Dynastar Course TI (2011) - Ski Mag

Dynastar Course TI (2011)

We said “hard snow,” and Dynastar took us at our word. Straight out of the race collection comes the Course Ti. It’s a full-on, metal-reinforced, square-sidewalled speed demon with an ice-biting 72-mm waist. Flotation and Crud Performance? Not its bag. But it’s so good at what it does—medium-radius arcs on hard snow, the faster the better—that testers loved it. (Check out the Overall Impression ranking: No. 3.) Forgiving? Only compared to FIS-level race skis. But carve technicians and citizen racers will rip the groomed with confidence. “Exemplifies the best attributes of the ‘cheater race ski,’” said Garrett.
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Dynastar Course TI

Rating: / 5
Price: $940.00
Year: 2011
Level: 3
Gender: Male
Waist Width:
Tip/Tail/Waist: 120/72/104
Lengths: 172

Stability at speed: 4.22 / 5
Hard snow performance: 4.25 / 5
Crud performance: 2.48 / 5
Forgiveness: 3.08 / 5

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Dynastar Legend Sultan 94 (2011)

Here’s a super-sized version of the Sultan 85 (see No. 2). Dynastar gives it the same burly construction (it scored a shade higher in Stability); the differences are simply width (94 mm instead of 85) and rocker (about 23 cm in the tip instead of 18), plus a slightly longer sidecut radius that prefers going down the hill instead of across it. The result is a surfier, floatier feel that’s more at home in soft snow and a little less versatile for frontside applications, though it’s still among the favorites. Testers gave it the top score in Crud Performance. “Strong, well balanced; perfect for rooting out the last pockets of powder,” said Elling.

Atomic Crimson TI

Atomic Crimson TI (2011)

No. 1 in Stability at Speed, No. 2 in Hard-Snow Grip…. Yeah, it’s an Atomic. And a No. 2 Overall Impression ranking shows that testers were more than willing to overlook the tradeoffs in forgiveness and quickness. The Crimson­—traditionally cambered, metal- reinforced and a perennial tester favorite—loves to go fast, and doesn’t seem to care what the snow conditions are like. That big tip hooks up with ease, and thrilling rebound propels you from one turn to the next. It’s not for sissies, though. “Rewards those willing to set an edge an stand on it,” said Casey.

2011 Exclusive Eden

Dynastar Exclusive Eden (2011)

Some skis are like Meryl Streep, expressive and sensitive to your every thought. This one is like Rambo—out for first blood. Our stronger and/or heavier testers were huge fans, feverish about its wood-core, sandwich/sidewall construction and scoring it highly in Overall Impression—perhaps the most important criterion in the test. Our lighter girls, though, found it a bit bullheaded and ranked it last among winners in Forgiveness. But everyone agreed that when crud comes your way, the Eden will flex all its muscles, if only you have the strength to hang on. “A powerhouse!” said Shultz.

Volkl Mantra 2011

Volkl Mantra (2011)

At 96 mm, the Mantra was second-fattest in the category. That put it at a disadvantage in terms of quickness and all-mountain versatility, but it will rock those powder days. It’s a traditional-camber, wood-core, laminate construction—built for racy edge-grip that belies its girth; demanding, but also rewarding. It was No. 3 in Flotation, yet still in the middle of the pack for Hard-Snow Grip. It loves long arcs and high speeds, erring on the side of power over finesse. Among all the rockered skis, it feels especially long and burly, which skilled traditionalists will love. “A dynamic one-ski-quiver gem for experts,” said Malone.

Dynastar Legend Sultan 85

Dynastar Legend Sultan 85 (2011)

High marks across the board speak to the Sultan 85’s balance of skills. It’s an ideal intro-to-rocker ski for the traditionalist. A touch of early rise—starting about 18 cm back from the tip of the ski—gives it smoothness and flow in powder and crud. But bomber construction—vertical sidewalls, wood core, two sheets of metal—and traditional camber along the majority of its length give it the snap and rebound that some all-mountain experts still prefer. It’s solid and fluid, quiet on the snow but never lifeless. “A solid ski for solid skiers,” said Preston.

2011 Elan Spire

Elan Spire (2011)

As the fattest ski in the category, the Spire was at a disadvantage in terms of quickness and hard-snow grip, but it held its own nevertheless. It’s fluid, supple, strong and surprisingly agreeable in bumps. And with that 98-mm waist, no one doubts its powder-day capabilities—especially with its touch of tip rocker. Flotation won’t be a problem. Aside from the rocker and width, it’s the same as the Apex (see No. 13), which testers liked for all-mountain, all-conditions applications. But if you ski lots of powder, the Spire will satisfy. “Easygoing, balanced, round and smooth in longer turns,” said Casey.

Blizzard M-Power

Blizzard M-Power (2011)

It’s built like a race ski in some respects—wood core, metal laminates, vertical side walls. Blizzard’s new Power System—a carbon reinforcement bar connected to an oil-filled piston underfoot—adds tip and tail pressure at speed while quieting the ski between turns. Blizzard softens the flex and adds tip rocker for manageability and soft-snow versatility, but it’s still very much a go-fast ski: No. 2 in Stability at Speed, No. 1 in Hard-Snow Grip. It’s thrilling, but it expects you to know what you’re doing. Easterners will love the tenaciousness. “Give it the gas; it gives back,” said Malone.