2023 Salomon QST Blank Review
The best powder ski of the year will make an all-time day even more all-time
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This article was first published by SkiMag.com.
The Scores (out of 10)
- Overall Score: 8.39
- Rank: #1
- Flotation: 8.4
- Playfulness: 8.3
- Responsiveness: 8.5
- Quickness: 8.2
- Crud Performance: 8.6
- Stability at Speed: 8.4
- Forgiveness: 7.9
- Versatility: 8.4
- Price: $975
- Lengths: 178, 186, 194
- Dimensions: 138-112-127 (186 cm)
- Radius: 17 m
- Level: Intermediate to Expert
In a Nutshell
- Pros: Crud Performance (#2), Stability at Speed (#1)
- Cons: Quickness (#1), Forgiveness (#2)
This year’s top-ranked unisex powder ski, the Salomon QST Blank, won’t berate you for your shortcomings but instead offers a balanced, dependable platform to push intermediate and advanced skiers to the top of their game.
Tester Dustin Cook, former Canadian World Cup alpine ski racer and Olympian, noticed a considerable improvement from the QST line’s first iteration, though nothing changed from last year’s design. “This model is better balanced all around,” he said. “These skis require your attention, but they charge and blast through anything when they have it.”
At the gear test in Sun Valley, testers described the ski, made with a full poplar wood core and cork damplifier, as nimble and energetic, making it their number one choice to hunt down hidden powder stashes in tight trees. During additional testing in Utah’s Wasatch Range, the ski’s 112mm waist was right at home.
When you come out of the deep stuff, full sandwich sidewalls provide good edge grip and smooth contact with firmer snow, though a few of us did experience some tip chatter when pushing the speed on this ski. Even with the rocker in tip and tail that make this ski so maneuverable and loaded with pop, there was little concern with catching an edge in chunder, slop, or groomers.
Read more: Learn about how the Salomon QST Blank stacked up against the competition
“You know what you’ll get out of each turn regardless of conditions,” said tester Otto Gibbons, 22. “If you need the confidence to ski the line … this is the ski.”
It releases out of turns easy enough while still being stout in the tail, which is one of the reasons it makes for such a reliable platform when arcing turns in the goods. “I was surprised by how forgiving the ski was when I lost form,” added Gibbons. “It happily helped me back towards the front.”
While a 112mm waist may be too much ski for our friends back East, we collectively recommend the QST Blank for any powder-hungry skier who likes a quiet, dependable ski to milk the snow conditions for all their worth. Luke Larsen, the owner of Salt Lake City’s Lifthouse Ski Shop, admits said this ski was so much fun it had him laughing. “Get ready for a fun, silky ride through crud and deeper powder,” he said. “This is a true multi-tool for any skier planning to ski the West.”
Related: These pro tips make skiing powder less exhausting and more fun
Skiers agreed with tester Brennan Rubie, Head FIS Coach at Snowbird Sports Education Foundation, who noted the QST Blank takes minimal effort to have a great time, making it one of the most approachable powder skis in the lineup this year. “Anyone can have a great day on this because it takes very little energy to be comfortable on but still responds when you invest,” said Rubie. “The QST Blank sets itself apart from the pack at moderate speed for its responsiveness and maneuverability. It’s easy to ski, and it delivers.”