4/5
High Speed Stability
4/5

What I was looking for

I was looking for a more advanced ski that was wider underfoot and could thrive in all snow conditions. I had several friends who swore by the QST 106 as the one-ski quiver ski for big mountain skiing, and they were 100% right. I demoed the ski and found that it perfectly balanced stability with playfulness.

Charging through Firehole on a deep day last spring in the Headwaters

Why I chose this gear

I chose the QST 106 because I love the ski's responsiveness and its smoothness in variable conditions. It’s a durable all-mountain ski that I ski daily on the resort or backcountry. I continue to buy QSTs because I fully trust that I can push into them by dropping into a couloir or laying an edge down a groomer. It is a one-quiver ski.

I was considering the Blizzard Sheeva 10 and the Liberty Genesis 101, but ultimately, after demoing the QST 106, I knew it was a solid all-mountain ski that would make me a better skier. The QSTs are just so much fun to ski.

The core's of the QST Stella 106 hold up well. This is what the bases look like after skiing 70+ days at Big Sky Resort

What I love about them

  • Speed: The ski’s core of wood, carbon, and cork in the tips effectively creates a perfect balance between stiff and playful. These skis want to turn. They lay down an edge, and the dampness keeps the ski quiet while charging down the mountain. It’s so much fun.
  • Turns: This carbon ski provides great stability while initiating turns easily at high and slow speeds. The ski balances stiffness with playfulness to effectively create beautiful turns and lay an edge.
  • Powder: The QST is 106mm underfoot with a shovel/tip width of 137mm with cork; these skis LOVE powder. They are light enough to float while also having enough weight to push into and charge.
  • Trees: The rocker/camber/rocker profile initiates turns with ease, making the QST my favorite ski for carving between trees. The harder I push the ski, the better it responds.
  • Moguls: Similar to skiing trees, the shape and effective edge length of the QST allow for quick turns and stability while powering through moguls.
  • Backcountry: The QST 106 is my backcountry setup because it is durable but still light. Although it’s not the lightest touring ski, it thrives in powder and charges down all terrain. It’s ideal because I can take it anywhere and feel confident.
  • Durability: I ski mostly in the Northern Rocky Mountains, meaning that where there is snow, there are rocks. The topsheet overall is incredibly durable and doesn’t peel. The edge wall underfoot is thicker and provides great support and protection to the ski edge. The core is built to endure; I still ski on a pair of QSTs from 2019 that have had their fair share of core shots, etc.
  • Weight: This is a midweight all-mountain ski; each ski weighs under 4lbs. They are durable powder skis, meaning while they are not the lightest powder ski on the market, they are more versatile because of their weight and stability in all big mountain conditions.
  • Switch riding: The QST 106 has an all-terrain rockered profile, which means I can ski switch effectively. It’s not a true twin tip, but it has become a popular free-ride ski because of its responsiveness and ability to charge in all conditions and terrain.
  • Stability: QSTs have a wood core that runs the length of the ski, which effectively absorbs the chatter, creating a smooth ride through variable conditions. At the same time, the wood allows for enough play to pop off side hits and drop off cliffs, etc.

Issues I’ve encountered

  • Park: The QST is a partial twin tip and has enough pop for tricks in the park; however, 106 is on the wider end for a park ski. Most park skiers prefer the width to be in the 85mm-100mm range because they are easier to spin.

I love skiing the QST Stella 106 on steep terrain in all conditions - but especially bluebird powder days :)

Favorite moment with this gear

I have so many great moments on the Stella QST 106s it’s hard to pick one. I trust the ski to go anywhere and thrive; this confidence in my equipment is key as I push myself to ski expert terrain. I remember skiing down one of the steepest north-facing shoots off the Headwaters’ ridge at Big Sky Resort. It was the steepest terrain I had skied. It involved skiing heavy powder over a no-fall zone, traversing over rocks, and using a rope to guide me through a pinch before skiing through another shoot into the apron. The QSTs carried me through my first few turns, and I felt so strong and confident as I got my rhythm. I skied the shoot with speed, and despite the expert terrain, it felt so smooth, and it was the best feeling. The effective edge carried me from turn to turn, and I knew I was on the right ski for this perfect ski moment.

Value for the money vs. other options

These skis are worth the money because they are versatile and a one-ski quiver. In addition, the skis are incredibly durable and hold up well against normal wear and tear, rocks, etc. Currently, the QST 106 Stella’s costs $400-$500. They are definitely in the more affordable range for advanced skis for women. Similar ski models like the Nordica Santa Ana 104s cost approximately $600, and the Blizzard Sheeva 10s costs in the $400-$500 range.

Final verdict

The Salomon QST 106 is the product of an intentionally designed balance between stiff, playful, durable, and light to create the best all-mountain ski for advanced women skiers. These skis will take one anywhere, through all conditions, and push them to ski hard and have fun.

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