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Salomon Q105 vs QLab

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
Hi, I'm a new forum member so please go easy!

I'm a 48 year old long term skier. I weigh around 87kg and stand around 177cm high. I live in Oz and ski between 15 and 25 days in a typical season. I expect to ski more like 35 days this season. I will usually get in around 12 days skiing in Japan etc 2 years out of every three. I would describe myself as an advanced recreational skier. I'm probably around the level of a PSIA L2 skier.

I'm choosing between some Salomon Q105's and QLabs. These skis would be mounted with Atomic Tracker 13 bindings. The intended use would be powder, short side country tours in Oz, and trips to Japan including side country. They would supplement my Head Rev Pro 85 @177cm. I currently have some Salomon Q98's @180cm as powder/travel skis. I've quite liked the ease of use in soft snow of those skis and don't ski at sufficient pace in those conditions to reveal any shortcomings (if they exist). I've also liked them in bumps (a lot). On groomers I've found them great when skiing slightly reigned in provided there is just a touch of forgiveness to the snow. When it gets super firm there are better skis. Those skis are already on their second set of bindings and I'm not keen to drill yet another set of holes for the Tracker bindings.

So, I imagine the Q105 offers much the same performance as the Q98, just in a slightly wider package. The main issue relates to the QLab. I quite like as I say the forgiveness and ease of use of the Q98. I like how easy it is to adjust turn radius on the fly, how easy they are in bumps and trees etc. I don't mind the idea of a slightly more substantial ski for crud and very firm snow, but worry how much of a trade off there would be in bumps and trees.

Any insights?
post #2 of 23
The Qlab is quite stout! With 42 layers of wood (or something like that) and 2 sheets of metal the underfoot area and tail are very stiff. The tips is somewhat more compliant. It's not a ski for tight areas IMHO It is a cruise missile. It's fun and crushes anything in its way. I lskied it 15-24 inches of fresh and loved it. Super solid and easy turning it was just too much ski for me to turn in tight places but for skiing open areas I loved it. I thought it hooked up very nicely, you could pressure the tips in and work the edges. The tips were soft enough that they didn't kick you back in big soft bumps and undulating terrain. Skiing big gs turns in broken and fresh was a blast. . It had a nice easy feel despite the stout construction. Of course the super stiff tails demanded that y pay attention and they really don't give much when finishing turns and that's where they become a handful in tighter trees. It just becomes work. Otherwise, I love these skis. I also bought the Q 105 based on how much I liked the Lab (and my friend has it and loved it). @fairtomidlin owns it and loves it but he is.a better skier and very powerful
post #3 of 23
Thread Starter 
Thanks for that great feedback. Do I read that right you own both the Q105 and QLab? Just for context, what length are you skiing for bothskis, and are you prepared to say what you weigh?
post #4 of 23
Sounds like you want the 105. The qlab is a great ski but more demanding. Not greatly, but def more. If you like power out of the tail and power in general, go Qlab. If not, go 105 for easy listening.
Skied the Qlab in 183 or whatever the low 80's one is. 5'-10 205lbs.
It did feel short actually, and i don't usually ski long skis either. It's also a quick turner when you want it to be.
post #5 of 23
I demoed the Qlab. I bought the 105. Just at tog said. I am 6'. (183 cm) and 170 pounds 77 kg.
post #6 of 23
Thread Starter 
Thanks all.

One final question - given my greater weight do you think that would materially change the performance on say a 183cm QLab over yours?
post #7 of 23
Hi, I've been on both, bought the Q Lab. I'm 178cm, 82 kilos.

Starting with your Q98s, is there something they don't do that you wish they did, apart from float a smidge better? If not, then I'd recommend go with the 105. If you want something that is more damp, the Q Lab can do that. If you want a significantly stronger tail, the Q Lab certainly gives you that. Whether those attributes come at the cost of what you like in your Q98s, well, you'll have to find that out for yourself...

I don't have the numbers in my head, but the Lab might weigh more, something to throw in the algorithm since you plan to do backcountry.
post #8 of 23

I agree with the crowd here, I think that you want the 105 - especially for the application intended (backcountry, mounted with an AT binding).

 

I am about your size, a tad taller, a tad lighter (5'11", 185#) and I love the QLab. . . . aside from a couple of Fischers (different topic, different thread), the QLab was my favorite ski of the demo season last spring.  I liked it so much, I bought a pair for myself recently.

 

But you should note that the QLab is a fairly stout, damp ski.  Although it has a light, quick quality (sort of like the Atomic Ritual, but more firm under foot), I think that the QLab is more for someone who likes a strong-feeling ski, like the Bonafide, the old Cochise, the old Mantra, the E98/100, etc. . . .  It isn't really a wider Q98. . . the Q105 is more that.  I think of the Q105 (and the Q98) as more for someone who prefers skis like a Soul Rider, Line Sick Day, Sin/Soul 7, etc. . . . Neither better nor worse, neither more "expert" nor less "expert."  Just a matter of preference. 

 

Finally, for the application you have in mind, a compliment to the Rev 85Pros, soft snow focus (powder in Japan), light touring in slackcountry, AT binding, I think that the Q105 will be more on-point based on your stated preferences and current appreciation of the Q98.  To me, the QLab screams for a full-on alpine set up, for zooming around off-piste, in variable conditions on big western mountains.  If I were going to build a resort capable, backcountry set up, I'd go with something more like the Q105, or better yet, the Fischer Ranger 106 (and buy it for half price right now) over the QLab. 

 

Hope that helps.  Have a fun season down under.

post #9 of 23

well-said. I would not set this up for AT!  It wants and needs to be driven...  I loved it for everything but trees. Its doable but its more work. If I lived where I could ski more open terrain, I would own it in a heartbeat.  I may have to give it another try in trees. The day I skied it, it was 15-24" of fresh so at 104 underfoot, maybe it wasn't a fair test for tighter trees.  I will say it was a blast everywhere else.   FWIW- It does have a forward mount position that I loved but some feel is too far forward.  

post #10 of 23
I'm new here and not trying to hijack a thread but wanted a quick reference point here. I got to ski some shoguns the other day and was curious in this threads opinion on which of these 2 skis are similar to it. I'm guessing the Q Lab, but I'm only going off what I'm reading. No disrespect and I'm not trying to side track the discussion...

Thanks
post #11 of 23
Thread Starter 
All good with me!

I have no insights regarding your question though.

I ended up getting some Line Supernatural 100's which, so far as I can tell, are kind of half way between the Q105 and QLab in terms of flex (although obviously a touch narrower).
post #12 of 23
Guess not many have skied the Shogun and can give you feedback.

The Qlab is quite a torsionally rigid ski. Doing the chairlift clack test gives you a higher frquency very rigid sound. Somewhat brittle sounding. (That's where uou swing the tips together on the lift and knock them.) Gives you hard to describe info about a ski but tells a lot abou the internals. With the clack test the Qlab reveals it's not for those looking for a mellow cruiser though some might find it mellow. Skis aren't that simple nor are skiers.
post #13 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tog View Post

Guess not many have skied the Shogun and can give you feedback.

. . .   I skied the Shogun a few years ago.  It isn't even remotely similar to the QLab.  The only similarity is the brand name on the top sheet.

 

The QLab is a metal laminate construction, 2 sheets of metal/vertical sidewalls (from the end of the honeycombed tips to the honeycombed tails).  It is a burly ski, but quite nimble, either due to the construction or the shape or some other such magic.  Powerful, big mountain charger, very solid on edge with some nice soft snow capability as well.

 

As for the Shogun, although the waist width is roughly the same (104 v. 100), the Shogun is nothing remotely similar to the QLab in terms of construction or feel.  I think that the Shogun had a lightweight wood core (bamboo, maybe?), monocoque construction.  Very light feeling ski with a bit of a twin tip.  Not a damp, solid ski at all.  More lightweight and playful.  Kind of all-mountain to park to trick application.

 

If you are looking for the modern evolution of that the Shogun, the Rocker2 100 is probably closest in the current Sollie lineup in dimensions, construction and purpose.  The QLab is a really cool ski, but if you are looking for something like the Shogun, it isn't it.

post #14 of 23

I skied my Q-105's today (181 mounted on the suggested line) in ~10" of medium density powder. These ski's rock. Often compared to the Soul7 due to the similar dims and composite tip and tail but the Q is far more stable and serious. Where the Soul7 fails in snow like this, the Q dominated it. Where they are similar is the light feel and next to zero swing weight. 2 traits that I loved about the Soul7. The Q has less camber than the Soul7.  I was skiing with a the manager of Steamboat Ski who felt the Soul7 has too much camber and may be part of its problem with getting knocked around. Teh Q still has enough camber to be fairly energetic (its not super poppy or jibby) The Q has less rocker; in fact, nearly no tail rocker (Some reviews say it has none but it does; its just subtle) I have grown to want a tail that can be used to finish a turn and to modulate radii. Its a mid-stiff ski with softer tips that build in stiffness; underfoot is fairly stiff as is the tail with just last few inches (where the composite is) being softer. The Q just ski's so smooth and precisely. Fairly damp too. It had excellent float, on broken terrain, you have to be a little more patient in the transition (the lack of tail rocker makes you be a little more attentive and accurate)  but once you tip it, it hooks up smoothly (nice tapered tip) and holds the track of the turn very well. I was very impressed with the Q in bumps, its thin tip works well in troughs and I found that it was pretty much a  point-and-shoot ski. The tips flex enough to absorb.   Underfoot is fairly stiff and holds well. I had it on some 30*+ faces today and it was very easy to set and release the edges and with the zero swing weight, Tight slotted turns were smooth and predictable.    Philpug named it a steal and deal ski a couple years back and I have to fully agree. I think the Q is a ski that never got it's props and if anyone is looking for a ski like a Soul7, they should really take a serious look at the Q.  


Edited by Finndog - 3/25/15 at 5:49pm
post #15 of 23

I won a two pairs of Q-98's.  I love them and so does my wife.  Fantastic ski.  Bases needed a lot of work before the hair was gone.  I tuned them up well prior to hitting the snow. 

The ski seems to do it all quite well.  The Q-Lab may have a better base as it is the top end ski.

post #16 of 23
If you're looking for some Q105 or Q98's, there's some in the wrapper for half off. That's about 350 for the 105's. Less for the 98's.
Northern Ski Works, Ludlow, VT.
Just saw them today.
post #17 of 23

I skied 182 Shoguns for 4 years (between 75 and 100 days I think) before getting 180 Q98s (only two days, but full bell to bell days in highly variable conditions). Here are my comparisons of the two skis:

 

Groomers: The Q98s feel longer in the tip, shorter in the tail. They feel quicker edge to edge but also feel like they have much more edge length and grip. The Shoguns felt like a narrow powder oriented ski whereas the Q feels like a wide all-mountain ski.

 

Dense Powder: the Q feels less hooky, especially the tail, when trying to slide the ski. Interesting since it has a wider tip and tail, more side cut and a longer tail. Feels more balanced fore-aft. Doesn't float quite as well as the Shogun.

 

Rain crust on shallow powder: again, Q feels less hooky and feels like you can let it run faster. The shogun always felt really short in the tip when up to speed in bad snow. Various turn shapes and sizes are much easier on the Q.

 

Actual powder: ummm, not much of that around here this year but based on all the other conditions I expect the Q to feel more balanced fore-aft but not as floaty and not as stable laterally but that might be the difference in the bindings (Shoguns were mounted with STH14 driver and Q are mounted with Head PRD12).

 

The Q overall feels slightly softer but generally not any less stable in the conditions I have skied it in. It is more damp which really helps it feel more stable even if the tip is bouncing around almost as much. This ski could be skied and liked by a much wider range of people than the Shogun, I think. I think the rocker/side cut/taper is much better done on the Q than it was on the Shogun.

post #18 of 23

Any advice would be great as I am considering the Line Supernatural 108 and Qlab...I'm 6'2 / 215lbs, expert skier, love the trees, steeps and bumps. I ski mostly in CA/UT. Any suggestions on size (the Qlab is killing me with either the 183/190, but I am leaning towards the 190) and thoughts? I tried the Pinnacle and Atomic Vantage line this year and thought those skis were ok. I'm coming off original Volkl Mantras...I liked the stability of them and the ability to make quick turns as needed.  Thanks! 

post #19 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Altobd View Post
 

Any advice would be great as I am considering the Line Supernatural 108 and Qlab...I'm 6'2 / 215lbs, expert skier, love the trees, steeps and bumps. I ski mostly in CA/UT. Any suggestions on size (the Qlab is killing me with either the 183/190, but I am leaning towards the 190) and thoughts? I tried the Pinnacle and Atomic Vantage line this year and thought those skis were ok. I'm coming off original Volkl Mantras...I liked the stability of them and the ability to make quick turns as needed.  Thanks! 


The 190 Lab's.  They ski shorter because of rocker and reverse sidecut at tip, tail

post #20 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jacques View Post
 


The 190 Lab's.  They ski shorter because of rocker and reverse sidecut at tip, tail

 

^^^ Agree with this.  At your size get the 190 with confidence (just note that the QLab is scaled in dimensions so the 190 is a different width profile than the 183.

 

I am 5'11, 185# and I ski the 183 QLab - in theory, because of the scaled sizing, you should experience the 190 in the same way that I experience the 183.

 

I really like the QLabs as my go to daily driver in the PNW.  Occasionally, I wonder why it doesn't get more love and attention in these parts from folks who favor strong, stiff all-mountain skis.  It has sort of replaced both the Bonafide and the Cochise for me as it seems to cover the sweet spot of both of those skis equally well. 

 

I demo'd the QLab twice before buying and now have about 15 days on it.  I also demo'd it back to back with the Supernatural 108 (186).  Not even close.  The QLab is much quicker, much more nimble and every bit as solid.  It is a much more powerful ski than the Supernatural and it also engages on firm snow quicker, with more precision. 

 

The QLab tears through cut up snow like the Cochise, and skis with more pop than the Bonafide.  It holds a strong edge on firm snow and is unflappable on buffed steeps.  Comparable dampness on groomers to the Bonafide (although the feel is a bit different - I find it sharper and quicker in an out of turns).  It isn't exactly a powder ski, but it floats pretty well (probably thanks to the honeycomb tips).  Compared to the Bonafide and Cochise, in powder it works equally well, but feels a bit different - you can slide it, but generally it is less loose than the Blizzi flip cores, perhaps because the tail is flatter and stronger.  The only unusual thing about the QLab is the mount point, which seems rather forward for such a directional, stiff ski.  But for whatever reason it works.  Just don't look down and let it bother you.

 

The SN108 skis kind of like a bloated Prophet 100.  Imagine if your old Prophet 100 spent a year at the gym, got a bit stronger and bigger, but didn't really follow a nutrition plan and also got kind of slow.  The Eddie Lacy (circa 2015) of skis.  It is fine, but I didn't find it remarkable or all that revolutionary  - in fact, I thought that it was a step back from the Influence 105 in virtually all respects.  On that demo day (in a wide range of conditions), I preferred the QLab, Cochise, Fischer Ranger 106 all much more than the SN108 which was a distant 4th place and kind of a disappointment for me as a former owner of the P100 and fan of the Influence 105.  The SN108 is OK - it isn't a bad ski.  But for me, it lacked excitement/fun factor.  I didn't demo it, but my guess is that the SN100 is better optimized for that shape and layup.  Maybe in the same way that the Sick Day 110 makes way more sense to me than the Sick Day 95 (both of which I have skied).  

 

Just one stranger's opinion.  Take it for what it is worth.  Have a fun season.

post #21 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by LewyM View Post
 

 

^^^ Agree with this.  At your size get the 190 with confidence (just note that the QLab is scaled in dimensions so the 190 is a different width profile than the 183.

 

I am 5'11, 185# and I ski the 183 QLab - in theory, because of the scaled sizing, you should experience the 190 in the same way that I experience the 183.

 

I really like the QLabs as my go to daily driver in the PNW.  Occasionally, I wonder why it doesn't get more love and attention in these parts from folks who favor strong, stiff all-mountain skis.  It has sort of replaced both the Bonafide and the Cochise for me as it seems to cover the sweet spot of both of those skis equally well. 

 

I demo'd the QLab twice before buying and now have about 15 days on it.  I also demo'd it back to back with the Supernatural 108 (186).  Not even close.  The QLab is much quicker, much more nimble and every bit as solid.  It is a much more powerful ski than the Supernatural and it also engages on firm snow quicker, with more precision. 

 

The QLab tears through cut up snow like the Cochise, and skis with more pop than the Bonafide.  It holds a strong edge on firm snow and is unflappable on buffed steeps.  Comparable dampness on groomers to the Bonafide (although the feel is a bit different - I find it sharper and quicker in an out of turns).  It isn't exactly a powder ski, but it floats pretty well (probably thanks to the honeycomb tips).  Compared to the Bonafide and Cochise, in powder it works equally well, but feels a bit different - you can slide it, but generally it is less loose than the Blizzi flip cores, perhaps because the tail is flatter and stronger.  The only unusual thing about the QLab is the mount point, which seems rather forward for such a directional, stiff ski.  But for whatever reason it works.  Just don't look down and let it bother you.

 

The SN108 skis kind of like a bloated Prophet 100.  Imagine if your old Prophet 100 spent a year at the gym, got a bit stronger and bigger, but didn't really follow a nutrition plan and also got kind of slow.  The Eddie Lacy (circa 2015) of skis.  It is fine, but I didn't find it remarkable or all that revolutionary  - in fact, I thought that it was a step back from the Influence 105 in virtually all respects.  On that demo day (in a wide range of conditions), I preferred the QLab, Cochise, Fischer Ranger 106 all much more than the SN108 which was a distant 4th place and kind of a disappointment for me as a former owner of the P100 and fan of the Influence 105.  The SN108 is OK - it isn't a bad ski.  But for me, it lacked excitement/fun factor.  I didn't demo it, but my guess is that the SN100 is better optimized for that shape and layup.  Maybe in the same way that the Sick Day 110 makes way more sense to me than the Sick Day 95 (both of which I have skied).  

 

Just one stranger's opinion.  Take it for what it is worth.  Have a fun season.

 

you guys rock, thank you. i just bought the 190 qlabs, now on to my binding search!

post #22 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Altobd View Post
 

 

you guys rock, thank you. i just bought the 190 qlabs, now on to my binding search!

Glad that helped.  As for bindings, that's easy.  Pair them up with Sth2 13 or 16 (depending on your dins).  They work great (best in class, IMO) and will look smokin' on the Qlabs.

post #23 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Altobd View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by LewyM View Post
 

 

^^^ Agree with this.  At your size get the 190 with confidence (just note that the QLab is scaled in dimensions so the 190 is a different width profile than the 183.

 

I am 5'11, 185# and I ski the 183 QLab - in theory, because of the scaled sizing, you should experience the 190 in the same way that I experience the 183.

 

I really like the QLabs as my go to daily driver in the PNW.  Occasionally, I wonder why it doesn't get more love and attention in these parts from folks who favor strong, stiff all-mountain skis.  It has sort of replaced both the Bonafide and the Cochise for me as it seems to cover the sweet spot of both of those skis equally well. 

 

I demo'd the QLab twice before buying and now have about 15 days on it.  I also demo'd it back to back with the Supernatural 108 (186).  Not even close.  The QLab is much quicker, much more nimble and every bit as solid.  It is a much more powerful ski than the Supernatural and it also engages on firm snow quicker, with more precision. 

 

The QLab tears through cut up snow like the Cochise, and skis with more pop than the Bonafide.  It holds a strong edge on firm snow and is unflappable on buffed steeps.  Comparable dampness on groomers to the Bonafide (although the feel is a bit different - I find it sharper and quicker in an out of turns).  It isn't exactly a powder ski, but it floats pretty well (probably thanks to the honeycomb tips).  Compared to the Bonafide and Cochise, in powder it works equally well, but feels a bit different - you can slide it, but generally it is less loose than the Blizzi flip cores, perhaps because the tail is flatter and stronger.  The only unusual thing about the QLab is the mount point, which seems rather forward for such a directional, stiff ski.  But for whatever reason it works.  Just don't look down and let it bother you.

 

The SN108 skis kind of like a bloated Prophet 100.  Imagine if your old Prophet 100 spent a year at the gym, got a bit stronger and bigger, but didn't really follow a nutrition plan and also got kind of slow.  The Eddie Lacy (circa 2015) of skis.  It is fine, but I didn't find it remarkable or all that revolutionary  - in fact, I thought that it was a step back from the Influence 105 in virtually all respects.  On that demo day (in a wide range of conditions), I preferred the QLab, Cochise, Fischer Ranger 106 all much more than the SN108 which was a distant 4th place and kind of a disappointment for me as a former owner of the P100 and fan of the Influence 105.  The SN108 is OK - it isn't a bad ski.  But for me, it lacked excitement/fun factor.  I didn't demo it, but my guess is that the SN100 is better optimized for that shape and layup.  Maybe in the same way that the Sick Day 110 makes way more sense to me than the Sick Day 95 (both of which I have skied).  

 

Just one stranger's opinion.  Take it for what it is worth.  Have a fun season.

 

you guys rock, thank you. i just bought the 190 qlabs, now on to my binding search!


Wax them up good!  Best to do a hand tune right out of the gate!

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