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.