Ski Reviews

2019 Salomon QST 106 Ski Review

2019 Salomon QST 106 Ski Review: // Ski Reviews


The Salomon QST line has emerged as one of the most versatile collection of skis on the market with waist widths ranging from 85 mm all the way up to 118 mm. They all have some freeride influence in their shape and performance and their construction is quite unique to Salomon. For 2019 Salomon has updated the construction of the QST line with a new version of their C/FX 3 material and the 99 and 106, which we're going to talk about here, also get a layer of basalt under the core of the ski.

We've done full reviews of both the 99 and 118 in the past, so check back to those reviews if you're unfamiliar with the collection, but we wanted to take some time to highlight the 106 and discuss its changes and the effects on performance. The QST 106 uses a full length poplar core and a strip of titanal that runs through the center of the ski that Salomon calls a Ti Power Platform. It also uses their proprietary blend of carbon and flax fibers woven both transversally and longitudinally. This material has been updated for 2019 and is designed to give the ski a little bit more power and stability. This is further supported by a new basalt layer that lies under the core of the ski. Only the 99 and the 106 get this new basalt layer, while all the QST skis get the new version of C/FX. We really like this construction, especially for a ski in the 106 mm waist width range, because it's impressively lightweight while still providing the support and performance needed for aggressive skiing. It doesn't result in a ski that's quite as damp as one that uses two full sheets of metal, but the blend of carbon and flax combined with the Ti Power Platform gives the ski a quieter feel than a lot of other skis that focus on carbon. We talked a lot about it in our review of the QST 99, and that feeling carries over to the 106, but now it feels a little more powerful and a little more energetic too.

2019 Salomon QST 106 Ski Review: : Ski Spec Image

The shape of the QST 106 is specifically designed to perform well in a variety of snow conditions. It uses camber underfoot with tip and tail rocker. The tip rocker is longer than the tail rocker by a fairly substantial amount, which really helps with float in deep snow. It also has quite a bit of early taper, which again is slightly more pronounced in the tip. This early taper isn't abrupt, however. It's rather smooth and gradual, which really seems to translate to a smooth, gradual, predictable feel in soft snow, which we'll get to more when we discuss performance. It's not super high-rise rocker profile either, so the ski doesn't have a drastically short effective edge.

We've tested the 2019 QST 106 in a variety of conditions now. You may have noticed us skiing on it when we reviewed the new Salomon Shift AT binding. We had a couple pairs of the QST 106 with the Shift binding, and also a pair with a special see-through graphic where you can really see the details in construction that was mounted with a Warden 13. We've been on it on firm groomer days, choppy skied-out conditions, and most recently on a very deep powder day at Stowe. The performance is impressive across a wide variety of terrain and snow conditions, but something that keeps arising in the ski's performance is its smooth, predictable, freeride feel.

On groomers that Ti Power Platform, the wood core, the C/FX, and the new basalt layer all work together with the ski's camber profile to deliver somewhat surprising performance. For a ski that's relatively lightweight and 106 mm underfoot it can link carving turns really well and holds an edge quite well too. No, it's not a carving ski by nature, but its performance on groomers is pretty darn impressive. We mentioned the same when reviewing the 99, but the basalt and new version of the carbon and flax weave really does seem to make a difference in terms of power, edge grip, and overall torsional stiffness. It also boosts the ski's responsiveness and energy. It's a more enjoyable experience skiing the 106 on firm snow now. Not that the old version wasn't fun, but this new construction really takes it to the next level. Some of our testers thought it was practically night and day from 2018 to 2019, even though the ski largely remains the same. That basalt and the new carbon and flax construction really have made a significant difference.

In un-groomed terrain and softer snow conditions it's still an absolute blast, just like the previous version. Because it's relatively lightweight it's easy to maneuver. We recently skied the QST 106 at Stowe during this crazy 3-day storm we're experiencing right now. There was about 18 inches of fresh snow to start the day, although Stowe does get tracked up pretty quickly. To start the day I was skiing a longer, wider, heavier powder ski, but after the first two runs I switched to the QST 106 in a 181 cm length. For reference I am about 5'10" and somewhere in the 150-160 lbs range. While it was fun skiing deep snow on my heavier, wider, longer skis, the QST 106 was way easier to ski for me, much more maneuverable, and allowed me to ski some tighter trees than I wanted to on my other skis. It feels so quick for a ski this wide, especially in soft snow and tight terrain. I found it super easy to flick the ski side to side, which is really valuable here in Vermont because our terrain is steep and technical at times. Although things were getting a little tracked out by the time I got on the QST 106, there were still pockets of deep snow to be found. I really like the way the QST 106, and the rest of the line for that matter, reacts to deep snow. The 106 in particular lets you sink a little bit into the powder, but does it in a very gradual, predictable way, which goes back to how I described the tip shape. You may be able to see it on some of the POV footage in the video that goes along with this article. You can change your weighting to get the tip to dive or float pretty much on command, which gives it a really confidence inspiring feel in tricky terrain.

2019 Salomon QST 106 Ski Review: Marcus Wide Image

Because it feels so lightweight I also wanted to test the ski's stability and its ability to ski fast through choppy snow conditions. I was pretty impressed by the QST 106 when skiing more aggressively in open terrain. It definitely surpassed my expectations for stability. At times if I hit something really firm when going fast one of the skis would get deflected a little bit, but it was really easy to recover from those situations, which I think is a good way to think about this ski in general. It performs at a high level, can rip and go fast when you want to, but is also pretty forgiving if you happen to find your weight in the backseat or make a mistake. It doesn't punish you, but there's enough feedback from the ski to let you know when you're skiing poorly. It's not the heaviest, most powerful ski for charging down choppy snow conditions, but it certainly can do it.

We think the QST 106 would make a great choice for a lot of skiers. For some people it could even be a dedicated powder ski. It's definitely approachable for a pretty wide range of skiers. You don't need to be an expert to enjoy skiing it, although experts certainly will appreciate its maneuverability and lightweight feel and I can pretty much guarantee you'll be surprised by its stability at speed and power on firm snow. Something that came up in conversation during our testing was how versatile this ski with a Salomon Shift binding would be. Definitely light enough to tour on, but when you're skiing a resort it just feels like a high performance all mountain freeride ski. We expect to see quite a few skiers next season on a combination of a Salomon QST and a Salomon Shift. Always deep snow? You could bump up to 118. Not much soft snow where you live? The 99 would be an excellent AT/resort ski as well.

2019 Salomon QST 106 Ski Review: : Buy Now Image

2019 Salomon QST 106: Ski Test Image


 

Written by Jeff Neagle on 3/15/18

72 thoughts on “2019 Salomon QST 106 Ski Review

  1. Hi again Guys.
    I have been posting on the Rustler 11 topic recently as to which ski would suit me between the 10 & 11.
    I skied the old QST 106 in a 174 in Fernie back in March and had a real blast on it but I did not think it would be that great for European groomers. After watching your review on the 2019 version, I immediately perked up. So a couple of questions please.
    This ski seems an overall improvement on the previous 106. If I enjoyed that ski, would I enjoy this one even more?
    How does it compare to the Rustler 10? (not had the chance to ski this)?
    When would these be available for purchase to the general public?

    Thanks in advance

    1. Hi Stacey!

      Yep, I do think it's an overall improvement on the previous 106. I would say anyone who liked it previously will like this new version more. A little bit more stable and more responsive, definitely more rewarding on groomers.

      In my opinion the Rustler 10 feels a little bit more playful. The rocker rises a little higher and more abruptly than the QST 106 and the tips and tails feel more supple on the Rustler 10. They're definitely similar in terms of performance and what they accomplish, but a slightly different feel between the two. The Rustler 10 is almost two different skis in one with the metal underfoot and softer tips and tails, while the QST 106 feels more like one single entity in terms of feel from tip to tail. I'm not saying one of those is better than the other, but it does feel that way when you ski them.

      The QST 106 should be available for purchase later this summer, likely in August.

      SE

      1. Hi Sam,

        The production color is the maroon, burgundy color. I talk about it a little bit in the video. That white and yellow graphic is a "shop" graphic, which helps show the construction through the transparent top sheet.

        SE

  2. Thanks for the input once again. I really like the fact you guys are so active on these boards.
    Shame about the shop graphic, its a sexy look!
    Would you say the previous 106 was a playful ski? When i skied it, i found I just wanted to have fun on it I am really interested in your thoughts on that.
    Definitely like the thought of the 181 ski length. I am about 5'11 and a half and 185 pounds, Would you say they ski sure or short? I think the 188 would probably be too long for me.
    Apart from the shift bindings, which bindings would you recommend on them?

    Thanks again. Keep up the awesome work.

  3. How does the flex compare on the 2019 vs the 2018? I spent a day on the 2018 QST 106 @188 cm and really enjoyed it. One of the things I particularly liked was the relatively soft flex profile. The ski felt extremely good in soft snow and while there was a bit of tip flapping at high speeds, it didn't cause concern - the ski felt pretty stable. I wonder if the 2019 model still retains that soft, playful flext profile.

  4. Hi guys!

    I have been riding the Q118 for the better part of the season until a lost one in to much pow 😛 I generally loved it but still miss the directnes of a simple big rocker ski. Now as a partial season replacement I got my hands on the now discontinued MTN LAB ski. Since that one has almost no proper rocker and is really stiff I am a bit worried that this feel would be transferred to the new Q106. What I am worried about is the performance in hardpack top crust conditions and heavy snow. Sure the MTN lab is great for deep pow days but for steep hardpack and crud crust it is not usable. In short the MTN Lab has no playfulness and is far to unforgiving.

    As I am looking to replace my lost Q118 with another with shift binding as the guardian is EOL I would be interested what you think the stiffnes might do in complicated conditions. As for now my MTN Explore 95 with the salo pin binding has become my go to gun fur technical and complicated conditions. Still for super speed culi runs it lacks the weight. If the new Q106 picked up that stability caracteristic from the MTN Explore and kept the rocker characteristic from the Czar or Rocher2 I would love to give it a go...

    1. Hi again Stacey!

      Yes. To me the whole QST line has some playfulness to it. I really talked about it in depth in our QST 99 review from a while back. They have this combination of quickness, playfulness, yet some dampness and the ability to "slarve" a turn that's quite unique. I agree, they have a distinct "I just want to have fun" feel.

      I think the 181 cm would be a great length for you. I am slightly smaller than you, but barely, and definitely think the 181 cm is the right length for me. I tested the longest length in the QST 118 last year and it was kinda silly. I skied a 188 cm QST 106 briefly, but definitely prefer the 181 cm.

      On a ski with this performance and this width I like a binding with low stand height and a wide footprint. The Tyrolia Attack 13 has become one of my favorites. We mount a lot of Marker Griffons on freeride skis too.

      Hope that helps!

      SE

      1. Hi Jeff!

        While the 2019 version does feel more stable at speed and more responsive, the overall flex pattern is pretty similar. It's not noticeably stiffer in my opinion. It definitely still is a blast in soft snow and still has that playful nature that you felt when you skied the 2018. In my opinion they didn't take anything away from its performance, just boosted responsiveness on firm snow and stability at speed.

        Hope that helps!

        SE

        1. Hi Shane!

          Nope, I don't believe the white graphic will be available for sale anywhere. I suppose maybe if you know someone who knows someone, but I don't think Salomon actually made very many.

          SE

          1. Hi Corben!

            The QST 106 is going to feel a lot more like your QST 118 than the MTN Lab. It definitely has a much softer overall flex and a more forgiving feel. It's not as rockered as the 118, but much more rocker than the MTN Lab. It's not quite the same rocker profile as the Rocker2, but closer to that than the MTN Lab for sure. This new construction definitely boosted stability without making the ski significantly stiffer. It's still a fun, relatively playful flex. From the sounds of it I think you'll really enjoy its performance and I think a QST 106 with a Shift binding on it is an ideal ski and binding combination.

            Hope that helps!

            SE

  5. Hi,
    I'm 6'1 155, Advanced - Expert level, 95% off piste. I get stuck between picking a ski that matches my height or my weight. So I'm really interested in this ski, it sounds light, but damp. I just spent 3 days on the Line Sick Day 104 at 186 which, at least on paper, is comparable. The Sick Day was fun but felt too 'carbony' for me, skittish in harder snow, it didn't give me confidence when pushing it. I'm looking for the one ski quiver that can be fun both in the frozen morning and soft afternoons on extreme terrain in the spring.

    Thanks.

    1. Hi Aaron!

      I know exactly what you mean about the "carbon-y." I don't like that feel either, and that's one of the reasons why I've been so impressed by the QST line these past few years. They have effectively gotten rid of that carbon feel. The ski doesn't feel like it gets deflected off every little imperfection in the snow, yet it's still quite lightweight and has excellent torsional stiffness (which is what I consider one of the biggest benefits of carbon). I think you'll find the QST 106 has that stable, confidence inspiring feel you're looking for, while still being lightweight.

      Hope that helps!

      SE

  6. I´m an advanced /expert skier and like to charge and also want a kind of playful ski at the same time.

    Think the new more stable QST106 will be a perfect ski with the shift binding for me.

    Today I ski the Volkl 100Eight 181 cm.
    What I like about this ski and the older mantra ski is that they are very stable when you ski choppy snow conditions. But as the same time I want a playful ski which I think the 100Eight ski is.

    Based on this I need some help to choose which length would be best for me 181 or 188?
    I´m 5.9 and have a weight of 189 pounds.

    Thanks for a great review!

    1. Simon,
      Both are great skis for sure! In terms of length, I'd go with the 181 based on your height and weight. If you like the playful character of the ski, the shorter length will allow you to control the ski a bit more. The 188 would probably be a bit too long. Hope that helps!
      SE

    1. Hi Iacopo!

      Pretty much true to size. If you measure in a straight line from tip to tail the 181 cm measures about 180 cm and the 188 cm measures about 187 cm, but if you measure the running length of the actual edge, including the curves for rocker and tip shape, it measures out to 181 and 188 cm respectively.

      How much do you weight? How aggressive do you consider yourself? Ski fast? Where do you ski most often?

      Let me know and I'll let you know my thoughts on length!

      SE

  7. How would you say these compare to the new 2019 Atomic Backland 107's? I almost pulled the trigger on the QST's last year, but then read up on some reviews of the Backlands and actually talked with someone that said they would take those any day over the QST's since they were a bit more stable at high speeds. But now, both companies have changed up the skis, so I feel like I'm back at square one, not knowing which direction to go in.

    For reference, I'm 6ft, 165 / 170, and most of my skiing is done in the Tahoe area. I ski aggressively but not looking to just straight line it down the mountain either... would much rather have fun in the trees searching for stashes of pow, something that can handle the steeps, but also doesn't seem totally out of line cruising a groom at less than race speeds (I don't always have the luxury of getting out right after a storm .. sometimes have to deal with what's there, unfortunately). Currently riding 2011 4frnt MSP's, so I'm desperate for something new that doesn't feel like I'm fighting against it the entire time I'm not on hardpack.

    Thanks!!

    1. Hi Steve!

      In my opinion the Backland 107 has more of a freeride/freeski/backcountry freestyle influence in its design than the QST 106. I also think the shape of the Backland 107 is more focused on soft snow performance than the QST. It uses more pronounced rocker and early taper in both the tips and tails, which gives it a fun, maneuverable feel in soft snow. The level of stability at speed between the two is relatively similar now.

      My instincts are that you'd prefer the Backland 107, based on your preference for having fun in the trees and searching for pow slashes. It can still handle some firm snow days just fine too. The QST 106 feels a little more responsive when linking turns on firm snow, but it doesn't sound like that's a huge concern for you?

      Hope that helps!

      SE

  8. Hi!
    First of all, thanks for your work!

    Can you help me a bit with decision between this QST 106 and 99 model (this year ones)?
    I want balanced 50/50 ski, which can be comfortable and fun to float in powder and can do good job on piste on high speed. I like maneuverable skis over extremly stability, bad don't want to have too hard response on bumps. I'm not an aggressive off piste, but like to be fast on groomers.

    I don't need the fastest (it's of course about much heavy skis) or best in pow (it's of course about much wider once) ski, but want to have well balanced onces.
    Is 99 much more stable and overall better on piste than 106?
    And is 99 is ok in pow or it's too narrow for medium deep pow?

    Thank you in advance!

    1. Hi Stepan!

      If you're looking for a balanced 50/50 ski I would go with the QST 99. In my opinion the 99 has a more even mix of performance characteristics across different terrain and snow conditions than the 106. The 106 starts leaning more towards a freeride/soft snow ski. They're similar in performance overall, but that 7 mm difference in width makes a difference.

      The 99 isn't necessarily more stable on on-piste, but it is quicker edge to edge. More responsive and you're going to link turns more quickly and more smoothly on the 99. The 99 is also still really fun in powder. Sure the 106 has a little more float, but the 99 still feels really good in soft snow. For most people the 106 will be better as a compliment to a narrower all mountain ski, rather than a do-everything, one-ski-quiver type ski.

      Hope that helps!

      SE

    1. Hey Jon!
      You get a similar shape with the two skis, but the QST will be more maneuverable due to the construction. The Metal is a pretty "standard" twin tip with more of a freestyle/freeride personality while the QST is more all-mountain. The Metal has that strip of titanal that runs the length of the ski while the QST has titanal underfoot. If you're looking for a more directional ski, then the QST 106 is your stick. Hope that helps!
      SE

    1. Hi Shane!
      Fair comparison! You'll find that these skis have more similarities than differences. The K2 has a longer tip rocker profile, so the deep snow performance will be a bit smoother. The K2 is also a bit burlier, with more metal overall than the QST from tip to tail, so I'd give it a slight edge when busting through choppy snow and even hard pack. The QST has a bit of an advantage in trees and moguls due to the lighter and more maneuverable tips and tails. Salomon uses a bunch of different materials to ensure a lower swing weight, so you'll see that pay off when you need to make quicker and tighter turns. But overall, they're pretty similar, just with a few minor differences. Both are great soft snow skis.
      SE

  9. Hi SE,

    I want to buy a pair of ski with the Salomon/Atomic shift biding to do some backcountry and ski in resort. I ski in the East (Quebec) but I spend also some time (around 2 weeks) in the West (Banff area)
    I'm interested in the QST 106 but also in blizzard Rustler 10 and the Atomic Bent Chetler 100 all in the size 181cm. Maybe I should consider a taller size
    I'm 6'0 225 lb, my level is advance and I love to ski mogul and glades

    If you can give some advise it would be great.

    Regards

    Jerome

    1. Hi Jerome!
      I think you're in the ballpark in regards to length, especially if you are doing some backcountry, moguls, and glades. You'll appreciate the maneuverability of the "shorter" lengths. Of your list, the Blizzard Rustler 10 is the stiffest and highest performing ski. This one will allow you to ski anything from hardpack to fresh snow and everything in between. I'd peg the Atomic and the QST as more "soft" snow skis, as they are lighter and more flexible than the Rustler. That's not to say they are bad for what you want, and maybe even better suited. The Atomic is the most "freeride" oriented and has the most playfulness. The QST is the widest, and will therefore float the best. It has its strength underfoot, with lighter and more maneuverable tips and tails. This makes you have to think about your balance point, especially on-piste. There's no bad choice on this list, but if you're going to be doing a fair amount of backcountry, the QST has the edge in the climbing category. Have a great winter!
      SE

  10. Hi Aaron,

    Thanks so much for all great work you do for the ski community. Was curious to know what you would recommend if you were to stay within Salomon family of skis (QST 92/99/106, N NFX, and N TNT). Most of my skiing throughout the year is done at Bridger Bowl and Big Sky, but might get a few trips to Silverton or a Colorado resort in the next years. I'm 5'8, 197 lbs, and would consider myself advanced/expert and like to spend my time of my time off piste and a little bit of time in the terrain park when conditions call for it. However I still need a ski that responds well dealing with the icy crud and steeps found on the Peak and Headwaters at Big Sky. I'm currently leaning towards the 174 in the QST 99/106 (instead of 181), as the shorter size would give me a little more playfulness, but wanted to know your thoughts? Do you think 99 or would be any better playing around on jumps/cliffs then the 106 or is it mostly negligible? Thank you in advance for your feedback.

    -Jonathan

    1. Hi Jonathan!

      In my opinion, considering where you live and that you like to spend most of your time off-piste, I would go with the 106. You'll get a little more float and a little better stability through choppy snow conditions, which I would imagine you encounter fairly often. I don't really think the 99 feels more playful than the 106, they really feel very similar in almost all applications. Yes, the 99 is quicker edge to edge, but I think you'd value to performance of the wider ski over the quicker edge to edge feel of the 99. You'll be able to play around in the park on it too, but realistically if you're serious about the park you should look into adding an inexpensive, narrower twin tip to your quiver too. Something you can beat up and not worry too much about. You can often find discounts on past year park skis.

      Hope that helps!

      SE

  11. Hey I have a sizing question for you guys. I'm a pretty small dude (23 years old 170 cm 130 lbs) and was trying to decide between the 167 and the 174. I was wondering if I should size up to the 174 because of how light they are as well as the tip/tail rocker. I'm an advanced skier who likes to get into the trees in Colorado so I am inclined to think the 167 would be better but was wondering if these ski short or if there would be that much of a noticeable difference between the two sizes given I'm right between them. Thanks!

    1. Hi Joe!

      I'd go with the 174 cm. The QST 106 is relatively lightweight and really quite easy to maneuver. The 181 cm is about the same amount taller than me as the 174 cm is to you, and I really really like the 181 cm length. I'm a little heavier, but not much at 150 lbs. In my opinion if the 181 cm feels right to me, the 174 cm is going to feel right to you. When I imagine you on a 167 cm, it feels pretty short.

      Hope that helps!

      SE

  12. Great reviews and videos on your site. In the QST 106 video you mentioned that you tested the 181s with Shift bindings. Perhaps it was just the angle of the follow-cam, but it appears that the binding is mounted fairly close to center, perhaps even ahead of the recommended line. Can you comment on where you mounted the Shift on the 106?

    I'm 6-1 195lbs and ski the QST 118 in a 192 and love it for deep days out west. The 106 would be for touring out West and daily driver on the east cost. Do you think the 181cm would ski too short?

    Thanks!
    Ben

    1. Hi Ben!

      It must just be the angle; those bindings were mounted right on the factory recommended line.

      For length, it depends how aggressive you are. I don't necessarily think the 181 cm would be too short, that's only a few cm shorter than you after all. If, on the other hand, you're a really aggressive skier and like to ski really fast, I'm sure you could handle the 188 cm QST 106, especially considering you're skiing the 192 cm QST 118. Just remember the 118 uses a lot more rocker than the 106.

      Hope that helps!

      SE

  13. Hi SE,
    I've been putting in a bunch of research on the QST 106s, Black Crows Atris, and Faction Candide 3.0s. I'm trying to figure out which will suit my skiing best. I'm 22 yrs old, 6'4 220lbs and spend most of my time off-piste. Love playing around hitting natural features w the boys, then race down some groomers back to the lift. Born and raised on the East Coast, take a few trips per year out West, looking for something for the deep days out here and a one ski quiver to bring out west. All the skis seem great, having a little trouble finding the differences in performance between them. Gonna slap some Shifts on em to give myself the option to do some short tours. Thanks!

    1. Hi Dan!

      It's been a few years since I skied a Candide 3.0, but I did get on the Black Crows Atris during a test day last year. I personally would go with the QST 106 if I were you. Great in powder, super fun for natural hits, but in my opinion its groomer performance and overall versatility sets it apart from the Faction and Black Crows, especially for someone your weight. Salomon's construction is impressive. Blending carbon, metal, flax, and wood results in a pretty unique feel. Responsive and playful, but still smooth and stable at speed. Also, the Shift on a QST 106 is a pretty perfect setup. Salomon designed those products to work together, and honestly I had a ton of fun on a QST 106 with a Shift. Just feels like such a good setup overall. For length, I'd definitely go 188 cm.

      Hope that helps!

      SE

  14. Hi Thanks for the great review. I'm curious on your thoughts of the QST 106 vs the Volkl 100eight, or Black Crows Corvus? I would say 75% resort and 25% backcountry and would have the new Shift binding with them. I don't like skis where the tip flaps around and lots of rocker in the tail. I demoed the Rustler 11 and didn't like it for example and not a fan of the Cochise which felt like two boards that don't turn at the other end of the spectrum. I'm 47 but used to race in high school still like to charge with a stiffer tail even in a 105 to 110 type ski. It sounds like the QST would be better in powder but which would you prefer on icy terrain with grip if in the backcountry still get these conditions. Thanks!

    1. Hi Andy!

      So, in general, the stiffer the ski, the harder it's going to be to turn. The Cochise, for example, is a stiff, powerful ski. You wont get tip flap out of it, but that also makes it more demanding. The Rustler 11 has a lot of tip and tail rocker, so I'm not totally surprised you didn't like that ski. The QST 106 could be a good blend for you. More stable, less tip flap than the Rustler 11, but also less demanding than a ski like the Cochise. Lighter, softer-flexing, easier to turn, etc, but still pretty stable at speed. The 100Eight does have more torsional stiffness in my opinion, and holds an edge on ice really well, but its reverse camber shape gives it quite a unique feel. I get the impression you'd like the feel of the QST more than the 100Eight. The Corvus is essentially flat, which like the 100Eight also gives it a unique feel. I personally like the energy that comes along with camber, but everyone is different.

      Hope that helps!

      SE

  15. Hi, I am currently skiing 2013 Volkl Gotama at 186. What I like about them is the versatile turn radius, the way they carve and soft snow performance. I would like to upgrade with a rocker-camber-rocker profiled ski. I am 5'10" and 200 lbs, advanced (ski doubles at Jackson), like to ski fast but not all the time, I currently have M5 Mantras and Kendos as my other skis. Salomon QST 106 sounds like it may be a good upgrade? Any thoughts or suggestions would be appreciated.

    1. Hi Rocco!

      You definitely get versatile turn capability out of the QST 106. Pretty easy to release the tail edge, and you can also gas pedal it and shorten up the carving turn radius with a high edge angle and some skier input. Super fun ski, definitely an upgrade over your Gotamas. I'm about your height, a little lighter, and I usually prefer skiing the 181 cm. You shouldn't need to go longer, unless you're really aggressive or are always skiing super deep snow. Nordica Enforcer 104 Free or 110 Free would also be good ones to check out. Rocker/camber/rocker, a little more stability than the QST, but still versatile. QST is more maneuverable, Enforcer is stronger.

      Hope that helps!

      SE

      1. Hi Altabird!

        The QST feels a little lighter on your feet. A little easier to throw around. The Enforcer 104 Free feels more stable at speed, has better vibration damping, and overall is more powerful. It's still a maneuverable ski in off-piste terrain, but it feels a little heavier and requires more skier input to get it to pivot, smear, etc.

        Hope that helps!

        SE

  16. I'm interested in the 106 but am on the fence about the 2018 model to the 2019 model. Is the improvement a huge difference? Should I save the money and get the 18? Or will I be happier with the 19?

    1. Hi Chris!
      It's a pretty big difference. At our test, everyone commented on the upgrade in performance, specifically with the QST 99 and 106. The extra Basalt layer certainly adds a performance boost. If you're heavier or a hard charger, you'll notice and appreciate the 2019. Hope that helps!
      SE

  17. Hi SE,

    Great review! I have been doing a lot of research on new skis ranging from 94 to 106 underfoot for a on quiver ski. I live on the east coast, but spend a week out West every year. I always rent based off the conditions when I go out West, but I have decided to purchase a wider ski that I can build confidence on and not have to adjust to a a different new ski each time I rent. I consider my self an advanced to expert skier who skis 70% on-piste and 30% off (always searching for the powder and good trees). I am searching for a light playful ski that is easy to maneuver and can handle anything while building confidence (I know, a lot to ask for). I have been looking really hard at the Elan Ripstick 96 and 106 (preferably the black editions). How does the QST 106 compare to the ripstick? Would the 106 be too wide for 70% groomers or the 96 to narrow for powder?

    Thanks!

    1. Hi Brad!

      In my opinion, considering you split your time about 70/30 on/off-piste and that you live on the east coast, 106 feels a little wide as a true daily driver. Some skiers do go that wide for an every day ski, so I don't think you need to totally rule it out, but in my opinion that width, for an eastern skier, is more like 70/30 off/on-piste. Does that make sense? If you want to maximize versatility, I think that Ripstick 96 Black Edition would be a fantastic choice. 106 just starts to feel a little slow edge to edge on firm snow, and does require a higher edge angle. The QST and Ripsticks (especially the Black) actually performs pretty similarly. Light, responsive, and actually fairly stable at speed too. The benefit of the 96 is it's quicker edge to edge and isn't going to require the same high edge angle. In my opinion, 96 is still plenty wide for powder days, especially considering the rocker and early taper shape of the Ripstick. What do you think?

      SE

  18. SE,

    Thanks for the quick response! You may have just sold me on the Ripstick 96. I think you are right, the narrower width will suite me well. I know this is a QST thread, but do you have any further knowledge about the Ripstick black edition 96? Or possible another ski I should consider? I was condsidering the Rustler 9 as well. Also, I am 5'11" 180lbs. My dedicated east coast narrow ski is 174 cm (have had them for quite a long time). I was thinking 180 cm for a wider ski?

    Thanks!

    1. Hi again Brad!

      The Ripstick 96 Black is great. Still pretty lightweight, but the extra carbon gives it more torsional stiffness, more stability, more energy out of a turn, etc. Really feels like it would be a great ski for you. Rustler 9 might be a little too narrow, although I guess that depends which length you got as the width is graduated. Still, the performance of the Ripstick just feels like it aligns really well with what you're looking for. For length, I do think you could go 181 cm. The Ripstick uses quite a bit of rocker, especially in the tip, which makes it more manageable in longer lengths.

      SE

  19. Thanks for a great review! I also have a length question.

    I'm 6'4" but skinny -- maybe 170 pounds. I ski an 88 mm X-drive at 184 cm and have spent several days at QST 118 at 185 mm. I'm in Colorado and spend a lot of my time in mid-angle trees and bumps and variable-condition near-piste/off-piste.

    I haven't had any stability problems at 185 length, but I'm wondering whether to go longer or shorter with this QST 106. A little more maneuverability would be nice, but I do like to ski fast through chewed-up crap.

    Your thoughts much appreciated!

    1. Hi Andrew!
      I think the 188 is the way to go. You'll appreciate the extra stability, and since they're not particularly heavy or cumbersome, you'll still get the nimble nature that the skis are great at showcasing. They're maneuverable by nature, so I wouldn't fight it!
      SE

  20. Hey SE Team,

    did you already see or drive the QST 106 from 2020? Is there a big difference to 2019s model? Do you know what are the differences between 19 and 20?
    Thanks and have fun,
    Dennis

  21. Hi SE,

    I'm a CA skier who mainly skis in the Tahoe area. I love to rip a groomer even if its a little icy. However, I'm always in the pursuit of powder/soft snow, even if that means skiing a lot of crud and tracked out powder.
    I'm currently deciding between the QST 99 & 106, Ranger 102 FR, and the Liberty Origin 106. Any advice? (also is it worth waiting for 2020 skis?)
    I wouldn't consider myself an aggressive skier in soft snow, but do like to let it rip on the hard stuff. I'm 6'5 170 lbs so I already know i'm going with a long ski.

    Thanks!
    CC

    1. Hi Dennis!
      Our marketplace manager has been doing some backcountry touring on the 106 with a Shift binding. There's a bit of difference, as the overall shape is a bit more directional with a flatter tail. They've added some cork material underfoot to dampen vibrations, and from all accounts, it seems to work. The overall differences are pretty small, so I'm not sure if it's worth holding out for the 2020 if you can get a 19. Hope that helps!
      SE

  22. Hi SE,

    I'm a 52yo 6'2" 230# intermediate skier in the NW (Mt Hood Meadows, Mt Bachelor). I mostly ski blues and I'm learning to ski the steeper stuff, and I like to ski in the powder but I'm still developing there as well. I own a pair of 177cm Rossi Experience 77. On powder days they are no fun for me so I'm looking for something new. We had some good powder this last weekend and I skied a pair of 185cm Blizzard Cochise (all that the rental place had for me in a wider ski). They were very fun and great on the blue runs in the powder, but a little bit too much for me on black runs in the steep powder. I did love the way they blasted down the mountain on the blue runs. I'm thinking a pair of Nordica Enforcer 110 at 185cm, or maybe these QST 106 at 188cm. Any thoughts on these or other options?

    Thanks,

    -Jeff

    1. Hi CC!

      I think you'll really like the stability of the Ranger 102. The QST 99 is a very nice ski as well, but the metal of the Ranger is pretty sweet, and certainly holds up to icier conditions better than the non-metal QST line. Same can be said for the Origin, which is better suited to softer snow much like the QST's. The Ranger plows through crud and chop pretty nicely, and it's a really versatile ski. Hope that helps!
      SE

      1. Hi Jeff!
        The QST 106 is a more playful ski than the Enforcer 110, which has two sheets of metal and is pretty burly for a powder ski. You do, however, have the size to drive the 110. It'll perform more like the Cochise than the QST 106. I'd recommend the QST over the Enforcer for you, and for comparison, check out the K2 Pinnacle 105 and the Blizzard Rustler 10. Have fun!
        SE

  23. Hi wondering if this would be good ski for me I spend most of my time off piste and most of what i do is freeride oriented. Are these a good choice

    1. Hi Blake!

      Definitely! They love being off-piste and have a distinctly freeride feel. Pretty playful, but still stable enough to charge through some choppy terrain and take aggressive lines. Super fun skis, sounds like you'll love them.

      SE

  24. Thanks for the review! I'm set on the qst 106 but debating which length, trying to get the right balance between stability for charging and mobility in tight trees. I am 6'0", 165lbs, splitting time between touring and resort mostly in the Canadian Rockies/Kootenays, and like to chase whatever powder I can find.
    I will be coming off of an "old" pair of Atomic Sugar Daddy's, full camber, 183cm length/100cm waist. The bindings are set quite far back from centre on those, so by comparison the 188cm QST mounted at the recommended line would actually have less length of ski infront of me, but I'm still wondering if the overall length might be a little too long. Thanks in advance for your comments!

    1. Hi Mitch!
      My initial feeling is that the 188 will be on the long side. I'd think the 181 would be the proper size, unless you're skiing very aggressively and fast. I'm 6/2 215 and I tested the 181 and found it to be just fine. I'd buy the 188 personally, but I have a few inches and almost 60 pounds on you. Have fun!
      SE

  25. I'm 6'2" 185 lbs 61 year old advanced skier (part time ski instructor here in Utah). Rebuilding a 2 ski quiver, and have an 85 underfoot for groomers, bumps, and small amounts of powder. Now I'm looking for a more powder oriented ski that would handle the deeper stuff, and is good in trees, narrow spaces, and settled, chopped-up crud (the day or two after). I also do a little side country, so considering the Shift binding. My ski style is relatively controlled (I'm not a high-speed big mountain ripper), and I am looking for something that is playful, has some cambered-pop, and can be nuanced through tricky terrain. Have been thinking about the QST 106 (forgiving, soft even flex across multiple conditions) or the Armada 108 Tracers. Can't find a review that directly compares these two skis, but most reviews use similar words for both of them. My other ski is 188, so am thinking that it is about the right size for me, but would appreciate your insights. Thanks

    1. Hi Jim!
      You're likely to find more similarities than differences between those skis, but I'd say the Salomon is softer in the tips and tails, while the Tracer has a more consistent tip to tail flex. I personally like a ski that is more stable underfoot like the Salomon, but they're really both good choices. I'd say the 188 is proper for your application and size. I have a Nordica Soul Rider 87 and a K2 Pinnacle 105 as my two-ski quiver, and it's pretty nice having those widths! Hope that helps.
      SE

    1. Hi Big E!
      The Head has a fair amount of taper and rocker, making it a great floater. It's stiff for its weight, so it can get a bit choppy at speed through crud while there's absolutely none of that from the Ranger. The QST is more playful, so it'll flex with the snow, but it remains pretty composed. For higher speed aggressive skiing, the Ranger is the way to go. For more moderate speeds and skiing styles, the Kore and QST are fantastic choices with a ton of versatility. Have fun!
      SE

  26. 6'3" 170lbs advanced I guess.. [not sure how to rank that, did a couple seasons in Chamonix, 90% off piste and to be honest there's some pretty advanced stuff there that scared the #$% out of me! Not interested in the you-fall-you-die stuff anymore]

    looking at the QST 106 to ski New Zealand, Japan, maybe back to Cham.. but I'm 40 now so would this be the 1SQ answer to my current quiver consisting of my old Dynastar Intuitiv (88mm) and untried Rossignal S7s (115mm) that I just picked up cheap for the Marker F12s that were mounted on them. I'm no poppy jibber, happy with directionals!

    then the question of length - both Dynastar & S7s are 188cm, used to ride 195cm old school Dynastars in the 90s. Would I go 188cm again or 181cm? Don't mind a bit of speed but I'm not the fastest shredder out there on any given day

    1. Hi Millsy!
      Great ski choice! Your height combined with your previous long ski experience puts you in the 188 range I'd think. Your weight is the only factor that calls for the 181, but I think the other two "outweigh" that one. You'll lose a bit of edge to edge quickness, but I'd say it's worth the tradeoff for stability. Have fun!
      SE

  27. Hey guys,

    Starting to get more serious about skiing after 17 years on the board. Been riding around on some 179cm Line prophet 115s for past season and they're way too clunky.

    I'd say I'm an advanced level right now. I like to ride fast on hardback and love to ride in trees and deep snow. I'm a west coast rider who spends most of my time in Revelstoke.

    I'm 185cm tall and weigh around 210lbs without gear on. I'm looking for a one ski quiver that I can eventually take in the backcountry for some touring. I'd probably spend most of my time in resort skiing off piste when the snow is good, but still be able to rail turns on hardback when the deep stuff isn't there. I also like to play around a bit with some freestyle.

    The QST 106 looks like a good option, but would it be right to go with the 188??

    Thanks!!

    1. Hi Sean G!
      106 is a fantastic choice for your application. You're kind of caught between sizes for sure, and I'd base your choice on your speed and level of aggressiveness. I don't think either length (181/188) will be incorrect, but one will suit your overall needs better. Overall, if you're in soft and deep snow on big mountains, I'd go with the big skis. You'll lose some maneuverability in tight terrain, but that's about the only real compromise. Have fun!
      SE

  28. Hey! I'm adding a second pair of skis to my quiver, and I'm thinking about the QST106 with some Shifts.

    My first pair is a lightweight touring setup (177cm Salomon MTN Explore 95 mounted with Salomon MTNs). I'm looking to add something wider and burlier for deeper days and the resort.

    For context - I'm 5'11", 165lbs. I ski aggressively and fast (was an alpine racer for 12 years), and do 70/30 off-piste/on-piste. I live in the PNW and mostly ski steeper faces at Stevens Pass and Mt. Baker.

    I'm coming off a pair of 179cm Line Prophet 98s, and both those and the Explore 95s feel a little short. I also had a pair of 186cm Liberty Variant 113s that were a bit much for my taste.

    My question is - is the QST106 a good choice? And if so, what length would you recommend?

    Thanks!

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