2018 Salomon XDR 88 Ti Skis 2018 Salomon XDR 88 Ti Skis

2018 Salomon XDR 88 Ti Skis

The XDR 88 Ti is the widest ski in Salomon’s new All Mountain Resort collection. These skis seem to fall into a frontside carving category, but at a closer look you’ll notice they have some design characteristics that are more common on freeride all mountain skis like tip rocker, some slightly early taper, and metal laminates that also taper as they reach the tips and tails. The idea is to make a more versatile all mountain ski that can still carve turns at a high level, but provides the forgiveness, versatility, and playfulness to venture into ungroomed terrain. It would seem that the 88, being the widest, would accomplish this better than the rest of the XDR line, but what did our testers think?

Benny Wax skied the 172 cm length and was quick to point out that he thought the XDR 88 Ti was the “best of the XDR” line. Benny thought it skied “narrower than it is,” although he did find them to have reasonably good float and playfulness, scoring the ski highly in those two categories. He felt it was relatively forgiving considering the stability it also provided, describing the ski as “turny when you want it to be, but stable if you choose to charge.” This “turny” performance is likely what prompted Benny to mention that he “would like to try these in the bumps,” and we agree, the XDR 88 Ti should be a fantastic bump ski.

Steve Sulin scored the XDR 88 Ti 5 out of 5 for forgiveness (something not many other 88 mm all mountain skis with metal can claim), although he also noted that “the more you push it the better it gets.” So, despite being relatively forgiving, it still responds well to high speed, aggressive skiing. Steve thought it “loves to carve” and also found them impressively “easy to ski” after spending some time on the 179 cm length. What a great combination of performance characteristics: forgiving, easy-to-ski, but likes to be pushed hard.

Michael Rooney seems to have felt this forgiveness and ease-of-use. He found the XDR 88 Ti to be “good for cruising on wide open slopes,” which we can certainly understand. Because the tips and tails are a little bit softer and suppler than if they had full length, full width sheets of metal it does allow the skier to relax a little bit more than on one of those stiffer, heavier skis. Michael also thought they were pretty forgiving, “quite forgiving, good on varied snow conditions,” which is impressive considering Michael was on the 186 cm length. This again goes back to the softer flex in the tips and tails; it provides a nice feel in ungroomed snow conditions.

Justin Perry found the XDR 88 Ti to be “a little more versatile than the 84, but with the same edge hold” after testing the 179 cm ski. This makes sense to us as the 84 and 88 share the same construction and there’s not a huge difference in torsional stiffness between skis that are 84 and 88 mm underfoot respectively. Justin did, however, find the 88 to have more flotation than the 84, which certainly plays into them being more versatile.

Ultimately the XDR 88 Ti is a relatively unique all mountain ski. It gives a skier the ability to carve relatively aggressive turns at relatively high speeds, but retains more forgiveness and versatility than most competitors’ skis. The idea is to ask yourself whether you prefer a more powerful ski or a more versatile, forgiving ski and it should help you choose between (for example) a ski like the Volkl RTM 86 or this Salomon XDR 88 Ti.

Testers

Justin Perry Ski Tester Headshot Image

Justin Perry

Age: 27Height: 5'9"Weight: 170 lbs.

Ski Style: Aggressive All Mountain Freeride

Steve Sulin Ski Tester Profile Photo

Steve Sulin

Age: 42Height: 5'10"Weight: 235 lbs.

Ski Style: Smooth, precise GS turns

Benny Wax Ski Tester Headshot Image

Benny Wax

Age: 67Height: 5'6"Weight: 190 lbs.

Ski Style: Smooth and creamy, lots of turns

Michael Rooney Ski Tester Headshot Image

Michael Rooney

Age: 70Height: 6'"Weight: 155 lbs.

Ski Style: Fast and precise; racing background

132 Comments on the “2018 Salomon XDR 88 Ti Skis”

  1. Hi guys, i know this is an old review…thinking about a XDR** for winter 2019 with SHIFT bindings and a QST PRO 120 Boot. a sort of AT set up for INBOUNDS. Thoughts on that set up to slowly ease away from my normal ALPINE/DIN set up?

    1. Hi Kurt!
      I think I answered this on the newer thread as well, but just in case, the XDR makes for a great in-bounds ski. I hadn’t thought about it through a touring lens, but there’s no reason why the ski wouldn’t work. Just make sure the boots fit and have tech fittings for the Shift, and they should match the performance of the package pretty well. Have fun!
      SE

  2. Hello,

    I am a beginner, with aspirations of being an intermediate skier. I have been on 7 ski trips over the past 20 years, now I am 57, 6′ 220lbs, and plan to ski 1 to 2 trips per year. I like to ski the blue trails and consider style as cruiser. I have “eased” down a few black trails, but that’s not where I am comfortable, I don’t really like green trails as I mostly just find myself seeking more speed than most offer. I don’t do any bumps (don’t want to work that hard). What would be a good ski to enjoy and help me get a little better. By the way, I wear a size 13 shoe and would like a boot that would match my ability/ambition and the ski recommended, please recommend the compliment.

    1. Hi Rick!
      The XDR series is great, and I’d recommend the 84 over the 88 for someone like you–they’re easier to turn and offer better edge control than the 88. Also check out the Nordica Navigator 85 for comparison. As far as boots, you gotta go see a bootfitter. I’d say something in the 110 flex rating would work well for someone your size and ability, but as for the shape and size of your foot, I’d highly recommend trying them on at a reputable shop if at all possible. Hope that helps!
      SE

  3. This site is amazing, thank you.

    6 foot 3 inches, 207lbs. Intermediate. Would like to use these on blues/greens for a relaxed ride to enjoy the sights, and improve my skills.

    What length do you think would be best?

    1. Thanks, Dave!
      You’ll love the natural and fun feeling of the XDR 88. They have a high-performance ceiling, so they’ll be great as you improve, as well. I’m just about your size and I’m comfortable on the 186, but if you’re looking to cruise and keep it mellow, then go ahead and size down to the 179. Have fun!
      SE

  4. Hi SE

    Im looking for a new set of skies. My level is advanced and the skies should go well in a 80/20 piste/off-piste type of riding. The skies should preferably be able to stay stable at high-speeds, but with a low turning radius.

    I’m 5’8 ft high and weighs 141 lbs.

    Are these the right skies to choose? There are so many brands and models, i’m getting totally confused…

    Many regards Frederik

    1. Hi Frederik!
      Yes, lots of skis, and at the 88mm underfoot width/category, they’re all really good, versatile skis, so it’s harder to choose wrong than it is right. I love the XDR series, the 88 is a great blend of carving performance and all-mountain versatility. Also check out the Rossignol Experience 88 Ti and the K2 Pinnacle 88 for comparison. Again, they’re all pretty similar, it’s just what strikes the right chord with you! Have fun!
      SE

  5. Hi SE,
    My word this is a helpful website!
    I wondered if you could help me out as well. I’m a 6’1” 220 lbs confident skier, mainly groomed terrain in the European Alps. After testing in the Austrian alps I’ve decided on the aggressive s-max blast for my on-piste needs. I had a chance to test the 88 XDRs in 179 as well and was surprised at how agile they were and how much grip they offered.
    I’m looking for a ski that makes a good set with my s-max blasts and I wonder if the 88 XDR in 186 cms offers enough float? When I tested, conditions were very icy…
    I’m not looking for a full powder ski but something for all-terrain that does offer plenty of float, say in the 40/60 to 60/40 range for all mountain play days.
    Much appreciated,
    Walter

    1. Hi Walter!
      Thanks for the kind words!
      I love the XDR 88 as an all-mountain ski. That said, I also put it at the narrow end of what a powder-capable ski should be. You’ll certainly get proper performance on-trail, and a versatile personality. I’d recommend staying in the ~95 waist width range for an all-mountain ski with a bit more width. Check out the K2 Pinnacle 95, Blizzard Rustler 9, and the Rossignol Experience 94 Ti. Hope that helps!
      SE

      1. It does! Thx 🙂
        I’ll keep an eye out for those on my next trip if the conditions allow it, instead of buying the XDRs beforehand. Some more testing ahead then. Yay!

  6. 6’1 220 lbs used to be super aggresive, trees, bumps, fast quick turns. Now I’m past 40 and not quite the aggresor I used to be. Thinking of these in 186cm. What do you think?

    1. Hi Jesse!
      Sounds like a great choice and size for you. I love the XDR series, and for the type of terrain that you are skiing, the 88 is a great fit. Have fun!
      SE

  7. Hi , my name is Ben, 5’7 – 190 lbs . Intermediate advance . Looking at these Xdr 88 mostly west .

    What size you recommend 172 ?

    thanks

      1. thank you. Between the XDR 88 and Atomic vantage 90 cti which do you recommend most , easier to turn w some knee pain ??

        thanks

      2. Hi Ben!
        I personally prefer the XDR 88 because it has a very natural feeling to it. It’s a bit easier to engage and exit the turns. Happy skiing!
        SE

  8. Hi my name is Steve, I love the xdr range of skis, I currently own the xdr 80 ti in the 176 length. I’m and intermediate/advanced skier . I was considering a pair of the xdr 88’s ,I’m 6ft 1” and weight 189 lb . I like nice long easy cruisy turns, what length would you suggest 179 or 186 ?

    1. Hi Steve!
      It depends on your level of aggressiveness. Doesn’t sound like you’re using them for hard-charging skis, so I’d guess you’d be better off with the 179. Have fun!
      SE

      1. Hi, I wouldn’t say I was an overly aggressive ski, more big sweeping GS turns at reasonable speed. Plus I do like the manoeuvrability of a ski . Would you ski recommend the 179 over the 186 ?

  9. Thanks for the great review! I just came off the mountain from a Demo Day and was able to try out several skis in this genre (Atomic Vantage, Head V10, Ross 88Ti, and the Solomon XDR88). Conditions were firm with 1-2″ of fresh snow overnight so could play in the fringe. I have recently moved to the East Coast from the west (CA and ID) where my everyday ski was 110 under foot and now living in the east and skiing in Quebec over the holiday means I am rethinking my everyday ski and want something with some versatility. Of these four I felt that XDR to be the most lively of the bunch while still tracking nicely at speed. The Atomics felt a sluggish and a bit dead and the Rossi’s were a little floaty on the tips for me (better in power?) and didn’t track as well. I was able to do a couple of double blacks (well east coast doubles anyways) that were pretty chewed up and the XDR’s were responsive and held the snow well.

    I am a big guy, 48, 6’1″, 235lbs and solid advanced/expert skier who prefers trees and powder if they are available in good shape but will spend the whole day on piste if the conditions don’t warrant backside adventures. I am wondering if the XDR would be the best fit for me here on the East Coast or should I try the Brahma or Kendo first before making any decisions (Volkl and Blizzard were not in attendance today at the demo). Assuming that they are a bit heavier and also require you to ski them a bit harder? Also, I was on the 179s as that was all they had, should i push up to the 186s? Leaning towards the 86s.

    Still have my wider skis for the days that warrant it but looking for that all mountain fun ski for the East.

    Thanks!
    Michael

    1. Hi Michael!
      I think your size and ski level warrant the wait for the Brahma/Kendo, but overall the XDR 88 is a great ski, and I agree with the 186 cm length. You will find that the Kendo/Brahma require more speed to reach their full potential, while the XDR 88 can be utilized at lower and more casual speeds. You’ll also get better maneuverability and soft-snow performance out of the XDR. The Kendo/Brahma likes to plow rather than float and play. Hope that helps!
      SE

  10. Hey!

    My name is Seb, I’m currently working at Haukeliseter mountain lodge (edit: fittingly, situated in Telemark municipality).
    I’ve been skiing Telemark my whole life and I’m looking for some good hiking skis that perform well down in various terrain and conditions.
    They have to be light enough so that I can use ski “wax” (skismøring) for longer trips and I do not want Randonee bindings nor hybrid really, I’d much prefer the traditional Telemark bindings. So unless anyone can convince me otherwise, the skis have to work ok with these bindings.

    I’m just short of 180 cm and just short of 80 kg, fit.

    The Salomon XDR 88’s and the good feedbacks here piqued my interest, although I realize this is just the tip of the iceberg of choices out there. But gotta start somewhere!

    I was hoping you could help me find/get closer to what I am looking for.
    As said, they have to be somewhat light as I prefer ease of access over stability down after, and although I can plow through deep snow doing Telemark, SOME flotation would be nice if the powder is thick. I also already have a pair of very wide 30/70 skis, Dynastar, with Randonee, dedicated to off-piste.
    I am going to use the new skis I get in the mountain; you can go for days on end in Norway in the mountains and not be close to any housing for miles. I also plan to do summit touring, probably several, combined with a longer trip each time. I guess you can see how very stiff bindings/boots is not very attractive to me. Semi-soft telemark boots would probably be my best choice, and skis whose options for ascension are not limited to skifeller (“traps” or “skins” ?).

    All that being said, the ground performance I am looking for is medium to deep snow mainly, and medium to steep slopes (0 to 30-35 degrees I guess, with some drops and jumps). I slightly prefer long turns over short ones but both are fun.

    I am flexible with my choice of skis if I know slalom skiers appreciate them; I’ve skied Telemark on everything I can put my feet on.. if the skis are good overall I can compensate, but the carving (? “innsving) can’t be too great. Having a pair I can take to the piste is nice but not really a selling point.

    Thanks a lot in advance for any and all advice 🙂

    Seb

    1. Hi Seb,

      The XDR is a lot of fun, but it’s more of an alpine ski with a carving focus than an off-piste, touring, AT ski. It sounds like you’ll be using these more for soft snow, off-piste conditions than firm snow, is that correct?

      From Salomon, I think the QST line would be a better direction to go in. The QST 92, for example, is more focused on soft snow performance than the XDR. In my opinion, that would be a really fun tele ski for the type of skiing you do.

      The other option would be to go even lighter, to more of an AT focused ski. We have quite a lot of options for AT skis right now. Let me know what you think about a ski like the QST 92 and we’ll go from there!

      SE

      1. As you probably already are full aware of, I replied in the other thread instead – but I really wanted to say thank you again for all the help.

        For the record for anyone reading this, it boiled down to a list of 6-7 skis and I’ll move on with more intense research from here (enquiring in person/phone here and there)

        The QST 99 is on that list and the Hagan Core 88 is the lightest and narrowest option (but I might just phase that one out).
        Don’t want to sacrifice too much downhill performance (in spite of potential looong trips), and I’m training regularly now.

        The reviews, and, the threads here have been invaluable.

        Thanks SE and SkiEssentials!

  11. Hi there – I’m an intermediate skier. 80-90% of my skiing is in Western New York State, so mostly groomers and the usual eastern US conditions. I’m 6’2″ and 195 lbs. I’ve seen lots of good reviews for the Salomon QST and XDR. Which do you think would match my ski level and conditions (either of these two skis or any other), and which width do you think would work best?

    1. Hi TheBurgerBoy!

      The XDR 88 aligns better with where you ski and your ability level than the QST. In theory, the QST 92 isn’t too far from the XDR 88, but the XDR actually uses a little more metal, which I think will help for your size. For length, the 179 cm feels like a good choice for your intermediate level. Should be stable enough, while still being maneuverable and relatively forgiving. Sounds like it will work really well for you.

      Hope that helps!

      SE

  12. Thank you for encouraging me to try the XDR 88. Wow, super ski with super powers. I’m a big skier 6’3″, 240 lbs and ski relatively fast. I’m really impressed how nimble and easy this ski is to get around the mountain. At the same time these skis carve a very stable, predictable, high rebound carved turn.

    Go any speed, throw them sideways, skid, carve, bump, and go anywhere. All snow, all terrain.

    Most impressively this ski just rips. Quick turns, high speed, fun, light, easy and confident.

  13. Hi, I am a 19 years old norwegian alpine skier, stopped racing last year… Im looking for a ski that is a good powder ski as well as a carving ski. I want to be able to ski racing turns with big angles. Is this XDR 88TI an good option? Looked at the QST 106, could this be an altarnative? It has to be salomon or atomic. And bindings? Would really appreciate an answer, thankyou! 🙂

    1. Hi Berge!

      Why not split the difference and go with the QST 99? I think that’s the best choice in the Salomon/Atomic collection for blending carving and powder performance. Those are polar opposites, so sometimes it’s hard to achieve that type of performance in one ski, but i think the QST 99 does it quite well.

      For bindings, the Warden 13 would be a great choice if you want to stay within the Salomon/Atomic collection.

      SE

  14. Hi there,

    Thanks for a good review.
    I bought a pair of X-max X12 (168cm I think) last year and I really like them.
    I’m however considering buying a more versatile ski as well, hence my interest in the XDR 88.
    In addition I really want to start telemarc “again” (I have done 1 week with teaching and made it work quite well in the end).
    My question is: can I use the XDR 88 for telemarcing?
    I’m considering using T S/LAB SHIFT MNC binding and S/LAB MTN boots. Would that be a good fit or is it completly nonsense?

    I have been skiing in sweden and norway 1 week pr year since I was 6. I’m 29 now, 175cm, 85kg.

    Thanks in advance.

    Filip

    1. Hi Filip!

      You’ll get way more versatility out of the XDR 88 Ti than your X-Max 12. The tips and tails are much softer-flexing, and also use some rocker, which makes the ski much more forgiving and easier to maneuver in softer snow conditions. Would it work as a telemark ski? Absolutely, and I think it would be a great setup. That said, the Shift is not a telemark binding, that’s an alpine touring setup. That also would be a fun setup, but I wanted to point out that you wouldn’t be able to make tele turns on it. You probably already know that. For length, the 172 cm feels like the way to go.

      Hope that helps!

      SE

  15. Hi,
    I really like your reviews. I am advanced, 53 y old, 5’6″ and 150lbs, currently on 2014 Brahmas (166cm). I’m thinking about maybe something a bit softer (time to slow down a bit), like Vantage, XDR 88, Experience 88ti, or Navigator. I ski mostly in the Midwest, plus 1 to 2 trips west. What would be your recommendation, and in what lenght.? Thanks

    1. Thanks Bogdan!
      Ha! Never slow down! I get it, especially given how demanding the Brahma can be. The three skis you listed are all incredible and will do whatever you need both midwest and out west. If you encounter a huge powder day, they’ll get buried, but that’s okay, because it’s a powder day! I am personally a huge fan of the XDR (both 84 and 88). They have a natural and easy-going character, but they respond really well when pushed. The Navigator is a surprising ski. It comes in an 80, 85, and 90, and I’m assuming you’re referencing the 85? Either way, the tip is easy to engage and is capable of floating, while the tail is really strong and loves to carve clean turns. They’re pretty light, so the maneuverability is inspiring. The new Rossignol Experience 88 ti snuck up on me. They felt very chameleon-esque in that they seemed to adapt to the conditions and terrain seamlessly. In terms of length, anything in the ~170 range would work. You’re in a good spot in terms of choices, this is a great range of skis to choose from! Hope that helps!
      SE

      1. Thank you for you answer. Now I’ve added Rustler 9 to my short list (alongside with Experience 88TI and Salomon XDR88). What would be your recommendation to take with going West, if I still would keep the Brahma for the Midwest?
        Also you mentioned anything close to 170 as correct length, would 165 or 172 work better for me? Thanks again.

      2. Hey Bogdan,
        If you’re keeping the Brahma, I’d get the Rustler 9 over those other two models. The XDR and the Experience are just too similar to the Brahma in terms of shape. They are better suited for western skiing for sure and will round out a nice quiver. Go ahead and fire up the 172 in that ski–you’ll get great on and off-piste performance!
        SE

  16. Good morning,

    I have doubts wether to buy the QST 92 or the XDR 88. I go 1 or two weeks per year, Intermidiate to advanced skier. Mainly I ski in The French Alps or in Andorra, not an expert off-piste but if there is fresh snow I like to plya outside the piste. I weight 82 Kg and 175 cm heig. What would you recomend??

    Thank you!!

    1. Hi Philip!
      Between those two models, the easy way to tell them apart is the XDR is better on-trail, and the QST is better off-trail. Sounds like you’re leaning towards the XDR 88 and that’s a great choice. I’d recommend the 172 cm length in that ski. Other similar options are the K2 Pinnacle 88, Nordica Navigator 90, and Rossignol Experience 88 Ti. Have fun!
      SE

  17. Hi. Wondering about the XDR 88 t in a 179. I’m eastern trained, raced in college 40 yrs ago, PSIA cert in the late 70s, and I like the steeps. Mostly groomers at a good clip and bowls. Been skiing the X Wing (120 – 76- 104) in 176. I like the 76 underfoot for carving. Looking for an ‘all mountain’ for a planned two month trip to Breck. Question: the XDR comes in two widths. Any thoughts or guidance would be appreciated. Thanks-

    1. Hi Allan!
      I’m personally a huge fan of the XDR’s both 84 and 88. If you’re looking for a ski that is different from your 76, then I’d go with the 88. The 84 might be a bit too similar to what you already have. For the width, it still carves really well, and you’ll love the overall all-mountain performance of the XDR 88. Happy winter!
      SE

  18. I’ve skied intermittently most of my life, but never enough to progress beyond being an intermediate skier. Tend to be a bit tentative on steeps. I recently moved to Utah, so looking to advance my skills over this coming season. I’m 5’11+, 175lbs, and very athletic. Last season I was steered into some QST 106’s at 188 with Warden 13s by a bro at a ski swap and then regretted them all season. Nice and fast on the groomers, stable, great float, but always felt like too much ski for someone needing to build confidence and work on turning technique. Scary for me in anything choppy or bumpy. I like to go off trail, but technique and confidence hinder that a bit. This season I’m trying to rectify last season’s mistakes–looking at more of an all-mountain rather than a freeride ski, significantly shorter, and more forgiving. The XDR 88 at 172, again with the Wardens seem like a good choice. And yeah, fork out some $$$ for some instruction… 😀 Thoughts?

    1. Hi Hunter!
      We find that people buy and sell skis based on the conditions that they WANT to ski rather than those that they ACTUALLY ski, and as a result, people often over-buy on skis. Not an uncommon issue by any stretch of the imagination. From the sounds of it, you’re looking to mainly stay on-trail, but have the ability to venture out when necessary. Additionally, you’re probably looking for a ski without full-metal laminates, as these tend to be too stiff for a lot of skiers to actually flex. The XDR 88 is a great choice and fits those categories well. You might prefer the 179 cm length, as that will give you room to grow/improve. The warden is a great binding, so no problems there. Additional skis in that realm include the Nordica Navigator 85 or 90, the K2 Pinnacle 88 or 95, and the Rossignol Experience 88. All of these are great turning skis on-piste with some off-trail capabilities. As for sizing, try to find something in the 175-180 range if available. Good luck!
      SE

      1. Hey SE, thoughts about the QST 99 for someone like me? I don’t think I quite have my head wrapped around the practical differences between the XDR and QST lines other than floatation in the wider QSTs.

      2. Hey Hunter!
        The main difference is that the XDR is more on-trail oriented whereas the QST line is more off-trail. With that in mind, the XDR 88 should be viewed as a wide carving ski whereas the QST 99 can be seen as a narrow powder ski. When you are making your decision, keep in mind the type of skiing, terrain, and snow conditions that you ACTUALLY do rather than those that you WANT to do. If you spend the majority of your time on-trail (doesn’t necessarily have to be groomed), then the XDR is a great option. If you’re more of an adventure skier and find yourself off-trail most of the time, the QST 99 is fantastic. Keep in mind that between the XDR 88 and the QST 99, we’re talking about 11 mm of waist width, which is fairly considerable. Not to confuse you, but they also make a QST 92! All great skis!
        SE

  19. Hi,

    I am an advanced recreational skier, 48 yrs. old, 5’7 and 163 lbs. I ski about 70% on piste. For the last 10 years I was very happy with my 2011 Atomic Blackeye Tis (size 167 cm), but I plan to buy new skis this season. I greatly enjoyed Blackeye’s stability at high speed on piste, but also their playfulness, in spite of their weight (two sheets of metal). Of course, they are not great on deep snow.

    After reading a lot of reviews and comments (yours being the most informative web site I’ve found, by a long margin!), I think my questions boil down to this: if I go for one of the ‘less metal’ all mountain ~90mm width skis – thinking at Salomon XDR 88, Nordica Navigator 90, the new K2 Pinnacle 88Ti, the new Atomic Vantage 90 Ti, the new Rossignol Experience 88 Ti – do I lose any of the Blackeye’s stability at high speed? I would like a more versatile and lighter ski, that I can handle getting older, but I will pay the ‘weight price’ (i.e. pick a two metal sheets ski like Volkl Kendo, Blizzard Brahma, Nordica Enforcer 93) if the lighter ones are not as stable as the Blackeye’s.

    Many thanks for your advice!

    Radu

    1. Hey Radu!
      You are pretty much right on the money with your whole comment. When I worked in the shipping department here, I’d pack and ship a bunch of those Blackeye skis. The system was heavy, and as a result, gave you that stability at speed. You will most likely not find that heft/stability in any of the skis you listed, but I don’t see that as being a problem, especially if I’m hearing you correctly that you might like to tone down the weight a little bit. Of the non-dual metal sheeted skis you list, I’d say the XDR 88 and the Atomic Vantage 90 Ti will give you the most stability at speed. That’s not to say the others will be unstable. The Rossignol and the K2 will be the most playful, due to a combination of longer rocker in the K2, or Rossignol’s AirTip technology in the 88Ti. Overall, I’d say that the XDR 88 will be more lively than the Atomic Vantage, which seemed to enjoy being planted on the snow more than the other skis. It has a damper feel, so if you like that sort of thing, I’d give the nod to the Atomic. With those other skis with the dual metal laminate, they will be lighter because they’re not system skis, but the construction makes them a bit heavier, and thus more stable. In terms of dampness, I’d say the Kendo is the most, followed by the Brahma, and then the E93. Have fun deciding and happy winter!
      SE

  20. Hi,

    I’m looking for an all mountain ski with a waist below 90. I ski mainly on piste (approx 70/30) but like to venture off occasionally and on powder days. I want a ski that’s lightweight, easy to turn/pivot, stable at speed and can be playful when wanted. I have read good things about these 88 TI Salomon’s do you think these would be a good option?

    I would consider myself a strong intermediate/advanced skier, I’m 6.1 and approximately 185 pounds.

    I previously had a pair of atomic vantage theory skis with a 95 waist which I have enjoyed but I felt that they weren’t quite agile enough on piste, although this might have been due to the size being 177cm.

    Thanks.

    1. Hi Brad!

      The XDR 88 Ti should be a fantastic ski for you. What you’re looking for (a ski that’s lightweight, easy to turn/pivot, stable at speed and can be playful when wanted) is honestly exactly how I would describe the XDR 88. It’s not heavy, the rocker profile and overall shape allow you to release the tail edge relatively easily, and the partial metal laminate, carbon, and flax all work together to deliver some impressive stability. They’re going to feel quicker overall and more precise than your Atomics. I don’t feel like you need to go down in length, I’m leaning toward the 179 cm XDR 88 Ti for you, unless you really want a shorter ski.

      Hope that helps!

      SE

      1. Thanks for your response these skis would seem perfect for my needs based on your feedback. I was intially put off as some other websites are saying these are too much ski for anyone but an upper advanced/expert skier I take it you don’t agree and me being a strong intermediate/advanced skier would be able to enjoy these?

        On a separate point can you confirm whether you think the 172 size would be too short over the 179. I’m more of a cruiser as opposed to those speed demons who just charge in a straight line down the mountain. I did on occasion sometimes feel that my atomics at 177 were too long and not agile enough for my needs so I’m not sure if going for the longer 179 in the 88 TI would be too much.

        Also does is the tail rocker sufficient to allow you to ski backwards or pop the odd 360 if required?

        One final point, I notice you are selling the Salomon ski with the Tyrolia Attack 13 Bindings whereas the majority of other sites at the moment are pairing it with the Warden MNC 13 Demo bindings. Can you confirm the differences and which you feel would be best suited to my needs?

        Thanks for your assistance, its much appreciated.

      2. Hi again Brad!

        No, I’m not worried about you on the XDR 88 at all. At your size and and ability level it will be perfectly manageable. It’s not overly stiff or too demanding.

        As long as you’re not skiing too fast and if you don’t consider yourself an exceptionally aggressive skier, 172 cm could definitely work. Also, if you’re at all worried about the ski being a little too much for you (even though I don’t think you should worry), 172 cm will be even more user-friendly. If you’re not ripping around at high speeds and if you found your Atomics on the long side sometimes, I agree that 172 cm will be just fine.

        I personally wouldn’t want to ski backwards on the XDR 88, at least not for an extended amount of time. Could you do it? Sure, but you’d want to be on firm snow. In other words, it’s not designed to be skied backwards, but you could do it every once in a while at moderate speeds. Pop the occasional 360? I don’t see why not. It’s not balanced like a center mounted twin tip, but it should spin just fine.

        We recommend the Attack 13 a lot on skis like the XDR 88. It has a low stand height, which lowers your center of gravity and gives you a good connection to the snow. It also has a wide platform, which works really well on skis of this width. The Warden is a good binding, but it’s higher stand height and a little bulkier. Demo bindings in general, including the Warden, are heavier, have more moving pieces, and aren’t the best choice unless you really need the ability to adjust to different boot sizes. I don’t typically recommend demo bindings.

        Let me know what you think!

        SE

      3. Perfect thanks for answering all my questions, you guys are very helpful and know your stuff!

        I do have one final question however regarding the Tyrolia Attack 13 Bindings that you are selling with the 2019 Salomon XDR 88 Ti Skis.

        Are these the 2019 AAAttack² 13 bindings or are they an older model year?

      4. Hi Brad!

        That’s the current year Attack 13, not an older model.

        Happy to help! Don’t hesitate to reach out again if you have more questions.

        SE

  21. Hi there, I have just discovered your reviews and I have to agree with some of the comments you really know your onions and I appreciate the detailed and informative breakdown of the technology and how it affects performance.

    Just looking for some advice in lieu of being able to try the ski’s, I currently own two pairs of ski’s K2 Aftershocks, I believe some metal layers and 85mm underfoot in 174cm, and Salomon QST 90’s at 177cm. I quite like both pairs of skis the Salomons were my first ski and I fell in love with them end of season on a demo session in the crud and slush and then found out the following season that they are quite frankly terrifying on ice, to solve that problem I then picked up the Aftershocks cheap on Ebay and I love those skis, turny, powerful really love them but end of last season one of them delaminated so they have gone to ski heaven.

    So to summarize I want a ski with the edge grip and chargability of the K2’s combined with the light turn weight and float from the Salomon, I have been reading your reviews and liking the look of the XDR 88’s that seems to owe some of their DNA to the QST line but with some metal to hopefully deal with the ice better. I also demo’d some Brahmas in a fridge (artificual snow) and they railed, but I think they might be a one trick pony and I want something versatile as I ski the sides some off piste and a lot of bumps.

    The other thing to bear in mind that I am a tall 6ft 1 and heavy guy 200+ pounds, but athetic think linebacker not James Corden, I am advanved level and can ski strong and push a ski, but I also like to be able to finesse/relax
    when occasion call for it. The QST allows the finesse and relaxed skiing but I can’t charge on it when I feel like it. I guess i want that oxymoron ski you were talking about. I have read and watched many reviews now and I have it narrowed down to

    XDR 88
    Atomic Vantage 90 Ti
    Brahma

    Not that that is very narrowed down at all. There is also a little voice in my head saying mtfu and get the Mantra M5 which is not all that helpful.

    G

    1. Hi Gordon!

      Okay, I think we can help. Let’s work through this. We’re looking for a “ski with the edge grip and chargability of the K2’s combined with the light turn weight and float from the Salomon.” Perfectly attainable, in my opinion. It’s also really good to know your size and that you’re relatively athletic. Let’s start with the skis you’ve listed.

      XDR 88 – Definitely does share some DNA with the QST line. It uses the same C/FX material (carbon and flax), and as you correctly mention, a little more metal. Does it have the charge-ability of the K2s? Definitely close. light turn weight and float compared to the QST? Pretty darn close, but not quite.

      Vantage 90 Ti – Has the power you’re looking for, but probably not the light turn feel or the float.

      Brahma – Further down the spectrum from the Vantage. As you mention, somewhat of a one-trick-pony. It can ski everything, but when you take it off groomers it demands a lot of skier input, high level technique, and strong skiing.

      Out of the skis you’ve listed I do think the XDR 88 is the best for what you’re looking for. It essentially blends the performance of the two skis you’ve been skiing on, which is pretty much exactly what you’re looking for, right?

      That said, you bring up an interesting option with the M5 Mantra. Charge-ability? Absolutely. Float and good performance in soft snow? Better than the three skis we’ve been discussing because of the extra width. Any reason to not go with the M5 Mantra? Quickness edge to edge. You’re jumping up in waist width with that ski, so it’s going to feel a little less responsive on groomers. It’s not a huge difference, but it’s there. If you want to really get some good soft snow performance, however, that would be an excellent choice, and it definitely meets all your criteria. You can ski it with finesse, but you can also charge on it, something you feel your QST is lacking.

      What do you think? I was on board with what you were saying, then as soon as I got to the bottom and saw that you’re also interested in the M5 Mantra, I too thought… “well why not?”

      SE

  22. Hello Michael,
    I enjoy reading your reviews! I am 62 years old 6′, 205 lbs. ski fairly aggressively. Love to ski the groomers short and long turns but also like to hit the powder. I ski approx 70/30 and would like to go to a new ski, I am currently skiing on K2 Rictor XTi 90. I ski at Big Mountain Resort in Whitefish MT and it is common to have 3″ to 10″ of fresh powder on the groomers overnight. I have been looking at the Solomon XDR90 and Dynastar Legend X88. Any comments or advice would greatly be appreciated.
    Thanks Michael

    1. Hi Barry!

      I’ll see if I can get Michael Rooney to chime in, as I assume that’s who you’re addressing, but I thought I would let you know my thoughts as well. I think the XDR 88 Ti is a very good ski for someone who wants a 70/30 ski. It just has a great feel in soft snow for a ski that does so well on groomers. It has the torsional stiffness and power needed to ski fairly aggressively on firm snow, but the tips and tails feel nice and supple, which gives it a more forgiving and more fun overall feel in soft snow. The Legend X 88 does well too, but its performance mostly comes from its shape, while the XDR 88 has some unique construction elements that I think put it in its own league so to speak.

      Hope that helps!

      SE

  23. Always enjoy your reviews. Excellent work again on the Salomon XDR’s. A few questions for you. I am 47, advance skier, 5’8 and 180lbs. I ski western Canada. I am currently on a pair of 2016 Blizzard Brahma’s 173cm. I really enjoy this ski, however I do find it heavy and feel it could be a little more forgiving. Looking at the Brahma CA and possibly the Salomon XDR 88, also have heard good things about the K2 Pinnacle 88. I am mostly on front side 80% groomed and 20% off piste. Depending on what resort I ski. Not a big mogul guy. Care to share your thoughts? Cheers

    Steve

    1. Hi Steve!

      Thanks! Both the XDR 88 and the Pinnacle 88 are both more forgiving than the Brahma for sure. The Brahma CA is too, but it’s the same shape of the Brahma, so it’s really just lighter. The Pinnacle and XDR use more tip and tail rocker and some early taper, which makes them feel a bit more forgiving. To me the XDR 88 is a great 80/20 ski. It can still rip turns on groomers, but in my opinion is a touch more versatile than the Brahma. In my opinion what the Brahma does best is laying down high speed turns on groomers. It’s a bit of a handful off groomers. I think the XDR is a bit more ski than the Pinnacle 88, so if you really wanted to go super forgiving you could go Pinnacle, while the XDR kind of falls in between them in terms of performance in my opinion.

      Hope that helps!

      SE

  24. Hi
    Really appreciate very informative comments and advice.
    I am 62yrs old 100kgs and I guess am advanced recreational skier but only get 2 weeks per year at best have been skiing for about 30 yrs . Ski mainly on piste but keen to get off piste more and into powder. Have always rented but never quite sure what you will get (in Europe). Looking to buy this year.
    Enjoyed Enduro and BBR a few years ago and X-drive more recently have tended to ski short circa 165. (Am 5,10ins) like to ski fairly fast and like a responsive ski.
    Last ski was Rosignol Experience 84 (2016 model) really liked it especially in crud but found it quite skiddy on the piste until I got used to it. Very easy to turn. Snow conditions nearly always vary from ice to crud and slush on piste and really want a ski that will cope with all piste conditions, bumps and powder including cut up soft/ icy off piste – so want everything in one ski!! – but I think most important is to get as much confidence as possible on the side of the piste.
    Am thinking Ross exp 84 or 88 or same with Salomon XDR at 170 Like both Ros Experience and Salomon skis I have used and am thinking I need to have some trial sessions with each to compare but would appreciate your advice
    Thanks
    Will

    1. Hi Will!

      I think you’ll likely really enjoy the Salomon XDR. They have similar performance to the Experience 84 and 88, but you’ll likely find them to be a little bit more stable (less chattering) than the Experience skis. I also think they outperform the Experience in bumps, powder, and any other off-piste terrain. The 2019 version of the Experience 88 would likely be better for you if you want to stick with Rossignol. They really boosted the ski’s stability and versatility with a new shape and constrcution. We recently did a full review of the new Experience 88 on our Chairlift Chat blog if you want to take a closer look.

      SE

      1. Many thanks – quick response and really appreciate the comments which are very helpful . Do you think I would notice much difference between 88 vs 84 XDR – I like the concept of better stability you mention with the Salomons and am still likely to ski 60-70% on piste looks like XDR88s could be perfect!
        Thanks again
        Will

      2. No, I don’t think you’ll notice a huge difference between the 88 and 84. It’s basically just the difference in width. I think the 88 is an awesome ski!

        SE

  25. Hi

    Loving this site and the amazing response and feedback.

    I skied these this year to test and really liked them. I saw the post and comment above on 16 vs 13 bindings and at the risk of asking the same question I wondered what length ski and bindings you would suggest for me. I mainly ski on piste but like having fun in powder, (when there is some)! I’m 5′ 10″ and 154lb and would say I’m an expert skier that’s probably more about the turns than straight line speed.

    Thanks in advance for any help on this

    Jon

    1. Hey Jonathan!

      What length did you test? I would say either the 172 or 179 cm length would be best for you. 172 cm would be a little more maneuverable and quicker, while 179 cm would be more stable and would float a little better in powder. Both, undoubtedly, could potentially work for you. Let me know if you remember what length you tested.

      I don’t expect you’ll need a 16 DIN binding at your size. There’s a lot of personal preference for binding choice, but I would expect your DIN to fall somewhere in the 10-11 range even if you’re a Type 3+ skier.

      Does that make sense?

      Let me know what you think!

      SE

  26. Hi

    I’m 5’11 and weigh 78kg. I’m an intermediate level skier (taken about ten years off with an acl injury) but starting again after a while off I’m already noticing I like a more aggressive style on the groomed slopes, although I usually like to spend 30-40% of my day in the deeper snow on bumps and off the track. I’ve been trying out a range of skis and the biggest issue tends to be chatter at speed – I like going fast and hate having to slow down when the front starts to rattle too much. I really liked the vokl rtm 84 but found it was a little sink-ey in the snow. I also rented some Elan amphibio 86s recently and found those quite good. It seems like the 88ti is a good balance between the characteristics I’m looking for. I just wondered about length. Do you think a 186 is going to be too difficult to handle at my height and weight?

    1. Hi David!

      Yeah I think the XDR 88 Ti is probably right up your alley! You get better soft snow performance compared to the RTM 84, but you can still rip turns at high speeds and you still get good stability. I bet you could handle the 186 cm length, but I wonder if maybe it’s kind of overkill. I’m barely bigger than you at 5’10” and around 72 kg. The 179 cm length feels like the right length to me, and I too am pretty aggressive and like skiing fast.

      Hope that helps!

      SE

  27. Hi,

    I am 5’10 and weight 176 lbs. Strong intermediate to advance , skies on piste most of the time , some times in light powder , soft snow and moguls. I do a lot of miles on the mountain .
    What do you recommend between salomon xdr 88 ti / dynastar legend 88 / rossignol experience 88 hd, and what length ?

    1. Hi Mihai!

      I think the XDR has a nice blend of performance for what you’re looking to go. It’s a fun ski in light powder and moguls and still performs great on firm snow. I would go with either the 172 or 179 cm length. What lengths have you skied in the past? Do you have a preference for shorter or longer skis typically? I’m about your size and really like the 179 cm length, but that’s pretty close to your height for reference, some skiers like to go a bit shorter.

      Hope that helps!

      SE

  28. A little late to the party but was looking for Internet resources comparing the XDrive 8.8 to the newer XDR. I just spent two weeks on the 2017 XDrive 8.8 and really like it. Unfortunately I can’t find many used pairs here (Switzerland) and was looking to blindly buy the XDR 88 since it’s a little easier to find. From what you mentioned, it looks like the tips are just softer? Do you think there’s anything that might surprise me otherwise?

    I really liked their performance and while they were a bit stiff for me, once I got them at speed, they were far more stable than anything else I tried during my trip.

    1. Hi Chalky!

      Yup, in my opinion the biggest difference is that the tips and tails are slightly softer. Overall it still retains the same performance and are definitely still very stable, but they’re a little more fun and more manageable at slower speeds in tighter terrain. When you’re skiing fast and looking for stability and torsional stiffness the metal really comes in to play, but that metal tapers before the tips and tails. It’s a pretty cool design and the performance is awesome.

      Hope that helps!

      SE

  29. Hey SE,

    I’m looking for a new all mountain ski. I’m 5’11 and 205 lbs. Upper Intermediate to Advanced skier on the East Coast of Canada. I would ski 75-80% groomers, but like a few tree runs and bumps (ususally chasing my kids) and the limited powder we see. I was considered three skis (kendo, enforcer 93 and brahma) and now four with the XDR 88 Ti.

    I just rode the Enforcer 93 at 177 cm for a couple of hours at Sunday River and loved them, although heavy. They carved really well on the double blacks to blues and were a lot of fun to ride on the hardpack. Based on the feedback I’ve done, I think the enforcer will be a superior carver to the kendo and brahma. What are your thoughts on this? How does the XDR 88 Ti compare and is it something I should consider and would it be a comparable carver? Any thoughts on how either would perform for the 25% off piste? Recommedations for sizing? Thanks in advance for your time!

    1. Hey Scott!

      I don’t necessarily agree about the carving performance. In my opinion out of all those skis the Brahma is arguably the best carver. Lower rise rocker than the Enforcer 93, so a longer effective edge. Definitely links carving turns really, really well, but isn’t as versatile as the Enforcer 93. More challenging in tight terrain, soft snow conditions, etc. The Kendo kind of falls in between those skis. Not quite as firm snow oriented as the Brahma, but not quite as versatile in soft snow as the Enforcer 93.

      The XDR 88 provides an interesting option as it uses less metal. Those other three skis all have two full sheets of metal, so all will feel pretty heavy. The XDR uses a partial sheet of metal that tapers as it reaches the tip and tail. The tips and tails feel softer and more forgiving, which boosts its performance in soft snow, moguls, trees, etc. Still has nice edge grip on firm snow, not quite as powerful as those other three skis, but no slouch either. IN my opinion the XDR and the Enforcer perform the best in off-piste conditions. The XDR is a little quicker, but the Enforcer 93 smears and pivots turns with an exceptionally smooth feel.

      Hope that helps!

      SE

  30. Hi SE,

    I’m 5’9” and 160 lb. I’m an expert skier and looking for a 1 quiver ski for both east and west coast. I’m am currently skiing on some 177 Enduros. I like to ski powder when available and ski in the trees. If not, I like to do high speed GS on the groomers. Do you think the XDR 88 in 179 fits the bill? How do they compare to my old Enduros?

    Thanks!

    Pete

    1. Hey Peter!

      Yeah! I think you’ll be psyched with the XDR 88. It’s a super versatile ski in the sense that it can rip GS turns on firm snow, but still feels playful and fun in softer snow and trickier terrain. In my opinion it outperforms the Enduro across the board. Better on firm snow thanks to the metal and the new CFX construction, and definitely more maneuverable and more fun in soft snow. Takes that ski’s performance to the next level, for sure. I think you’ll love it.

      Hope that helps!

      SE

  31. I’m 5’6″ and about 135 lbs. At 62 years old I am trying to get back to my ability of younger years – I am skiing mostly harder blues and easy blacks. I have tried the Salomon XDR 84’s and loved the way they carved, turned easily and handled the bumps. I want to try the 80’s and 88’s to compare but I can’t find them in any local demo shops. I ski mostly groomers but do get into the powder every so often when we go to Colorado. I have also tried the Volkl RTM 86 which I loved but they were a bit stiff in the bumps. I’m wondering which XDR ski you would recommend? Thanks

    1. Hi Govinda!

      I would say if you’re looking for a nice blend of performance across firm snow, bumps, and the occasional Colorado powder day you should go with the 88. It’s going to feel very similar to the 84 that you tested, but that extra little bit of width will help when you’re in softer snow conditions. Yeah, that’s a very accurate description of the RTM 86, especially compared to the XDR series, which feel much more user-friendly and more appropriate in moguls.

      Hope that helps!

      SE

  32. Hi there.

    Excellent review!
    I am 51 years old, 6 feet tall and weigh 175 pounds.
    I own Rossi Soul 7 180cm and Rossi Hero LT 176.
    Majority of the time I ski on the East Coast, black terrain and like to mix it up – short turns, long turns, faster, slower, occasional bumps.

    Just came back from Alta (bad season), where I tried the XDR 88 172s and loved them.
    With their 88 width they are right in between my current two pairs.
    I am not sure though whether to go with 172 or 179.
    Which size would you recommend?

    Thanks very much,
    Milan

    1. Hi Milan!

      In response to your next comment, which I’ll probably just leave out, comments have to be approved by our staff before they go live, just to prevent spamming, advertisers posting, etc.

      Back to skis. If I were you I would go with the 179 cm. In my opinion the XDR 88 is relatively forgiving, despite it being a high performing ski. I find the tips and tails to have a nice, relatively easy flex to them, so the ski never really feels overwhelming even on longer lengths in tight terrain. Plus with the extra length you get a little extra stability. It also just seems like a more appropriate length for your size.

      Hope that helps! Let us know if you have any other questions,

      SE

  33. I’m 63, 250 lbs, 6 ft, advanced skier, and have skied the 2014-15 X-drive 8.8 184cm for the past 3 seasons. They are superb on firm and wide groomers but on narrower trails, bumps, and moguls, the 184 length feels like a bit much. Having OA in both knees doesn’t help either.

    I’m considering the XDR 88 at 179 cm, and am wondering if I will notice sufficient difference between the X-drive and XDR to justify the expenditure?

    Thanks!

    1. Hi Larry!

      Yes, I definitely think there is sufficient difference between the two to justify the purchase. The tips and tails of the XDR are noticeably softer than the X-Drive, which makes it easier and more fun in bumps, moguls, and other tight terrain. It should be exactly what you’re looking for based on your reaction to the X-Drive.

      Hope that helps!

      SE

  34. Hello,
    Great review.
    I’m thinking of buying the XDR (I’m in Chamonix and there is a 30% sale tomorrow so it is a good time to buy:). I’m looking for an all mountain ski with a piste orientation and I’m contemplating between the 84 and 88 and the 179 or 186 length. I’m 185cm (6.1ft) and 80kg (175lb). I ski 70/30 resort/off piste. On piste I’m advanced-intermediate I like to ski 60-80km/h (35-50mph) mix between short and long turns. I started venturing to backcountry skiing (off piste but not touring) last year and still struggle with some of the more difficult snow conditions. I don’t expect the xdr to preform well enough for backcountry dedicated days and for those I might rent a 100mm ski or maybe eventually buy one). Which ski do you think will suit me best?
    Thanks,
    Gadi

    1. Hi Gadi!

      I would go with the 84 if you’re planning on having a wider ski or renting a wider ski for powder days. The 84 is a little quicker edge to edge on piste. It’s a marginal difference, but again if you’re going to have a wider ski to compliment it that makes more sense to me. I’m leaning towards the 179 cm for the same reason. It will allow you to manipulate turn shape a little easier, and you’ll likely want to go longer with your wider skis, which would again make the 179 cm a better compliment to your other skis.

      What do you think?

      SE

      1. Hi,
        Thank you for the advice.
        That will be a good choice for a two ski quiver. However, if I don’t want to commit to buying another ski it might be better to take the 88 at 186 to give me better flotation in deeper snow without sacrificing too much maneuverability on piste That way I will only have to rent skis on powder days. Does that make sense?
        Thanks

  35. Well I logged a 26 K vertical feet on them today (40 plus miles length) 4.5 hours non stop pushing them, lots of black & double black diamond. Poor things hit a few stumps and rocks already, (just minor scrapes, nothing serious) Varied everything up really took them on a tough work out. We had a a couple inches fresh powder overnight, so did find a bit of that, and was lots all day on sidetrails, nice light ski ! Some groomed, lots of ungroomed, Bumps, hard pack & ice. Did everything possible but glades, I really enjoyed them, very glad I purchased them !! They are very easy to ski, forgiving in the bumps as you say, (A lot more than my stiff Blizzards). Was so enjoyable, was really pushing them carving in some loose snow around the ungroomed and under the chairlifts / gondolla steeps. Held up very well on the sheer ice. they kept their edge fine. Did some high speed carving and like GS & super G ( got up to 50 mph) Poping link turns real nice and they were quite stable, Not much chattering at high speed . quite enjoyable actually, felt confident on them. All in all a great all mountain ski, They have won my heart, they are a great match for my all around, do everything ski. I like that they are similar to the 1080 in ways a bit wider , but also a tad of parabolic shape Crossmax wise like, for carving it up. Kinda get the best of both, and wide enough for going off piste a bit. (Prob ok & great in powder that is not too too deep, Not too much of that here!!
    They really shine in the ungroomed mix of bumps and fresh all ready tracked snow. and great high speed carver / cruiser

  36. Hi SE ok thanks, prob going to go get them today as a bit of a sale on them, Was a bit worried about the High speed carving aspect, the Ros 88 HD sounded a bit more similar to my Atlas, did not want them to to chatter too much, but we will see, I am not Franz Klammer, or Bode Miller !! They will def be usefull for me, I a bit older now, so if they forgive me I will love them, lol Also had those 1080’s and a pair of 9S about 15 or so years ago, not much shape to those, very narrow, but still loved them, they were nice in the bumps at 2 mtrs length, times have changed, they were also a blue/purple shade, (I like the look of them too, which is also a factor for me, yeah strange but hey) I think the last Rossignol I had were Strato 102 in the early 70’s. They do sound like a good suited ski for me, Was out on some other Blizzard power fs skis last night, still enjoy them too, Will revert back with my over all feel after a few outings on the XDR 88’s

  37. Hey SE,

    I currently have a pair of the old Salomon BBR 8.9 165cm and i’m 5’10″(ish) and around 90kgs. I’d say I’m an advanced skier and try to get at least 2 weeks skiing per year. Due to conditions in Europe most of my skiing has been on groomers but when the conditions are right we’ll spend the day in powder.

    I do like the BBRs as great fun for short tuns and dipping in and out of the powder. Only criticism would be they never hold on to turn for long enough!

    I’m due for an upgrade and wondered what you would recommend for me a probably an all mountain ski for varying conditions – was thinking perhaps looking at black crows – orb?

    Ta

    1. Hi Bryan!

      The XDR 88 Ti is an awesome all mountain ski for varying conditions and I think would be a blast for European terrain. It’s kind of carrying on the heritage of the BBR in the sense that it performs well both on firm snow and in softer snow conditions.

      The Orb could be a fun ski too, although it uses quite a bit more metal, so is heavier, a little stiffer, and more demanding.

      Hope that helps!

      SE

  38. I am prob going for the XDR 88, in 186 cm, I have some Blizzard Atlas 187 that I really liked, (falling apart now, delaminated and edge came out, I glued back with marine epoxy for end april spring skiing(Rocks, stumps ect) used mostly at high speed carving, off piste heavy crud/powder, and groomers, not so good on sheer ice and a bit way too stiff in the bumps,
    Was Wondering about Rossignol 88 if that is another good option, but my heart is leaning towards these, had some 1080’s that I kinda loved a decade ago, I guess they sound a bit better in the moguls, Have other Blizzards carving, race. but these will be my all around fun ski,
    Ski mostly at Le Massif eastern Canada, do get some powder but mostly high speed cruising, 88′ prob better than the 85’s and Going 186 cm sound good, I liked the 187 feel of the Blizzard, even through the forest I managed those well

    1. Hi Gordon!

      I think the XDR 88 Ti is an awesome ski in moguls. Definitely a little easier and more forgiving than a ski like the Rossi Experience 88 HD with its full width tips and (also flatter) tail. The XDR 88 Ti really lets you pivot the ski easier and the tips and tails are also a little softer, which I find helps you transition from one mogul to the next. Even if you make a mistake the ski doesn’t buck you, it kind of accepts it and suggests that you get back on your game where other skis completely punish you.

      Ahhhh the 1080! Of course this ski is a whole new animal with drastically different technology, but you know, I do think there’s a little bit of the old 1080 in there somewhere… even if just in spirit. I think it will be an awesome ski for what you ski up there in eastern Canada. We’re located in Stowe, so relatively similar terrain, and we think it’s a great ski for around here. Carves turns at high speeds, but can still play around in some soft snow.

      Hope that helps!

      SE

  39. Excellent reviews. I’m contemplating the XDR 88 (and 84/80). I’m 5’9″, 145 lbs. Been sking for 35 years, taught skiing 6 years as a PSIA level II. I ski resorts in PA and am looking for something that can handle all conditions. I run our local ski club and still want to be able to rip ( and keep up to the kids). My knees don’t like bumps unless they’re nice and soft. My DIN is a 6.5.
    I’m considering the 88 or 84 in a 165 or 172. My current skis are ancient Volant Truths in a 165. I also still pull out the Atomic SX-11 170s when it’s icy and I want to carve full-tilt. Any recommendations would be sincerely appreciated. Thanks!
    Matt

    1. Hi Matt!

      Both skis are great and I think should accomplish what you’re looking for. I’m kind of leaning towards the 88, since you already have a narrower carving ski and you’re looking for that “all conditions” performance. I understand that there probably aren’t too many deep powder days, but it’s still nice to have that extra width. I think it’s even noticeable when skiing spring conditions, you just have that much more surface area to push off and it doesn’t really feel any slower edge to edge.

      I also think considering your Atomics are 170 cm you’ll probably like the 172 cm XDR. I’m just about your size and I think the 165 cm would feel a little bit short to me.

      Should be a fun ski for ripping high speed turns when you want to, but can still relax a bit and just cruise on more mellow days.

      Hope that helps. Have a great season!

      SE

  40. This will be long, but I’d appreciate your recommendation as I’m considering buying my first pair of skis – one quiver that is the best balance of my skiing abilities and aspirations. I’m 32, live in Wisconsin, and measure 5’9” and 175 lbs. I fell in love with skiing for the first time on a trip to Deer Valley, Utah last year. Thanks to 15+ years of hockey background, dedicatedly staying in strong physical shape, and two free days of ski coaching, the carving, quick maneuvers, and hard stopping came rather naturally. By day #2 I was skiing double blues and easier blacks with decent confidence, but only once attempt a very short run off-piste in the trees. I was given Rossignol Experience RTL 80mm & 158cm then. I may be mistaken, but despite that single trip, I’d consider myself an “intermediate” skier who could progress to “advanced” after a few more trips (acknowledging that I must pay close attention to fine-tuning/advancing my mechanics). My goal is now about 3 trips west for skiing each winter (Jan.-Mar.) to CO, MT, and/or UT. For that reason, I think buying a pair makes economic and logistical (maximizing time on mountain and not rental shop pick-ups/returns on weekend only trips) sense to me.

    I’ve done a fair amount of research, and have landed on the following skis, but cannot decide from here. Aspirationally, I’d love to learn to ski in the ungroomed trees more, hopefully aiming my trips this year at 75/25 on-piste and nearing 60/40 in a year or two. For that reason, I’m thinking 84mm wouldn’t provide enough float or variable ability, and am considering the 88-93mm range (unless you suggest otherwise). I don’t imagine seeking out true powder as I’m limited to the conditions present on the weekends I scheduled to be there (so it needs to handle variable conditions), and don’t imagine starting my runs many other places other than the tops of the lifts, but I’d like to become more adventurous on the way down (e.g. trees, bowls, etc. where available – Copper, Steamboat, and Jackson Hole are next on my list). Since I’m coming from afar on weekend trips, I’ll be maximizing my time on the mountain each day, so ideally something lighter weight and requiring a little less power for me to control (i.e. exiting out of a turn) to limit getting too tired over a long day. But at the same time, I want something firm enough to respond to tighter cuts without skidding (like the Experience RTLs did). I wouldn’t say I ski aggressively fast (maybe 35-40mph if I guess), but I want a ski stable enough to handle occasional runs when I’d try for 50mph. I’d like to find a balance between short and long radius turns, as I (in my limited experience) liked both. I’ll aim to not do aggressive carving or bumps, as knee bending more than 90 degrees starts to irritate mild knee arthritis.

    Any and all insight would be appreciated for the best fit for me!! (Let me know if there’s a ski not listed which would be better.) If you’d like more details from me, just ask.

    -Nordica Navigator 90 (172cm). PROS: maneuverable from short turn-radius; CONS: less maneuverable off-piste from flat tail.

    -K2 Pinnacle 88 (170cm). PROS: Maneuverable from early tapered tips and tails; CONS: maybe too relaxed.

    -Salomon XDR 88 Ti (172cm). PROS: Maneuverable from early tapered tips and tails; CONS: maybe not appropriate for an intermediate.

    -Nordica Enforcer 93 (177cm, since I understand it skis short). PROS: seems to do everything well; CONS: maybe too much freeride characteristics; maybe not appropriate for an intermediate (because of two sheets of metal).

    -Head Kore 93 (171cm). PROS: lightweight; maneuverable; energetic; CONS: not as damping as others; maybe too much freeride characteristics (i.e. perhaps too lively).

    -Dynastar Legend X 88 (173cm). PROS: carves well; lightweight; CONS: maybe too much of an aggressively designed ski.

    -Atomic Vantage 90 CTI (176cm). CONS: less forgiving; maybe values energy over stability.

    Also, in retailers’ ski descriptions, are “playful” and “forgiving” synonymous? Would you elaborate on those meanings? What does “burly” mean?

  41. Hi,
    Realy enjoy your reviews!
    How do you compare the Navigator 90 with the Salomon xdr 88? Groomed, hard pack and off piste?
    Regards from Fredrik in Sweden

    1. Hi Fredrik!

      The big difference in those skis is tail shape and the effect it has on performance. The Navigator 90 has a flat tail that’s inspired by their Doberman carving skis. It completely a turn really well on groomed snow and has excellent edge grip. The Salomon XDR 88 has a rockered tail with some early taper as well, so it’s a little bit more maneuverable and easier to release the edge in off-piste terrain and variable snow conditions. That’s the big difference in my opinion!

      SE

  42. Hello, thanks for the reviews. I am 6’1″, about 190 lbs. Ski mostly on piste but not necessarily groomers. Enjoy into chutes and steeps but have always struggled a little with big bumps, trees, and deep powder. Grew up skiing on the east coast but now go out west with the family every year. Used to be pretty aggressive but a little less so now. I’d like to do more and more off piste skiing and was looking for a ski that would make quicker turns for bumps and trees a bit easier. Do you recommend this ski over the Voikl RTM or Mantra? And what size would you recommend? Currently skiing older Dynastar Legends (the ones that look like old wood) 172cm

    1. Hi Salil!

      Judging off your description of your skiing and the terrain you like I do think the XDR 88 Ti is a better choice for you than a ski like the RTM 84 or 86 or the Mantra. The XDR 88 Ti has a really nice mix of stability and torsional stiffness with a more supple feel in the tips and tails and more forgiveness than the skis you bring up. It’s a great ski for what you’re describing: chutes, steeps, bumps, and trees. Its waist width isn’t quite wide enough that it will have a huge effect on powder performance, but it does use some early taper in the tips and tails which helps it feel less catchy in deep soft snow. It definitely will help make bumps and trees easier. In fact, its performance in moguls is one of the highlights of the XDR 88 Ti in my opinion. Quick edge to edge, supple tips and tails, but never feels overly unstable.

      Considering your size I think the 179 cm is probably the best length for you. The increased tip and tail rocker and early taper compared to your Legends will boost maneuverability. I think you’ll find its just as easy to throw side to side and the 179 cm will have that much more stability for variable conditions, high speeds, etc.

      Hope that helps!

      SE

  43. Hi Rob,

    I weigh 180 lbs and stand 5′ 11″ , advanced standard, mainly groomed piste with about 15% off piste, which will hopefully increase in the future, love speed and manoeuvrability and am looking at XDR 88, unsure about the length was thinking of 179 cm but welcome your input

    Thanks for your comments

    DPR

    1. Hi David!

      I think 179 cm will be a good length for you in the XDR 88 Ti and give you a good mix of performance at speed and maneuverability. The longer, 186 cm length would have more stability at high speeds, but at the sacrifice of maneuverability. The opposite could be said about the 172 cm, very maneuverable, but unstable at speed.

      Hope that helps!

      SE

  44. Seriously cannot decide between the QST 99 and the XDR 88. They both claim great performance on & off piste. I am 5’11” and 215 lbs. Probably 70% on trails and 30% bowls & glades. East & West Coast split time.

    1. I have the same questions as Mike re the QST 99 and XDR 88 with comparable skiing ability/preferences. Looking forward to your feedback, Mike, if you purchased on or the other. Also would like to hear the opinion of skiessentials.com too. Thx.

      1. Hey Mike and Mike!

        Sorry I missed your first comment, Mike. And other Mike, thanks for following up.

        In my opinion the XDR 88 Ti is more of a 70/30 ski like you’re describing the way you split your time between groomers and un-groomed snow while the QST 99 is more 50/50 or maybe even getting closer to 30/70 groomed/un-groomed. The QST 99 does do well on groomers, but its highlight is definitely its maneuverability, surfy feel, and just how fun it is in soft snow and un-groomed conditions. So, in my opinion the XDR 88 is probably the way to go for a 70/30 ski unless you specifically prefer wider, more playful oriented skis.

        Hope that helps!

        SE

  45. Hello,
    I am a advanced skier who is considering buying the Salomon XDR 88. I am 5’10” tall and weigh 155lbs and have a slight preference for manoeuvrability over speed while skiing. Which ski length would you recommend, the 172cm or 179cm? I have read your comments to CJ above who asked a similar question. I weigh less than him and want to know if that should push me more in the direction of the 172cm skis or should I also go for the 179cm?

    Thanks!

    1. Hi Rob!

      I think going to the 172 cm length is certainly justifiable. You’ll notice that when responding to CJ I thought both lengths could potentially work for him. The same can certainly be said for you, although your slight preference for maneuverability over stability seems like enough reason to go with the 172 cm ski. The benefit to bumping up to the 179 cm is the increased stability at speed. If you don’t feel like you need that increased stability it’s only going to hurt maneuverability with no gain. Does that make sense? The comparison I made to CJ in that you’re likely gaining more stability moving to 179 than you are gaining maneuverability going to 172 is only relevant if you’re going to put that increased stability to use. If not, than you’re not gaining anything at all, just losing maneuverability.

      Hope that helps! Happy to talk more about it if you have more questions.

      SE

  46. Thanks for the reviews. I really like them.
    I,m currently using the Salomon BBR 9 and I would like to find a similar ski.
    Unfortunatelly I have’nt had the opportunity to test the XDR-88
    Do you think that i would have similar sensations ?

    I tested ELAN Amphibio 88 TI and i like them.
    Are the XDR-88 similar ?

    Thanks for your comments
    Best

    1. Hello Pere!

      The Salomon BBR 9 is a pretty unique ski with its super-wide, early tapered, and rockered tip profile, although I do think you’ll like the XDR 88 Ti. Although it doesn’t have the same super-wide tip shape, it essentially is designed for the same thing: a mix of performance on and off-piste. I would say the XDR 88 Ti is going to feel a little more maneuverable and a little better in soft snow conditions compared to the Elan Amphibio 88 XTI, and pretty similar on firm snow in terms of edge grip and torsional stiffness. It has a longer turn radius than the BBR 9, which was exceptionally short, but they’re still very maneuverable.

      Hope that helps! Let us know if you have any other questions.

      SE

  47. Hello
    I am 6’4” 250 pound expert skier. I have a pair of Scott Punisher 110 in 189 CM that I like very much but want something smaller to rip the bumps and groomers. Ski mostly Colorado

    Lean more towards bumps than groomers or wide open spaces with harder snow than groomers.
    What are your thoughts?

    Looking at these skis
    Fischer RC4 THE CURV GT in 182 CM
    Fischer PRO MTN 86 Ti 182 CM
    Salomon XDR TI 84 in either 179 CM or 186 CM
    Salomon XDR TI 88 in either 179 CM or 186 CM
    Head Power Instinct Ti Pro skis + prd 14 bindings in a 177 CM or 184 CM

    1. Hi Jason!

      Since you lean towards bumps more than groomers I would also lean towards the skis that are intended for that terrain as well. In my opinion the XDR 88 and the Pro Mountain 86 both stand out for their width and versatility. The XDR 84 also, but if you’re skiing Colorado chances are you’ll get a fair amount of days with soft, fresh snow on the mogul runs, in which case the slight extra width of the XDR 88 would be beneficial. I think you’re going to want to go with the 186 cm if you go with the XDR or the 182 cm in the Pro Mountain. The XDR 88 is pretty forgiving, especially in the tips and tails after the metal tapers off, so should still be relatively easy to maneuver.

      Hope that helps!

      SE

  48. My current pair are Line Supernatural 92’s in a 179. I never really liked how they maneuvered… not sure if it was the waist size or length. My pair before that were Line Prophet 85’s in a 172. So maybe I was use to those skis. I liked the stability of a longer ski, but felt like in tight spots (bumps, trees) that a little shorter ski was nice. What are your opinions on the trade offs I’d see with the 172 vs 179 in the XDR 88?

    1. It could be a combination of things going into the feel of the Supernatural 92. It is a relatively stiff ski, which certainly could be attributing to that feeling.

      It’s basically a question of maneuverability vs stability between those two lengths. The 172 cm will certainly be more maneuverable in tight spots like you’re describing. The 179 cm will have more stability for high speed skiing. That much is obvious. However, I personally think the XDR 88 is objectively a relatively maneuverable, forgiving ski. I think there will be a bigger increase in stability going from the 172 to the 179 than the increase in maneuverability going from 179 to 172 cm. Does that make sense? It’s really interesting that your past two skis have been the two lengths you’re choosing between, and I actually think the XDR 88 will kind of blend what you like about each, which is kind of pointing me towards 179 cm. You’re still going to benefit from that stability that comes along with the length, but I think you’ll find them more maneuverable than your Supernatural 92.

      What do you think?

      SE

      1. Okay cool. Then yeah I’ll order the 179.

        I think you’re right about the Supernatural. It was a stiffer ski. And at 179, was a little more work. But with a more forgiving ski, which the XDR sounds like with only 1 tapered metal laminate, then I think I’ll be more comfortable on it at 179. Plus, I like how you described that I’d lose less in maneuverability and than I’d gain in stability. Thanks!

  49. Great reviews as always. How would you compare this ski to the K2 Pinnace 88? Also, what size in the XDR 88 would you recommend for a 5’10”, 164 lb skier?

    1. The Pinnacle 88 and XDR 88 Ti are relatively similar skis: they share the 88 mm waist width and both use partial sheets of metal (XDR in the middle, Pinnacle 88 along the edges). I do think the Pinnacle has a slightly more forgiving shape and feel and arguably performs better in variable snow conditions, while the XDR 88 draws slightly more from carving skis and is has a touch more torsional stiffness (better edge grip), but might not be quite as forgiving. Ultimately they’re both pretty similar, quite versatile all mountain skis.

      Hope that helps!

      SE

      1. Cool, thanks. I’m going to order the XDR. Not sure how much early rise, rocker in the tips and tails though… What length in the XDR 88 would you recommend, 5’10”, 164 lb, advanced-intermediate?

      2. Hey CJ!

        The XDR 88 has relatively subtle, low rise rocker in the tips and tails. It’s not so much that you need to size up like some skis with more pronounced, longer rocker profiles. At your size and ability level I think you’re going to either want to go with the 172 or 179 cm length depending on how aggressive you are and/or how fast you like to ski. I am about your size and prefer the 179 cm ski for the slightly increased stability, but I do like to ski pretty fast. What are your current skis? What length are they?

        SE

  50. Hey,
    really liked your reviews on the XDR collection. I struggle between the 80 and the 84. I am more an ontrail guy with maybe 80-90% on piste.
    Which one with with height would you recommend? I am 190 pounds and ´slightly above 6feet.
    Thanks !

    1. Hey Chris!

      Thanks! They’re both pretty quick edge to edge and both have solid edge grip on firm snow, but I do think you gain a touch of versatility with the 84 that you would appreciate for the 10-20% of the time you’re skiing off piste. At your size I think you’re either going to want the 179 or 186 cm length. Do you consider yourself aggressive? Ski at high speeds? Those would be reasons to go with the 186 cm. If you don’t ski super fast and want to boost maneuverability I do think the 179 cm would be enough ski and would certainly be more maneuverable. In my opinion it comes down to how aggressive you are as a skier. What length are your current skis?

      SE

      1. Hey SE,

        thanks for the answer! Yes I think I should go for the 84. Now it comes down to choose the correct length. I think i am pretty much an “in between guy” not a super fast charger but I think on piste I pass more people than I get overrun.
        My older Rossi would more suit the 179 of XDR. But the XDR seem to have a lot more rocker in front and back.
        I am not really experienced in skis like the XDR. I dont want to have a too short edge you know what I mean?

        BR
        Chris

      2. Hey Chris!

        You’re right to assume that skis with rocker in the tip and tail can usually be skied in longer lengths than full camber skis. Ultimately, however, the XDR 84 doesn’t use that much camber. I don’t think it’s enough to justify moving up a length if there’s no other reason, does that make sense?

        The 179 cm is still going to come up to around forehead height on you, so it’s not like that’s a super short length by any means. The 186 cm is going to be slightly taller than you, which can feel a little overwhelming to some skiers.

        We did a full review of the XDR 84 last season and the main tester, Bob, skied the 186 cm. He’s a little bit bigger than you and a very experienced skier, but I thought it might help you decide if you haven’t already seen it: http://www.skiessentials.com/Chairlift-Chat/2018-Salomon-XDR-84-Ti-Ski-Review

        SE

  51. Hello
    Thinking of getting this ski in 179 CM with either the XDR 88 TI with STH2 WTR 16 bindings or XDR 88 TI + WARDEN MNC 13 DEMO. at 6’4” 250 pounds and an expert skier what would you recomned. All my other ski are fatter and I have 16 DIN on all my other skis.

    1. Hey Jason!

      If I were you I would stick with the 16 DIN range bindings and go with the STH2 WTR 16. While the Warden MNC 13 Demo binding would work, you’ll get increased longevity thanks to better durability, not to mention a safer setup that will essentially eliminate potential pre-release. The peace of mind is worth it, in my opinion.

      SE

  52. Hi Guys

    I like your reviews. Thanks very much.

    Just interested in which length you would suggest for the XDR 88. I am similar in size to Steve and have skied for a long time. I love to carve on the smooth runs, disappear off in to the side powder when its available and play in the bumps when I can find them.

    I skied Vantage 90 CTIs this year but they got damaged so I need to change. They were 184. I liked them a lot but never thought of them as fun.

    Should I go 179 or 186?

    Cheers

    Phil

    1. Hi Phil!

      When you say you didn’t think of your Vantage 90 CTI as fun, do you think that had anything to do with length? Going with a shorter ski will boost maneuverability and could potentially up the “fun” factor.

      Steve was skiing on the 179 cm and found it to be plenty of ski for him. I think you would need to be really aggressive and like skiing at high speeds to really need to go with the 186 cm, and you’d lose some maneuverability and quickness regardless.

      What do you think?

      SE

  53. I skied on the Salomon 8.8 in 179CM last year and always felt like the factory binding location was a little back for my tastes. Any thought on mounting the new XDR 88?

    1. Hi Stephen!

      The XDR 88 has an updated rocker and sidecut profile (including some early taper) compared to the X-Drive 8.8. In our experience the mount point on the XDR 88 felt quite balanced and none of our testers felt the mount point should be moved. There is, of course, some personal preference in mount point, but we think Salomon did a great job with these new skis.

      SE

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