For 2020, Salomon is rolling out a new on-piste, front-side category called S/Force. Containing four models, the S/Force 9 is on the lighter side, but still is a poised and competent carver. The big changes include the edge amplifier technology that removes the vertical angles to get up on edge, giving you more leverage and thus “amplifying” your carves. They’ve also lightened the tips and made them better at absorbing vibrations. For intermediate and advanced skiers who are looking for an 80 mm underfoot front side carver, the 2020 Salomon S/Force 9 is a fantastic option. They’re light, nimble, and fun with a stronger-than-expected tail that locks you right in. Our testers like the overall composure of these new skis, with a majority commending the ski’s quickness and lightness.
Bob St.Pierre skied the 177 but would have preferred a longer setup. That’s not going to happen though in this model, as it tops out at the 177 cm length. Not surprisingly, Bob scored it a 4 out of 5 for quickness and maneuverability. “Super-quick and light. Tons of fun and is able to vary turn shapes.” For a ski with a 17-meter turn radius, it’s good to hear you can still open it up. Bob continues to say that the Salomon S/Force 9 is a “great all-around cruiser with a front-side personality.” The 2020 Salomon S/Force 9 is a great addition to the Salomon front-side family.
Also on the 177, Rick Randall found it to be a good length. With the exception of flotation, which received a 3 out of 5, the rest of Rick’s scores of 4 out of 5 speak volumes about the versatility and overall composure of this new stick. We’re always looking for skis that have a high average score, and skis that check similar boxes as opposed to having some high and some low scores. Rick’s scores of 4 indicate a well-rounded ski. “Very playful from edge to edge. Surprisingly a fun ski. Good edge hold, nice short to medium radius turns. Nice energy out of the ski from turn to turn.” It’s funny when testers get “surprised” by skis—either they had really low expectations or the ski is just that good. Either way, it’s fun to look for those reactions. In pegging a target audience, Rick recommends these skiers for “upper-intermediate to advanced level skiers.”
Michael Rooney also skied the 177 and found it to be the right size. He loved the stability and quickness of the S/Force 9, scoring it 5’s out of 5 in those categories. His score of 3 out of 5 for versatility isn’t that shocking given the 80 mm waist and forgiving flex. “The S/Force 9 is stable and pretty quick to come on edge. It forgives little mistakes nicely and smoothly. It is good for an up-and-coming intermediate as well as an upper-level intermediate skier.” When elaborating on the turn shape of the S/Force 9, Michael notes that they “make great, wide turns, too.” So even with the shorter turn radius, Michael was able to find comfort in much longer turns as well, indicating a compliant partner.
Skiing groomers is fun, and when you have the proper tools on your feet to enhance that experience, you should take full advantage. For intermediates and advanced skiers who are looking to lay their skis over and carve some slick turns, the new 2020 Salomon S/Force 9 is an awesome choice.