When I was growing up, Salomon was everywhere in freeskiing. Whether it was Bobby Brown's switch dub misty on the Suspect or Dumont's road gap 3 on the Shogun, Salomon had a huge presence in the scene. As a 13 year old on Newschoolers, of course I wanted the G Suit and a pair of suspects (the 2012 model in particular) so I could throw up gang signs like Nick Martini. Now nearly 10 years after getting out of the freestyle game, my inner child can rejoice as Salomon has released a new ski; the Depart 1.0.

Firstly, if you want a proper review including ski specs and allat, read Twigs review: https://www.newschoolers.com/news/read/In-Depth-Review-Salomon-Depart-001-Roofbox

After seeing countless videos of a new prototype in the making, I knew Salomon was cooking up something interesting, but can we trust the guys who are now predominantly known for making "dad skis"? Turns out we can, and they've rocked up with a whole different philosophy.

The first thing you notice with this ski is the shape, a wide 140mm shovel leading into a pointy tip, and a graphic that looks like it broke out of prison. I rode the Depart 1.0 for about 20 days, most of which were spent in the Blackcomb park. My initial impression was "holy shit these are fun" as I tried to butter my way around the park like Sleepy. These are just my initial thoughts as the Depart 1.0 as a park ski, and I ain't no Hemingway so bear with me.

Jumps: I was blown away by how light these are and how little swing weight I noticed, especially when jumping. I had been doing a few days on Faction's Mana 2 before hoping on the Depart, and the weight difference and overall characteristics of the ski were very different. Where the Mana is a damp heavy-duty charger, the Depart is a softer platform that inspires butters and sidehits. This doesn't mean they can't jump though; theres enough backbone underfoot to stomp some big jumps with confidence. It's kind of like how the Edollo is super buttery but still survives trips to the Gucci Plateau. I'm used to riding a ski around 94mm underfoot in the park yet I didn't feel like the 106mm waist was causing me any issues besides it being a bit more work getting up on edge when carving off a lip. If you're looking for a ski to solely hit 50+ foot jumps, this probably isn't it; But if you want something a bit softer that can still manage some big boosts, Depart 1.0 could be a good option.

Rails: Well after 9 days riding rails I still don't have an edge crack; Whether this is because I'm a god at detuning, or Salomon has put some beefy edges on these skis. The low swing weight applies on rails too making switchups and landing holding safety nice and easy, plus the rocker profile helps keep your tips from catching if you're sloppy with your swaps. This ski can really handle tight transitions and quick jibs, making it a useful tool in the railyard or on sketchy forest side hits. I found myself doing a lot more moderate-to-lower speed skiing on these instead of my normal fast and 'go-huge' type of riding, as they felt much more at home doing wacky butters. After nearly 30 hours on these, they've retained their pop and are as lively as they were on day one.

Whoever at Salomon green-lit this project and put athletes in the drivers seat deserves a raise (or at least a beer!) because the Depart 1.0 is not like anything I've skied before. I applaud Salomon for innovating and trying new things instead of pumping out some half-baked attempt at park ski. I know people will either love or hate this ski; but regardless of your thoughts on them, we should be stoked a brand like Salomon is back in freestyle.

edit: Mount point: + a masking tape width from Recommended line.

*I bought the Depart 1.0 with my own money, this article is not sponsored.