2020 Salomon QST 106

New/redesigned for 2020, the Salomon QST 106 is an awesome blend of float and power. For skiers who are looking to cover a wide variety of terrain and snow conditions, the QST 106 should be at the top of your list. For 2020, the skis got lighter and more maneuverable, which for a soft-snow ski, is a very good thing. The addition of cork to the tips and tails makes them have a lower swing weight and also decreases vibrations significantly. These big upgrades were not lost on our test team, and most of them found the 2020 QST 106 to be a capable and sturdy performer in most conditions.

Josh Wolfgang skied and liked the 181, but he’s a tall guy, so he could ski the 188 as well. He scored it a 5+ for versatility and a 4.5 for overall impression. The 3 out of 5 for edge hold and torsional stiffness is not a shock, as the wider you go, the more of that you lose. “This is a fun ski. It feels super-quick edge to edge and is extremely versatile. The cork in the tip does a good job damping the ski when carving on-piste while not adding weight.” Josh goes on to target these skis for “western one-ski quivers.”

Phil McGrory skied the 188 and liked the length. He gave top marks of 5 out of 5 for flotation and versatility and a 4 out of 5 for overall impression. So far, our testers love the versatility and overall feel of the new 106. “Great everyday driver. Stable once on edge. Very quick edge to edge for a ski in this class. Great flotation in soft snow.” Phil pegs the skis to be suitable for “advanced to expert skiers.” It’s always nice when we get caveat comments like Phil’s. When he calls them quick (for their width), that’s a good sign that skiers looking for a wide and versatile ski will like this 106.

Having a favorable opinion on the 188, Mike Thomas gave the ski mostly 5’s. The 4 for stability and forgiveness are still pretty high scores. Mike backs up his scoring with some pretty encouraging analysis. “This ski rips! Just a wonderful all-around ski for a large swath of the ski public. Easy to ski but dead-solid if pushed. I never felt like I found a limit on it but it was fun to play around on at different speeds.” It’s great to hear that skis have high-performance ceilings, and Mike’s a pretty fast skier, so that makes it extra-impressive. He concludes with some kudos: “Home run, Salomon!”

Another tool in the QST 106’s belt is its backcountry ability. Justin Perry took out a pair of 181’s with Salomon Shift bindings into the backcountry here in Stowe. His overall impression and quickness scores of 5 out of 5 are pretty awesome! “Took these bad boys out into the Stowe backcountry. Super light-weight going up and a do-anything ski on the way down. The ski feels more like a 96 underfoot and is easy to control. The rocker profile cuts through crud and powder with ease. Love this ski!” Great work by Justin there taking the ski off the beaten path and seeing what it can do. For backcountry skiers, this is a great choice.

The overarching theme of the new 2020 QST 106 is that it’s sublimely versatile (for a 106). There’s not a whole lot it can’t do, from front-side cruising to backcountry touring and everything in between. Our testers all had very high overall impressions of the ski, and that’s pretty rare to see these days, especially for a 106.

Testers

Mike Thomas

Age: 50Height: 6'3"Weight: 215 lbs.

Ski Style: Upright, fluid, nimble, and powerful

Phil McGrory

Age: 31Height: 6'0"Weight: 160 lbs.

Ski Style: Adventurous spirit in search of pow

Josh Wolfgang

Age: 23/24Height: 6'1"Weight: 190 lbs.

Ski Style: Fast and carvy with a love for the fall line

Justin Perry

Age: 29Height: 5'9"Weight: 167 lbs.

Ski Style: Aggressive all-mountain freeride

26 Comments on the “2020 Salomon QST 106”

    1. Hi Jonathan!
      The 106 feels burlier and more sluggish versus the active 104. They’re about the same weight, but the Enforcer has two sheets of metal for damping while the 106 has a mix of carbon, basalt, and flax. It’s a different feel for sure. If you’re looking to plow through powder, crud and chop all day long, the 106 is a great choice, but for more all-mountain skiing, the energy of the 104 is pretty impressive. Have fun!
      SE

      1. Am I reading this right?
        You are saying the Salomon QST 106 is more damp and stable and the Nordica Enforcer 104 Free is more lively and energetic?

      2. Slim,
        I suppose it’s all a matter of perspective and snow conditions, but the addition of cork in the tips and tails of the 106 further dampen the ski versus the older model. Not sure it it is technically damper than the E104, but I’m sure some skiers feel that way based on the material. In my experience, the 104 is livelier than the Salomon and has better edge grip, especially on harder snow. Hope that helps!
        SE

  1. I’m going to be buying the 2020 pst 106’s soon, but need some help on sizing. I currently ski 181cm 2018 qst 99’s with shift bindings. I’m 5’11” 215lbs and trying to decide if I should stick with 181’s or 188’s. I’m an advanced skier and will do about 70% resort non groomers and 30% touring on them. I live near Mt Baker and thats where I do most of my touring. Should I size up to the 188’s or will the 181’s be okay and give me enough float?

    1. Hi Austin!
      I’d stick with what you know and go with the 181’s. You’ll have increased surface area with the wider ski so I wouldn’t worry about flotation. My guess is that the 188 would be a bit cumbersome. Have fun!
      SE

  2. Hello,
    Thanks for the great reviews of the QST 99 and 106! I am looking at these two skis in a 167 or 174. I am 5.10 and about 160 lbs. I am an intermediate telemark skier finding myself advancing. I live and ski in upper Wisconsin and Michigan where we can get a fair amount of snow that can range from a wetter snow with storms to dry fluffy lake effect. We have some longer periods with hard condition (not generally ice) as we wait for next fresh snow. I might get one trip out to Montana every one to three years. I mostly ski powder sections or the edge of groomers if I am with family. The conditions can get quickly tracked and bumpy with our shorter runs. I don’t ski super fast or the steepest section at this point (and probably wont at my age ), but find that my speed is increasing with the growing comfort.

    I have been wanting a ski that can get close to a one ski quiver, but have been hesitant to say anything does all things well. The reviews allude to the 99 doing this or the 106 can do well on both but has the added advantage in the powder. I had been leaning toward the 106 in a 167 because it would give that extra enjoyment in powder or in the choppy sections and a little more maneuverability in with a shorter ski, but the reviews have me second guessing that the 99 may be better for me and then maybe moving up the the 174. I also considered getting the 106 for the powder periods and and another narrow all mountain ski like the 92 or 85 that would do better on hard older conditions and groomer, I just don’t want to loose too much performance in powder since I seem to always seek it out even when on groomers.

    I no there is no right answer, but could share your perspective on the type (99 or 106) of ski, length, and reality of a one ski quiver vs having two with what you have heard for my ski story?

    Thanks for you help!

    1. Hi Michael!
      If you’re going to have one, I’d go with the 99. I better like the idea of the 92 and the 106, as that’ll certainly cover all bases, but for a one-ski quiver, the 99 is the tool for the job. You’ll be pretty impressed with the versatility. I’d say based on your size and your application that you’re more of a 174 cm candidate, but if you prefer shorter skis, there’s nothing wrong with that either. Hope that helps!
      SE

  3. I am 5’7” 155lbs and deciding between QST 106 167cm or 174cm. Mostly riding groomed runs but occasionally trees and bumps. Which do you recommend? 167 or 174?

    How much of a difference would there be?

    Thanks.

    1. Hi Kenny!
      Not a ton of difference. The increase in maneuverability with the shorter length comes at the cost of less stability at speed with the 174. Your stats put you in the middle, so I’d recommend basing your decision on your level of aggressiveness and speed. Have fun!
      SE

  4. Hey There!

    Currently on the 2019 QST 99s w/shift bindings, live in CO, and do about 70%/30% resort to touring each season. I love the 99s performance, but am just looking for a bit more float on these handful of powder/softer snow days which is why I’m looking to potentially replace my 99s with either the ’19 106s or the new 2020 106s.

    Question 1) do you think I’ll see much difference between the 99s and 106 in terms of on and off piste to the point where I should outright replace my 99s with the 106s -OR- keep the 99s around for those groomer days? I could see my self getting used to the 106s and then my 99s end up collecting dust all season…

    Question 2) you guys have 2019 106s for $419 -vs- $750 for the 2020 106s. Now I’ve read a bunch about changes for 2020. Do you think these are worth the extra $330? I love finding the soft stashes and trees at the resort, but on weeks where it hasn’t snowed in awhile, I also love opening it up and ripping big turns on groomers.

    Any feedback or insight would be much appreciated!!!

    1. Hi Scott from Colorado!
      1. Keep the 99’s for groomer/low snow times. Definitely a better on-piste performer. If you like the 106 on the trail, all the better!
      2. The 2019’s we have are certainly an amazing deal. The 2020’s are a bit heavier but also more stable–they’re higher performance for sure. In fresh snow, you won’t see as much of a difference as in firmer or choppy snow. I’m not sure if it’s worth the extra 330, that more depends on how comfortable you are in your financial situation.
      Have fun!
      SE

  5. Hi – I have skied the on QST 106 the last three models years. Thinking about going back to the well and getting this new on with the Shift bindings for 75% resort / 25 % backcountry (Tahoe, BC, Utah). I am 6’3 195 and have been on the 181s. Feel like I probably should size up. Anyone think I will regret the trade in tight situations?

    1. Hi Josh!
      I’d say it depends on how many tight situations you find yourself in. They’re definitely not as quick but the stability at speed and flotation are all right there. I’m 6/2 220 and I would get the 188 if that helps! Have fun!
      SE

  6. Hi, I’m 55 around 255lbs and probably an advanced intermediate or more. I currently ski a Head ititan 177 which I love for stability at high speeds. At present I’m averaging about 30 days a year between Perisher in Australia and Beaver Creek/Vail. This year I’m doing a 5 week road trip from Heavenly to Snowbasin/Park City then down to BC/Vail With my kids 12&14. The trouble with my Head is they are too stiff in bumps/trees and submarine in powder in the Vail back bowls. Hence I’m looking at a second ski. The hit list is either Salomon QT106, Rustler 10, K2 Mindbender 99, the Enforcer 104 or Black Crows Artis for fresh powder days. I’m looking for a ski that can float in powder and yet not “throw me over the handle bars” every five minutes. Any suggestions?

    1. Hi Mark!
      Sounds like you’re looking for something that’s a bit stiffer but not too burly. The QST 106 and the Enforcer 104 should be at the top of your list. I’d put the K2 in the more all-mountain category, and the Rustler might be too light for your application. I’d reserve the Atris as more of a pure powder ski, but still a great choice, especially if you’re planning on keeping the Titan. At the end of the day, that Enforcer 104 is a pretty sweet ski. Have fun!
      SE

  7. SE — Like Jonathan above, I’m also considering QST 106 and Enforcer 104. It’s interesting in that the turning radius for the QST is 22m @ 181 and Enforcer is 18.5m @179. Based on this alone, one would think the Enforcer is “quicker” and more playful. Am I even close?

    Ken

  8. Hi- I am in the market for a new powder ski and I am torn between the 99 and the 106. I am 6’ 2” 205, advanced skier that spends most of my time on groomers but recently have had been exploring more off-piste skiing. My current groomer/low snow ski is the K2 Ikonic 84Ti in a 184 length. I skied the 2019 QST 99 in a 174 and 181 and loved everything about it. The 174 definitely felt better on my first few forays into powder, but I fear I’ll outgrow it quickly and may want the 181. Should I look towards the 99 or the 106, and would you suggest the 174 or 181?

    1. Hi Seth!
      I think if you’re building a two-ski quiver, your soft snow ski should be over 100. I think the 106 is a better complement to the K2 (I’m a huge fan of the 84 Ti). At your size and the fact that you’re on a 184, I’d look to the 106 in the 181. You’ll love it, especially if you liked the 99. For soft snow, that 106 eats it up. Have fun!
      SE

  9. Thinking of buying these. I live in Boston area but just came back from Powder Mtn Utah where I skied on the QST Ripper 156 (unaware they were kid skis!). I did like them a lot and am now confused what size to buy? I’m 5’4″ (145 lbs) advanced skier. My “old” skis for east cost skiing are size 166 . Do you recommend the QST 106 skis size 167 or possible the QST Ripper size 156?? Help!

    1. Hi Brad!
      The Salomon QST Stella 106 is the same as the regular QST, just with the ladies graphic. That comes in shorter sizes if you’re interested in that, as I think the 167 in the 106 would be on the long side. If you can find the 161 in that ski, I’d say that’s what you’re looking for. Have fun!
      SE

  10. Thanks for all you guys reviews including your youtube videos. So I need some help deciding.
    My daily driver is a 2018 QST99 181 cm length. I’m 5’11” and about 165 lbs. I bought the 2019 QST 106 in the 188 cm length thinking the additional float would be good for me. 🙁 Unfortunately I’m finding this thing to be way too cumbersome and hard for me to control. Not sure if I’m just a weakling or what. I want something more maneuverable in trees and tight areas. While I like some large surfy turns in the powder at high speed I want the flexibility to be nimble and quick in tight terrain. I’m probably an upper intermediate – lower advanced skier. Love powder and handle it pretty well. Rip groomers and carving. Suck at moguls but want to improve. A ski that is easy to throw seems like it might be good for me? I enjoy a variety from fast big open areas to small crowded areas with lots of quick turns. I do love the surfy feel of my 99’s in a few inches of snow going fast for reference.
    I’m wondering which route I should go?
    1. Get the 2020 QST 106 in 181 cm (It’s heavier so would that be harder to control, or would the increased rocker in the tail make it easier to pivot?)
    2. Get the 2019 QST 106 in 181 cm
    3. Get one of the these in the next size down?
    4. Look at an entirely different ski like the Soul 7 HD, etc. Although I’m wondering if I’d miss the QST feel since I enjoy my 99’s

    Thanks for the help.

    1. Hi Blake!
      I think you should stick with that 106 since you know the 99’s a good ski for you. I don’t think the new version is heavy enough to make it that much slower or harder to control. It’s just more stable. If you find the 2019 at a good deal though, I’d go that route. Both I’d say are good in the 181. I think the 188 is on the long side for sure. Have fun!
      SE

  11. I’m a high intermediate-low advanced skier, 5’11, and 140 lbs. I’m getting back into skiing after years of a break, I skied since I was a toddler and took a decade break. I hit the slopes this last season with my sister who’s an avid snowboarder (she grew up skiing) and she would concur on my ski level. I was suggested the QST from several shops but didn’t specify which QST to get.

    I don’t know what the differences between the 99, 106, and 92 skis are. Could you assist me in comparing them?

    1. Hi Isai!
      The numbers indicate the underfoot width, so the wider the ski, the better the float. The 92, the narrowest, is best for all-mountain skiing, especially on the front side of the resort–great at groomers, but also is versatile. The 99 has a bit more rocker to it as well as more width, so you’re getting better soft-snow compliance. Additionally, the 99 gets a basalt laminate which makes the ski heavier and more stable versus the 92. Best for true 50/50 skiing, both on and off-trail with more of an emphasis on powder and crud. The 106 takes the powder performance to the next level, with more of a rockered profile and a wider footprint. Depending on the conditions and terrain that you ski, I’d decide accordingly. If, at the end of the day you still can’t decide, get the 99. Take care!
      SE

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