Learning, Living, and Skiing with Salomon USA at Loveland Ski Area

Learning, Living, and Skiing with Salomon USA at Loveland Ski Area

By December 1, 2018 Alpine & Telemark, Featured

Salomon QST skis

New Salomon QST Skis and Salomon Shift Bindings

skiing Salomon skis
Salomon Shift bindings

Last week, I was lucky enough to travel down to Loveland ski area for a Salomon ski demo. I learned all about the latest and greatest 2018 Salomon skis, bindings, boots, goggles and helmets.
Salomon athlete, Cody Townsend, was present to speak about his experience developing and using the Salomon Shift binding. After listening to informational clinics on the products we hit the slopes to experience the products first hand. Loveland has already received over 100 inches of snow this season, including the 6 inches that had fallen overnight. This made for a variety of conditions to test on, including fresh powder, chopped out groomers and bumps.

Salomon QST 99

I began by skiing the QST 99 in the 181 cm length. Thanks to the carbon flax reinforcement, the ski effortlessly cut through the chopped out groomers and push piles while still feeling stable and responsive. The 99 mm waist width provided enough float to confidently ski the powder while still feeling quick edge to edge on hard pack.

Salomon QST 109

With new terrain opening in the afternoon, allowing us to ski deeper snow on steeper slopes, it was time to try the Salomon QST 106. The 106 is an extremely capable ski that can handle anything a more experienced skier throws at it. Equipped with a 106 mm waist width, the ski excels in deeper snow, provides stability while executing long and fast groomer turns, but demands a bit more drive and expertise to maneuver through bumps.
Getting to the fresh snow required us to ski down a steep mogul trail before traversing over to the powder. Like the 99, the 106 is also equipped with carbon flax reinforcement which helped me confidently slice through the bumps. Once to the deeper snow the 140 mm tip width and 106 mm waist width kept me at the top, allowing for playful turns and leaving me with a smile as I coasted back to the lift.

Salomon Shift Binding

The highlight of my day was speaking with Cody Townsend about the development history and performance of the highly anticipated Shift binding! While testing, Cody had the chance to ski with a different binding on each foot. On one ski he had a binding with no elastic travel and on the other he had one with elastic travel. Elastic travel is like suspension on a mountain bike, but for your ski binding. It allows the boot to move in the binding as it absorbs the chatter coming from the ski.
While making turns, Cody noticed the binding without elastic travel was chattering, causing the ski to hop across the surface. As he transitioned his weight to the binding equipped with elastic travel, the ski remained in contact with the snow and didn’t chatter, giving him more stability, confidence, and control.
He related the Shift binding to a mountain bike with front and rear suspension and a binding with no elastic travel to a gravel bike with no suspension. Both can be ridden on similar terrain but the one with suspension (elastic travel) will be much more enjoyable and forgiving than the one without. The big takeaway from this experience is that a binding with elastic travel is not only much safer to ski but much more enjoyable.
Aside from being equipped with elastic travel, the Shift binding allows the skier to efficiently tour on the pin technology (tech bindings) without the risks of skiing downhill on them. The risk of skiing on pins is often overlooked. The small contact point between the binding pins and ski boot provide an inconsistent release, forcing skiers to ski downhill with caution.
In alpine mode, the Shift binding fixes the skier to the binding using the traditional toe and heel lugs which provides significantly more contact between the boot and binding. This wider range of contact coupled with the elastic travel gives the skier a better feel for the terrain and allows them to charge downhill as if they were on a traditional alpine binding. This innovation now allows skiers to safely and confidently enjoy both the back country and resort conditions on the same ski setup.
Thanks to Salomon, Loveland, and Ski Haus for this awesome opportunity. Come on in and experience for yourself how versatile and fun the Salomon QST line of skis are. We have the women 92 and 99, and the mens 99 and 106 in our demo fleet!

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