Salomon is revamping its wildly popular QST freeride line of skis for 2021. If you’re a fan of the Salomon QST 106 and QST 92, look forward to two all-new additions to the QST family next season: the QST Blank and the QST 98.
While the QST 98 fills an all-mountain gap in Salomon’s freeride line, we’re most excited about the new QST Blank. Inspired by Salomon’s stacked team of freeride athletes, including Chris Rubens, Alexi Godbout, Stan Rey, and Cody Townsend, the QST Blank is a fat ski to get excited about.
With a 112mm-waist, it’s slightly slimmer than the QST 118 it replaces, but still has plenty of girth for deep days. Like the rest of the skis in the QST line, the new QST Blank features Salomon‘s cork damplifier and carbon/flax (C/FX) laminate in the construction. But the QST Blank gets an added upgrade: additional ABS reinforcement along the sidewalls underfoot, a new technology that Salomon dubs “double sidewall.
“I would call the QST Blank the quiver-killer because it’s all you need,” says Rubens, who is based in Revelstoke, British Columbia. “The 112mm-width is the perfect blend between the QST 106 and the QST 118 if you are going to just buy one ski that does it all.”
WATCH: Discover the 3rd Generation of the Salomon QST Line
What is most noticeable about the new QST Blank (besides the trippy rainbow bases) is the tight turn radius (17m in the 186 cm length) and a smooth rocker profile that still features plenty of camber underfoot. These two elements combined mean that the ski is made to last, both during resort powder days—especially when the morning freshies deteriorate into crud—as well as the endlessly deep days that involve snowcats and helicopters.
First Review of the Salomon QST Blank
I was able to get an advanced preview and put the new Salomon QST Blank to the test at Silverton Mountain, Colo. During the first few days of testing, the conditions were unequivocally low-tide, which means adventure skiing at this guided-only ski area. The QST Blank’s extended camber and the ski’s double sidewall tech provided confident grip in steep, hard couloirs, and the cork damplifier and C/FX laminate kept the skis tame during high-speed descents in aprons full of funky wind-affected snow.
Luckily, the conditions took a turn for the better in the following days and we got to ski 20 inches of fresh snow. I was surprised by the QST Blank’s flotation given the relatively slim waist. The ski’s dimensions straddle the line between super floaty and being able to dip the tips for faceshots, and it was only a matter of changing my stance to make the skis surf or trench. I mounted the skis 1.5 cm forward from recommended and was able to pop the tails off rollers and ledges and launch much higher than expected.
Some of the terrain at Silverton feeds into a single funnel known as the Tiger Gully, and even on the deep days, it’s not uncommon to encounter sizable moguls and skied-off snow here. This was the terrain where the tight turn radius and poppy nature of the QST Blank really came to life.
Rather than skidding turns and muscling the skis through the hardpack—as I’ve had to do with numerous fat skis—I was able to use the longer effective edges and tight turn radius for pleasurable short turns between popping off the sides of the natural halfpipe features. Even on the 194 cm- length, the skis buzzed with energy and made for fun skiing all day long, no matter the snow conditions.
While SKI will have a full review of the QST Blank in the 2022 Gear Guide next autumn, there are a few pairs set to trickle into select shops starting in February 2021. If you can find them, we suggest you go big and go skiing.
2022 Salomon QST Blank Specifications
- Available Lengths (cm): 176, 186, 194
- Dimensions (mm): 138-112-127 (@186)
- Turn Radius (m): 17 (@186cm )
- Weight per ski: 2,200g
- Price: $900
2022 Salomon QST 98 Specifications
- Available Lengths: 169/176/183/189
- Dimensions: 132-98-120 (@176cm)
- Radius (m): 16 (@176cm)
- Weight per ski: 1,860g (@176cm)
- Price: $752
More Gear Coverage