2015-2016 Salomon Q-105

Jonathan Ellsworth reviews the Salomon Q-105 for Blister Gear Review.
2015-2016 Salomon Q-105

Ski: 2015-2016 Salomon Q-105, 188cm

Dimensions (mm): 136-105-128

Sidecut Radius: 23.3 meters

Actual Tip-to-Tail Length (Straight Tape Pull): 187.4cm

Mount Location: Factory Recommended Line (87.4cm from tail)

Boots / Bindings: Nordica Patron Pro / Salomon Z12 (DIN at 11)

Test Location: Alta Ski Area

Days Skied: 5

[Editor’s Note: Our review was conducted on the 13/14 Quest 105, which was not changed for 14/15 or 15/16, except for the graphics. The ski’s name was also shortened to the “Q-105” for the 14/15 season.]

Salomon has designed two lines of skis that have a very similar on snow feel; there is a very strong family resemblance between the Rocker2 skis and the new Quest series.

Because of that, this review is going to focus a good bit on the similarities and differences between the 188cm Quest 105 and the 190cm Salomon Rocker2 108, because the Quest 105 feels a whole lot like a slightly tweaked Rocker2 108. (See Jason Hutchins’ review and Will Brown’s review of the 108.)

In short, directional skiers who like the sound of the Rocker2 108 but want that quick and playful feel in a ski that is designed more for carving and hard pack performance than jibbing or skiing switch…Ta Da!

The Quest 105 is your new ski.

Flex & Camber Profile

Hand flexing the 190 Rocker2 108 and the Quest 105 is quite similar, close enough that I’m hesitant to make pronouncements about which is stiffer through the tail, shovel, tip, etc. The pair of Quest 105s I’m testing feel slightly stiffer, but it’s close enough that I don’t think the flex pattern ought to factor into which ski you might choose.

The very tip of the Quest 105 is stiffer than that of the 108, but the two skis have a very similar tip shape:

Salomon Rocker2 108 & Quest 105, Blister Gear Review
Salomon Rocker2 108 (left) & Quest 105

The shovels of both skis have a medium flex, with tails that are noticeably (but not drastically) stiffer than the shovels and tips.

The Quest 105 has a fairly deep rocker line into the shovel, 4-5 millimeters of camber underfoot (slightly more than the Rocker2 108), and a skin-friendly squared-off tail that is slightly upturned but not rockered.

The Rocker2 108 has a slightly deeper rocker line and a bit more splay than the Quest 105, but the primary difference really comes down to their tails:

Salomon 108 Tail
Salomon Rocker2 108 Tail
Salomon Quest 105 Tail, Blister Gear Review
Salomon Quest 105 Tail

And the differences in the tails translate to on-snow performance exactly as you would expect: the Rocker2 108 is the looser, less directional ski; the Quest 105 is a much more directional, locked-in carver.

Also, the widest point of the tail on the Quest 105 is just a few centimeters from the very back of the ski—no heavily tapered pintail here.

The Rocker2 108 has a little bit more taper to its rockered tail, a feature of its more pow-oriented and switch-friendly design.


Despite their differences, when skiing the 108s and Quest 105s on back-to-back runs at Alta, I was still surprised by how much better the Quest 105 was at holding an edge through a turn. As Will Brown mentions in his 108 review, the Rocker2 108 can carve well, but those tails will break loose into a slide. It’s a very predictable slide, but when absolutely hauling down Alta’s Collins Face in firm conditions, I couldn’t fully trust the 108 to hold an edge. I could always trust the Quest 105.

The medium flex of the Quest 105 makes them easy to bend and lock in on edge for high-angulation turns. Rebound out of the turn was good, but the skis weren’t launching my 185 pounds into the next turn.

That Salomon “Feel” (aka, Those Tips; aka, We’re Jumping Down the Rabbit Hole) 

Before I get to how the Quest 105 performs in other conditions, I need to mention one of the distinctive aspects of most (maybe all) of the skis in Salomon’s Rocker2 and Quest lineups. I’ve skied the Quest 105, the Quest 115 (last year known as the Rocker2 115), and the Rocker2 108. On the women’s side, Julia Van Raalte has reviewed the Salomon Stella and the Salomon Lumen. And one thing that all of these skis have in common is the feeling that you have a relatively short amount of ski in front of your bindings, and relatively long tails.

It’s unusual. Obviously, jib and park skis are often center mounted (or nearly center mounted: 0-4cms behind the center of the ski’s sidecut). Directional chargers often have a lot of tip relative to the amount of tail (7-8cms behind the center of the ski’s sidecut). But I can’t think of many other (any other?) directional skis that have this same feeling of short shovels, long tails.

And yet, the factory recommended mount point of the 188cm Quest 105 is 87.4 centimeters from the tail, and 100 centimeters from the tip, which puts the recommended line 6.3 centimeters behind true center: a distance that’s within a pretty normal mount position range for directional skis, perhaps just 1 or 2 centimeters forward.

Furthemore, the 190cm Salomon Rocker2 108’s mount position is listed as -3cm of true center, so 3.3cms in front of the Quest 105, and yet … they feel very similar on the “short shovel, long tail” front.

More on Mount Positions (Still Falling Down The Rabbit Hole)

Mounted on the line, you’ll notice how quick and easy it is to whip the shovels around on the Quest 105, as well as all of the Salomon’s I’ve skied. And at times, you might feel like you’ve got a good bit of tail behind you.

So naturally, I tried moving the bindings back 1cm on the 188cm Quest 105s, and immediately … the ski felt off. I took two runs, felt like I had screwed up the ski, and immediately moved the bindings back to the recommended line.

It’s a quirky thing with these skis: they all ski great, but speaking now specifically about the 188cm Quest 105, it feels best mounted on the line, with those short-ish shovels.

In conclusion, I do not recommend mounting these back, and I see no reason to move forward. The sidecut of this ski (and perhaps the sidecut + flex pattern + rocker line + splay in the tips) seems to work best at the recommended mount point. So for what it’s worth, I didn’t find this ski to invite a lot of experimentation with the mount point. The Quest 105s are fun, quick skis, but it is a different feel. And going back even 1 centimeter felt like it took the 105s out of their large sweet spot.

OK, I’ll shut up now. We’re exiting the rabbit hole.


62 comments on “2015-2016 Salomon Q-105”

  1. Interesting review. How would you say they felt compared to the Rocker2 115 (aka Quest 115)? I imagine the biggest difference would be in the tail, aside from obvious floatation differences, but I’d be curious to hear your thoughts.

    • Hi, Jay – I haven’t spent enough time on the 115s to draw really sharp comparisons, so I feel like it’s best to read Will Brown’s and Ryan Caspar’s really good reviews of the 115s, and draw your own conclusions. But in short: same short-ish tips, long tails feel. And the tails of the 115s are a lot more like the tails of the Rocker2 108s than the Quest 105s. You’ll get better hardpack performance out of the 105s than the 115s, and not just because of the narrower width.

  2. Jonathan, it will be great to hear your take on the Q105 vs Scout (Cochise without metal) and Capo (Cochise with camber and Christopher Walken/View to a Kill psychosis); are you going to get any time on the Vagabond (pretty close to apples-to-apples with Q105)? The Capo felt the least huggybear of the five skis, like it could be a serious weapon for Garrett in his next comp, less of the power-with-smeary-forgiveness of the Cochise. For us mortals looking for slightly less Nth degree, the Vagabond might be the friendlier Nordica twin…

  3. Likely the shovel is way too soft – not an evenly rounded flex pattern. I feel a lot of the older companies have this problem – they’re trying to hang on to the soft tip that was used on powder skis before rocker was invented and it just doesn’t work. Some indies and a few big companies like Blizzard have it figured out (I felt PM Gear does not – their tips are prety soft). Rocker means you can put stiffness back into the ski and still have it float and surf well.

  4. Wow, great review (as usual).

    What do you prefer for bumps and tight trees between the Q-105, Rocker 2 108 and the Soul 7? What is quicker and more maneuverable?


    • Thanks, Matt! It’s hard to say definitively, and I regard all to be ‘quick’ skis. Given the tail rocker of the Soul 7 & 108, I suppose they might get a quicker / easier award since the tails are so easy to get loose. Then again, as I note, the shovels on both the 108 and 105 feel short, a bit shorter than the Soul 7s….It’s going to come down to preference and whether we’re talking soft snow or firm snow. I would happily ski all 3 in trees and bumps. But as those conditions firm up, the more I’ll opt for the tail of the Quest 105.

  5. Thinking of getting the Quest 105 in 188cm

    I am 6’4″ and 240 pounds and looking for a ski for bumps, trees, powder, and groomed.

    Any suggestions for a big guy? I ski some old Gotam’s currently with no rocker and 103 under foot. need something better in the powder.

    • At your height / weight, Jason, I think you might like these in bumps, trees, and on groomers, but I wouldn’t expect a major improvement in pow over your Gotamas. But I also think you need to decide where you’re willing to make tradeoffs – nothing is going to absolutely excel in bumps, trees, pow, and on groomers. Where are you skiing? You’ll be fine on these in 6-12″ of pow, but this isn’t going to be a deep day ski for you.

  6. Dear Jonathan

    I ski A Basin, Keystone, and Vail mostly. I love skiing pallavicina lift at A basin, the trees and bumps at Keystone and the bowls at Vail. I am considering the Solomon Quest 105 in 188 or the Sir Francis Bacon in the 190. I could ski the steeps, trees and bumps pretty well with my 183 Gotomas with no rocker and 103 under foot but had to work hard in fresh snow over 6 inches deep. Will take any suggestions you could send my way. I am 6′ 4″ and 240. I had the 183 Gotomas because they were given to me.

    • That’s helpful, Jason, thanks. At your height & weight, I would strongly encourage you to check out the 193cm Blizzard Gunsmoke, and see Jason Hutchin’s review of the 186 model. We haven’t skied the 193 yet, but it is shaped like a more robust, slightly fatter SFB, and it has a stiffer flex pattern than the 186 Gunsmoke. Seems like it would actually be pretty perfect. It’s no surprise at all that the 183 Gotoma wasn’t working for you in 6″+ of fresh. The Gunsmoke is still a playful shape that will be enough ski for you and will work much better in pow. I’m not as confident that will be true of the Quest 105 or SFB.

  7. Thank you Jonathan.

    I will try and demo a pair. I am just nervous that I will not be able to keep up with my kids in the Moguls with a ski that is 114 wide. Thank you for you input.

      • Hi

        I tried the Q105 and the Ritual at the weekend in fairly firm conditions in Whistler (no fresh snow for a week with mild temperatures leading to some freeze thaw conditions on some runs and chalky snow on others).

        I am 154lbs and 5′ 7″ and an advanced skier and I skied the Q105 in the 173cm and the Ritual in the 174cm. I found the Q105s easy to turn and quite playful but lacked a bit of stability at speed and would get knocked around a little in the rough stuff. The Rituals felt more damp, substantial, locked down and stable and seemed to have better grip in comparison.

        I much preferred the Ritual.

  8. Hi Jonathan.
    How about the size of these. Do they ski longer due too less rocker in the tail?
    I am 183 cm and 73 kg, and would like to use them for a bit of everything, which size would you recommend, and would it be the same size for the soul 7?

  9. Hi Jonathan – enjoyed your review of the Q105. I am 6’2 and 215. Ski…Alta/Snowbird/Vail (30 days) and generally ski off piste condition warranted. Currently have Rossy Super7s for pow and crud but am looking for a replacement for my Line Prophet 100 186 length (2007) 1st editions. These skis are old….I know…but are used for hard pack, minimal new snow days for skiing bumps, trails & off-trail, not setup conditions…..so my question – Due to my Ht/Wt would these Q105 be a good replacement for my Prophets? Thanks!

    • Hey, Chris – I definitely know the old Prophet 100. My immediate thought is that the Q105s will be more fun to ski in bumps, given its more tapered tip than the Prophet. The Prophet 100 may be heavier and feel more damp given it’s metal matrix, but I think you’ll really enjoy the Q105s in bumps and on groomers, and off-piste too, unless you are pinning it all the time off-piste—you do have 30 lbs. on me. (If you’re worried about the latter scenario, then you might want to consider the Blizzard Cochise.)

      In conclusion, I actually may have enjoyed the Prophet 100 MOST on groomers, which is a weird thing to say about a powder ski. If I had to pick the Q105 or the old Prophet as an all-mountain ski, I’d take the Q105.

  10. Thanks for the quick response…kudos for your reviews!. One last question – based on my size and expert level (though I prefer a mid-soft ski…tight tree skiing) which of the following would match up best (remember I have a pair of Super7s for deep powder and crud (see below):

    Armada TST 192 – waist 103
    Moment PB&J 186 – 101
    Salomon Q105 188 – 105

    Thanks again

    • Hey, Chris – I’d probably rule out the TST, just because you wouldn’t be using it on deep days, and it definitely has a “deep day” tip rocker profile. The 188cm PB&J, given its tail rocker, will allow you to pivot a little more easily than the Q105. But honestly, I think if it’s really about tight trees, then it comes down to whether you’re into tail rocker (PB&J) or not (Q105). The Q105 is definitely the cleaner carver for sure, but you might like to pivot if you’re skiing very tight trees. Depends on your preference & style.

  11. Thanks for all the excellent reviews. This site has become my sole advisor when shopping for new gear.

    I’m 5’5″ and 135 lbs. Do you think the 167 Q105 would be to short. I’m thinking of getting this as a one quiver ski for resort, backcountry and spring peak skiing. May get a Q115 for powder days. Skiing Icelantic Shaman now.

  12. Hey, dig the reviews- been looking at the Rocker2 108 or Quest 105 for my everyday ski with some BC on occasion (I’ve got another setup for that), thing is I’m skiing tele and your note on binding/mounting position has got me thinking a bit. I generally mount with 22 Designs Axl bindings (adjustable forward and back depending on conditions) though if the ‘sweetspot on these skis is so small and noticeable I’m questioning if either of them would be ideal for me. Do you know anyone that has tele’d on them? I generally ski bigger lines and when I’m at the resort dig poking around the trees and bombing the mogul fields or ripping a line down Highlands Bowl. Any thoughts? Thanks for all you guys do!

  13. Loved the review. Based my choice of buying the Q105 on your review. Had the Rossi´s S7 before this ski and I experienced the same tail wash out that you´ve described after your experiences with the review. Have the Q105 as my all-mountain back-country ski. And the Armada AK JJ for the deeep days. But to be honest the Q105 proves to be a one quiver and is able to ski up to 15 inch easily but will also rip bigger lines and harder snow and even the slopes. So I´m keeping the AK JJ more at home then before. My height is 185cm and I weigh about 216 pounds. Ski in Europe in the Alps and Pyrenees. Very happy with the Q105!

  14. Hi Jonathan, thanks for a good review!

    I’m curious about the ski length. Did you try the 181cm?

    I’m not sure if I should go for the 181cm or 188cm. I’m 182cm and 78kg (170pounds), an advanced skier with a neutral stance, and would like to use the Q105 as my allround ski. I have a pair of BD Megawatts in 188, which feels right and a pair of KD Coomba (the old non-rockered version) in 181, which also feels right. I’m going to replace my Coombas with the Q105. I’ll use the skis from everything from steep colours to high speed cruising on open flanks to (slow speed) thight tree skiing. I guess 50% touring, 40% lift based off piste, 10% groomers. I’m going to put a pair of Dynafit Beasts on them. Any advice?

      • Thanks for the advice Jonathan. Got the 188 and I like the way they ski. A nice balance between stability and playfulness, and they are quite easy to ski in most conditions I’ve encountered so far. Though, I haven’t tried them in deep powder yet.

        Talking about powder, I’ve notices the very forward binding position you mention in the review. Like Patrick I have looked at the ski side by side with my other pairs, and the bindings on the Q105 are quite a lot more in front. I’m a bit worried about tip diving in deep powder. I hopefully will be able to check that the next days.

  15. Hi Jonathan,

    The ski is supportive enough for my weight. No problems. When it gets really deep I do prefer the AK JJ because of the float. Again thanks! Still enjoying it!

  16. Thanks for an excellent review.
    Just snapped my 192 TST in half today, need a replacement ASAP. All my skiing is AT (no lifts here in Northern Norway). Want stability in nasty steeps (also when they’re crudded, frozen or winbuffed), and fun in tight trees (or when the legs are tired).

    How would you describe the differences between the TST and the Q105?
    – any difference in rocker/taper profile?
    – any difference in camber?

    Things i disliked about the TST were its short radius, tip that gets bounced around in 3D-snow, and the twintip. Q105 deals with the twintip issue, but the short shovels bother me…

    • The more you really want / need a ski to perform in “nasty steeps,” the more I wonder why you’re looking at lighterweight skis like the Quest 105 and TST? (Though if you’re answer is, “because I have to tour up on these things,” that starts to make more sense.)

      As you should be able to gather from the rocker pics of each ski, the TST has more tip splay than the Quest 105, and will work better in deeper pow. But the nastier the conditions, the more I would choose the Q105 over the TST.

  17. What is the main difference between Volkl Mantra and Salomon Q105? I’m looking for all around ski, 60/40 on/off piste. Which ski would you recommend for all around ski?

    • Hopefully the two reviews make the differences pretty clear, but the Mantra is stiffer and more demanding than the Q105, and just about the best “bad conditions” ski I have ever been on. Neither is a great pow ski, but the softer / lighter shovels and greater width of the Q105 probably make it the better choice if you care about deep snow performance.

  18. In reference to the mounting positions… I just bought a pair of Q-115’s, not realizing how forward they were (had the 188’s mounted as recommended with Jesters). I have to tell you, after one day on them in a foot of heavy PNW mid-March pow, I had a hard time finding the balance point. Felt like I was going to go over the tips several times. I put them next to my K2 Sidestashes, also 188cm (though about 1cm longer standing), and the bindings are a good 5-6cm forward of those on the K2s. WTF? Do you really not think I should go back into the shop and have them dropped back a cm or two? I’m 6’3″ 190lbs. I will say, in the cut pow bumps they were fun, responsive and quick, but not at all confidence -inspiring in the untracked manky deep and I suspect its because they put me so much farther forward than I’m used to… but perhaps I should give myself more time to adjust to them, especially in lighter snow, before I start drilling more holes? I bought these as my everyday powder ski up to 18″ or so, have 4Frnt Renegades (196) for the deep days and man are those stable, but become unmanageable after things get ski’d out and warmed up.

  19. Okay, a follow-up as I had the chance to run the Q-115’s in 12-16″ of blower (by PNW standards) at Alpental yesterday. What a day… and I was thrilled with the way the skis performed. I don’t know if it was that I adapted, or if it was more just the fact that the first day I ran them in heavy snow, no ski would have provided confident balance. Yes, the bindings are mounted forward, but I never felt like I was going over the top, the tips never dove, and I can see now the benefit of this design: the skis were incredibly quick and nimble, a must for a mountain like Alpental.

    Anyway, still curious about your feedback… cheers!

  20. Thank you for the detailed review. I am looking at the Q 105 to mount telemark. Any thought? My concern, based on your review is the “short tip” feel. Is that going to hang me up as a telemarker? I’m 6-2″, 155lbs. advanced skier. Ski the Inland NW- mix of pow and groomed. Should I move down a size from the recommended 188 to 181 due to my free-heeling mature?

  21. Anyone have thoughts on the q-98? Does it ski like a narrower q-105, or is it more dialed for groomers and firmer off-piste? Thanks.

  22. Jonathan, Thank you for a nice review. I am looking for a pair of skis to go for backcountry and in powder as well. Should I go for Q 105 or q 115 ? Were you able to charge Q 105 in deep snow with confidence? I am 6.0 187 pounds, I will appreciate If you tell me what ski size to choose.

  23. Hi Jonathan,

    Great review, my wife has the Rocker2 and is very happy with them. I’m riding the K2 Kung Fujas ’12/’13 that I do like in the powder and carving with it is so easy I sometimes forget I’m not on my slalom ski’s but the only thing I would like to improve is speed on the groomed pistes. Would the Q-105 be any faster/better at high speeds then the Kung Fuja’s? Or is there a better alternative? Perhaps a K2 Coomback or a Line Supernatural? Since I life and ski in Europe the powder is not often very deep or as dry as west coast powder so I’m looking for a ski that makes me ski better in (often) heavy powder but also needs a good performance on the pistes since sadly I have to spent a lot of time there too.


  24. Thank you for the detailed review. I am looking at the Q 105 to mount telemark. Any thought? My concern, based on your review is the “short tip” feel. Is that going to hang me up as a telemarker? I’m 6-2″, 155lbs. advanced skier. Ski the Inland NW- mix of pow and groomed. Should I move down a size from the recommended 188 to 181 due to my free-heeling mature?

  25. The Salmon Rocker 2 108 is just about my favorite ski ever, but I didn’t buy it because its performance carving on hard pack underwhelmed me and I was looking for that one ski I could bring on a trips for 50/50 backcountry/inbounds. The Q-105 looks like it may fit the bill, based on this review. Similar feel, but with better hard snow performance. My question – I love a ski that automatically pulls you back across the hill once you get it on edge while skiing on groomers. Does the Q-105 do this? Based on the reviews, it skis like it has a tighter radius than the large 23.3 meter radius.

  26. Hi there,
    I am looking for two new skis two make up a two ski quiver (I have read your two ski quiver reviews but sadly haven’t skied the resorts you have tested them at) and have the following considerations as well as comments on skis I have tested this winter.
    – I ski mainly Chamonix so get a mix of powder and hard snow.
    – I am moving ever more towards day touring so would be mounting one ski with a touring binding (current boots are Technica Cochise).
    – I am 6ft and weigh 75kg (165lbs).
    – Would like the quiver to be able to handle: Faster charging around resort on harder cruddy snow or moguls, tight chutes in powder / softer snow and medium sized cliff drops in powder (usually no bigger than about 20ft these days). Finally being a decent day touring ski. — realise that having two skis which do all of this well probably doesn’t work so willing make compromises.

    Skis tested – in order of testing:
    Salomon Quest 105 181cm (a little shorter than I would usually go) – found them very predictable and capable in almost all conditions (didn’t ski fist sized iceballs) making them very confidence inspiring. Nice on the drops that I did do

    Atomic automatic 102 188cm – liked that it had more pop than the quest and was really stable on big long turns over even the most frozen crud. Still light and manageable for hop turns in tight chutes. Felt the tips got overwhelmed when driving forward in softer or deeper snow.

    Volk mantra (2013 – before the rocker) 184cm – great ski for everywhere in resort and on the side piste. Would say something like it would make the two ski quiver if it weren’t for the fact that it doesn’t fit into either the touring camp or powder camp. But maybe the touring and powder camp could be the same ski?

    Black Crow Atris 184 or 189cm (can’t remember exactly) – great ski everywhere but on piste, felt it kept grabbing and that you really needed to stay forward. Even slightly back and it would spank you. Ultimately didn’t feel quite at home on it as some of the ones before it.

    K2 Coomback and wayback (180cm both) – great skis when out touring and in resort. Felt handled everything but the worst of icy fist sized chunder. Could do with being stiffer in the middle through to the tips though as never felt quite confident to open up with big fast turns down chopped up harder snow.

    So having given opinions on skis I have skied I guess I am hoping that there is some combo out there that combines my wants as well as the likes of the different skis. I feel that something between the quest and the atomatic would be good. Or the blackcrow that wasn’t so grabby or attention seeking (I get a little lazy sometimes).

    Any pointers would be super appreciated! Thanks so much and thanks for all the fantastic reviews, Blister is always my first stop for reviews.


  27. Great review! I was just wondering I’m a all day charger who skis at the big Colorado ski resorts like Vail and break, I was just wondering is this a good ski for me or should I go formsomething a little fatter because I spend most of my time off paste. Thanks in advance,

  28. Hi,

    I’m an intermediate skier opting for new all-around backcountry skis. I’ve decided to go with q 105 or rocker2 108, leaning towards the q-105. My current skis are Head Jimi 110 which are probably too demanding for me. They’re way too heavy to turn for me but I’ve learned to ride them reasonably. I’m not that advanced skier as the Jimis warrant so I’m looking for skis that are easier to turn in trees and also able to ride in hard crud and open terrain.

    Do you think that the q105 would be a ski for me? And which length should I go for? 181 or 188cm? My current skis are 191cm. The 188cm q-105’s have more rocker so I assume they would be easier to turn. The 181 cm would be even more easier to handle but how stable they are on hard crud?

    My height is 189 cm (6’2″) and I weight 86kg (190lbs)

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