For this year, Salomon is expanding and redesigning the established Rocker2 collection into the “Quest” series in an effort to penetrate the mid-fat, 98mm width segment a little better. Like many brands, Salomon is slowly backing away from heavily rockered skis in the all mountain segments and so, while the new Quest 98 does have some rocker, it is moderate. The new Quest series is more directional than their more twin oriented skis of the recent past such as the Lord for example. The Quest also uses a light honeycomb section in the tip that reduces the weight by quite a bit.
All about the Down
I didn’t ski the Quest 98 on the really hard snow at Winter Park so my first experience came when the Western Swing of the demo tour came to Alpine Meadows. I found a run there that had a fair bit of soft snow scraped off to the edges and so I was able to ski quite a ways in some sugary soft snow that was a little reminiscent of day old crud. The Quest falls toward the light and nimble end of the spectrum within the mix of skis in this category. This is a ski that doesn’t dictate anything but lets the skier make all the choices. It didn’t matter whether I was skiing quick little turns in the skied off stuff or bigger turns on the groomers, the Quest darted in between the bumps and bushes and made smooth arcs on the pack equally well.
Later that week, I made the pilgrimage to Mammoth and tested the Quest on that notorious face on the side of chair #1. That run starts out with an area that has been skied a fair bit and so the first part has some fairly tight bumps that are scoured down by the wind. As you continue skiing down, you can bear a little to the left and get some more turns as the hill falls away from you. Each little shot of 20 turns or so gets successively gets a little more open and a little faster. The end of this pitch is still rough but is pretty open right before it spits the skier back onto the groomers. The Quest was easy and quick in the first shot and comfortable and smooth in the second. When I got near the bottom of the run the speeds were picking up enough that the Quest started to rattle a little. This is a ski with a moderate soft snow bias and a bit of a speed limit for heavier skiers and the roughest snow. The big benefit though is that it is so nimble and easy, that it makes the skier better in the majority of alpine conditions and speeds. Thanks to relatively light weight, and reduced rocker in the tail, this ski will perform admirably in the backcountry as well.
|Size (cm)||Tip (mm)||Waist (mm)||Tail (mm)||Radius (m)|