2017-2018 Salomon QST 106
Available Lengths (cm): 167, 174, 181, 188 cm
Actual Length (straight tape pull): 187.0 cm
Stated Weight per Ski (181 cm): 1900 grams
Blister’s Measured Weight per Ski (188 cm): 1957 & 1958 grams
Stated Dimensions (mm): 142-106-127
Blister’s Measured Dimensions (mm): 141-105-125.5
Stated Sidecut Radius: 20.0 meters
Core: Flax / Carbon Spaceframe Wood Core
Tip & Tail Splay (ski decambered): 62 mm / 23 mm
Traditional Camber Underfoot: ~4 mm
Recommended Mount Point: -7.8 cm from center; 85.7 cm from tail
[Editor’s Note: Our review was conducted on the 16/17 QST 106, which was not changed for 17/18, except for the graphics.]
For 16/17, Salomon has introduced the QST line. We have already reviewed the QST 118, and have posted a First Look of the QST 99. So it’s time now to talk about the QST 106, and tomorrow we head to New Zealand to go get this ski (and others, see below) on snow.
(To learn a bit more about the QST line in general, check out our First Look of the QST 99.)
Salomon QST 106 – What Is It?
It’s important to note right off the bat that Salomon is classifying the QST 118 and 106 as “bi-directional skis” that are designed to “perform in powder”.
I’m writing this First Look before we get the QST 106 on snow, and given Salomon’s description, I am going to assume that the QST 106 isn’t going to be a slayer of variable conditions. Admittedly, that is one of the things that we’re most interested to discover (how well the QST 106 handles less-than-ideal conditions), but if some skis out there excel in crap conditions, I suspect the QST 106 will shine in soft conditions — and especially the deeper those soft conditions get.
I’d sum up the flex pattern of the QST 106 like this:
Overall, this feels like a nice, progressive flex pattern. The tails of this ski are solid but not burly, while the tips of this ski are quite soft (and, I suspect, will plane easily).
The 188 cm QST 106’s tip and tail is noticeably softer than the 188 cm QST 99’s. It’s not world’s different, but the QST 99 is certainly stronger. Having said that, the QST 106 still feels very solid through the middle of the ski, and it is going to be very interesting to see how well this flex pattern (coupled with the weight of the ski) handles variable conditions. In deeper snow, I anticipate that the QST 106 will float and plane as well as some skis in the 112-115mm width range.
The relatively wide and relatively soft shovels of the QST 106 are also paired with a mount point that is set back much farther than the QST 118. Paul Forward found the QST 118 to perform exceptionally well in deep snow in Alaska, and that was with the ski mounted less than 5 cm behind true center. The QST 106 is nearly 3 cm farther back than that, which ought to enhance this ski’s inclination to plane in deep snow and resist tip dive.
The only thing here is that it’s hard to see why Salomon is classifying the QST 106 as bi-directional; there is only one recommended mount point on this ski, and pretty much nobody that is regularly skiing switch is mounting this far back.
That’s not to say that the QST 106 won’t be fun in the air, but I suspect that directional skiers looking for a sub-110mm-wide ski to shine in anything from soft conditions to 1-2 feet of pow will be most interested in this ski.
The QST 106 looks to be a textbook example of the newer breed of “50/50” skis, suitable for skiing the resort (in softer conditions) and skinning the backcountry.
And if I had to wager, I think those looking for a solid “50/50” ski will end up being happy on the QST 106. In our book, a 188cm-long ski that’s coming in under 2000 g has the potential to handle inbounds conditions well (without the inherent compromises of skiing a much lighter touring ski inbounds), while being light enough to handle skinning duties — especially if you are willing to drag a bit more ski uphill for the sake of getting to go downhill on a bit more ski.
But in New Zealand, we are going to give the QST 106 a harder test — we are mounting it with a Salomon Warden 13 binding, so we are going to find out how well it can handle banging out resort laps in whatever conditions we happen to find.
QST 106 Competitors?
The obvious contenders are skis that are around 2000 g per ski and in the ~186-188 cm range. A few skis come to mind:
Yep, this will be verrrrry interesting. We weighed the 188 cm Soul 7 HD at 2042 & 2069 grams, or about 100 g per ski more than the QST 106.
#2: Liberty Origin 106
The new 187 cm Origin 106 is just a touch heavier than the QST 106 (at 2016 & 1980 grams), and is a soft-snow-oriented ski.
#3: Faction Chapter 106
The Chapter 106 doesn’t get thought of as much as a “50/50” ski, but at our measured weight of 1942 & 1943 grams — i.e., basically the same as the QST 106 — we’re curious to see just how similar or different the two skis perform.
In just a few days, we’ll start to get some answers. Stay tuned, and become a Blister Member to read our Flash Reviews of the QST 106 and all the other skis we’re bringing to New Zealand (including the Armada ARV 106, Moment Meridian, Moment Bibby Tour, Volkl Confession, Kastle BMX 105 HP, 4FRNT Raven, Salomon MTN Lab 114, and the Black Diamond Helio 105).
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