According to a strong tester consensus, the playful, quick, easy-turning Q-90 had power aplenty for the typical all-mountain skier who’s not trying to win medals. Chargers who stomped on it found it mildly wanting in stability at high speeds, but don’t worry about that unless you’re a big, aggressive dude. Slow it to normal speeds, and you’ve got a snappy, locked-in carver with the looseness needed to smear smoothly through rough terrain. “Salomon did its homework here.”
The Q-90 is the narrowest (90 mm) and most affordable model in the new Quest line from Salomon, which ranges up to 115 mm. It gives an Eastern skier a taste of fat-ski fun without sacrificing everyday-conditions performance. It's a metal-free, full-wood-core, semi-sandwich construction that combines lively, forgiving cap construction on top with grippy vertical sidewalls below. 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. 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.