You guys may think it’s all fun and games at things like the Dynafit FAM I just got done with in Germany (FAM=Familiarization). But new product launch dates are important to PR people so I do my best to meet their needs, which causes no end to angst in trying to balance a bunch of trip reports with FAM gear blogs (such as Marker).
So, I had to delay my Dynafit blog posts till after the FAM — but that’s when I was solo euro-driving with not time at the keyboard so I needed to use other blogs on hold from before the FAM. On top of that, in a chrono-blog such as WildSnow.com you don’t want to pile too much stuff up in one day. And adding more hassle, this part of Italy isn’t exactly known for free (or any) Internet at every stop. So apologies to all (for whining?) and for not giving you the Dynafit goods faster. Here goes part one, Dynafit skis.
Manaslu is still Dynafit’s flagship ski for those of us in soft snow climes, and a great quiver of one for variable conditions or traveling. As far as I could tell this somewhat fat and amazingly lightweight plank (95 at waist) is unchanged from last year. Good. As I mentioned in a blog comment a few days ago, during Dynafit’s ski designer’s official presentation at the FAM he mentioned that Manaslu is indeed a ski that’s best on soft snow or at least a few centimeters of fresh (presumably he meant either fluff or softly packed). That’s our take as well, nice to be validated. We have a gripe, however. Can’t they make touring skis with white or at least more reflective top skins than black? Ice belongs in your Cinzano, not on top of your planks.
Mustagh Ata is now the Mustagh Ata Superlight. This guy is said to have less mass than the now familiar Seven Summits model but with wider support under your foot (116/86/109 in 168cm, has binding mount inserts). I’m thinking of replacing my Seven Summits with this, as I’ve become addicted to the “platform effect” of having around 90 mm or more under foot.
Tried and true Seven Summits now has a slightly stiffer section in front of the binding for better firm snow performance. That’s good news if you want Seven Summits as a spring ski, but perhaps a neutral factor or slight detriment for powder skiing if you like flexy skis for the Pulverschnee.
Big deal is 7 Summits now has diet mentor, Seven Summits Superlight. As many of you know, Seven Summits is a WildSnow fave for firmer conditions when big fatties are overkill for efficient climbing. If the Superlight is indeed super light (said to be about 100 grams lighter) and skis as well, it’ll be an even better iteration of the ideal spring ski mountaineering ski. (Both 7′s about same dimensions, 113/78/100 in 170cm.)
For you Euro style extreme skiers out there (meaning you’re not mad for cliff hucks, but rather skiing to avoid terminal cliff hucks), Dynafit is now offering the Nanga Parbat. This stick for advanced skiers is as light as possible while still providing beef for steep edging. Relaxed sidecut as well, so jump turns on 60 degree ice don’t end up throwing you. At dimensions 102/73/89 this is not a freeride fatty (has binding inserts).
How about the fem side of life? Dynafit is now marketing a woman’s ski named Haute Route Plus (after an event they sponsored last year that involved a woman’s speed ski of the Haute Route in 2.5 days).
Interestingly, I was just speaking with a gal about so called “woman’s” gear. She said the whole idea is in her opinion just marketing and everything should be unisex with full size ranges. Others I’ve spoken with disagree, and say things like more calf room in a boot is essential for most women. My feminine side is out of sorts at the moment, so I’ll leave the rest of this earth shattering discussion to anyone who cares to comment. (111/78/98 for 156 cm length, same shape as Seven Summits, lengths start at 149cm as does Seven Summits, said to be very lightweight.)
Dynafit is returning to their lightweight roots by crafting a full suit of race gear for this coming season. I hope to publish my firstlook of their new Dy.N.A (DNA for short) boot tomorrow or the next day. For the present, how about their new race ski? World Cup Race is a strong carbon-fiber reinforced toothpick that’s said to easily slot into the 700 gram weight zone, which is critical to building a World Cup race setup at the mandated (and very light) minimum weight. The crazy stick is white with a racy red stripe and the now common racer’s skin notch in the tip. World Cup Race ski will melt some coin, but looks to be a good investment for anyone who races seriously in the ski mountaineering events.
In closing I should mention a couple of things that make Dynafit skis a top line that we’re still high on even several years after their initial launch. First, most of Dynafit’s planks become slightly wider as lengths increase. This gives you extra bang if you choose a longer plank to compensate for more weight or just to get the feel of more ski underfoot. More, the skis come in an interesting array of lengths (rather than tedious blog charting, best to simply glean lengths from the Dynafit website once it’s updated). Secondly, Dynafit says they pretty much rework their entire ski line each year (we like that, but it means you need to study the specs and always try to arrange a demo before you buy.) Third, to stay honest about ski weights Dynafit now has +- notations with their catalog weights, since most ski brands (if not all) vary a bit in weight from pair to pair. Lastly, the Dynafit binding mount insert system is improved with the inclusion of glass fibers so it’ll take more screw-in-screw-out cycles and be less prone to stripping.
There you go, stay tuned for part two.