Don't think tune matters? Lots of testers skied this new model prior to the test and expected great things. But the X-Drive had a bad day, as its rankings reflect. Testers who'd skied it knew it deserved a better result. It's the successor to Salomon's Enduro series of frontside technicians-a line long fa- vored by testers. It's a capable fat carver that loves speed and high edge angles. With the right tune, it instills confi- dence. With the right tune.
Salomon nailed the graph- ics in this niche, where brands still pitch NASCAR- inspired topsheets to women who ski groomers. Not that we judge a book by its cover. This new ski is a serious, quick carver. It got nicked for being "hooky"- its powerful tail won't let go until the turn is good and done-but hey, a race car isn't always smooth off the clutch. "A cheater GS ski," said Brown Lovell.
The Rockette is Salomon's fattest women's ski, and it's built for deep-snow performance with a floaty 115 mm waist (at 170 cm).
Like all models in the Rocker2 line (which includes the 122, the 108, the 100, and the women's 115-waisted Rockette), it's a twin-tip built for surfy, loose, playful skiing-especially in soft snow. Aggressive rocker in both the tip and tail, with minimal camber under foot, help 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-less, full wood-core Salomon Monocoque (structural cap) construction built for good edginess and soft-snow-loving liveliness. Extra-wide edges are built and reinforced to withstand off-trail abuse and edge rip-out.
Salomon fans will notice that Salomon significantly consolidated its line last year, eliminating redundant models (including several BBRs and the narrower Rocker/Rockettes) and focusing on two key freeskiing lines, Rocker2 and the Quest family. While the Rocker2 skis (widths of 100 to 122 mm) still offer a more newschool, looser, twin-tip type of performance, the Quest series (83 to 115 mm) offers a more directional, secure, carve-ready performance.
The 100 joins Salomon's Rocker2 line this year, bringing a narrower waist width that's more appropriate to everyday, resort-based conditions. It's built for newschool-style skiing with twin tips and a loose surfy feel that will carve when you want it to on hard snow without feeling overly edgy or grabby. It gets just a bit of camber underfoot along with heavy rocker tip and tail, so it smears turns readily and won't feel hooky at speed. (Tip and tail taper enhance that sensation.) It's a full wood core Monocoque (structural cap) construction designed for maximum liveliness. The tip and tail feature honeycomb sections that reduce swing weight for enhanced quickness, and the edges are extra beefy to withstand punishment. It was tested in the Mixed Snow West category. Here's what testers said:
Dan Withey: "These are fun in predictable snow. They ski better at slower speeds. You can get tossed around in bumps. They are great fun for a slow-speed pow skier."
Scott Basso: "These are fun, playful, quick, lively skis. They have great transitions from different turn radii. I could ski these in a variety of different ski positions."
Kevin Luby: "This is a pretty dang fun cruiser. The tip really chewed through crud. This is just supportive enough to be fun on groomers."
Bob Gleason: "The rocker bellies deeply in the turn. The radius is quite short given the light side cut. It's very smudgy in the tail and has a banana sort of feel."
Luke Larsen: "This ski is easy and relaxed like Sunday morning. Turns are easy in easy out as long as you stay centered on the ski or it folds a bit."
Jeremy Benson: "This is a playful, fun ski. A little short for soft snow especially in the tip, but it's a great all around ski that rips on groomers. This would be a good frontside option for someone who also owns pow skis."
The Quartz is Salomon's all-new expert-level addition to its women's frontside collection. With an 83-mm waist, it's the widest offering the group, making it suited for a modicum of soft snow and variable conditions.
Testers skied the Q-Lab in two lengths, 183 and 190 cm. The two skis share the same sidecut radius, but the latter is five mm wider-a big dif- ference. Testers warned that the 190/109 is a lot of ski- too much for most skiers- while heaping praise on the 183/104. The former: "burly, unforgiving, stiff, aggressive, planky" (though there's respect for its power). The latter: "energetic, smooth, capable, silky." Megroz: "Great in powder and crud."
one tester likened skiing the Lumen to getting a cham- pagne buzz. (Indeed, women bubbled with words like light, slinky, lively, and refreshing.) It pours through bumps, pops in trees, and surfs on deep. It's also responsive, quick (thanks to a lightweight honeycomb tip), and easy enough to be a great intro- ductory off-piste ski. It won't win a knife fight on ice, but it sure is fun everywhere else. "A high-wattage firecracker," said McElroy.
The new Salomon Q-83 Myriad is the narrowest model in the company's Q-Line of skis designed to ski the entire mountain with a more modern, freeride style. At 83 millimeters underfoot it is a hardpack-friendly design however features like rocker and early taper make it capable in a variety of conditions. The Myriad is built with a full-wood core and semi-cap construction for stability, durability, and weight savings. It's intended for the intermediate to advanced skier looking to improve in varied conditions. The Salomon Q-83 Myriad is sold flat.