Salomon Rocker2 122 (2014)
Testers complain that some skis take the playful-surfy thing too far, to the point of disconcerting mushiness. Not the Rocker 2. The No. 1–ranked ski in Flotation smears with the best of the new-school powder surfers, but a good skier can still find a crisp edge to set. And while its rockered twin tail is easy to manage, it never feels slippery or unreliable. Don't ask a ski this fat to carve quick ones on hardpack, but be amazed by its enthusiastic performance in bumps and crud. And on powder days? Send it. Gleason: "Speed control comes with such ease that it encourages speed."
The Rocker2 122 is the fattest and floatiest ski in Salomon's collection, well-suited to the Wasatch Mountain playground in the backyard of its U.S. headquarters. Like all models in the returning Rocker2 line (which includes the 122, the 108 and the women's 115-waisted Rockette), it's a twin-tip built for newschool-style skiing - surfy, loose, playful - especially in soft snow. Aggressive rocker in both the tip and tail, with barely-there camber under foot, make switch riding and smeared turns easy. 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 consolidates 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, connected across the width of the ski with a reinforcing lattice of wire, are built to withstand off-trail abuse and edge rip-out. 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.
|Awards||Gold Medal Gear|
|Lengths||170, 180, 184, 192|
|Rating: Stability at Speed||3.08 / 5|
|Rating: Maneuverability||3.36 / 5|
|Rating: Hard Snow Grip||1.93 / 5|
|Rating: Crud Performance||3.92 / 5|
|Rating: Forgiveness||3.78 / 5|
|Rating: Flotation||4.13 / 5|
|Rating: Overall||3.39 / 5|