Salomon's categorizes their QST line of skis as free-ride, but has been hailed as a great all-mountain ski. So, we decided to see what the fuss was all about. The QST 99 features "Koroyd", which are basically super strong, but lightweight, polymer nano tubes, in the tips. It is an interesting bit of technology that isn't found in any of the other skis we review, but our testers agreed that its effects on how the ski performed were noticeable.
Salomon QST 99 Review
Compare prices at 3 resellers Pros: Lightweight, fun, floaty
Cons: Floppy tips that experience frequent chatter
Our Analysis and Test Results
We tested the QST 99 in the 181cm length, and through the testing process, we found this ski to excel in soft snow but waver when encountering variable conditions. The lightweight design has some drawbacks that we noticed while testing, but the shape and semi-twin tip make the ski fun when the snow is predictable.
Stability at Speed
The QST feels quite damp at low-medium speeds, but once you step on the throttle, the ski chatters similarly to the Atomic Vantage 100 cti. Although the Koroyd used in the tips seems strong, its dampening properties were overwhelmed by both speed and firm conditions. While not scary at high speeds, a skier on the QSTs might prefer a slower pace.
This ski is easy to initiate a turn with and has solid edge hold. The QST 99 has a small strip of titanal, but not as much as the K2 iKonic 84 ti, and therefore feels less powerful. It also seems to lack the pop and energy other skis have.
That being said, the QST is no dog in the right conditions. Our testers felt comfortable carving large radius turns on wide open groomers, but for an intermediate skier, it may be harder to get the ski to quickly carve short and medium radius turns.
The same characteristics that plague the QST at high speeds gave our testers problems in the crud. While this ski doesn't hook up much, it isn't super easy to drive through variable snow.
The QST 99 benefits from its lightweight and tip rocker while bouncing through chopped up pow, but those same attributes lead to deflection and chatter in firm conditions. As with quite a few skis we tested in this category, the QST isn't exceptional at handling crud, but has the capacity to manage it as you find your way back to groomed terrain. The top scorer in this metric was the Volkl Mantra.
Powder performance is probably the QST 99's best quality, and it outperformed both the K2 iKonic 85 ti and the Nordica Enforcer 93. The ski is wide from tip to tail, and has a decent amount of rocker; both aspects lead to plenty of float in all but the deepest of dumps. The tail rocker allowed our testers to slarve and slash turns in the soft snow with ease, and at times felt like a true powder ski. Though the tip of the ski has problems in variable snow, it seemed to provide a consistent flex when bouncing from one faceshot to the next.
As with the other skis in this category that have more aggressive rocker and are less weight, this ski feels playful. It does not have a ton of pop, but it provided much softer and more forgiving landings.
The slightly rockered tail is almost a twin tip, and it allowed our testers to demonstrate their best slarves and butters. If you choose the QST 99 for the day, you'll surely find yourself jumping off every hit in sight.
Testing this ski in the moguls truly put all of the QST 99's characteristics in the spotlight. Despite a similar wide waist, the QST is much more nimble than the Armada Invictus 99 ti; due in part to its light swing weight. Quite like the Volkl Mantra, our Editors' Choice winner, the rockered tip and tail make the QST easy to maneuver between bumps.
The deflection prone tip rears its head when the skier meets a firmed mogul, but in the right conditions (soft), long bump runs can be enjoyed.
The QST 99 is best suited for soft snow conditions. While the ski does hold a decent edge, even on firm snow, this lightweight ski does not handle firm conditions well at speed. Best for the skier who is powder oriented and wants a playful ski.
This ski retails for $725, which is near the middle of the pack in terms of price. If you want a ski for soft days at the resort, the QST 99 is a fairly priced option.
The Salomon QST 99 is a light ski that is soft snow oriented. It excels at slashing and slarving through soft snow, and loves to be played around with. While it can carve, it prefers a much looser turn. The Koroyd technology has made this ski extremely light, which rewards the skier in tight or soft conditions, but doesn't hold up well against firm or variable snow; nor does it feel damp at high speeds. Overall, this ski can be fun in the right conditions and in the right hands, but is not the adept true all-mountain ski that others in this testing category proved themselves to be.
— Andrew Pierce