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During my season in Val I experienced the Salomon range of products a number of times, ranging from the skis to boots, bags and a jacket (which was stolen!). As an opening statement I'd just like to say that I find everything about salomon to be superb - I didn't find a fault with any of their products, including the more dated stuff. I'll tell you about skis first as that is what I had most experience with: Skis: ----- I love skiing, going fast on them, slaloming on them, jumping on them, everything! The salomon range had skis that, individually, fitted my requirements expertly. Starting with the freestyle skis, the 1080's and the PocketRockets. I have a separate review on the 1080's (just for the record). They are both fantastic skis, both fitted with the new Salomon spaceframe which is a new super light material. The 1080's are apparently park skis whereas the PocketRockets are Backcountry or off piste skis. This means they are super fat (!), giving you more of a surface area to ski on in really deep powder so you don't sink. I tried other backcountry skis, such as the Rossignol Scratch BC's, but I found the PocketRockets easier to manouvre in powder, fantastically springy when flying off lips or kickers and surprisingly easy to turn on piste. The PocketRockets are new this season though are the little brother of the previous AK Rockets which are only available in super large sizes (195cm and (I think) 210cm). Its hard to get skis that big these days, these are only for the pro's! The are also fat in the middle and with the added length, the AK Rockets are probably the best powder skis around, another success for salomon. The 1080's are available in sizes 161, 171 and 181cm, the PocketRockets are only available in 175cm and 185cm. Without bindings, both skis should now cost around £200. I absolutely love the freestyle salomon range but my favourite ski of the season was the
Salomon Equipe 3v 10 ski. The Equipe range has been going for some time now, around about 4-5 years and the Equipe range has always been for racing or slaloming. Over time they have got shorter and shorter and now they are almost the perfect ski. I raced on the latest skis (all though the newer ones came out just as I was leaving Val - the looked superb and will soon be mine!), I tried the 168cm which is pretty damn short though anyone looking to do slalom properly will want shorter skis. I found these to be just as stable as the 190cm Equipe's I had been on the previous day, much faster, nice and springy and just a dream in general! After years of development, salomon have really got something to show for an obvious amount of hard work. Though at the end of the day a ski is a ski, I found it hard to go slow, something about the skis just makes you go fast, the grip they had on the piste and the stability was untrue and I really think these are quite an advanced skiers ski! As far as I know, the Equipes were available from about 152cm to 190cm (I'm really not sure) so plenty of length to suit anyone. This seasons skis should cost rou around £200 now. If you can get them cheaper, buy them. Its a bargain that shouldn't be missed. Some other similar skis were the Crossmax's, which ranged from 06 to 10 (number on the ski). Now, I read about it somewhere but I can't actually remember the difference between the skis (I know one of the numbers means its a womans ski, think it was 06 but not too sure). These were also fantastic skis, also very popular due to the intruiging design on top though also very expensive (around £500!). The flex on these skis was amazing, you could almost bend them into a half circle, and this made them superb for nice long turns as well as jumping. These were just good skis in general, very enjoyable though I'm not totally positive what specific category of skiing they fit into. Who cares though,
they bomb it down the slope and give you a certain sense of invincibility! The Crossmax's, I think, ranged from 164cm to 190cm. All very stable and fast, they should cost around £500 though that is the new range (old range will be around £300). Other members of the salomon range include The X-Scream series and the Verse series and though I never tried them for myself I had friends who said they were good to ski on. I'm also not too sure on prices. Bindings: ---------- I'll be honest, I don't know too much about bindings but what I do know I'll tell ya! The newest bindings, the salomon 'S' range are the best bindings to have I was told. I bought the Salomon S912 bindings The '12' in that number represents the 'Din' setting, which is the level that should be set according to your weight so that in the event of a crash you will pop out your bindings. For instance, I am 70kg's so my normal piste din setting should be 5 or six. The '12' in the S912 number means that the din goes up to level 12. For freestyle skiing however, as the requirements of the bindings holding you in are so much more due to strain and extra impact, it is important to have the din set about 2 levels higher. This means the bindings will keep you with your skis with a semi-heavy landing, though anything of a severe impact such as landing on a flat from a great height will pop you out your binding. I found the S912 bindings to be reliable with doing this. As an example, my girlfriend didn't pop out her binding which was set to her weight perfectly, they just didn't work, and she twisted her leg pretty bad. The S9's are also avaible as S914 and S916 bindings, though these are pretty much reserved for the more extreme freestyle skier. Boots: ------- Salomon boots have always been very good in terms of comfort and stability and I was not to be dissapointe
d with the new range of X-Wave freestyle boots. I bought the X-Wave 8.0's and they remained comfy and in good condition after 5 months of hard use! I'd had them fitted to my feet which helped and evryone should really do that. I wish I knew more to say about boots, but I don't! All I know is that they're reliable and comfort is the most important issue when skiing, so these boots are well worth a look. Some shops in Val actually allowed a test day on these boots so if you're thinking of buying, try them out and make up your own mind. Me for one, and most of my friends, found these to be the best boots available. The X-Waves are also available as 9.0's, and no doubt salomon will have a new and even more impressive range out this year. Buy 'em! Other Stuff: ------------- Salomon also has an extensive range of other stuff such as jackets, snowboards, rucksacks, ski and boot bags as well as gloves, hats and ski poles. My friend had had one salomon bag which he had used for seasons for 4 years and it was still in good nick so I assume their bags are good as well! I had a jacket which was expensive but warm, had loads of pockets and was made of Gortex (a super light, thin material that is wind and water proof like no other)! Unfortunately it was stolen by some pikie in a bar but the time that I had it with it was warm and fuzzy. Sort of. No seriously, the jacket was superbly warm even at the coldest of times and it also looked good which is always a bonus with the more 'stylish' skiers amongst us! A few of my friends were borders and said the Salomon boards are (obviously) good, particularly the 'Dimension' board. I for one, don't have a clue but I'll use this as an example of just how good good salomon are in general. For skiing equipment, I really don't think there are much better. Its for you to decide, but I'll push you in the
ir direction and I'm sure you won't be dissapointed.