Skimo Co

Salomon MTN Explore 88 Ski - Women


Maybe you’ve ever hesitated to explore a lightweight touring setup because you have heard words like “flimsy,” “delicate,” and “can’t ski hard enough” used to describe gear. Salomon’s MTN Explore 88W is here to prove every nay-sayer wrong. One of the most advanced skis on the market, the Women’s MTN Explore provides an unbelievable level of ski-ability for the weight. Total Edge Reinforcement is a technology that implements a vibration-reducing fiber into the core that runs tip to tail, improving edge grip in hard snow. When combined with the ABS Sidewalls that live underfoot, the MTN Explore 88W is capable of confidently holding an edge in even the nastiest terrain. The wrapped Karuba core is energetic like an alpine ski for the way down. Infusing the core with a state-of-the-art CFX Superfiber increases lateral stability for a powerful edging platform in steeper terrain and makes finding the limit of the ski difficult. The tip of the ski is comprised largely of Koroyd, a low-density honeycomb structure made of 90% air, an alarmingly lightweight damping system. Designed to leave a smile on your face, both up and down, the MTN Explore Women’s 88 has the capability, versatility, and power to be the mainstay of every backcountry skier’s quiver.

  • 3D Full Woodcore technology means the top sheet is shaped to add reinforcement and remove weight where it isn’t needed.
  • Oversized Pulsepad is a vibration-reducing layer built into the front half of the ski, further enhancing the already impressive tracking capabilities.
  • Hook-Free Taper is a five-point taper in the tip and tail that contributes to the “surfy” feel in powder and releases when you need it to in challenging terrain.
  • MTN Rocker is a gentle rocker that vastly improves flotation and the ability to power through wind-blown crud.

Update 2020/21: Just a topsheet change, the rest of the ski stays awesome.

Lengths (cm) 153, 161, 169
convert to ounces
1105g [154]
1130g [161]
Weight (pair) 2210g [154]
2260g [161]
Sidecut   121-88-107 [161]
Turn Radius   17m [153]
18m [161]
18m [169]
Skin Fix   Round tip, Square Tail with Notch
Specs Verified Yes
Profile   Rounded tip, medium radius, flat tail
Shape   Camber underfoot, rocker shovel
Construction   Partial ABS sidewall w/ 3D woodcore
Core   Karuba w/ CFX superfiber
Skimo Co Says
Usage Touring, year-round skiing
Notes Koroyd tip is a lightweight dampener
Bottom Line Fun, lively, all-around women's ski
Compare to other Women's Skis

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Questions & Reviews

Question from karen v
Hi there!
I'm looking at buying the 161cm MTN explore 88w secondhand, but am doubting the length. I'm 160 cm, and have probably a bit shorter legs than average... Do you think this would be a problem? Thanks for the advice!
Answer from Carlos M
Hi Karen,

Sizing skis at or slightly above the top of your head is okay if you are looking for a bit longer ski that will be more stable at speed. What length of ski do you normally ride? I would use that as a reference. Generally, for advanced/expert skiers looking for more stability/float, sizing skis near the top of your head or a bit above is common, although in a narrower lightweight ski like this, it is more normal to size down. Less confident skiers who ski at lower speeds may find a shorter ski easier to manage, and shorter skis are easier in tight places. If you would normally ski something closer to the 155 range, and this will be your lightweight touring ski, I would recommend going shorter - closer to your normal length or slightly smaller.
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Question from Sara
I'm looking for a lighter ski for spring conditions in the NW (some carrying through the forest). I would prefer ski-ability over weight and want to feel confident on challenging re-frozen snow. Could you recommend some skis to consider comparing with this one?
Answer from Gabriel I
Hi Sara, the MTN Explore 88 isn't a bad option for the conditions you're describing. Shooting for around 1200g per ski at ~160cm will be a good compromise between lightweight and ski-ability. Other similar skis here are the Elan Ripstick Tour 88, Dynastar M-Tour 90, Volkl Rise Above 88, and DPS Pagoda Tour 87.
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Question from Sam Luthy
Comparing the Mtn 88 to the Pagoda Tour 87 for a new set up. Would you say that the Mtn 88 is the more playful and forgiving of the two?
Answer from jbo
Hi Sam, yes that is correct. The Pagodas are a stiffer, damp ski that can be skied hard in bad conditions. The 88s are a bit more all around and float better. I take my 88s out more than my 87s for what it's worth.
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Question from DAVID S
My wife is 5'-6", 120 pounds. She has been skiing on Fischer Stella Alpina 155cm (82mm waist) for several years, loving them. Being a light-weight touring ski, they are pretty played out. The Fischers are mounted with Fritche Vipec bindings, and she uses Scarpa Gea RS boots. I am considering replacing them with this ski in the 153cm length or the Scott Speedguide 89 in the 156cm length. She's an advanced skier and wants an all-around ski for touring and resort skiing. She's 69 years old. Which ski would you recommend for her?
Answer from Jeff
David, two good choices for light skis that can be used inbounds or touring. Both skis are quite Damp for as light as they are. Very comparable on paper, but the difference is in the skiing. The Salomon will be easier to ski and more playful. The Scott skis are stiffer and would excel on the firm. For all-around touring, the MTN 88 would best.
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Question from Victor F
Good day to you guys,
I am looking for a first alpine touring setup for my girlfriend (5’5” and 120lbs, intermediate skier). Ideally, this ski setup would be a good do it all setup for east coast resort (less snow, more hardpack) and intro to alpine touring (still lightweight)
I was thinking of putting shift mcn on the 153cm, what do you think about it? Is this ski fun and good on groomed and/or sometimes icy hardpack? Floatation is not as important as we dont get loads of it here in the northeast.
Answer from Cole P
Hey Kevin, this would be a great ski and size for her and your conditions. The Salomon MTN 88 is very versatile and will ski hardpack great. Since you plan on skiing this setup in the resort. The Shifts will be a good option, but I would recommend going with a lighter option like the  Dynafit ST Rotation 10 Binding. You will be glad when you get out in the backcountry. If you like to discuss your options further email us at and we can go into more depth.
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Question from Kevin
Are there any differences between this and the "men's" version? This one has my size but the men's doesn't so wondering if they are pretty much interchangeable.
Answer from jbo
Hi Kevin, there is not a construction difference, just color and lengths.
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Question from Steph
Hi, looking at these or maybe the K2 wayback 84s for spring/summer steep skiing in the Canadian rockies and traverses. I love to shave grams, but I don't want to sacrifice stability and grip on hardpack for lightness. Open to suggestions!
Answer from Ian C
Hi Steph, we actually don't carry the K2 Wayback 84 but we do have the 88 and it's a really nice ski, as are these! Thanks to their wide tip, the Salomons may have better float while the Waybacks are stiffer and carvier.

One more ski to throw in the mix for you is the hardpack specialist
Blizzard Zero G 85. To discuss in further depth, feel free to write us at!
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Question from Eric S
Is this ski gong to be too stiff for a skiier than weighs 110? She's a very very good skier, and will use it in resorts as well as backcountry on the east coast, and spring volcano skiing out west.

Thoughts (or suggestions for alternatives) appreciated.
Answer from jbo
Hi Eric, definitely not! This ski has a nice round flex that isn't demanding but also won't fold on you. It would be great ski for that mixed usage imho.
Answer from Eric S
Thanks. I assume 153 make sense given her weight and the usage I describe?
Answer from jbo
Hi Eric, not sure her height, but it sounds like you're on the right track!
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Question from Mirco
having my partner a massive physique (She's 5,8 feet and about 153 ‎libbre‎ ) I would be looking for her the MTN 88 169 in length, but considering her weight, woman version seems to me too flexible so it should be better chose the MTN “unisex” ? which version is the best in your opinion? Thank you
Answer from Ian C
Hi Mirco, there are minimal construction differences between the women's and men's version of this ski, mostly different color and sizing. If your partner is interested in the 169cm length, I would recommend they try the women's ski!
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Question from Nathan H
My wife has been skiing and LOVING her 161 MTN Explore's with tele gear for several years. She has done the Haute Route in them and skis resort groomers in them. She has to get a new AT set up which she will use for multi-day mid winter and spring tours i.e. situations that will present deeper snow and more chunder. My question is, do we stick with what has worked or should we "explore" some 95mm ski options in the 160mm length range? What 95mmish skis would you recommend that would have similar characteristics to the MTN Explore? Thanks!
Answer from Teddy Young
Thanks for reaching out! Just to clarify, she has the MTN Explore 88 currently and is looking for something slightly wider in the 95mm range? What boot will she be using and does she want to stick with the 160ish length? Shoot us a message at "" and we'd be happy to help continue brainstorming!
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Winifred S (used product a few times)
- year: 2020/21
- size: 153cm, measured 152cm
- binding: Hagan Pure
- boots: Hoji Pro Tour, 22.5
- me: 158cm, 135lbs + 15lb backpack

First impressions. I think the combination of the width underfoot, the flex/stiffness profile, the tip shape and tail taper, and the swing weight make for an enjoyable ski.

Faster on the up. And less tiring. My hip flexors appreciate the light setup.

I was initially concerned that the recommended mounting point gave too much length to the tail for doing kickturns (I have short legs). Even though the tail is longer than I'm used to, I'm not having a problem with kickturns. I am finding it easier to bring the ski around and clear the tail (lighter weight?).

Trail breaking:
Upside: less energy to lift the lighter skis and easy to keep the tips from diving down in deep west coast powder.
Downside: I'll be put on the front to break trail more often.

Impressive. On low angle (coastal) powder I have float: surfy and fun. Even at slower speeds in powder, the tips stay up and turning is easy. On drier powder, still floating.

I was pleasantly surprised that deflection with these light skis was minimal and easy to manage (internal construction? tip/rocker profile? sub-90 width? low swing weight?).

The flex pattern of the ski handles sharp dips and abrupt transitions smoothly. Makes for happier knees.

I believe that the bevel is 1,2 (my other skis are 0.5,2). I haven't skied any icy snow yet but the ski edged nicely when I transitioned from powder onto a firm avalanche bed.

Side stepping up small rises: easy, so light!

Really happy with the width. I've been skiing on 100s and the difference to my knees with the 88mm width is notable: there is significantly less lateral knee strain when skinning and skiing.
Comment on this review:

Question from Christine
How does this ski handle in powder? I'm not sure how it will perform. The waist seems a little narrow, but they don't make the explore 95 in my size (I'm short).
Answer from jbo
Hi Christine, I ski the 88s in powder and it's very fun! The rocker in the easy-flexing tips keeps 'em up well enough. Sure a wider ski would float a bit more, but you can have more fun down in it!
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Question from Tony
I'm looking for a light weight set up for my wife and these skis look like a good option, but I'm wondering about size. She's 5'6" and about 118 pounds and a good skier. 161cm is a little shorter than what she is used to, but I'm thinking that these would be better than 169cm. She will use these primarily for touring (hoping to do the Haute Route sometime!), but will no doubt do some resort skiing with them as well.
Answer from jbo
Hi Tony, these are great skis! The 161 is definitely not too short; it's preferred to go a little shorter for touring. Proportionally that length same as mine (men's version) and I would also ski them in the resort without hesitation.
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Model: MTN Explore 88W

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