Salomon introduced us to its beefy S/Max last year, a ski that is about 25 mm thick underfoot and offered with a race-derived binding system. For this year, it expanded the Edge Amplifier construction to an 84mm platform with the S/Force. Salomon didn’t just make a wider S/Max; it made the changes necessary for a fantastic all-mountain ski that is as comfortable negotiating the bumps as it is charging the groomers. There is a gentle giant feel to the S/Force that truly makes it a great ski.
Rarely do I come back from a test run and ask, “Do you have the next size down?” With the Deacon 84, I had to do that, not because the 177 was too much ski but because Völkl was keen enough to offer this collection in 5cm breaks. These increments give skiers a better match than the more-common 7-, 8-, and even 10cm steps. The Deacons replace the very good RTMs with a lot more power and a more traditional feel. They want to charge, and charge they will.
- Why choose the S/Force Bold? You want a ski that is as docile as it is strong, stable as it is nimble, light as it is heavy -- well, not the last one, you don’t mind a bit of heft, because the S/Force Bold is heavy.
- Why choose the Deacon 84? You want a charger, a ski with no speed limit; you work out, and you want your skiing to show it.