Take a full poplar wood core, add two sheets of metal, build in some tail rocker, and you've got the all-new Salomon Stance 102. These wide-bodied all-mountain skis are a brand new offering this year, and they act, feel, and ski just like an SUV. They're strong, burly, and stable, but they also remain agile and smooth. The two sheets of metal have cutouts in the forebody and tail, so it's not planky like some of the competition, but the overall theme and nature of the skis is one of strength and stamina. More specifically, they're like an SUV with a snowplow on the front-they love softer snow and shoving it out of the way. The built-in tail rocker is reminiscent of the QST 106 with a more abrupt bend to it when you hold them together de-cambered. This allows the stiff and burly nature of the ski to be complemented with a softer and more playful tail in the soft snow. On the hard stuff, it still holds pretty strong-not quite like some of the more front-side oriented wider skis, but that's not really what Salomon is going after. Our testers loved the stability and maneuverability of the skis, especially for a 102.
Rocker / Camber / Rocker
All Mountain, Powder, Big Mountain
Steve Sulin (on the 183) notes that "this is my most favorite model of the Stance line (96 and 90 being the others). The tip is a little softer - that helps with a quick start of the turn. The tail is stiff and rockered and will finish a turn great." In terms of preferred terrain and snow conditions, Steve says that they "love everything. They won't get bounced around and they plow through everything." And in terms of the fresh-looking base with an orange/red hue, Steve states that they "look awesome on the snow." Love it when the stars align! His 5 out of 5 for overall impression with the rest of the scores being 4's really says it all. Also on the 183, Bob St.Pierre was hoping to get a shot at the 190. "Imma hold out on my final opinion until the 190 becomes available. For the 183, however, it started to really take form when I opened it up on soft groomers. Felt like a tank, cruising over whatever's in front of it. Makes crazy trenches. The extra tip and tail rocker make it stand out in the 102 category." Bob specifically makes note of the tail rocker, as it makes the stable 102 more playful and well-suited to softer and fresh snow. Bob's scores of 4's out of 5 for flotation and stability are unsurprising.
Another 183 tester, Mike Aidala gave a top mark of 5 for stability, with the rest of his scores being 4's. These high-end grades speak volumes as the overall well-roundedness for these new skis. Mike notes that "the 102 mm underfoot is my preferred all-mountain ski width and the new Salomon Stance 102 skis did not disappoint. With the blend of wood and metal, these unique skis are all there while still not being dauntingly heavy from the metal. If you are an advanced to expert skier that likes to rail high-speed GS style turns and jump into the off-piste chop all in one run down the mountain, don't dismiss the new Stance 102 skis. The Stance 102 combines the versatility and ease of use of the QST line with the carving power of the XDR's (from Salomon)." It's that multiple-use type of personality that makes the Stance 102 such a formidable ski. It has the power to crank turns but also the nimbleness to dance through the trees, even tight ones like we have here at Stowe.
All in all, the new Stance 102 from Salomon is going to make a lot of advanced and expert skiers quite happy this upcoming season. The combination of power and playfulness is pretty rare and unique, and Salomon has got a good grasp of it in the 102.
Age: 41Height: 6'2"Weight: 215 lbs.
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Private: Brian Cooke
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Contributors: Brian Cooke.