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 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.
(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.)