The XW LAB is vast, they are the Alaskan or Russian back-country of skis. With such immense dimensions the days when you can use the XW LAB are somewhat limited, unless you have the good fortune to have the wealth for daily heli-skiing.
As they are so large there is a definite change of technique required and also a relatively soft pair of boots – I found the combination of high lateral support from my ski boots over powering the LAB and making it squirm – this is a ski designed to be skied fast and hard but to flow and flex over and through steep, deep and enormous terrain.
As such they are exceptional and the ride is super-smooth, the flex tolerant, the float immense – and the smear turns make you feel like you’re surfing.
A stunning pair of boards but limited use – personally I would grab a pair of Rockers as they seem almost multi-purpose in comparison!
Skireviews.co.uk rating – 89/100
An extremely capable pair of skis but as a purchase you would have to be seriously dedicated and have the terrain and conditions at hand to really enjoy them.
The manufacturer says this about the Salomon XW Lab Skis 2008/09:
Ultimate back-country rockets.