I just had a super frustrating ski day on Q98s. My regular ski is a Salomon Enduro XT 800, which I find to be very fun and versatile. I was looking to add a wide ski, for soft snow days here and trips out west. I'm east coast based, but had the opportunity to demo a bunch of skis out west this year. It was spring conditions, with hard pack in the morning, and soft, slushy conditions and moguls later in the day. I'm mid-40s, around 185, 5'11", advanced but not expert skier.
I was able to demo 80s/90s skis, which were more appropriate to the conditions, and enjoyed most of them. Skis I tried included:
- Salomon X Drive 8.8 titanium (172)
- K2 Rictor 90
- Volkl Kendo
Of those, I liked the Kendo the best. I had planned on demoing a wider ski, but got injured (calf tear). I nevertheless bought a demo pair of Q98s and had them shipped home.
After a few weeks, my calf felt good enough to ski on, so I went to the closing day at Hunter. It was warm, with heavy snow, slush, and some hardpack underneath. I brought the Q98s because I wanted to try them out and thought they might be good in the soft snow.
Now I know they're not the best hardpack/groomer ski, but reviews extolled their flexibility and forgiveness. However, I could not ski on them! I felt like I had two lunch trays on my feet. I couldn't buy an edge, couldn't turn quick enough for moguls, was fearful of going fast, couldn't ski a narrow line, and felt like I was fighting the skis all day. My quads were killing me and I couldn't even ski a full day, which is not like me.
So, any thoughts on these skis?
- Bad tune? I didn't tune them myself before skiing since the other skis I demoed were tuned well.
- Is it just that the wet, heavy snow conditions were not good for these skis?
- Is it a bigger learning curve going from an 80/90 width ski to a 98?
- Could it just be a byproduct of skiing tentatively in fear of re-injuring my calf?
- Are these skis just not right for me?
- Do I just suck?