2023 Salomon QST Lumen 98 Review
This ski was voted the most playful ski among this year’s crop of women’s all-mountain skis
This article was first published by SkiMag.com.
The Scores (out of 10)
- Overall Score: 8.11/10
- Rank: #3
- Versatility: 8.67
- Crud Performance: 7.33
- Playfulness: 9.17
- Responsiveness: 8.83
- Hard-Snow Integrity: 7.83
- Quickness: 8.83
- Stability at Speed: 7.67
- Carving: 8.33
- Flotation: 7
- Forgiveness: 8.5
- Price: $725
- Lengths: 152, 160, 168, 176
- Dimensions: 131-98-119
- Radius: 15m
- Level: Intermediate to Expert
In a Nutshell
- Pros: Playfulness (#1), Quickness (#1)
- Cons: Crud Performance (#11), Stability at Speed (#8)
The new version of the women’s Salomon QST Lumen 98 blew the rest of the skis in the women’s all-mountain category out of the water in the Playfulness, Quickness, and Forgiveness departments, so if those areas are your jam, go ahead and pull the trigger.
There must be some magic in the core because this ski majorly impressed testers with its pop and pizazz—traits that have been hard to come by in some Salomon skis of the past, which could feel a little dead inside. But not the QST Lumen 98. “98 Lumen? More like 98,000 lumens—it’s so energetic,” raved tester Erika Nothrop, an expert skier from Taos, N.M. “Zippy and zappy and makes me wanna say ‘weeeeee’ the whole way down the run.”
This updated model now features the same (and highly lauded) construction layup as the unisex QST line—a full poplar wood core reinforced with a carbon fiber and flax laminate, plus Salomon’s Cork Damplifier tech, which places cork in the tip and tail of the ski to absorb vibrations. The guys have been harping on about the playfulness of the QST Blank for a while now, and we’re stoked to see this technology making its way into the women’s line of all-mountain skis.
The QST Lumen 98 also impressed testers with its quickness and responsiveness, high praise for one of the wider skis entered into the all-mountain category. It can be challenging to fire off short swing turns in bumps and trees on a 98mm-waisted ski, but thanks to this ski’s 15m turning radius, tip and tail rocker, and lightweight construction, changing directions on the fly is a piece of cake on the QST Lumen 98.
“Surprised me how responsive and energetic this ski is,” said Jackson Hole ski patroller Michelle Nicholson. “Whips the tree lines like a boss and makes nice, balanced turns on the groomers. Salomon hit this ski just right—perfect all-mountain tool.”
When asked about the ski’s weakness, a common response was “it’s too fun.” Don’t let that fool you into thinking this ski isn’t dependable or serious enough for experts, though. True, it’s not the most stable at speed or in the crud, despite the cork placements in the tip and tail that are meant to help smooth out the ride. You just can’t get the same stability in a ski without the use of metal. But keep the QST Lumen 98 on softer groomers or head for the bumps and trees, and you’ll see that it’s no slouch when it comes to reliable performance. “It feels more at home in soft snow but will show you a good time on hardpack if you promise her a good time in the trees later,” said Northrop.
One of this ski’s best traits (besides how fun it is), is how approachable it is. It will perform just as happily and intuitively for intermediates as it will for advanced skiers. “This is the most inviting ski,” said tester Jordan Garrett, an assistant ski buyer for Evo. “West Coast, East Coast—heck, even Midwest. Oh ya betcha, it’s for everyone!”
Jenny Wiegand is SKI’s managing editor. Born and raised in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany, Jenny grew up exploring the Alps on skis, bikes, and her own two feet. She has since traded in the Alps for the Rockies to seek new trails, new adventures, and write about her favorite sport—skiing—in her new home of Boulder, Colo. Since joining the SKI Magazine editorial team in 2018, Jenny has written and edited stories for SKI’s print and digital outlets. A lifelong skier and former club racer, Jenny is also a self-proclaimed gearhead and puts that knowledge to good use as one of SKI Magazine’s official gear testers.