Review: 2024 Salomon QST Blank
For the third year in a row, this ski bested the rest in the powder category
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This article was first published by SkiMag.com.
At a Glance
- Brand: Salomon
- Model: QST Blank
- Overall Ranking: #1
- Overall Score: 8.27/10
- Strengths: Flotation, Quickness
- Weaknesses: Stability at Speed, Forgiveness
- Gender: Unisex
- Level: Intermediate to Expert
- Tip/Waist/Tail (mm): 138-112-127
- Lengths (cm): 178, 186, 194
- Radius (m): 17 (186 cm)
- Waist Width (mm): 112
- Weight (per ski in grams): 2,220 (186)
- Flotation: 8.75/10
- Stability at Speed: 7.5/10
- Quickness/Maneuverability: 8.38/10
- Playfulness: 8.25/10
- Forgiveness: 7.75/10
- Crud Performance: 7.88/10
- Versatility: 8.25/10
- Responsiveness: 8.25/10
Except for new graphics, nothing has changed about the highly popular Salomon QST Blank for the 2023-24 season, and that includes how much skiers of all stripes love it. This ski came away as the undisputed champion of the Unisex Powder category after earning highest-in-class scores at our 2024 SKI Test in Sun Valley, Idaho—proving that its Editor’s Choice award-winning performance in our 2023 test was no fluke.
Testers continue to call out this ski’s playfulness, quickness, and flotation chops, characteristics that can be traced to its lighter-weight construction, sidecut, and rocker profile. The QST Blank features a full poplar wood core and no metal, which keeps it feeling feathery underfoot and makes it exceptionally nimble. For a pow ski, it also has a more moderate waist width at 112 millimeters, a healthy amount of traditional camber underfoot, and a relatively short turning radius , all of which translates to enhanced responsiveness and quicker edge-to-edge transitions.
“I was surprised by how quickly it turned,” noted tester Chad Jacob, a race coach from New York who spends a lot of time on quick-turning carvers but not as much on powder skis. Other testers reported that, because of its agility, the QST Blank would make a great powder ski for those who spend their time hunting for secret stashes in the glades and in tight, technical terrain.
Despite the traditional camber in the middle of the ski, the QST Blank incorporates Salomon’s Freeride Profile, with 28 percent tip rocker and 25 percent tail rocker. According to testers, that was more than enough to keep these planks afloat in the 14 inches of fresh they enjoyed during testing in Sun Valley; accordingly, they awarded the QST Blank the second-highest flotation scores in the category.
Related: Understanding rocker vs. camber
Above all, our crew raved about how approachable the QST Blank is, calling it a powder ski for intermediates to experts. “It’s very easy to figure out. Skiers of lower ability could handle it, but it still charges for the higher-ability skier,” noted tester and ski-shop tech John Jensen. We list Forgiveness as one of this ski’s weak points, but we should qualify that: Though the QST Blank received its lowest score in that department, it was ranked the most forgiving ski in the Unisex Powder category. Just goes to show how amazing this ski is: Its weakness is still a strength.
One small critique: It’s not the most dependable at speed. A few testers blamed the generous rocker profile for a slight lack of stability when trying to plow through crud at mach speeds or open it up when the terrain allowed. “With its wide shovels and solid platform underfoot, it inspires confidence,” noted Utah-based tester Brady Newton. “But it has too much tail rocker to please the most demanding skiers.” “It’s not a ski to go 100 miles per hour on,” echoed Jacob. “But is that what we really want in this category?”
For most skiers, the answer is no. What we want in a powder ski is flotation and fun, pop and pizazz, and the QST Blank delivers on those fronts in spades.
“This is the most nimble ski in the category and effortlessly turns with the slightest pressure,” summed up Jacob. “Anyone looking for a tool to make powder skiing less work and more fun will love this option.”