Skimo Co

Salomon MTN Explore 88 Ski

$649.95 $419.95

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Not long ago, finding a touring ski that could confidently lay down a turn at high speeds and maintain some competence on a technical climb was an impossible task. Oh how were are blessed to live in the now. Cut from the same hard-charging cloth (Karuba) as the Explore 95, the MTN Explore 88 is the lightest and skinniest ski among Salomon’s MTN Explore lineup. Don’t let the relatively slender waist fool you, it’s not afraid to stretch its legs on the descent or even float in powder. The French have nailed it with this construction, which would satisfy most resort skiers. With not a single detail overlooked, the Salomon MTN Explore 88 is a well-oiled machine that’s ready for anything you dare to throw its way.

  • Total Edge Reinforcement acts like a mini-sidewall that provides excessive dampening from tip to tail with a minimal effect on weight.
  • Oversized Pulsepad is a vibration-reducing layer added to the core that stops chatter in its tracks.
  • ABS Sidewalls placed underfoot improve durability, edge hold, and stabilize the ski for surefooted skiing.
  • Hook Free Taper is a five-point sidecut on the tip and tail that allows the 88 to handle like a bigger ski.
  • CFX Superfiber blend runs the length of the ski, increases power transfer, and improves dampening capabilities.
  • The 3D Full Woodcore is thickened in critical areas and cut out to reduce weight in superfluous areas.
  • Koroyd Tip minimizes deflection sometimes found in skis in the same weight class.
  • MTN Rocker provides the 88 with flotation and crud-busting confidence.

Update 2017/18: Topsheet change, no core difference.

Update 2018/19: Just a topsheet change, the rest of the ski stays awesome.

Update 2020/21: New topsheet and marginal changes in construction leading to a slightly higher weight.

Lengths (cm) 161, 169, 177, 184
convert to ounces
1250g [169]
1305g [177]
1455g [184]
Weight (pair) 2500g [169]
2610g [177]
2910g [184]
Sidecut   123-88-109 [169]
125-88-111 [177]
127-88-111 [184]
Turn Radius   18m
Skin Fix   Round tip, square tail with notch
Specs Verified Yes
Profile   Rounded tip, medium radius, flat tail
Shape   Camber underfoot, rocker in the shovel
Construction   Superfiber sandwich with mini ABS sidewalls
Core   3D Karuba full Woodcore
Skimo Co Says
Usage Touring, year-round skiing
Notes Koroyd tip is a dampening pleasure inducer
Bottom Line Fun, lively, all-around ski
Compare to other Mid-fat Skis

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Questions & Reviews

Question from Arild
Hi! Thanx for many good reviews and answers to questions.
Wa wondering if there are any real differences (flex etct.) to mtn explore 88 169cm and mtn explore 88 W 169cm skis or if its just the color/topsheet/ W-label.
Answer from jbo
Hi Arild, there are no construction differences so anyone could ski either and have the same experience.
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Question from simon x
always there to answer our questions anytime you people do it...and most significantly on spot
well this time i d like to know if skorpius can give that extra something to this pair of skis, since i can hardly reach their limits downhill with all-orange-maestrales and wish for some efficiency uphill and longer objectives 4-5 plus hours
45yo confirmed to expert 5;10@155
Answer from Emmett I

Ski by day, answer questions by night!

The Skorpius skis very well for its weight, with a good progressive flex pattern as opposed to the rigid wall that a lot of boots in the race+ category have, and the range of motion will be a good bit better than the Maestrale. That said, the Maestrale is still a good bit stiffer and more powerful. So if you're looking for more control, I'd go with something with a 4-buckle design. But if you want to save weight and get something that climbs better at the cost of a bit of downhill performance, the Skorpius would be a great option!
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Question from Jason
I'm 6'2, 225, and looking for my first touring ski. I'm still a fairly new skier but progressing quickly and looking for something that will maximize my options in Colorado. I'm thinking about the 184. Too much ski?
Answer from Emmett I

The 184 would be a great all-around touring ski! It might take some getting used to in trees at first, but will be very doable. If you want to go into more detail, feel free to reach out at!
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Question from joshua robinson
I'm 5'11 160lbs and looking at the 169. Thinking of using this ski for on piste lift skiing with a downhill binding with the option later of going to an AT binding/boots. make sense?
Answer from Jeff
Hi Joshua, All our skis are for the Backcountry. Can be used inbounds, but they are light and not as damp and would not be as much fun as a downhill ski. If you only ski Green and Blue runs, it would suffice.
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Question from Zack Lewis
I'm looking to pick these skis up primarily for a Spring Touring ski for mostly moderate terrain and not huge days vert wise.. The twist is I'm starting to ride lifts a bit and wonder if I would benefit from mounting a full featured touring binding instead of a lean one? For example, the G3 Zed instead of the Alpinist or Orazo. I don't charge at young gun speeds even on groomers.
Answer from Emmett I
Hi Zack,

From what you've told me, you'd probably be fine on a lean binding. You'll need to wear leashes, which can be a pain when you're clipping in and out a lot, but won't be a big deal in a resort. If you want to have brakes in the backcountry, and/or are looking for release certification, you could consider going with a fully featured binding.

If you'd like more advice, feel free to reach out to us at or fill out a binding finder!
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Question from Scott
I have these skis from I think 2018, has Salomon made any changes to these since then? Thanks
Answer from Tristan M
Hi Scott,

The Salomon MTN Explore 88 has stayed largely the same since 2018 outside of graphics changes, and some small construction tweaks.
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Question from Daniel P
Looking for an inbounds set up for my wife - 5-9, 135lb beginning skier, pretty timid, but loves skinning. Something that is easy to control, not too heavy, good on corduroy or fresh thin powder along with intuitive bindings that give good ski feel. This?
Answer from Zak M
Hey Daniel, it is good to note that the Salomon MTN Explore 88 is designed to be a backcountry ski. Because of the lighter weight construction, the ski won't perform quite as well at higher speeds or through variable terrain as a dedicated heavier on-piste ski. But, with that being said, for beginner/intermediate skiers it will get the job done pretty well and offer a better experience for using them in the backcountry or skinning uphill at the resort, and for the weight performs great and is an intuitive skiing ski.

For a decent pair of binding to pair along with the ski for someone who will be primarily in the resort with occasional skinning in the backcountry or uphill at a resort the Salomon Shift 10 or Dynafit ST Rotation Lite 7 binding. Both of these bindings will have certain pros and cons but are fairly easy to operate for the everyday user. Give us a shout at with any other ski or binding questions!
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Question from Doug Evans
Hi, I'm a 5'9" 150lb intermediate to advanced skier. New to backcountry skiing. Use a light pack. Like the look of the Salomon Explore 88, but unsure what size to get. 169? I'm getting older (60) and more careful these days.
Answer from jbo
Hi Doug, that's an awesome ski. I'm 6'1" and have the 177s, but I've also skied the 169s which are super fun. I think 169 is the way to go for you.
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Jordan D (used product regularly)
On the heavy side for 88mm and it shows in its downhill ability. An excellent choice for your only ski for spring and summer. I found it pretty unremarkable in the sense that it just works. No obvious flaws, no standout strengths. Though very impressed how well it does in deep powder!
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Question from Dave
Got hooked up a pair of MTNExplore 88's from Bruz when last in US in 2017.
Skied 'em and loved 'em for four Australian seasons with Kingpins and Salomon MTN EXPLORE boots.
I think I may have loved 'em to death.
Australia does not stock this line.
Please, please export me some to Australia.
Thanks in Advance
Answer from Zak M
Hey Dave, shoot us an email at and we can get you sorted out! Thanks
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Question from Ivan M.
Hi Skimo team. I'm 6'4", 200 lb + 20lb pack intermediate skier and looking for a ski mountaineering setup. I currently ski Scott superguide 105 in 183, and would like to have something more damp, controllable and easy to turn in less than ideal conditions. Will Salomon MTN explore 88 or 95 fit me well? Should I go with 177 or 184 with them? Thanks!
Answer from Will M
Hey Ivan,

Great question! I think both the 88 & 95 would work well for you. If you're looking to fill the ski mountaineering quiver slot, then I'd lean more towards the 88. As for length, you'd be able to get away with either the 177cm or 184cm. However, the 177cm will be a bit more appropriate given that it'll weigh less and perform a bit better in tight turning areas.
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Question from Judy
Hey there - I currently have 164cm Atomic Backland 104s and am looking for something that would compliment them for the spring/summer seasons. I mainly do volcano skiing out in the PNW. Do you think the 161cm Salomon Mtn Explore 88 would offer enough difference and not have too much overlap with my Backlands? If not, any recommendations? :) Thanks!
Answer from Julieana
Hi Judy, this ski will definitely compliment your Backland 104s nicely! For a spring/summer volcano ski people generally prefer to go a fair bit shorter than their powder/all season charger setup to save weight and add maneuverability so you may want to take a look at the Movement Alp Track 85 Women's Ski as we currently have it in a 154cm length. If you want to chat in greater detail feel free to email us at!
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Question from Philip Beliveau
I am expert alpine skier 5"10 160 lbs looking at salomon mt 88 in 169 or 177. All my alpine skis are 170 or greater but got some head monster 83 in 177 this past season and while they are fine I wish I had bought the 170
Answer from Teddy Young
Hey Philip, thanks for reaching out! Many folks choose to go a little shorter for their touring skis due to lower weight, easier kick turns, nice for narrow chutes, etc. My immediate thought is to go with the 169, but give us a shout at if you’d like to chat in greater detail!
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Question from Patrick Chase
I'm a recovering resort skier and ex-racer. I'm 5'10" and 200+ lb, and my current daily-driver resort ski is the 189 cm Fischer Ranger 107Ti (though I have a bunch of others ranging up through 192 cm Dynastar Pro Riders and 210 cm Head SGs).

My current touring-capable skis are 190 cm 4FRNT Ravens (with ATK Raider 12s) and 191 cm 4FRNT Renegades (with Shifts), and my touring boots are Tecnica Zero-G Tour Pros. I'm happy with the Ravens in good/softer snow, and am looking to complement them with something narrower, more direction/traditional, and lighter (in roughly that order). I will stick with ATK bindings since I'm very happy with them and have the mounting jig.

I will happy trade increased weight (within an upper limit of ~1500 g) for stability and edge grip, and don't want an ultralight all-carbon chatter-machine. Given those requirements, is there any reason why I wouldn't want to go with the 184 cm MTN Explore 88?
Answer from Brett S
You have found a safe space, Patrick. Most of us are recovering (a few have fully "recovered") resort skiers here at Skimo and harbor no judgement! Based on what you've said, the MTN Explore 88 would be a rad addition to your quiver! Happy skiing!
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Question from Brent
Hello, I'm convinced this is the next ski for me but I'm struggling with picking a size. I'm 5'9 and 170 and I carry a good pack so another 20lbs. I've skied, mountaineered and raced through college and really don't like skis that are too short. I was thinking the 184 but from what I'm reading it sounds like people like to ski them shorter than I do. Any advice or suggestions would be appreciate.
Answer from TSB
Hey Brent, 184cm is a lot of ski, whoa nellie! Most folks of your size would pick the 169cm version (or even the 161cm) for added mountaineering capabilities (easier to kick turn, hop turn, and put on your pack), or maybe bump up to the 177cm ski if this was their one-ski-to-do-it-all. A good friend of mine is about your height and has spent all winter ripping around the Wasatch on the MTN Explore 88 in a 169cm with no complaints. If you've been skimo racing a good bit and spending time on 160cm skis I think you'll find the 169 to be plenty of ski!
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Question from sam P
Hello Skimo Co!
I recently purchased the Salomon MTN88 from you but I'm having trouble choosing the proper binding for it.
I am considering the Dynafit Superlite to save some energy but wondering how compatible they are with the ski?
Are they too small for proper power transfer?
Is the TLT Speedfit better for this midfat?
should I suck it up and spend top $ on the MTN explore binding?

Answer from Teddy Young
Hey Sam, good choice on the new ski! The Superlite 2.0 would definitely have enough power transfer, but let’s start with calculating your ideal release value by filling out our Binding Finder.
Answer from sam P
Thank you for the quick response!
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Question from Ruth
I’m 5’4 and an advanced skier weighing 133 +20lb min backpack. I ski alpine 166 Salomon Pocket Rockets but also make my oversized Völkl Kenja 170cm work along with line soulmates about 168. I feel like the 169 cm Mtn 88 explores would be better in 161 cm but maybe can make 169 cm work-not sure how stiff these are compared to old pocket rockets -want to ski lighter for ups especially due to knee injuries. What do you think about size and what is actual running length of ski since it has some rocker? Thanks
Answer from Jeff
Ruth, Seems you like the 90mm width and 168cm. The current MTN 88 are somewhat stiff, all mtn ski, so probably similar to the old Pocket Rockets. Since you are looking for a lighter ski to be easy on the knees, Something in the 161cm range and lighter( narrower) would be a good call. I would suggest these following skis ( we do not have many in a 160ish size). The Elan Ibex 84 in a 163cm, Atomic Backland UL 78 or 85 in 163, Alp Track 85 womans in 161cm. A couple of these are a whole ponf per pair lighter then the MTN 88 and will still be fun to ski. Please feel free to contact us directly to let us know where and what kind of skiing you mostly do so we can help you more. Thanks
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Anthony O (downright abused product)
I really enjoyed this ski, finding it to be quite capable in all snow. Its very easy going, easy to do any turn type and floated well enough for me at its waist. I thrashed it in the resort and did about 50 days on it this season over 100k vert easy. For skiers looking to have a ski that isnt terribly heavy but extremely capable on the down this can easily fit the bill.
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Question from Doug Heirich
question about ski length for Solomon Mtn explore 88 , I'm 160 lb, 6 ft, advanced skier. Looking for mid-light backcountry ski for west coast (ie wet crud or crusty). My other skis are k2 Coomback 177 w Fritchi Vipec, 2006 Volkl T-rock 180 w/ Plum, Volkl Mantra 177 w/Marker Duke, I'm looking to replace the T-rocks ( a little soft and chattery at the tips on icy terrain) with a ski with more downhill capability.
What would your recommendation be?
Answer from jbo
Hi Doug, definitely the 177! I'm just about the same size and have been skiing that length for a while and it's about perfect for backcountry usage and skis really well.
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Model: Mountain Explore 88

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