About three weeks ahead of the Outdoor Retailer Winter Market show, Salomon invited John up to a local resort for a day of skiing, so they could get some honest feedback on their latest skis. It was probably a bit daunting to be surrounded by guys that pretty much get paid to ski all season, but John suffered through like a trooper, and shared his unbiased views.
Before I get into my review of these completely awesome skis, let me first lay down my small disclaimer: I am not an extreme or even professional skier. I would classify myself as a middle class intermediate skier. Nor am I an expert on ski equipment, but I have been on many different skis, down different terrains and conditions.
Having said that, I would first like to talk about Salomon’s new Q-98 ski. Intended for the adventure skier, these bad boys are made for every terrain, however, I did find that they would float in the powder exceptionally well. As I carved, they provided positive feedback and good edge grip in each turn. On the groomed trails as well as bumps or jumps, they were able to absorb much of the shock.
The Q-98 has a pretty solid feature list. The lightweight honeycomb tip is a little transparent and looks really cool in the sun light, but it’s there to cut weight off the front and improve handling. A utility rocker also makes it easier to ski powder and crud. Salomon designed this ski with a hook-free taper and a full wood core, which combined with the other features to offer good stability and a lively feel in all conditions.
Another outstanding ski from Salomon is the BBR 10.0. They didn’t provide a spec list for this one, but it also floats well in powder. The tips are shaped like a water ski or a surfboard to help you splash around in soft snow. They have a rockered shape to again help in soft snow, but also to make turn initiation on hardpack very easy. The BBR 10.0 is built with a steel plate in the upper part of the ski, which helps to reduce tip chatter. I’ve also found that carving on this ski takes very little effort. You begin the turn and the ski will finish it up for you! It’s a little stiffer ski than the Q-98, but especially on the groomed trails, it performed exceptionally. As I stated above, I am an intermediate skier, and have a habit of turning slightly more with my hips, but this ski helped to correct that and really flowed well into each turn with the least amount of effort I can recall from any other ski I have been on. This ski is built for all levels, but if you are just starting out with the sport or are an intermediate as myself, the BBR 10.0 would be a very good choice for you. Advanced skiers will find it versatile enough to push the boundaries under all conditions.
The Q-105 skis were perhaps my “pick of the day”. They’re fast, aggressive, and held no prisoners. While the feature set is very similar to the Q-98, Salomon claims that this is the most progressive ski they have ever made and the only ski you will ever need in soft snow. I would have to agree with that. The Q-105 provides stability in every condition, but again, really excels in the powder. It has an ABS reinforced honeycomb tip that helped to reduce swing weight and allows for better maneuverability. Like the Q-98, they have a full wood core, but also have a honeycomb tip and tail. My only regret is that I am not at the skill level to take these skis to the extreme, although they opened my eyes to a whole new world of skiing.
I’d like to thank the team at Salomon for the opportunity to spend a day trying out their new skis. Usually, I’m a very hard person to impress, but Salomon has a fantastic lineup that has made me a fan for life.