Ski Reviews

2020 Salomon QST 99 Ski Review

2020 Salomon QST 99 Ski Review: // Ski Reviews

It's hard to decide if you want to fit in or stand out. Just like the first day of school, you have to decide if you're going to go along with the crowd or make a statement. It's a tough choice, and one that should not be taken lightly, as it can affect the entire year. Salomon has edged toward the bolder side for 2020, with an updated QST 99 that's built and designed to stick out from a crowded field of +/- 100mm underfoot popular kids. Salomon certainly has the capability to slap a couple of Titanal laminates around a stout wood core and call it a day, but they chose to go another route. The results are fantastic, as this versatile all-mountain ski has a similar overall shape and profile as its predecessor and competitors, but the build sets it apart. And for a large number of skiers, that's a good thing.

For 2020, the Salomon QST 99 is built using a full-length Poplar wood core. This is the starting point for a relatively complex recipe of ingredients that add up to make a unique and creative ski. Underfoot and extending slightly towards the tips and tails is the Ti Power Platform which adds strength and stability underfoot. The third, a very important ingredient, is the tip-to-tail laminate comprised of carbon fiber, flax, and basalt. This is where the QST distances itself from its rivals. Instead of metal laminates, this C/FX blend of materials does the heavy lifting in terms of overall ski power. The basalt is super-damp while the carbon is light and stiff. A new twist for 2020 is the addition of a cork "damplifier" in the tips. Whereas the older version had Koroyd in this area, the new ski has cork, which is a bit heavier, but also a lot more energy-absorbent. If you felt like the tips of the previous QST 99 were a bit light and twitchy, this new design will alleviate those concerns.

2020 Salomon QST 99 Ski Review: Ski Spec Image

In terms of shape, the 2020 QST 99 is a bit less tapered than the previous 99, giving the ski a more precise feel in terms of turn initiation. Also, the cork plus the more squared-off tips make it more stable at speed, aligning the 2020 QST 99 more closely to some of the burlier skis in the category like a Blizzard Bonafide or a Nordica Enforcer 100. But overall, the ski is narrower in the tips and tails, slightly lengthening the turn radius, making it more of a directional ski. As always, it's one thing to talk about how it's made, it's completely another to get on it and feel the differences.

2020 Salomon QST 99 Ski Review: Full Camber Image

First off, I personally love how this thing skis. I tested the 181, but at 6'2" and 220 lbs, would most likely opt for the 188. Even so, the 181 had a ton of stability and strength. I started on the groomers, and the 99 is perfectly at ease and at home ripping the corduroy. You can definitely tell that the decreased taper and the longer turn radius make a difference at speed. The cork actually works, and the skis are super-silent, even on the firm snow. Without a full (or two) sheet of metal, Salomon skis have sounded sort of plasticky in the past, but those days are over. This is a solid ski with tons of power. At 2090 grams per ski at the 181 length, they're not feathers by any stretch, so if you're thinking that this is "less" of a ski because it doesn't have those full-metal laminates, think again-this thing rips.

Off-piste, the QST 99 really comes to life. As a 99 mm underfoot ski, it's going to get caught in the middle in some areas, but soft snow is not one of them. In the woods, the skis are very intuitive and have a natural feel to them that is very calming and confidence-inspiring. Even in our tighter trees here at Stowe, the QST 99 danced easily through the woods, and I appreciated the longer turn radius and its ability to be manipulated and coerced when the turns got tight. You could take a direct line and not feel like your tails were getting hooked or caught up in the snow. It plowed through the crud and chop with no problems whatsoever, as the flex of the ski is best suited for variable snow. The tips are flexible, not soft, so they're happy to take on anything in their path. The ski stiffens in the underfoot area and mellows out in the tail, making it ideal for a wide range of snow conditions.

2020 Salomon QST 99 Ski Review: Wide Action Image2020 Salomon QST 99 Ski Review: Wide Action Image 2

It's a bit wide to be considered a bump ski, but that shovel and the straighter turn radius make it easy to zip out on some lines and really let them fly. They're supple but strong, and still quick edge to edge, so making those swivel turns in the moguls is a ton of fun. Again, not a straight-line bump ski, but totally manageable and better than most in this category.

In terms of touring and backcountry possibilities, the slightly heavier and narrower 2020 QST 99 is still a great option for getting your skin on, but the new design is more resort-oriented than not, probably bordering on a 60/40 in-bounds ratio. It seems like most skiers who are looking for a touring setup are going lighter these days anyways, and Salomon makes that stuff, too. We'd peg these as more lift-oriented than not, but certainly not out of the realm for backcountry use.

Salomon has come up with a pretty rich recipe when it comes to the 2020 QST 99. We're huge fans of how these ingredients come together in perfect harmony, as they really make the skis feel seamless and poised. More stable, damp, and fun than the older QST 99, this new concoction has a lot of positives going for it. For the most part, if you're not looking for a ridiculously stiff and burly ski for top speed and super-aggressive skiing, the QST 99 stands out as a primary option. There are always stiffer and heavier skis out there, but we're more impressed with the ones that separate themselves from the group and start their own clique. The coolest kid is usually the one that doesn't follow the crowd, and the 2020 QST 99 is a perfect example of the successful non-conformist.

2020 Salomon QST 99 Ski Review: Buy Now Image


 

Written by Jeff Neagle on 07/11/19

44 thoughts on “2020 Salomon QST 99 Ski Review

  1. Great review as always. I'm currently skiing Blizzard The One,which I love, and want to replace it for next season. I'm trying to decide between the QST 99 and the Bent Cheater 100. How different or similar are those two skis?
    Thanks, Randy Verdieck

  2. Is there anything all that different between the 99 and the 106 for 2020? I've had my eye on the 106 since ski expo. Would be curious to hear comparisons between the qst 106 and the new rustler 10. I'm an advanced, west coast skier, 185 pounds, looking for a one ski for everything including slack but not longer backcountry.

    1. Hi Randy!
      You'll get a lot more power and stability from the QST. The BC 100 I found to be quite soft in the tips and tails, which is great for lighter skiers and softer snow, but the overall performance of the QST is more stout than the BC 100. That said, the Atomic is just a ton of fun, oozing playfulness. Hope that helps!
      SE

      1. Hi Tim!
        I noticed that the 2020 version of the 99 had a much more damp feeling than the 2019. The extra material and the Cork versus Koroyd in the tips actually does make a difference, especially in how the ski sounds. It's a lot quieter. The 106 follows suit in this regard, and in terms of shape, the straighter cut makes more sense in the softer snow. I'd put it right up there with the Rustler 10, with a stable underfoot area and lighter and more maneuverable tips and tails. The Rustler has a lighter overall feeling, but in the powder that helps with flotation. As it's a bit narrower, that makes it have a more versatile character, whereas the QST 106 I'd peg as more of a powder day-specific ski versus a versatile all-mountain Rustler 10. Hope that helps!
        SE

    1. Hi Scott!
      Definitely a lot less than the 2019. They have a higher speed limit, thanks to the longer turn radius and the decreased amount of taper. The longer the effective edge, the more stable at speed and less twitchy. That said, the QST 99 certainly doesn't have the dampness of the Enforcer 100 or a similarly built ski with two sheets of metal. I skied the 180, but would have preferred the 188 for more stability. Hope that helps!
      SE

    1. Hi Jacob!
      For drill mounting, if you put a boot sole length in millimeters in the appropriate field when ordering, we'll mount the skis for you. For track/system bindings, we put the bindings on the skis for shipping purposes without a BSL. You still have to take them to a shop to get a final adjustment by a certified technician. We do not touch the DIN. Have fun!
      SE

  3. Trying to decide between the Salomon QST 92 or 99. I want the one ski quiver, ski almost exclusively in Colorado both a mix of on-off piste. I like the idea of the fatter ski, how much edge-to-edge quickness on groomers am I giving up for the sake of better float and power in uneven snow? I'm 49, int/adv skier, 5'9" 185lbs. I don't rip like I used to but still don't mind opening them up to keep up with my kids.

    I demo'd the 92's last year in a 169cm, probably would step up to a 174 in the 99 this year.

    1. Hi Miles!
      Sounds like you're a 99 skier to me. Here in the east, I'd go with the 92, but for a western one-ski quiver, I'd say the 99 is the way to go. They're very fun, surfy, and stable. I think the 174 is the right length as well. I think you'll notice the biggest difference in tight turns off-piste rather than on groomers, where the performance is fairly similar. In the bumps and trees, if you have to make a series of quick turns in more packed snow, the 92 is going to do a better job, but not by a huge amount. Have fun!
      SE

  4. Hi,
    I think I'm trying to decide which QST 99 size/model to buy, but I'm open to other options. I'm 6'3" and 245lbs and wouldn't consider myself aggressive. I'm probably 50/50 on/off piste. I've only been skiing 4 years, but have averaged 20-30 ski days per year so would consider myself legitimately intermediate. Skiing in the Rockies. I was able to demo a bunch of skis at the end of last season and almost everything was way better for me than my current Sky 7's (bought as demos just to get started). The Enforcer (185) and Bonafide were both awesome, but just too much ski for me and wore my legs out, particularly off piste. The Line Sick Day (104) and Ripstick 96 (180) weren't quite enough. I liked the Rustler 10 (181) a lot off piste, but not as much on piste as they just seemed to have a small turn radius that almost initiated itself. The QST 106 (181) was just too wide for my every day skiing, even though I'd love to have them on powder days. The QST 99's (181) seemed perfect, but by the time I was ready to buy, my season was winding down so I figured I'd wait and see what Salomon did with the QST's this season. I didn't get a chance to demo the 188 and I don't think my rental shop even had them as an option. I'm a one-ski quiver guy and this purchase will hopefully last for many seasons to come.

    A few questions. First, the 2020 seems to have added significant weight, so does this noticeably affect the free ride/surfy feel off piste to get more stability on piste? Some websites actually show it (188cm QST 99) being heavier than the Enforcer 100 (185cm). Is the 2020 QST 99 going to ski more like an Enforcer 100 than like the 2019 QST 99? Second, similarly, will the 188's significantly affect that free ride feel off piste compared to the 181? I know it isn't in your best interest to tell me to buy last season's ski, but am I better off going with the 2019 QST 99 in 188cm? or with the Enforcer 100?

    Thanks,

    1. Hi Pat!
      While the 2020 version is heavier, it's also a slightly longer turner, but it doesn't feel heavy on your feet. The tapered shape of the ski reduces swing weight, as does the squared-off tip profile. It is damper at speed for sure, and I don't think either size will really inhibit you. I tested the 181 and found it fine (I'm 6/2 220) but I would purchase the 188 if I were to personally ski it. You're a bit taller and heavier, so I think you'd be fine on the 188. It's not terribly different from the 2019 version--if you find a deal on those, I'd take it.
      There's nothing wrong with that Enforcer 100 either! It's pretty nimble and agile for a ski with two sheets of metal, that's for sure. I'd recommend the 185 in that model. Hope that helps!
      SE

  5. Hi! Hoping you could help me out as I can't seem to make a decision on my next pair of skis.

    I'm 22 years old, 6ft 175 and an advanced skier. I'm an advanced skier based out of Stowe and spend probably 45% of my time in the glades, 35% in mogul runs, and 20% on groomers/generally cruising.

    Looking for a do it all, 1-ski-quiver. I demo'd a pair of Kore 93s last year and loved them when there was 2 inches of fresh but am concerned about their ability to float on powder on big Stowe days and when I go out west. I really enjoyed the ease at which the ski jumped into initiating a carve, really biting in as soon as I even started thinking about it which was refreshing. Am considering bumping up a step in width and am deciding between the Kore 99s and the QST 99s.

    I really value the playfulness of a ski and the ability to flick my ankles and have the ski respond instaneously as that's key for me in the moguls and the trees. Ideally I'd love to eliminate chatter when at high speed but if I had to pick between the two id take the precise turning and playfulness every time. Also worth noting I generally prefer to ski something a bit shorter than I should (173-175 rather 180)

    Any thoughts about where I should turn? Apologies for the essay!

    Thanks,
    Jeremy

    1. Hi Jeremy!
      I think the 99's are a better Stowe option for a one-ski setup. Between the Kore and the QST, I'm more of a fan of the Salomon due to the liveliness. I liked the Kore in GS style carving turns, but I like the QST for everything else. It's a lot damper for 2020, and I expect we'll see a bunch of them around Stowe this year. Also check out the Blizzard Rustler 9 (or 10 for more flotation) as well as the Volkl 90Eight for strong comparisons. Hope that helps and we'll see you soon at Stowe!
      SE

  6. One more size question. At 6’5 I’d lean lean towards the 188cm, but I’m 178lbs and ski lots of moguls and tight terrain.
    Currently I’m skiing the K2 Marksman in 184cm.

  7. Hey, hoping you can help me out with some new ski suggestions!
    I'm 5'9" 155lbs advanced-expert skier in the southern rockies (NM / CO). I'm looking for a new all-mountain ski and have narrowed down to a few: QST 99; QST 106; or Enforcer 100 (unless you have any other suggestions that I'm wildly overlooking). I have a pair of Blizzard Brahma's for strictly groomer days and Volkl One's for powder days, so this pair will likely be my all-around/average day ski. I like to spend most of my time off-piste in trees or steeps, sometimes a few moguls here or there.

    Thanks!

    1. Hi David!
      I'd look to the wider models to better split the difference. In that light, I like the QST 106, Nordica Enforcer 104, or K2 Mindbender 108. All perform well in a multitude of conditions, and you might find that you like these models more than your others! All great choices. Have fun!
      SE

      1. Thanks for the advice!

        What do you think about the Nordica Enforcer 104 Free for my situation, rather than the non-free line? I've also heard that the Blizzard Rustler 10's would be good.

        At the moment I think I'm stuck deciding between the QST 106 and the two beforementioned skis.

  8. Hi! Hoping you could help me out
    I'm 5.10. 155. 50 year old inter advance ...ski the East looking for a 2nd pair for the few powder day and like to try touring ski with skin but with regular boot ....dont want to spend to much in case i dont like it .
    Wich ski can do that

    Thank Fred

    1. Hi Frederick!
      The QST 99 is a great choice although I think you could stick to the 105-110 range for your application. Also look at the Armada Tracer 108, Salomon QST 106, or Volkl 100Eight for good powder performance and not a ton of weight. Have fun!
      SE

      1. And forget to ask you .
        I cant decide between the 174 or 181 .
        I'd like the 181 but I'm only 5.10 155 pounds .
        They might be too hard on control but better float

        1. Fred,
          If you know that you prefer longer skis, then go right for it, but based solely on your height and weight, I'd recommend the 174. If float is really a high priority for you, you could go up a width and stay down a size. Hope that helps!
          SE

  9. Hi SE,

    I am looking at getting a new set of skis as I sold my 2014 Bonafides 180's. I am also looking to keep cost low as two kids in college, but getting a good set of skis is the #1 priority. I am in MA and mostly ski Cannon (it's close), Stowe, Jay or the Loaf. Try to get into the glades or bumps and find powder as much as possible. I think the Bonafides were just too stiff for this. I want something quicker turning and as the say more playful. I am 52 5-10 and 190 aggressive skier already owning a 115 Rossi S7 for deep powder days and out west. I like the price of the QST 99's and the reviews sound good, but also am interested in the Rustler 10 or 9 or Head Core 93. Is 180 a good size for me?

    Any recommendations? Do you all have used equipment up there or any deals upcoming? And it looks like snow is on the forecast.

    Thanks

    1. Hi Rob!
      We actually have some 2019 QST 99's with Tyrolia Attack 13 bindings for $519 plus 10% off, free shipping and mounting. There's not a huge difference for 2020, other than a slightly different build and shape, but for this deal, it's hard to pass up. I'd put the Rustler 10 up against the QST versus the 9, and I think you'd find the Kore a bit chattery compared to your Bonafide. The QST is very stable and fun, but still has that high-performance ceiling that a lot of advanced skiers like. 2019 QST 99
      SE

  10. Also would a 92 size be better than a 99 or so width for the east. Like I mentioned I try to always find the powder but somedays it is just a bit icy.

    Thanks

    1. Hi Rob!
      For an eastern one-ski quiver, I'd opt for the 92 over the 99 but I prefer narrower skis! If you like the sound of the wider platform, the only sacrifice will be that edge grip and quickness. Hope that helps!
      SE

  11. Thanks SE, so since I already have a wide powder ski I am guessing the 92 would be a more appropriate size for the east. The 92 I am sure will work fine in 6 or so inches of fresh snow and for the bigger dumps I will use the 115. You guys are awesome and it has been very informative.

    Thanks

  12. Great review as always. I'm currently skiing old Fischer Sceneo s500 ti, but looking for something easier and would like to spend more time off piste, I'm 180cm, 82kg and strong advanced, do you think qst99 @ 174cm would be good for me, for not too aggressive skiing and as all-mountain ski?

    Thanks
    Marco

    1. Hi Marco!
      I think you're right on the money. That new 99 is a great ski and supremely versatile. Can carve well on-piste but is a great explorer as well--won't tire you out either. Have fun!
      SE

  13. I'm back on the boards!! After losing 100# this past year, I'm ready to join the gang back at Mad River Glen! I ski the trails but always dive into the glades where I prefer to do most of my skiing. All my gear is soooo old - used Salomon skis/boots in the past and was happy - although will always keep my original Volant Chubbs! I have been following the Salomon QST 99's versus 92's conversation......I used to be the multiple ski guy but now that I'm 50 and just back into the game, I'm going with only one. Staying out East and will be a MRG die hard.

    Considering:

    Salomon QST 99
    Salomon QST 92
    Head Kore 99
    Head Kore 93
    Elan Ripstick 96 Black
    Blizzard Brahma 88 (only because friend says they are good - not suited for MRG in my opinion).

    Would love feedback on the list and any other recommendations and what you would select for bindings for all mountain skiing with glades as primary focus.

    Thanks

    Doug

    1. Nice, Doug!
      I think for the one ski at MRG, the 92 is the way to go. Add the Kore 93 to that list, and I'd say your decision is between those two. Of those, the Kore is lighter and stiffer while the QST is damper and more stable. I'm a bigger guy at 6/2 220 and I'd ski the QST 92 over the Kore, which I found a bit light for my size. We pair both of those skis with either the Tyrolia Attack 13 or the Marker Griffon 13. Have fun!
      SE

      1. Thanks for the info!!
        If you could suggest a good boot for the glades with ungroomed trail runs, I'd love to hear your thoughts.

        1. Hi Doug!
          You really should go see a boot fitter and try them on. Something in the 110-120 flex should be good for you, but in terms of fit, all companies make good boots, but all feel a bit different. The flex and volume of the boot should match up to your skill, ankle flexibility, and foot shape.
          SE

  14. Hi SE,
    I live in Tahoe, I’m 60 years old, an advanced skier, 5’11” 155 lbs.
    I ski 60% groomers 40% off piste.
    I was looking at the Salomon QST 99 in the 181 but would like your input.
    Also, I can buy the 2019’s for $200 less than the 2020’s, is it worth the extra $?
    Thanks, Mike

    1. Hi Mike!
      The 99 in the 181 is a great choice. The 2020 is a bit more stable and smooth thanks to the longer effective edge and the cork inserts in the tips of the skis. Is it worth an extra 200 over a ski that was already very successful and fun? That I'm not so sure about. If you get the 2019 at a deal, I'd jump on it. Have fun!
      SE

    1. Hi Dave!
      Actually we're talking about two pretty different skis in terms of how they feel. The Sky is lighter in the swing, so it is very quick. We always talk about it as a fantastic tree ski for here in Vermont. The 99 has more power for sure--allowing you to ski faster and more confidently on groomers. I'm 6'2 220 and I find the Sky (even in the 188) to be a bit too turny for my taste. I prefer the longer, smoother arcs of the QST 99, and then when I hop in the trees, I just know that I have to try a bit harder to make the same turns as the Sky. Hope that sheds some light!
      SE

  15. Hi SE,
    Advanced intermediate here looking at the QST 99 & Enforcer 100. Is the QST 99 noticeably better on moguls and in the trees??? My assumption is that the Enforcer is faster and a better carver but I am willing to sacrifice a little bit of that for some maneuverability. If I go QST which size would you recommend? I feel like I'm smack in the middle between the 167 & 174 and I don't know which way to go. I am 171cm tall & weigh 73kg.
    Your help is appreciated.
    Thanks.

    1. Hi Josh!
      The 99 is more supple for sure while the Enforcer requires more input and dynamic movements to get the same performance. Additionally, the 99 is no slouch on the groomers or in the crud thanks to the basalt laminate. I'd go with the 167 in that ski based on your size and application. Have fun!
      SE

  16. Hi SE,
    New Yorker getting back into skiing after 6 years off to deal with life, kids, etc. Before the break was an advanced east coast skier (25+ years). Loved carving but could spend an afternoon hitting the bumps or trees. Now definitely more laid back and looking for a one quiver type ski that can handle an annual west coast back country trip, but mostly east coast conditions (NY & VT). Ideally I'd like to get the QST 106 set up with switch bindings AND a dedicated east coast set up, but that's unlikely. Do you think the QST99 can handle mostly east coast and the occasional west coast trip (resort & back country)? Also what length would you recommend? I'm 5'11 and 175 lbs.

    1. Hi John!
      Yup, that 99 is a true player. Great edge hold for its width and lack of metal. At high speeds and on ice, it'll chatter a bit, but that's its only real limitation. For fresh and soft, snow it's a great floater as well. I'd say the 181 is your long/fast option and the 174 is your more maneuverable size, depending on what you're looking to do--both are appropriate. Have fun!
      SE

  17. I own the original QST99 in a 181cm. I like them, but don't love them. They are great in soft snow, less great in harder snow, and less great in cut up cruddy stuff. I just always felt like they were not powerful enough to kind of plow-cut through difficult snow when the going got a little bit tough. I want to say that the tips were weak, but I'm not sure that's really right. Before I bought them, I had also demoed the 2016/17 Volkl Mantra (the fully-rockered one without any camber). The Mantra of course was a powerful ski that kind of blasted through anything and everything. I came close to loving them, but I felt they were a little too demanding for me. By comparison, I liked the lighter more playful quality of the QST99. So, I bought a pair, and I have skied the QST 99s for a couple of seasons Unfortunately, I feel that these original QST 99s come up a little short in the power department, so I want to replace them. I'm wondering if the new design improvements are enough to simply upgrade to the new QST 99 model. Or should I switch to a new ski entirely? Others that have attracted me base don reviews are the Mantra M5, Rustler 10, and the Bonafide. Your review of the DPS Wailer also sounds intriguing. Of course I realize these are all very different skis.

    I'm looking for the elusive do everything 1-ski quiver for western skiing. I'm 60 and have been skiing 50 years, I'm a pretty strong and aggressive skier, I believe, but am not really an expert. Some things still give me trouble--e.g. tree skiing and big moguls are not my strengths, though I keep trying to improve in those areas. But I may also be slowing down a bit at my age. I'm 5'9" and about 185 pounds. I spend maybe 60% on ungroomed, 40% on groomed, depending on conditions. It's difficult to demo skis where I live (not in the West) and when I do travel out west for skiing, I simply want to ski, on my own skis, rather then messing around with demoing and shopping. So I am trying to gather as much input as I can. I would be grateful for any thoughts. Thanks.

  18. Hi, thank you for such a great review and valuable information in all your comment replies!

    I am in the market for new skis this year and there are so many options/changes to when I got my last set several years ago. I'm 33 years old, 6 foot, 185 lbs, intermediate to advanced skier. I live in the Midwest but get out to Utah/Colorado/Montana a handful of times each year. I'd say i spend probably 70/30 on/off piste. I like my black diamond groomers to cruise and carve, but also like hitting the back bowls when there is fresh powder. I think I'm looking for a one-quiver ski for now, so have been looking in to some all mountain skies and would really appreciate your thoughts.

    I am between the Rossignol Experience 88Tis', Solomon QST 99's, or the Head Kore 99's. When I read reviews of each of them, they individually sound great and are what I'm looking for, which makes it hard to compare them. For each of them, I'm looking at the 180 cm length. I would love your thoughts on comparing these or any other set you think sounds more what I'm looking for. Thanks!

    1. Hi Matt!
      You've got an 88 and two 99's on your list, so I'd suggest splitting the difference for true all-mountain performance. Look at the QST 92, Blizzard Rustler 9 or the Kore 93 for that middle-ground that I think will be better for your application. The Rossi has an Experience 94, but that's on the burlier side. I think that low to mid-90's underfoot is the place to be for one ski. Rustler is a bit lighter while the QST 92 is just a smooth turner with a natural personality. I'd say 180ish sounds good!
      SE

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