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Rating: / 5
Waist Width: 72
Lengths: 158, 166, 174, 182
Hard-snow carving technicians, arc junkies, and citizen racers have a couple of options, the burly Speed Zone 14 Ti, top model in the On-Trail Series, and the even narrower and more precise Speed Zone 16Ti, which is part of Dynastar’s special Factory Team series. They’re similar tools-slalomesque sidecut, metal reinforcement, race-room binding plate for power and leverage over the edge. The 16, part of Dynastar’s Factory Team Series, is twitchier, quicker to edge with its super-narrow 67-mm waist-knifey enough for racecourse ice. It lacks the smoother edge feel of the shock-absorbing Powerdrive sidewall construction, prizing speed and feedback above comfort. The 14, in addition to Powerdrive smoothness, offers a more forgiving 72-mm waist-an easier platform to balance on, with just enough width to prevent trenching too deeply on typical resort groomers.
Dynastar’s On-Trail collection of men’s groomed-snow carving machines, the Speed Zones, includes three models with quick, edgy waist widths (72-74 mm). The top model (Speed Zone 14 Ti) is built for experts-only performance at the highest speeds. The low-end model (Speed Zone) is novice/intermediate-friendly, for those still mastering carved turns. All feature Dynastar’s Powerdrive sidewall construction, which is built to be both strong (it’s vertical from tip to tail and made of dense ABS plastic) and flexible (the outer ABS wall is backed by a layer of metal and a layer of rubber, allowing the ABS layer to shear up and down, independent of the core, when it encounters shocks on hard snow). The ride is smoother and more comfortable on very hard snow, thanks to the slight “give” in the edge. The core on all models is a combination of dense poplar lightened by milled (not injected) foam. All models are precise, powerful laminate (or “sandwich”) constructions (except the Speed Zone, which is a softer-flexing, more-forgiving cap construction). All have a touch of tip rocker, for shock absorption and easier drifting/”skarving” at the top of the turn. The top two models (14 Ti and 12 Ti) are reinforced with a single full sheet of Titanal (aluminum alloy) for high-speed vibration dampening and strong torsional rigidity (or twist resistance, which keeps the edge engaged and carving at the extremities, tip and tail). The 10 Ti has a partial sheet of metal in the binding area; the Speed Zone 6 CA has no metal. All except the top-of-the-line Speed Zone 14 Ti are sold only with binding. (Note: There’s a premium-performance special-layup Speed Zone model as well, a 67-mm-waisted slalom racer included in the Factory Team series. See Speed Zone 16 Ti.)
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.