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'Recreational' and 'all-mountain,' combined with a bargain price sounds like a recipe for a forgettable ski; we test the Salomon XDR 78 ST alongside the big boys.
Level
Recreational
Terrain
All Mountain
Best for
Good intermediate piste skiers looking to dip a toe off the side
Price
£360
Season
2018/19
Bindings?
Yes
Float
7
Playfulness
9
Value
10
Edge hold
8
Stability
7
Turn initiation
10
Overall Score
9
+
Ridiculous performance relative to the price tag
Nothing

Let's be clear; 'recreational' does not mean 'beginner.' What it does mean is versatile, forgiving, confidence inspiring, and easy to work with. And affordable. Does the XDR 78 ST have those credentials?

First up, this ski is super-forgiving on the piste, and even better, it will still reward effort, giving plenty of feedback when pushed in both short and long turns. Turn initiation is almost effortless and even at high speeds, the edge hold is good.

The big surprise is that the XDR 78 ST is fairly capable off-piste. Just to clarify, the '78' in the name does refer to a waist of 78mm. Float should be non-existent, but is perfectly workable given the dimensions. In fact capable is an understatement - this is a highly playful ski off the sides. The wide tip helps with float and there is just enough stiffness to push through the crud when necessary. But clearly these are not made for powder days.

The stealth black styling is pretty cool, but also minimalist in the sense that the low price doesn't buy access to skis with designer input! But the price has to be a major selling point here; £360 including bindings is incredible value for a ski that is way more than a beginner's option. This is a solid, fast piste ski that is also playful off-piste, and as such represents phenomenal value.