2013-2014 Salomon Quest 115

2013-2014 Salomon Quest 115

Salomon Rocker 2 115, Blister Gear ReviewFirst Look

Ski: 2013-2014 Salomon Rocker2 115, 188cm

Dimensions (mm): 139-115-131

Actual Tip-to-Tail Length (straight tape pull): 187.2cm

Sidecut Radius: 21 meters

Boots / Bindings: Nordica Firearrow F1 / Salomon Guardian 16 (DIN at 10)

Mount Location: Factory recommended line

Test Locations: Las Leñas Ski Resort

Days skied: 3

[Editor's Note: Our review was conducted on the 12/13 Rocker2 115, which is unchanged for 13/14, except for its name and graphics .]

When Salomon came out with an entire Rocker2 line of skis for this season, my attention was immediately drawn to the Rocker2 115.

The Rocker2 115 is marketed as the big-mountain, charging version of the original 122mm underfoot Rocker2, with a 7mm-narrower waist and half the tail rocker.

Cody Townsend gave up his 194cm AK board, the El Dictator, for the 115 and now uses it to check off his big-mountain lines. If you knew the late El Dictator, this might lead you to think the new 115 is another monstrous plank. But upon initial inspection, the 115 seems like a much friendlier ski.

In our preview of the Rocker2 115, I noted that it doesn’t seem scary stiff (at least from a hand flex), with what I’d consider an even, medium-stiff flex in the shovel and underfoot with perhaps a little more stiffness through the tail. So in heading to Las Leñas, one of the main questions on my mind was: how demanding is the Rocker2 115 really going to be?

After three days on the ski, the answer seems to be: not very.

But this First Look is very preliminary. I still need to put a lot more time on the the ski in powder and a wider range of softer conditions; even so, I already have a few very good things to say about the 115. I’ve found it to be very predictable, extremely intuitive, and surprisingly easy to ski on hardpack and in soft, spring slush conditions. In a nutshell, it’s been a blast to ski.

Hardpack / Groomers

For a 115mm underfoot powder ski, the 115 carves very well. While it’s not as locked down on groomers as the 11/12 Line Influence 115 (which has no tail rocker), I’m still still very impressed with how well the ski finishes a turn. On just the slightest amount of soft snow (really on anything but boilerplate hardpack), the Rocker2 115 provides surprisingly dependable edge hold. I felt comfortable laying the ski over quickly into a high-angle carve, making stable arcs back and forth across the fall line of groomed runs on the Vulcano lift and off the backside of the Marte chair.

Will Brown, Blister Gear Review, Las Leñas Ski Resort

Will Brown, Vulcano 1, Las Leñas Ski Resort

The 115 has a stated turn radius of about 21m, which seems consistent with the way it performs; I was constantly surprised by how quick and responsive this ski is, given its width. (It reminds me a bit of the Moment Bibby Pro, another powder ski that’s surprisingly capable on groomed snow.) It’s no all-mountain carver, but the Rocker2 115 is easy enough to bend and drive that making fast, aggressive carves is still a lot of fun.

Short, scrubbed turns in soft, slushy conditions were also easy to execute. Even at very low speeds, the 115s feel quite light and maneuverable, a lot like the DPS Wailer 112RPC. Slightly longer smeared turns were very easy to make as well. The 115 feels like it has a set radius when it comes to carved turns, but it’s not difficult to feather out the tail and release the whole edge to make any turn shape. I really enjoyed this in firmer conditions, and felt a similar sensation in the little time I had on this ski in powder (more on than it a moment).

The 115’s edge hold on bulletproof, wind-scoured hardpack isn’t stellar, but it’s nothing less than I had expected given the ski’s relatively deep tip rocker. I found the edge hold sufficient enough to move around comfortably (albeit at pretty low speeds) in variable and hardpack conditions in the steep terrain around Telemaco and Mercurio.

Comments:

  1. First of all, congratulations on an excellent site. With well-written, in-depth and unbiased reviews from knowledgeable reviewers, Blister is quickly becoming my go-to site for ski reviews. Keep up the good work guys. OK, on to the inevitable question. From the photos it looks like mounting on the recommended factory line gives a fairly centred mount-point, which I thought slightly surprising for a ski in the “big mountain charger” category. Did you feel fairly centred when standing on the skis and did you ski them from a centred stance? Or are the skis more directional than they appear in the pictures?

    • Hi James,

      Thanks for reading. The recommended line on the 115 is -6 from center. I never felt as if I needed to assume a very upright stance, and found that the skis responded well when skied from a traditional, forward position. I would call this a directional ski, yet the 115s do seem to have a big “sweet spot”, so if you happen to prefer a more centered, lighter stance, I think you’ll still be able to control them well. Hope this helps!

      Will

      • Nice review Will. I take delivery of apair of 188cm 115 with the Guardian 16 bindings on Monday. I was initially concerned with the 16cm mounting position, but this seems to be the preferred position from what research I have been able to do. I presume you mounted boot center at -6cms?? My current Shogun 101′s @ 191 ski better +2cms frm boot center as did some Volkl Explosives and Vertigos.
        Getting stoked to try these out at Lake Louise Tuesday, Nice site. Regards, Brian

        • Hey Brian,

          You’re correct, I skied the 115 at the recommended mount point, which is -6cm. I never felt inclined to move the mount forward or back. I’d say stick with the factory line.

          WB

  2. Hi Will,

    how would you compare the r115 in the 188 to the 190 salomon czar? Dimensions of the 190 czar were 133/114/123 with a radius somewhere about 50m if I recall it correctly. The czar measured about 2cm short from what the manufacturer said (i.e. about 188cm in the 190 cm length). Since they made it with a bamboo core it was a bit lighter than the 1st generation czars and despite the long radius quite “user friendly” due to the very long rocker tip. Yet, I would assume that the 115 is the lighter ski of the two. How would they compare flex-wise? Biggest difference would probably that the 115 actually has some sidecut and is able to carve whereas the czar had quite decent edgehold, yet I wouldn’t really say it carved…Any thoughts from your side?

    • Hey Hannes,

      Admittedly I’ve only skied the Czar for one run, and that was a few years ago now. I can’t say I’m in a position to compare its flex to 115, though I do think you’re correct that the Czar wasn’t quite as lively on hardpack, just in comparing the sidecut/turn radii of both skis. Sorry I can’t be of more help. Maybe someone who has been on the Czar more recently can weigh in.

      Cheers,

      Will

  3. How does the stability/flex of the ski compare to that of the super s7?

    • Hi Jeff,

      While I haven’t been on the S7, or super 7, for a few seasons, I will say that, in a very general way, the 115 seems more balanced and dependable at speed in inconsistent/chopped snow. The tail of the ski, with some maintained width and a conservatively rockererd profile, seems to balance out the ski a little better when things get choppy than I remember with the S7 (which has an even tighter turn radius and a LOT more taper from tip to tail). I need to get the 115 in deeper chop to really confirm this, but that’s my feeling right now.

      Best,

      Will

  4. Is the tip width actually 139?

    • Good catch, Benski. My apologies (lots of dimensions flying around as we get these reviews rolled out from Las Lenas). The dimensions are 139 – 115 – 131, as now listed.

  5. Hi Will

    Thanks for all the interesting reviews. I’m looking for a serious powder ski for the backcountry and occasional Cat ski days. Planning a trip to Japan this year too so some lower angled super deep runs there. Probably mounted with a dynafit 12 din or similar tech binding to help reduce the weight. I loved the Rocker 2 122 last winter for a day of untracked powder, but am considering the 115 for a more versatile ski. I do most of my skiing in the Canadian Rockies so lots of tight trees. Is the 115 going to be too much ski or can you crank out quick turns in soft snow pretty easily?

    You also gave rave reviews to the Atomic Automatic, which would you prefer for big snow days, wide open bowls to tight trees in the same run?

    • Hi Fraser,

      First of all, you can definitely crank out quick, smeared turns on this ski in just a little bit of soft snow. I haven’t gotten it in trees yet, but imagine it’s going to handle pretty darn well. I’ll be sure to speak to the 115′s tree dodging performance in an Update this season. As for a comparison to the Automatic, I’ve yet to put time on that ski, but there’s definitely a “vs.” review in the making. We’ll try to A/B the two skis in a variety of conditions and terrain as soon as possible – stay tuned!

      WB

  6. Hi Will,

    How did you like the 188 cm? I am only 5’10″ and 175 lbs. The factory suggest 175cm but i think this is a little short. I am 4 inches shorter then you but i was curious on your thoughts of the proper length of the skies.

    • Hi Steven,

      I’m 6’2″ (which equates to right about 188cm), and never felt like I certainly wanted more ski out of the 115 – I could have handled more length, but I just didn’t feel like it was insufficient as is. Given that you’re 5’10 (177.5cm), I don’t have any reason to think that the 178cm would be too short. I don’t know how aggressive of a skier you are, what kind of terrain you’ll be skiing, or if you normally prefer a much taller ski, but the 188 seem like more ski than you’d need in just comparing our heights. Hope this helps,

      Will

  7. It seems like this ski and the 2013 influence 115 are pretty similar… Both are stable but not the stiffest ski out there, both have slight early rise in the tails but only enough to provide “surfy” feeling in soft snow. How would you compare these two if you have also skied the 115. Crud? soft snow? Groomers? In the air? You guys are all awesome, serious help when it comes to picking out a ski.

    • Hey Eric,

      That’s a good point. I’ve only skied the 186cm Influence 115 for one day at Breck last spring in some brutal coral/frozen slush and on soft groomers, so I can’t give a full comparison, but here are some brief thoughts. In that crud, the skis felt very chattery through the shovels – I don’t know of a ski that wouldn’t have to some degree, but it seems like a heavier, stiffer ski would have been easier to handle. I can only speculate for now, but it seems like the Rocker2 would have done slightly better in those variable conditions simply because the splay in the tip rocker is more subtle, or at least not quite as abrupt, as on the Influence. On groomers, as I remember, the Influence did handle very similarly to the Rocker2 – it carves very well (though not as well as the 11/12 version, which had a flat tail profile). I threw a couple backflips on the 115 in the park that day if that tells you anything about their swingweight – it’s pretty damn light. The Rocker2 was mounted with the Guardian, so it may have felt a little heavier on my feet, but I still think it’s going to be suitable for some big flips and lincolns in the backcountry. All and all – and this is not to say that the Influence isn’t a good ski for a lot of people – I think I’m more excited to get back on the Rocker2.

      Again, I can’t be certain of any of this, but I’ll keep these things in mind when putting time on the 115 for the Update.

      Cheers,

      WB

  8. The 115 comes max in a 188 length. I weigh 210 lbs and stand at 6’3″. Would the 188 in your opinion be too short for a guy of my size? I’m skiing RMR all season long. Oh by the way its nice to have an honest review available to read from.

    • Hi Nodnal,

      For a 188, the feels fairly short (at least at low speeds), but I’m wondering more if you’re going to find the ski too soft and light in general. So I can help you out a little more, let me know a little about your ability level and your skiing style (aggressive, fast, charging or slower, more playful). From what I know about the mountain, it seems like this ski would be excellent for Revelstoke, but it would help to know more about you’re going to be approaching the terrain. Thanks!

      Will

  9. Hi

    I have read your reviews for both Salomon 108 and Salomon 115. I’m trying to figure out witch is the best ski for me? What would you recommend. I want to have a ski that I can ski on every day basis. I like to go fast. I’m 174 cm and my weight is around 73kg. I been looking at 108 – 182cm or the 115 – 178cm or are they to short… The 115 feels more appealing since the 108 feels more like a jibb ski with it’s big tail rocker. Thank you and thanks for good reviews.
    Jens

    • Hey Jens,

      I can see someone using the 115 as an everyday ski, but it would be more appropriate in an area with a consistent snowfall for someone who isn’t interested in hammering out bump runs. It certainly isn’t built for jibbing, and the all-mountain 108 may be more appropriate for spinning and switch-skiing. The 115 is a less versatile, big-mountain ski built for a more directional style of riding and deeper snow in general. I haven’t actually skied the 108 yet (Jason Hutchins wrote that review) but I may be able to help you out more. What kind of terrain do you typically ski, and do you like to do any switch skiing/spins?

      Best,

      Will

  10. Hey guys, killer reviews on all of the equipment you test. Very thought out and it’s nice to see the different styles of you all. I’ve been riding the Line Motherships in a 185 for a few seasons but am looking for a little bit more forgiveness. I love the way that Lines ski(well from the Prophet series of old to these MoShips) and I’ve tested out the Opus and Bacon which are a ton of fun. I ski Squaw and Alpine and hit slack/backcountry here and there. I rarely ski backwards for more than a few turns, but love maching groomers when there’s not so great snow elsewhere. I’m 40 years young, 6’2″, 215pnds and have been skiing for 35 years(Squaw for the last 15). So my question is this: Would this Rocker 115(188cm), the 189 Armada Norwalk, or the 192 Opus be most like a softer, lighter Mothership? I’ve also been toying with the idea of the 184 SFB or the 190 Rocker 108 as an everyday ski too and then just keep my M’Ships for straightling days. Whatever ski I choose will be mounted with Guardians, so that may stiffen the ski a little. Thanks for any input and keep killin’ it.
    -Jason

    • Hey Jason,

      Jason Hutchins has spent a lot of time on the Opus whereas I, unfortunately, haven’t gotten to ski the thing yet! That being said, here are some thoughts – sorry that I can only speculate. From what I know about the Mothership, the Opus is definitely going to be lighter and softer, but it also has a more playful shape and rocker profile. It seems like you’ll definitely be gaining some forgiveness, but also losing some of the big-mountain and crud stability the Mo’ship was/is known for (really they’re two different types of skis to begin with). I’m dying to get on the Norwalk – I’ve been waiting for Armada to make a ski with a real, stiffer tail forever and I’m hoping that’s it. It looks like it could be very similar to the Rocker 115, but I have no way of knowing yet. I’ll be sure to keep you posted as soon as I get some time on the Norwalk this season. For now, I can say that the Rocker 2 115 could definitely be considered a more forgiving Mothership. It’s a big mountain ski, but a darn friendly one at that.

      If you’re in love with your Motherships for charging days, but still want something to play around on the rest of the time, the Moment PB&J, Nordica Soul Rider, or Rocker 108 (as you’ve mentioned) all sound like good potential options.

      Thanks for reading!

      WB

  11. Hi All

    First of all thanks for what I find one of the best sites for ski reviews! Great job!

    I have a question; I’m looking into getting new skis for the upcoming season. So far I have been riding the Armada JJ 185 (being 180cm) and now am considering the new JJ, the Armanda Norwalk or the Salomon Rocker 2 115.

    I ride big mountain lines, couloirs, tree lines, side/back country and also groomers … depending on what conditions allow. I’m a very good and rather aggressive skier but that still likes a playful ski that also is happy to hit the park from time to time …

    What do you think, which of the above mentioned skis offers the best all-round package?

    Looking forward to your insights and thanks in advance and happy skiing,
    Martin

    • Hi Martin,

      The 115 sounds great for the terrain you’re describing, but I don’t think you’ll want to be taking it into the park. It’s made as a more directional, albeit playful, big-mountain ski. In that respect the JJ is going to suit your needs better. If you want a little more stability than the JJ offers for big-mountain skiing, I’d encourage you to check out the Moment Bibby Pro and ON3P Caylor. They’re both wider powder skis that do quite well on hardpack and will do some flips and spins if you want, but will be more stable than the JJ in chop and variable conditions. Hopefully this helps you out a little. Please let me know if you have any further questions.

      Will

      • Hi Will

        Thanks for your prompt reply and yes, this is indeed very helpful … so guess I will opt for the salomon then since the park is the terrain I ride the least …

        Have a good season and thanks again,
        Martin

  12. Hey guys! Thanks for the replies! As far as my skiing style goes: I like steep, technical runs that may or may not have mandatory airs out of them. I’m not hucking 100 footers, but I’ll hit the occasional 30 footer here and there. Very, very little park(I’ve taken the MoShips into the park and off of some kickers, so that’ll tell you that I’m not park oriented). Trees are a love of mine too. You guys know Tahoe, so you know the type of snow we get(maybe another 800″ inch year?). I don’t mind straightlining when I have to, but I prefer long turns. I like going fast on groomers and medium speed on the technical stuff. I actually like skiing softer bumps a lot too. Softer being the key word there. I’m basically looking for a Mothership without the metal I guess. Something with a good amount of stability, but that I’ll be able to throw around all day and tour with here and there. The M’Ships are awesome, but they can be a bitch if I’m tired that day or just want to skin around in the backcountry. They are very, very heavy, but that’s where their stability comes from.
    Cheers

    • P.S.,
      I just saw that your reply to Jens wasn’t for me, thus my other comment. Sorry if that seemed confusing. Anyway, whatever ski I choose will most likely be my everyday ski too. I’ve got Prophet 90s for strictly groomer, bump days and some 130s for deep days.
      Cheers again

      • No worries Jason,

        All and all given what you’ve said above, I think the 115 sounds like it would suit you very well. Let us know what you decide and how it works out!

        WB

  13. The gearheads over at backcountry.com were kind enough to pull a 188cm Rocker 2 115 ski and weigh it. They say a single 188cm ski comes in at 2280g. That works out to 10.05lb per pair.

  14. Hey, great review! I just picked up a pair. My first observation/potential gripe is how early the edge ends at the tip end. It seems like you would be sacrificing part of the ski that you could potentially edge with in certain conditions and when really laying out a turn, and also that not having an edge there can result in more easily being able to damage that part of the ski by hitting rocks and what not. What are your thoughts or experience with this? To me, I’d rather have a few more inches of edge rather than to compromise on durability to cut down on a couple grams.

    Also, did you like mounting them at the factory line? As another commenter posted, it does seem pretty close to center. I usually don’t like having too much tail (i.e. in a center mount) and feeling like I can’t scrub quick turns. Did you get that feeling at all from the factory line, or do you think it might be good to go another 1 or 2 cm back?

    • Hi TC,

      As I understand it, Salmon’s intent in shortening the edge through the ski’s tip was to reduce hooking as much as possible when the rockered shovel is cutting through soft snow – leaving only as much edge as you need to carve in firm conditions. I tried to lay these skis over as hard as I could on groomers, and never felt like any instability was due to that shortened edge length. I’ll be sure to explore this more, but so far it hasn’t been a problem.

      About the mount point, as I said to James above, I never felt as if I needed to assume a very upright stance on the 115. Mounted on the factory line, which is -6 from center after all, the skis responded very well when skied from a traditional, forward position. I never felt like I had to much tail behind me, and never felt inclined to move the mount point back at all.

      Best,

      Will

  15. Hi Will,
    I have a couple questions for you. First I should let you know that i’m 6’1 and about 175 and would say i’m an advanced skier.
    1. Right now i’m on a pair of 182 liberty helix’s and I feel like they are too soft for me and bounce around in the crud. Do you think that the 115′s are stiffer than the helix’s? I’m looking at getting the 188.
    2. I put a lot of weight on my heels, would mounting futher back help me out? Thanks.

    • Hey Daniel,

      I’ve never skied the Double Helix, so unfortunately I’m in no position to compare the flex of the Rocker2 115 and recommend it as a stiffer alternative. If you can, demo the Rocker2 and maybe the Volkl Katana – a heavier, stiffer ski of similar width and purpose ans see what you find. Sorry I can’t be more helpful, I still need more time on the Rocker2 in chop and crud to speak to it’s performance there.
      To your question about mount point – if you’re looking to increase maneuverability in general, moving the mount forward will make it easier to swing the ski across the fall line. A mount point that is further back will require that you stay forward more to drive and maintain control of the ski. Hope this helps!

      Will

      • Thank you for the response. I’m looking to upgrade from just the Helix, not the Double Helix. Have you by any chance skied the Helix? Thank you for your response, very helpful!

        • Hi Daniel,

          Sorry for my misunderstanding. Unfortunately I haven’t skied the Helix either. Please, let us know how you like the 115 if you get on it. The more honest opinions around here the better.

          Cheers,

          Will.

          • Definitely will do, I just pulled the trigger on a pair so hopefully their a blast. Thanks for all you do.

  16. Thinking of getting these skis as my everyday mountain ski. Will be skiing Alyeska Resort mostly with some backcountry touring thrown in. Was wondering if you had an opinion on length. I have heard the 188′s ski long so was thinking about going with the 178′s. I ski a nordica hell and back 185 right now which I really like but do not want to go to much longer. Skiing style would be advanced intermediate with more of a lean toward bigger lines and turns than hitting the bumps. I am 5’10 and 170 lbs.

    • Hey Matt,

      I’ve put a little time on the 185 Hell and Back, and I don’t think you’ll feel much of a difference in swinging the 188 Rocker2 around. In my experience, it’s quite easy to ski for a 188, especially one that’s 115mm underfoot. Unless you feel like your Hell and Back might be too much ski as is, or definitely more than you feel you need, I’d worry a little about telling you to go with the 178. Especially if you’re leaning toward bigger lines and faster turns, I think you’ll like having the length of the 188 (though again, it’s a rather friendly 188 at that). Cheers!

      Will

  17. Hi Will!

    How would you compare the Rocker 115 (188) to the Katana (191) when it comes to handling and stability?

    I’m pretty used to old school metal laminate chargers (all time favourite ski is the 97 mm Legend Pro in 194 cm) which makes me lean towards the Katana. OTOH, I’m willing to give up a little bit of high speed stability if the 115 is noticeably more nimble.

    Any thoughts appreciated.

    /Magnus

    • Hey Magnus,

      The 191 Katana is definitely a heavier and stiffer ski than the Rocker2. If low speed maneuverability and a lighter swing-weight are priorities, then you’d want to go for the Rocker2 (though I do think the ski will be very capable of some hard charging through chop – I’m still waiting to test this). With its VERY subtle full reverse camber profile, the Katana is surprisingly nimble in trees and tight spots, considering just how damp and stable it is at speed. While again, I haven’t been able to really rage around on the Rocker2, ultimately I think the Katana will be more stable when maching through chop. If you’re hoping for more the old-school-metal-missile feel, then the Katana will be your ski. If you still want to be able to do some aggressive riding, but still want a ski that can truly carve and smear up a groomer on more mellow days, then I’d opt for the Rocker2. Hope this helps, and let me know if you have some other questions.

      Cheers,

      Will

  18. Hey Will,

    I love all the reviews on Blister, thanks for all the great info, props to you and the rest of the Blister Team!

    As a result, I’ve added several new skis to my “list of skis I’d like to buy”, and now I can’t decide on just one. Last year I was lucky enough to pick up a pair of 184 DPS Wailer 112RP Pure’s, and I mounted them with NTN tele gear. However, these skis made me very interested in trying alpine bindings again, to properly appreciate the new ski shapes and so this year I’ve picked up a pair of Cochise Pro Light boots, and I’ll be trying alpine for the first time in 17 years. A couple of the things that I didn’t like about the 112RP’s were their shorter tails when I was in bigger terrain and their hooky nose when I was in the wrong type of snow. I’d like to remedy that with a second ski. I’m still interested in B/C soft snow and touring performance but I’d also like to be able to use them in-bounds in Whistler on anything from the bump runs on the Peak Chair to some of the lower glades and groomers. I’m 6’0′ about 165pounds, I’m pretty aggressive, and love to charge, (big open faces, tree lines, bump runs, groomers, I love it all), but I spent years on leather tele boots when I was a broke student, including riding park, and I have a pretty smooth balanced style as a result. I rarely ride switch, full twins are not a requirement. I’d originally planned on a Amarada TST or a Line SFB, however, now I’m leaning more towards either the Rocker 2 115 or the Blizzard Cochise. What would you recommend?

    Thanks

    • Hi Todd,

      Cochise v Rocker2 115. I have zero reservations recommending the 185cm Cochise. For what you’ve described, I think that ski would do very well. It’s seriously versatile; it can charge, but is also surprisingly forgiving and very manageable in bumps. The ski isn’t crazy quick on groomers though you can lay it over hard, and the more subdued sidecut will make it noticeably more stable/damp in chop than your Wailers. The 115 is very good in groomers in its own right, though I haven’t put the ski through bumps or real chop yet so I’m not in a position to weigh in there. While I expect it to do quite well, I don’t think it will be quite as quick or snappy as the Cochise largely because of the wider width underfoot. If you do think you’ll be skiing a lot of softer, deeper snow, then you might want that width of the 115, or consider taking a look at the Blizzard Bodacious.

      Best,

      Will

  19. Hi,
    Great review :) !

    I’m thinking about buying a pair of Influence 115 and since I’ve tried the Rocker² 115 and not the new Influence 115 (2012/13 version) I was wondering if you could quickly compare the performance of both skis on hardpack / groomers ?

    Thanks !

    • Hi Thomas,

      My time on the Influence is fairly limited (2 days of groomer and hardpack skiing last spring in Summit County, CO). I remember being surprised by how well it could hold a high-angle carve, just like with the Rocker2, though I think the Rocker2 feels slightly more locked down, particularly through the tail. Both the splay and depth of the tip/tail rocker on the Rocker2 is slightly less than that of the Influence – you can see this by looking at the close-up rocker profile shots in each review. I don’t remember the difference in edge hold being huge between the two, though if I were going to just be skiing groomers for a day I think would probably reach for the Rocker2 first, mainly just to have a a touch stability though the tail. I also found the Rocker2 to be less chattery than the Influence 115 (I’ve expanded on that comparison a reply to Eric’s comment above). Both do surprisingly well, and are very fun to ski in firm conditions given their size. Let me know if you have any other questions, and I’ll try to answer them as well as I can at this point. I’ll definitely be referencing the Influence in the Update to this review.

      Best,

      Will

      • Hi Will,

        Thanks a lot for you answer !

        I’m looking for an “all-around” wide ski for my trips where I’m not able to bring more than one pair. I thought that I had found it when I had the opportunity to try the Rocker² 115 back in January; I was quite impress by the way they handled hard pack and groomers when there was no powder, but I thought that they were lacking of pop and were a bit too short (they should come up with a 193cm version).

        Now I’m thinking that the Influence 115 should do the job. I was just a bit worried about their hard pack performance, but it looks like that it will be good enough for the dry days that we sometimes have in the Alps.

        Anyway, great website and thanks again !
        Thomas

        • No problem, Thomas, thanks for reading. Let us know how you like them!

          Will

  20. First of all excellent review, is difficult to find good reviews online and you guys do them really well.
    I been thinking about the rocker108 and the 115,which i haven’t tried, I have tried the rocker2 90.
    and i just have tested the Scott Dozer length 166 wide 96 and I founded more fun than the rocker2 90.
    I am 5’7″ 130 Lbs I mostly ski in Salomon V3,I am a very experience skier in piste and off piste and have tested a great deal of skis, but haven’t have the chance with backcountry ones. And I will like to find a ski more for powder snow that handles well in piste and at the same time fun in both.
    Have you tested the Scott Dozer or Mega Dozer and how you compare them with the rocker2 ?
    Thanks

    • Hi David,

      We haven’t had the chance to test the Dozer or Mega Dozer, though we do have a reviewer on the 110mm underfoot Punisher right now. I do think the Rocker2 115 could be a very good option for the versatile powder ski you’re describing. Other options might be the Moment Bibby Pro (if you think you might want something with a slightly more playful feel), or the Line Mr. Pollard’s Opus (for an even surfier ride). Let me know a little more about the terrain you’ll be skiing powder on and hopefully I can point you in the right direction. Sorry I can’t weigh in on those Scotts you’ve mentioned.

      WB

      • Hi Will
        Thanks for your reply.
        The location is in France Avoriaz area, wich is a mix of a lot of off piste powder and groom runs, ideally need a ski that perform well in both, I been between the Rocker2 108 and the like you mentioned 115, But I am a very light weight skier and tent not to put to much power down, except when i am in the V3. Probably the 108 will suit me best.I tested the Czar 108 of piste, and really like them, but on piste they are not versatile enough which I think the 108 are.
        What you think?
        thanks
        David

        • Hi David,

          The 108 is definitely a lot of fun on groomers from scrubbed turns to carves. I’ve just posted a 2nd Look on that ski, so you might consider giving it a read. I think the thing to do would be consider where you want to allocate the performance bias of the ski and where you want to; powder/soft snow or groomers/harpack. Both the 115 and 108 can handle both, but not surprisingly the 115 will be better in pow but the 108 will be more fun/versatile on groomers – it sounds like that’s what you’re most concerned with. Unless you’re set on more of a stiff, more traditional flat tailed ski, the 108 might be a good option for you. I hope this helps you out

          Will

          • Hi Will
            Marry Christmas !
            I Like your new review, shame you didn’t have the chance to try them in nice powder.
            After all that and your new review I got the 108, 174cm length.
            I just have the bindings dilemma, I read other comments about it and looks like the consensus is -3 from center, I will put a Z10 Salomon binding that have about 4 cm of give up or down.
            Where you think be the best place to mount it? taking in account I like carving and nice short turns plus giving enough front lift for powder as well.
            Thanks
            David

  21. hey all,
    i demo’d the 115′s today based largely on will’s review. will, wow, you nailed it. the only thing i would add to will’s review is the rocker 115′s stellar performance in pow. i’m 6’0″, 165, and skied on the 188′s. i skied snowbird today on 5-8 inches of fresh with some afternoon chop. they weren’t *quite* as stable at high velocity as my katanas, but maneuverablity was considerably better in tight sections. i’m 37 and have been skiing for 35 years; i’m pretty strong on skis, but it’s relative when you’re in the ‘bird tram line. i’ve been on katanas (190′s, 2 years old) and this ski is my first foray into modern rocker tech. WOW. just like will noted, it’s playful yet solid. they felt substantial yet felt designed to smear, if that makes any sense. i bought them at the end of the day. thanks to blister for such honest, killer reviews!
    jay

    • Hi Jay,

      Thanks for weighing in. I’m jealous! The 115′s are spending some time in Jackson right now, so we’ll have a powder Update coming soon. By no means would I expect the 115 to be as rock-solid as the Katana at speed, but that’s great to hear that you feel the ski is even comparable in that respect. Again, props to Salomon for putting out a seriously versatile big-mountain pow board.

      Cheers,

      Will

  22. Hey,

    I’m 6 foot on the dot and keen to buy 115′s in the new year, However I’m torn between the 188′s and the 178′s. I’m a fairly ‘aggressive’ skier in the sense i like to get down the mountain quickly. I realise the rocker technology gives the impression of a shorter ski on piste but i still fear the 188s maybe too big for me. Do you think that there will be a lot of difference in performance between the two sizes?

    Alex

    • Hi Alex,

      The 115 is a very short, easy 188cm – the tip rocker, as you’ve mentioned, helps shorten the ski, but it’s also not terribly stiff. I haven’t skied the 178 but I will say that for me, at a light 6’2″, I have no inclination to move to a shorter ski. I think the 178 would definitely be too short for me, and likely on the shorter end for you (I would imagine you’d find it lacking on stability at high-speed, particularly in chopped snow). I think you’d be fine with the 188, but, just to make sure, what ski have you’ve been skiing on? It would be helpful to know so I can make as confident a recommendation as possible.

      Cheers,

      Will

  23. Hi Will,
    I have been using an old school off-piste ski for years (186 Dynastar 4X4) which is narrower than most modern on-piste skis let alone the modern powder skis. Having endured many a heavy workout with these skies, I feel it is time to upgrade to the latest skis. Since most modern powder skies seem to be perfectly capable at carving on-piste I am not including this as a criteria as I only piste bash when there’s no powder.
    I have a strong bias toward powder skiing and am looking for a ski that is comfortable in the beautiful light and deep powder you get in Niseko and the Rockies but it must also be able to cope with the wetter/heavier powder we get in the alps. Additionally, the ski needs to be able to cope with powder swept into gentle(ish) bumps created by boarders slipping down gullies, heavily skied up/tracked powder and ideally windswept hard pack. Finally, I would like the ski to be fairly agile for skiing in fairly dense trees and gullies. I am 5’11″ tall, weight 200lb and I would say I am a fairly aggressive skier.

    I was originally thinking about getting the 185 Armada JJ ski or the 182 Salomon Rocker 2 108. However, after reading many of your excellent reviews I now find myself in a bit of a quandary. The list of skis has expanded to include the rossignol sickle (if available), the Salomon Rocker 2 115, the Armada TST and maybe the Kastle West XX110.

    Any help would be much appreciated

    • Hi Aidan,

      Of the skis you’ve mentioned, I think the Rocker2 108 and 115 are the most relevant based on the sort of conditions you’ll be skiing. Given you’re height and weight, I actually think the 190cm Rocker 108 and 188cm 115 would be the way for you to go. They’re not terribly difficult to ski and as they are quite maneuverable for their size. Choosing between those two skis is going to depend largely, I think, on if you want to be able to do any real spinning and tricking – the 108 is best for that in addition to it’s powder performance. It’s also 111mm underfoot in the 190cm length, not much narrower than the 115. The 115 is going to be more directional, and probably do slightly better in chopped up snow. If you don’t care to be doing any switch riding or tricking I would go with the 115. The JJ has quite a bit of tail rocker – much more than the 115 – and a more symmetrical shape. I think you would find the JJ similarly forgiving, but not as stable as the 115 in chop.

      As for other potential skis, the 190cm Bibby Pro might be something to look into. It’s certainly heavier than the 115 and will demand a stronger stance to be skied well, but is also another very versatile powder ski. Unfortunately I have not skied the West xx110, so I can’t weigh in there, but I will say that the TST is probably more hardpack focused than what you’re looking for. It is a very light, very nimble ski that subsequently gets kicked around a bit in firmed up chop. Also, at only 103mm underfoot, I don’t think it will provide the float you’re looking for primarily.

      I hope this helps, and let me know if you have any further questions.

      Cheers,

      Will

      • Hi Will,
        I apologise for the delay in writing this, I got caught up in other things.

        I would like to thank you for providing me with the benefit of your expert knowledge on the latest skis. My own analysis based upon reviews, looking at the skis and their flex patters also narrowed it down to the Salomon Rocker 2s. By selecting the 108 I have opted for slightly better crud skiing ability over the pure powder performance and since I am quite happy skiing waist deep powder on straight narrow skis, I am not too worried by this slight loss of floatation. These skis are going to be fantastic. Now all I need is great snow conditions to fully apareciate them. How are you at sorting snow conditions out?

        Thank you very much for your help and I hope you have a good season

        Aidan

        • No worries Aiden! Glad we could help. Let us know how the 108 works out for you.

          Happy shredding,

          WB

  24. I have several days on these skis now and this review is spot on. I can only add that they are super fun and surfy and it’s almost hard to believe how stable they are on crud and hardpack considering how they handle in powder. They absolutely nailed the flex of the Rocker2 115 – it’s just a perfect combination that allows a playful feel while being substantial enough to not get deflected.

    For the record, I’m 5″ 10″ / 170 pounds and have them in 188cm.

    • Thanks for the input, Jay!

      WB

  25. Loving the reviews and format of the site, thanks for all the hard work.

    I’m a fit 6′-1″ and 190 pound skier. I chase after the nice fluffy powder that appears at whistler from time to time, but spend most of the time blasting through crud and crossing trenches in the typical coastal concrete, and of course skiing groomers between storms. I love the trees, hacking my way down chutes, and laying down big GS turns in the open bowls (basically a little of everything except ice and moguls). I’ll also be spending time in the slackcountry around whistler and in the vancouver area.

    I have a pair of older Rossi Scratch BC’s that I like in the trees and steeps, and they work fine on the groomers, but I want more float. The Scratch’s will hang around for skiing with the kids, but I want something bigger for hiking days, and chasing powder. I’ll be mounting a pair of Fritschi’s for climbing.

    Would you lean towards the Rocker 2 115, the Cochise, the Amperage or something completely different? This will be more or less a one ski quiver, so I want to get it right.

    • Hey Scott,

      I feel good about suggesting the 115 (I haven’t skied the Amperage). The Cochise isn’t quite as wide as the 115, so you won’t get the same powder performance out of it. It will be better for firmer chop and crud and lower snow conditions (it’s a little more stout than the 115), but that’s not to say the 115 isn’t damp in its own right. As I read your comment I thought about suggesting the Volkl Katana – it’s probably the best crud/chop blasting ski I know of – but it’s far from light and definitely not something I’d want to hike or tour with too much. For it’s great balance of stability and a more forgiving. easy feel on groomers, I think the 115 is the way to go for you. If you did want to look into a bit of a heavier feeling ski with a little more tail rocker and a slightly less directional feel, take a look at the Moment Bibby Pro.

      Hope this helps,

      WB

      • Will,

        Thanks for the help. I think you’re right about the Katana, it’s probably heavier than I’m looking for. I’m going to re-read the Bibby reviews since it sounds like a few of your testers like that ski, but I’m probably not going to be skiing switch, and never go into the park, so directional is fine for me. I’m leaning heavily to the 115′s and will start scouring the local shops. I’ll let you know what I get and how they work for me.

        Now just need to figure out bindings….

        Scott.

        • I finally settled on a Rocker 2 115 / Guardian combo, and have been super happy with my choice. Thanks to everyone at Blister for the great reviews, and thanks especially to Will for answering my questions, and steering me to the Rockers.

          I’ve skied a wide range of conditions from early morning frozen groomers to sun-baked corn snow to 3 day old slackcountry powder, to 4 inches of just-below-freezing west coast concrete and I’ve been super happy with my choice. The skis are super stable at speed, float through powder (and concrete), carve corn like you wouldn’t believe, and haven’t scared me too bad on hard snow (no icy chutes, but icy groomers were fine). I haven’t been in any really tight trees yet, but think they’ll be okay, even though I would prefer a slightly shorter ski for the super tight trees we get out here (I’m on the 188 length, coming off a pair of 183′s).

          I only have three minor gripes about the setup, and they’re all Guardian related gripes. Go see my comments on the Guardian review if you want more details, but the three gripes are weight, climbing adjustment and brakes.

          I would absolutely recommend this setup to anyone my size/weight/ability who wants to ski inbounds powder/crud/corn and hit the slackcountry. Thanks again for all the help Blister!

          Scott.

          • Hey Scott,

            Thanks for coming back and letting us know. It’s always helpful to hear how our recs play out. Glad you’re liking the 115s!

            Happy shredding!

            Will

  26. Will,
    Do you know if Rocker 115 is the same ski as women’s Rockette 115? Do you know if 178cm has the same radius and stiffness as one you have tested? Can you compare it to Sickle and Opus?

    • Hi Valerie,

      As far as I know, the Rockette 115 is actually the women’s version of the more powder oriented Rocker2 122, which has a full twin rocker profile compared to the “Hybrid Rocker” profile of the Rocker2 115 (less tail rocker than the 122). We haven’t had the chance to review the 122 or the Rockette, so unfortunately I’m not in a position to make comparisons, but I will let you know if and when we get reviewers on either ski. Thanks for reading.

      WB

  27. Will

    Blister has become my trusted advisor. I picked up the 115 R2s based on your review. I’m mounting with atomic tracker 16 based on your review. I’m stoked to get them out to The Bird. One question though. Do you think this AT binding will noticeably stiffen the ski compared to say a PX 18?

    Thanks

    Chris

    • Hi Chris,

      Great to hear! I haven’t skied the 115 with an ordinary binding (only the Guardian AT binding – which is the same as the Tracker you’ll be using). According to Salomon, some elasticity is built into the locking mechanism of the heel, which allows the ski to flex naturally. It’s difficult to confirm this simply by looking at the Guardian/Tracker and flexing the ski, but there does seem to be a very slight amount of vertical and lateral movement between the mount plate and the heel when the binding is locked in place. In any case, in my experience I can’t say the ski felt unusually stiff directly underfoot or strange in any way, but felt like it had a very normal, round flex pattern. Nor did it feel like the heel was loose or not firmly locked down. I really forgot I was skiing on an AT binding at all. I think you’ll be totally happy, but let us know if you do notice anything.

      Best,

      Will

  28. Will,
    Great review. I like many others really appreciate all that you guys are doing with this website. I am looking to replace a pair of 2nd generation 190 Bibby Pros. I have loved them, and 3 years ago when I got them (and was in better shape), was able to move them around pretty easy in Eagle’s Nest at Alta. Alas, I am older and am looking for a ski that doesn’t give up too much of the Bibby’s stability in crud (I ski Tahoe primarily), but is going to be a little easier to turn in tight places. I have narrowed it down to the Automatic 186 or 193, Bibby pro 184 (never skied these), or the salomon rocker 2 115. Could you compare the rocker 115 to the bibby pro 190 and 184? For reference I have been skiing for 34 years (37 yo), ex east coast racer and am 6’4” 195 but tend to like quicker skis these days. Thanks

    • Hey Tom,

      I think the Rocker2 115 is your ski. Here’s my thinking:
      I just spent some time at Alta comparing the 190 Bibby and 193 Automatic back to back in Eagles Nest. The Automatic does feel softer than the Bibby on the whole, and not quite as heavy. But it also has more of a pintail shape (like the Rossi Squad 7), so it felt a little less balanced in steep, firmed up chop. In real skied out, old chop it felt more like the Automatic’s tails were more likely to wash out behind me than on the Bibby, which has a wider, more supportive tail. I know you said you want to maintain more of the Bibby’s chop/crud performance so that’s where the 188cm 115 seems like the better alternative to me. It’s more balanced through the tail than the Automatic for good performance in variable conditions, but generally feels like it has a little softer, more forgiving flex than the Bibby, feels lighter and will pivot and smear short radius turns more easily, yet also carves very well on hardpack (provided you’re on anything but bulletproof ice). I haven’t had the chance to really open things up on the 115 yet, but my hunch is that it’ll still provide some dependable stability if you want to charge. I’m 6’2″ ~160 lbs, and I own the 184 Bibby, but often ski the 190. I wouldn’t want to go any shorter with that ski, so I worry you would find it too short. Hope this helps!

      Will

  29. Will, thank you very much for your answer! My current skis Head Jimmi 108 completely lost thier tortinal rigidity this xmas and I could not find anything I would be interested to test in Vail this year. So I basicly need to buy a ski without demo. I am only 5’3″ and havier, which makes it difficald to find a playfull, but supportive twintip. I have tried last year Sickle in 174cm (which I overpowered a lot and had to maintain high speed for float) and same ski at 186cm (which provided everything I needed in term of float and support, but was too long for me in trees and bumps – limmiting backpeddaling, hopturns and playfulness). So it seems that I should not go longer then 178cm or so. I also looking for the ski that responds to the light touch and efficient, finesse skiing. Could you recomend something? Can you compare Rocker 115 to Sickle and Opus?

    Thank you very much!

    • Hey Valerie,

      I haven’t had the chance to ski the Sickle or Opus, but Jason Hutchins has put a lot of time on both – he’ll be in a good position to compare those for you. As for the Opus vs 115 – I would guess that the 115 is going to feel more directional (the Opus is made to have a more playful, surfy feel), though as the review says, it’s not a super demanding ski. The 115 doesn’t require a very aggressive forward stance to be skied well, and is rather forgiving at low speeds, but still is predictable and stable in fresh snow. Now know that, I haven’t skied it in big bumps, so I can’t comment on how it does there. Still, my hunch right now is that the 178 Rocker2 115 might be the ski for you. The 178 length is 113 underfoot (rather close to the Sickle), but it is a touch longer with traditional camber underfoot (so you should have a bit more stability than with the 174 Sickle). I just want to confirm – you are looking for a one-ski-quiver correct? Or are you going to be keeping your Heads for hardpack days?

      WB

  30. Will, I am looking for one ski quiver. I want to keep it simple. I do not spend time on groomers short of getting back to the lift and early season. My Head Jimmie was the perfect one ski quiver, it lasted 2.5 seasons and now is total garbage. I do like symmetrical skis and I am trying to take my skiing into that direction. I have racing background and PSIA instructor, but interested in more playful and energy efficient skiing style then my colleges. That is why I was looking at Opus as well. I am concerned that both 115 and Opus have 16.4m side cut and could be too hooky. My Heads have 30m radius and I am very cautious to go under 20m. Sickle was very good with 21m radius, but last year Obthesed was diving me nuts with overturning in powder at 17m. What do you think? How is Moment Bibby Pro compares with Rocker 115 in terms of playfulness and manuvrability? Bibby Pro has a more reasonable side cut, but could be too much of a ski?

    Thank you very much for your help!

    • Hi Valerie,

      Now knowing that you’re looking for a much longer turn radius, the most comparable ski to your Jimmie seems like it could be the 177 Blizzard Dakota (27m radius), which both Julia Van-Raalte and Emily Cleveland have reviewed. It’s definitely in a similar big-mountain genre as your Heads, so it may require some energy to ski, but next year (13/14) Blizzard may be taking the metal out of the ski’s construction to make it a bit lighter and more forgiving. Maybe give those reviews a read and see what you think. It is a little difficult to find a ski with a big turn radius that favors a more playful, energy efficient style – the two don’t often go together – however the Cochise (the mens version of the Dakota) is about as you might get.

      The Bibby is a less directional ski (less edge through the tail) but it requires a little more energy to ski than the 115, especially in tight spots. I’d say the two can pivot in a similar way, but the Bibby simply feels heavier on your feet – initially stable with a longer radius but is very willing to pivot if you’re deliberate about throwing the skis across the fall line. Like the 115, I see it more as a very versatile powder ski than a real one-ski-quiver (like the Dakota). Hope this helps!

      WB

  31. Great review… love to hear back when you get on it again in deep pow! Trying to decide between 115 or automatic. I’m 5’5″ / 150 and I ski prophet 98, 172 and I love the ski, playful but sometimes I wish it was a little bit more stable on heavy snow! I see you saying on previous comments that people taller/heavier than me would be good with the 178, which makes me feel it might be just too much ski for me at 178, on the other hand the 168 looks like just to short since this isn’t going to be a quiver of one, I will keep the P98. Any idea how the 178 would feel? I guess I would get that increase in stability over the P98 but it might just be too much and the auto based on the reviews seems to be easier and more forgiving…but I’m not sure if it would be good crushing through tracked pow as this is what I will usually find at a resort. So the other question I had would be about the 115 at 113 underfoot being good for deep days and the autos being versatile when there isn’t too much snow… not really sure if there is much different in flotation between the two. I’m no expert by any means but can ski with confidence most of the terrain. Usually ski in southwest Idaho (Sun Valley and other small resorts around Boise area)

    • Hi Marcel,

      Here’s how I’m thinking about it. I’m 6’2″, which is right about 188cm. In my time on the 188, I never felt like I wanted to go with a shorter length. You’re 5’5″, which is 165cm, so given what I know it seems like the 168 would be the way to go. That’s the best reasoning I can give you just from comparing numbers. I can’t say how the 178 would feel to you, but in my case, I can’t imagine needing or wanting to go with a 198cm length (if one were to exist). If 188 worked for me, it seems like the 168 should work best for you.

      The 115 will feel a little more stable (primarily due to its shape) than the Automatic in chop. Between the two, I think I would pick the 115 for plowing through skied out powder in-resort.

      The 168cm 115 is 111mm underfoot (and the 178cm 113mm), but otherwise they have the same tip and tail widths as the 188cm version. To me, this seems like a move from Salomon to give each length of the ski the same response and feel through a turn. In other words, the only real reason for the narrower width is so that the shorter skis have a proportionally tighter turn radius. Given that the width of the shovel and tail are the same as the version I skied, I’m thinking that you’ll still get a sufficient amount of float and stability out of the ski in softer snow – certainly more than you’re Prophets. Hope this helps you.

      Will B

      • Just thought I would come back and comment… after testing all kinds of different skis including (rocker2/quest 115, Line Opus, Influence 115, Moment Governor, Atomic Automatic) I ended up getting a rocker2 115 size 178cm. First tried the quest 115 178cm last Saturday at the Alta Demo day, ski worked great for the conditions, 3 runs on that day. I grabbed a rocker2 115 178cm again Monday with 8″ – 10″ of fresh and the ski was exactly what I was looking for… skied the whole day dropping of the high traverse and I had no complains. Maybe the short turn radius helped on the size, but I think the 178cm is just perfect for me, that said I haven’t tried the 168cm but I can’t see myself asking for a shorter rocker2 115!

        • Great to know, Marcel. Opting for the larger of two sizes, if you’re in between, does seem to be the way to go. Glad you’re happy with your 115s!

          WB

  32. Hey Will, eager to hear back on your impressions of performance in crud and deep chop with this ski as soon as you get the chance. I demoed a pair of 182 Rocker2 108′s and found them to be remarkably intuitive to ski, but bounced around a fair bit in chop. Also found it awkward how centered the bindings were – they were mounted on the factory recommended line.

    How do you feel the 115′s compare to the 108′s, particularly as it pertains to stability? How would you compare them to the Blizzard GunSmoke in the comparable length?

    • Hi Aaron,

      I see the 108 as primarily a kick ass one ski quiver for someone looking to do everything including, quite importantly, really jibbing around – it’s not an incredible floaty pow ski, nor is it a ripping carver, but it balances both well and is able to handle flips and spins too (that’s where the more centered mound and looser, lighter feel come into play). If you’re not looking for such a spin/butter friendly in a one-ski-quiver ski, then you could gain some stability in chop by looking into an all-mountain ski like the Blizzard Cochise or Armada TST.

      Obviously the 115 is first a directional powder/friendlier big mountain ski (so I think it’s in a bit of a different discipline than the 108 to start) that happens to also do great on hardpack provided you have just a little soft snow to edge into. It does have a more directional feel than the 108 thanks to more effective edge through the tail, will certainly be more stable in chop, but it won’t feel nearly as nimble in bumps.

      On the 108, I’m carving up groomers (forward and switch), throwing the edge out in surf turns, doing nose butters and tail presses. On the 115, I’m probably staying out of bumps and railing big GS turns down groomers, and will be taking faster, more aggressive lines on powder days than I would on the 108. I hope that helps to frame up the main differences between the two. Let me know if you have any other questions there. I should get the 115 in chop and pow before too long (it’s been around to reviewers in Jackson and AK recently).

      I see the Gunsmoke as really just a, soft backcountry jib ski and not much more. It can carve and lay out turns well when conditions are smooth (on groomers or in lightly tracked pow) but I think you’d find it even less stable in variable/chopped snow than the 108, and a very different sort of ski than the 115 (the Gunsmoke is not a big-mountain ski at all, at least to me). It has more splay in it’s tip and tail rocker than both skis, and is quite soft in those areas. Both Andrew Gregovich and Jason Hutchins have reviewed the Gunsmoke and have differing opinions about it. Jason’s also skied the 108, so you could also ask him how he thinks it compares to the Gunsmoke. Personally I’d take the 190cm 108 over the 186cm Gunsmoke across the board.

      Hope this helps!

      WB

  33. Hey Will first of all thank you for being awesome and replying to EVERYTHING :) it has been really helpful. Now i am definetly geting this ski at the end of this season but am completley torn between getting the 188 or the 178. Im about 6 foot right now and will probably grow 1 or 2 more inches, i do like charging down the mountain but when i get powder i like to play around in it and would also like to juke around in the trees.I ski at mt.baker in washington and we usually get quite a bit of snow. Im pretty light (only about 140lb) and need to choose between 188 and 178. Thanks for all the help!!!

    Jared

    • Hi Jared,

      As I’ve mentioned in replies to some folks above, I don’t think I would want to go with a shorter version of the 115. For me, the 178 would almost certainly be too short, and the 188 is still surprisingly easy to move around. If you’re a strong skier (and will likely be getting stronger/faster as you grow), and you’re just a bit shorter and a little lighter than I am, I feel better suggesting the 188. I worry that the 178 would be too short in chopped and heavy conditions, or would be too short for you in a season or two. That’s my thinking – let us know what you decide to go with and how it works out.

      Will

  34. Will,
    I picked up a pair of these of our conversation about replacing a pair of Bibby’s with some automatics. What is your recommended mounting for the 188 rocker 2 115? Thanks.

    • Hi Tom,

      I didn’t get to fool around with the mount point of the 115 when I was on the ski (it is mounted with the Guardian – not our usual Jester demo bindings, which make that easy to do). The 115 isn’t something I would be skiing around on switch or spinning on at all, it has a really nice on-demand smeary feel in soft snow, and it provides a stable feeling on groomers as is, so I don’t think I would want to mount forward. Factory recommended is all I know with this ski, but I was really happy with it – that’s what I would recommend.

      Cheers,

      Will

  35. Thanks Will, I belive im am going to go with the 188, as soon as i get a chance to ski on them i will let you know how they were. Again thank you for all of your help, you have influenced my desicsion very much.

    Jared

  36. I got these skis mostly based on the feedback I got from this site and I have to say I could not possibly be happier with them. I ski everyday all day for work and this is the only ski I will be using for the near term in all conditions. Great float in pow, super fun in crud as well as a really really fun groomer ski. I love that the tail isn’t fully rockered as well as the strong camber profile which will throw you in and out of turns if you ski aggressively.

    I am 5’10″ and weigh about 175 and went with the 188′s. It is not too much ski and I am happy I went with the suggestions on here and didn’t go any shorter. If you are thinking about this ski I would strongly recommend it. Thanks Will and company for the great review and feedback.

    • Hi AK,

      Thanks so much for weighing in – it’s always good to know our suggestions are on track!

      Enjoy the rest of your season,

      WB

  37. Hey Will,

    I’ll echo whatever one else has already said, this is a great site, and the reviews are awesome.

    I have the R2 122 in a 192cm, love them on powder days, they feel stable and without a speed limit for where I ski. I’m looking to replace my 191cm Armada ANT that I normally use for off piste skiing after all the powder has been tracked out and R2 122 get put away. When I’m on the ANTs I like to ski fast and hit small cliffs (up to 12 feet), where the run outs can be less then ideal at times. I’m strongly considering the 188cm R2 115 and Squad 7, however I’m concerned there might be too much overlap with my R2 122. Just wondering what your thoughts are. For reference, I’m 6’2″ and around 195lbs, and mostly ski Fernie, British Columbia.

    • Hi Sam,

      I think you’re right. I guess the 115 could replace your ANTs, but it would be a little redundant/overlapping with the 122s. I’ve never skied the ANT, but seeing as it’s 107mm underfoot, two really good crud/chop big-mountain skis in a similar size are the Blizzard Cochise and the Moment Belafonte. They’ll do well on a light pow day, but are happiest in the days after a storm ripping through crud and hunting out drops. Maybe take a look at our reviews of those skis and see what you think. Hope this helps.

      Will

  38. Hey Will i recently bought them in a 188, and i have to say i am amazed. My first day on them was about a two foot day an they were incredible in the powder, then by the end of the day everything was tracked out and they still performed so well.I am glad i went with the 188 i find them very easy to control, thank you for your advice. Also to add on to the review a bit, i also had a chance to demo the 122′s on also a pretty good pow day, and really i found them to perform only slightly better in powder, and not as good on groomers/crud. If i was to reccomend someone either the 122′s or the 115′s i would definetly suggest the 115′s unless where they are going is always pure powder.
    Thanks for everything,
    Jared

    • Hey Jared,

      Great to hear! Glad you’re happy with them, and glad we could help out.

      Enjoy the rest or your season!

      WB

  39. Hi Will,

    I have decided to buy the Rocker2 115 but struggling between the 178 and 188 cm length. I have demoed the 178 but not the 188 cm. I am 6′ and 170 lbs, non-charging advanced skier. I’ll be using the skis for work (cat skiing) so primarily powder in the trees. Your recommendations above suggest a 188cm but I am leaning towards a 178 for quick turns in the tight trees.

    I would appreaciate any further input you have,

    Thanks Bert

    • Hi Bert,

      It does sound like you’re a bit in between sizes. I would normally say go with 188, especially if you were going to be skiing them in resort in tracked/chopped conditions, as the ski feels fairly short and maneuverable for its size. But, as you say, if you’re predominantly going to be skiing these in tight trees and fresh conditions, a shorter length would probably be just fine. I wouldn’t be too worried about a lack of float or tip diving at that length.

      WB

  40. Thanks for all your awesome reviews. This site has become a great resource. I have been demoing skis this season and think I will go with the Solomon R2 115. I am wondering what length to get. I have only skied the 178 and only on groomers. It was great there. I ski the front range of Colorado and frequently go the Silverton and Alta thought the season. I am 5′ 5″ and weigh 140. I think I still ski as aggressive as I ever have in 40 years of skiing. This will be a one quiver ski. I really only ski bumps and groomers when there is nothing else. Don’t ski really fast and never ski backwards. Need a ski for powder, crud, wind buff, steep, corn snow, wet slop, backcountry and resort that will survive in bumps. What I’m wondering is would the 168 or 178 be better for me. Right now I’m on Icelantic Shaman 161cm.

    Thanks again.

    Gary

    • Hi Gary,

      Based on your height alone, the 168 would seem to be the better ski (I’m 6’2″ – 188cm – and skied the 188), but did the 178cm feel like a lot of ski to you? Or, do you think a shorter length would feel too squirrely? I don’t think the 178 will feel any bigger in powder or chop, though it could in bumps and trees. I would normally say go with the 168, but if the 178 really felt manageable, and you don’t think you’ll mind the extra length in trees, then that sounds like it could work for you. It all depends on your impression of that 178. Hope this helps!

      Will

  41. Will, thanks for the reply. Had the Rocker2 115 @ 188cm and the Guardians out for day 1 at Lake Louise today. The recommended -6cm mount point is spot on. I never felt like I was working hard to stay out of the back seat. This is a super easy ski to turn and it handled everything easily today: steeps, bumps, trees and groomers. This ski really likes to go fast and was amazingly stable at speed. My last lap today was Men’s Downhill on soft packed snow and it easily ripped big fast GS turns down the main pitch. I am 5’10″ and 165 lbs and the Rocker2 skied a lot shorter than 188 and was surprisingly nimble for 115 under foot. I still love my Shogun 100′s @ 191, but feel the love growing here. I can’t wait to try these in pow! Soon I hope. Nice site. Thanks Will! Bonzo

  42. Hi!
    I’m thinking about buying a pair of rocker2 115,and I hope you can help me choose the right lenght? I`m wondering if the 168 rocker 2 is too short for me?I am 5 foot 8 (172cm) and 185 lbs.I now have a pair of g3 zen oxide 09/10 170cm,and dont know how the rocker2 178 would be like compared to this.
    thanks!
    Andre

    • Hi Andre,

      I haven’t skied the Zenoxide, but I would assume that the 178cm Rocker2 will ski about as short as it, or perhaps feel a bit shorter, on hardpack given that the 115 has a fairly deep tip rocker line and a touch of tail rocker. The 178 would be the way to go I think.

      WB

  43. Yet another awesome ski review!

    I am looking at this ski for my east coast pow ski. I do about 85% touring so they will be mounted up with a pair of dynafits. I am 5’11 and 155 pounds geared up. I have previously owned the 185 JJ for pow ski and I enjoyed it but just didn’t feel very confident on the ski due to the tails, it felt very choppy in crud and tracked out pow. I tour some pretty big lines (for the east coast) and am a pretty aggressive skier. This ski seems like it can charge while still being able to move through tight trees and even hold its own in crud. I am also thinking of the 188 size. Do you also happen to know the weight?

    Thanks guys!

    • Hey Chris,

      I think the 188cm 115 would be a good fit for all the reasons you’ve mentioned – especially compared to the JJ, you’re right on there. While we haven’t been able to confirm the weight for ourselves, Evo lists the Q-115 as weighing in at 2491g per ski.

      Best,

      WB

  44. Will, since you tested a lot of skis, may be you can help me and point toward the right ski. I just spend a day in Jackson Hole on Salomon Quest 115 in 178cm and I loved that ski! For the last 2 years I was shuffling between Line Opus, Beacon and Rossignol Sickle and was never really happy. Q 115 is really awesome! I really liked how it is stiff under foot with nice soft and rockered shovel that finally does not catch! What I would change in Q115 is the tail – I need normal full twin tip there for easy release of the tail in moguls. I also need a shorter ski – around 170-174cm. Since ski industry introduced women’s ski I have been out of luck. I hate women’s ski as they all made for very light weight person who rides her heels. I am only 5’3″ and when I go for men’s skis longer then 174cm I start to compromise on agility. I know that Moment Belafonte comes in 174, but I read it is very unforgiving and super stiff. How is it compares to Q115? What is the stiffness and shape of the front rocker? Does it have full twin tip in the back? Will it release easily, once locked on edge?
    Are there any other under 174cm skis that you can recommend?
    Thanks.

    • Hey Valerie,

      The 115 does have a touch of tail rocker than lets it smear out a little more easily than it otherwise would. The Belafonte has no rocker in the tail (though it is twinned up slightly), meaning more effective edge holding the tail on line than you find on the 115. So in my experience, the Belafonte is much less forgiving than the 115, particularly in the tail. The fore body and shovel of the ski is also stiffer, and has less pronounced tip rocker.

      It sounds like you’re looking for a ski that’s more playful, a little less directional, than the 115, but keeps a lot of its qualities otherwise. Unfortunately I can’t think of one that matches that description exactly (that I’ve tested), but I do wonder how you would like the sound of the Black Diamond Element? You might check out Julia Van-Raalte’s review of that ski here on BLISTER. It has a slightly more tapered shape than the 115, which would allow it to release a bit easier on the whole (I would imagine) Another option with a similar design as the Element might be the Atomic Automatic.

      I hope this helps somewhat!

      WB

  45. Will, thank you very much for your response. What about Salomon Rocker 108 and 122? How are they different/similar to Q115? Are they as stable/stiff under foot? Do they ski shorter and more playful? How is 108 different from 122 (besides additional width underfoot)?
    Thanks a lot!

    • Hi Valerie,

      I haven’t skied the Rocker2 122, but my understanding is that the 108 is simply a “miniaturized”, skinnier all-mountain version of that ski. The 108 (and I would assume the wider 122), will definitely ski shorter than the 115 due to more centered mount points and more tail rocker/less effective edge. The 115 is definitely going to feel more stable in chop and generally more directional than either. As a decided powder ski the 122 is probably going to feel less responsive, especially in bumps and from edge to edge on groomed snow, than the 108.

      Hope this helps.

      WB

  46. Hey Will,

    Thanks for the thorough and honest reviews on products. I’ve been skiing all-mountain on K2 Silencers for 4 years now as I have progressed and am at the point where I’m skiing more bowls and trees and they don’t seem to be making the cut anymore, especially when things get steep and deep. I’m also at the point where I’m going to be looking at doing some touring/expedition skiing and am hoping to find a ski that will serve me for trees, bowls, pow and touring (I realize this might be a lot to ask of one ski). I’m 6’2″ and 180 lbs and tend to charge most runs. I’ve also been looking at the 4FRNT Hoji, which seems to be maybe slightly more backcountry pow oriented than the 115s (although I realize they’re pretty different skis). I’m really looking for a ski I can use for resort pow days, trees and bowls, and then for a growing amount of touring. Any advice would be great.

    Thanks,
    Matt

    • Hi Matt,

      The 115s could be great for what you’re describing. I would probably recommend them over the Hoji, which you also mentioned, if you’re going to be skiing in resort – more variable, choppy, and firm conditions – as the 115 will provide more stability there. While the Hoji has a great feel in fresh snow, the ski’s full reverse camber profile makes it less predictable and intuitive when things are tracked out.
      Not that I think it would be better for what you want, but the Armada Norwalk might be worth taking a look at too. It’s definitely in the same class as the 115, but has a slightly different feel you might like?

      Cheers,

      Will

  47. Thanks for another excellent review. I’m also trying to decide between the 178 and 188.
    I’m 5’8″ 160, but a pretty strong skier. I will be adding these to my Nordica enforcer 177’s as a deep day / tree ski. I am concerned the 178 with rocker will ski shorter than my enforcers, which I feel are pretty right for me in terms of amount of ski.

    Matt

    • Hi Matt,

      Yea, the 178s ought to ski a little shorter than your Enforcers. The 188s are going to ski a bit longer (probably something like a 182 or so).I would say still go with the 188s unless you think you really don’t want any more ski than your Nordicas, I can’t imagine you’ll find the 188s overbearing – the Q 155 isn’t a very demanding ski for its size.

      Best,

      Will

  48. Looking at some R2 115 but not sure on size. 5’8″ 160lb ski Blizzard magnums for groomers in 170cm and Blizzard Bonafides for all mountain in 173cm. Do you think I should go 168 or 178 on the Salomons?
    Going to use them for powder and trees in Colorado

    • Hi John,

      178s, for sure!

      Best,

      Will

  49. I’m 5’5″ / 150 and I ski the 178. At your size I’d wonder about 178 or 188 but I’d never consider the 168 even for me. You might be a little in between sizes, but if this is going to be your dedicated pow ski I’d go for 188, if you want more all mountain soft snow go 178. I have absolutely no issues with the 178, really easy to ski and turn

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