Ski: 2021-2022 Salomon QST Lumen 99, 174 cm
Available Lengths: 153, 159, 167, 174 cm
Blister’s Measured Tip-to-Tail Length: 172.4 cm
Stated Weight per Ski: 1830 grams
Blister’s Measured Weight per Ski: 1881 & 1895 grams
Stated Dimensions: 134-99-118 mm
Blister’s Measured Dimensions: 135.8-99.1-117.8 mm
Stated Sidecut Radius (174 cm): 19 meters
Measured Tip & Tail Splay (ski decambered): 69 mm / 30 mm
Measured Traditional Camber Underfoot: ~4 mm
Core: Poplar + Titanal Binding Reinforcement + Cork Tip/Tail Inserts + Carbon, Basalt, Flax, & Fiberglass Laminate
Factory Recommended Mount Point: -10.3 cm from center; 75.9 cm from tail
[Note: Our review was conducted on the 19/20 QST Lumen 99, which was not changed for 20/21 or 21/22, apart from graphics.]
As we noted in our First Look of the 19/20 Salomon QST 99 and 106, Salomon is updating their popular QST lineup for next season. That also includes their women’s versions of the unisex QST skis, with the women’s versions simply being offered in different lengths and topsheets with the same construction as the men’s versions.
One of those skis is the QST Lumen 99, which we now have in a 174 cm length. So while we’ve discussed how the new 181 cm QST 99 compares to the men’s market, let’s now take a look at how the 174 cm QST Lumen 99 compares to some of the skis in its class.
Shape / Rocker Profile
In addition to Salomon adding more flax to the QST Lumen 99’s layup and putting cork in its tips, this is the main update for 19/20. The 19/20 QST 99 and QST Lumen 99 now have a slightly less tapered shape compared to the previous version of the QST 99. The skis’ 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 Lumen 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 Lumen 99 is less tapered than the last version, it still has a more tapered shape compared to several skis in its class like the Blizzard Black Pearl 98, Blizzard Sheeva 10, and Nordica Santa Ana 100. Overall, the QST Lumen 99 looks very similar to the K2 Mindbender 98Ti Alliance.
The QST Lumen 99 has a pretty moderate flex pattern for a 99mm-wide ski — neither super deep rocker lines nor super shallow. It has slightly deeper rocker lines than the Blizzard Black Pearl 98, but not nearly as much rocker as the Blizzard Sheeva 10.
Here’s how we’d characterize the flex pattern of the QST Lumen 99:
In Front of Toe Piece: 7.5-9
Behind the Heel Piece: 9-8.5
The 174 cm QST Lumen 99’s flex pattern is very similar to the 181 cm QST 99’s, with the QST Lumen 99 being very slightly softer overall. Both lengths of the ski start soft in the tips and have a fairly slow and smooth ramp up as you move to the middle of the ski. The QST Lumen 99 has a moderately stiff midsection and it finishes with a tail that’s pretty strong, but far from “planky.”
The QST Lumen 99 has a similar flex pattern compared to the K2 Mindbender 98Ti Alliance, but the QST Lumen 99 is a bit stiffer at the ends of the ski. The QST Lumen 99’s flex pattern is also extremely similar to the 172 cm Blizzard Sheeva 10, and the QST Lumen 99 is notably softer throughout compared to the 177 cm Nordica Santa Ana 100, particularly in the tips and tails.
Like the QST 99, the QST Lumen 99 gained a bit of weight for 19/20. It’s still not extremely heavy, but it is on the heavier end of the spectrum in the women’s ~100mm-wide category. Given that Salomon is talking up the new QST skis’ stability, we think this bump up in weight makes a lot of sense.
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 and keep things apples-to-apples.
1507 & 1523 Liberty Genesis 90, 165 cm (18/19–19/20)
1533 & 1537 Armada Trace 98, 172 cm (17/18-19/20)
1535 & 1555 DPS Alchemist Uschi 94 C2, 171 cm (18/19–19/20)
1551 & 1604 Head Wild Joy, 168 cm (17/18–18/19)
1556 & 1575 Liberty Genesis 96, 165 cm (18/19–19/20)
1557 & 1607 Fischer My Ranger 98, 172 cm (16/17–18/19)
1626 & 1631 K2 Fulluvit 95Ti, 170 cm (18/19)
1635 & 1646 Blizzard Black Pearl 98, 166 cm (17/18–19/20)
1651 & 1669 Moment Sierra, 172 cm (17/18–19/20)
1709 & 1710 Blizzard Sheeva 10, 172 cm (17/18–19/20)
1748 & 1763 Nordica Santa Ana 93, 169 cm (17/18-19/20)
1750 & 1769 Armada Victa 97 Ti, 171 cm (17/18-19/20)
1762 & 1801 K2 Mindbender 98Ti Alliance, 168 cm (19/20)
1812 & 1813 Head Great Joy, 168 cm (17/18-18/19)
1881 & 1895 Salomon QST Lumen 99, 174 cm (19/20)
1983 & 1999 Nordica Santa Ana 100, 177 cm (17/18–19/20)
Some Questions / Things We’re Curious About
(1) We’ve praised the unisex QST skis for their versatility and well-rounded performance envelopes, so we’re curious to see how the new QST Lumen 99 will compare in this regard.
(2) The QST Lumen 99 slots into a category of skis that are designed to handle a wide range of conditions — from soft powder to firm crud. So where will the QST Lumen 99 excel, and will there be any conditions where it falls short?
(3) The QST Lumen 99 is one of the heavier women’s skis we’ve tested in the 100mm-wide category, so we’re eager to get on it and see how strong and stable it feels at speed.
(4) On the other hand, the QST Lumen 99 has a pretty accessible flex pattern and a tapered shape, so will skiers who don’t crave high speeds also get along well with it?
Bottom Line (For Now)
The 19/20 QST Lumen 99 looks like it combines elements of both easier / more forgiving skis (significant tip and tail taper, moderate flex pattern) with those of burlier, more stable skis (heavier weight, not a lot of rocker). We’re eager to get on the QST Lumen 99 to see the on-snow result, so stay tuned for updates.