SALOMON S/ LAB X ALP

Backpacker - - NEWS -

OUR TAKE Testers reached for the tooth­pick-light X Alp for up­hill mis­sions and races—and it man­aged the ac­com­pa­ny­ing down­hills sur­pris­ingly well for such a skinny ski. Case in point: Our videog­ra­pher flew up the hill on X Alps to get footage dur­ing our in-bounds test at Colorado’s Monarch Moun­tain, and then suc­cess­fully skied down double-black Mirk­wood Bowl while wear­ing a 20-pound pack. We don’t rec­om­mend that, but with a full wood core (made of light­weight karuba) and fiber­glass re­in­force­ments, the X Alps are just meaty enough to han­dle it.

THE DE­TAILS A barely-there sheet of basalt damp­ens the ski a bit, but still ex­pect high-speed jit­ters with a ski this soft. The X Alp isn’t quite 1970s skinny, but there’s a learn­ing curve to sub-80mm if you haven’t hot­dogged be­fore.

TRAIL CRED “I could dump speed while slid­ing into my next turn,” says a tester who used the X Alps in Colorado’s Power of Four ski-moun­taineer­ing race. “They have great tip en­gage­ment, while the tails re­lease eas­ily.” $850; 4 lbs. 3 oz. (164); 158, 164, 170 (113-79-99); salomon.com

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