Dynafit Stoke Ski Review

Post by WildSnow.com blogger | April 6, 2010      

You’ll find any dedicated skier, getting after it for more than a couple years, will have built some sort of ski “quiver.” Mine seems to continuously grow. Sometimes I need to borrow Lou’s 2500 Silverado to move my collection around, but who says you can have too many skis? Its important to remember great skiers can drive any skis in any conditions, but it always makes it more fun to have the right ‘tool’ for the job. With that in mind, I was able to find a place for the Dynafit Stoke in the pickup bed and on my feet.

Before skiing any ski, I try to get a good understanding of how the ski is made (ski construction) and what it is designed for (intended usage). From Dynafit’s literature and Greg Hill’s background, human powder vert would be a pretty safe guess. The Stoke design, coupled with the ski’s lightweight wood construction, makes deep snow human powdered vert an even safer bet. After some testing I can say my assumptions were correct.


The Stoke construction


Dynafit Stoke

The Stokes ski powder as effortlessly as any ski I’ve ridden. The early rise tip and rearward mounting position makes the 105mm waist ski like a much more portly creation. Needless to say, I was very impressed in this ski’s pure powder performance. The mount, combined with the skis light-weight, as well as the early rise tip made the Stokes extremely quick and nimble in the trees, deep powder and variable chop.

Despite the Stokes exceptional behavior in the powder the ski had a few limitations. In my opinion, in comparison to other skis I use this Dynafit creation is not a straight-lining, dropping cliffs, ski at high speed kind of ski. Instead, they work very well for what they were designed for: human powered, variable conditions and deeper powder skiing. Reality: the same qualities that allow the ski to be quick, nimble, and lightweight limit these skis at high speed or on hardpack. I found the 173cm length a bit short for my tastes. The 173cm skied like a ski almost 10cm shorter, no doubt due to the early rise tip. However, with the Stokes coming in 164cm, 173cm, and 182cm lengths, upsizing would have cured my need for more ski. The Stokes relatively blocky cut (129-105-119 in 173cm) made for what felt like a relatively long turning radius on the groomers. Again, not a huge deal considering the skis design and intended usage.

Overall the Dynafit Stoke ski fits a niche in human powdered category that has only recently begun to be filled. No doubt this ski’s lack of weight is impressive for its dimensions. This alone is probably the most stand out feature of the Stoke; add an ‘early’ rise tip and you have a winning combination for deep backcountry days.

Shop for Dynafit skis here.

(Guest blogger Tyler Christoff, 26 years old, grew up ski racing. He raced at Syracuse University, making Nationals multiple years. Three years ago he moved to Aspen to pursue a different sort of skiing. Tyler has rapidly grown into a strong mountaineer, and has the perfect form that most skiers only dream of. Tyler is a member of the soon to happen WildSnow Denali ski expedition.)


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150 Responses to “Dynafit Stoke Ski Review”

  1. Mark W April 6th, 2010 11:30 am

    My Baker Superlights might eventually be put aside for a ski like this. Maybe.

  2. Randonnee April 6th, 2010 12:28 pm

    Thanks Tyler for the Stoke-age! I look forward to getting out on mine! “Its important to remember great skiers can drive any skis in any conditions, but it always makes it more fun to have the right ‘tool’ for the job.” Very wise statement. In good soft snow conditions most skis can be fun for a skilled skier, but the specialty skis add a lot of fun as well.

  3. JBest April 6th, 2010 12:28 pm

    I’m wondering your (or anyone else’s) thoughts on how this ski would pair with the new Dynafit TLT 5 boot. Is this too much ski for such a light boot? Or would the boot still be able to drive the ski well, given how light the skis are? Any thoughts would be welcome.

    If it helps, I’m pretty light (140 lbs).

  4. Tony April 6th, 2010 1:20 pm

    Jbest, I think the TLT 5 & Stoke is a match made in heaven.
    If I were to put together a one ski/boot powder skiing setup, this would be it, without a doubt. As a reference, I had no trouble driving the Justice with the DyNA.
    The TLT 5 is a step up from that boot in terms of downhill performance, and the Stoke is similar, if not easier, to turn than the (115 underfoot) Justice.

    The Manaslu might give a little more versatility, but I’m not fully convinced, given how much less fragile the Stoke is overall. I’ll have a better answer on that front after a bit more time on the Stoke. The only other question there is how well a 106 waist can serve as an everyday ski. But, if most of your days include powder, that question is easily answered.

  5. Lee Lau April 6th, 2010 1:23 pm

    Jbest – you could probably drive that ski with that boot. But it won’t be ideal. This ski is meant to be driven hard. I skied it with a stock MegaRide and a ZZeus with Intuition Powerwraps. I preferred it with the ZZeus, I’m 160lbs.

    Caveat – I’ve only walked around in the TLT5 in store. In advance of getting jumped all over – this is just my OPINION.

  6. Tyler April 6th, 2010 1:45 pm

    Jbest: (for reference) I skied the Stokes with some Garmont radiums and also with a pair of Dalbello virus tour boots. The stoke is fairly soft, I had no problem powering the ski with either of these boots. It’s really all just personal preference(a.k.a. how fast do you want to go up?, or how fast do you want to go down? 😉

  7. Evan April 6th, 2010 2:54 pm

    Agreed, a good AT skier can handle most any snow condition, but we silly pinheads need all the help we can get! I’ve been enjoying another set of planks intened for the human powered powder niche. Similar in waist dimension to the stoke, the 183 Voile Insane has a 108mm waist. Unlike most powder planks, the Insane flaunts a very curvy figure. I have found the ski to be capable of fun on the occasional resort snow. I had success with this one ski quiver so far, but I’m tempted to aquire a thinner ski for spring mountaineering steeps.

  8. harpo April 6th, 2010 3:49 pm

    Lou, in your initial review of the Stoke in Europe, you make is seem like it doesn’t have tip rocker:
    “Overall, everyone sounded pleased though some wondered if it could use some rocker. My take is that not all skis need rocker, and it can of course be detrimental to a skis hard snow performance, so let’s not make a god out of it.”

    But in Tyler’s review, it sounds like it does have tip rocker. Can you explain this discrepency? How much rocker does the tip have, and how about the tail? Does the tail have any rise at all?


  9. Lee Lau April 6th, 2010 4:01 pm

    Harpo – it has a “early rise” tip just like the Manaslu. The shovel is 25 cms approx in the 182 length vs the Manaslu’s 23 cms. So – not a full rocker

  10. Tyler April 6th, 2010 4:08 pm

    Harpo: Lou can probably better speak to the exact dimensions but I will tell you that the ski has a small amount of camber (like a traditional ski) but it has what I would call and early rise tip. Meaning, the tip begins to rise (away from the snow) farther back than a traditional ski. This early rise tip combined with a traditional camber allows the ski to have the best of both worlds: i.e. carve-ablity on groomers, and easy float in powder….or at least that’s the theory.

    Rocker (what lou was referring to…i think?) is a reverse camber in the ski. This makes skis that ski great in powder but something that’s very hard to control on a groomer. I think you’ll see more and more cambered skis with a early rise tip hitting the market because they are so much more versatile…. In my opinion. Hope that make sense???

  11. geoffda April 6th, 2010 4:43 pm

    I’ve got the 182 Stoke and it drives just fine with Dynafit ZZero CTX 4’s. I’m 6′, 150 lbs.

    I haven’t had it in the powder yet, but I can say it handles crappy conditions pretty well. I was doing some testing with it in bounds and it was surprisingly adept on icy groomers, hard bumps, and wind crust. I experienced a little chatter in the crust, but nothing unmanagable. The shop guys were unanimous in that the Stoke skis far better than the Manaslu in challenging conditions. I’ve not skied the Manaslu, but based how well the Stoke skied the junk, I don’t doubt the claim. IMO, the Stoke feels like more like a mid-fat on the hard pack–albeit one with a speed limit.

    I will say that the Stoke seems a bit fragile. This is my first light-weight ski, so perhaps this is just part of the game, but I came home with a decent size chunk missing from the sidewall and no idea how it happened. Whatever I hit that caused it, I didn’t feel so it couldn’t have been much.

    I concur that this isn’t a cliff dropping ski, but it seems to be a super compromise between skiability and tourability. Overall, I’m very impressed with how well this ski performs for its weight.

  12. Lou April 6th, 2010 5:50 pm

    What Tyler said.

  13. Jack April 6th, 2010 10:34 pm

    Got about 40k ft vert in AK backcountry, and it’s clearly the best ski I’ve ridden in the BC. I’m riding mine with a Scarpa Spirit 3 which have been fine, but I’m looking at a little stiffer boot. Ascent performance in deep snow is terrific, too.

  14. Eric April 6th, 2010 11:06 pm

    You mention how quick and nimble these are, and that they’re not straight-lining skis, but how about in between for medium radius turns with more speed? I was hoping with less sidecut they’d be pretty capable. I’m looking for a light ski that skis the trees well, but can handle a little bigger turns when things open up.

  15. Lee Lau April 6th, 2010 11:19 pm

    eric – it’s got a 32m sidecut. It skis spaced old growth trees well. Not so great for billygoating through tight trees. It’s a demon in medium radius pow turns. You can force it into tight turns but that’s not its natural way. Video – http://www.vimeo.com/10735478

    tyler – let me know if I’m crowding you but I’m working on a separate review. It’s not appropriate for me to x-post it here so I won’t but I thought I’d at least put up the video since there seems to be no reviews out there with pictures or video of the Stoke being used and Wildsnow is the place to disseminate good information about the capabilities of this ski. If this is getting a bit heavy-handed let me know and I’ll delete the comment

  16. Tyler April 7th, 2010 8:18 am

    @Lee lau –No problem, we appreciate your comments. Not everyone likes the same things in skis… some differing opinions are good. Funny you noticed the lack of pictures….I wasn’t able to get anyone to stop and take any, the powder was just that good 😉

    @Eric – the Stokes are a great human powered soft snow/variable conditions ski. Because of their lightweight construction they do have a speed limit. Medium radius powder turns seemed to work fine. The early rise tip makes for a quick transition, turn to turn in powder no matter what the radius. Medium radius turns on a groomer or hardpack turns seemed to push the skis limits a bit. This is probably fine since they are designed to be used outside the resort.

  17. Lou April 7th, 2010 9:55 am

    These Denali boys remind me of me when I was in my 20s and didn’t even carry a camera!

  18. Eric April 7th, 2010 10:27 am

    Thanks guys! These would be for back country only, so I’m not too worried about performance on groomers. I was thinking about the Manaslu, but sounds like the Stoke might be a better choice for what I’m looking for.

  19. Skian April 7th, 2010 10:31 am

    The Stoke will have the big kids even more stoked next year. It is coming in a 191 length!

  20. stiarnadad April 7th, 2010 1:27 pm

    Is there a super light ski that you would recommend for the hardpack? I ski in the great Northeast with at least 90% of the skiing being on “eastern powder” and the rest being in the woods. Due to the wear on my knees (I’m about twice your age), I am looking for a light ski (I ski, primarily alpine, in Adrenalines with Free Rides to save weight). Thanks.

  21. kirk April 7th, 2010 2:27 pm

    Mine just came in and I can’t wait to flog them on saturday in the great NW!!!!!!!!!!
    Well have to see how they do in cascade concrete…

  22. Tyler April 7th, 2010 3:12 pm

    @Stiarnadad — whew…that’s a tough one. In my limited experience skiing lightweight AT skis, I can’t really think of one that stands out for those type of conditions. I’ve skied most of my life on the east coast so I can relate. (The Adirondacks were actually where I first caught the ski mountaineering bug)

    As for skis that excel in those type of conditions, I would look for a narrower waist(probably less than 90 or 95 mm) and a ski that has some sort of metal sheet in it. Sandwich construction(as opposed to cap construction) could be beneficial too. These type of skis seem be more ‘damp’ and ski better in icy conditions. Just be vigilant about checking different weights from different brands. (how about lighter boots/bindings??)

    I’m sure others will chime in with suggestions. Luckily there are a lot of choices on the market right now….I just haven’t gotten a chance to ski them all yet 😉 ahem…Lou 😉

  23. Christian April 7th, 2010 3:12 pm

    stiarnadad: regarding hardpack….I like the mustagh ata superlight 187. Got it for easter, and the ski really surprises regarding how well it skied – never expected such a light ski to ski that well. I skied it quite hard on blueish ice with the bindings at h9/v8 (I am 85kg)- the ski performed perfect but the binding released leaving me with a broken rib (binding are now set at h10/v10). After that I used it in spring snow/slush – and I really liked them there as well. I ended up selling my K2 coomba and Volkl Snowwolfs.
    For alpine skiing I use race stock Volkl Racetiger WC (165cm). I guess the shop race sl skis will be similar. The edge hold is incredible, but I guess that also strains the knees: skidding is easier on the knees. I have loaned the skis to people without race background,and they have claimed that the skis are too hard to skid with…
    If you are skinning, a light ski is important. For alpine skiing I don’t think weight is that important…..

  24. Dave B. April 7th, 2010 4:54 pm

    Just picked up my Stokes in time to get out twice on eastern resort corn/slush. After getting used to the rearward binding mount, they rocked. They felt really stable. They were a blast making fast, big turns, but also made tight turns really well. Hit a little bit of boiler plate, and while not great, they got the job done. I felt they were quite versatile. Can’t wait to get them into powder and do some climbing with them next year. Demo’d the 173 and 183 before buying. They definitely ski short and I gladly went with the longer length.

  25. Caleb Wray April 7th, 2010 11:59 pm


    Perhaps if you didn’t ski so fast it would be easier to completely assess?

  26. Tyler April 8th, 2010 8:14 am


    Hmmmm, I’ve heard that suggestion from a couple people in the past. Funny how that works. I didn’t want to compromise Lou’s strict gear testing ethic so I figured I better give er’ hell.

  27. Lee Lau April 8th, 2010 8:24 am

    i think you, ty, and louie should consider it perfectly acceptable to str8line the Stoke and create bombholes off cliffs. Then you should write stuff like “tips wander unacceptably when exceeding 80mph” or “does not land 40 footers well”. Sure some (many?) will tut-tut and keep asking you about how well a touring ski carves in groomers but hey – its YOUR review. And a fine review at that.

  28. Walt April 8th, 2010 9:46 am

    The Manaslus are more versitle in 187cm and plus, 182 is too short for big, tall skiers. (especially if they ski even shorter than they are… like most rocker skis) When they come out with a 192cm Stroke, I might consider it. Until then, forget it.

  29. Lou April 8th, 2010 10:02 am

    Lee, good point, I’m really excited about having Ty and Colby reviewing skis. They are super strong but still technical skiers, who have been on hundreds of skis. If anyone can really feel the difference between different models, it’s these guys. And yeah, myself and some of my older buddies can take care of the “just stand on the sweet spot and watch TV from your perch on these sweet powder planks,” I’ll keep getting my more agro reviewers to push the envelope a bit.

  30. Randonnee April 8th, 2010 12:20 pm


    A suggestion for your question, if you are asking about ski touring. Find a ski with a waist less than 90mm for hard snow.My preference is my 80-waist Seven Summits Superlight. The 88-waist Mustaga Ata Superlight is another idea for all-around and hard snow.

    Seattle-area based Swiss Guide Martin Volken recently commented in an article on a Washington website about the advantages of less-than 90 mm ski waists for ski touring- http://www.justgetout.net/Wenatchee/18413 . Here is a quote, “As a point of reference, World Cup giant slalom skiers are using skis that are 67mm under foot. They’re not skiing on narrower skis because they’re old-school but because that width has proved optimal for transferring power to the edges while minimizing the likelihood of booting-out while on edge.”

    If your question is in regard to skiing in a ski area, perhaps a lift ski is best. My Seven Summits Superlight carves hard snow very well, but is very much less power for carving than my Dynastar ski that I have for piste.

    My view is that the current fashion of fat skis loses sight of the fact that a ski waist less than 90 is better on hard snow.

  31. Lou April 8th, 2010 1:17 pm

    Good points Rando, thanks!

  32. Fernando Pereira April 8th, 2010 5:41 pm

    @stiarnadad: I have a pair of Ski Trab Stelvio Freerides that I really like in harder snow conditions (spring skiing, occasional resort days when I travel with just one pair or skis). They are light but they hold an edge well. They may have a speed limit on hardpack, but I don’t ski fast enough to get to it. Overall, they are the skis I take with me on trips when I don’t know what I’ll be skiing.

  33. Carl Detwyler April 11th, 2010 5:15 pm

    @stianadad– +1 for Ski Trabs. I have been skiing the Stelvio SL’s this winter and have been impressed with how well they ski in all conditions. They will hold an edge on frozen spring corn and also make great powder turns. They can even power through breakable crust. The only drawback I have found is that the tips can dive in bottomless powder, but if you stay centered they are fine. There is a lot to be said for a traditionally shaped ski– (but I am old and in the way)–

  34. Reiner April 12th, 2010 2:08 am

    Hi Guys,
    It’s Reiner from good old Europe, I am leading the ski development for Dynafit and would like to thank you for all your comments and leave you some information that you won’t find in brochures or websites…let’s say background details.

    Skiing was not made to have snowy highways perfectly groomed and to use headed chairlifts to reach the summits. So we learn a lot from the early days of skiing and are also always searching for the latest technologies to maximize performance. For us in the development team there is no reason to take one unnecessary gram with us to the mountains so we intend to make a ski “out of a little bit more than nothing (grin)”….in the development process we have the priority always on the woodcore, because this is the only material that can make a ski nearly independent from temperature, humidity and snow structure.

    When we do a long, energy consuming accent we should know how the ski works and have the perfect descent (for me the main reason to hike a mountain). So we use paulownia ultralight wood (selected grown) and combine it with bamboo stringers, because we want the lightest, most responsive core with the best weight/rebound/torsional-length stiffness-relation.

    When we measured our ski core in the laboratory we found out that we are 30-50% better than in the past and after we combined it with the latest fiber technology (biaxial and quadrax with carbon layer in the middle) we noticed that we are nearly half the weight of some other skis on the market. So we were happy, but when tested on snow a year ago we noticed that the vibration dampening ( brrt instead of brrrrrrt) effect from the bamboo gave us an energy saving behavior with the best edge control we ever had…..so the surfing style of skiing having lightest weight but also a wide ski was something we could acheive.

    Our ultimate goal is no compromise in any snow conditions so we see the whole ski as a 3-D corpus to play with the length of edge hold, the lift of the tip and tail. We’re not against a full rocker but until we see it as a total solution we want to keep a little camber and a portion of edge to cover the need of safety in icy terrain. If you put a pressure of 50 kilos on the ski you have a completely harmonic scoop rocker line (like on a surf) and that is enough for a ski like that. We have been testing all kinds of rockers for 4 years, but so far we could not get enough advantage from the rocker to compensate for less edge grip on ice. But we continue to consider rocker and all other ski design parameters — everything is always on the table.

    Your reaction to our skis gives me the full power for all the hard work. To me, our skis should always be a sign of respect to our users, many who ski in dangerous and difficult terrain….if you are quiet for a moment you could year the heart that is beating in the ski (bum-bum—bum-bum—bum-bum)……..

    All the best for the spring season….it is fantastic here in the alps and I wish you the same for your favorite skiing place…..

    (next time more…..there is a lot more to say!) I love your community, Lou, Louie and all the rest for the crew….

  35. bondcop April 12th, 2010 7:10 pm

    Reiner, thanks for the manufacturer’s perspective. While I know it must come with a bias, it is really interesting to hear.

    This was my first year on Manalsu’s. I loved them in most conditions and especially while climbing. Unfortunately, I also discovered the fragile nature of a superlight ski. Bad news is that I managed to crush the sidewalls on both skis on the same day. Good news is that I have convinced myself that this means I now need a new touring ski for next season. Are the Stokes more durable? Any new technological advances to increase the durability in future superlight models? Any ideas on more durable superlight skis on the market now?

  36. Reiner April 13th, 2010 1:02 am

    Hi bondcop, for us the CAP-construction was always the best way to build a very light ski. Since we progressed so much in last few years with our internal construction we are now able to have the luxury of using a sidewall construction, that has tremendous advantages for a wide ski with a stiff boot binding combination (I guess you know that dynafit with the 4-point mechanical connection is the stiffest- even stiffer than a alpine binding). That is why we are completely changing from CAP to sidewall with the new models. For now we have the Broad peak and Stoke in sidewall technique. The power transmission is a lot more direct and the durability is much, much better than with the CAP.
    ….prepared for the future! “Many skier ski with blocked bindings (in no fall or dangerous terrain) use 4 buckles, stiffy boots and ski more powerfull than it was in the past, so for us sidewall is the right choice!”

  37. Adam Andrade September 3rd, 2010 10:41 am

    I’m thinking of purchasing the TLT 5 Performance to use with 182 stokes mounted with FT 12s. How will this setup perform? I spend more time going up than coming down but I like to ski fast and aggressive. Any suggestions or thoughts would be appreciated.

  38. Lou September 3rd, 2010 1:06 pm

    Adam, I’d venture to say that setup would rip.

  39. Ian Reid September 3rd, 2010 1:20 pm

    Well, I skied the stoke with tlt5 for the later part of last season. Maybe 6 days. The carbon upper cuff is so torsionally stuff it had no problem edging the ski! If you remember it’s a BC boot and ski and not an alpine you will love. Especially at 1000 grams. Go for it! That boots is a game changer!!

  40. Adam Andrade September 3rd, 2010 4:50 pm

    Thanks for the feedback.

  41. Adam Andrade September 10th, 2010 6:22 pm

    Look what I just got in the mail…

  42. Lou September 10th, 2010 7:52 pm

    Adam, nice!

  43. skian September 10th, 2010 8:27 pm

    Sweet, dude you got the full kit going! like It!

  44. Kim October 11th, 2010 4:16 pm

    I am after some advice on the length of Stoke for me. I am male, 43 years, about 5’10” and 65kgs. I ski pretty much everything, love steep, and am reasonably aggressive when the conditions allow. I ski mainly Australia, but also Colorado and Austria. My current set-up is the Volkl Bridge (2007/08 at 163cm) with Marker Barons (DIN 9) and Black Diamond Factors.  I’ve been B/C skiing for a few years and am now looking to a lighter and fatter ski/binding.

    I am making the jump to the Dynafit FT Z12 binding and keeping the BD Factors. I think I am sold on the Dynafit Stoke but am unsure of the length that would be best. I have read that the Stoke skis abouut 10cm shorter due to the early rise tip and therefore the 173cm would seem OK. Advice on the length would be appreciated. Thanks all.

  45. Lee Lau October 11th, 2010 4:26 pm


    I would have said that you would be fine on a slightly longer pair but given that you seem to prefer shorter skis I’d say that the 173s would work for you

  46. skian October 11th, 2010 7:26 pm

    Kim, welcome to the Dynafit fold! May every day be lighter, faster, stronger and filled with Pow! That said, at a buck 43 your binding choice from Dynafit is spot on with the FT12 if you ski it at a 9 din. You are in the sweet spot for the binding range. As for the ski what I would ask myself, is this for magic blower days and super flotation or do I like to turn in the pow. You can turn the Stoke with the early rise tip in a 173 as with its progressive side cut it enters a turn at a 34m and exits at 20m. Smooth as a shot knife through butter. If you choose the 164 its a 31/16m. Personally, I’m a turner! I count them I dream them and the more I can get per vertical feet the bigger the Scotsman smiles!
    Just remember it is no Bridge and they are way different beasts for different programs. A breast is like a downhill mtn bike and the stoke a X/C rig.

  47. Wick October 12th, 2010 9:14 am

    Ian – Can’t wait to get on some stokes myself….same debate as with Kim…trying to determine which size to get 173 Vs 182…I like turns and covering distance…so that’s my own internal battle!

    I love the analogy to how you ride your Mtn bike to the type of ski/binding set up you might want in the backcountry…quite relevant here in CB, and one that I use when bringing friends over to “Dynafit world”. IMHO I would say the Stoke is like a full suspension 29″ XC/trail rig, and something like the Mustagh Ata SL being a XC hardtail… Pray for snow! Wick

  48. Skian October 12th, 2010 11:44 am

    Ahh! Wick?? Is this the skinny ski super lung that I could only hope to fallow in the mountains?? You my friend now everything is a compromise. In one direction or the other. I will say this. I am a fly before you buy guy. I have a tour heading out in a few weeks to demo some of the new touring Equipement from Dynafit. It’s called Haute dawgs and coffee. Basically touring the Rockies hitting Jackson to Aspen. Dates will be posted on our facebook page,” Redline sports group”. I start at 6:00 am and am done at 9:00 am. Consumers return gear to our local retail partners. Will have Stokes and tlt 5 boots for this tour. Also many of our retail partners will have the Stokes ready to go we good snow exists. Don’t look for them to demo till the rocks are gone and the snow is fat! By the way did my first grand traverse this summer on my KTM! 1:15 minutes Ute to the bar in south CB. Only way I could beat you and Swenson but it felt good. Get out and get after it!

  49. Skian October 12th, 2010 11:50 am

    No grief about spelling. Taping on the iPhone. Spell check too complicated while driving

  50. Wick October 12th, 2010 3:01 pm

    Nice Ian! Let me know when you are through the CB/Gunni area…love to catch up and see the goods!

  51. Kim October 12th, 2010 4:03 pm

    Lee and Ian

    Thanks very much for your feedback. Greatly appreciated. Makes me feel a little happier parting with $$$

  52. glew October 25th, 2010 2:09 pm

    I live in the Wasatch and love steep skiing, long tour, and of course powder. Thats why I ski Utard. I like a wicked stiff ski. Stiff in the tail is the key. Ive been on Ski Trab Stelvios Freeride for a while, but I need some mega fat dizzles for the Wasatch….I think this is fat enuff for me as in all around ski. But Im just concerned they wont be enuff ski to be able to handle letting er go. I am 6 feet and 170. Would this ski work. Im also thinking of the Voile Chargers? Any thoughts?….I cant get the anti spam question right,,,,,isnt the substance we ski on legal in colorado?

  53. Lou October 25th, 2010 2:34 pm

    Glew, I’d give ’em a go.

  54. skian October 25th, 2010 5:01 pm

    Glew, mom or dad give you that one?
    Love to see you are thinking about the Stoke! It’s an amazing stick.
    NO other ski in the market travels like this tool. Up down and all around.
    That being said, It’s a deeper question. It is pretty easy to make a 2000 gram ski well. It’s incredibly difficult to design a 1600gr ski that can perform in all conditions. Remember light is right but weight is great! On the down nothing performs like mass! Every step you take with heavy metal Zaps the piss out of the down. This ski is unique in design as it is focused like all Dynafit product for the full meal deal. Start to finish. If your a fly before you buy guy… check your local retailer for a demo. Most retailers will apply a demo to purchase and your dollars buy milk for local farmers. Get out get after it and get on that stick!
    By the way you dont ski on rocks and dirt??

  55. glew October 25th, 2010 7:54 pm

    thanks a good point. Ill give it a try on the demo. I can keep up with anyone at the resort on rando racin setup, so it doesnt matter that much the ski, but it would be pretty nice to just let er rip sometimes, u cant always noodle. the stelvio was pretty solid at doin that. I think I should get that lightweight dynafit ski though, i love vert

  56. RHS October 26th, 2010 6:21 am

    [i]Stoke is like a full suspension 29? XC/trail rig[/i]

    Oh no…No…I think you’ll find its a 150mm FS All Mountain shredder with aggressively laid back head angle. Get up everything and hit it hard on the way down, sometimes getting yourself a BIT close to the edge BUT keeping it amazingly interesting.
    Having skied the Manaslu’s all last season inbounds and touring in Switzerland thats how I would imagine the Stoke’s to be.

  57. Skian October 26th, 2010 11:31 am

    That’s what I luv about the court of public opinion. Just like ……. Everyones got one. Dumping white in PC Utah!
    ” get outside have some fun and enjoy the backcountry!”

  58. Wick October 26th, 2010 11:47 am

    Ya Glew…take those resort racers and drop ’em on the Stokes! Ummm Ummm dumping in CB too Ian! …toured twice already!!!

  59. Lou October 26th, 2010 12:00 pm

    Dumping here as well, mountains have now been socked in for a couple of days!

  60. Trainer October 26th, 2010 12:04 pm

    I’ve got a pair of Ramer RATs in the box.
    Contact me ASAP.

  61. Jake November 13th, 2010 7:00 pm

    Looking to buy the Stokes and really struggling with the idea of buying a 173cm ski. I am 5’10 and 150lbs. All my normal resort and side country alpine skis are 185’s… Everyone keeps telling me to go shorter, but I really don’t want to be fighting tips diving. Anyone my size skiing the 173cm, I am an aggressive skier and like skiing powder at high speeds, but also want to be able to pick my way through the trees and tight spots. I am totally new to the AT ski thing and honestly I am getting a set up for the climbing, but I want to have 90% of the fun coming down that I would on my resort set ups… so if shorter is the way to go, then just say so and I will take everyone’s word for it. I am familiar with how rockered/early rise tips ski by the way, so no need to explain that point to me. Thanks…

  62. Dave B. November 14th, 2010 6:28 pm

    Jake – I’m 5’9″, a few pounds heavier than you, and I suspect, not quite the skier you are. I tested the Stoke in the 173 and 185 on corn snow at the resort last spring and found the 173 to be a bit twitchy and unstable compared to the 185. I went with the 185. The ski in that length certainly rips (corn and hard pack, at least). I, too, worry a bit about how this length will be in tight trees, a situation I encounter often, but I suspect that even if this is a slight downside, it will be more than offset by the advantages of this length in terms of speed, float, and stability. I’ll be interested to see what others have to say, though.

  63. Lou November 14th, 2010 6:35 pm

    Jake, the difference in length isn’t going to make much of a difference with tip dive with a ski that wide. But yeah, if you’re a great skier and go really fast, you’ll want something long. That said, if you’re really setting up a 100% backcountry setup, at least think about the concept of skiing a bit more conservatively in the BC compared to the resort. In that case, the shorter ski will be lighter, carry more easily on your pack, work better for kick turns, and still ski just fine though you won’t be able to audition for the next TGR film on it. There you go, two sides to the coin.

    Oh, as for tight trees, yeah, a 185 is pretty long but if that’s what you’re used to it shouldn’t be a problem. Length of ski in trees, so long as it’s under 190 cm or so, is more what you’re used to than anything else. Heck, back in my day we used to have plenty of fun in the trees on 205s! Because we were used to them.

  64. Skian November 14th, 2010 6:41 pm

    Were do you live? That says a lot

  65. Skian November 14th, 2010 6:43 pm

    Huge difference in Early rise and Rockered skis so if you know both great but they are not the same, at all.

  66. Lee Lau November 14th, 2010 7:19 pm

    Jake – who’s this “everyone” who’s telling you to go 173. If you’re competent (and you sound like you’re competent) go with the longer ski

  67. Jake November 19th, 2010 2:04 pm

    Thanks, I have both skis with full rocker and then just early rise. I was just pointing out that I know that because of these features they can tend to ski shorter. I ski in Utah primarily the northern wasatch, Ogden area… I may be leaning toward the 182, but I like what Lou said about being a bit more chill and conservative in the back country. I guess I may want to savor my turns a bit more after a long hike. assuming I can actually get a pair. Just talked to Dynafit and they are out of stock until Mid December. The other ski I am considering is the BD Drift… They meet me in the middle with a 176… But I think the feature of the skin slots on the Stoke are pretty cool, and I am getting the impression from some reviews that the Stoke is a stiffer more stable ski. Thoughts?

  68. Lou November 19th, 2010 2:56 pm

    Jake, the skin slots are nice but not really any better than another system you learn to use well. Once in a while I knock a skin tip holder out of the slot, and they are not adjustable for length so you can’t tension them more if the glue is failing due to moisture or cold… people who are used to rando race style setups like the Dynafit system because it feels familiar (kneel down, pop tip, then rip skin to the rear…)

  69. Skian November 19th, 2010 3:53 pm

    Jake, I respectfully disagree on this. Nothing works better than a system like Dynafits. There is limited stretch. Rarely does someone pop a tip of if installed correctly. Transition time is superior to the competition. As for glue with the Dynafit skin yes this can wear out in moisture. All skins do over time that’s why there is skin glue at every BC store.find your favorite glue when this happens and apply. Dynafit Stokes and skins are everywhere in Utah. Make some calls you’ll find them.
    “get outside have some fun and enjoy the Backcontry!”

  70. Lou November 19th, 2010 4:08 pm

    Hey, I said they were nice (grin).

  71. Skian November 19th, 2010 4:11 pm

    Ha! C’mon Lou I did say “respectfully”

  72. Lou November 19th, 2010 4:14 pm

    Skian, please explain how a person could install Dynafit skins incorrectly which would result in the tip holder popping out of the slot. I think that would be helpful to all of us who use the system… Thanks, Lou

  73. Skian November 19th, 2010 4:36 pm

    Lou, be happy to but I’m driving 80 mph trying to get to the pass before the sunsets to… Make some turns with my superior skins. Love to do it with some images to. But no way to post images on my end. You and I have been using this system for over 15 years everything wears out in time but I bet you could still mount up some of those low techs on the wall of fame and get some wicked powder turns. Let me know if you would like me to do that and I’ll take some time off the snow. My snow time is valuable but I will do it for Wild Snow!

  74. Tony November 19th, 2010 4:52 pm

    Skian, or anyone else, care to comment on the Stoke’s mounting holes being moved about 3cm forward between the skis that came out late last season and this season? That’s a substantial change, even moreso given that Dynafit does not recommend drilling and mounting outside the provided inserts.

    Why? Was last season’s mounting location a mistake? Get some negative feedback? How does it affect the way the ski turns? Especially interested in Skian’s perspective as a “turner”

  75. Skian November 20th, 2010 12:05 am

    Tony, sorry I could not chime in earlier. Skiing called and also was attending Pete Swensons slide show at Mountain outfitters in Breckenridge from skiing his latest adventure on Broad Peak. Awesome guy great project check it out on the Dynafit website! I’m a bit fried from this weeks powerpoints but will try give you my best answer.
    In ski developement it’s always a race to the top. Dynafit strives to bring the best ski forward. This project was a first to be fat ( or fatter than normal for a ski mountaineering company). For years the presure was on and the developement of the Stoke Project was priority one for the brand. This project with Greg Hill was one of testing day after testing day to find a perfect balance point on the ski. IMO the early launch Stoke was perfect. On the money for freeride powder great balance super turn anitiation. Awesome for steep powder descents. Dynafit did an early launch last spring with this say Stoke 1. Testing continued throughout the spring with many athletes. What came of this was an evolution of the Stoke. What some would call a running change or inline change. After the spring the feedback was to increase the turn initiation by moving the pivot point forward. This has created a ski that initiates quicker than the early introduction Stoke from last fall. The early intro was pretty limited, about 500 pairs. What you have now is a ski that turns in tight steeps faster and for an aggressive skier can charge hard pack when you put presure to the edge. If you are in the market the let’s say Stoke 2 is more than likely what you will see out there. Most of the early launch got gobbled up by late spring. If you are lucky enough to get an early launch Stoke I’m my opinion it feels a little smoother in powder. I like it so much it’s still my go to on big powder days. Other than that I am on the Broad Peak. Both skies I drive with a TLT 5. I suggest going out and demo the ski. I dont know where you are but if your in the rockies I will be driving a demo tour around the rockies this fall. Info is on our facebook page (Redline Sports Group) in the coming weeks. Or just support a local specialty shop a check out a demo. Think you would be hard pressed not to find one in a true Dynafit partner. Hope that helps off to bed 3:00 am is coming up fast.

    Ciao Ian

    “Get outside have some fun and enjoy the backcountry”

  76. Skian November 20th, 2010 12:07 am

    Left a response but think I got sensored?

  77. Lou November 20th, 2010 5:39 am

    Skian and all, we have quite a few safeguards in place to stop spambots. Those same safeguards do block your legit comments now and then for reasons we’ll probably never understand since doing so requires a geek level that’s off the charts. We check for blocked comments periodically, sometimes all day long if we’re in the office, but if a comment comes through when we’re not getting our notifications (such as at night, or while we’re out on a backcountry trip, or traveling) it will remain blocked till we see our notification. Sorry about that, but keeping blog comment threads “clean” of spam is an imperfect science.

  78. rhsman November 20th, 2010 1:11 pm

    Ahhhrgghhh. Just got wife 173 stokes through to find the pre drilled hols won’t go small eough for her 266mm boots. What to do? 164 was to small for her and bit annoyed at that as there isn’t anything on the dynafit site sying minimum boot length. To drill or not? Help!

  79. Skian November 20th, 2010 1:43 pm

    It should be on the ski? The shop you bought them from should of told you? Where did you get them?

  80. rhsman November 20th, 2010 1:54 pm

    Got them direct after researching on web

  81. Skian November 20th, 2010 1:59 pm

    Direct from who? Dynafit does not sell Direct?

  82. rhsman November 20th, 2010 3:20 pm

    20 questions. I have a friend in the business. 🙂

  83. Skian November 20th, 2010 3:34 pm

    Sorry, but you and your friend are part of the problem. You are not a pro you should not have had access to these skis. Dynafit did not put inserts in skis for general public to mount up. Best to leave professional work to professionals. Lou please remove this negative comment from this thread if possible.

  84. rhsman November 20th, 2010 3:59 pm

    Well thank you for your help. So kind.
    If anyone has some constructive advice then that would be great but otherwise remove it if you want.

  85. rhsman November 20th, 2010 4:02 pm

    P.s i had perfect right to these skiis. Please do not make an uneducated assumption.

  86. Mom November 20th, 2010 5:34 pm

    I love the photo of the Rose Hips..Brings back some tasty memories….

  87. Lou November 21st, 2010 10:43 am

    Skian, I don’t see anything here that needs to be removed. You, as an industry representative, have a perfect right to present the party line but please do so in a cordial fashion. Rhsman, please also be gracious and polite.

    Rhsman, whenever you mention getting some sort of insider deal you can stir up a hornets nest as that’s a touchy subject. Probably best just to stick to the facts, you have the skis, and need to mount for shorter boot. They are your skis, you own them, so you have a perfect right to DIY your binding mount, only potential problem for you is that Dynafit has a perfect right to refuse warranty service if they deem your mount job to exceed the parameters of recommended procedures, so that’s the main thing you need to be aware of.

    Okay, moving beyond all that political stuff, here is the deal with mounting the skis. Most skiers with short feet are fairly light in weight, and drilling new holes for their bindings is no big deal and works fine in any ski I’ve ever encountered. Just be sure to mount with epoxy and tighten screws with care so as not to damage holding power by even partial stripping. In the case of Dynafit skis with fittings, try to use one set of fittings if possible, even if the mount is a few millimeters back. Also, your new holes need to be workmanlike distance from existing insert holes.

    If your short footed skier is still large and heavy, I would not recommend drilling new holes, period, as I’m uncertain of how strong the top skin and core of the stoke is when you’re using new holes and not the inserts.

    Back to Skian and industry issues. In my opinion Skin is correct in pointing out that the way this is all supposed to work in the ideal world desired by Dynafit is for a dealer to sell the skis and take care of issues such as this. But it’s not an ideal world, and here at WildSnow.com we deal in reality. One of our readers/commenters is looking for advice, so we do the best we can to help.

    Oh, one other thing, if Rhsman doesn’t like that Dynafit lacks boot size info on their website, he has a perfect right to state his feelings about that…


  88. Jonathan Shefftz November 21st, 2010 11:37 am

    Seems like a perfect opportunity for a WildSnow summary chart for bsl range on Stoke, Manaslu, and MASL? (I think all the other skis have inserts only for toes.)

  89. rhsman November 21st, 2010 11:49 am

    How and here i got the skiis really should be of no concern. I paid legit prices based on some deals i have in the summer through mountain bike sponsor ship deal with a company. Said company have open deals with other companies in europe.
    Moving on.. i went to see local ski tech friend and we decided that drilling the forward plate back whilst using 2 of the existing pre drilled holes. This leaves the centre of the small boot very close to riginal and the feel is bomber from ski techs point of view. From a 60kg female perspective it should be fine, otherwise i will have to take the hit.
    Thanks for help lou, its basically the conclusion i came to even though it isn’t perfect from warrenty standpoint.

  90. Lou November 21st, 2010 11:50 am

    Here is what the boot length sticker looks like on Manaslu. Skian, is this same as Stoke?


  91. Skian November 21st, 2010 4:04 pm

    Fair enough Lou. Ethical side apart all Dynafit skis are marked as noted with a sticker. As for this bro -deal from a Mtn bike company?? Never heard of it and said skiers wife does not sound like a working pro. These under the table deals are what is destroying the specialty market in America. Soon if this is not addressed our great specialty shops in America will be gone.
    As for the not so perfect world Dynafit is establishing what is called Competent Centers across the USA in key mountain markets. Dynafit just launched one in Breckenridge Co. at Mountain Outfitters. Also one just Launched at Bentgate in Golden co. You can also go to Marmot in Washington…or search out a pro shop like pro Ski Service in North Bend Wa.
    Mammoth Mountaineering in Mammoth Cal. Also we have the first test center in the US for Dynafit at Aspen Highlands with Aspen Expeditions. Or another top shop the Ute Mountaineer. In Jackson Hole…Wilson Backcountry or Skinny ski….Teton Mountaineering.  Gone are the days of incompetence. If you search out service at the cheapest or the bottom you get what you pay for.
    The only incompetence is done by those who know not what they are doing.
    These shops are not in that group.

  92. Lou November 21st, 2010 4:58 pm

    Skian, of all people you should know that back channel supply is amazingly resilient in the ski industry. That’s probably because especially in the case of skis, a pair can cost twice as much as a set of snow tires for a pickup truck and last half as long. That kind of service/cost ratio is a lot of incentive to shop hard. Really hard. As for what you hear about back channel from an anonymous commenter on a blog, I wouldn’t put too much energy into it. Lou

  93. Lou November 21st, 2010 5:04 pm

    Skian, can you describe what makes a competency center, and how the consumer can know it’s being managed as such and not just touting a name? Do you certify ski mechanics? Can anyone in the shop do bench work, and it’s still a competency center? Do they need to have ski tuning machinery and in house credentialed boot fitter? Does Dynafit test the place in some way? Am wondering how it works…

  94. Lou November 21st, 2010 5:11 pm

    All, here is a link to Dynafit info about Competency Centers


  95. Skian November 21st, 2010 6:06 pm

    Will do Lou…but family time for me for a few days. I will say this, “a Competence Center is not something you make it’s something that is.”

    Get outside have some fun and enjoy the backcountry!

    See ya

  96. Lou November 21st, 2010 6:17 pm

    Okay, cool, time to activate some mystery shoppers!

  97. RHSman November 22nd, 2010 2:54 am

    [i]These under the table deals are what is destroying the specialty market in America. Soon if this is not addressed our great specialty shops in America will be gone.[/i]

    Bit of random rant considering, if you read my post, that I am in Europe. I am not going to justify any of this to you. I don’t have to. I went skiing in the BC yesterday. It was nice. 😉

  98. Lou November 22nd, 2010 7:24 am

    Even if we are talking about America, I’m not sure it is undertable deals, pro deals or bro deals that have decimated the specialty shop market. The ski industry was rife with under the table deals even back in the 1970s. More likely, what’s greatly influenced the specialty market are web stores as well as better communication via the Internet so sales can happen person to person or via ebay. Also, I’ve been around long enough to see the web hugely influence the do-it-yourself culture, be it auto mechanics or ski mechanics.

    I’ve harped on this before. All stores have going for them is service. If they can’t provide things like personalized boot fitting, nearly error free binding mounting and overnight precision ski tuning, what do they have that quick shipping from an etailer does not? A clothing fitting room? Many of the shops that don’t get that will struggle, though some shops are blessed by being in amazing retail climates, such as those in places with lots of wealthy shoppers. Credit goes to Ute Mountaineer in this regard, as they have the advantage of Aspen wealth shoppers, but also seem to be staying true to core ski culture by continuing to provide ski service and thus can rank as a “Dynafit Competency Center.”

  99. skian November 22nd, 2010 9:11 am

    K , Lou, just to be clear, if you reread my post, I only listed three Competency Center partnerships created so far in the US. Dynafit is adding them as fast as they can. This is a partnership , not a one way pin on a lapel. As I said, you cannot make a competency center; a shop is or isn’t one already.
    Now on to a much bigger subject and in my opinion one greater than someone in another part of the world getting some under the table bro deal.
    I have had the opportunity to travel this globe and in so doing , see many cultures interact. I have watched the web and big box retailers put up their gloves and drive locals out of business along with manufacturers who turn their backs these small passionate specialty shops and let the internet push them around. You have to ask yourself, when was the last time you went to a free slide show at the local shop? The last free avy night? Picked up some skin wax or glue for 10.00? When was the last demo you went to?? You think these are all free? People spend hours driving, hours prepping, etc, just to make these happen. I see nothing wrong with internet. I see nothing wrong with big box. I see nothing wrong with proform, as long as the product integrity is not compromised and value is added.
    I am a milk circle guy. I get my milk from the local dairy, buy my eggs from a local farm, and buy my trail maps from my local shop. I don’t ask for directions or routes without helping that till. Like buying a beer in a local bar and saying, “What do you think about this route?” Every penny you spend in a local specialty shop buys milk or clothes or food locally. The money stays in the community. Maybe that should be an article on Wild Snow! How much of my money buys bread in my town? So next time you spend an hour researching to save 30 bucks online, think about how you can put that money back into your local community.
    Now, I am not saying don’t buy online. I do it all the time from I tunes to 5 NM torque wrenches. If you cannot support the local retailer in one way or another, by all means point, click, buy.
    But let’s not call the kettle black. Everybody makes mistakes, even top specialty shops. The question is will they make it right. I could pick 20 posts on this site of one botch or the next, and I have made them myself. If you’re going to be a do-it-yourselfer, than accept the fact you may botch the project. When this happens, as with the case in point, don’t blame the manufacturer for your mistake. This poor guy who I might ski with in Verbier or Cham or wherever he is from has became the brunt of my and every industry pro in the market’s frustration. Don’t tell us you’re sending out secret shoppers unless you’re going to spend retail cash. Don’t take up our time, because time is money. Why don’t you spend time at Wild Snow highlighting top shops in America rather than posting “another botch from a shop?”. You are obviously making the assumption that there is better communication from the internet? There is good, bad, and ugly. Unfortunately, I just finished ugly.
    I am tired of talking about the negative things. It taxes my brain too much. I make mistakes every day. You can probably find some spelling mistakes in all of my posts. What I want to know from our Wild Snow readers is, Who are the top shops in your region? I have mentioned some that I feel are the best in the country. I don’t wish to seek out the uneducated. I want to seek out the positive. Some may even be internet. I know several internet dealers that are making the effort to bring their clients top knowledge. If you have a shop in your local region that has passion and integrity and knowledge, then post it here with Lou on this great forum, which is an awesome do-it-yourself site, a great place for tinkerers like myself to gain knowledge.
    The reason we are so passionate in our arguments is that we are all so passionate about our sport. I am going to put down this computer now and go for a walk in the woods as I’m nowhere near snow at the moment… Oh, by the way, these are just the opinions of one thick-headed Scotsman and not of any manufacturer I may or may not represent.
    Get outside, have some fun, and enjoy the backcountry. – skian.

  100. Lou November 22nd, 2010 9:43 am

    Skian, good points. One thing though, a while back we did have a comment thread about ski shops folks recommended, so that does get done. I can’t find the thread but do remember it. Probably time for another one.

    As for reporting the botched stuff, I appreciate our commenters doing that as I’ve seen way too many shops that truly did NOT do their ski work in a professional manner. Thus, the public needs to be aware that having a shop do work is not always a reliable alternative with a good outcome. Buyer beware and all that.

    Milk circle idea is a good one. I guess China is too far away for it (grin)?

    As for Competency Centers, you wrote that Ute Mountaineer in Aspen was a “top shop” which I assumed meant it was also a Competency Center. Sorry if I misinterpreted your comment.

  101. skian November 22nd, 2010 9:51 am

    Again thanks, but lets see what we can do to repost that top shop thread and add to it. Maybe it should be a permanent link on Wild Snow. As for China….. that is a book of many subjects. :). I wait for retirement to bathe in that one.

    Ciao Skian

  102. Bar Barrique November 22nd, 2010 9:08 pm

    It doesn’t seem that long ago that in order to get back country gear; you had to go into an “alpine” ski shop, and, they had a package containing a “AT” binding that included a paper mounting template. Nobody there knew much about them. Now you go into a fancy store “specializing” in outdoor gear, that only carries AT, and, telemark gear. A younger clerk with the condescending manner of one who is dispensing the secrets of this new fad has to spout every bit of marketing spin while you try on a pair of boots. I don’t know which is worse.

  103. Skian November 22nd, 2010 9:26 pm

    Well, hopefully you were going to buy the boots? If so hopefully you were able to weed through the marketing BS. That’s why you have Wild Snow. I gaurentee you go see Pete Swenson at mountain Outfiters in Breck or Martin Volken at Pro Ski Service in North Bend Washington all you get is professional mountaineering experience! No marketing BS. As i said earlier ask and you will recieve. There are many great pro shops in the USA. Quit whinning and start talking on Wild Snow about the best shops in the country. I dont want to hear about the bad shops only the good and the great! I hope you can find this
    type of pro in your neck of the woods. I bet you can…

  104. Bar Barrique November 22nd, 2010 10:14 pm

    Well; actually I asked them to call me when a certain boot arrived, but, apparently they sold the boot in my size, and, did not call me. Now they are saying that they have reordered the boot in my size. I realize that you would like to hear about good shops, however; retailing has not changed, and, some shops are not that good. In my experience; you may be better off to order from an online source that has a customer satisfaction policy. BTW; I can order a set of “Stokes” from a European “competence” centre.

  105. Skian November 22nd, 2010 11:41 pm

    Bar, please don’t blame the shop unless your sure. We were all caught off guard with the up swing in boot sales this year. Production is set in may. I know dealers that are chasing biz as they we are seeing great success in PR behind the new boots from Dynafit. With low economies and also possible low snow year dealers can sometime not react quick enough for their customers. Also the conversion rate for try on tire kickers to buyers is way up. If you have a local you don’t like you probably have a good one near to. If you cannot than by all means buy from a reputable online source. There are some great ones. Try pick one in an area you might like to ski in the near future or even in your region and go visit and thank them for there service. You never know sometimes you can get a boot fitting guarantee from them and get a little tweak fixed for free on your next trip. I really wish I saw a few Wild Snow readers post something on this thread. I think this might need it’s own thread someone told me this topic is buried in the Stoke thread too deep.Lou any way to start a new thread with top shops of Wild Snow readers?

  106. Lou November 23rd, 2010 4:25 am

    Skian, I’ll get a top shops thread going again. BTW, Lee is one of our most thorough reviewers and really helps me out, he know what he’s doing.

  107. skian November 23rd, 2010 8:45 am

    Lou, I do know Lee by reputation. I have never had the pleasure of meeting him in person. Why did I offend Lee in any way? He has always called it straight. I don’t believe i questioned his capabilities?? Please remind me why it is necessary to make this statement? If i disagree it does not mean disrespect. I always agree to disagree. Usually with respect unless it is not warranted:).

  108. Drew Haas November 23rd, 2010 9:57 am


    “Will do Lou…but family time for me for a few days. I will say this, “a Competence Center is not something you make it’s something that is.”

    The reality is It’s not knowledge/expertise that grants one as a “Competence Center” its how much/many Dynafit products you stock in your store. You have to buy into the recognition.

  109. skian November 23rd, 2010 10:07 am

    Ahh, Drew love to meet you in public?? you are absolutely wrong. It just so happens the best dealers do typically sell more product. It’s called being a professional! and knowing what you are talking about. Which in this case you do not.
    Go ski and have a better attitude.

  110. Drew Haas November 23rd, 2010 10:19 am

    Ha Ha Funny! Your right I know nothing on this topic…

  111. skian November 23rd, 2010 10:24 am


  112. Drew Haas November 23rd, 2010 10:38 am

    Ah just love your sweet talk as a ski industry rep skian… Do they offer a buy in to be a “competence rep”?

  113. skian November 23rd, 2010 10:50 am

    I don’t hide my credibility. I have worked for every major manufacture in this catagory. People know who I am. My efforts and what I do speak for them self. What credibility do you have and what do you do to be a positive asset to this community? Other then not know what you are talking about?? And re posting other peoples comments?? Let’s hear from the real hass.
    My bio runs deep, I speak my mind and my opinion, I call BS when it needs to be called. I don’t bad mouth other peoples product but i am critical of new developement . I am here to lend a positive not negative legacy. I call it as I see it and you have just attacked that without any backing. Don’t question my integrity. Don’t post things you know nothing about.

  114. Drew Haas November 23rd, 2010 11:01 am

    What make a Dynafit Competence Center… Other than having in depth knowledge of the products and ski touring…

    Store stocks a full range of Dynafit products

    Multiple styles of boots, skis, bindings

    Stocks a variety of Dynafit clothing.

    Has a full Demo Fleet of Dynafit boots/bindings/skis

    The ecessive use of Dynafit POP material to display the gear.

    Hosts multiple Dynafit endorsed events ie. movies, group tours, camps, Dynafit shop night. ect.

    Sounds like a buy in to me…

  115. RHS November 23rd, 2010 11:08 am

    You definitely like the sound of your own voice. 🙄

  116. Lee Lau November 23rd, 2010 11:30 am

    Escape Route in Whistler is a good shop – speaking of good retailers with Dynafit experience. In particular the ski tech there (Alex Wigley) knows his stuff as does Jayson. Disclosure is that I know both Alex and Jayson and have skied with them. Second disclosure is that I am a Dynafit kool-aid drinker. There ya go with the disclosure!

    Thanks for whoever put up the note about the slightly changed Dynafit mount point. The pair I tested were last year’s early production release and had the mounting points a bit further back than this years. I had the bindings mounted farthest forward on the skis. My size tested was 182

  117. skian November 23rd, 2010 11:52 am

    Ha! my two favorites at once…
    Drew you could of written the press release…Almost
    yes all the above are correct except you forgot one


    The shops show a level of competence in there promotion of the brand. commitment to the brand and telling the story.
    Dynafit centers whether Competence or Test use the gear. Maybe not all the employees but most.
    I love to see guides tye in to take people who are new out and teach them in the field on how to use the system efficiently.
    As for the buy in statement? There is a commitment for sure as with every business partnership from the Retailer and from Salewa N.A. but money is not the driving factor. Knowledge and physical equity rule. A center partnered with Dynafit should be able answer consumers needs or find the answer fast.
    More centers will be added in the states as this project grows. In Europe some centers are as few hundred square feet big and do the volume of biz a large retailer does because they have the credibility and people drive long distances to do this. Just like I said earlier there are top pro shops in the states that have not been brought into this program as of yet. They do as much as Dynafit Centers. You might work for one of them??
    I give you a few I feel are great Partners for Dynafit in the Western US that are not current Centers.

    Pro Ski service North Bend Washington
    Pro Ski Service Seattle Wa.
    Alpenglow Tahoe City ca.
    The backcountry Truckee
    Wilsons Backcountry Jackson Hole
    Ute Mountaineer Aspen Co.
    The Alpineer Crested Butte Co.

    Walk into these stores and ask for there top BC employee to help you and you will get a pro. He or she might even suggest other peoples products if the product fits the user better.

    Hope that helps both of you understanding what a Dynafit partner is.

  118. Lou November 23rd, 2010 1:33 pm

    Skian, it would probably be polite to add a sig to your posts stating who you are. Not everyone here knows your web handle. Thanks, Lou

  119. honkey November 23rd, 2010 1:39 pm

    Woah…lots of bullets flying around. Since this thread has gotten a wee bit off topic (oh yeah, the Stoke ski….), I just want to comment on a few things. Hopefully Lou gets this new “shop” forum up soon and we can all continue this discussion there.

    So lets clear the air. Skian is an industry rep. I have managed the ski shop at a specialty outdoor store for the past 5 years. Some of you out there are industry guys, some are just avid bc skiers. We all have our biases and points of view.

    I find it very refreshing to hear skian being vocal about the abuse of the “pro / bro” deals out there. Nothing is more fustrating than coming back to the store after a couple days off to see a pile of clearly pro-dealed skis, boots, & bindings to mount while identical models sit on our sales floor collecting dust. Some of those orders are legit, but far too many are not. I’m poor too, I get it. But I also chose to work here to be able to get my addiction fed at a discount. Trust me, I could be making MUCH more at a “real” job, but I chose to be here. As the saying goes, you can’t have your cake and eat it to. Plenty of non-industry people sure try and sadly too many succeed. They do not realize that doing so takes money out of our register and hurts our business. Business goes down, I can’t make a liveable wage, we can’t hire good people, and soon enough everyone is shopping at REI online. A pro-deal is a privelage, and folks loose sight of that. Abuse it and it should be taken away. When people abuse the system, it doesn’t hurt the big guys, it hurts the core specialty stores. So for that I applaud Skian for stepping up, even if it’s to this site’s limited audience.

    A store like ours has a hard time competing on price with some web-retailers and big box stores, but we try. I pride myself on trying to provide the best customer service both before AND after the sale. I’m a skier first and I want nothing more than to help feed that addiction to others. I get out as much as I can and provide first hand accounts of the gear we sell as much as possible. I’m sorry that some folks out there have bad experiences at their local shops. Mistakes happen, but here we try to make them right. If you don’t give someone a chance to correct their error (or even let them know it happened), you don’t give them the chance to fix it. Having one bad experience and then going stright to on-line or big box stores doesn’t help anybody improve. We need feedback to get better.

    If folks keep looking for loopholes to exploit and keep sending their dollars solely to the industry big boys & dot.coms there won’t be any local stores left to help you when you need it. I don’t care where you live or where you shop, but give the specialty guys a chance.

  120. Lou November 23rd, 2010 2:10 pm

    Thanks for being here Honkey, and good comment. Everyone, we have a special place here without the harshness of some other forums. Let’s keep it that way. The main thing is please review your comments before hitting the post button, and do a bit of editing of your voice if it looks like you could be nicer and say the same thing.

    People will hear what you have to say much more readily if it’s said nicely!

  121. Jonathan Shefftz November 23rd, 2010 3:14 pm

    Whoah, what’s with all the sniping here among fellow Dynafit brethren? Maybe we can unite by mocking whatever the latest telemonstrosity is these days…
    Seriously though, I suspect that some of the concerns about the Competence Center designation is that back here in the North East, even our best ski shops (essentially one each in NY, VT, NH, ME) are able to move only a relatively small amount of Dynafit product. These shops have qualified staff and a decent-sized customer base (remember, our mountains and snowfall might not be very big, but our population centers are), yet they’re up against a very strong tele bias. And even though AT is becoming increasingly popular, the Diamir-Duke scene still far outnumbers Dynafit. (At the rando races I organize, Dynafits are in a small minority – a growing minority, but still small.)
    I think Dynafit could help out its few key retailers out here (and thereby of course help itself out in the process) by conferring some sort of designation on them, especially since the retailer locator lists many EMS and REI chain stores that might stock a few pairs of bindings at the beginning of the season, and not much more. So those shops that do have the knowledge and commitment yet aren’t able to push the product level worthy of a Western or European Competence Center deserve some recognition for their expertise and efforts.

  122. RHSman November 23rd, 2010 5:19 pm
  123. Drew November 24th, 2010 9:20 am

    What I’m getting at is the title “Competence Center” is misleading

    A shop with In depth product Knowledge, active users of the product, PASSION = Dynafit Retailer

    A shop with In depth product Knowledge, active users of the product, plus a full demo fleet, dynafit movie night, dynafit clothing and PASSION = Dynafit Competence Center

    Are these shops more competent than others? not necesarraly they are just buying into a program that puts them on a petestal not based on a higher level of “competence”

    If its a buy in then call it that they are a ” A Key Retailer”
    But to give them the appearance of serpeiority based on $$ not knowledge is B$
    * I have no ill feelings against these retailers its thier business and thats how they do business *

  124. Skian November 24th, 2010 9:33 am

    Sounds like you work at a great shop. Just like the ones above that are not on the competence center list. Remember this is only the beginning. I hope Lou gets the top shop thread up.
    Maybe we will see your shop there just like Lee posted. Everything is a buy in in retail POP co-op ads banners and Parties. Many of the shops I listed above are fully capable to help with any Dynafit issue but have not gone down the road to be a center as of yet. Would I have them work on my gear “hell yes”. I hope I see your shop on that list.

  125. Lou November 24th, 2010 9:48 am

    I’m looking at this from both sides. It is incredibly useful for consumers to have any sort of real gauge to quality. Such things are truly rare. I mean, heck, try buying snow tires and figuring out what really works. So I applaud Dynafit’s efforts in this.

    But, I don’t know of one ski industry company that does not go a bit overboard on hype sometimes, and our industry most certainly gets some confusing naming stuff going on. Heck, I can just think back of the years at Couloir magazine when we couldn’t even figure out what to call randonnee skiing, and I remember a time at Mountaineers Books when the big debate between me and an editor was whether we’d use “backcountry” as one word or two (I voted for one word).

    So, what I’d suggest is we do get straight on what Dynafit means by a “Competency Center,” but that we use public forums such as this to vet said shops and keep them on the hot seat, at least till we’re certain what the reality of this is.

    Forewith, I’ll go over to the admin right now, and start the Top Shops post and comment thread.

  126. Skian November 24th, 2010 10:07 am

    Right on Lou! That’s why your known as “TheMan”. And this is the best resource on the web for everything backcountry!

  127. Nat December 14th, 2010 5:38 pm

    Length recommendation please. Looking at the Stokes to offset my DPS Lotus 120’s for longer more technical days. I am 5’9, 145lbs, aggressive skier. I ski the Wasatch. 173 or 182? Thank you!

  128. Skian December 14th, 2010 5:48 pm

    174 SE face Superior and Suiside Coulior
    182 of poleline pass and more rolling terrain. Pick your poison

  129. mc January 8th, 2011 3:47 pm

    I have the Manaslu in 187cm and I’m looking at the Stoke. So I walked into my local Competence Center or whatever they call it and ask one of the guys what length would you recommend. He says 182 cm. I let him walk away, ask the owner the same question and he says 191cm. This will be a BC rig solely. I’m 6’1″, 185 lbs out of the shower. Just wondering what you guys have to say on the subject.

  130. skian January 8th, 2011 6:09 pm

    I think you should demo both and go skiing or whatever you call it. Skiing is personal. You might need a 173:)

  131. mc January 8th, 2011 6:38 pm

    @skian – Maybe I should just get the 164’s wiseguy.

  132. Tim Dufka January 8th, 2011 6:57 pm

    6’0 and 165 lbs here. Love longer skis but went with the 182’s. Seem perfect.

    I have held the 191 and it seems big, although still light. Check over on TGR as someone there wrote a review of this length.

    IMO you could go either way. This ski is easy to turn.

  133. mc January 8th, 2011 7:36 pm

    Thanks for the tip Tim, pretty funny that the reviewer lives just down the highway from me.

  134. skidmark February 9th, 2011 7:15 pm

    While this topic is still for the Stoke ski, I appreciate the discussion about specialty shops and their vulnerability to online and bro/pro deals.
    Wilson Backcountry in Jackson Hole (actually in Wilson at the bottom of Teton Pass) is the best kind of specialty store. They exude backcountry and cater to the client with a variety of the best brands of equipment. They demo many of their skis with Dynafit bindings and I will be loyal to them because I want them around and I like the personal approach. They also have a great mountain bike shop in the off season. Noone is shoving Dynafit kool-aid, but the positives of the system are obvious. Besides, there is nowhere to get this stuff in the SF Bay area where I have to live the rest of my flat lander days.
    Looking forward to demoing the Stokes soon. I am 6′-0, 160 lbs and 50 years old and am skiing the best I ever have. I don’t even miss the snow boarding I did for 20 years in-between.

  135. didi February 28th, 2011 1:48 pm

    Could someone please shine some light on the differences between Dynafit Stoke and BD Drift, also Dynafit Manaslu and Voile Vector?

    I live in California, frequently visit Lake Tahoe area, love tree runs, do quick turns, and do hit powder from time to time, only ski inbound 1-2 times a year (avoid it as long as avalanche danger is not too high in the backcountry). I’m a female, 5’7″, 115 lbs and advanced/expert level. My current set up is Dynafit Snow Wolf (111-76-98). Love it very much, but not so good in powder which we seems to get more and more judging by last year and this year.

    Other than I do need to make a decision on whether to keep the waist in 90s range or bump up to 100, but couldn’t make up my mind on Dynafit Stoke (128-104-118 @164) verses BD Drift (134-100-121 @166), and Dynafit Manaslu (118-92-104 @169) verses Voile Vector (115-92-104 @160). Any suggestion as which one may work better for me would be great appreciated!

  136. Lee Lau February 28th, 2011 5:49 pm


    I’ve only skied the Stoke and Manaslu. I’ve not skied the Vector or Drift.

    I will offer this one guess about the Drift. That’s a ton of sidecut on the Drift so I expect it to be exceptionally turny.

    At 115 lbs you are light! You can get away with a light ski in powder. If you are keeping the Snow Wolf (why would you not, that’s a good ski) I’d be more inclined to stick with the 90s waist for a pow ski and keep your setup light. For what its worth I found the new mounting position on the Stoke (ie 3cms forward of the mount I had on the quasi-prototype I tested in this review) to make for a nice playful turny setup. I didn’t find the Manaslu to be an overly turny ski though so I would recommend you make your own mind up on that aspect of that ski.

  137. Lou February 28th, 2011 6:39 pm

    No way I’d call Manaslu turny, even with the binding in the forward inserts position. Just thought I’d add that to the discussion…

  138. Lee Lau February 28th, 2011 6:46 pm

    Yeah. I probably shouldn’t sugarcoat it as it is a review but I tried the Manaslu in 178 and it was a slug in short turns. Maybe its better in the 169 length didi but I doubt it

  139. Lou February 28th, 2011 7:03 pm

    To be clear, Manaslu lack of “turn-e-ness” in my opinion is one of the reasons it’s a good crud and pow ski. It offers a very reliable predictable ride. Nothing negative about that unless you want a reactive twitchy ski (and I mean “twitchy” in a good way, if that’s what you like). In that case look elsewhere.

  140. Jonathan Shefftz February 28th, 2011 8:31 pm

    Despite the relatively straight sidecut specs, I find the 169cm for 145lb me to be very turny in tight quarters (especially with a 287mm bsl and using the fore-mounted toe holes).

  141. Darin February 28th, 2011 11:02 pm

    At 120lbs on a ‘heavy’ day, my 169 Manaslu’s are perfect. If I could have them grafted to my feet, I would. As a lighter guy, these lighter skis are perfect and are manageable in all conditions from ice to waist deep powder. Tight turns in tight situations are a breeze as with high speed turns through chopped powder and even crud. I think the Drifts are a bit stiff for my liking, and the Stokes are a bit too wide in my opinion for the majority of conditions (I sure wouldn’t mind a pair though).

  142. didi March 1st, 2011 1:28 pm

    Thanks for all the replies!

    For sure, i will keep my snow wolf, it’s a kind of skis I will use for something like Mt. Shasta. Yeah, i think waist in the 100s range is a bit overboard for most of the conditions that I will deal with here in California. I will definitely keep in mind of using the fore-mounted toe holes for Manaslu.

    Happy skiing!

  143. Jan Neuspiel March 30th, 2011 3:18 pm

    I have an old, well used pair of dynafit bindings. I don’t know the exact vintage but they are orange and grey in colour. There is play in the heel piece which appears to come from the pins being able to jiggle up and down within the housing. I have already replaced the thimble over the spring. They do not seem to pre release at all but the jiggle is a bit unnerving. Any suggestions?

  144. Lou March 30th, 2011 3:40 pm

    Jan, they work fine even with the jiggle, and most people only notice it while riding lifts (grin). You can fix it by using beer can aluminum and making tiny shims, but that’s a solution without a real problem.

    Got to state, however, that nothing lasts forever.

    I always find it a bit ironic that people will replace their car tires when they’re worn out, but ski the same worn out bindings for years on end and appear to expect them to last forever. Not saying that’s you, but I couldn’t help but think about this issue (grin).

  145. Jan Neuspiel March 30th, 2011 3:46 pm

    Agreed. I just ordered a new set of the 12 din model along with a pair of Mutzagh Ata Super Lights and Zeus boots. Just wanted to make sure that the bindings are OK to pass on to a friend (with the understanding that their life is nearly over!).

  146. Jonathan Shefftz March 30th, 2011 3:48 pm

    Could loose top plate screws also explain that jiggle?

  147. Lou March 30th, 2011 4:42 pm

    Yes, but that’s usually so obvious….

    Jan, smart, good.

  148. Simon August 8th, 2011 5:52 am

    Would it be possible to replace the crappy plastic inserts with real, burly ones? I’m a bit worried after an insert failure on my last pair.

  149. Dimitri October 10th, 2011 9:11 am

    the Trab Evo Volare is a similar skis with the same goals, has anyone skied it yet, cannot find anything on the net about this other than the OUCH price..

  150. Lou October 10th, 2011 9:16 am

    We have Volare coming here for testing. It’s quite new, there might be some meager tests out there but nothing long-term as far as I know. Everything about it looks terrific. Here is first look: http://www.wildsnow.com/5684/trab-skis-2011-2012/ please leave Volare comments there.

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