2019-2020 Salomon QST 99

Ski: 2019-2020 Salomon QST 99, 181 cm

Available Lengths: 167, 174, 181, 188 cm

Blister’s Measured Tip-to-Tail Length: 179.6 cm

Stated Weight per Ski: 2090 grams

Blister’s Measured Weight per Ski: 2055 & 2080 grams

Stated Dimensions: 138-99-120 mm

Blister’s Measured Dimensions: 137.8-99.0-119.4 mm

Stated Sidecut Radius (181 cm): 19.4 meters

Measured Tip & Tail Splay (ski decambered): 69 mm / 28 mm

Measured Traditional Camber Underfoot: 5-6 mm

Core: Poplar + Titanal Binding Reinforcement + Cork Tip/Tail Inserts + Carbon, Basalt, Flax, & Fiberglass Laminate

Base: Sintered

Factory Recommended Mount Point: -9.8 cm from center; 80.0 cm from tail

Luke Koppa reviews the 2020 Salomon QST 99 for Blister
2020 Salomon QST 99
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Review Navigation:  Specs //  First Look //  Bottom Line //  Rocker Pics

Intro

As we noted in our First Look of the 19/20 Salomon QST 106, Salomon is overhauling their QST series for the 19/20 season. You can read more about the specific updates in our writeup of the QST 106, but the long story short is that Salomon is updating the construction and shapes of many of their QST skis, with the end goal being “smoother turn initiation, better floatation and more confidence at speed in steeper terrain.”

So how does that translate to the narrower QST 99?

Shape / Rocker Profile

Like the 19/20 QST 106, the 19/20 QST 99 now has a slightly less tapered shape compared to the previous version of the QST 99. Its sidecut extends a bit farther toward the ends of the ski, and the new QST 99’s tips and tails don’t taper to as much of a point (i.e., they’re now a bit more “blocky”). In theory, this equates to more effective edge and could potentially allow for easier turn initiation and more stability at speed.

Skis with a lot of taper tend to be easy to slide and pivot around, but removing mass and surface area from the tips and tails — and decreasing the effective edge — often makes heavily tapered skis feel “twitchy” or not stable in rough, inconsistent snow. So Salomon’s decision to decrease the taper on the QST 99 seems to make sense, given that they’re claiming that the new ski is going to initiate turns better and be more stable.

While the new QST 99 is less tapered than the last version, it still has a more tapered shape compared to several skis in its class like the Volkl Mantra 102, Blizzard Bonafide, and Nordica Enforcer 100.

The QST 99’s rocker profile also looks a bit different than the previous version’s, with the new ski having notably more tip splay (69 mm vs. 55 mm) and a bit more tail splay (28 mm vs. 20 mm). However, the 19/20 QST 99’s tip rocker line now looks like it’s a bit shallower than the previous ski’s. The 19/20 QST 99 still has more tip and tail rocker than several skis in its class like the Mantra 102, Bonafide, and the Fischer Ranger 99Ti.

Flex Pattern

Here’s how we’d characterize the flex pattern of the QST 99:

Tips: 6
Shovels: 6.5-7.5
In Front of Toe Piece: 8-9.5
Underfoot: 9.5
Behind the Heel Piece: 9.5-9
Tails: 8.5

Overall, the 19/20 QST 99’s flex pattern is very similar to the flex pattern of the last version of the ski. If anything, the new ski might be a touch stiffer in the shovels and the tail, but the difference is pretty subtle.

The new QST 99 still has a fairly moderate, directional flex pattern. Its tips and shovels are pretty easy to flex, but they quickly and smoothly stiffen up as you move to the middle and finish with a pretty strong tail that’s significantly stiffer than the tip.

Compared to skis like the Mantra 102 and Ranger 99Ti, the QST 99 is notably softer in the front. Overall, the QST 99’s flex pattern is pretty similar to the flex patterns of the Bonafide and Enforcer 100, with the Enforcer 100 being a bit softer in the tail.

Weight

Like the new QST 106, the new QST 99 is coming in heavier than the previous iterations of the ski. At an average weight of around 2070 grams per ski for the 181 cm length, the new QST 99 now sits around the middle of the ~100mm-wide all-mountain category when it comes to weight. It’s still not as heavy as some metal-laminate skis like the 184 cm Mantra 102, 185 cm Enforcer 100, and 180 cm Bonafide, but the new QST 99 now sits closer to those skis than it did before.

And for what it’s worth, Salomon is providing a stated weight of 2295 grams per ski for the 19/20, 188 cm QST 99. That’s pretty heavy, and is significantly heavier than our measured weight of the 17/18, 188 cm QST 99 (~2027 grams per ski).

For reference, here are a number of our measured weights (per ski in grams) for some notable skis. Keep in mind the length differences to try to keep things apples-to-apples.

1629 & 1684 Elan Ripstick 96, 180 cm (17/18–19/20)
1734 & 1750 Renoun Endurance 98, 184 cm (18/19)
1758 & 1774 Moment Commander 98, 178 cm (18/19)
1800 & 1824 Luke Koppa’s Romp Skis 100, 183 cm (18/19)
1807 & 1833 Fischer Ranger 98Ti, 180 cm (16/17–18/19)
1807 & 1840 Atomic Bent Chetler 100, 188 cm (18/19–19/20)
1863 & 1894 Blizzard Rustler 9, 180 cm (18/19–19/20)
1894 & 1980 Black Crows Daemon, 183.6 cm (17/18–19/20)
1896 & 1919 Dynastar Legend X96, 186 cm (18/19–19/20)
1921 & 1968 Head Kore 99, 188 cm (18/19–19/20)
1925 & 1937 Liberty Helix 98, 186 cm (18/19–19/20)
1931 & 1932 DPS Foundation Cassiar 94, 185 cm (18/19–19/20)
1937 & 1945 Fischer Ranger 94 FR, 184 cm (19/20)
1966 & 1973 Liberty Origin 96, 187 cm (18/19–19/20)
1985 & 2006 Parlor Cardinal 100, 185 cm (16/17–18/19)
1994 & 2011 Fischer Ranger 99 Ti, 181 cm (19/20)
1998 & 2044 4FRNT MSP 99, 181 cm (17/18–18/19)
2007 & 2029 Armada Invictus 99 Ti, 187 cm (18/19–19/20)
2024 & 2029 Salomon QST 99, 188 cm (16/17–17/18)
2049 & 2065 Volkl Mantra M5, 177 cm (18/19–19/20)
2050 & 2080 ON3P Wrenegade 96, 184 cm (18/19)
2053 & 2057 Atomic Vantage 97 Ti, 188 cm (18/19–19/20)
2055 & 2080 Salomon QST 99, 181 cm (19/20)
2062 & 2063 Rossignol Experience 94 Ti, 187 cm (18/19–19/20)
2085 & 2096 Dynastar Menace 98, 181 cm (19/20)
2101 & 2104 Fischer Ranger 102 FR, 184 cm (18/19–19/20)
2114 & 2133 Nordica Enforcer 93, 185 cm (16/17–19/20)
2115 & 2149 J Skis Masterblaster, 181 cm (16/17–18/19)
2124 & 2137 Blizzard Bonafide, 180 cm (17/18–19/20)
2131 & 2189 Nordica Enforcer 100, 185 cm (15/16–19/20)
2218 & 2244 Volkl Mantra 102, 184 cm (19/20)
2233 & 2255 Nordica Enforcer 104 Free, 186 cm (19/20)
2311 & 2342 K2 Mindbender 99Ti, 184 cm (19/20)

Some Questions / Things We’re Curious About

(1) All of the updates to the QST 99 seem in line with Salomon’s claims about it initiating turns better, floating better in pow, and being more stable at speed. So the main question here is just how noticeable will those differences be?

(2) Due to its fairly low weight, we recommended the old QST 99 as a 50/50 ski to many people who were looking for a ski that they could tour on and use in the resort. Now that the new QST 99 is heavier, we’re curious to see how it compares to some of the other heavier, more inbounds-oriented skis in this waist width.

Bottom Line (For Now)

The new Salomon QST 99 is less tapered and heavier than the previous iteration, two updates that seem in line with Salomon’s claims about the new ski being more stable and easier when it comes to initiating turns. We’ll be getting the new ski on snow soon, and will report back with updates ASAP.

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Rocker Pics:

Full Profile
Tip Profile
Tail Profile
Top Sheet
Base

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