The Salomon QST 99 splits their All Mountain Freeride category perfectly in half. With two wider skis and two narrower skis, the QST 99 is arguably the most versatile of the bunch. It uses a rocker, camber, rocker profile, some subtle early taper in the tips and tails, Salomon’s CFX Superfiber (carbon and flax woven together), and a strip of titanal running down the center of the ski to increase vibration dampening and stability. Since its introduction the QST 99 has developed a following among skiers who like to seek out soft snow. While it’s not the widest ski in the world, its shape borrows design elements from much wider, powder oriented skis and we’ve found the result to be quite enjoyable. What did our testers think? Find out below.
David Wolfgang had an interesting perspective as he had just returned from skiing in Colorado and Utah. “Having just returned from a ski trip out west I noticed a lot of QST 99 on the slopes. Now I know why. It’s a light, quick, and versatile ski with easy turn initiation and great cruise-ability.” While there are more powerful skis in this waist width category (think skis with more metal) the QST 99 has a very smooth, relaxed feel. The flax in the CFX Superfiber actually adds some nice vibration dampening that goes along with the metal in the center of the ski. The result is a ski that really is quite forgiving and smooth consider its impressively light weight. But what if you want to do more than just cruise? The QST 99 slashes, smears, and pivots so easily you can play down the entire mountain.
Jamie Bisbee certainly seemed to enjoy this aspect of the QST 99 giving it high scores for floatation, playfulness, forgiveness, versatility, and overall impression. Both Jamie and David tested the 181 cm QST 99. He described it as “a personal soft snow favorite for short to medium turns.” Because it’s relatively light and relatively easy to ski, Jamie thought it would be “ideal for an advanced intermediate looking for a ski that exceeds their expectations.” We think that’s a good way to describe the ski. Super aggressive experts may want something heavier, but more playful, less aggressive, and more intermediate oriented skiers will love the usability and performance of the QST 99.
Joe Cutts took out the 188 cm and thought the QST 99 felt most at home in soft snow. Joe is a relatively big skier who would benefit from a ski with more metal and increased stability. He did mention that he didn’t think the QST 99 was for him because it was so light, but he thought it “would be at its best in deep soft powder, where a light-touch can achieve higher speed without feeling overmatched.” If you’ve skied a ~100 mm waist all mountain ski with two sheets of metal (there are quite a few of them) and enjoyed its performance, like Joe the QST 99 might not be for you. Anyone who finds skis like that a little bit on the heavy, tiring side, however, will be psyched with the QST 99.
Our 150 lbs. Chairlift Chat editor skied a 181 cm QST 99 last season and found that it worked great for someone his size. After putting it on the feet of a wide range of skiers it’s become clear that the QST 99 is suitable for lightweight and/or less aggressive and playful skiers. You can be a big guy and like it, but it responds better to less aggressive skiing. You can be lightweight and charge on it, but big guys looks to ski fast and aggressively will want more metal. Ultimately it’s incredible maneuverable, super playful, and is one of the more powder-oriented skis in the crowded ~100 mm category.