2022 Salomon Stance W 88

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lengths: 154, 161, 168, 174 cm
radius: 17 m at 161 cm
sidecut: 120/88/102 mm at 161 cm
price: $ 599.99

The Stance W 88 from Salomon is a high-end women’s all-mountain ski designed for upper-level skiers who value stability, strength, and edge grip. In developing the Stance skis, Salomon set out to design a ski that would complement their existing QST models, which lean more towards soft snow use and have a lot of freeride influence in their performance. The Stance W 88 starts with a karuba and poplar wood core that’s enhanced by Salomon’s Metal Twin Frame technology. Sheets of titanal are laminated in a traditional sandwich construction method, although Salomon removes long rectangular sections of metal in the fore and aft section of the ski and replaces it with their patented C/FX material. This reduces swing weight, while retaining good torsional stiffness, responsiveness, and actually adding a little bit of energy into the ski’s performance. The Stance W 88 uses mostly camber in its profile shape, although there is some subtle rise in both the tips and tails. The slight rocker lines are paired with smooth early taper too. It’s not so much that it drastically reduces the effective edge, just gives the ski a smoother feel when initiating or exiting turns.

Rocker / Camber / Rocker
Karuba, Poplar
Dual Titanal Laminate
Metal Twin Frame, C/FX
All Mountain, Groomers, Powder

Carly Monahan tested the 161 cm length in the Stance W 88, which she liked for her size and ability level. She also commented that in general, they ski true to size, but did add that you can “Size up if you want to go faster or size down if you want to be extra nimble in trees or bumps.” Carly scored the Stance W 88 high for a lot of our criteria. In fact, we didn’t get a single score below 4 out of 5, which is indicative of a very well-rounded ski. Quickness/maneuverability and playfulness both actually bumped up to 5 out of 5 scores, which is somewhat surprising given the metal-clad construction, but is great feedback as it’s not something we’d necessarily expect. “The Stance 88 fits perfectly into the all-mountain category, so long as your days trend towards groomer runs vs powder days. Maneuverable and quick, happy swishing their tails but will bite in when you want them to.” That bite is certainly something Salomon designed the Stance for, and it’s nice to know that Carly found that edge grip to be sufficient given her comments on quickness and playfulness.

Ali Berlin skied the 156 cm length, which she mentioned felt a little short at high speeds on groomers, but was a fun length in tighter, tricky terrain. Despite skiing a shorter length, Ali was more impressed by the stability and edge grip of the Stance W 88 than most of our other testers. We got 5 out of 5 scores for both stability and torsional stiffness/edge grip, with playfulness and forgiveness actually dropping to 3 out of 5. It’s an interesting contrast from Carly, and supports the idea that ultimately, ski performance is subjective. Carly and Ali have different backgrounds and different styles, which affects their perception of ski performance. Ali is a ski instructor and is more comfortable achieving high edge angles in her carves than Carly, so perhaps she’s just finding another level of performance with her skiing. “These supercharged skis are super fun. They will literally plow through anything. They carve at high speeds and are quick to respond to change in direction or turn shape. A bit heavy in the bumps and trees and not as versatile off-piste, but in the choppy crud or spring skiing conditions you won’t be disappointed. Recommended for an advanced skier who is confident on the snow. 156 was a bit short. I could have gone longer.” Danielle Nichols skied the 161 cm length, which she succinctly mentioned was “too short.” That certainly played into her feedback, as Danielle didn’t quite find the stability she was looking for. Despite that, she still found merits in the ski’s performance stemming from stability, “pretty good in the thick soft snow. Surprising considering how small and short they are.” We would’ve loved to put Danielle on a longer length to see what she could do with it. Something to remember if you’re considering the Stance W 88. If you’re looking for power, don’t hesitate to size up as Carly mentioned earlier.

Despite having some varied feedback from our testers, we’re pretty confident in our assessment of the Stance W 88. It certainly belongs among high-end, powerful women’s all-mountain skis, but in that category, it’s actually one of the more playful and more forgiving options. That’s consistent with our findings on other Stance skis, regardless of men’s or women’s. You get the benefits of metal, good vibration damping, good edge grip, but a touch of maneuverability and playfulness that’s lost on some all-mountain skis with this much metal.