A Fortnight of Planks #2 – Dynafit FR/FT 10 06/07 model – also, new reinforced Dynafit Comfort Crampon Baseplate Mount

Post by WildSnow.com blogger | April 4, 2006      

This is what gear testing is all about. Put together a dream setup, then crank on it. But it’s not me doing the cranking. In this case, our tester was my son Louie, who’s a strong aggressive skier and had grown out of his previous randonnee setup. This was the full experience. The boy mounted his own bindings, tuned the planks, then ripped for three days straight at Aspen Highlands, including grabbing three bowl runs on a closing day said to be the best one in years — perhaps ever. But that’s not all. On day three he hooked up with brothers Mike and Steve Marolt. The twins were on a mission to find the worst snow on the mountain (they’re practising for skiing big peaks). So after a few epic powder runs, Louie and the Marolts were up there on south facing icy mank, seeing what their legs and skis could do. Yes, the kid was wearing a helmet — and I’m glad. Louie’s report is down below the following photos.

Drilling Dynafit FR/FT 10 skis
The adventure begins. Drilling a new pair of expensive skis is always exciting. It turns out that Dynafit FT 10 is exactly the same ski as the FR 10, only with different cosmetics. As Life-Link was out of the FR10, we opted to use the FT for testing. The 06/07 model of the FR/FT10 differs from last year in that it’s got a wood core instead of foam. It still has a layer of carbon, but should be more durable and perhaps ski better with the tried and true ingredient of wood. It’s slightly heavier, how much so I don’t know.

Dynafit binding crampon slot
We mounted a pair of 06/07 Dynafit Comfort bindings. Big news with this iteration is that the crampon slot in the front binding plate is heavily reinforced. This should solve breakage problems reported last winter, but does add weight. If you’re not planning on using crampons, the reinforcement can be removed.

Dynafit binding crampon slot
The new crampon slot as viewed from above. The reinforced plate will be available from Life-Link as a retrofit for Comfort Bindings. Recommended if you use the Dynafit crampons.

Dynafit FT 10 backcountry skis
Ski and boot review by Louie Dawson: The combo of the Dynafit FT 10.0 and the Scarpa Spirit 3 is a great setup. I have been waiting for it to come in the mail for some time. It finally did arrive when I was away in Mexico with my school, so I was able to try them for the first time for three days over the weekend. I tested them at Aspen Highlands so I could get lots of vertical in different types of snow. I can tell you that on the downhill this ski rips. I skied them as hard as I ski my alpine setup and they felt great. Four inches of snow fell the night before my first day of testing, so there were windblown pockets of powder interspersed with big icy bumps — bad conditions are the best for seeing what a ski can really do. I spent the whole day doing laps on double blacks and I didn’t prerelease once, but when I did fall they came off my feet nicely. The FT 10.0 are great skis while still keeping the weight down, I hope Dynafit continues what they started last year with this line of downhill oriented skis.

The Scarpa Spirit 3 boots are also great. They’re only a couple of ounces heavier than my dad’s Garmont Mega Rides, but they’re taller, have adjustable forward lean, and seem slightly stiffer in downhill mode. I’ve chosen these as my performance AT boots to use this spring and next winter (I’ll keep using my Scarpa F1s for lightweight trips, and I’d like to get some Scarpa Matrix to try as something a bit lighter than the Spirit, but that still skis okay).

Dynafit FR/FT 10.0, 169 cm, 58 oz, 1644 g, (single ski).
Scarpa Spirit 3, size 313 (28), 53.9 oz, 1526 g, (single boot).

[Editor’s note: Louie returned from his escapades and described his legs as being more tired than normal. We figured this was simply because he was using randonnee gear for multiple ski resort laps. But when I picked up a Spirit 3 to weigh it, I noticed the cuff was locked in an extreme forward lean position. Turns out the cuff lock has two lean positions, and Louie had inadvertently locked into the more forward position. Combined with the Dynafit binding’s positive ramp angle, he was in a torturous stance and didn’t know it. This is the exact reason I’m not a big fan of lean locks with two settings. Simple solution is to mark the boot in some way so you can check which position you’re in, as it’s not always obvious when you’re in the heat of preparing for a descent. With my boots, I usually modify such lean locks so they only have one position. Doing so is beyond the desires and skills of most skiers, so marking the boot is usually best. Lou]


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13 Responses to “A Fortnight of Planks #2 – Dynafit FR/FT 10 06/07 model – also, new reinforced Dynafit Comfort Crampon Baseplate Mount”

  1. AKBC April 4th, 2006 11:26 am

    Nice review, Louie – you may not realize this, or you may, but you are probably the luckiest kid in the world! If only my dad flowed me gear like that when I was your age! 🙂

  2. Anthony Rabinowitz April 4th, 2006 12:20 pm


    A couple of questions on the new wood FR 10.0’s: How stiff/soft is there flex compared with this years foam FR’s? My foam FR’s are similar in flex to my R:ex’s, which I think you have some experience with. The only comment I have heard so far is that the new FR’s have a rounder flex. Was there enough powder when you tried them to see how they float? How was their edge hold on firm stuff? Also, could you put them on a digital scale and tell me how much they weigh, taking into account the weight of the new binding? Dynafit and Life Link where off by 10 ounces on the weight of my foam FR 178’s.

    Tony Rabinowitz

  3. Lou April 20th, 2006 5:10 am

    Anthony, I added the weights in the review above. Sadly they are heavier than the foam core FR10, but I’d imagine they ski better and are more durable. I’ve spoken with a few skiers I respect who have tried the wood core FR10 and they all say they’re good skis. In our experience, they’ve got decent edge hold and average float. Louie likes them and he’s fairly experienced with using different skis.

  4. Chris April 20th, 2006 6:47 am

    I saw you had a review of the Scarpa Spirit 3 boot on your site. I am thinking of purchasing these this spring for a trip to Patagonia next fall. Since they’re not available in the US yet, I am curious about the fit. Currently I’m in the Garmont MegaRide which has fit me pretty well. I have a fairly narrow, low volume foot and I’ve needed a shim under my footbed to take up space. But I seem to need that with every ski boot and most shoes. Any suggestions on length – I was going to order the same size as my Garmont. Also, how do they ski/tour compared to the MegaRide?

  5. Lou April 20th, 2006 7:35 am

    Hi Chris, the Garmont has less volume than the Scarpa, and less toe room. That’s probably why they fit you well. As for size, you might find that the same shell size in the Scarpa would be too big, but there is no way to know that for sure as it depends on how your fit your MegaRides boots in terms of toe space, etc. Sorry I can’t be more of a crystal ball in that area, but it’s not possible unless I was looking at your feet and boots in person.

    I believe the Scarpa skis slightly stiffer than the MegaRide, and tours a bit better because of articulated tongue. It weighs a few more ounces.

  6. Jonathan Shefftz May 16th, 2006 1:12 pm

    “Big news with this iteration is that the crampon slot in the front binding plate is heavily reinforced. This should solve breakage problems reported last winter, but does add weight.”
    – Any idea what the weight penalty is? (I’ve my ski crampons frequently, and never had any problems, but then again I weigh only 145 lbs, so I’m wondering if I really need that upgrade.)
    – Also, seems like the rest of the Comfort binding stays the same, and any other changes appear in the new Vertical FT & ST models?

  7. Lou May 16th, 2006 1:29 pm

    Jonathan, the bindings are on a ski at the moment so I can’t weigh the reinforcement plate, but it’s very small and minimal — and can easily be removed. Indeed, it appears the rest of the binding is the same, though they also claim that the toe plate is stronger.

  8. Rune Kvist June 1st, 2006 4:46 am

    Regarding the Spirit 3: How does it fit compared to the Laser?

    According to some forums in Europe it is smaller in volume (especially width) than the Laser; again others claim it to be bigger. Scarpa claims no difference?

    I’m enticed by the Spirit 3 because of its stiffness & downhill performance. But I worry about the fit. (- and it’s not available here in Denmark :-()

    I ski in the Laser with the shell modified around the angle knuckles. Its a near perfect fit except for a little too much room around the foot.

    And talking of volume: is both in width & height?

  9. Lou June 1st, 2006 5:12 am

    As far as I can tell the fit of the Spirit 3 is somewhat similar to the Laser, though the hump under the foot arch is slightly lower.

  10. Mike July 7th, 2006 9:26 am

    I recently heard that the Dynafit Carving Plate helps out with prerelease issues associated with flexing of the ski under the boot. I was wondering if you have tested this product and what opinions you have. I could not find any information about it on you site.

  11. Lou July 7th, 2006 12:56 pm

    Hi Mike, the Dynafit Carving Plate has a slot that allows the ski to flex naturally, and thus would make no difference in the type of pre-release caused by ski flexion. Since the Dynafit binding has good stack-height out of the box, I’ve never had the desire to play around with any sort of shim plate, so I’ve not tested the carving plate.

    The idea of the Carving Plate preventing pre-release might come from verbiage used to describe the Dynafit Vertical ST as having less possibility of pre release due to the binding plate. In my opinion the binding plate would make little, if any difference with this unless it was so stiff it compromised the arc of the ski by making a totally flat spot under the foot when the ski was arced.

  12. Felipe June 27th, 2011 6:21 pm

    Hello Lou,

    I was searching some tech information in older posts but I can´t find it, hope you can help me with a couple of questions:

    I have just bought a pair of these front binding toe plates (comfort or ST I am not sure) for replacing the front plate of my Tourlite Tech bindings (those without metal reinforcment for crampon attachment).

    Hole pattern is the same, but the new plate is thicker (higher) than my current setup. My TLT plate is very thin.

    I think I will need longer screws.
    Am I right? Can you help me with screw sizing?
    Total length of current screws is 15mm (thread length is 11mm).

    Is it OK to mix this front plate with the older TLT heel piece? (I mean boot will be higher up front)

    Thank you for your help.

  13. Lou June 27th, 2011 6:27 pm

    You will probably need longer screws. Insert the screws you have into the binding and plate stack, and see how much is sticking out. Needs to be comparative amount to other bindings you might have kicking around. Again, I’ll bet it’s not enough. In terms of length, measure older screws, add thickness of plate, that will = length you need in longer screws. Of more importance is that the TLT already has much less ramp angle than Dynafit ST/FT/Comfort, and by using that thicker toe plate you’ll have way less. It might be better to stick with present binding and add a B&D crampon mount. See ad to left. Lou

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