Salomon QST Stella 106 (2017)


Rating: 2.85 / 5
Price: $850.00
Year: 2017
Gender: Female
Waist Width: 106
Tip/Tail/Waist: 137.5-106-125
Lengths: 159, 167, 174

Stability at speed: 3.34 / 5
Hard snow performance: 2.57 / 5
Crud performance: 3.07 / 5
Flotation: 3.20 / 5
Forgiveness: 2.83 / 5
Overall: 2.85 / 5

It's the fattest women's ski Salomon makes. (Want more? Test drive the men's QST 118 in the 171-cm length; or the lightweight, 115-mm MTN Lab touring ski in a 176.) And it's built for aggressive deep-snow surfing, with plenty of flotation and a rockered, tapered, slashy newschool design. The QST Stella 106 is part of the new QST series of women's freeride skis, which replaces both the Quest and Rocker2 collections of years past in a single broad series ranging from 106 (QST Stella) down to 85 mm (QST Myriad). The QSTs are a showcase for Salomon's Spaceframe construction. Salomon builds in plenty of power: All models are wood-core, and a layer of CFX Superfiber (a weave of twitchy carbon mellowed by flax) adds energy. The Spaceframe layup method allows skis to be tuned to different needs at different widths. In the powder-ready 106, the core is shortened and narrowed to allow some surf-friendly flex both longitudinally and laterally (Bi-Directional Spaceframe). Where the core ends, airy koroyd honeycomb inserts take over tip and tail, reducing swing weight. In the frontside skis (99 and 92), the core extends to the tail, for secure turn finishes on flat snow (Directional Spaceframe). The 106 is rockered tip and tail, for maximum float and drift; the frontsiders are tip-rockered for shock-absorption and occasional deep-snow encounters. The top two models (99 and up) get a layer of metal in the binding area for both durability and a little extra power. Hook Free Taper (the widest points of the ski are moved closer to the foot) promotes a loose quickness in all models. All models are sold flat (no binding). 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.