Salomon QST 98s Ski - A Love Story

Salomon QST 98s Ski - A Love Story

BLUF: A true all-mountain ski that can handle whatever you throw at it. It's super fun and dependable, giving you more confidence on the slopes.

For clarity, the author considers himself an average skier. These days, he can navigate most, if not all, of the mountain but rarely skis anything he wouldn't want to tell his mom about. He always wears a helmet. However, things are changing.

The backstory leading up to the purchase of the 98's is a simple one. The author has been a lifelong skier, mostly on the East Coast. Skiing took a little hiatus in the author's life due to time, money, and other interests, but in the last several years, it has become a primary interest again.

A trip was planned to ski out West, specifically Vail. Being an experienced East Coast skier, the initial thought process was that the author's old skis (about 10 years old) have always worked well enough and should be fine for most of what can be found out West. However, that turned out to be absolutely wrong. The first day was brutal. The skis sank in the powder, felt rigid, and required a lot of effort to navigate varied snow conditions.

The next day, the author demoed several skis and then tried the 98's. Immediately, there was a strong connection, something different from the others. These skis were super fun on groomers, held up well on ice, were comfortable at higher speeds, and turned easily even on sketchy terrain. They also handled icy patches effortlessly. Additionally, they seemed to reduce leg fatigue, which was a great feature when skiing all day on a mountain three times bigger than anything the author had experienced before.

The author learned a few major lessons that day. The investment made by companies in building a product with real technology does make a difference in the skis. It's not just a marketing gimmick. While it may sound surprising, the author realized that without much thought, the old skis would have required a significant investment to replace. The truth is, skis have evolved over the past decade. Additionally, demoing different skis on the same day provides valuable insights when making a significant investment.

The perception of ski fashion has also changed. A decade ago, it was believed that fat skis (over 95mm at the waist) were only meant for the West, while skinny skis were meant for the East. These days, the 98's can handle it all confidently and make skiing fun, whether you're on the East or West Coast. Of course, if you're interested, you may still want to grab other skis specialized for certain mountain conditions. But for the average skier looking to have fun regardless of the conditions, these skis are perfect.

Now, let's delve into some of the technology that truly changes the way these skis behave, as far as the author understands it (paraphrased from the website). It's important to note these characteristics, as if they were advertised features of a car's engine.

The skis have carbon in the front and back to facilitate quick pivots and provide added power. The cork material offers stability at high speeds. The double sidewalls ensure exceptional edge hold when necessary.

The author also found that the double rocker profile of the skis is helpful for staying on top of powder and remaining stable when skiing on non-powder surfaces. These skis have saved the author from falling many times when the old skis would have failed. The turning radius of the skis is also greatly appreciated, as it enhances the skiing experience across the entire mountain.

Don't just take my word for it. These skis have won numerous awards (check out the ones that matter to you). If you're looking for a true "all-mountain" ski — meaning, in the truest sense of the phrase, that you can ski any mountain with them, East, West, Backcountry, whatever — look no further. These are the skis might be for you.

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