2022 Salomon QST 98 Ski Review: Lead Image

Ski Reviews

2022 Salomon QST 98 Ski Review

A little over a month ago, we released our review of the new Salomon QST Blank skis. In that review, we mentioned there’s another new QST ski for 2022, and although we love skiing the Blank, this ski is more appropriate for most skiers, the new QST 98. To me, the QST line has always been about versatility and adaptability with a relatively playful, fun-loving feel. I’ve always been impressed with the way they handle a wide variety of snow conditions. They feel playful and maneuverable when you’re feeling that way or when skiing technical terrain, yet they have always had a smooth, stable feel. This QST 98 replaces the QST 99 and carries forward the theme of versatility, but actually has some similarities to the Blank in its shape and overall performance.

Let’s start with construction, as Salomon is one of those companies who uses relatively unique materials. I’ll never forget the first time someone at Salomon told me there was flax in their new skis. I was admittedly pretty skeptical, but the stuff works. Salomon starts the QST 98 with a full poplar wood core. That poplar core is supported by a center strip of their C/FX material. C/FX is a woven blend of carbon and flax, designed to provide the energy, responsiveness, and stability of carbon, but in a smoother, damper feel thanks to the inclusion of flax. At this point, its performance has been proven over and over again in different iterations of the QST skis. The new QST 98 also gets Cork Damplifier in the tips and tails, which was introduced to the QST skis a few years ago and does a great job further reducing any unwanted vibrations through the ski. One of the new elements for 2022 is Double Sidewall Technology. A high density piece of ABS is placed underfoot and is combined with a full length sideway to give the ski more grip on firm snow and a stronger, more stable feel overall. I always think about balance when it comes to the QST skis. Balanced performance, balanced characteristics, and I think that comes through on this ski as well and is evident in its weight: 1860 g in the 176 cm length. Not crazy light, but certainly not heavy.

AT A GLANCE


2022 Salomon QST 98 Skis



AVAILABLE SIZES

TURN RADIUS

SIDECUT

CORE

STRENGTHS

169, 176, 183, 189 cm

16 m at 176 cm

132 / 98 / 120 mm

Poplar, C/FX, Cork, Double Sidewall

Versatility, Smoothness, Forgiveness


Then there’s the shape. The new QST 98 has noticeably more rocker and early taper both in the tips and tails than the QST 99 it replaces. This is where the similarities with the QST Blank really shine through. Put them next to each other and you can tell they were designed by the same team of engineers and use a lot of the same concepts. Probably the most important thing here is the increased amount of tail rocker. That’s where we feel the biggest difference between the 99 and 98 and even just with a quick glance, it’s obvious they’re different skis. The new skis have a slightly shorter turn radius as well, although it’s not tremendously different. 17 m in the 183 cm length rather than 19.4 in the previous 181 cm length. So, those are the differences, now what about performance?

It’s hard for me not to look at a shape like this and think, “that’s going to be really twitchy and probably unstable.” I’ll be the first to admit that I had that in the back of my mind when I first skied them, and it was obvious to me when I reviewed video footage from our first test days. The thing is, they’re not twitchy, and among skis that use this much rocker and early taper, they’re one of the smoothest skis I’ve skied. Let’s start by talking about groomers. The QST 99 always had a nice feel on groomers. Not too demanding, but still relatively strong. This QST 98 is even easier to ski and more forgiving than the QST 99, but is impressive strong on a groomer still. The increased amount of taper does change the effective edge, which we’ll talk about more when it comes time to choose your length, so the ski doesn’t feel like it’s pulling you into a carve as much as the 99 did. That said, once in a turn, the Double Sidewall makes up for the shortened effective edge and gives you a pretty strong feel. It’s smooth and has excellent vibration damping just like the ski it replaces, just a slightly different feel when linking carves.

2022 Salomon QST 98 Ski Review: Camber Profile Image

What’s really beneficial about this new shape is how easily it lets you not carve. The edge release out of the tail of the QST 98 is incredibly easy, and again, never feels twitchy. Some skis that use a lot of rocker/taper almost feel too active. It’s like they’re never particularly happy carving or skidding, they always want to be doing something else. The QST 98, on the other hand, allows for incredibly smooth, easy, controlled skids and smeared turns that are so, so easy to do. I see a lot of skiers on the mountain that would benefit from this performance. I see a lot of skiers fighting the edge grip of stiffer skis with more camber. I see a lot of skiers washing out on super-soft skis with a ton of rocker. The QST 98 has a nice balance of both. It’ll carve when you want to, but it’s perfectly happy never carving a single turn.

And that brings us to off-piste performance. I think it’s safe to say this is the area where Salomon really wanted to give the ski more capabilities, and they sure did succeed. The QST 98 is so much fun in soft snow, in trees… really anywhere on the mountain you want to take it. That same willingness to release the tail edge carries over into technical terrain and makes you feel like you’re the best skier on the mountain. You’ll be maneuvering through terrain that used to challenge you with ease! Ok, it won’t actually make you objectively a better skier, but it really is the type of ski that increases confidence in tight, technical terrain. Easy release, light enough to swing around, but then a solid, confident feel under your foot if you happen to encounter some firm, icy conditions in the sidecountry or backcountry.

2022 Salomon QST 98 Ski Review: Full Width Action Image 1 2022 Salomon QST 98 Ski Review: Full Width Action Image 2

I also think this is a really good ski in powder. In fact, I’d go ahead and say it out performs pretty much anything in the ~100 waist width range in deep snow. The tips and tails are nice and wide (132 mm tip), and with all that rocker you get a ton of float. It also has the same extra little rise in the very end of the tip as the QST Blank, so when the ski does sink below the snow surface, it pops right back up very quickly. We had a group of skiers testing both the Blank and the 98 on a pretty deep day in the Stowe backcountry, and to be honest, the 98 was holding its own alongside the much-wider Blank. Definitely more float out of the Blank, but the 98 was impressive. Sometimes, when things get that deep, a ski in this width can feel a little catchy or get bogged down a little, but that was never the case on the 98.

Bob St.Pierre has been spending a lot of time on the QST 98 too, so I asked him to chime in with a paragraph giving us his opinion: It's been interesting seeing the evolution of the QST series as a whole over the years, and the 2022 QST 98 adds an interesting chapter to the book. I like how they've gotten more stable over the years, and as a result, I feel like they got to be more liberal this year with the taper shape and rocker profile. Further separating themselves from the Stance 96 and 102, the QST 98 certainly paves its own way, and the playfulness of the ski for this year takes it to the next level in terms of all-mountain usefulness. It's a way better floater than most other 98's out there on the hill, but it still carves a wicked turn. I'm a huge fan of the 18-meter radius in the 189 cm length, allowing for a longer edge contact with the snow for us larger skiers. It's not the lightest ski out there, but when that heft is combined with the twin rocker profile and the dramatic taper shape, the fun-loving nature of the ski is truly revealed. It's incredibly satisfying to use the full sidecut and shape of these skis on the groomers, and they feel effortless and intuitive in the off-piste areas, making this next iteration of the QST series skis one of the most versatile and playful skis I've been on in quite some time--an excellent upgrade from Salomon without a doubt.

Thanks Bob! Overall, I think Salomon nailed it on the redesign of the QST 98. I love the way it skis (there’s even enough tail rocker to ski switch! Thanks Salomon!). I also love how it fits into the other skis Salomon offers. I think the QST 98 is a better complement to the Stance 96 than the QST 99 was. It differentiates more from that ski, which I think makes a lot of sense. I also really like how the whole QST line feels now. The 92 and 106 stay the same, and those skis have less rocker in the tail. I think about it kind of like and east coast/west coast situation. An eastern skier is most likely choosing between the QST 92 or 98. The 92 is giving you more precision and more feedback out of the flatter tail, while the 98 is more playful and smeary. A western skier can kind of do the same thing with the QST 106 and Blank. If you like charging through choppy snow, perhaps the flatter tail of the 106 is better for your skiing style. If you’re more of a slash/smear/butter type of skier, you’ll almost undoubtedly prefer the Blank. I like having some differences within a line of skis, and that’s not something we often get from ski manufacturers. It’s usually just “here’s a ski, oh and it comes in different widths.” From Salomon, in the 2022 QST line, each ski feels like it has its own unique personality and thus its own unique application, and I think that’s really cool.

2022 Salomon QST 98 Ski Review: Buy Now Image

Written by Jeff Neagle on 03/18/21

23 thoughts on “2022 Salomon QST 98 Ski Review

  1. How does this QST compare to the Rustler 10 and the Ranger 102FR? It sounds like it has similar characteristics to these skies. Great review as always. Thanks.

    1. Hi Dave!
      It has more of a solid, stable, and damp feel to it versus the Rustler and Ranger. For being a bit narrower, it floats really well, and the camber underfoot makes for a really nice carving feel. Highly versatile and very quick. I'd say it has more of a sophisticated performance than that of the Rustler/Ranger. Have fun!
      SE

  2. Great review as usual. I'm torn between the QST 98 and the Enforcer 104 Free. I'm Tahoe, intermediate moving towards advanced, 6'0 215 lbs. Love trees but change to cruising groomers when the off-piste snow gets too hard. I've got 171 cm Kore 99's that I learned on, but they seem to be a bit punishing in the tails.

    What do think would be best for learning to improve carving technique on groomers on firm days but having a blast in the trees on soft days?

    Thanks!

    1. HI Adam!
      Sounds to me like you're a QST 98 skier. Still smooth, strong and stable, but very quick thanks to the shorter radius. While the tails of the Enforcer aren't as flat/exacting as those on the Kores, the ski still has two sheets of metal in it, so it's quite a big heavier and more work than the QST. Have fun!
      SE

    1. HI Bo!
      Funny, Jeff and I just talked about that because those are the two skis that we most recently reviewed and skied on, so we were very much back to back with those two models. For two skis that occupy similar realms in the product line, they are quite different. The Kore is significantly stiffer and more responsive, but doesn't have the same dampness and silence (quietude) as the QST, which does have a very silent and stable nature. For quicker turns and better precision, the Kore is the way to go, but for fun, bouncy turns and better powder performance/soft snow capabilities, the QST is pretty awesome. Have fun!
      SE

  3. Hi gang. I am a west coast resort skier and tend to live off piste. I currently ski on Black Crows Atris Birdie in the 169 length. I am interested in a comparison of he Fischer 102 FR versus the Salomon QST 98 (the Blank sounds awesome BUT I'm only 5'5 so the sizes are out of the question). While I love skiing powder (doesn't everyone?) its rare to get a day on the mountain where you can get fresh tracks all day long (obviously back country but that's not my norm). I need a pair of skis that I can ski steeps in soft or wind blown chalky conditions, ski trees, moguls and CRUD. Which ski would be more suited to my purposes? Any other suggestions?

    1. HI Lynn!
      We've been pretty impressed with the QST's ability in soft snow--even having it in about a foot and a half of fresh earlier this season, the rocker profile and taper shape make it a great floater. The Fischer is lighter, especially in the shovel, so it's not quite as damp, we found, in harder snow or choppier conditions. I'd rather be on the 98 more often than the 102. Have fun!
      SE

    1. HI Johnny!
      It's a bit more dramatic than the Tracer, which is more gradual. This gives the Tracer a bit surfier of a feel while the QST is more of a bouncy ski that likes to make rounder, shorter turns. Have fun!
      SE

  4. hi guys, Can you talk about the QST 98 and how it performs in moguls? Is it light enough to push it through some bumps without getting kicked around top much? Would it outperform the Ripstick Black on groomers or bumps? Powder?

    thanks!

    1. HI Tom!
      It's not so much that the 98 is a light ski, but it is very maneuverable, so this is a good thing on multiple levels. You still get the quickness, but at nary a cost to stability. Ripstick Black has similar characteristics, but achieves this through the fantastic use of carbon tubes that provide the maneuverability and the stability at a lighter weight. The main difference is the rocker profile, which is far more dramatic in the QST. Additionally, it depends what you like out of your bump ski. I prefer a bit more tail to push on (Ripstick) while some other skiers would rather have the tail flow out of the turn easier (QST). In powder, again, there's a good deal of preference as to performance, as the QST has more taper and rocker for flotation, even though it's a bit heavier, I prefer it to the lighter Ripstick. That said, I'm a huge fan of both of these skis--more right than wrong with either!
      SE/Bob

  5. Hi Ski-Essentials,

    Awesome Review as usual. I had the pleasure of skiing this ski last week and was really impressed. This ski did everything so well. I think it's a little more forgivable than the old version and easier to bend into tighter arcs, but the stability is still there. I loved the way it lets you know u made a mistake but does not punish u harshly. It would be an awesome ski to help one get to the next level. It really inspires confidence. It would also make an awesome 50-50 ski with a pair of Shift bindings.
    Stellar Ski***

    1. Hi guys - these things sound great from your review! The last few years I’ve been hitting East Coast bumps and woods in any and all conditions on the Sky 7 in a 180. How do you think the 183 of the QST 98 would compare in that terrain? Thanks!

      1. Hi Lee!
        Sky 7 was one of the first skis that popped into my head when we first got on the QST 98. What I found was that the QST is quite a bit more stable and solid, so it is a bit heavier and bulkier, but you do get that higher-end carving capability as well as the maneuverability, it's just not quite as flickable as the Sky, but it's pretty darn close. The 183 has a 16-meter radius, so the thing still turns on a dime if you want it to--great for bumps and trees. If you're looking for more dampness and smoothness, the 183 QST 98 will be a great next ski. Have fun!
        SE

  6. For a 160 pound guy, the QST 98 will flex enough for trees and bite enough on the steeps? I’d be looking at the 169cm option.
    I have the Nordica Enforcer 100 in 177cm length, too stiff and just doesn’t turn for me. I’d classify myself as a very experienced skier in all terrain. My old skis, Salomon Q90 in 169cm, did so much better than the Nordica for me.

    1. HI Chris!
      All but the bite, the QST is probably a better ski for you versus the Enforcer. There's a good amount of tail rocker in the QST, so on the steepest and firmest snow, it'll have a bit of a wash to it, but for all else, I'd think the QST 98 will be a lot more fun, and still has a pretty high ceiling. Have fun!
      SE

  7. Great review!
    I'm a 72, yrs. old, 5'5", 150 lb,, advanced western Canadian skier. I keep selling skis over the years because they either get tossed around in deep chop / crud or else bog me down at low speeds in the trees. I seem to be mis-managing the trade-off between low speed responsiveness and suspension/stability. I demoed the Volkl Mantra 102 (170 cm) and found it more stable than my K2 Mindbender 108Ti's (172 cm) in uneven snow / chop, and quite responsive. So I am very interested in the Volkl Mantra M6, and wonder how the Salomon QST 98 would compare to that ski. I'd also appreciate advice as to ski length for my size.
    Thanks.

    1. HI Robert!
      The QST 98 will not be as precise or powerful as the M6, but is way more floaty and playful. The QST almost borders on a freestyle ski, as it shares similar taper and rocker with the QST Blank 112, which is basically a backcountry freeride/freestyle ski. The Mantra is a lot more precise, but not quite as "fun" as the new QST 98. I'd think the low 170's is the place to be for you. Have fun!
      SE

  8. Hi, how would you compare the qst with the rustler 10 and ranger fr 102, especially on soft snow? Which of those would you prefer as a backcountry ski from powder to steep chutes, etc? Does the 4mm difference the qst and rustler/ranger make a big difference? Cheers!

    1. HI Tomas!
      QST is the most damp and stable, as the Rustler and Ranger have lighter and more carbon-infused tips, leading to a bit more deflection in firmer snow, but a nice tight feel in the softer stuff. We were very impressed with the flotation of the 98, for a 98. I would prefer the Ranger as a backcountry ski for those situations, mostly because of the weight and width, but it's pretty close. Have fun!
      SE

  9. Hİ.
    I'm from İstanbul,Turkey.
    First of all, I enjoy watching your videos. Very pleasant and informative. Thanks so much.
    When I decided to buy a pair of QST 99 , The Salomon produced new QST 98.
    I think new QST 98 great in every respect than QST 99.
    But I want to ask ;
    This skiies can be use with shift binding and skins like QST 99 ?

    1. HI Fatih!
      Thanks! I actually think the 98 is a better option than the 99 for a Shift and skins. It's a bit lighter, but definitely more playful in the softer snow. We had it out in some deeper snow this year and found it floats great and releases well in turns. The 99 was a bit blockier and not quite as sophisticated. Have fun!
      SE

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