2019 Salomon Aira 76 St Women's Ski Image 2019 Salomon Aira 76 St Women's Ski Image 2

2019 Salomon Aira 76 ST Women’s Skis

The Salomon Aira 76 ST is an affordable carving ski for women. Instead of using carbon and metal, like some of the other Aira skis, it relies on a simple wood core for its performance. This brings the price down significantly and also makes the ski a little bit more forgiving. It has a softer overall flex than the Aira models with carbon, metal, or both, but it’s not like it’s using a dumbed down composite core. The poplar wood core gives the ski a solid feel and retain good torsional stiffness for holding an edge. It uses a relatively short turn radius ranging from 10 to 14 m, so it will make nice quick turns really easily.

Ann MacDonald tested the 160 cm length and gave the Aira 76 ST 5 out of 5 for playfulness and forgiveness. Those are the scores we’re looking for from skis that are targeting intermediate level skiers, and we think it’s fair to say that’s the focus of this ski. Ann described it as “lively” and “quick turning.” She also mentioned that it had a soft flex overall. We feel inclined, however, to highlight the fun factor in this ski as too often less expensive, intermediate oriented skis are passed up by skiers who probably would love skiing them. Ann, for example, is an accomplished skier with expert level technique, but she clearly had a blast skiing the Aira 76 ST. She ended her commented by saying that it’s “not super aggressive, but fun.” That’s exactly what we’re looking for!

Sometimes Kristi Brown writes very profound statements on her tests forms. The Aira 76 ST was one of those instances, “I started turning and the sun appeared!” So, what does she mean here? No, the Aira 76 ST does not have the ability to affect weather patterns, but it has a bright, fun, relatively exciting feel that will bring a smile to your face. Kristi described it as a “smooth operator.” Even though it lacks the metal and carbon found in the more expensive Aira models, Kristi still found it held an edge quite well, giving it the title of “Monday morning carving machine.” Kristi, like Ann, was also testing the 160 cm length.

Danielle Nichols had a similar reaction as Ann and Kristi. Keep in mind these are three women who can absolutely rip on skis. We put them on a more intermediate-oriented model and they all had a blast. Danielle described it as “super fun and playful, not too stiff.” Skis don’t always have to be the stiffest, strongest, most energetic out there. It’s about finding what’s right for you, and sometimes a softer flex is the way to go. Danielle gave the Aira 76 ST 5 out of 5 for playfulness, and 4 out of 5 for stability, quickness, forgiveness, versatility, and overall impression. Those are seriously impressive scores for a ski at this price point that’s approachable even for a beginner. The lowest score was for flotation, which makes sense, and it also got a 3 out of 5 for edge hold, which also makes sense as it’s not going to be as torsionally stiff as the Aira models with carbon, metal, or both. “Very versatile, would be a great ski for all abilities. Easy peasy.” We love that Danielle went there. Just because it’s user-friendly and easy to ski, doesn’t mean it’s just for beginners and intermediates. Anyone can enjoy its fun performance.

Skis like the Aira 76 ST are important because they focus mostly on the fun factor of skiing. That’s, after all, the whole point. Skiing is supposed to be fun. Don’t get a ski that will overpower you and don’t feel inferior if you’re not on the latest, most expensive model. The Aira 76 ST will take you all over the mountain, can link fun carving turns, and most importantly will keep a smile glued to your face.

Testers

Elissa DeGolyer Ski Tester Headshot

Elissa DeGolyer

Age: 29Height: 5'4"Weight: 150 lbs.

Ski Style: Precise, aggressive, extensive ski racing background

Ann MacDonald SkiEssentials Ski Test Headshot

Ann MacDonald

Age: 55Height: 5'1"Weight: 115 lbs.

Ski Style: Lots of style, grace, and power

Danielle Nichols SkiEssentials Ski Test Headshot

Danielle Nichols

Age: 41Height: 5'4"Weight: 150 lbs.

Ski Style: Fast fall line ripper

Kristi Brown

Age: 49Height: 5'9"Weight: 136 lbs.

Ski Style: Energetic, precise, very smooth and skis with a lot of finesse