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Ski Test: Salomon XDR 88Ti

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XDR 88Ti is the primary ski model in the XDR allmoutain series by Salomon. It goes without saying that the wider the waist of a ski, the better and more "expert" it is. Let's take a closer look at this ski model and check if its characteristics match its status.

The first thing to say would be that the ski is very stiff. The reason for that is an enormous amount of titanal in it. Both torsional and longitudinal stiffness, as well as grip, are very high. At any snow, the ski allows the full control. The waist part of the ski will surely not fail you in any circumstance. The problem is that this is the single good characteristic of XDR 88Ti.

The shovel is longitudinally stiff which at any direction of a slide leads to a significant stability loss on bumpy pistes. By applying pressure on the shovel you will overload your legs, and by relieving pressure - you will lose control. When switching to shorter turns with applying pressure on the tail for better control and dynamics, you get a bend of the tail with a somewhat sluggish exit from the curve instead of a sure grip of the edges.

Carving turns are virtually impossible unless you apply pressure on the tail, whereby you have to be very precise. The only practical skiing style with this ski model is the so-called "ski-instructor-curve" with angulation and moving your hips inside and backwards. Anything else is doomed to fail. When switching the pressure from the shovel to the waist and from the waist to the tail, you will lose the curve. Only on soft and flat snow can you ski without any significant problems.

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Off-piste the ski doesn't work. No, this is not the matter of the waist or the geometry. The problem here is the longitudinal stiffness which forces the ski to fall under the snow at any skiing styles. The only viable option here is high-speed skiing on tails without any turns; however, in this case, the ski is so unstable that this style too becomes difficult.

The ski always requires high speed but doesn't give you anything when the high speed is achieved - neither amortisation nor stability. Such skiing feels more like a meaningless fitness session which results not in pleasurable fatigue after a runners high, but only pain and exhaustion.

To sum up, Salomon XDR 88Ti is one of those awful ski models that are only enjoyed by people who enjoy constant struggle and battle with skis, slope and himself. Those who expect active leisure and enjoyment will be disappointed by this ski model.

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