2023 Salomon QST 106 Review
Wait until you feel the design upgrades to this best-seller
This article was first published by SkiMag.com.
The Scores (out of 10)
- Overall Score: 7.66/10
- Rank: #4
- Versatility: 7.86
- Crud Performance: 7.57
- Flotation: 7.86
- Playfulness: 7.71
- Responsiveness: 7.57
- Quickness: 7.43
- Hard-Snow Integrity: 6.71
- Stability at Speed: 7.43
- Forgiveness: 7.71
- Price: $900
- Lengths: 157, 165, 173, 181, 189
- Dimensions: 139-106-126
- Radius: 19
- Level: Intermediate to Expert
In a Nutshell
- Pros: Versatility (#3), Forgiveness (#2)
- Cons: Hard-Snow Integrity (#8), Stability at Speed (#7)
How do you improve upon the recipe for a ski that’s already legendary? Simple: more flavor, better sauce. Salomon tweaked the QST construction and profile ever so slightly this season to look more like the freeride-oriented QST Blank, essentially adding more rocker and taper to the tip and tail for intuitive steering and float, as well as bumping the widest point of the tip back for a more playful and versatile design.
The revamped QST 106 is sure to become a favorite for its reliable performance in all snow conditions you’re likely to encounter at the resort. It keeps its cool while arcing turns down fresh corduroy and zips through the trees despite its 106mm waist, but it comes alive when laying fresh tracks down wide open bowls.
The poplar wood core is springy and energetic, with updated full-length double sidewalls that create a strong platform underfoot and hold a solid edge while carving on hardpack. Testers remarked on how snappy and playful the new version is and how intuitive they feel the minute you hop on board, making it easy to navigate narrow chutes and tight trees or correct your form when you veer off course. “Solid, chargeable, and nimble for such a large platform,” said tester Chad Jacobs, a race coach from New York. “The 106mm waist provides enough float for a few inches overnight but doesn’t feel overly cumbersome during long dry spells.”
Cork in the rockered tip and tail dampens vibrations while rallying groomers. While that technology proved pretty effective at medium speeds, testers agreed this is not the ski for ripping fast turns down hardpack. “On firm snow, this ski struggles to hold an edge,” said tester Jon Sexauer, who spends most of his ski days at Colorado’s Copper Mountain. “Big open faces with soft snow are a sweet spot for the QST 106.”
Forgiveness is this ski’s biggest strength, but don’t let its user-friendliness fool you into thinking this isn’t a ski for advanced and expert skiers. When you unleash it, the QST proves to be a stout big mountain ski and slightly less heady than its beefier counterpart, the 112mm QST Blank. Everyone from advanced to expert skiers will find that the QST 106 offers a solid platform to boost cliffs, pop pillows, and rally spring slush laps. “It instills a sense of playfulness and relaxed skiing that boosts confidence,” said Montana-based tester Sam Cox. “Easy to ski, provides immediate response, and it’s snappy.”
“Nimble enough to navigate more technical terrain, but they shine in those long arcing turns,” added Sexauer. “If you like big surfy turns, slashing rope lines, and seeking out soft snow without feeling like you need to be in the gym all summer to stand on a ski, this is a great fit.”
A bonafide crowd pleaser for experienced and intermediate skiers alike, Salmon will also offer the QST 106 in a wider size range for the 2023 season, ranging from 165cm to 189cm, so every man or woman can find a length that suits their skiing ability and style.
“An impressively good ski for the masses,” added Tommy Flitton. “It inspires trust and confidence anywhere on the mountain.”
Lily Krass is a freelance ski journalist based in Jackson, Wyoming with work featured in SKI Magazine, Powder Magazine, Freeskier, Teton Gravity Research, and Ascent Backcountry Snow Journal. She spends winters backcountry skiing in Grand Teton National Park and riding lifts at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, with the occasional trip to the Alps (for the food, obviously). While she’s been in ski boots since she learned to walk, Lily has been professionally writing about skiing, gear, and all things outdoors for the past seven years. In addition to an all-consuming addiction to powder skiing mixed with heavy doses of Type II fun, Lily takes snacking seriously, and when she’s not writing or sliding on snow, she’s likely deep into a baking project in her tiny kitchen. She is the co-author of Beyond Skid: A Cookbook For Ski Bums, a collection of dirtbag-friendly recipes inspired by life in a mountain town.