Ski: 2020-2021 Salomon S/Force Bold, 177 cm
Available Lengths: 170, 177, 184 cm
Blister’s Measured Tip-to-Tail Length: 176.1 cm
Blister’s Measured Weight per Ski (with binding plates): 2414 & 2441 grams
Stated Dimensions: 132-84-116 mm
Blister’s Measured Dimensions: 131.9-83.9-116.1 mm
Stated Sidecut Radius (177 cm): 16 meters
Measured Tip & Tail Splay (ski decambered): 47 mm / 7 mm
Measured Traditional Camber Underfoot: ~5 mm
Core: Poplar + Titanal (2 layers) + Carbon, Basalt, & Fiberglass Laminate
Factory Recommended Mount Point: N/A (comes mounted with system bindings)
[Note: Our review was conducted on the 19/20 S/Force Bold, which was not changed for 20/21.]
Salomon is launching an entirely new line of skis for 19/20 — the S/Force series.
Consisting of the S/Force Bold, S/Force 11, S/Force 9, S/Force 7, and S/Force 5 and covering a range of widths from 84 mm to 76 mm, the new S/Force line is designed to slot between Salomon’s race-inspired S/Max series and their lighter, more all-mountain-oriented XDR series.
With the introduction of the S/Force line, Salomon now has three different frontside-oriented ski lines, so what exactly makes the new S/Force skis stand out? To find out, today we’re taking a closer look at the widest ski in the lineup, the S/Force Bold.
Shape / Rocker Profile
The S/Force Bold has a very traditional shape and rocker profile. It has essentially zero tail taper and a tiny bit of tip taper, with its shape looking very similar to the K2 Ikonic 84 Ti and Head Monster 88 Ti.
The S/Force Bold has a tiny bit of tip rocker and an almost completely flat tail. All of this is pretty standard for a carving-oriented ski, and sets it apart from more all-mountain-oriented skis like the Nordica Enforcer 88 and Blizzard Brahma, which have more taper and / or deeper rocker lines to help them better deal with more variable off-piste conditions.
Here’s how we’d characterize the flex pattern of the S/Force Bold:
In Front of Toe Piece: 9.5-10
Behind the Heel Piece: 9
The S/Force Bold’s flex pattern is very similar to the K2 Ikonic 84 Ti, with fairly stiff — but definitely not unbendable — shovels, a very strong midsection, and a tail that’s a bit stiffer than the tip.
The S/Force Bold’s back half is a bit softer than the Ikonic 84 Ti’s, but we’d still describe it as quite strong. Compared to the Head Monster 88 Ti, the S/Force Bold is a bit softer in the tail, and the S/Force is significantly stiffer in the tip vs. the Salomon XDR 88 Ti.
The S/Force Bold is a heavy ski, which isn’t all that surprising given that it has two layers of metal. But this is one of the most obvious differences between it and the Salomon XDR line, which is way lighter.
With binding plates, the 177 cm S/Force Bold comes in at a similar weight compared to the 178 cm Fischer RC4 The Curv and 180 cm Head Worldcup Rebels i.Speed Pro, two narrower, metal-laminate carving skis.
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.
1784 & 1800 Liberty V82, 179 cm (19/20)
1790 & 1828 Black Crows Orb, 179.1 cm (19/20)
1790 & 1831 Salomon XDR 88 Ti, 186 cm (17/18–19/20)
1936 & 1942 Head Monster 83 Ti, 177 cm (18/19–19/20)
2077 & 2092 K2 Ikonic 84 Ti, 177 cm (17/18–19/20)*
2166 & 2167 Dynastar Speedzone 12 Ti, 182 cm (17/18–18/19)*
2279 & 2299 Head Supershape i.Rally, 177 cm (17/18–19/20)*
2317 & 2323 K2 Super Charger, 175 cm (17/18–19/20)*
2320 & 2359 Head Supershape i.Titan, 177 cm (17/18–19/20)*
2336 & 2350 Fischer RC4 The Curv GT, 175 cm (17/18–19/20)*
2414 & 2441 Salomon S/Force Bold, 177 cm (19/20)*
2414 & 2516 Head Worldcup Rebels i.Speed Pro, 180 cm (17/18–19/20)*
2489 & 2498 Fischer RC4 The Curv, 178 cm (16/17–19/20)*
*weights include binding plates
Some Questions / Things We’re Curious About
(1) As with any ski this narrow, we’re interested to see how versatile the S/Force Bold is when it comes to on- and off-piste performance.
(2) We were big fans of the now-discontinued Salomon X-Drive 8.8 FS but the lighter and softer XDR 88 ended up being a very different ski, so how will the S/Force Bold compare? Could it be a more apples-to-apples replacement?
(3) The S/Force Bold is a heavy ski with a pretty strong flex pattern, so how stable will it feel compared to the competition?
(4) Salomon’s S/Max skis have earned a reputation for being pretty burly and demanding, so how intuitive / forgiving will the S/Force Bold be?
Bottom Line (For Now)
Salomon’s new S/Force Bold looks like an interesting middle ground between their S/Max and XDR skis, combining a heavy construction and traditional shape with a strong, but not crazy-stiff flex pattern. On paper, it looks pretty similar to many other carving skis, and we’ll be getting on the S/Force Bold as soon as possible to see how it compares on snow to the current crop of frontside skis.