Salomon Carbon Skate Lab

Posted by Jan Guenther on Feb 27th 2015

My 28th birke year and I feel I am always learning a little something new about skiing, technique, and skis. This winter at an industry trade show, I was handed a pair of Salomon’s super light, stealth black new Carbon skate skis to try. I excitedly flew them back and since it was only two days before the City of the Lakes Loppet, I handed the skis to Matt Fox to get the bases ready in 24 hours. So without any history with the ski I raced them on the lovely man-made Theodore Wirth course and was delighted on how they skied. Fast and stable with floatation for sugar snow. I then skied the Carbon skis at the Pre-Birke course in Hayward and had a blast enjoying their fast run-outs down the hills and ease of riding up on a flat ski when changing from a tuck to an open field or V-2. So of course, they were my ski of choice for the Birke. Not that they were the only pair of fast skis I have owned, but because it is fun learning the characteristics of a new ski design.

The birke course/snow this year, at least for the elite start, was very soft at the power lines and progressively became more hard packed to 00. After 26 k’s the course was nicely hard-packed with the fresh inch or so floating on top.

For me, the variety of snow conditions made it interesting to see how the Salomon skis ran. First off, I had a great grind and wax, so the skis were as equal or faster than my competitors on the downhill. But, on the soft snow, although they climbed well, the skis did not have that special feel that had wow’ed me the first two races. So I shrugged it off thinking, “geez, the course is way softer than I expected and the skis run better on firmer conditions, now I know”. I just focused my attention on the skiers around me and settled into the pack that fit my speed.

As the k’s floated by and my little pack reformed, placing those with good skis and fresher legs in the lead group. Yet when the course became firmer, my Salomon Carbons ran faster and were more lively. There inherent stability allowed me to become more confident in my technique as I could balance longer on one ski and catch up on transitions. Basically I just had more fun and a wonderful appreciation for racing. I could stay on the front of the pack, play around with different techniques, while attempting to save some energy until the end. I really could not have asked for anything more than a healthy body, really cool skis to race on and REAL snow to enjoy. My only sadness was – dang it, the lake zapped the rest of my energy! As Betsy Youngman, my age group competitor from out west, plowed past me into the wind with 2 k to go, it was a shame that my exhausted legs had no more strength left to push my nifty skis faster to the finish line.

My conclusion? There are a lot of really great performing skis in the hi-end race category and now Salomon offers one more. Beyond being unbelievably light, their new Carbon Skate Lab ski offers significant stability in firm snow conditions ( to all skiers who can ride one ski using open field / V2 technique) and a soft tip for floatation in sugar snow given a hard track underneath. Enjoy!


Please contact Gear West at 1-877-473-4327 or if you are interested in purchasing the Salomon Carbon Skate Lab skis.

Or See More on on the Salomon Carbon Skate Lab.

Read more from Salomon on the Salomon Carbon Skate Lab ski HERE.

Holly Brooks, 1st place in the American Birkebeiner with her new Salomon Carbon Skate Lab skis.


You too will be this happy when you ski on the Salomon Carbon Skate Lab skis!

-Posted by Jan Guenther on Feb 27th 2015