Ski: 2020-2021 Salomon QST 118, 192 cm
Available Lengths: 171, 178, 185, 192 cm
Blister’s Measured Tip-to-Tail Length: 191.3 cm
Blister’s Measured Weight per Ski: 2237 & 2315 grams
Stated Dimensions: 143-118-130 mm
Blister’s Measured Dimensions: 143.0-118.1-130.5 mm
Stated Sidecut Radius (192 cm): 27 meters
Measured Tip & Tail Splay (ski decambered): 69 mm / 35 mm
Measured Traditional Camber Underfoot: 4 mm
Core: poplar + titanal binding reinforcement + cork tip/tail inserts + carbon, flax, and fiberglass laminate
Factory Recommended Mount Point: -4.85 cm from center; 90.8 cm from tail
[Note: our review is being conducted on the 19/20 QST 118, which returns unchanged for 20/21, apart from graphics.]
The QST 118 is Salomon’s widest ski, and we thought the previous version was a very fun, poppy pow ski that excelled in tight terrain while being versatile enough to handle some bigger lines. For the 2019-2020 season, it’s getting tweaked, and returning unchanged for 20/21, apart from graphics.
Like the new QST 106 and QST 99, the QST 118’s tips see a big change, switching from lightweight Koroyd inserts to cork, which Salomon says is three-times better at absorbing and dampening impacts. But unlike the new QST 106 and 99, the QST 118’s shape remains the same and it does not get the 106 and 99’s updated construction, which features more carbon.
Now that we have the new QST 118 in hand, let’s take a look at how significant the changes for the 19/20 ski are, and how its design compared to the current market.
Shape / Rocker Profile
When we reviewed the older QST 118, we just went right into on-snow performance since Paul Forward and Jonathan Ellsworth were able to ski it in some great conditions right away.
But I think it’s definitely worth taking a closer look at the QST 118’s (unchanged) shape and rocker profile, cause they’re kind of wild by today’s standards.
The QST 118 has a lot of tip taper, and significantly less tail taper. The widest point in its shovel is a lot closer to the center of the ski than the widest point in the tail. Overall, the QST 118 has more tip and tail taper than several skis like the Moment Wildcat / Blister Pro, Rossignol Black Ops 118, and Faction Candide 4.0, though not as much as some skis like the Blizzard Spur and Prior CBC.
The QST 118’s rocker profile is where things get much, much more interesting. Check out the rocker pics at the bottom of this post — this ski has extremely deep rocker lines and, unlike some skis like the Line Outline and Candide 4.0, the QST 118’s tip and tail rise is not very low-slung or subtle. Instead, the QST 118’s tips and tails kind of just abruptly rise up from the ski in a nearly straight line. Of the current 115mm+ skis we’ve reviewed, there are not many that have deeper rocker lines than the QST 118.
Here’s how we’d characterize the flex pattern of the QST 118:
In Front of Toe Piece: 7-10
Behind the Heel Piece: 9.5-8.5
Not much change here. We don’t have the old QST 118 to directly hand-flex against the new QST 118, but based on our flex numbers for the old version, it looks like the new ski maintains a very similar flex pattern vs. the old one. Both skis start soft in the tips and shovels, are quite stiff throughout the cambered portion of the ski, and finish with fairly soft tails.
I think it’s worth quickly highlighting the fact that the QST 118 stands out from the other QST skis when it comes to mount point. The QST 106 (-8.75 cm) and QST 99 (-9.8 cm) both have pretty traditional mount points and feel like directional skis.
The QST 118, on the other hand, has a very progressive mount point of around -4.85 cm from center. It also has a much deeper tail rocker line than the QST 106 and 99. Both of these things translate to a much more playful feel on snow, which is why the QST 118 was in the “Powder Skis – More Playful” section of our Winter Buyer’s Guide.
That said, Paul Forward and Jonathan Ellsworth both found that they could drive the old QST 118 through the front, so it still seems like a solid option for both directional and more freestyle-oriented skiers (as evidenced by Salomon’s athletes).
While the only stated change for the 19/20 QST 118 is the switch from Koroyd to cork in its tips, that seems to have translated to a significant change in weight.
The old QST 118 was pretty light at 2133 grams per ski for the 192 cm length. The new ski is coming in at an average weight of 2276 grams per ski for the 192 cm length, which is not all that light. Today, there are many skis in this class that are lighter than the new QST 118, though there are definitely still some that are heavier.
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.
1710 & 1744 Atomic Bent Chetler 120, 184 cm (18/19–19/20)
1808 & 1809 Line Pescado, 180 cm (17/18–19/20)
1910 & 1941 Scott Scrapper 115, 189 cm (17/18–18/19)
1931 & 1959 Volkl BMT 122, 186 cm (17/18–18/19)
2013 & 2099 Moment Wildcat / Blister Pro, 184 cm (18/19–19/20)
2019 & 2051 K2 Mindbender 116C, 186 cm (19/20)
2024 & 2031 Line Outline, 186 cm (19/20)
2034 & 2052 Blizzard Rustler 11, 188 cm (17/18–19/20)
2043 & 2046 4FRNT Inthayne, 188 cm (18/19-19/20)
2102 & 2137 Line Sick Day 114, 190 cm (17/18–19/20)
2126 & 2173 Rossignol Super 7 RD, 190 cm (17/18–19/20)
2130 & 2130 Moment Wildcat / Blister Pro, 190 cm (18/19–19/20)
2130 & 2213 Faction Candide 4.0, 188 cm (19/20)
2133 & 2133 Salomon QST 118, 192 cm (16/17–18/19)
2183 & 2190 Black Crows Anima, 188.4 cm (17/18–19/20)
2196 & 2199 Icelantic Nomad 115, 191 cm (17/18–18/19)
2220 & 2252 Faction Prodigy 4.0, 186 cm (17/18–19/20)
2212 & 2215 Armada ARV 116 JJ, 185 cm (17/18–19/20)
2222 & 2278 Prior CBC, 184 cm (17/18–19/20)
2228 & 2231 Blizzard Spur, 192 cm (17/18–19/20)
2230 & 2250 Black Diamond Boundary Pro 115, 185 cm (17/18–19/20)
2237 & 2315 Salomon QST 118, 192 cm (19/20)
2240 & 2250 Volkl Revolt 121, 184 cm (19/20)
2246 & 2265 Fischer Ranger 115 FR, 188 cm (17/18–18/19)
2267 & 2270 Whitedot Ragnarok 118, 190 cm (16/17–18/19)
2296 & 2309 Liberty Origin Pro, 192 cm (17/18–19/20)
2297 & 2317 K2 Catamaran, 184 cm (17/18–19/20)
2341 & 2357 Dynastar PR-OTO Factory, 189 cm (18/19–19/20)
2343 & 2360 J Skis Friend, 189 cm (18/19)
2346 & 2351 Nordica Enforcer Pro, 191 cm (17/18–19/20)
2382 & 2395 ON3P Billy Goat, 184 cm (17/18–18/19)
2408 & 2421 ON3P Kartel 116, 186 cm (17/18–19/20)
2429 & 2437 Kingswood SMB, 188 cm (16/17–18/19)
2438 & 2480 DPS Foundation Koala 119, 189 cm (19/20)
2438 & 2492 Rossignol Black Ops 118, 186 cm (16/17–19/20)
2490 & 2529 K2 Catamaran, 191 cm (17/18–19/20)
Some Questions / Things We’re Curious About
(1) Given its increase in weight and switch from lightweight Koroyd to heavier cork material in the tips, we’re most curious about whether the new QST 118 will feel notably more stable than the previous version. The old ski was a very fun, playful ski, but we found it lacking in stability compared to many heavier skis.
(2) The Volkl Revolt 121 is a new ski that is pretty similar to the QST 118 when it comes to shape, weight, and flex pattern, so we’re eager to A/B the two skis to see how they compare.
(3) The QST 118’s energy / pop was one of its defining features, so will the new, heavier version maintain that trait?
Bottom Line (For Now)
With the new QST 118, Salomon has left many things the same (shape, rocker profile, flex pattern, mount point) while tweaking the construction to potentially make it more stable. We’ll be getting the new QST 118 on snow as soon as possible during the upcoming 19/20 season, so stay tuned for updates.
Blister Members can now check out our Flash Review of the QST 118 for our initial impressions. Become a Blister member now to check out this and all of our Flash Reviews, plus get exclusive deals and discounts on skis, and personalized gear recommendations from us.