Salomon Enduro XT 800 (2014)
We should stop being surprised that freeridey Salomon can make a piste dicer like this. The returning Enduro, a perennial medalist, continues to impress testers with its game-for-anything attitude. It's a knife when you want it to be - solid on edge, comfortable at speed, with energy that gives back what you put in. But if you're feeling playful or even lazy, it's cool with that too - and won't pout or punish the way some hard-snow carvers do. Dodge: "Aggressive but well-behaved. Great edge grip and directional stability."
Like the XT 850, the 800 is built for arcing groomers and managing hard snow with knife-like ease. But with a narrower 79 mm waist it will be even quicker and more secure on the hardest snow than the 850, with a slightly tighter sidecut radius. It's available flat or with a Salomon Z12 binding (for about $200 more). The 800 is a metal-reinforced, full-wood-core, semi-sandwich construction that combines lively, forgiving cap construction on top with grippy vertical sidewalls below. An additional layer of bamboo in the layup is designed to give it durability and resilient flex. A touch of tip rocker absorbs shocks for a smoother ride. Fans of the French brand will notice that Salomon significantly consolidates its line for 2013-14, eliminating redundant models (including several BBRs and the narrower Rocker/Rockettes) and focusing on two key freeskiing lines, Rocker2 and the new Quest family. While the Rocker2 skis (widths of 108 to 122 mm) still offer a more newschool, looser, twin-tip type of performance, the Quest series (88 to 115 mm) offers a more directional, secure, carve-ready performance. Meanwhile, the hard-snow/carve-oriented Enduro line, a tester favorite for frontside applications, returns with East- and groomer-friendly 80 and 85 mm waists.
|Level||Advanced, Expert, Hi-Expert|
|Awards||Gold Medal Gear|
|Lengths||154, 161, 168, 175, 182|
|Rating: Stability at Speed||3.31 / 5|
|Rating: Maneuverability||3.45 / 5|
|Rating: Hard Snow Grip||3.53 / 5|
|Rating: Crud Performance||3.10 / 5|
|Rating: Forgiveness||3.63 / 5|
|Rating: Flotation||1.84 / 5|
|Rating: Overall||3.27 / 5|