Salomon QST Lumen 99 Review
Compare prices at 3 resellers Pros: Lively, quick for its size, master in powder
Cons: Not super stable, flappy tips, gets thrown in crud
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Salomon QST Lumen 99
|Price||$649.95 at Backcountry|
Compare at 3 sellers
|$429.99 at Amazon||$698.95 at Amazon|
Compare at 3 sellers
|$599.95 at Backcountry|
Compare at 2 sellers
|$699.00 at Amazon|
|Pros||Lively, quick for its size, master in powder||Great float in powder, playful, decent stability||Incredibly versatile, easy to ski, fun and quick, only 92mm makes it nimble||A blast to ski, easy to turn, relatively stable, fantastic in powder||Great stability at high speeds, good on hard snow and crud, affordable|
|Cons||Not super stable, flappy tips, gets thrown in crud||More expensive, slightly lumbering in bumps||Not the perfect powder partner||Not perfect carvers, some deflection in crud||Only for shallower pow days, needs strong skier to guide them|
|Bottom Line||We loved skiing this in bumps and in powder, but it wasn't as versatile as we'd hoped in other terrain||A great choice for a West Coast woman who loves getting out in the soft snow||The cat's out of the bag on the new Secret from Volkl - it's versatile performance makes it our favorite overall ski||An absolute ripper ski, but you don't have to yet be a ripping chick to fully enjoy them||A high-quality, affordable ski for all snow conditions, including up to 6 inches of fresh powder, but it takes a strong skier to bend and maneuver them|
|Rating Categories||Salomon QST Lumen 99||Rossignol Soul 7 HD W||Volkl Secret 92||Elan Ripstick 94 W||Dictator 2.0X|
|Stability At Speed (20%)|
|Specs||Salomon QST Lumen 99||Rossignol Soul 7...||Volkl Secret 92||Elan Ripstick 94 W||Dictator 2.0X|
|Waist Width (mm)||99||106||92||95||96|
|Available Lengths (cm)||153, 159, 167, 174, 181||156, 164, 172, 180||149, 156, 163, 170||156, 163, 170, 177||155, 163, 171, 175, 179, 183, 187|
|Rocker||Tip and tail, camber underfoot||Tip and tail, camber underfoot||Tip and tail, camber underfoot||Tip and tail, cambered inside edge||Tip and tail, camber underfoot|
|Weight Per Pair (lbs)||8.1||7.7||8.2||6.7||7.9|
|Construction Type||Full sandwich||Sandwich||Full sidewall||SST sidewall||Sandwich|
|Core Material||Poplar||Paulownia wood||Multilayer woodcore, poplar/beech||Tubelite wood||Paulownia & Poplar|
|Tested Length (cm)||174||172||170||170||171|
|Intended Purpose||All mountain/powder||All mountain powder||All mountain||All mountain play||All mountain stability|
|Ability Level||All levels||All levels||All levels||All levels||Advanced/Expert|
Our Analysis and Test Results
If you truly only go out on powder days, and you go back inside as soon as it starts to get tracked out, the Salomon QST Lumen 99 would be a great choice. In that case, however, you'd probably just opt for a powder specific ski instead of an all-mountain that lacks versatility. If you know you'll be skiing on soft groomers, and enjoy making quick short turns with fun rebound energy, this Salomon model does that well, too.
Stability at Speed
The massive rockered tip of the Lumen makes it the perfect powder hound, but this detracts from its stability. We found that the tips were constantly flapping around when we skied at speed on hard-pack or groomers, which is always a little unnerving, even if it doesn't necessarily point to real instability. However, we also found that the ski would chatter and skid out when we tried to push it in the steeps. One tester said she felt that up to a certain speed, it was OK, but at faster speeds, there were a number of uncomfortable moments where they just didn't have the edge-hold we desired.
While the Lumen 99 does have a nice rebound effect at the end of the turn, thanks to a consistent flex pattern along the ski, it just doesn't have the edge-hold capabilities in harder snow to feel confident setting an edge and riding it. It seems to want to make a shorter turn than the 19m radius would suggest, for those who appreciate quick turns. You may need to widen your stance to carve this ski properly, since the tips are quite fat and can get in the way!
This is where the Lumen 99 shines her brightest. It is incredibly floaty - you can always see the big purple spatula tips soaring out in front of you, or if it's very deep you'll still see the waves of snow created by them. These are reassuring signs that you'll be staying on the surface! This ski loves to make a short, bouncy turn in the fluffy stuff, which many of our testers appreciated. As opposed to the typical fat-ski arc of one turn in 300ft of powder, our lead tester tends to think you get more joy out of the snow if you're turning more often! This is also a preferable turn shape for those just building confidence in fresh snow. This ski was very maneuverable in the trees and in quite deep snow (we skied this model in up to 18 inches depth).
Those big old spatula tip that makes the Lumen a perfect powder-eater is its downfall in this metric, constantly being deflected and tossing the rider off balance. This ski just doesn't feel stiff enough to plow through choppy snow.
The exhilarating rebound it offers, particularly in a short, poppy turn, makes it a relatively playful ski. It also feels pretty lightweight, and it seems very easy to get airborne. It's just that when we got back down to the snow again, we weren't convinced the ski would do as it was told. But its surprising agility, given the size and turn radius, definitely gave us a second thought.
The Lumen 99 startled us with its abilities in the moguls as well, mostly because it looks like such a lumbering brute, but it turns with lightness and grace. Despite being 99mm underfoot, and supposedly having a 19m turn radius, this ski is quick and responsive in the bumps. It is relatively forgiving in this terrain for the uninitiated.
Sitting in the middle of our group of test skis in terms of price, we think the tag is set just about right. This ski is fun and great in powder, but we also think there are other skis out there at similar costs that offer greater versatility.
A playful ski that thrives in powder, the Salomon QST Lumen 99 is a forgiving and fun option - just don't expect too much of it in other environments.
— Renee McCormack