2022 Ski Comparisons: Men's Mid 100 mm Freeride Skis - Lead Image

Ski Comparisons - Ski Reviews

2022 Ski Comparisons: Men's Mid 100mm Freeride Ski Guide

For our second 2022 Ski Comparison, we're going wider, with men's freeride skis ranging from 102 mm underfoot to 107. Although they're wider and designed more for soft snow than the 90 mm category we started with, there's still a lot of versatility in this category. In other words, you're not just limited to powder days on these skis. There is varying performance among them, as is always true, but despite not falling into an all-mountain description, most of these skis can go just about anywhere.

AT A GLANCE


2022 Armada ARV 106 Skis



AVAILABLE SIZES

TURN RADIUS

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WEIGHT

STRENGTHS

172, 180, 188 cm

20.5 m at 180 cm

134 / 106 / 124 mm

2175 g at 180 cm-

Freestyle, Fun, Predictability


Overview:

Surprisingly beefy, the ARV 106 is a fun-loving wide twin tip with a ton of different applications. As one of the more freestyle-oriented skis on our wall, the ARV 106 is useful in a lot of ways. Want to hit the park and pipe? No problem. Feel like skiing through some tight woods in deep snow? Sure! Looking for the backcountry booter of your dreams? Step right up! This ski really has a wide range of activities and preferences for the adventurous skier looking for freeride fun. Built with a blend of poplar and ash, with Armada’s AR75 (75% sidewall, 25% cap in tips and tails) sidewall, these skis aren’t light, but that cap at the ends makes it maneuverable. This heft gives the ski a surprising amount of stability and a quiet nature for skiers who are on the aggressively playful side of the spectrum. As our second-heaviest ski in this comparison, coming in at 2175 grams per ski in the 180 cm length, the ARV 106’s weight is unexpected, but it’s about as predictable as it gets when it’s on your feet.

Who it's For:

A freestyle skier at heart who likes to explore the far-reaches of their creativity. You value stability and dampness while keeping things fun and exciting.


AT A GLANCE


2022 Atomic Backland 107 Skis



AVAILABLE SIZES

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WEIGHT

STRENGTHS

175, 182, 189 cm

18.5 m at 182 cm

137 / 107 / 124 mm

1500 g at 175 cm

Touring, Flotation, Energy


Overview:

The Backland 107 is one of those skis that when you pick it up, you can’t imagine it will perform in a downhill situation. The experience, however, is quite the opposite. While still light on the feet, mainly due to the thinness of the Ultra-Power wood WEIGHT, the Backland 107 packs a remarkable punch. The wood WEIGHT combines with the carbon backbone to deliver the snap and pop to the turns, while the HRZN Tech in the tips makes the ski float really well for a 107mm underfooted ski. It’s certainly a bit more directional than some of the other freeride tourers on the market, and that flatter tail adds to the on-trail personality and performance of the ski for sure. We’ve seen some really strong skiers push this ski to the edge and beyond, with very little in terms of limitations. Skins and a Shift binding pair very well with these skis, offering a unique and versatile experience for both in and out of bounds skiing.

Who it's For:

A whole slew of skiers who are looking to blur the line between a resort-specific and a backcountry-oriented ski. If you’re looking for touring capabilities with lift-served flotation, and a surprising amount of pop, the 107 is a fantastic choice.


AT A GLANCE


2022 Black Crows Corvus Freebird Skis



AVAILABLE SIZES

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WEIGHT

STRENGTHS

176, 183.4, 188.2 cm

21 m at 183.4 cm

140 / 107 / 119 mm

1880 g at 183.4 cm

Touring, Versatility, Grip


Overview:

As the touring version of the normal Corvus, the Freebird version of the ski offers some things that are different, and others that are the same. The philosophy in terms of shaping is the most obvious similarity, with a flatter tail and a spoonier tip that echoes the Corvus’ spirit of flotation in fresh, and grip on the firm. There’s not a whole lot that these skis cannot do, and while most skiers will end up putting some type of hybrid touring binding on the ski, it can be used both in and out of bounds equally as well. Built with a poplar wood WEIGHT and a titanal binding reinforcement plate, these skis have a pretty burly build for a “freeride touring” ski, and that’s by design. With a fiberglass laminate containing carbon, and a semi-cap sidewall, these skis have a lot of features that are found in normal, directional resort skis, but are a bit thinner for greater uphill efficiency. The flat tail is really what separates these from the crowd, with minimal taper and rocker, the Corvus Freebird holds a turn really strongly, and for a 107 mm underfoot ski, that makes it one of the cleanest turners of the group.

Who it's For:

Skiers looking for a strong touring ski with good grip and a fair amount of tip rocker and taper for flotation. If you value the party in the front and business in the back style of ski, the Corvus Freebird is a wonderful freeride touring ski with limitless capabilities.


AT A GLANCE


2022 Blizzard Rustler 10 Skis



AVAILABLE SIZES

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WEIGHT

STRENGTHS

164, 172, 180, 188 cm

17.5 m at 180 cm

133 / 102 / 122 mm

2020 g at 180 cm

Flotation, Energy, Intuitiveness


Overview:

There’s not a whole lot that this ski cannot do. From steeps and trees to bumps and powder, the Rustler 10 and its unique shaping and construction have separated itself from the herd. Built with a combination of beech, poplar, balsa, and paulownia, the fine engineers at Blizzard have really thrown it all in here. Adding the DRT Titanal Laminate to the mix really takes the energy of the ski up a notch or two. Full-width underfoot and tapering into the tips and tails, the Rustler 10 has great torsional stiffness for firmer conditions while keeping the tips and tails more flexible for better flotation and playfulness. For how energetic and precise they are in the mid-section of the ski, they’re incredibly smeary and surfy in the ends. It’s this type of versatility that makes the Rustler 10 stand out as a strong contender for a true one-ski quiver in this width. A shade over 2000 grams in the 180, and at 102 mm underfoot, these skis have more power and stability than you may think, all the while remaining maneuverable and floaty—all thanks to the construction techniques combined with a relatively dramatic rocker profile. This combination makes the skis incredibly intuitive, allowing skiers to focus more on having fun and less on whether they’re on the right skis in the right conditions. With the Rustler 10, it simply does not matter.

Who it's For:

If you’re looking for a one-ski quiver over 100 mm underfoot, this just may be one of the best options out there. You value edge grip underfoot and playfulness in the tips and tails, and are looking to use this ski for any and all conditions and terrain.


AT A GLANCE


2022 DPS Pagoda 106 C2 Skis



AVAILABLE SIZES

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WEIGHT

STRENGTHS

155, 163, 171, 179, 184, 189 cm

19 m at 179 cm

137 / 106 / 121 mm

1940 g at 178 cm

Precision, Quality, Agility


Overview:

The Pagoda 106 C2 is likely the best floating carving ski of the group. It’s hard to really put a finger on it, but a lot of it has to do with the construction and DPS’s specific use of carbon. The dual-carbon laminate is exclusive in the industry, and it really makes skis like the Pagoda 106 stand out. The rest of the WEIGHT is pretty interesting as well, consisting of ash, aspen, and paulownia. The paulownia is new to the Pagoda line for 2022, differentiating the Pagoda from the Pagoda Piste line. With the C2 shaping, these skis generate the longer 19-meter turn radius (versus the RP’s 15-meter arc), and allow for a longer and faster overall turning personality and character. Thanks to the construction and shape, the 106 C2 rips turns on groomers with power, stability, and energy, but the ski’s potential does not stop there. With the wider waist and DPS’s reputation for making fantastic powder skis, these 106’s float really well. They not only stay on top of fresh powder due to the tapered tips, but they also blast through crud like much heavier and more metallic skis. The quality of the carbon and the precision of the construction have a lot to do with this, allowing skiers to get the best of all worlds. The price tag appropriately reflects the quality.

Who it's For:

Skiers who recognize and appreciate quality products. If you want a ski that instantly reacts to your input, even in a wider shape, this ski is for you. Luxury car owners will gravitate to ski companies like DPS.


AT A GLANCE


2022 Dynastar M-Pro Pro Rider Skis



AVAILABLE SIZES

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WEIGHT

STRENGTHS

192 cm

27 m at 192 cm

132 / 105 / 122 mm

2626 g at 192 cm

Strength, Power, Power


Overview:

In all likelihood, you’re not going to need any more ski than the M-Pro 105. This is one of the more fun skis that we sell, even though we don’t quite get the chance to ski it in the actual conditions and terrain that it’s meant for. Built with a poplar wood WEIGHT and two sheets of metal, the skis also get a 3D profile that puts more material over the edges and sidewalls of the ski. All of this, combined with the 192 cm-only sizing, puts the ski into a different realm entirely. Coming in at 2626 grams per ski, it’s pretty darn obvious when you pick this ski up that you’re in rare territory. Full-wood through the sidewalls give the 105 a unique feel and power level in this category, and a fairly straight 27-meter “turn” radius is an outlier as well. Built to plow rather than play, the M-Pro 105 is the pro skier’s choice for big-mountain and freeride contests on some of the steepest and rowdiest terrain and conditions on the planet. If you decide to go this route, be prepared for when you click in to get a totally different experience. Fast and fearless, you shall be.

Who it's For:

Probably not you, but if yes, good for you!


AT A GLANCE


2022 Elan Ripstick 106 Black Edition Skis



AVAILABLE SIZES

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WEIGHT

STRENGTHS

164, 172, 180, 188 cm

18.1 m at 180 cm

143 / 106 / 120 mm

1945 g at 180 cm

Carving, Stability, Power to Weight Ratio


Overview:

What a wonderful and surprising addition to the Ripstick line! The 106 Black takes a proven winner and adds more carbon (and therefore power and stability) for higher-energy and performance skiing. The carbon additions are twofold: first, the Quadrod technology adds two more carbon rods to the WEIGHT through the forebody and the back end of the ski. This makes the 106 Black a lot more stable and stronger, especially in the fore/aft flex of the ski. Secondly, the Carbon Line technology that’s found in the non-Black Ripstick editions is expanded in this 106 Black. Expanding to full-underfoot carbon with inside-edge to the tips and tails, this laminate adds more stiffness and response for sure. It’s very impressive how well it carves for its width and weight, and even more so how Elan mimics the use of metal without actually using it. This results in an amazing power to weight ratio, and with Elan’s asymmetric construction, the inside portions of the ski are precise and energetic while the outside edges remain playful and floaty. It’s this type of forward-thinking from the good people at Elan that will make this 2022 Ripstick 106 Black an enormously popular ski this upcoming season.

Who it's For:

Skiers looking for a wider ski that handles well both on and off-trail. If you like how a ski with metal performs, but are looking for something more playful without sacrificing performance, this is a fantastic option.


AT A GLANCE


2022 Elan Ripstick 106 Skis



AVAILABLE SIZES

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WEIGHT

STRENGTHS

164, 172, 180, 188 cm

18.1 m at 180 cm

143 / 106 / 120 mm

1825 g at 180 cm

Quickness, Flotation, Agility


Overview:

The fun-factor of these Elan Ripstick skis, as a whole, is simply off the charts. At the 106 mm width, the softer and deeper snow of the mountain is certainly in play, but the way that they build and shape these skis really brings an all-mountain factor to the forefront, even as wide as they are. Most of this has to do with the construction, more specifically the application of carbon to the build. By using carbon tubes that run along the sidewalls of the wood WEIGHT, Elan is able to get a unique and energetic feel to the ski that nobody else has. How can a ski this wide and this light carve so well? It’s really all about the 360-degree and 3-dimensional application of those carbon tubes. They’re installed under pressure, so there’s a fair amount of latent energy built in, and you can really feel it when you load up the ski, that you get more back than you put in. It’s a totally different sensation, and Elan keys in on it quite nicely. In addition, the Carbon Line technology places a partial carbon laminate on the inside edges of the ski to get more grip on the downhill ski. Since they’re asymmetrically constructed, Elan is able to take liberties like this to achieve certain goals, and in this case, it’s a grippier downhill ski and a more playful uphill one.

Who it's For:

Skiers who are looking for a light, agile, and energetic ski for a blend of all-mountain and freeride skiing. If you are searching for energy and agility in a light-weight package, you could do a lot worse than the Ripstick 106.


AT A GLANCE


2022 Fischer Ranger 102 FR Skis



AVAILABLE SIZES

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WEIGHT

STRENGTHS

163, 170, 177, 184, 191 cm

18 m at 177 cm

136 / 102 / 126 mm

1940 g at 184 cm

Versatility, Freestyle, Fun


Overview:

It’s nice to live in a world in which the Fischer Ranger 102 FR exists. It’s a great blend of powder performance, on-piste sensibility, and all-mountain fun that skiers should not miss out on. With a relatively simple build, these skis pack a lot into a minimalistic package. The wood WEIGHT uses Fischer’s Aerorshaping to gain stability and dampness on the central spine of the ski, while the Carbon Nose and the twin-tipped shape make it a formidable contender in the freeride and freestyle categories. The Aeroshape makes it easy to get up on high edge angles and complete nice, clean, and round turns, while in softer snow, the light shovel and the long and low rocker profile keep this ski up, out, and on top of the snow no matter the depth. In the tail end, the freestyle and playful nature of the ski really shine. The twin tip is great not only for freestyle, park, and pipe applications, but also for smeary, surfy, and slarvy turns in the soft stuff that modern skiers really seem to enjoy. It’s all about having fun out there on the hill, and there aren’t a whole lot of skis that exude this type of enjoyment as successfully as the Ranger 102 FR.

Who it's For:

You love to ski any and all conditions and terrain, but aren’t looking for something too rugged and burly. Skiers who enjoy trees, powder, groomers, and park will all get their kicks out of the Ranger 102 FR.


AT A GLANCE


2022 Head Kore 105 Skis



AVAILABLE SIZES

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WEIGHT

STRENGTHS

163, 170, 177, 184, 191 cm

17.8 m at 184 cm

135 / 105 / 125 mm

1690 g at 177 cm

Light, Stiff, Precise


Overview:

A couple of tweaks from Head for 2022 has made the Kore 105 more refined, damper, and just plain better. One of the best parts of the refresh is the closing of the sizing, reducing the 9cm break to 7cm, offering a better spread of lengths for more skiers. In addition, the loss of koroyd is a good thing, in our opinion, making the ski a bit less jittery when the going gets sketchy. As a result, this 2022 Kore 105 is a bit more flexible and compliant, and this makes it quieter and damper for the majority of conditions and terrain. With a spoony tip shape, this 105 floats really well, as that shape is properly combined with the light weight of Karuba wood, carbon, and graphene. The combination of material and shape works great for softer snow, with the added bonus of being great on groomed terrain as well. Since skiers are able to bend and flex this year’s Kore 105 a bit better, it allows for higher edge angles and deeper carves—two things that were more difficult to achieve on the outgoing model. For lightweight freeride fun, the Kore 105 gets a well-deserved upgrade.

Who it's For:

Skiers who don’t want to charge full-on 100 percent of the time, but still want to know that gear exists. If you prefer lighter skis that have a stiff and consistent flex, the Kore 105 is a great choice.


AT A GLANCE


2022 K2 Reckoner 102 Skis



AVAILABLE SIZES

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WEIGHT

STRENGTHS

163, 170, 177, 184 cm

19.3 m at 184 cm

134 / 102 / 127 mm

1930 g at 184 cm

Freestyle, Flex, Smeariness


Overview:

K2’s got a really fun and interesting ski with the Reckoner 102. Built with an Aspen and Fir wood WEIGHT and K2’s Carbon Spectral Braiding technology, these skis get a rare combination of soft snow flotation, freestyle acumen, and on-trail carving ability. At 102 mm underfoot, it’s got the width to float, and that pairs well with the taper shape and rocker profile. That’s to be expected for a ski in this category. What’s a bit out of the ordinary is how the carbon and the flex make it a really strong carver. Not really strong in relation to a GS ski, but for what it is and what it does, the cleanliness and roundness of the turns really stand out in this grouping. The fact that the skier can access the entirety of the sidecut as a result of the flex is pretty intriguing for directional skiers, and it comes to no cost or expense to the freestyle-oriented nature of the ski. This is, after all, a twin tip, and it is meant to be playful and fun whether you’re in the park, pipe, or backcountry jump spots.

Who it's For:

Gosh, a whole lot of skiers. Those looking for a wider, and more playful all-mountain ski will love the plusses of the Reckoner, while skiers who are freestyle and park enthusiasts will love the versatility and fun-loving nature of these 102’s.


AT A GLANCE


2022 Kastle FX 106 Ti Skis



AVAILABLE SIZES

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WEIGHT

STRENGTHS

168, 174, 184, 192 cm

20.4 m at 184 cm

137 / 106 / 125 mm

1970 g at 176 cm

Precision, Quality, Versatility


Overview:

Back to the metal. After a brief hiatus with the use of titanal, the Kastle FX 106 Ti gets its mojo back with a boost of performance, stability, and dampness. Not to say the outgoing 106 HP was a slouch—it did successfully use carbon and fiberglass to mimic the metal, but it’s just not the same thing. The 2022 FX 106 Ti is back to being one of the more powerful skis of this comparison, hanging tough with skis like the Enforcer 104 and the Sender Ti. The Kastle precision and quality oozes out of these skis, and you can certainly tell the minute that you click in and push off. The shovel remains lighter and more playful thanks to the Hollowtech tips, but the rest of the ski is pretty darn businesslike. There’s a decent amount of rocker in the tail, and if they just rounded it off a bit more, it would look a lot more like a twin tip, so you’re going to get smeariness and playfulness out of it, you just have to work a bit harder to get it. Slightly oxymoronic, yes, but it still works, you just have to put some effort in. You’re not likely going to see the top end of the performance spectrum on this ski, as the dual-metal laminate combined with the poplar and beech wood WEIGHT makes the central and tail portions of the ski stout and stable.

Who it's For:

Quality-oriented skiers who don’t mind paying a premium for a top-end product. You love precision in your gear, even at wider widths.


AT A GLANCE


2022 Liberty Origin 106 Skis



AVAILABLE SIZES

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WEIGHT

STRENGTHS

171, 176, 182, 187 cm

20 m at 182 cm

138 / 106 / 128 mm

1940 g at 180 cm

Surfiness, Playfulness, Smeariness


Overview:

In the top tier of playfulness in this comparison, the Liberty Origin 106 gets a bit of a performance boost for 2022 with the addition of one vertical metal strut. It may not sound or seem like a lot, and I suppose it’s not a ton, but it certainly takes the dampness of the ski to the next level. Everything about this ski is round. Round tips, round tails, and round turns best define the Origin 106. The circular nature of this ski makes it a great option for those who love to search and seek fresh snow. While it’s not one of the stronger carvers in this group, the other attributes of the ski more than make up for that slight deficiency. It’s not like anyone’s getting skis in this category to be used exclusively on groomers anyway, so it’s almost to Liberty’s benefit that these 106’s err sharply on the more playful and freeride end of the spectrum. The use of bamboo in the ski is pretty unique and exclusive to Liberty, as are the poured sidewalls. The thicker WEIGHT puts more space between the bottom of your boot and the surface of the snow, making for a quiet and smooth feeling to the ski. This thickness dissipates to the tips and tails, allowing for the playful and smeary nature of the ski to be revealed.

Who it's For:

Freestyle and freeride skiers who like to wheelie, butter, smear, and slash their way down the mountain. You like playful skis, and this is likely the wider ski in your quiver.


AT A GLANCE


2022 Nordica Enforcer 104 Free Skis



AVAILABLE SIZES

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SIDECUT

WEIGHT

STRENGTHS

165, 172, 179, 186, 191 cm

18.5 m at 186 cm

135 / 104 / 124 mm

2140 g at 179 cm

Carving, Power, Energy


Overview:

One of the more powerful skis on this list, the Enforcer 104 Free also benefits from having pretty dramatic rocker, creating an interesting dichotomy between build and shape. Constructed with a full wood WEIGHT, dual-metal laminate, and a carbon chassis, there’s a lot going on in terms of the ruggedness of the internals, and that counter-balances, quite well, the longer rocker profile in both the tips and the tails. What you end up with is a strong-flexing ski that can hammer and motor through and over any and all snow conditions and terrain. Sounds simple, and it is. The power of the build makes it act and behave like a much more on-trail ski, while the width and the profile keep it on the floaty side of the spectrum. The twin tip shape brings the freeride and freestyle influence to the forefront, and while we wouldn’t go so far as to call it a park ski by any means, it’s at least nice to know that switch skiing and backcountry freestyle maneuvers aren’t off the table. Strong yet playful, the Enforcer 104 Free pretty much defines this comparison, and is a viable option for a whole slew of expert and aggressive skiers.

Who it's For:

Strong skiers who will most likely be using this ski as their only stick. If you want that full-on construction with more playful of a shape and profile, you’ll get along great with the Enforcer 104. BFF’s, likely.


AT A GLANCE


2022 Rossignol Sender Ti Skis



AVAILABLE SIZES

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SIDECUT

WEIGHT

STRENGTHS

180, 187, 194 cm

21 m at 187 cm

138 / 106 / 128 mm

2030 g at 180 cm

Directional Flotation, Power, Stability


Overview:

It’s interesting what Rossignol does with the Sender/Sender Ti skis. The Ti version comes in longer lengths and a wider shape, as well as having the Titanal laminate and Dual LCT ABS. This boost in construction, paired with the bigger overall footprint, makes the Sender Ti a real-deal, no-nonsense ski that operates really well at high speeds and in deep snow. At 106 mm underfoot in the 187 cm length, the skis also boast a pretty straight cut, with a 21-meter arc at that length. If you bump up to the 194, you’re getting a 23-meter radius. This is all about speed and going fast, mainly in a directional format, and it makes a lot of sense for advanced, expert, and aggressive skiers who are looking for stability and power. With a fair amount of tip rocker, and a pretty spoony shovel shape, the Sender Ti stays afloat quite well, and with a flatter tail with low rocker, the skis hold on tight to the end of the turn. It’s a fairly decent carver as well—better than expected, at least, as the Dual LCT ABS keeps the dampness of the ski firmly intact.

Who it's For:

Aggressive skiers who are looking for a charging ski for fresh snow, crud, and chop. If you value stability at speed and a smooth overall performance, and don’t mind working hard for it, you’re going to appreciate the Sender Ti.


AT A GLANCE


2022 Rossignol Sender Skis



AVAILABLE SIZES

TURN RADIUS

SIDECUT

WEIGHT

STRENGTHS

154, 164, 172, 178, 186 cm

18 m at 178 cm

138 / 104 / 128 mm

1900 g at 178 cm

Versatility, Inclusivity, Energy


Overview:

As opposed to the ruggedness and aggressive nature of the Sender Ti, the Sender offers a wider range and broader appeal to more skiers. The number of lengths offered, combined with the more flexible and lighter construction open this ski up to a larger audience, making it a great ski for the people in this comparison. At 104 mm in the 178 cm length, the skis still have amazing flotation, and when that shape is combined with the paulownia wood WEIGHT, the agility and quickness of the ski comes to the forefront as well. Visco struts in the WEIGHT increase dampness and reduce chatter, while keeping the ski strong and stable. With that paulownia WEIGHT, it’s nice to have the additional material of the LCT and the Diago Fiber to power up the Sender. There’s a good amount of tip rocker and splay, so it’s going to float really well, while the lower rocker profile of the tail adds to the grippiness and responsiveness at the end of the turn. As such, it’s a pretty competent carver, capable and willing to hold an edge on firmer snow, although it is happier when the surface is soft.

Who it's For:

Advancing and progressing skiers looking for their first foray into the wider ski category. This is probably your soft-snow ski rather than your only—you likely have a narrower ski for most days.


AT A GLANCE


2022 Salomon QST 106 Skis



AVAILABLE SIZES

TURN RADIUS

SIDECUT

WEIGHT

STRENGTHS

167, 174, 181, 188 cm

19 m at 181 cm

139 / 106 / 125 mm

2125 g at 181 cm

Flotation, Dampness, Confidence


Overview:

One of the misconceptions we’ve learned over the past few years is that the QST line is not just a light weight freeride one. Rather, Salomon’s use of material puts them on the heavier side of the spectrum, and not that we’re complaining, but the image of the QST 106 being used as a touring ski doesn’t quite paint the whole picture. Sure, you can put a Shift on it and have a blast in the backcountry, but at 2125 grams per ski in the 181, it’s certainly not your lightest option. However, it’s one of the better floaters of our comparison for sure. The rocker profile and taper shape are ample to say the least, with pretty dramatic splay in the front and long rocker in the tail. For a 106, it’s going to float like a much wider ski, despite the weight. When the snow gets choppy, though, that’s when you’re really going to like the bulk of these skis, as they proceed with total confidence and dampness through manky snow. It’s fair to say it’s one of the best crud-busting skis we’ve been on, and Salomon manages to achieve this without metal. Their use of poplar wood and their C/FX material combine to make a rugged ski that rarely complains about anything.

Who it's For:

Pretty strong skiers, especially if you’re using it to tour. For lift-served audiences, you should be pretty comfortable letting a ski do the work and hanging in there for a rowdy, fun, and floaty ride.


AT A GLANCE


2022 Volkl Blaze 106 Skis



AVAILABLE SIZES

TURN RADIUS

SIDECUT

WEIGHT

STRENGTHS

165, 172, 179, 186 cm

28 / 17 / 36 m at 180 cm

146 / 106 / 128 mm

1790 g at 179 cm

Flotation, Touring Prowess, Intuitiveness


Overview:

There’s quite a bit of sophistication in these Blaze 106’s. From the Titanal Power Plate to the 3D. Radius Sidecut, the Blaze 106 has some effective technology that makes it stand apart from other skis in this comparison. It’s a great floater—mostly due to the lighter weight and wider shovel. At 146 mm in the tip, these are going to stay on top of pretty much any depth of snow for sure. Long rocker in the shovel adds to that floaty feeling of the ski, while the tail is a bit more moderate. It’s a bit flatter in the rear for better touring capabilities, and the light 1790 grams per ski weight in the 179 cm makes it one of the lighter skis on our wall—even with the metal underfoot. Speaking of that metal, it’s more than just a binding retention plate—it goes edge to edge and extends a bit to the tips and tails, so it does have a functionality purpose as well. 3D.Radius is one of those concepts that makes a little sense when you hear about it and talk about it, but it makes total sense when you get out there and ski. Basically, these skis make intuitive turns at any speed, allowing the skier to have greater input in the turn shape and duration.

Who it's For:

Skiers looking for a strong 50/50 touring/resort ski. With Volkl’s on-trail reputation, you’ll be stoked on the in-bounds performance while not sacrificing uphill efficiency and backcountry maneuverability.


AT A GLANCE


2022 Volkl Revolt 104 Skis



AVAILABLE SIZES

TURN RADIUS

SIDECUT

WEIGHT

STRENGTHS

172, 180, 188 cm

24 / 19 / 22 m at 180 cm

132 / 104 / 122 mm

1960 g at 180 cm

Freestyle, Freeride, Fun


Overview:

This thing is just plain fun. Thanks to the shape, construction, and profile, there’s a really wide range of applications for the Revolt 104. You can use it in the park and pipe all day, or not at all. You can use it as a backcountry-specific ski if you wish, although they do have a bit of heft to them. Feel free to take it in the trees and use it in the resort as a pure all-mountain ski—they'll do that too. Built with a Mulit-Layer wood WEIGHT, and that’s about it, the construction is fairly simple, but the shape and profile take the performance of the ski to the next level. Pretty spoony in the shovels and tails, the Revolt 104 has some decent early and late taper in both ends. The tail is quite a bit narrower than the tip, so it has a very playful finish to the turn—will not lock you in and hold tight, but rather smear and surf. There’s a bit of camber underfoot for grip, but not so much that the ski dives into the soft snow. The length of the rocker has a lot to do with the flotation as well, making this one of the most playful and fun-loving skis on the wall. Slarvy and buttery, the Revolt 104 is a true freestyle/freeride ski.

Who it's For:

Freestyle-oriented skiers who value flex and play in their skis. If you spend a lot of time in the park but are looking for something wider for freeride skiing, both in and out of bounds, this is the ski for you.


Written by Jeff Neagle on 09/23/20

2 thoughts on “2022 Ski Comparisons: Men's Mid 100mm Freeride Ski Guide

  1. Hi Jeff/Bob, great reviews as always - thank you! I plan to do mostly off piste/trees/bowls/chutes etc but will need something competent on groomers for skiing with the family.

    I'm torn between the QST 106 and the Mindbender 108 (not reviewed here) - any deciding factors or other models I should look at? Ripsticks for example?

    Thank you again, all the best, Phil

    1. Hi Phil!
      I'd say the 108 is more competent on groomers than the QST, but the QST is more fun in a flotation format. The metal in the K2, combined with the width/shape puts it on the lumbering side of the spectrum. The QST is a bit quicker of a turner in terms of skier input. The K2 needs a bit more speed to activate while the QST has a broader range. I'd say that's one of the key differences. If you bring up the Ripstick 106 Black Edition with me, though, I'm going to sing its praises for sure. For me, that's one of the most complete skis at this width that I've been on. Hope that helps!
      SE/bob

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