Your Dynaspy Brings It


This post by WildSnow.com blogger  

I just mounted a pair of Dynafit bindings in 8 minutes flat, with no jig, on a fresh pair of skis. More on that in a moment. For now, check out these wild new Dynafit planks.

Austrian backcountry skiing with Dynafit
I asked my handlers if I could please publish a bit of pre-press-event info about Dynafit’s new and supremely interesting skis. They were a bit hesitant, but knowing you WildSnow readers can get more mobbed up than a holiday lift line at Kitzbuhel, I was allowed to share a bit. Nothing like some gang rule to get those gear makers to feed us info about the new goods, eh?

Above is the new Manaslu, 108/95/122, and possibly a nearly perfect ski for touring everything from variable powder to chopped up muck. I got these spy photos today, will publish the usually pretty pictures when they’re officially released in a few days. My shots don’t do the graphics justice, as gold on jet black is hard to photograph on a workshop floor. But take my word for it, they look simply maavelous.

Austrian backcountry skiing with Dynafit
Why might this be such an interesting and effective plank? First, it’s got the width and the lack of weight to provide efficient human powered vertical. At 1468 grams per ski (178 cm), we’re talking some serious levitation vs mass. Check our ski weight comparo and you’ll see that for its size, this is one featherlight floater. Second, as pictured above, Dynafit went radical with their tip geometry. Instead of the usual perky tip you’ll find on most touring skis, the Manaslu prow starts a full 19 cm back, and is quite soft and “hinged.” This means you’re effectively skiing on two different skis. One longer super-soft that can absorb and plane up out of trap-muck, as well as a shorter shaped ski that allows easy turning.

Do they work? Yeah, snow conditions here for the past few days haven’t been that great. But with foehn muck that tends to suck skis down like a giant squid dining on a yacht, we have the perfect testing ground. Fritz was on the ski just a few days ago, and I saw him float over difficult snow that had even the best skiers in our group struggling a bit. He said one thing: “unfair advantage.” I’ll test them in the same snow tomorrow and report again.

For now, not only am I impressed by the possible performance of the Manaslu on the down, but having a fat plank this light is remarkable for the up. Such is accomplished by two things, a super low density core, and a tip that’s made from the core material rather than the more common (and weighty) curved ABS plastic tip core. This configuration is still not as light as a full carbon ski, but close enough and much easier to produce with a good flex.

In all, I’d recommend paying attention to this ski.

Austrian backcountry skiing with Dynafit
Now, about that binding mounting. Big news for 2008 is that the Manaslu ski will have a carefully designed “pre-drilled” insert system (pictured above) that will allow anyone to quickly mount a set of Dynafit bindings. These are not designed for constant swapping of bindings, as they’re plastic and use conventional binding screws that don’t follow the same threads each time. But in testing here with Fritz it appears they’ll easily work for a number of mounts, and can eventually be beefed with epoxy if necessary.

I can already hear the question: “why didn’t they use metal inserts so I can re-use them over and over again?” Word I got is mainly because of weight.

The insert pattern will vary by ski length, with those of the 178 Manaslu allowing a 15 centimeter range, from approximate boot sizes 25 to 30 (with all Dynafit bindings but TLT, which has a much smaller adjustment range).

As for mounting other AT bindings on this ski, you of course don’t want to ask that question around here for fear of seeing a certain side of the Tyrolean personality and possibly being denied dinner. But judging from my own experience, any competent ski mechanic should be able to work around the inserts.

Comments

12 Responses to “Your Dynaspy Brings It”

  1. Mark Worley January 6th, 2008 9:53 pm

    Nice planks, eh? Still lighter than mine…so I’ll have to put rocks in your rucksack if we go on a tour. It’s great to see Dynafit continue with great skis for AT freaks like myself.

  2. Clark January 6th, 2008 10:31 pm

    Mark – I’ve got Comforts on Carbon 95′s – I guess I’ll have to carry the kitchen sink? :wink:

    But seriously, tell em to keep it coming Lou. My Carbons will wear out soon enough anyway, those Manaslu’s look pretty nice. And then they’ll of course need to make crampons wide enough so we won’t have to go aftermarket like I just did.

  3. Joel January 7th, 2008 11:40 am

    Weight matters – but to the point of using plastic inserts? Crikey! I’ll never know how they ski because I’d never buy skis with plastic inserts.

  4. Samo January 7th, 2008 3:42 pm

    Hi, Lou!
    Great skis! Very light, still heavier then Goode’s but available in EU.
    Did you perhaps see anything now about bindings (for fat skis or higher din settings)?

  5. Lou January 7th, 2008 3:54 pm

    Hey Samo, binding info coming!

    Joel, perhaps you could demo the skis some day…. ?

  6. Joel January 8th, 2008 2:17 pm

    If the opportunity presents itself, I’d be psyched to demo the skis, just to see how they ski. Buying them however is out of the question – plastic inserts – stop the insanity!

  7. Marc January 9th, 2008 8:28 pm

    Hey Lou-

    Not sure if this is the right blog spot, but I ran into a bit of a problem mounting a pair of Dynafits using the paper template downloaded off your site. I made the mistake of not checking the template with the binding itself, but found out soon enough that the template screw marks were about two millimeters off all around. I messured, marked and drilled one ski and then had trouble getting the screws to thread into the drilled holes. Turns out the template was slightly smaller than the actual binding, so the holes were all off slightly. I did manage to angle the screws into the drilled holes, but it took quite a bit of effort. On the second ski, I compared the binding to the template and remarked where the screws needed to go. No problems there. So, what I’m wondering is if when printing the template, is it necessary to set the margins at a specific number? Did I somehow shrink the template? Obviously something wasn’t right… I thought I’d mention it to you and see if you had any insight.

    Thanks a ton Lou! Your sight is invaluable!
    Cheers, Marc.

  8. Lou January 10th, 2008 1:35 am

    Hi Marc, sorry to hear that, but I can’t control people’s printer settings from here (smile). I mention in the instructions that it’s Extremely Important to check that the holes match up with the template. Mismatch is caused by printer settings. Usually, you need to check that PDF is displayed on screen at 100% AND that the printer settings are set to print at 100%, or “Full Scale” or something like that. The main thing is to test.

    It’s indeed possible to angle the screws and fix a small mismatch, so I’m glad you were able to do that…

  9. Bernardo October 24th, 2008 11:15 am

    Lou & Co.,

    Do any of the Dynafit bindings fit in the pre-drilled inserts? Comforts, TLT Verts, FT12s?

    Also, from what you can tell, do the mounting screws just screw into the plastic inserts or do they actually grip into the core of the ski by breaking through the insert? It would seem to me that this latter scenario would & should be the case for a proper mount design, Dynafit is known for quality products I’d think they wouldn’t skimp on the mounting holes

    Thanks,
    _Bernardo

  10. Jonathan Shefftz October 24th, 2008 5:43 pm

    “Do any of the Dynafit bindings fit in the pre-drilled inserts? Comforts, TLT Verts, FT12s?”
    – Lou has an updated post with far more details, but essentially all Dynafit bindings other than the fixed-heel race models have the same mounting pattern, but the TLT Speed/Classic has such a limited fore/aft adjustment range that you’d have to get lucky with the predrilled inserts matching up for your boot sole length.

  11. Brian Whittred October 24th, 2008 10:35 pm

    Clark, question for you if you are reading this. I was considering Goode Carbon 95 BC’s before the Manaslu turned up. How do you find them? Reviews are scarce, but they are attractive because of the the dimensions and lightweight. I am looking to put together an ultra lightweight combo that hopefully isn’t ultra skinny or short. These two skis seem to be the answer. You mentioned you had the Goodes so I thought I would ask.

    Brian

  12. Lou October 25th, 2008 7:11 am

    Perl skis on the Goodes as does my wife. They both really like them. I’ve tried and they skied fine. The lack of weight is significant. I’d use more except I prefer using skis from manufacturers who are more involved in the backcountry ski industry, and I need to use at least somewhat of a variety so I can blog about more than one pair of skis, though I’m pretty selective about how many new skis I try in a season.

    Manaslu and K2 Baker SL are both so light that with Dynafit bindings and average weight boots you get a setup that’s totally adequate in terms of weight savings. Going to a boot on the lighter side is my favorite upgrade, because once the skis are on the pack I’ve still got lighter feet.

    I do have to say that after getting used to the lighter skis, the average weight ones feel pretty heavy on the up. But the more fit I get the less of a factor that is, so long as I’m not trying to haul battle ships on my feet.

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Welcome to Louis (Lou) Dawson's backcountry skiing information opinion website and e magazine. Lou's passion for the past 45 years has been alpinism, climbing, mountaineering and skiing -- along with all manner of outdoor recreation. He has authored numerous books and articles about backcountry skiing and is well known as the first person to ski down all 54 of Colorado's 14,000-foot peaks, otherwise known as the Fourteeners! Books and free back country news and information here, and tons of Randonnee rando telemark info.

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