Salomon MTN Explore 95 (2017)


Rating: / 5
Price: $850.00
Year: 2017
Gender: Female
Waist Width: 95
Tip/Tail/Waist: 130-95-116
Lengths: 169, 177, 184

Salomon's MTN Explore 95 lacks a good deal of the power and flotation of its big brother, the MTN Lab. But it's quicker, more manageable for mere humans, and a good deal lighter (1,400 grams at 177 cm; 400 less than the Lab). The weight savings is nice if you don't have a helicopter, and the 95-mm waist width won't suck in powder. The MTN series of lightweight skis is part of Salomon's concerted push into the backcountry market, where the French wintersports giant offers products in every category, from bindings to apparel. There are four skis in the Backcountry series. Two bear the elite "Lab" designation-vector products co-developed and ridden hard by Salomon athletes. Three offer freeride waist widths, from 115 mm (MTN Lab) down to 88 mm (MTN Explore); the fourth is a competition-level randonee racer, the new S-Lab Minim, which weighs just 720 grams. The freeriders are all wood-core constructions, but of different flavors. The MTN Lab gets the full slab, for maximum power and edginess. The narrower ones, Explore 95 and Explore 88, get a softer-flexing, smearier Spaceframe "semi-sandwich" construction: The core is milled to be thick down the middle, thinner and lighter near the edges. All are strengthened by a full-length layer of Salomon's CFX Superfiber: a mix of carbon (for strength without weight) and flax (to dampen the carbon jitters some super-light skis have). All have a section of Koroyd honeycomb in the tip; its air pockets reduce swing weight. Hook Free Taper (the widest parts of the ski, tip and tail, are moved toward the foot) gives them easy-to-pivot soft-snow looseness. Salomon offers pre-trimmed skins for each model. Salomon has been headquartered in Annecy, France, since its founding there in 1947. Along with sister brands Atomic and ArcTeryx, it is a division of Amer Sports of Finland, which acquired it in 2005. Its U.S. headquarters are in Ogden, Utah. -J.C.