Salomon knows how to make hard-snow skis; we just wish it would offer them on a more consistent basis. Since wishing is not a good business plan, we are going to light a fire under the consumer's ass and create some awareness of the all-new S/Max collection from Salomon, specifically its halo model, the S/Max Blast.
The S/Max 12 and Blast share the same platform (121-72-106 with a 17m radius), but they differ in how they attach to a boot. The Blast integrates the Atomic Neox-derived X12 TL binding, which is one of the more efficient 4-12 DIN interfaces. IMHO, its only shortcoming is that it is not GripWalk-compatible, but Salomon does offer GW users both the S/Max 12 with the Z12 Walk and the S/Max 10 with the Z11 Walk.
Where most of the full-sidewall skis on the market now are about 15mm thick underfoot, the S/Max’s Edge Amplifier sidewall is just over 20mm. That 25% difference makes for an extremely responsive ski with tenacious grip. The Edge Amplifier sidewall gets power to the snow with authority. The out-of-the-box base grind on these skis is also of race-room quality with its thumbnail grind.
On the snow, the Blast is akin to taking a 400HP sports sedan and letting it rip. Yeah, there's always the risk of losing your pass, but it is your choice: you will be capable of skiing at irresponsible speeds, but this ski is fun at mortal speeds, too. Don’t be fooled by the 17m radius (at 175); this ski can make some serious short turns. IMHO, the 17m is a red herring, and by no means are you limited to that; I would even be comfortable saying that the radius actually skis shorter than what is published.
We plan on getting some more time on these as the season goes along, and I am hoping to surprise @ScotsSkier again with another ski that he never would have considered. Stay tuned, and in the meantime read what the Pugski testers and I said about this scalpel this past spring HERE.
- Who is it for? Chargers; this ski likes to run.
- Who is it not for? Mortals, don't worry: Salomon has the S/Max 12 for us.
- Insider tip: GripWalk wearers need not apply.
Featured Individual Review Long-Term Review: 2019 Salomon S/Max Blast