Ski: 2015-2016 Salomon Rocker2 108, 190cm
Dimensions (mm): 137-111-130
(Note: The 182cm, 174cm, and 166cm models are all 108mm underfoot, with narrower tip and tail dimensions in the shorter lengths)
Actual Tip-to-Tail Length (straight tape pull): 188.9cm
Blister’s Measured Weight per Ski: 2159 & 2349 grams
Sidecut Radius: 19.7 meters
Boots / Bindings: Salomon Falcon Pro CS / Marker Jester Demo (DIN at 10)
Mount Location: “Recommended” (-3 from center)
Days Skied: 9 total
[Editor’s Note: Our review was conducted on the 12/13 Rocker2 108, which was not changed for 13/14, 14/15, or 15/16 except for the graphics.]
Since posting my 2nd Look of the Salomon Rocker2 108, which adds to what Jason Hutchins has already said about the ski in his review, I’ve put three more days on the ski in powder and largely soft, fresh conditions (instead of giving the ski back to Jason). The 108’s powder performance was one area still left to look at upon posting my first review, so it’ll be the main focus of this Update.
Christmas Day brought 9-10” of super light snow to Taos, and I was eager to get the 108s in some real powder.
One thing I wasn’t sure about with this ski was if the more-forward mount point and a less than stiff shovel (which also doesn’t have much splay in the rocker profile) would cause tip dive. In my experience so far, it hasn’t.
Making some untracked turns down Zagava and Powderhorn Bowl at slow and moderate speeds, I assumed the same more-centered, light stance that I found the ski responds to best. At no point did I feel like I needed to get in the back seat to help the shovels track through the powder. Now, the snow that morning was very light, so much of the time the tips of the 108s stayed totally submerged—they were not planing on top of the snow much at all—which was also the case with the Armada TST that same morning. (The TST has much more splay in its tip rocker). Still, the skis did very well and provided a totally sufficient amount of float for the conditions.
Skiing at Alta Ski Area in the end of a storm cycle this past week, several BLISTER reviewers were exploring terrain off the Wildcat lift. Conditions were a little tricky. Roughly 10” of light snow sat on top of fairly big, firm moguls. This wasn’t dust on crust, but you definitely had to be on your toes—there was no being sure if you were going to bust through a patch of fresh, or get jarred by a firm ridge underneath it. In fresh pockets around trees, the 108s again floated well, and I was able to take lines as confidently and smoothly as Marshal Olson, who was on a pair of DPS Lotus 138s. Again at times the shovels remained primarily under the snow surface, but they never dove on me. In those fresh conditions, the ski had the same intuitive feel that it has on hardpack: it feels free to pivot and smear, but does so in a very predictable and stable way that’s easy to control and direct.
Chopped / Soft Snow Performance
In much more chopped but still soft conditions in steep terrain off Alta’s Supreme Lift, the 108s again remained nice and stable as long as I was able to maintain a balanced stance (not pressing the shovels too heavily and throwing the tails out). Super quick, pivoted turns were also easy through narrow chokes and lines between trees. If you do ski a lot of low-angle trees or glades when it snows, this will be a great ski for it. It’s just as comfortable in tight spots as it is in more open terrain making fast turns, so long as the conditions aren’t too cruddy and firm. In fact, the stable, comfortable feeling of the 108 in fresh pow only increased as I was able to pick up speed.
Really the only thing the 108 demands in powder or chop, as it does on groomers, is that you remain relatively centered and balanced. I realized this fully after skiing 10″ of firmed up, dense, week old powder in Lorelei trees at Taos. The snow was heavier and more chopped up than the light, fresh powder I had been in previously, so staying centered on the ski was a little trickier. Taking smooth, controlled, deliberate lines wasn’t a problem. But if I did get pitched forward or backward abruptly while making fast, very aggressive turns down the steep terrain, the skis didn’t to a whole lot to stabilize/correct the ride. I wouldn’t say the 108 has a particularly small “sweet spot” in this way, but it does have its limitations in more demanding powder conditions. It’s not a heavier, true powder ski, after all (for that take a look at the Rocker2 115). Again if you can remain more or less centered over the ski it will provide some nice float and stability, and more often than not this isn’t hard to do.
All and all, I continue to be impressed with how well the 108 does in every condition as an all-mountain “one-ski quiver,” and that definitely includes powder. If it snows a foot or more, of course I would be most happy taking out a more dedicated powder ski (especially if I’m really trying to charge once things get trenched/chopped up), but I could still have a whole lot of fun on the 108 if it were my only ski.