The XDR 84 Ti is a brand new ski for Salomon going into 2018 and is part of their XDR collection of frontside carving oriented all mountain skis. Salomon has more dedicated carving skis in their X-Max collection that take a lot of influence from race skis, while the XDR collection borrows some design elements from freeride skis like more rockered tips, some subtle early taper in the tips and tails, and a construction that’s lighter than a traditional carving ski. Instead of a full sheet of metal, or multiple, the XDR uses what Salomon refers to as a Ti Power Platform, which is a sheet of metal that’s widest under foot, and tapers as it reaches the tips and tails. This provides torsional stiffness and edge grip under foot, but suppler, forgiving tips and tails. Their CFX Super Fiber increases torsional stiffness, energy, and supplements some of the power lost by not using a full sheet of metal, but at a drastically reduced weight.
Justin Perry tested the 179 cm length and thought it was a “great ski for the groomers,” but also found that with the rocker profile he was able to “cut through any crud I got into.” This is a great way to think about the performance of the XDR 84 Ti. It is responsive, energetic, and can hold an edge well on firm snow, as you’d expect a carving ski would, but it really is more capable in soft and variable snow conditions than most other comparable carving skis on the market. Justin commented that it “held on the super icy parts, but was playful through the cream cheese that wasn’t groomed.”
Steve Sulin skied the 172 cm length and found the XDR 84 Ti to be “easy-to-ski.” Steve arguably has tried more 2018 skis than anyone else in our test as he attends lots of industry demo events through the season. Considering he’s likely skied most competitors’ skis in this category, it’s significant that he calls the XDR 84 “easy-to-ski.” He also thinks it’s a forgiving ski, something that’s often hard to achieve for a carving oriented all mountain ski. Steve thinks it’s a great choice for an intermediate skier, and we would have to agree, although we certainly think more advanced skiers can enjoy them as well. After all, we sent out some expert level skiers on it who had positive reactions.
Benny Wax agreed that the XDR 84 Ti has an impressive combination of forgiveness and responsive carving. When Benny skied a 172 cm XDR 84 Ti the visibility was really bad, which prompted this response: “When skiing blind in fog and soft snow this ski can be your guide.” No, it’s not a self-driving ski and Elon Musk had nothing to do with its development, but the ski’s ability to quickly react to different snow types and changes in terrain makes it feel like it almost has a mind of his own. Benny referred to it as “snow sensitive” and described it as “forgiving, yet gives you plenty of control.”
The XDR 84 Ti has proven to be a relatively unique ski. It has a really cool combination of carving performance, forgiveness, and the ability to handle softer and more variable snow conditions. The supple tips and tails smooth out variable terrain, and makes the ski much more manageable for terrain like moguls or chopped up groomers after a heavy snowfall. While it’s certainly not the burliest ski in this category, it might be one of the most versatile 84 mm waist skis out there.