2023-2024 Salomon Stance 102

Ski: 2023-2024 Salomon Stance 102, 183 cm

Test Location: Crested Butte Mountain Resort, CO

Days Skied: ~18

Available Lengths: 176, 183, 190 cm

Blister’s Measured Tip-to-Tail Length (straight-tape pull): 182.3 cm

Stated Weight per Ski: 1995 grams

Blister’s Measured Weight per Ski: 2019 & 2024 grams

Stated Dimensions: 134-102-121 mm

Blister’s Measured Dimensions:134.3-102-120.8 mm

Stated Sidecut Radius (183 cm): 23 meters

Measured Tip & Tail Splay (ski decambered): 58 mm / 11 mm

Measured Traditional Camber Underfoot: 6 mm

Core Materials: poplar/karuba + titanal (2 layers) + carbon / basalt inserts + fiberglass laminate

Base: sintered

Factory Recommended Mount Point: -10.2 cm from center / 81.2 cm from tail

Boots Used: Tecnica Mach1 MV 130, Atomic Hawx Ultra 130, Lange Shadow 130 LV, Kästle K130P LV

Bindings Used: Tyrolia Attack 13

2023-2024 Salomon Stance 102, BLISTER
Salomon Stance 102: 23/24 Top Sheet
Review Navigation:  Specs //  First Look //  Full Review //  Rocker Pics

Intro

Salomon first launched their Stance collection of skis in 2020, which made that the first season in quite some time that Salomon offered a series of dual-metal-laminate, all-mountain, directional skis.

For the 2023-2024 season, Salomon updated all the Stance skis, with the primary goals of improving their maneuverability and accessibility, while still keeping them differentiated from Salomon’s more playful, freeride-oriented QST collection.

We’ve been skiing several of the new Stance and Stance W skis since Blister Summit 2023, and we’re kicking off our Full Reviews with the widest in the series, the Stance 102.

To get the full rundown on the changes that Salomon made to the 23/24 Stance skis — and info on all their new products — check out our Blister Summit Brand Lineup video with them:

What Salomon says about the Stance 102

“The Stance 102 is your quintessential hotdogging, go-anywhere ski. Built for 100+ days on the mountain, the 102 features an updated karuba/polar core, full sandwich sidewall, and two redesigned titanal plates that when combined, create a lively, yet powerful ski that rips highspeed groomers and powers through crud. Turn up the tunes, it’s about to get rowdy under the chair.”

Construction

This is where we see the notable changes in all the “v2” Stance skis. As Salomon’s Joe Johnson noted in the video above, this 23/24 update is a “guts change,” in that the Stance shapes and rocker profiles stay the same, but the skis feature tweaked core constructions.

Several things do stay the same. The Stance skis still have two layers of titanal metal, as well as Salomon’s carbon / flax “CFX” inserts at the tips and tails. However, Salomon added cuts in the top metal layer near the “windows” where the CFX inserts sit, with the goal of slightly decreasing torsional rigidity near the ends to loosen the tip and tail and keep the skis from feeling too “locked in” on edge.

Salomon also switched all the Stance skis to a poplar / karuba wood core; the v1 men’s Stance skis had full poplar cores, while the women’s Stance W skis already featured the lighter poplar / karuba cores.

Shape & Rocker Profile

As we just touched on, Salomon didn’t change the shapes or rocker profiles of the v2 Stance skis. The Stance 102 still has a pretty minimally tapered shape and a pretty shallow and low-slung tail rocker line. Its tip rocker line is pretty deep.

Looking at Salomon’s whole lineup, this is one area where the Stance and QST skis obviously differ — the QST skis feature much more tapered tips and tails, and much deeper tip and tail rocker lines.

Flex Pattern

Here’s how we’d characterize the flex pattern of the Stance 102:

Tips: 6.5-7
Shovels: 7
In Front of Toe Piece: 7.5-10
Underfoot: 10
Behind the Heel Piece: 9.5-8.5
Tails: 8-7.5

Interestingly, the v2 Stance 102’s longitudinal flex pattern doesn’t feel too different from the original v1 Stance 102 when hand-flexing the two. They’re both quite strong around the middle, with notably softer tips and tails and a back half that’s stiffer than the front. The v2 Stance 102 feels a touch softer at the ends, but it’s a pretty subtle difference.

As we’ll get into below, though, the two versions’ flex patterns feel pretty different once you get them on snow.

Sidecut Radius

The Stance skis generally have stated sidecut radii that are a touch longer than average for their respective width classes, but they’re not serious outliers in this regard (the 183 cm Stance 102’s stated sidecut radius is 23 meters).

Mount Point

At about -10 cm from true center, the Stance 102’s recommended mount point is pretty standard for a directional ski (i.e. it’s pretty rearward).

2023-2024 Salomon Stance 102, BLISTER

Weight

Here’s a big difference between the v1 and v2 Stance 102. The original Stance 102 weighed about 2200 grams per ski for the 183 cm length, which was on the heavier end of the spectrum. The v2 Stance 102 comes in at about 2020 grams per ski, which is on the lighter end of the spectrum, at least for a dual-metal-laminate ski around this width.

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.

1781 & 1795 Atomic Maverick 100 Ti, 180 cm
1800 & 1824 Romp Zorro 100, 183 cm
1805 & 1833 Liberty Origin 101, 182 cm
1807 & 1849 Peak 104 by Dav, 184 cm
1816 & 1819 Head Kore 99, 184 cm
1867 & 1908 DPS Kaizen 105, 184 cm
1869 & 1873 Line Sakana, 181 cm
1901 & 1902 Renoun Endurance 98, 184 cm
1946 & 1962 Black Crows Atris, 184 cm
1951 & 1953 Elan Ripstick 106, 188 cm
1951 & 1957 RMU Apostle 106, 184 cm
1956 & 1976 Blizzard Rustler 10, 186 cm
1975 & 2028 Armada Declivity 102 Ti, 180 cm
1989 & 2000 Folsom Cash 106, 188 cm
1990 & 2045 Peak 104 by Bode, 184 cm
1997 & 2001 RMU Apostle 106 Pro, 184 cm
1997 & 2001 ZAG Slap 104, 188 cm
2009 & 2010 Rossignol Sender 104 Ti, 186 cm
2019 & 2024 Salomon Stance 102, 183 cm
2034 & 2060 Peak 98 by Bode, 184 cm
2042 & 2062 Dynastar M-Pro 99, 186 cm
2050 & 2084 K2 Mindbender 106C, 183 cm
2057 & 2061 Fischer Ranger 102, 183 cm
2068 & 2178 Salomon QST 106, 181 cm
2079 & 2089 Shaggy’s Mohawk 98, 186 cm
2085 & 2120 K2 Mindbender 99Ti, 184 cm
2112 & 2149 J Skis Masterblaster, 181 cm
2118 & 2194 K2 Mindbender 106C, 189 cm
2138 & 2172 Rossignol Sender 106 Ti+, 187 cm
2161 & 2201 Salomon Stance 102, 183 cm (1st version)
2166 & 2237 Volkl Mantra 102, 184 cm
2202 & 2209 Shaggy’s Ahmeek 105, 186 cm
2233 & 2255 Nordica Enforcer 104 Free, 186 cm
2230 & 2290 Line Blade Optic 104, 185 cm
2295 & 2344 J Skis Hotshot, 183 cm
2326 & 2336 Nordica Enforcer 100, 186 cm

With all the specs covered, let’s get to how the Stance 102 performs on snow:

2023-2024 Salomon Stance 102, BLISTER

FULL REVIEW

Back at Blister Summit 2023, several of our reviewers began spending time on the updated Stance 102. That testing continued throughout the rest of that season, and then we got back on the ski for some more laps this season.

Groomers / On-Piste

Luke Koppa (5’8”, 155 Ibs / 173 cm, 70 kg): The new Stance 102 is by no means a piste-specific ski, but it’s pretty solid overall for what it is — a ~102mm-wide all-mountain ski.

Between its deep tip rocker line and long-ish stated sidecut radius of 23 meters, this ski doesn’t feel super eager to cut across the fall line — at least on its own. On easily edgeable groomers, I could drive its shovels hard to force it into fairly tight GS turns, but it felt more biased toward slightly longer turns.

On very firm, scraped-off slopes, that more subdued turn initiation and the new construction of the ski left me feeling inclined to just casually skid turns, not truly carve them. Compared to the original Stance 102, I think the new v2 Stance 102 sacrifices some edge hold in these scenarios. However, as we’ll get into below, that sacrifice comes with some significant benefits in other conditions and terrain.

Dylan Wood (5’10.5, 160 lbs / 179 cm, 72 kg): I want to start off by saying that I think this is an excellent ski and a true standout in the ~100mm-wide, directional, all-mountain category. With that said, I thought this ski was just “fine” on piste.

Dylan Wood, Eric Freson, and Luke Koppa review the Salomon Stance 102 for BLISTER.
Dylan Wood on the Salomon Stance 102 (Crested Butte Mountain Resort, CO)

As Luke mentioned, it’s not a very exciting carver and doesn’t offer the best edge hold. It makes groomers enjoyable and can make big GS turns just fine, but it’s not as engaging or precise on piste as class-leaders like the Volkl Mantra 102. The Stance 102 served me well for getting back to the lift on groomers, but if you want something that pulls you across the fall line and provides a lot of pop coming out of carved turns, this isn’t your best choice.

Eric Freson (5’10”, 170 lbs / 178 cm, 77 kg): The original Stance 102 is a favorite of mine, enough so that I bought a pair for personal use. I enjoyed that ski’s edge hold and bite in high-frequency (chattery) or firm snow on piste, as well as its larger (for this class) sidecut radius. I really like fat GS skis. I don’t think the new Stance 102 matches its performance from the lens of outright grip, and was less engaging to ski as a result. The trade-off here is that the new Stance 102 also requires less commitment to ski well, so you don’t have to be pushing it as hard or fast to feel like you’re using it to its potential.

Moguls, Trees, & Tight Terrain

Luke: For reference, I never personally “clicked” with the original v1 Stance 102, especially in tight and technical terrain. I found it fairly sluggish, but more notably, its tail seemed very quick to punish backseat or centered skiing and not all that easy to release and pivot.

The new ski is totally different in those regards. Not only is its tail a whole lot more forgiving, that tail is also notably easier to release and pivot, and the v2 Stance 102’s swing weight is a lot lower.

All of that adds up to a ski that I’ve come to love in most moguls and trees. It’s still a fairly strong, directional ski overall, so I’d look elsewhere if you want something particularly forgiving, loose, and nimble. But for how hard I can push it when I feel like doing so, the Stance 102 is pretty easy at more moderate paces.

I had the most fun on the Stance 102 in fairly “average” moguls (i.e., not super big and tight) where I could take advantage of its supportive flex pattern and drive it hard into the troughs, but then also utilize the rebound it produced and its fairly low swing weight to pop, hop, and gap between the bumps. I.e., a “dynamic but aggressive” style (see Drew Petersen’s videos for an example, and then imagine someone doing that way, way worse, and you’ve got me).

Dylan Wood, Eric Freson, and Luke Koppa review the Salomon Stance 102 for BLISTER.
Dylan Wood on the Salomon Stance 102 (Crested Butte Mountain Resort, CO)

That said, I could also pretty easily stay in the troughs of wider-spaced moguls and slash my way through, thanks to the new ski’s much more maneuverable-feeling tail.

The Stance 102 still responds best to a traditional, forward stance, but especially in wider-spaced moguls and trees, I found that I could get away with skiing it fairly centered when I wanted, and I found it fairly easy to recover when I did end up backseat (more thoughts on stance in the Mount Point section, below).

All in all, this definitely isn’t the easiest, most agile, or surfiest all-mountain ski, but especially compared to other skis that match its stability in choppy snow, I found the Stance 102 surprisingly accessible in tight spots.

Dylan: I enjoyed this ski the most in bumps and trees for the reasons Luke mentioned above. It has a strong, supportive front half that lets you drive it in and out of mogul troughs without feeling hooky or unpredictable. Its tails felt similarly dialed, with enough stiffness to encourage an aggressive, forward stance without being so stiff or precise that they feel locked in on every turn. Combine that with its moderate weight, and the Stance 102 feels dynamic but not lacking much suspension in tight terrain.

To be clear, I do think this is a ski best suited to upper-level Intermediate through Expert skiers. But for those who like to focus on good technique and can mostly stay out of the backseat, the Stance 102 provides a really supportive platform while giving enough compliance to be manageable in tight spots.

Eric: I’d agree with and echo Luke and Dylan’s sentiments wholeheartedly. Excluding the 10% of the time where the speeds I was traveling made me miss the stiffer and more powerful tail of the OG Stance 102, I found v2 to be a more fun and more accessible ski in moguls, trees, and tight terrain.

I didn’t find the original to feel all that punishing in these conditions, per say, but it did require my energy and commitment nearly all the time. Off piste in trees and tight spaces, being able to release the tail more easily at lower speeds was a welcome change and the v2 Stance 102’s suspension at these speeds is impressive. With that change in character, though, I did find myself wishing the v2 183 cm Stance 102 was a few centimeters longer. The v1 183 cm Stance 102’s short but powerful nature was a part of the charm and appeal for me in these types of terrain.

Dylan Wood, Eric Freson, and Luke Koppa review the Salomon Stance 102 for BLISTER.
Dylan Wood on the Salomon Stance 102 (Crested Butte Mountain Resort, CO)

Powder & Soft Chop

Luke: Most skis are really fun in these conditions, and the Stance 102 is no exception. Especially in snow shallower than about 8” / 20 cm, I could leverage all the traits I touched on in the Tight Terrain section and ski the Stance 102 aggressively in soft snow, while also easily being able to throw in a slash or get it in the air without excessive effort.

I think the Stance 102 floats better than average for its width, thanks to its big, rockered shovels, but when the snow is deeper, it feels best suited to more open terrain. I.e., it’s not a great ski for surfing and slashing at slow speeds (see Salomon’s QST series for that), but it does plane nicely when making bigger turns and its tips aren’t particularly prone to diving in soft snow. I recently took it out the day after they opened The North Face T-bar at Crested Butte Mountain Resort, which meant lots of deep chop, and I was really impressed by how rarely I found myself wishing for a wider and/or longer ski (I did wish for those things when landing in deeper snow, though).

In soft chop, I was very impressed by the Stance 102’s stability. It’s much lighter than the v1 Stance 102, but the new v2 Stance 102 is still capable of being skied quite hard and fast in soft, cut-up conditions. Its buoyant shovel and strong flex pattern let me drive it through piles of pushed-around snow at speed, but it’s still pretty easy to throw sideways when I need to shut down my speed.

Dylan: Yep, so long as you still like to ski with a more directional style in powder and soft chop, the Stance 102 provides good flotation and maneuverability. It can be sensitive to weight distribution when slashing through tight terrain, where I found it more punishing when trying to push the tails out in a quick pivot, rather than mostly steering from the shovels.

Luke: That last point is a good one. I love blowing up piles of loose snow when they’re available, and my go-to method is to do so by pressing out through my boots / the middle of the ski. There have been a few instances when I did this on the Stance 102 and it reminded me that it’s not a center-mounted pow ski, with its fairly strong-feeling tails standing me up. To keep its tail feeling loose, you’ll want to bias your weight toward its shovels.

Dylan Wood, Eric Freson, and Luke Koppa review the Salomon Stance 102 for BLISTER.
Dylan Wood on the Salomon Stance 102 (Crested Butte Mountain Resort, CO)

Eric: I’m less of a pivoter and more of a GS’er in soft snow conditions, but I found a lot to like about the v2 Stance 102 in soft snow conditions. Its more accessible tail makes it easier and more forgiving to ski soft snow from a stance that doesn’t as intensely prioritize shovel or shin pressure to drive and direct the ski. This helps the ski feel both less committing, as well as less demanding to ski in soft snow. Which is fun.

Directional changes, slashes, and reactive movements are all more effortless aboard the v2, meaning I didn’t need to look or plan as far ahead. The 183 cm length, coupled with good float (for its size), had me looking for every opportunity to smash piles of snow or take flight in soft chop, and that was probably the highlight of this ski for me.

Firm Chop & Crud

Luke: Mirroring what I said in the Soft Chop section, I think the new v2 Stance 102 is really impressive from a stability-to-weight perspective. It lost about 150 grams per ski, when comparing the new vs. old 183 cm versions, but I would not have guessed the difference was that significant when I first skied it.

Now, I am definitely not saying that the 2020-g v2 Stance 102 is just as damp and composed in rough conditions as the ~2200-g v1 Stance 102. It’s not. The original ski did offer a smoother ride in crud and would get knocked around less when skiing quite fast in these conditions (at least if you stayed on top of it). But compared to other skis around the same weight, I think the v2 Stance 102 handles cruddy conditions better than the vast majority of them.

If you want an ultra-planted ski that just mows down firm crud, I’d still point you to something much heavier. But there aren’t many skis I can think of that feel as smooth and calm in rough snow as the Stance 102 while also feeling as maneuverable, agile, and lively.

Dylan: I also have no complaints regarding how this ski handles firm chop and crud. For how maneuverable and dynamic it feels, thanks to its moderate weight, the Stance 102 smoothes out rough snow quite effectively. And while it isn’t the most exciting carver and doesn’t offer excellent edge hold, this also makes the Stance 102 feel surprisingly easy to slide and drift around on firm, textured off-piste snow, especially compared to similar directional skis. The Stance 102 never felt hooky or too locked in in these conditions, and to me, that’s totally worth sacrificing some on-piste performance.

Eric: The relative lack of taper in the Stance 102 is part of why I enjoy the ski so much in chopped-up snow. That hasn’t changed here and the v2 Stance 102 still holds a line very well. The new ski is less composed in these situations, but it’s still impressive.

Dylan Wood, Eric Freson, and Luke Koppa review the Salomon Stance 102 for BLISTER.
Dylan Wood on the Salomon Stance 102 (Crested Butte Mountain Resort, CO)

I think making the ski a bit less torsionally rigid than the original has yielded tangible benefits when we are addressing the sensation of a ski’s composure. The new Stance 102 may be a bit less composed and damp vertically, but I think its increased torsional compliance has helped it feel easier to drive the shovel without being in maximum attack mode, while still maintaining consistent edge feel (and avoiding getting bucked). I.e., because it’s not as prone to hooking up when you drive it hard, it doesn’t require tons of aggression or perfect technique to ski hard in choppy conditions. While it’s not as powerful of a ski, it’s much more accessible, and coupled with its more forgiving tail, the ski is overall less committing / demanding when skiing it fast. For most people, I think it will yield a greater feeling of control and composure while simultaneously being more accessible for more skiers.

Playfulness & Mount Point

Luke: The Stance 102 is a directional ski best suited to pretty directional skiers. That said, it’s a somewhat playful directional ski in that its tail is fairly easy to release and slash, it produces some appreciable pop when bent, and it doesn’t feel wildly unbalanced in the air.

You can improve upon that last point if you decide to mount the ski 1 to 2 cm forward of its recommended mount point (the recommended line is about -10 cm from true center). I’ll often at least try this on skis like the Stance 102, since I personally like a more balanced feel and like to be able to ski both forward and centered, depending on the situation.

I never felt inclined to try this on the v1 Stance 102 (I didn’t want to make its strong, demanding tail any longer). But I got along quite well with the v2 Stance 102 mounted around -8 cm from true center. There, its swing weight was a bit lower, I could ski it more centered in open terrain, and it generally felt a bit better for my personal preferences. That said, I do think doing so made it a bit more difficult to initiate carved turns, and its tail was probably a bit less forgiving when I got backseat.

To be clear: I think most people who will get along with the Stance 102 will also get along with its recommended mount point. But if you happen to be like me and often prefer skis with mount points around -7 to -4 cm from true center, you can make the Stance 102 a bit more accepting of a centered, playful skiing style by mounting it around -9 or -8 cm from true center.

Dylan: Yeah, this ski can be described as “playful” if being pretty energetic and dynamic fits that bill for you. But it’s far from the most surfy, easy-to-bend, freestyle-friendly ski on the market. I thought its mount point was just fine, and you’d need a pretty good excuse to stray from it.

Eric: Directional skier likes directional skis. I didn’t mess with the mount point, myself. I did enjoy the increased energy and pop of the new Stance 102 at slower speeds, in feature-rich terrain, and moguls. I was looking for smoother, more flowy, and airtime-friendly lines aboard this version because it was very satisfying to find the flow of the terrain where it existed. I would consider it a substantially more playful and energetic ski than the original. It does give up stability at the top end of the ski’s use spectrum (i.e., higher speeds), but how much that matters would depend on how much time you spend there.

Dylan Wood, Eric Freson, and Luke Koppa review the Salomon Stance 102 for BLISTER.
Dylan Wood on the Salomon Stance 102 (Crested Butte Mountain Resort, CO)

Who’s It For?

Luke: As is often the case with do-it-all all-mountain skis (especially well-executed ones), there are a lot of types of skiers in the middle of the bell curve that I think could appreciate the Stance 102. It’s the folks who sit closer to the edges that will probably want to look elsewhere.

For starters, the Stance 102 isn’t ideal if you want a particularly forgiving, very loose / surfy, or freestyle-friendly ski. There are lots of softer, more rockered, more tapered, and/or more forward-mounted skis that are better if those are your main priorities.

On the other end, if super plush suspension and top-notch high-speed composure are what you’re after, I’d look to much heavier alternatives.

[As always, you can check out our Deep Dive comparisons for the Stance 102 to see exactly how it compares to a ton of other skis in its class.]

If you don’t fall into one of those categories, and you’re a directional skier who wants to ski just about all varieties of terrain and conditions (barring icy groomers), the Stance 102 could be a good fit. It’s agile and maneuverable enough to suit a more light-on-your-feet or more conservative style in tight moguls and trees, but its impressive stability-to-weight ratio means that it can also be skied quite hard and fast in most conditions. The Stance 102 isn’t the most engaging or precise ski in its class on piste (especially lower-angle runs), but otherwise, it’s a very adaptable all-mountain ski.

Dylan: I totally agree with Luke. I do think this ski is best suited to skiers who mostly prioritize off-piste performance, but who aren’t totally apathetic as to how their ski handles groomers. The Stance 102 really shines in chalk, steeps, trees, chop, and bumps, and separates itself from other similar options the most in those areas.

Eric: I think the new Stance 102 will offer an enhanced experience over the original in most scenarios, situations, and for most users. If you liked the v1 Stance 102 because it reminded you of skis like the Volkl Explosiv or Dynastar Legend Pro XXL, the v2 Stance 102 may no longer trigger the same level of nostalgia for you. It has lost some of the go-fast, smash-stuff, rock-and-roll attitude of the original, and is a bit less intense as a result, but that may not be such a bad thing? In the same way that the new Stance 102 is a great fit for skiers in the middle of the bell curve, this new version of the Stance 102 has itself become a bit more centrist.

Bottom Line

The updated Salomon Stance 102 may look a whole lot like the original version, but the v2 Stance 102 is a very different ski — and for the majority of skiers out there, that is a good thing.

It’s not just that the new Stance 102 is more user-friendly than the original. Compared to the whole market of directional all-mountain skis, the v2 Stance 102 is very impressive in terms of how well it balances off-piste maneuverability and agility with high-speed stability and composure.

Deep Dive Comparisons

BLISTER+ members can check out the Deep Dive comparisons linked below. Not a member? Become one today to get access to this and a LOT more, including the best worldwide Outdoor Injury Insurance, exclusive deals and discounts on skis, personalized gear recommendations from us, and much more.

Check out our Deep Dive comparisons of the Stance 102 to see how it compares to the original Salomon Stance 102, Salomon Stance 96, Salomon QST 106, K2 Mindbender 99Ti, Rossignol Sender 104 Ti, Rossignol Sender 106 Ti+, Fischer Ranger 102, Dynastar M-Pro 99, Armada Declivity 102 Ti, Parlor Cardinal Pro 102, Nordica Enforcer 104 Free, Nordica Enforcer 100, Nordica Enforcer 99, Folsom Blister Pro 104 (Primary 104), Blizzard Cochise 106, Volkl Mantra 102, Atomic Maverick 100 Ti, Black Crows Justis, Head Kore 99, DPS Kaizen 105, Peak 104 by Bode, Shaggy’s Ahmeek 105, Elan Ripstick 106, J Skis Hotshot, Blizzard Rustler 10, Black Crows Atris, & Line Blade Optic 104.

2023-2024 Salomon Stance 102, BLISTER
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