The Salomon X-Race is one of the two models offered by Salomon in the Race range. This is very sad since Salomon is a very well known brand and in the past it did have a significant amount of Race skis available.
Since this is the only offering for many countries around the world, the size span is quite wide covering everyone’s needs and it is found from the 155 cm to the 180 cm. The sidecut profile changes with every size and, as a result, on the shorter sizes it is short turn oriented while on the longer sizes, as the 175 and 180 cm lengths, it shows a race carver orientation.The multipurpose, multi-task oriented size is the 170 cm one, which perfectly falls in between.
As for technologies, the Salomon X-Race seems to be filled to the top although many of the key features are just current and standard construction methods in the ski manufacturing industry. “Powerline Titanium”, “Full Woodcore Race”, “Pulse Pad”, “Active Contact Sidewalls” to name just a few, all share fancy names with sound words but at the end of the day there is no miracle sustaining them. In fact, some are redundant, as the “Powerline Titanium” and the “Double Laminate”. They are the same thing, so that is just one feature: the ski incorporates some titanium layering. As it is very well known, these laminates help controlling the skis reactions making them smoother and less harsh to ride.
All in all, the construction method is the “standard” sandwich using a woodcore, fiber envolving it, metal layers to dump the reactions, sinthered base and a nice ABS plastic covering the top. Dead simple yet effective, if the inner bits are well distributed and are from the proper quality.
The plate for the Salomon X-Race is the “Race Plate XX”. An excerpt from the brand’s website states: “Enourmous power transmission for a great grip and quick edge to edge play.” Aside from the “enormous” side of things, let’s concentrate on the “quick edge to edge play”. That game would be easier and in fact more true in the longer sizes where the waist is just above the 70 mm figure. But keep in mind this is somehow wide and it will feel so, specially in the shorter sizes where the game won’t be as fun as the marketing folks claim.
The plate design is rather simple, consisting in two parts connected by a plastic middle insert. Four fixation screws firmly attatch the plate onto the ski and five floating screws which slide aligned to the ski’s longitudinal profile permit the necessary flexibility.
As a plus to this ski, Salomon has incorporated a tip and tail protector which is often desired on many skis. Typical Race skis users shouldn’t appreciate this “feature” as much as occasional skiers. Why? Well , if you are a seasoned skier and you are in the “race mood”, you surely treat well your equipment and really don’t need those protections. Except if you are doing some serious Slalom stuff where some sort of tip covering is almost a must.
Is the Salomon X-Race a good Race ski? Salomon thinks it is. I don’t. This model has to cover everything and it’s obvious it can’t. The profile is wrong, the tail is inadequate except for “sliders”, the plate is very very simple, and the tip and tail protection just give you an idea of who were Salomon designers thinking of. They definitely weren’t thinking of high skilled seasoned skiers but on the general public looking for a “racing” experience. If the race word really means something to you, just look somewhere else.