Rating: / 5
Waist Width: 97
Lengths: 152, 159, 166, 172, 178
With it's 97-mm waist, the 2017 Dynastar Cham 2.0 W 97 is as wide a ski as many women care to take on, a soft-snow freerider with plenty of flotation for all the but deepest snow. Though not as buoyant as the top model in the series (the 107), it's quicker, more manageable, and considerably lighter, with more secure edge grip on hard snow and greater versatility in non-powder conditions. Dynastar's Women's Freeride collection comprises three Cham 2.0 W models in waist widths of 107, 97 and 87. The long-familiar Chams, which were updated last year and return unchanged for 2017, are adventuresome newschool freeriders designed for modern powder skiing technique. Generous width and moderate tip/tail rocker give them powder-ready buoyancy. Classic camber through much of the ski combined with sturdy construction gives them power, carvability, and rebound energy. But the Chams' trademark burliness is tempered by Dynastar's Five-Point Sidecut, which gives them a dose of newschool, freeridey slashiness: The tip and tail are not only rockered but also tapered (ie., the widest points are closer to the foot), making them looser in the snow, easier to pivot and foot-steer-good for huge sprays, emergency speed checks, and creative line selection. All are sturdy laminate constructions, built on lightweight paulownia wood cores, with edgy, full-height vertical sidewalls tip to tail. Women's models features thinner profiles and softer flexes than the men's, with target skill levels ratcheting down to include advanced and intermediate women in the lower models. Dynastar, along with sister brands Look, Lange, and Kerma (poles), is part of the privately owned Rossignol Group. It's factory headquarters are in Sallanches, France, "in the shadow of Mont Blanc." It was founded in 1963. -J.C.