An Expert Guide to Salomon SkisPublished on 05/26/2023 · 10 min readSalomon is one of the biggest names in ski brands! Skiing Expert Adam St. Ours dives into the brand and how to choose the right pair of Salomon skis for you!
Photo by Benjamin Guy
Salomon is one of the top ski brands because they make a wide range of highly versatile skis capable in various conditions and terrain, from groomers to deep powder and everything in between. When choosing the right Salomon ski, it’s important to consider your skiing style, skill level, and intended use.
I’ve been skiing for over 35 years and have seen the evolution of the Salomon brand, starting as one of the pioneers in the freeride ski category and continuing to the present day. I’ve skied a wide range of options and recommended Salomon skis to multiple family members. I’m passionate about getting people on the right gear for their individual needs to enjoy themselves on the mountain.
Salomon is a leading outdoor sports brand founded in 1947 in the French Alps. Renowned for innovation and quality, Salomon offers a wide range of progressive gear, from skis and bindings to boots and any other accessory you'd need for various outdoor winter sports. Their commitment to performance and cutting-edge design makes them a top choice for ski enthusiasts worldwide.
What to Consider When Buying Salomon Skis
1. What Type of Skiing Are You Planning to Do?
Understanding your preferred skiing style is crucial for choosing the right pair of Salomon skis. Whether you enjoy carving groomed runs, venturing off-piste, or exploring the backcountry, Salomon offers a range of skis to fit any need. Being honest with yourself about the type of terrain and conditions you spend the most time on will help narrow down the options and ensure you get on the most appropriate gear for how you spend your time on the slopes.
2. What Is Your Skill Level?
Selecting the right ski for your skill level is important to ensure you get the most out of the skis you choose. Beginner skiers may benefit from forgiving and easy-to-handle models while they build confidence and work on their skills. Intermediate and advanced skiers can explore options with more aggressive performance characteristics. Salomon's lineup includes skis designed for all skill levels, so finding a pair that matches your ability will help you progress confidently and safely.
3. What Size Salomon Skis Do You Need?
Ski length is critical for stability, control, and performance. Typically, beginners should opt for shorter skis that are easy to turn at slower speeds, while advanced skiers can choose longer options for increased stability and confidence at high speeds. There are other factors to consider for each ski model, such as the amount of rocker/camber, taper, sidecut, and materials used to stiffen the ski. Consult Salomon's sizing chart and speak with a Curated Expert to determine your ideal length.
4. How Much Do Salomon Skis Cost?
Salomon offers a full range of skis, from entry-level for first-time buyers to high-end and professional options, with prices varying accordingly. Entry-level skis typically cost around $300-$500, offering essential features and solid performance for beginners. Mid-range options priced at $500-$700 cater to intermediate skiers, with improved construction and materials for enhanced performance. High-end skis cost approximately $700+ and deliver advanced technology, premium materials, and exceptional performance for expert skiers. Evaluate your skiing goals and budget to find the perfect balance of price and performance.
What Are the Different Types of Salomon Skis?
As an experienced Salomon skier, let me give you a quick rundown of the four categories:
The QST series is designed for all-mountain versatility, offering playful skis that perform well on groomed runs, off-piste terrain, and in powder conditions. They feature a healthy dose of rocker in the tips and tails combined with camber underfoot, providing float and easy turn initiation in mixed snow and edge grip on firm snow. QST skis are perfect for those looking for a reliable ride in every corner of the mountain. Except for the topsheet design and available lengths, the QST series is considered unisex. So there is no difference between the men’s and women’s models.
- Benefits: QST skis offer excellent versatility, allowing you to enjoy various terrain types and snow conditions. They strike a balance between playfulness and stability, making them suitable for a wide range of skiers and preferences, and they excel in ungroomed terrains like trees and moguls.
- Keep in Mind: While versatile, they may not perform at the same level as specialized skis in specific conditions, such as deep powder or high-speed carving.
- Examples: Salomon QST 92, Salomon QST 98, Salomon QST 106
The Stance series is Salomon's lineup of freeride skis, tailored for aggressive skiers who want to charge hard on and off groomed runs. More directional than the QST series, Stance skis feature a metal laminate over the core, providing stiffness, dampness, and increased stability at high speeds. If you're looking for a powerful ski that can handle big lines and varied conditions, Stance is the way to go.
- Benefits: Stance skis deliver powerful performance and stability at high speeds, making them ideal for aggressive skiers seeking challenging terrain. Their stiffer flex and less rockered profile suit big turns at high speeds more than the more rockered and forgiving QST series. However, the level of stiffness is tailored for each individual model to deliver just the right amount of power needed.
- Keep in Mind: These skis can be more demanding and less maneuverable than other options, which might not suit less aggressive skiers or those who prefer a more playful ski.
- Examples: Salomon Stance 84W, Salomon Stance 90, Salomon Stance 96
MTN skis cater to backcountry enthusiasts and ski tourers who require lightweight and efficient gear for uphill ascents and downhill performance. These skis are designed to focus on weight reduction and versatility, offering a great balance between uphill efficiency and downhill capability. If your passion is venturing into the backcountry and exploring untracked terrain, the MTN series is an excellent choice.
- Benefits: MTN skis are lightweight and efficient for uphill travel, making them an excellent choice for backcountry touring and ski mountaineering. They offer a balanced performance, allowing you to tackle challenging terrain and enjoy powder descents.
- Keep in Mind: The lightweight construction may sacrifice some stability and dampening characteristics, making them less suitable for hard-charging descents or aggressive skiing on hardpack snow.
- Examples: MTN 96 Carbo
The Resort category comprises skis specifically designed for on-piste performance and carving. These skis have a narrower waist width and a more directional shape and come with integrated ski bindings, making them perfect for those who love to lay down precise turns on groomed runs. The Resort series is ideal if you primarily ski on groomed runs at resorts and seek a ski that excels in carving and edge grip.
- Benefits: Resort skis are specifically designed for on-piste performance, offering precise carving and edge grip on groomed runs. They cater to skiers who primarily ski on groomed runs and seek a ski optimized for groomer performance.
- Keep in Mind: Due to their narrower waist width and directional shape, these skis may not perform as well in deep powder or off-piste conditions as more versatile or freeride-oriented options.
- Examples: S/Force FX.80, S/Max N°10
Features to Look for in Salomon Skis
Salomon offers several unique technologies and innovations in their skis. When looking at their models, it can be helpful to understand how each feature contributes to the on-snow feel of the ski. As an expert skier, I'd recommend focusing on the following Salomon-specific aspects:
- C/FX Carbon Flax Weave: This innovative material combines carbon and flax fibers, enhancing the ski's strength, dampening, and torsional rigidity while maintaining a lightweight feel. It improves the ski's responsiveness and stability, ensuring a smooth and dynamic ride.
- Edge Amplifier Technology: Salomon's Edge Amplifier Technology provides a more direct connection between the ski and the snow, increasing edge grip and power transmission. This technology improves carving performance and energy transfer for a precise and efficient skiing experience.
- Koroyd Tip and Tail: Salomon incorporates Koroyd material in the tips and tails of some skis to reduce swing weight and enhance performance in variable snow conditions. The honeycomb structure of Koroyd also improves shock absorption, contributing to a smoother ride.
- All-Terrain Rocker 2.0: Salomon's All-Terrain Rocker 2.0 is a versatile rocker-camber profile that balances float, edge grip, and maneuverability. This profile caters to all-mountain and freeride skiers, ensuring reliable performance in various snow conditions and terrain.
- Spaceframe Construction: Salomon's Spaceframe construction utilizes a combination of materials, shapes, and flex patterns to optimize ski performance in specific skiing disciplines. This design approach tailors each ski model to the intended skiing style, providing a more targeted and efficient performance.
Keep these features in mind when browsing through Salomon's lineup, and don't hesitate to ask for assistance from a ski professional to help you find the perfect pair to match your skiing style and preferences.
How to Choose the Right Salomon Skis for You
Choosing the right Salomon skis can be tough. They make a wide range of skis, all of which are versatile and high performing. How do you know which model is best for your unique situation? Below I’ve described three situations of customers whom I’ve helped on Curated, their backgrounds, along with some ski options that fit their styles and what they’re looking for and why.
Needs: Josh needs a versatile ski to handle both aggressive skiing on groomed runs and off-piste skiing through glades and bumps when available.
Features to look for: Stiff flex for stability at high speeds, rocker/camber profile for versatility in hard and soft snow.
Products to consider:
- Salomon Stance 96: The best fit for optimal performance across all conditions. Stiff enough for carving on hard snow but also has enough width and rocker profile for soft snow capability. Ideal for someone who evenly splits their time between all snow conditions.
- Salomon Stance 90: This ski is a narrower option for more groomed snow emphasis while maintaining off-piste performance. This option is ideal if Josh feels he spends less than half his time off trail.
- Salomon QST 98: A softer option, sacrificing some stability at high speed for nimbleness and maneuverability at slower speeds and in soft snow.
Needs: Eva needs an all-mountain ski to become more comfortable in advanced trails and soft snow conditions. Priority is on ease of turns over stability at high speeds.
Features to look for: Forgiving flex, pronounced rocker in the tip and tail with camber underfoot
Products to consider:
- Salomon QST 98 Lumen: Playful and easy to turn in any snow condition for intermediates, but strong enough to be pushed by advanced skiers.
- Salomon QST 92 Lux: Narrower option if Eva typically doesn’t see much fresh snowfall throughout the year.
- Salomon QST 106 Stella: Wider option if Eva typically skis in an area with abundant snowfall.
Needs: Scott needs an easy-turning ski for cruising mostly easy and intermediate groomed runs at moderate speeds.
Features to look for: Narrow waist width for groomed runs, tip rocker for easy turn initiation
Products to consider:
- S/Force FX.80: Camber underfoot for grip on groomed snow; integrated bindings transmit forces efficiently from the boot into the ski.
- Salomon Stance 80: All-mountain option that would handle mixed snow better than the S/Force. Still narrow underfoot with effective camber for good grip on groomed snow.
Offering a wide variety of skis for all types of skiers and snow conditions, Salomon has been an industry leader for many years because of the combination of versatility and performance. If you have any questions about their skis or would like to get a list of personalized recommendations for your situation, contact a Skiing Expert like myself.