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70/30 northern travel ski thoughts?

Discussion in 'Equipment' started by Annabuzzy, Oct 13, 2019.

  1. Annabuzzy

    Annabuzzy Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

    Jul 31, 2012
    Likes Received:
    There’s no rush on this. I’m likely to look to buy early or at least some time next year, after my next OS trip.

    So I’m looking for a one oh something (103, 104, 106 - thereabout) ski to be my northern hemisphere travel ski. It would be 70% in bounds, maybe 80% in bounds in the sense of lift accessed skiing, with maybe 60-70% of that off piste. The balance would be modest hikes and skins. Maybe an hour. They’d be pared with Salomon Shift bindings. Use would predominantly be Niseko and Hakuba but a Canada trip is also on the horizon and if I hang on to them long enough, perhaps Europe as well. Main use though is Japan.

    My short list is;
    1. Salomon QST 106 (the leading candidate)
    2. Head Kore 105
    3. Nordica Enforcer Free 104.
    My current equivalent skis are Salomon QLabs @176cm and 103mm underfoot. They’re just a touch shorter than I’d prefer, but I love them. For those that aren’t familiar with them, they are a double metal laminate ski with a wood core (they say it’s the race core). It’s stout, but has a forgiving planshape. The two changes I would make in a perfect world is to taper the tail by one or two mm, and add 3 or 4cm of length. It is a heavy ski so long tours would be way out!!

    So as I say I favour the Salomon because I am very familiar with them in these all mountain widths. The new QST 106 is said to be a touch stiffer and a touch improved in carving from the predecessor model, moving closer to the QLAB in performance.

    However I do want to consider those other skis. I gather the Nordica may be a touch stiffer but with more tail rise, so less carvy. I gather the main thing with the Head is it is very stiff and very light. Is it tinny and unforgiving? I have got a history on Head skis (I’ve owned quite a few) and enjoy them, but this is a vastly different construction.

    Tanuki likes this.
  2. CarveMan

    CarveMan Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

    May 12, 2000
    Likes Received:
    Les Hautes Montagnes
    re: the Heads, I’ve found that you can generally pick 2 of light, stiff and damp.

    Salomon is a fantastic ski.

    I haven’t skied that particular Enforcer but I’m a huge fan of that range overall, but honestly the QSTs are just such damn good skis I really doubt you will be disappointed.
    Annabuzzy likes this.
  3. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

    Oct 14, 2005
    Likes Received:
    I've had a few heli days in NZ on my new QST 99's and really liked them, effortless in powder. Haven't skied them on piste yet though. They will be my skis for Japan next year.
    DidSurfNowSki, Annabuzzy and Tanuki like this.
  4. Kletterer

    Kletterer Thredbo Doughnut Tragic Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

    Nov 26, 2014
    Likes Received:
    Get the new revised Blizzard Zero G 105 Buzzy.
    DidSurfNowSki and Annabuzzy like this.
  5. linked_recoveries

    linked_recoveries One of Us

    May 13, 2015
    Likes Received:
    Sydney CBD
    The Heads are a different thing from the norm. Really light, damp, quite stiff (for how light they are) and very capable. But they're something you'd want to demo before buying.

    I'm very impressed with the Enforcer family of skis. I'd be prepared to buy any of them off the back of demoing the 100 and the 93 (which I love).
    #5 linked_recoveries, Oct 13, 2019
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2019 at 4:09 PM
    Annabuzzy likes this.
  6. DPS Driver

    DPS Driver One of Us

    Jul 18, 2014
    Likes Received:
    DPS Wailer 106. Light, Stiff and Damp.

    Has plenty of float and can carve with the best of them. The damping we've achieved over the past couple of years is remarkable. Next years we're taking it even further. Definitely worth a look.
    Annabuzzy likes this.