The Stance range is Salomon's big noise for this season, intended to make an impact on the already-saturated all-mountain market, but with a clear mission statement: "Crafted to charge, shaped to carve." Bold.
A full poplar wood core incorporating carbon flax and a double Ti construction seems to tick all the boxes, and goes some way to justifying a relatively high price point.
The performance on the mountain goes the rest of the way, and more than justifies the cost. The Stance 96 hits the absolute all mountain sweet spot in terms of dimensions, stiffness and turn versatility. It can charge through chop but remains soft enough to be fun and lively. It's wide enough for powder but narrow enough to be responsive (thanks partly to the flex and the progressive sidecut).
The graphics are a little lacklustre - resembling screen annotations from a trendy spy film rather than 'art' - but will no doubt have mass appeal in that they aren't off-putting.
What is particularly satisfying (and enhances versatility no end) is that the Stance 96 has power and pop in equal measures, and exactly when needed. It just rails all types of turns, making for a cracking good time and a genuinely all mountain ski.