The Salomon Astra is a women’s specific all mountain ski that leans towards use on groomed slopes with its 78 mm waist width. It has a relatively short, responsive turn radius of 13 m at the 161 cm length allowing for quick turns on groomed slopes. That also happens to be the length that all our testers skied. While there are more dedicated freeride skis, and narrower “racier” skis within Salomon’s line, the Astra offers a nice mix of performance characteristics for resort skiing.
Tami Razinger admitted it “will not be ideal for powder or out of bounds skiing,” but that’s really not the intended use of the Astra. On the other hand, Tami commented that “it is a great all-around ski,” and that it’s “best for women sticking to the resort.” She went on to describe them as “quick and responsive,” and also commented that the Astra is “great for a variety of turn shapes.” While it does have a relatively small turn radius, you can skid and slide turns very easily and the ski doesn’t feel like it’s locked in to only making carving turns. It’s much more forgiving than that. In fact, Tami thought the highlight of the Astra was its quickness and maneuverability, scoring the ski 5 out of 5 in that category.
Katrine Wolfgang “loved it!” Katrine thought it had an awesome mix of forgiveness and stability, something that’s always hard to achieve. Katrine described the Astra as a ski that “likes to turn,” which makes sense considering its relatively short turn radius and ability to make a variety of turn types and shapes. Although Katrine did specifically call it a forgiving ski, she also added that it “held on well when going fast and felt very stable for a skinny ski.” This is a commendable achievement for Salomon. It’s hard to make a ski that can be approachable and user-friendly for less aggressive, intermediate skiers, but can also handle more advanced skiing and provide a stable feel for skiers like Katrine.
Elissa DeGolyer had a similar response to Katrine in the sense that the Astra is both forgiving and stable. Elissa called it a “relaxing ski to play around on.” She continued to describe it as a ski that’s “fun to stand up on, put on edge, and ride turns.” While forgiveness held one of the highest scores Elissa gave the Astra, she also commented that it’s a “fairly stable ski that rides through anything.” That’s really saying a lot for a ski with a 79 mm waist width, and although it’s certainly most appropriate for use on groomed, firm snow, it’s nice to know that it has the ability to ski through chop with relative ease. The combination of forgiveness and stability inspired Elissa to recommend the Astra for “an intermediate skier with an upright ski style.” Skiers who really like to lay their hip against the piste and make super powerful, race-like turns will likely want a ski with a little bit more strength (maybe even something with one of two full metal laminates), but more relaxed skiers will find the Astra is like a dream come true.
Do you consider yourself a less-aggressive skier? Do you like cruising groomers, but don’t like it when you feel bogged down if you happen to venture into soft snow? The Astra provides a relaxed, forgiving feel, but still has solid stability. It would make a great ski for an intermediate skier who’s really trying to progress their skiing, or an advanced skier that’s looking for a fun, less-fatiguing, cruising ski.