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Salomon QST Stella 106

Overall: 5.0 Surf-ability: 5.0 Hard Snow Pleasure: 4.8 Dimensions: 136/106/124; $850

The top scoring all mountain powder ski in our Snowbird test, the QST Stella is damp and lively, stable but nimble. “Amazingly agile and sluffable for its size, but digs deep trenches on edge, too,” said a tester. “The Stella has a unique snow feel,” said another. “It silkily contours the terrain, but refuses to get bounced around.” Those properties are by design, and they’re attributed to Salomon’s C/FX super fiber that blends powerful and energetic carbon with damp yet lightweight flax. The fiber allows Salomon to put less metal in the ski—though there is a sheet of titanal—to keep the weight down and the dynamic feel up. On trail it could use a bit more energy return in a carved turn, but off-trail we found it excelled at slinking from trees, to chutes, to alpine faces. Another ski that would make a worthy backcountry tourer, the 20-meter turn radius is ideal for unconsolidated off-piste snow where too much sidecut can bog you down Swami Gripe: Bigger skiers could overpower it. Swami Like: Perfect if you head straight to the back bowls each day.


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