Salomon Quest-105 (2014)
Here's the biggest powder snob in the category. The Quest isn't the fattest ski, but with all that tip rocker, it's simply unsinkable (No. 1 in Flotation). As is often the case, heavy rocker improves its slashy flotation but compromises its rebound. And finding its carve (somewhere under the heel) requires an adjustment. Testers admired a Quickness (No. 3) that belies its width and a forgiving nature that's accessible to intermediates and relaxing for experts. Casey: "Surf city! Super fun and playful yet stable and directional enough if needed."
Though it's still game for powder days, Salomon's Q-105 brings a more realistic 105 waist to the mountain - and a better attitude about everyday conditions. Like all Quests it's designed to blend the best attributes of "progressive" design (looseness, maneuverability) with more traditional directional stability (stiff tail, positive edge-engagement). Salomon's Utility Rocker combines floaty, shock-absorbing tip rocker (and a touch of easy-release tail rocker) with reassuring, carve-friendly camber under and behind the foot (in all about 65 percent of the ski's length). Hook Free Taper in both the tip and tail brings the widest points of the ski closer to the foot for a looser, smearier feel that's never hooky in soft snow and crud. Salomon also works to consolidate the ski's mass closer to the foot by incorporating lightweight honeycomb structures into the tip and tail to reduce swing weight and enhance maneuverability and quickness. It's a metal-free, full wood-core Salomon Monocoque (structural cap) construction built for medium-stout edginess and soft-snow-loving liveliness. Extra-wide edges withstand off-trail abuse. 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||Intermediate, Advanced, Expert, Hi-Expert|
|Awards||Gold Medal Gear|
|Lengths||167, 174, 181, 188|
|Rating: Stability at Speed||3.04 / 5|
|Rating: Maneuverability||3.16 / 5|
|Rating: Hard Snow Grip||2.57 / 5|
|Rating: Crud Performance||3.39 / 5|
|Rating: Forgiveness||3.38 / 5|
|Rating: Flotation||4.20 / 5|
|Rating: Overall||3.21 / 5|