The Salomon Q-98 is back unchanged for 2016. The Q-98 is a great light-weight all mountain ski with the versatility for on or off piste riding. Beginner and Intermediate riders will find it undemanding, and easy to ski. It’s quick, maneuverable, and lively. It carves well on soft or firm snow, and has good floatation for it’ width. It’s not great at high end speeds, nor does it like to blast through chop, but as long as you keep your speed in check it’s plenty capable in variable terrain and conditions.
2016 Salomon Q-98 On Mountain Video Ski Review
Riders: Matt and Brian
Conditions: Powder, Soft Crud (5”), Groomers, Hard Pack, Bumps
Boots: Rossignol Alias Sensor 120
Bindings: Salomon Z12
On the Snow Feel: Overall, I would say that the Salomon Q-98 is pretty stable, its light-weight and maneuverability makes the ski easy to pivot and turn anywhere on the mountain. This makes the ski feel a bit more playful, but with a heavy amount of traditional camber underfoot, the ski doesn’t necessarily feel loose or surfy. The ski is quite stable underfoot, but you can make quick, easy turns at any moment.
Powder: With a softer flex, and utility rocker profile, the Salomon Q-98 has some of the best float in the category. This is partially due to the skis mid-rise rocker profile, as well as the light-weight honeycomb tip. The ski isn’t as playful or surfy in the deep snow, but the taper in the tip and tail allow for more control and maneuverability. It’s not going to be your go to ski on the deepest days, but for those of you that are looking for a ski that floats well in a sub 100mm waist, and don’t need the loose surfy feel, the Q-98 is a great option.
Turn Initiation and Carving: Salomon has incorporated a light-weight honeycomb tip into the Q series of skis. This keeps the swing weight low and ski maneuverable. The Q-98 also incorporates a hook free taper and mid-rise rocker profile, making the ski easy to pivot and turn, even at slower speeds. The taper also aids in turn initiation and with a softer flexing tip, the ski was quite easy to bend into a turn once on edge. The tail is slightly upturned, although quite subtly, but does a nice job of locking in when carving. The light swing weight seems to make edge to edge transitions really quick and the slightly stiffer tail and significant amount of camber provides decent energy transfer and rebound. They were most fun when making quick short to medium radius turns, but also felt damp enough to open them up a bit on the smooth groomers.
Speed: On smooth groomers the Salomon Q-98 was good, but not great at high speeds. Salomon adds a “pulse pad” of rubber to key areas of the ski to help reduce vibrations, but the ski is still light-weight and soft flexing, and was easy to overwhelm when leaning too far forward. The light-weight honeycomb tip helps to reduce tip chatter, but vibrations were still noticeable when at higher speeds. This isn’t a super damp ski, but as long as you keep speed in check they were stable.
Uneven Terrain: The Salomon Q-98 reminds me a bit of the Sin 7 when in the variable snow. It’s definitely not a ski that is going to charge through the crud, but its light-weight makes it maneuverable and easy to navigate in tighter spots. When encountering the soft chop I found it much easier to take a neutral position and ride over the chop rather than through it. This technique requires less speed, and more of a loose, almost bouncy approach. When skiing “lighter”, I found the Q-98 fun in the chop. It requires you to keep speed down, and turn more often. It’s also important to note that occasionally the tails would get caught up and through us off course.
Moguls: For the lighter, less aggressive skier the Salomon Q-98 can be quite fun in the moguls. Its quickness makes it easy to turn around bumps, and the forgiving flex doesn’t require perfect technique. Those who are a bit heavier or more aggressive may find the flex a bit soft.
Edge Hold: Edge hold of the Salomon Q-98 was actually pretty good. The flatter tail feels a bit more locked in than the rocker tails you find in so many other skis in the category. When combined with the large amount of camber, and Utility Rocker, the Q-98 was stable on soft snow or hard pack. Even on steep runs we noticed good edge hold, as long as things weren’t too chopped up.
Flex: The Q-98 has a medium to soft flex with the tips being just slightly softer than the rest of the ski. This flex is quite forgiving, but heavy and aggressive skiers may find it to be a bit soft.
Switch: The Salomon Q-98 is a directional ski with a slight rise in the tail. You can ride switch if you get yourself in a tight spot, but the Q-98 is best going forward.
Jumps and Park: The Salomon Q-98 has a soft flex, and decent pop. It was fun to jump off of rollers, and when in air the skis are very easy to maneuver. However, the directional shape doesn’t allow for switch tricks. If you plan on spending a ton of time in the park, the Q-98 isn’t the best fit.
The Salomon Q-98 is a good directional all mountain ski that is very maneuverable and easy to turn. It has a forgiving flex, and getting it on edge was easy. The tapered tip allows for a variety of turn shapes, and the stiffer tail ensure better edge hold and power when exiting. Rebound is good, and short to medium radius turns are fun and lively. The ski is also quite quick from edge to edge, and was fun in tight spaces. It has some of the best float in the 98mm waist class, but does lack a bit in top end speed and variable terrain. It’s a great ski for beginners or intermediates who like the versatility of an all mountain ski in a forgiving package. Lighter advanced riders may also enjoy the Salomon Q-98, but heavy aggressive skiers may find it a bit too light and soft.