Lee’s Dynafit Stoke Ski Review


This post by WildSnow.com blogger  

Words and photos by Sharon Bader and Lee Lau unless otherwise noted.

It hasn’t escaped notice that Dynafit has made forays into the big boot market. The Titan and ZZeus in particular drew this reviewer’s praise for being best in class in marrying tourability with stiffness. What’s been missing is a fat ski. In my (admittedly initial impressions) review I was lukewarm on the Manaslu. At 95mm underfoot it was “merely” a mid-fat underfoot, a bit one-dimensional (best for powder) and felt fragile. Anecdotal evidence from other users supported my impressions. Dynafit’s lack of; (i) wide ski crampons, (ii) wide ski brakes; and (iii) a fat ski was somewhat indicative of lackadaisical product development in the PHAT ski and bindings market.

Dynafit Stoke is a competent powder performer for backcountry skiing.

Dynafit Stoke is a competent powder performer for backcountry skiing.

Enter the Stoke ski. Greg Hill, a local Revelstoke touring machine (former ski bum – now somewhat of a celebrity in ski-touring/mountaineering) has been a Dynafit athlete for quite some time. Revelstoke has a big, deep snowpack. Greg tours a lot. Like those of us who live in the Coast Mountains of Canada, his snowpack allows him to ski big lines throughout the snow season. Greg Hill has a use for a fat, relatively tough ski which can tour well and had a hand in designing Dynafit’s new offering. I spoke to Greg and the good folks at Salewa to get a handle on the Stoke.

Stoke tip comparison.

Stoke ski (indicated by arrows) has an 'early rise' shovel compared against traditional skis.

I was loaned a pair of Stoke skis with Dynafit FT10 bindings for three days. I am not sponsored by Dynafit but have a good working relationship with Salewa (the Dynafit North American distributor) having reviewed a lot of their equipment. I skied one day at Blackcomb mountain in the middle of a large wind and storm event – mainly on softpacked snow. I toured on the skis over a two day period. The first day involved heavy trail breaking (1800m elevation gain) to a sub-alpine treed zone with 80cms new snow. On the second day I returned to that same zone alternating using my old skintrack and also breaking trail to new areas.

I’ve discussed the conditions in which I’ve tested these skis to give you, the reader, some context for the review. I’ve seen a growing trend where reviewers have skied powder-oriented gear on barley dusted resort groomers or hardpack conditions. I can’t see much value in writing such bird-cage lining filler. If it’s a backcountry powder ski, go ski it in backcountry powder. So I did.

The author getting deep in the Coast Mountains.

The author getting deep in the Coast Mountains.

PERSONAL BIASES

I weigh 155 lbs and ski mainly in the Coast Mountains of British Columbia in the Vancouver/Whistler/Squamish area. I often travel to the Selkirks, the Monashees and to other touring destinations in B.C. However, my skiing is usually in fairly high moisture-content snow. Accordingly, my preference is for bigger skis and boots. I ski about a 100 days a season. About 70% of my skiing involves some touring.

As for equipment, I skied the Stokes with Garmont Megarides (with Intuition ProTour liners) ie a fairly soft four-buckle boot and with Dynafit ZZeus’s with Intuition PowerWrap liners – ie a fairly stiff setup. I won’t comment specifically in this review on comparisons between the Stoke ski and other skis; you can ask me about comparisons in the article comments (I’ve owned or skied a lot of the Movement, Black Diamond and Atomic touring ski offerings ranging from skinny to fat) so fire away with questions.

My test skis, verified specifications and added info:

- 182 cms length

- 1640g (Dynafit’s catalog had weights at 1645g (+/- 30g) – this compares very favorably with common ski weights and is quite light for this plank’s width and length.

- Shovel, waist, tail at 130-106-120 with a 32m sidecut turning radius

- The graphics were designed in Europe (that maple leaf and the olde English graphics can be blamed on non-Canucks).

- The sidewalls have been reinforced to be more beefy so should be more rock-resistant.

- The edges are definitely thicker than the Manaslu’s paper-thin efforts (note that one reason Manaslu is so light is the minimalist edges).

- That is a snow leopard on the top-sheet; not a lion rampant.

- Stoke will come in 164, 173 and the tested 182 cms lengths (dimensions may differ slightly – eg 129-105-119 in 173cm). A bit strange to forego the longer lengths – it skis short with the early rise tip; the 182 is perfect for me and I’m not big. Bigger dudes will have to wait till next season when a 191cm long Stoke will be produced.

- That is supposed to be some sort of coniferous plant in the heraldic shield – it is NOT a pot plant. The heraldic shield is not the City of Revelstoke’s crest.

- The Stoke isn’t rockered. It has an early rise tip, a bit more so then the Manaslu (see picture above to compare against traditional skis). Stoke has a 25cm shovel, Manaslu has a 23cm shove and a BD Verdict (traditional ski (a 19 cm shovel). This early rise tip is supposed to aid in skiing powder.

- Stoke has a slightly upturned tail with rubber grip and a cut out for skin tail attachments. Note this is a far cry from a twin tip. This is meant to aid in tight situations (anchor for jump turns); it’s also good when you’re using the ski as a picket and nice when you’re skinning up steep tracks.

- The Stoke’s wood core (bamboo and paulownia – look it up, I had to) is laid up on edge. This core and the ski’s general design allowed Dynafit to achieve what Greg wanted; stiff underfoot but a bit softer tip and tail – hopefully allowing the Stoke to shine in variable conditions.

- Dynafit has no plans for brass mounting inserts for the heel piece in the Stoke at this time. The inserts are one-time use (or a few times if you are careful). I skied the ski as it was given to me with the binders mounted at the marked mid-point. Greg mounts the bindings on the forward mounting position. I don’t know how the inserts will hold up over time but since this is a big ski already I personally would have traded a bit more ski weight for the stronger brass mounting inserts — not just so binders can be mounted multiple times but for what I believe would be an extra strong binding mount.

That being said, it’s understandable that Dynafit has stayed away from using brass as doing so would require them to provide the proper machine screws to fit the Dynafit, and binding centering could perhaps be an issue due to the different type of fastener. As has been mentioned elsewhere here on WildSnow, if you do use Dynafit ski inserts for a binding mount, install the screws with a dab of epoxy and be careful not to over tighten (gently heat screws with soldering iron to reverse).

ON-SNOW PERFORMANCE

Stoke is a competent uphill ski. It won’t propel you up slope 10,000 feet per day by itself despite its namesake. There’s nothing revolutionary about the Stoke from a touring perspective; the early-rise tip doesn’t help much in heavy snow trail-breaking unlike a rockered tip ski like the Megawatt which made easy work of 65 new cm of dense snow. In itself this isn’t all that surprising. The Stoke is light for a big ski (note the emphasis), but it is still a 106 underfoot ski: Lots of skin underfoot to drag around and it has definitely got heft compared to something like a Manaslu.

I approve of the slight upturned tail. It helps when you’re sawing back and forth in steeps or when you’re trying to get through any particularly tight spots. But there’s enough to work with that on kick turns you can dig that tail in to help prevent sliding back. Of particular note is the rubberized grippy material on the tail with the skin tab cutout, which goes a long way to keeping skins on the ski. Yet the tail isn’t so flipped that it prevents the ski from being used as a picket — useful when climbing.

Invariably someone will ask about the Stoke’s performance on groomers so I might as well get that over with despite my initial “who cares” reaction. It’s a competent ski in hardpack — not exciting – not quick but it will hold an edge. Stoke is decently stable on hardpack.

A relevant question from a touring perspective will be the Stoke’s edge-hold ability (spring corn, icy steeps, icy sidehills, couloirs). Frankly I don’t know as I only skied it in deep powder. I would imagine that the ski is adequate in those situations given that it’s stiff underfoot, but that’s just speculation.

Enough about hardpack. Stoke is a born and bred powder ski. It charged, ripped, slayed (I could go on but I’ll spare you) powder. It ripped through pillows. I sailed off 15 footers, 20 footers to minimal transitions and landed. It’s confidence-inspiring in medium turns and long radius turns in powder. If you used some body-english (yes I mean bum-wiggle) you can also work short-radius powder turns. Where you really have to work the Stoke is in short radius or sharp quick turns in variable snow. I encountered this at the lower elevation ski-out and you have to work and concentrate hard to get the Stokes swinging around.

A word on the boot-ski pairings. I think the Stoke can be skied by lighter skiers or finesse skiers in powder with lighter boots. I had them on my Garmont Megarides on the first-day in the resort and it felt fine. However, the Stoke feels better driven hard. It really came alive when paired with my relatively stiffer Dynafit ZZeus boots.

What goes down must go up, and a wide ski helps.

What goes down must go up, and a wide ski helps.

CONCLUSION

Ask yourself honest questions: Do I ski a lot of steep pow? Do I charge big lines? If you do and you earn your turns, then this is the plank for you.

Although the Stoke was designed by a guy whose local terrain has lots of perfect deep and steep, due mostly to its flex this ski is versatile enough to deal with dicey, sub-optimal snow as well. The only place where it may not be a good performer is in tight turns (exiting bushy terrain for example) or on ice, but then, not much makes that stuff pleasurable.

Having said that, this is not a ski for the lazy skier or for skiers with poor technique. Stoke rewards a firm hand at the wheel. If you want something forgiving of tired legs or of endemic snowplows, look elsewhere.

The Stoke ski is for sale now at select Dynafit North American dealers.

(WildSnow guest blogger Lee Lau is an avid skier and outdoorsman embarking on many adventures with his loving, and sometimes concerned wife, Sharon. He has over 15 years of experience skiing, ski-touring and dabbles in mountaineering. In the “off-season” he is occasionally found working in his day job as an intellectual property lawyer when he is not mountain biking. As a resident of Vancouver, British Columbia, Lee’s playground extends mainly to Western Canada, including South West B.C. and the Selkirks.)

Comments

64 Responses to “Lee’s Dynafit Stoke Ski Review”

  1. slave.to.turns April 29th, 2010 10:55 am

    Lee,

    Great review, thanks for your insight. I’m excited to try this in the 191 next year.

    Q: One ski I tour in here in the PNW that I quite like is last years’ Verdict. If one likes the way the Verdict rips, do you think, in your opinion, one would appreciate the Stoke for it’s lighter weight and versatility? Or might it feel too soft?

    That’s my take when I skied the Manaslu. The Verdict skis like a frieght train and weighs about as much.

  2. ScottP April 29th, 2010 12:17 pm

    Now what’s 80cm in English? :angel:

    Seriously, though, very nice and thorough review, thanks!

  3. alyn April 29th, 2010 1:23 pm

    Great Review, Lee.

    Hoping mine get here soon while there is still some soft snow up here.

    And just another note for all of those looking for the 191, they will be available this year in the fall…

  4. David Butler April 29th, 2010 3:00 pm

    Bought my Stokes this spring and have not had the chance to use them here in the east for their intended purpose. I can say they are a blast in slushy corn, though. They float up and over everything. I agree you have to work them, but tight turns definitely are in their repetoire if you do.

  5. Jack April 29th, 2010 9:11 pm

    I’ve skied my 173′s about 60k ft vertical self-propelled, and have no problem with tight turns, maybe the 182 was too long for you. Agree with your boot/ski suggestion, Spirit 3′s I use aren’t quite enough.

  6. Walt April 29th, 2010 10:59 pm

    You “sailed off 15 footers, 20 footers to minimal transitions and landed” with FT 10s abd didn’t immediatley pre-release on landing? Were you skiing in skin mode?

  7. Thomas B April 30th, 2010 12:37 am

    Walt, for many of us dynafit bindings do it all with no problems and in ski mode ( toe not locked)….

  8. Verbier61 April 30th, 2010 1:52 am

    useful, thanks! have you ever skied the DPS wailer 105 or the movement jackals for comparison?

  9. Magnus April 30th, 2010 4:22 am

    I’m surprised that (as far as I can tell) DPS skis have never been reviewed on this site. I can’t really think of any other company offering such a line of light, stiff and well designed skis. The Wailer 105 is significantly lighter than the stoke, with more torsional stiffness than most, and skis great in most conditions. the manaslu is a noodle in comparison. The Lotus 120 is an incredible powderboard, yet superlight!
    Biases or not enough time?

  10. Lou April 30th, 2010 6:18 am

    Magnus, sorry to surprise you, or perhaps doing so took away some tedium from the day (grin)? We don’t review every ski out there, only the ones we get inspired about or ones a company bugs us about. We do tend to review Dynafit more frequently because we’re involved with them on many different levels, but if we hear from DPS we most certainly would review their skis.

  11. Euro Rob April 30th, 2010 6:24 am

    Walt: skin mode doesn’t inflict vertical (heel) release, so it will probably not have much effect on (pre)release landing hucks.

  12. harpo April 30th, 2010 8:08 am

    According to Lees posted weight above, the Stokes weigh 7.2 pounds/pair for the 182.

    My three season old DPS Wailer 105 178 weighed just about 7 pounds even before I cut off the twin tip tails, so I wouldn’t call it significantly lighter than the Stoke. I love my W105s, but if I ever have to replace them, I will consider the Stoke because because it is significantly cheaper than the DPS skis, even before you take into account that it will be much easier to find the Stokes on sale.

    BTW, cutting off the tales of your DPS skis is a great mod if you are using them in the backcountry. DPS skis have plastic inserts in the tip and the tail, so you can cut off the twin tip tail without compromising the core. The plastic insert in the tail of my W105 was about 6cm long, in my W95 was about 5cm long, so I cut off 5cm/4cm off of them. I used a hacksaw for the cut, and then smoothed the cut edges off with a Dremmel and then two grades of sand paper. I haven’t really used the W95′s yet, but the W105′s cut tails have survived a full season of abuse in the Sierra backcounty, including being carried on packs and being bashed into rocks. I have had to use the sand paper a few more times to smooth out the tail as it got roughed up, but overall I am very happy with the mod. The tail sticks very well into powder and soft spring snow, but still has enough kick left to do a falling leaf in chutes. Haven’t used them in any ski anchors yet, though.

    Sorry for the thread drift.

  13. Verbier61 April 30th, 2010 8:13 am

    wailers 105 in 178 lenght = 3.0 kg per pair.
    the stoke in 182 seems to be 3.3 per pair

  14. harpo April 30th, 2010 8:28 am

    V61, did you actually weigh your W105′s on a accurate scale, or is that DPS’s figures? Also, what vintage W105 is that weight for? I must be unlucky, my W105′s weighed just about 7lbs (3.2 kg) even when I weighed them before I mounted them three years ago, and I remember being disappointed because that was significantly more than the weight that DPS had posted for that year.

    And while the Stoke might be cheaper, I would be very impressed if it performed as well at the W105 in a variety of conditions in a head to head test.

  15. Lou April 30th, 2010 8:35 am

    Good ski conversation, indeed, DPS has been on my radar for a while. If their skis are twin tips I’m less motivated to be reviewing them, but we’ll see. Manaslu is somewhat of a twin tip, I do wish it was not. For me it’s just extra weight and they don’t make as good a snow anchor… I wonder how much the ‘Slu would weigh with the tail cut off. Perhaps I’ll try it!

  16. Verbier61 April 30th, 2010 8:38 am

    Hi, I’ve had two pairs of W105, one 07-08 and one 08-09, if I remember well. both are around 3.0 kg per pair on an electronic, well tuned device I use at work. They are quite different as for camber, though. The oldest is zero camber, the young one has some mm of positive camber.
    Again, sorry for OT…

  17. MB April 30th, 2010 9:37 am

    Nice review Lee… As we all know even crap skies perform just fine when the snow is good. I’ve had my stokes out in some more firm conditions, and they hold an edge quite well. Yesterday I had em out on some overly firm stuff kindof as a tester day and they performed well enough.
    check em here-
    http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=163471&id=578230977#!/photo.php?pid=3953056&id=578230977

  18. Tim M. April 30th, 2010 1:32 pm

    Hi Lee, thanks for the comprehensive review. I am curious whether you’d expand on this statement: “This early rise tip is supposed to aid in skiing powder.”

    I am inclined to read it like, ala the Opti-Grab, you’re poking fun at the design — not singling out the Stoke, per say, but across various brands. One of my friends (pro) says the same thing: Aggressive rocker up in the hull works great, but early rise is merely a fad catering to rocker-curious pedestrians.

    Since my sponsor is the trash heap I have not yet managed to suss this out myself. What do you think?

    Regards,
    Tim

  19. John April 30th, 2010 1:38 pm

    I have both the the Wailer 105 flex 3 188 and the Stoke 182. The Wailer is a little lighter and my favorite powder ski. The Stoke has better edge hold in icy steep conditions and iniates turns a little quicker. I don’t mind the twin tip, just plunge it in at a steeper angle, unless the snow is really firm, then kick turns can be a little awkward.

    The Stokes edges are definitately sturdier then the Manaslu, I have hit rocks hard with both.

    BTW, I skied Castle Peak N direct line (little notch thru the cliffs) on the new Movement Logic X, but don’t have enough time on them for any feeback other then tey are super light, first few kick turns, I’d fling snow in my face.

  20. John April 30th, 2010 1:40 pm

    I notch the tails on my Wailers for the skin clip.

  21. Thomas B April 30th, 2010 4:30 pm

    thread drift: Lotus 120 is hands down the best powder ski I’ve ever been on. If I find an xtra $1000 floating around I will add some TLT’s and ski tour the P tex out of them.
    Stokes seem nice….

  22. Lee Lau April 30th, 2010 9:43 pm

    @slave.to.turns – I actually ski a 180cm Verdict so its a good question. I cherish my Verdicts (they’re the older foam-core about 97cm underfoot) for their stiffness and lack of sidecut. I similarly think I would develop a long-term bond with the Stokes.

    @Scott – a lot of snow. Trailbreaking was …. hard.

    @Jack – quite possibly. I am on the lighter side. I never tried the 173s. But I would get this ski for its intended purpose if you know what i mean. I doubt I’d buy the 173 just so I could wedel some pow lines.

  23. Lee Lau April 30th, 2010 9:49 pm

    @ Walt. Like I said I’m a light dude. Not finesse mind you. Here’s the video of the ski review which might have been skipped in the article – http://www.vimeo.com/10735478. The snow’s so deep you can’t see the bindings, which are in ski mode but you’ll have to take my word for it. Someone big-boned might pre-release a good deal more

    @Verbier – unfortunately no.

    @Magnus – I should probably try to get some Wailers and Jackals like Verbier suggested. I didn’t try the Wailers due to laziness. I never tried the Movements because the rep never got back to me. The Dynafit rep got back to me. Really that simple

    @Mike/MP – good to hear from you! Knowing how you ski, that’s a good endorsement of the Stoke’s performance for edging. I did ask Greg about it and he also mentioned the Stoke edged well in steep couloirs, for example. That’s not surprising given that it has good stiffness underfoot

  24. Lee Lau April 30th, 2010 9:53 pm

    @Tim – I said that “this early rise tip is supposed to aid in skiing powder” because, frankly the powder was so deep and yet light enough that I think I could have skied well in 2 by fours strapped to my feet. Where I thought the Stoke really showed its pedigree was when I was dealing with skiing into, over and off pillows of powder. So I kind of hedge my bets by not confirming or denying that the early rise tip helped me – mainly because I didn’t know whether it helped or not. I guess what I should do is grab them again and try to hunt down some cut-up powder. It’s still snowing a ton in B.C. so I might have to do that.

  25. Michael Finger May 1st, 2010 7:37 am

    Going off the published weights I have 9.04g/cm for the stokes (1645g in 182) and
    10g/cm for the 105 wailers in 188 (1.880kg)., so a tad heavier for the wailers. Interesting enough the 178 wailers are lighter then the stokes at g/cm going off published weight.

  26. aK May 1st, 2010 7:37 am

    DPS held two demo days in our neck of the woods last season – hopefully they will repeat. I got to ski any number of their boards including both the Pure and Hybrid constructions of the 120′s. Huge fun and I assume their demo tour will return this coming season. Next years Wailer 112RP appears to be THE ski – I’ll see if I can’t get the local rep in touch with you, Lou.

  27. Walt May 1st, 2010 8:49 am

    Euro Rob,

    The heels are the only part of Dynafit bindings that work. I’ve never had an issue with them pre-releasing. Of course, you need to land centered (which I do). The heels have adjustment, so if you crank them up, you’ll be fine. It’s the toe that releases. I’ve had them both release at the same time just casually skiing along in mellow terrain… much less a jump.

  28. Jed May 1st, 2010 2:22 pm

    Walt I’m a big guy 6’2″ 240 and have dropped some 15-20′ cliffs and cornices on dynafits and not come out in ski mode. vertical FT10′s on Karhu Storms.

  29. dave May 2nd, 2010 6:01 pm

    Hi Walt,

    No problems with pre releasing in ft10′s. I have skied the Dynafits for over ten years with no pre release problems. The problem may be your boots or you.

  30. vturn May 2nd, 2010 9:48 pm

    I had almost decided to get a pair of the Stokes, and was riding up the chair at Alta 2 weeks ago when I looked down at the Stokes the person next to me was wearing. She had recently gotten a pair of 183′s to try and thought they were pretty good. She had tested them even on skier’s left of Perla’s(Baldy was open that day), and was impressed with their performance and hold on what was probably a little sketchy, crusty, firm?? and very, very, very steep. Now, I don’t ski like she does, but her description was helpful. I can’t remember if she had tried them in powder, but I bet they’re good. So, even though she is quite the skier and athlete, and I just putter around in the powder and generally keep my feet on the ground, the weight and the performance sound good to me. I have skied a Janak Bro(174) with early rise and I kinda like the early rise, but the ski is too short for the resorts because of the twin tip(hey, the ski was cheap). The ski is very ‘turny’ and only 2 mm different under foot than the Stokes and 1 or 3 mm different in the shovel. I skied the Janak(174) last year at the resorts. So, I’m thinking that the Stoke is going to be awesome in the back country and great in big snow like this past weekend in the Wasatch. As to the woman in the chair, she is probably off to a big adventure, maybe with the Stokes, somewhere in the world, or doing a photo-shoot with one of her sponsors. She was very nice and I was quite thrilled to meet her.
    Anyway, I’d like to hear more about the Stokes(and where I can pick some up for less than $799!). My current back country ski is a BC95 Goode(162)-way too short for big snow!

  31. vturn May 2nd, 2010 10:01 pm

    Got another question about the weight. Is it really 3.6 lbs per pair or per ski??

  32. Mark W May 2nd, 2010 10:47 pm

    Someone mentioned early rise tip as being a “fad.” Doubt that is true, as K2′s entire backcountry line for 2011 has the design. And if you still think fad, remember the Pontoon. Industry people initially deemed its design as crazy–too far out of the box. Most ski companies offer something very similar in design and concept to the Pontoon.

  33. Jan Wellford May 3rd, 2010 5:19 pm

    That weight is per ski. I weighed a pair on a postal scale and they were just over 7 lbs (I think 7lbs 2oz) for the pair of 182s, so about 1 lb heavier than the Manaslu in 178.

  34. greg May 3rd, 2010 8:59 pm

    gentlemen,

    some interesting talk on all aspects of the ski, I am personally involved with this ski so I tend to worry about my biases. but my ski partner Aaron Chance has been skiing them and shredding more than ever. What the Stoke is designed for is apparent in my latest ski movie starring Aaron and the stoke ski http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JOG-HZm_snc
    enjoy
    greg

  35. bob yates May 5th, 2010 6:04 am

    ^^^^ amazing greg, amazing.

  36. Nils May 5th, 2010 3:39 pm

    re: early rise vs forebody rocker — I’ve been skiing these modern powder ski designs for many many years, and in my epxerience there’s no question that an early rise tip does have some advantages vs trad tip, particularly in partially tracked out or wind-induced crud conditions. quite simply, it helps the ski surf over these imperfections.

    however a more aggressive forebody rocker will have a more pronounced effect, and will also make for a ski that pivots more when needed.

    the post above about some ‘pro’ saying that early tip rise is just for those afraid to go full rocker is amusing but misguided. both design concepts are valid but for different reasons. an early tip rise design can yield more versatility on hardpack.

    thanks Lee for the review. i’ll be sticking w/ my wailer 105s and lotus 120s, which, as many will attest, probably remain ‘the’ benchmark touring skis for places where it snows, but it’s great to see dynafit address some of the shortcomings of the manaslu.

  37. Dave B. May 5th, 2010 6:44 pm

    Very useful info, Nils. Thanks.

  38. Jason May 9th, 2010 6:00 pm

    Lee I know you already tried to address this a little but could you further clarify what your thoughts are on rocker for touring skis. I have been using rockered skis since picking up a air of Salomon Rockers but still haven’t tried them with Dynafit bindings. Salomon Rocker, Atomic Atlas, and Rossignol RC112 are the rockered skis I’m familiar with. Those three skis go from big rocker down to subtle, but still functional rocker. Your comments about the Verdict seem to state that you feel rocker is a big advantage for powder touring skis as well, specifically for punching up to the surface when uphilling. Their benefits for the downhill are obvious, so I assume that;s the reason you would prefer Verdict to the more versatile Stoke for pure powder sking.

  39. Lee Lau May 9th, 2010 7:32 pm

    Jason,

    I’ve said that if I replaced my Verdicts I’d consider a Stoke as a replacement but didn’t say I’d prefer one over the other. My Verdicts have a lot of days so it might be time.

    I have skied a rockered ski (Megawatts) and even taken them on a 3 day traverse despite their 125mm portly width. No doubt, they are superlative when breaking trail through deep snow. I’d be really, really interested in trying a less portly rockered ski for deep pow touring; I think they’d be amazing. Benefits for the Megawatts – the downhill like you said. Disadvantages – sheer size when bootpacking or using them as pickets; lots of drag because there’s so much skin; weight.

  40. Matt July 20th, 2010 11:16 pm

    Hey Lee,

    This may be a couple months late, but just wondering how you might compare the stoke to other BD offerings (if you have toured in them?) such as the justice or zealot. Im a bit worried about there weight and thus thinkin a ski such as the stoke…

    Thanks!

  41. Lee Lau July 21st, 2010 11:08 am

    Matt,

    I’ve toured in the older foam core BD Verdict which is a bit lighter (but not by much) than the Zealot – that’s a fine ski on which to tour. Also the Saloman gun, also the BD Megawatt (including a 3 day traverse). By no means did I feel the weight killed me. Of course, mileage varies and all that stuff

  42. Lou July 21st, 2010 11:13 am

    Thanks Lee, my impression was the foam core BD skis were not near as good on the downhill as the present wood core skis, but they did work and the weight savings really helped. Louie grew up on a pair of the original Verdicts, which he finally had to retire. I used ‘em as well for a while.

  43. Lee Lau July 21st, 2010 11:50 am

    Lou,

    I’m not super heavy or aggressive so the foam core Verdicts worked fine. I know aggressive heavier skiers would break the foam core Verdicts down.

    Ok now for some weights (all skis about 180cm or so) – this is weight per ski. If you want dimensions google is your friend or look at Lou’s list here

    http://www.wildsnow.com/more/backcountry-skiing-gear-weights/

    Stokes – 1640g
    older foam core Verdict – 1710g

    All approx or from manu’er site

    Guns approx – 1900g
    TMex approx – 1600g
    new wood core Verdicts – 1880g
    Zealot – 2050g
    Justice – 2150g
    Megawatt – 2250g

  44. Mark W July 21st, 2010 10:33 pm

    So the Wayback is ever so slightly lighter than the Superlight? Thought it was a little heavier, but the weight chart says otherwise.

  45. Dave G October 20th, 2010 11:30 pm

    I really wanted the 191 Stoke and could not find them in the US, so I ordered them from Europe. The dimensions are 134-108-122 and they weigh 1765 g per ski. Can’t wait to try them out…

  46. Lou October 21st, 2010 6:41 am

    Mark, those weights are from skis we actually received and put on our scale here in the office. Skis do vary a bit in weight amongst the same model and length, so small variations could go either way…

  47. Stan October 23rd, 2010 2:47 am

    So many skis out there to choose from, its hard to know what works and appreciate feedback from those that have used the products. I mostly do day trips and usually one large tour (200 km-ish) each spring season – mostly I want to have a fun ski, something that tours and skis well in most conditions. I’m looking at the Dynafit Manaslu, Mustagh-Ata, BD Aspect, Havoc and G3 Mass Transit, Saint, Spitfire LT. Cannot afford two boards and looking for the, “One ski quiver.”

  48. Lee Lau October 23rd, 2010 10:37 am

    Stan Wagon? If so I hardly feel qualified to give you advice. How much do you weigh? What kind of snow do you usually encounter touring (ie you tour for powder or you usually encounter a mixed bag?)

  49. Michael October 24th, 2010 12:13 am

    Hey, I’m still wondering about the maneuverability of these skis. Does the dual radius (37.66/23.2) actually do anything, or does the ski just behave like it has a 37m radius, or like one with an of average of the two numbers? I’m looking for a one-ski backcountry quiver for the Tahoe area, and it sounds like the Stoke will be good for open powder and grippy enough for frozen days, but I’ll need to get it through the trees and tight spots as well. Lee, I know you’ve spent a lot of time on the foam-core Verdict, but could you, or anybody else, compare the Stokes’ handling to that of the the wood-core Verdicts?

  50. Casey November 2nd, 2010 3:28 pm

    Hey Lee,

    I was wondering if you have skied the K2 sidestash and how you would compare the 2. I know the sidestash is heavier, but what else should I know? I have heard no complaints about the sidestash in that it handles everything well. I have heard mixed reviews on whether the Stoke was pushed around by heavier and variable conditions because of its weight. How would you rate the early rise between the two? K2 has their dimensions published at 5/15 (not a very large rocker). I can’t find anything about rise dimensions on the Stoke. Some pics I have seen make it look like a larger rise than the K2. I’m an aggressive skier, by no means a pro, I’m about 5’11″ and vary between 200-210 pounds. Which ski handles tighter places better, ie chutes/trees? Does the larger shovel on the K2 provide a much better float (2mm underfoot I am not worried about)?

    Thanks so much for your time and have a great season!

    Cheers,

    Casey

  51. Lee Lau November 25th, 2010 12:23 pm

    Casey – sorry. I haven’t skied the Sidestash at all. This year I’m on:

    G3 Manhattan with Onyx (testing)
    Dynafit Stoke with Dynafits (testing)
    BD Verdict with Dynafits (older foam core)
    Atomic TM:ex with Dynafits(sucka just won’t give up the ghost)
    BD Megawatt with Dynafits

    So I don’t have any input on the Sidestash. I am going to be testing some Plum binders and haven’t figured out what ski to pair them with so will look at the Sidestash

  52. Casey November 25th, 2010 12:30 pm

    No worries, Lee. Thanks for taking the time to reply. It is much appreciated. Maybe try the Plums on the Voile Charger??? There doesn’t seem to be much info on those either since they are new this year. Have a great Thanksgiving!

    Cheers!

  53. Dalton December 8th, 2010 12:00 pm

    Hi Lee, thanks for the great review. Considering the Stoke, Sidestash and Manhattan too. (Really looking forward to your review of the Manhattan).

    Stalkerish side note: a few weeks ago saw an asian dude picking up skis that had a bunch of Dynafit bindings on them from service (Snowcovers) while my girlfriend was getting her boots fitted. Thought it might have been you. Turns out it was. Didn’t feel worthy to say hi to the backcountry legend haha

    All the best
    Dalton

  54. Will January 20th, 2011 11:42 pm

    Hey Lee, Lou, or anyone else,

    I am in (I think) a similar situation to Stan, looking for that Jack-of-all-trades but Master-of-none ski for long tours with highly variable snow conditions. Right now I’ve narrowed it down to the Mustagh Ata Sl, the Mansalu, the Saint, or the Spitfire LT. I’m 6’2, 175 lbs. Any suggestions for narrowing this down would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks,

    Will

  55. Lee Lau January 21st, 2011 10:10 am

    Will – day tours or multi-days? I’d lean towards something a bit smaller than the Stoke for variable conditions in spring; I go mid 80s underfoot for spring skiing. In winter I’d still use the Stokes. If multi-day then you’ll have a big pack so maybe something a bit stiffer for a bit more beef as you’d have the added weight.

    This is a moving target question to answer so to jump out on a limb the Manaslu will work IF (capitalization intentional) you don’t deal with a lot of rocks. I haven’t tried either the Saint or Spitfire fyi

  56. Fredrik Edwall February 15th, 2011 9:36 am

    I have the Sidestash 188 mounted with dynafit TLT12 and use the dynafit titans as boots.

    This is a very nice setup when the snow is deep and you dont walk to far.

    We did 800m elevation in approx 2 hours in Engelberg 2 weeks ago. However, if I would buy the ski again I would go for the shorter 182 version. This is due to walking aspects. When it is tight and scary I want to be sore not to stick the ski in the snow and risk a fall, the 188s is much ski and skin to shrow around.

    Other wise it is a very nice ski that I like, can realy recomend it.

  57. Simon May 22nd, 2011 5:44 am

    Good read, after half a season on the 182/FT12 I’m very happy with this ski. If I forget the fact that the inserts got ripped out of one of my skis at the end of season on an icy traverse I really love it for almost everything.

    I don’t agree that it doesn’t handle quick turns well but skiing fast on hardpack and crust is close to suicide, and also like u said, not for noodle legs.

    (Couldn’t be happier with the way Dynafit have handled my ski problem, props for great customer service)

  58. Phil August 15th, 2011 12:42 am

    I see wild snow has had a chance to test the volkl nunataq. how do these compare to the stoke for ski proformance? looking for a ski purely for backcountry touring mostly day touring or hut based in New zealand. We don’t tend to get super light and fluffy waist deep snow. so I’m interested in how they handle heavier, stiffer or wind effected fresh snow (kiwi powder)

  59. Christian August 19th, 2011 11:12 am

    Any hope that you will come with a review of G3s Manhattan?

  60. James September 4th, 2011 10:45 am

    How would the Stoke compare to the new Coomback, K2 say they have stiffened it up? I guess the 112 or 105 Wailer is the best of the bunch, but as so many people have said here, I do not want a twin trip. A little rise is useful for a bit of emergency falling leaf, but a curved twin tip is not good for touring (in my opinion anyway)
    Would also be interested to hear how folk think these skis would cope in the Alps where you can get powder and ice on the same descent. If anyone can recommend a ski that is 100mm is wide underfoot and can cope with anything you throw at it, I would love to know.
    Winter is coming
    James

  61. Christian September 4th, 2011 12:09 pm

    James, I have friends that love the coomba/comaback for all their skiing. I had the coomba, and could not quite trust it for charging in conditions like you describe – as it would wash out when I needed them the most – i.e. fast hard turns on hard snow/windpack. For me it was a very nice ski until suddenly it wasn’t.
    When I am looking for a wider ski for conditions like you describe, I am looking at skis like G3 Manhattans, K2 Sidestash or Dynastar Legend Pro 105 – i.e. heavier skis….for a lighter setup, I have the mustagh ata which also handles everything well, but is narrower…

  62. Patrick Jackman October 29th, 2011 4:09 pm

    I would appreciate hearing from anyone skiing the 164 cm Stoke. Were you able to demo the 173 as well? It would be helpful to know your height and weight if you don’t mind sharing. Any other comments regarding your experience with the 164 would be appreciated.

  63. Randy December 7th, 2011 1:42 pm

    Lee, What is your favorite ski for spring corn/steeps?

  64. ShailCaesar! March 13th, 2012 5:33 pm

    I second the above question, I have 182 Stokes but I’m not sure how it will climb and ski Mt. Baker in June!? Any thoughts or suggestions? Take your time.

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