Salomon X-Drive 8.3 (2017)


Rating: / 5
Price: $850.00
Year: 2017
Gender: Female
Waist Width: 83
Tip/Tail/Waist: 130-83-113
Lengths: 162, 169, 176, 183

The X-Drive 8.3 is a step down in performance from the top two models in the X-Drive series of frontside generalists. Rather than edgy full-vertical sidewalls, it has softer-flexing cap-construction fore and aft to give it a more easy going performance suitable for moderate speeds. Salomon's X-Drive series, now in its third year, is a broad collection that includes six models of frontside all-mountain skis ranging in width from a versatile, expert-level 88-mm mid-fat (X-Drive 8.8 FS) down to a groomer-specific, novice-friendly 75-mm cruiser (X-Drive 7.5). The top two models, 8.8 FS and 8.0 FS, are expert level generalists built for high speeds and variable snow, featuring edgy, full-sidewall, laminate constructions. Salomon's Koroyd Tip module-an air-filled honeycomb structure-gives them reduced swing weights. The lower models are built for increasing forgiveness and value for lower ability levels and aggressiveness, with increasingly softer flexes, lighter cores, and lower prices. The common technology in all models is Salomon's X-Chassis construction: X-shaped layers of reinforcement (a mix of lively carbon and durable aramid fibers) are placed beneath the toe and heel, where they focus skier energy into key transmission zones just for and aft of the foot, for sure-footed edge power without the addition of unnecessary weight. The top models have full wood (poplar) cores; Salomon preselects its lightest cores for the X-Drive series. All have moderately rockered tips and tails, for shock-absorption, soft-snow flotation, and loose turn finishes. To prevent the tip-flap that plagues some rockered skis, Salomon installs its RKS Rocker Stabilizer-aramid fibers placed where the profile changes from cambered to rockered, in order to reinforce that zone for reduced chatter tip and tail. The flagship 8.8 FS model is only sold flat; all other X-Drive models come with 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.