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I skied this ski for a full day at Snowmass, so I consider this to be a sort of flash review. Overall, the QST 106 is a versatile mid fat ski that you can rip all over the mountain. Its been a while since I had skied a directional ski, but this was definitely a reminder that even though it isn't a twin tip, this ski can still be loads of fun. I was riding the 181 length at the recommended mounting point. Probably a bit farther back than most people here are used to, so I'll try to incorporate that into my review. However, after a full and hard skiing day on these, I think we will be seeing a lot more directional skis finding their way into our quivers in the near future.
The flex on these skis is just what you want for a versatile all mountain ski. The nose is soft enough to be sort of playful if you want to smear a roller or something of that nature, while it was still rigid enough to bust through crud and resist chatter on hardpack. The conditions this day were about 5 inches of light powder in the morning, which turned into consolidated chop by noon. In the after noon, it was shaded groomers and skied off moguls, and these skis held their own in all of the above. I didn't try any nose butter 3s, but considering the nose rocker and flex in the tip of the ski, it is definitely a possibility for a very butter savy skier. That being said, these skis still felt very "surfy." After a few runs on them, I didn't miss going switch at all, because I was able to lay down fast carves as well as short swively turns when needed. The short tail finished a turn very predictably, making slashes and deep cuts on banked terrain extremely fun. The flex underfoot is very stiff and solid, so railing turns on groomers was no problem, and the stiff flex behind the boot helped maintain stability if i happened to land backseat on a side hit.
The rocker profile on these is also ideal for the design of the ski. Enough rocker in the tip to maintain ample flotation in powder, but no so much that you get chatter when the resort is skied out. The camber underfoot obviously lends itself to great control in a variety of conditions, while a slight tail rocker ensures that there is no hooking when making turns in crud or softer snow. Even though they aren't a full twin tip, i really liked the slight tail rocker, because it frees up the tails to slash and make tight, short turns when needed. I had no trouble shedding speed by throwing these sideways, which was good because these boards certainly like to get up to speed.
Not the lightest skis compared to others with a similar waist. Because of this, I never really considered throwing touring bindings on these. That being said, you certainly could if you wanted to, but I feel that other skis would be more at home on the skin track. However, since these aren't a super lightweight ski, you can be more aggressive with them in bounds. They perform well in crud and hardpack because of their heavier, damper characteristics, and I feel that they are more of a versatile resort charger rather than a maneuverable backcountry tool. Still, the swing weight on them is by no means overbearing, and there is no problem taking them in tight trees or throwing them around.
At 20m, the turn radius is in the medium-longer category, which lends itself to going straight and fast. I definitely prefer this for a directional, inbounds ski, but as i said earlier the tail and tip rocker free up the ski when needed so making tight turns and skiing moguls is really no problem. The fat-ish waist isnt ideal for tons of mogul skiing, but thats not what these are designed for anyways. Overall, you can definitely find a speed limit on these, but for most folks ripping around the resort, they are a perfect mix of charging and maneuverability.
As I said before, these things rip groomers. My racing background really liked the directional feel of these, and I had a great time making larger GS turns on steeper slopes. There were instances where making a super low, fast turn resulted in a loss of edge grip due to the rocker and flex in the nose, but given the overall build of the ski its not going to perform as well as its full cambered racing counterparts. My park and freestyle skills also really felt at home on these skis, airing out side hits and slashing and smearing rollers. I didn't attempt any switch riding, but with the tail rocker it can be done at lower speeds. Basically, these skis felt super playful and freestyle oriented, minus any park or serious switch riding which was fine with me because you gain a lot of all mountain performance with the more traditional design.
Im a lighter skier, at 5'10" and 160 lbs, so the width on these combined with the farther-back-than-usual mounting point and rocker provided for ample flotation and catch free turns in softer conditions. Obviously, for the deeper days I would choose a 178 QST 118, which would be super fun. But for morning pow and afternoon all mountain ripping, these were the perfect blend of floatation, surfiness, and versatility.
These held their own in crud, but as I said earlier I am a lighter skier, so there isnt too much demand in this category. There were instances where these would get bucked around, but 90% of the time it was me controlling the skis and not the other way around.
I had a great day on the QST 106. If you're looking for a mid fat directional tool to conquer the whole mountain, look no further. One thing that really stood out to me was how playful these skis were despite not being a full twin tip. This was the first non twin tip ski Ive been on in about 5 years and it really opened my eyes as to how much fun more directional skis can be. The more stable flex combined with the rocker camber profile and longer turn radius had me cruising through the banked gullies that one can find at snowmass and it was a super fun day. I think a similar ski with a turn radius of about 15m would be even more fun because you can make deeper turns and still have the predictability and skiability of a directional ski. As i said earlier, dont be afraid that these arent a full twin, because they are super fun. All in all, these are a great addition to any "newschoolers" quiver as a fun all mountain ripper.