Dynafit Manaslu — Quiver Arrow of the Week

Post by WildSnow.com blogger | November 29, 2011      

Shop for Dynafit Manaslu.

Our ULTIMATE quiver is coming together. In truth, a bit overwhelming trying to make sure everything is mounted with bindings and fit up with skins. But wow, this really is a dream. This week’s addition: 2011/2012 Dynafit Manaslu human powered powder slayer.

Dynafit Manaslu powder skis.

Dynafit Manaslu powder and crud skis delight human powered backcountry skiers, 2011/2012 model continues what is now a classic.

Old news now and covered in our previous Dynafit Manaslu backcountry ski review, but in brief, Dynafit took their original and well-liked Manaslu, added some carbon fiber and shifted the binding mount position forward. Result: The same powder performance as original ‘Slu, with more bite on the hardpack to correct the one glaring weakness of the original plank. The new version works — I’ve skied them a bunch — though they’re still not a cat claw on the hardpan nor what I’d call a “ski that will do everything.” Main thing: Aside from full carbon offerings, Manaslu is perhaps the lightest weight mid-fat powder plank you can get. Thus, if you’re into human powered vert — especially in soft snow — this is your cruise missile and still a top recommendation from WildSnow. 178 cm., 50.5 ounces per ski, 122/95/108.

Shop for Dynafit Manaslu.


Please Enjoy A Few Suggested WildSnow Posts


55 Responses to “Dynafit Manaslu — Quiver Arrow of the Week”

  1. harpo November 29th, 2011 9:01 am

    Lou, can you comment on how the Manaslu compares to the Vector? Obviously, the M weighs less, can you compare downhill performance? Or don’t you have that info yet?

  2. Lou November 29th, 2011 9:21 am

    You guys won’t let me rest! I’m still mounting bindings…, give us a few hours (grin).

  3. bart November 29th, 2011 10:10 am

    Hi Lou- Thanks for the post. Just wondering if you know of any difference in the mens vs womens manaslu other than the top sheet color? I weighed a 169 womens manaslu at 1245 and 1252 grams/ski and the men’s at 1332 and 1340 grams/per ski all still in the plastic. I understand there is a fair bit of variance in manufacturing. There seems to be much less top sheet on the womens skis as the wood is mostly exposed for the entire tail but I am not sure that can account for that much weight difference. I have been told by multiple people that they are the exact same construction. Anyway, I like the white! Thanks

  4. Mike Marolt November 29th, 2011 10:24 am

    What do you use for ski crampons?

  5. Gentle Sasquatch November 29th, 2011 11:41 am

    Vector and Manaslu are almost identical in weight. 178 Manaslu is 2860g per pair while Vectors are 3180 per pair and 2 extra inches in length.
    The width numbers looks pretty close too. 122/95/108vs121/96/110

  6. Phil M November 29th, 2011 12:30 pm

    Im very interested to hear about Vector vs Wayback vs Manaslu.

  7. Brian November 29th, 2011 12:31 pm

    what is the binding mounting difference for the ‘Slu and the Vector (when you get a minute)?

  8. byates1 November 29th, 2011 12:54 pm

    did not see it mentioned, but my understanding is the new mansulu uses the stoke construction, the womens is akin/same as the origional.

    i for one skied and ultimately came to hate the origional mansulu, sheffy likes his a bunch, i have had 50/50 real world voicing on the og mansulu, some like/love it, others don’t feel safe on it. thank god i did not have it in a porclin, icy, bad descision ski descent in maine a couple years ago.

    last season the og stoke was my “big” ski, way different, planky, stiff and light, very impressive performance in chop for the mass/weight.

    re: mounting points.. everything has been moved forward, a lot. imo, they set the og stuff way too far back, moving forward the mount points on an entire production line by INCHES speaks to that.

    great company, i have skied tlt speeds for 10 years, and am stoked they changed the entire design platform, slightly used speeds will be bought for $100 a year or 2 from now. talk about bang for buck..

    vector looks like a good ski for sure, voile is making some for real skis for the price point, on shore production, and general bc oriented skier.

    for reference: i am on k2 sahale’s, baker sl’s and coombacks this season. all given and or bought cheap. say what you will, but hattrup has been in the ski game a long time, and there is a reason why you don’t see used coombacks out there much.

  9. byates1 November 29th, 2011 1:00 pm

    ^ack, i canott spel^

  10. Will B November 29th, 2011 1:11 pm

    I’m curious to see how the carbon fiber adds to the hardpack performance. I skied the previous generation and found them to chatter and deflect quite a bit on the harder icey stuff. To me it was a result of their light weight, so I’m wondering to what extent carbon fiber can solve this.

  11. Lou November 29th, 2011 2:57 pm

    If you want to know exactly how farther forward the binding position is, just access the original lengthy review that’s linked in the short post above…

    They perform much better on hardpack, but I’d not call them a go-to for hardpack. This is a powder and crud ski.

  12. Jonathan Shefftz November 29th, 2011 4:15 pm

    I like how the new version moves the mounting point forward, just like I did with my OG Manaslu by using the fore-biased set of toe holes (even though the stick said to use the aft-biased)….

  13. J Mac November 29th, 2011 6:50 pm

    Putting in my vote for the vectors over the manaslu. More pronounced rocker and thicker edges on the vector win me over. This year’s white, slightly textured topsheet sheds snow like a dream. The few grams that you give up, if any, in weight are paid for by the lower cost and made in USA sticker. Love them.

  14. Jim November 29th, 2011 7:07 pm

    Love my Manaslu’s, ‘cept for the the black top which really make snow stick which is really annoying to lug up pounds of snow.

    Sometimes I crave a bomber heavy long carving GS ski like in the old days and big boots when trying to keep up with friends on the groomers..

  15. Lou November 29th, 2011 7:47 pm

    I was going to paint one of my older model ‘Slus white as an experiment, but it looks like we’re going to keep using them instead, as they’re holding up pretty well.

  16. Reiner November 30th, 2011 12:47 am

    Hey Lou,
    Just one detail to ad……an important one. We not only ad carbon which improved the dampening and rebound performance…..we use now the same core like in the STOKE. A four componend woodcore, with two stringer in bamboo, one stringer with upwards located beech, Paulownia one the side and Isocore just to fill the gap in between. It is the same mould with the scoop rocker on the tip, but with the new core and new fibers (quardax and carbon)….it is a different ski……..have fun with it. We have tested it even in steep icy terrain and we did not feel any compromise. The ski was recently used at an espedition at Mustagh Ata and the feed back was great….everwhelming. Of course if you need a special skis for the very steep blue ice condition the Broad Peak is made special for that……..my best wishes to you, Louie and Lisa…..hope to ski you soon….latest at the on snow demo at OR.
    My kindest regards REINER…..the ski fuzzy!

  17. Ryan Kealey November 30th, 2011 3:08 am

    Thanks for posting (spam deleted)

  18. Robin Taggart November 30th, 2011 4:28 am

    “Like”!! And no-one does topdecks more beautiful than Dynafit… 🙂

  19. Richard November 30th, 2011 6:24 am

    Can you actually ski at 8000m+ on these skis, or is it just a name?

  20. Dimi November 30th, 2011 6:27 am

    Ryan, by “get involved” do you mean buy a pair?

    shameless plug!

    thankfully not too common on here.

  21. Lou November 30th, 2011 6:42 am

    Ryan snuck that spam in when I wasn’t looking. Shame. Editing now.

  22. Lou November 30th, 2011 6:53 am

    Reiner, thanks for the detail on the core. I usually don’t write much detail about ski construction as I’d have to cut every ski in half to do it the “Wildsnow way” and verify, but I’ll take your word for it as they do ski differently on hardpack. Interestingly, the pair of Manaslu I have weigh about 1 ounce per ski LESS than the original model. Good for Dynafit, as some gear weights seem to creep upward from model year to model year. Lou

  23. bart November 30th, 2011 8:06 am

    So is the womens ski the same as the old manaslu and did not get the new core? I have yet to hear a solid anwser on this. The new mens manaslu that I have weighed in size 169 are about 2-3oz heavier than my old manaslu. the Womens model is roughly the same weight.

  24. Lou November 30th, 2011 8:26 am

    Bart, if the ski is the same dimensions and the same weight as a previous model, I’d say the chance of it having the original core are pretty good. But I wouldn’t obsess on this, as it’s pretty tough to really know for sure what core a ski has and how different it really is from a previous model, without cutting the ski in half and looking. Also, in my testing I’ve liked the new Manaslu better on hardpack, it’s still not a hardpack ski — and, the older one might actually be a tiny bit more of a “couch ride” in powder (meaning easy to ski). So just look at your primary use. If a person is buying a soft snow ski, the women’s Manaslu will be fine. If you want a ski that does everything well, the usual solution is to own two pair of skis (grin), though the new men’s model does improve on hard snow performance.

    Personally, I think I’d rather be on the women’s model, for the simple reason a white ski is “tons” easier to tour due to the significant reduction in snow and ice buildup on the top surface. Perhaps we can get a women’s model over here for testing. I’ll work on that.

  25. Nick November 30th, 2011 11:48 am

    I generally ski the Stoke as a wide powder plank and the Mustagh ATA SL as my spring hardpack ski. While I understand the desire for a single-quiver ski, I just don’t think the Manaslu deliveres the hard-pack performance you would want. Hence why I am using a 2-ski quiver. The Mustagh ATA SL is extremely light and handles like an absolute champ on hard snow conditions. I love it for super long tours in the spring. No rocker and traditional sidecut, but I feel that is the dimensions I want in hard snow.

    As an aside, I am excited to start to read some reviews on the Dynafit Baltoro – a tad wider than the Mustagh AT SL that may offer that same stifness and hard-snow performacne in the spring but still rip corn snow.

  26. Nick November 30th, 2011 11:51 am

    EDIT ^^^^^^ Disregard that last part. I just saw that the Baltoro is a tad narrower than the Mustagh AT SL. For some reason, I thought it was supposed to be fatter (but the Mustagh is 88, and the Baltoro is 84, in the waist).

    Sorry, this stuff gets confusing!

  27. harpo November 30th, 2011 11:56 am


    Could you put Puder Luder or Binding Freedom inserts into the new Manaslus, either to replace the plastic inserts already in there so you can install/remove a binding multible times, or in an entirely new position to get a different mount position from that permitted by the factory installed inserts?

    Also, my understanding is that the plastic factory inserts can only be reused a few times? Also, I read on a post from when Dynafit first came out with the plastic inserts that customer had trouble with the plastic inserts failing and spinning. Is my memory correct? Has you heard of this happening on any of the newer Dyna skis, or had Dyna fixed this problem?

  28. bart November 30th, 2011 12:34 pm

    Thanks Lou. I am just trying to get a solid anwser on the Mens vs Womens ski so I know what I am getting. It seems the US dynafit people can’t tell me and the shops have no idea. I am not worried about it and plan to go with the Womens ski. I have hundreds of days on the old manaslu and feel it does fairly well in all types of conditions. I have skied it at multiple mounting points and am pleased with the new more forward inserts. Although I wish they would do away with the heel inserts altogether, more like the broad peak. I do use a quiver of skis and this year will be using a Voile Drifter with La sportiva bindings for super deep days, a womens manaslu with dynafit race bindings for general touring, a Broad Peak with dynafit race bindings for hard snow and mounaineering projects, and an older dynafit race ski with race bindings for races and hot laps at the resort. My older manaslu with verticals have turned into my rock skis after years of abuse. I have found the quiver killers to work well in the plastic inserts.
    Thanks again for the info.
    Now if we can get more snow so I can get out on something other than rock skis…

  29. Reiner December 1st, 2011 8:17 am

    Hi bart, my name is Reiner I am the guy behind the Dynafit skis and can answer the question hopefully well. In general we meassure the torsion stiffness on the tip and at the end of the ski as well the length stiffness in middle and aim to reach our devleopment goal with the lowest possible weight. So our goal is the perfect weight performance ratio. For the performance we also develope the dampening, rebound in the middle of the ski as well the swing weight at the tip and end of the skis. Paulownia ultralight has a weight of 375kg per m³, Bamboo 750 kg per m³, isocore is 200 kg per m³, beech is 680 kg per m³ so we aim to use the right material for the user expectation on the exact perfect place in the core. Since we are using only Paulownia ultralight and isocore stringers in the women ski this ski is remarkable lighter. This makes sense because we need less stiffness in torsion compare to the men (unisex) one to concentrade on forgivingness and easyness of turning…..we give the girls more confidence in skiing……the ski is more neutral in behaviour. Of course for both skis we combine an exactly defined fiber (Quadrax, Carbon Prepreg) to make the aimed performance possible. The topsheet is 0,2mm and the same for both skis. I hope this fits to your question…..If you have afurther question please let me know it will be my pleassure to answer. regards Reiner

  30. Lou December 1st, 2011 8:43 am

    Harpo, I’ve installed steel inserts in Dynafit skis with plastic inserts, no problem. Use plastic enabled epoxy when installing inserts.

    Bart, I think the women’s Manaslu might be one of the best options out there. I love the white top. Makes a huge difference.

    What’s weird about the weight thing is that the 2011/12 Manaslus I tested extensively last year weigh about an ounce less each than my original model. I thought with the new core they’d weigh more. But whatever, I’ll take it when I can get it (grin). And I now have another pair I can pull bindings off and weigh, so I’ll do that eventually.

  31. Jack December 1st, 2011 8:51 am

    Hi Folks, I was wondering if anybody had any experience with this carbon fiber ski called the Black Powder ski by Alps? I saw them in France a couple of days ago. They seemed incredibly light but I think the springs on my CJ are softer. I can’t imagine how it would ski in soft deep snow. Heres the link. Cheers Jack

  32. Tay December 1st, 2011 3:43 pm

    Hmmmm…….. “nor what I’d call a “ski that will do anything.” or is that meant to be “everything”?

  33. Lou December 1st, 2011 4:38 pm

    Tay, I think I got the point across but changed per your suggestion. That’s a standard caveat I add to a lot of ski reviews. No ski can do everything well. Skiing is too wonderfully varied of an activity for that to be the case…

  34. stephen December 2nd, 2011 9:39 pm

    Lou et al: Is there any likelihood you will be testing the Baltoro at some point, or are you only testing powder skis these days??? I’m interested as we don’t get powder often here in Oz, and it might thus be a good fit a lot of the time – at least according to the Dynafit spin doctors’ description.

  35. Lou December 3rd, 2011 5:17 am

    I might ski on it, but I doubt I’ll test it extensively. In mid winter I test soft snow skis, for obvious reasons, but overall we frequently cover ski mountaineering and ski touring skis that are designed to cover the gamut of conditions one would encounter in ski mountaineering. For example, when Anton tested the Voile Vector, he was on both firm and soft snow. Lou

  36. stephen December 4th, 2011 9:49 pm

    Thanks Lou. Unfortunately, midwinter snow here is somewhat different than it is in Colorado, and thus a lot of the skis tested in that other hemisphere sadly are no use to us here in Oz, unless we fly to another continent anyway.

  37. Randy December 7th, 2011 2:00 pm

    Lou, What do you feel makes a good spring mountaineering/corn snow ski in Colorado? What are your favorites.

  38. Brian Sommers December 9th, 2011 12:29 pm

    I’m looking for AT ski purchase advise. I’m on a budget – looking used – this would be dedicated setup mainly for ski mountaineering. I’ve read a lot of ski reviews both on this site and other places. I have already purchased Dynafit Zzero boots and will be getting dynafit bindings. I’ve rented twice – 178 Manslu – I loved them on the up and in soft snow but didn’t like them on everything else. I’ve also rented a shuksan that skied quite similar to a alpine ski – it didn’t have the float that I would want in an AT ski. I’m big – 6’1″, 215 lbs (hope to be less for season) 48 years old, live out of state, ski only 2 times per year, don’t ski that aggresively, and am probably only an advanced intermediate skill level. I would probably ski mostly on spring corn.

    The skis that I’ve considered are BD Kilowatt and K2 Backlash – probably in the same class – a bit heavier and quite versatile. I’ve read that BD skis as a whole are made for more aggressive sking than K2. Would this be true of these two skis? I see Lou prefers K2 and doesn’t ski as agressively now. I’ve also read that the backlashes aren’t as turny as the kilowatts. I like the sounds of the metal in the backlashes – it doesn’t appear to be a weight penalty over the kilowatt. I saw one comparo that said the backlash was more stable and forgiving. Thoughts? Recommendations?

    Any advise on the differences that I would see between these skis. Which would be more forgiving, and provide better edge hold on the steeps. How much advantage in the powder would the rockered tip on the newer backlash provide over the kilowatt.

    The other ski that I’m considering is the old K2 Mt Baker Superlight or Wayback. Am I too heavy for this light and soft of a ski? Thoughts? Would I be sacrificing a lot – especially edge hold on the steeps?

    Also… ski length? At the resorts I’ve never gotten comfortable on skis over 180. Is it a mistake to get a ski in the 174-180 size for skimo at my weight? There seems to be conflicting opinions on K2 sizing. THe backlash review on this site claims they ski short – 181 feels like 170. Others say that K2 sizes differently 174 measures 178 or even 180. Thoughts?


  39. Kerry December 19th, 2011 11:54 am

    Lou, and Others, thanks for the wealth of information. I’m mounting a pair of Speed Radicals to the new Manaslu (178-cm men’s version) and request help with mount placement decision…
    I am using two boots, an older ZZero 4 and a new TLT 5 Performance, both mondo 30, but with significant sole length differences. The sticker on the ski addressing binding placement doesn’t yet account for the new toe-piece screw spacing. To use the ZZeros, it appears I have to drill the two dimples in the ski for the leading pair of toe plate screws. This placement would also accept the TLT 5 boot with the heel plate attached in furthest aft inserts. Alternatively, I could ditch the ZZeros and use the widest spaced inserts for all screws and only ski in the TLT-5 boot.
    Question #1: What’s the ski performance difference expected in the two different toe mounting positions desribed above? If your answer is as simple as “just ski the TLT 5 using insert holes for all screws,” could you provide a lead to other columns that describe the ski performance changes associated with binding position?
    Q #2: What size drill bit & depth for drilling the two dimples?
    Q #3: Use factory-provided screws–intended for inserts–for the drilled holes?
    Q #4: Use wood glue in the drilled holes or the same slow cure epoxy you recommend for screws into the inserts?

    Thanks So Much!

  40. Ronald Ross January 1st, 2012 7:42 pm

    How best do u size AT skis for length? Same way as alpine or xc skis?

  41. Lou January 2nd, 2012 8:37 am

    Ronald, if you ski aggressively it’s wise to consider using AT skis that are pretty similar to your alpine skis. In terms of actually sizing the skis, one rule of thumb I use is that for mountaineering when I’m carrying skis on my pack and skiing more compacted snow, I like something cheek height or sometimes even less. But if I’ve got a rockered ski in use for soft snow (powder, crud) I like something at forehead height or even my same height.

    Big thing is that folks sometimes obsess too much on ski length. If you get a good ski that’s in the range where it’ll function (not ridiculously short or long) you’ll learn to make it work and enjoy the advantages while you mitigate any disadvantages.

    If you’re picking skis for true human powered vert, weight is also an issue and is of course influenced by length, so the die hard uphiller might go a step shorter just so they’re on something nimble and light for the climb. On the other hand, the person who’s spending some time slackcountry lift served, and/or skiing for the camera, might want something longer that’ll provide a more spectacular ride.

  42. Lou January 2nd, 2012 8:50 am

    Kerry, hi, good questions.

    First, yeah, just use the dimples and give it a go. Those skis have a big long sweet spot so boot position is not a big deal. In terms of how binding position changes performance in general (not specific to any one ski model), it’s really quite logical. First, a few millimeters one way or the other will make no difference for most skiers. My rule of thumb is the change has to be a centimeter or so before it’s noticeable. Forward mount position will result in a ski that may feel easier to turn, but also not as relaxed in soft snow nor as stable feeling at speed on hard snow. Mounting bindings farther back simply does the opposite. The effect is sometimes dramatic, at other time barely noticeable unless you make a fairly major change.

    In terms of drilling the dimples, I’ve found that either size of common ski bits works ok, 4.1 or 3.5. I run a ski tap in a few turns in either case. For screws, yes, you’d use the same screws. And epoxy, not @#$%^&* wood glue that’s a legacy of when skis were wood. The biggie is to be super careful when tightening the screws, they can strip very easily, but conversely you want the binding to draw down nice and tight to the ski. I’ve found that drilling out the plastic toe plate holes so the screws barely thread in them helps with precise tightening, as you get less of the dread “double thread effect.”

    Oh, and about your mount position re what boot. Decide what boot you’ll be using the most, and do the best mount you can for that boot. Instead of trying to compromise between the two. That would be my approach, anyway. If you discover you like the other boot better, and mounting for it simply involves using the pre-existing inserts, or drilling two new holes, there are more important things in life to worry about (grin).

    Be sure to read our mounting screed so you have an idea of things such as how to center the boot heel in relation to the binding heel unit (something even shop technicians seem to ignore all too often). http://www.wildsnow.com/articles/dynafit_mount_2001/dynafit_mount_2001_1.html

    And lastly, let us know how it goes!!!

    P.S., also remember that when removing epoxied screws it’s best to heat them with something like an electric soldering iron. Try 10 seconds on the head of the screw. See if it backs out fairly easily without removing a core of ski innards or turning an insert into a nightmarish “spinner.” If it feels like the epoxy is till holding, try a bit more time with the heat. Only danger in this is too much heat can wreck the binding plastic plate or even the ski innards, so be careful.


  43. Lou January 2nd, 2012 9:06 am

    Brian, I think you’d be just as happy with the Backlash as with the Kilowatt. I would not call one more agro than the other. My advice would be to simply find the best deal you can on either one, and go for it. Carpe skium, not carpe overthinkum. Lou

  44. Brian McG January 6th, 2012 6:56 pm

    I’m not sure if you’ve covered this in another post, but I just got a pair of Manaslus and I’m really pumped on skiing them, but my boot sole is too small for the inserts. I purchased the 178 Manaslu and have a TLT in a 25.5 which has a sole of 277.
    It says to not drill these, but I was wondering if you had any issues in doing so. I’d rather not go down in size of ski but not even sure if the next size down would fit the small of a sole. Thanks, Brian

  45. Pierson Bourquin October 22nd, 2012 8:46 pm

    I’m 5’6? 160lbs and a strong skier (Level 3 PSIA), though light on my equipment. Ie, I don’t get big air and am a finesse skier.
    I’m considering the women’s Manaslu in a 169 instead of the men’s Manaslu for 2 reasons:
    1. White Top sheet
    2. Availability
    I’m currently skiing on Garmont Megaride boots, Dynafit Freeride 10.0 mounted with Dynafit Tourlites, I believe.
    I have purchased Dynafit Dynafit TLT5 boots and am looking for a ski and binding. I ski Northern California ie, Tahoe, Shasta and the Eastern Sierra when I can make it over there.
    Suggestions appreciated!

  46. Lou Dawson October 23rd, 2012 5:55 am

    Pierson, great minds think alike, I’ve got a pair of women’s Manaslu sitting right here ready to be one of my skis for the winter. Women’s Manaslu is the same thing as the original men’s model, only with the high key graphics. Thus, a terrific ski for human powered soft-snow skiing. Don’t expect them to be wonderful on hardpack, and keep them tuned in case you do have to survive some hard snow. At your height, weight and style you’d probably be ok with the 169 but that might be a bit short… hard to know. Lou

  47. Pierson Bourquin October 23rd, 2012 6:03 pm

    Hi Lou, Thank you for your reply! Greatly appreciated.
    Can you comment on the post below by Reiner about the difference between the Men’s and Women’s Manaslu (I believe Reiner works for Dynafit?)
    Reiner December 1st, 2011 8:17 am
    Hi bart, my name is Reiner I am the guy behind the Dynafit skis and can answer the question hopefully well. In general we meassure the torsion stiffness on the tip and at the end of the ski as well the length stiffness in middle and aim to reach our devleopment goal with the lowest possible weight. So our goal is the perfect weight performance ratio. For the performance we also develope the dampening, rebound in the middle of the ski as well the swing weight at the tip and end of the skis. Paulownia ultralight has a weight of 375kg per m³, Bamboo 750 kg per m³, isocore is 200 kg per m³, beech is 680 kg per m³ so we aim to use the right material for the user expectation on the exact perfect place in the core. Since we are using only Paulownia ultralight and isocore stringers in the women ski this ski is remarkable lighter. This makes sense because we need less stiffness in torsion compare to the men (unisex) one to concentrade on forgivingness and easyness of turning…..we give the girls more confidence in skiing……the ski is more neutral in behaviour. Of course for both skis we combine an exactly defined fiber (Quadrax, Carbon Prepreg) to make the aimed performance possible. The topsheet is 0,2mm and the same for both skis. I hope this fits to your question…..If you have afurther question please let me know it will be my pleassure to answer. regards Reiner

  48. Pierson Bourquin March 4th, 2013 10:05 am

    This is a follow-up to my post from October. My apologies for the delay.

    I bought the Women’s Manaslu in a 169, mounted them with Dynafit TLT Radical ST’s and have skied them 2 days inbounds and close to 20 days out of bounds. I am using Dynafit TLT5 boots.

    Overall I am very happy. The setup is lightweight and tours beautifully. Downhill performance is very good considering how light it is. The ski is great in softer snow, but only OK in harder snow. I used them during the AMGA Ski Guides Course in the Cascades and was surprised how many of my colleagues were on much wider skis (Dynafit Stokes, for example) and heavier boots (Dynafit Ones, for example). However, I am much more confident in my downhill skills than my uphill fitness.

    I have also been skiing the TLT5’s without tongues fairly often, particularly when the terrain is lower angle or a shorter downhill followed by another skin up. One comment about the TLT5: it is a cold boot! I used velcro overbooties, fragile though they are and I am considering heaters.

    Thank you Lou for pointing me in the right direction!

    Best regards,


  49. Lou Dawson March 4th, 2013 12:30 pm

    Nice to hear Pierson, thanks for taking the time to share your take with us. I’ve got a pair of 178 women’s Manaslu. They’re super for human powered on soft snow. I’m enjoying wider stuff, but when I’m looking at a big day with folks more fit than i am, they still end up on my feet. The white color is super nice, way less ice. Only trouble I’ve had is with the danged inserts stripping, but I can deal with that, it’s just time consuming. Lou

  50. Joshua April 5th, 2013 12:19 pm

    Hey Lou, sorry if you’ve already answered this question somewhere, but I picked up a pair of the 187cm 2012 Dynafit Manaslu’s with inserts last March and I absolutely hate the mounting position on the inserts that dynafit recommends. I feel so far back on the ski. Is it a problem for me to mount them forward, outside of the insert holes, but still in the plate? I feel like I need to be forward 2cms more. When I compare to other skis that I have in the same length the mounting position seems way far back. Just wondering if the plates are meant for that. I know people have had problems with these ripping out and I don’t want that. Thoughts? Also, any advice on mounting outside of the insert holes?


  51. Lou Dawson April 5th, 2013 4:01 pm

    I’ve mounted a few Manaslu with fresh holes in the metal plate, not using the inserts, worked fine. Epoxy and tighten with care, as they strip easily just as the inserts do. Not recommended for large aggressive skiers, or smaller hacks (grin).

  52. Carver October 19th, 2013 4:14 pm

    Yo all!
    After riding my slus for two seasons now, they completley self destructing. The bottom sheet (ptex) is fully pulling away from the core, the edges are upturned. Fantasmic ski, for many conditions, fast as hell on the up, but low survival rate.

  53. Lou Dawson October 20th, 2013 12:41 pm

    We had some Dynafit skis a number of years ago that self destructed as you describe. My understanding was that the problem had been corrected years ago, but perhaps not 100%. While you’re off warranty, you might still want to check and see if you could get some favor. They might have a pair of demos or something they could make you a killer deal on so you remain a happy Manaslu camper.

    For what it’s worth, there are many pairs of Manaslus in play withing the larger community we ski with, and we’ve not heard of this problem. So it’s an unusual and perhaps even rare manufacturing defect in how the resin was cured or something like that.


  54. Sarah September 29th, 2014 9:15 pm

    Thanks for the wealth of information on the Women’s Manaslus. I am also considering the Women’s Baltoro and am hoping someone can help clarify the differences between these skis. I am a fairly strong skier looking for a ski that floats well in powder, yet holds tight on hard pack/icy conditions – that one ski quiver that doesn’t really exist, right? I have been skiing on a very heavy setup (volkl auras + marker barons) that are too much for me to handle, so I am eager to take on the mountain with much less effort 😉 I would appreciate any insight you can provide. Thanks much!

  55. Lou Dawson 2 September 30th, 2014 7:47 am

    Hi Sarah, my take is if you’re a fairly strong skier you’ll find the Manaslu is not the edge-hold ski though it’ll still function on hardpack. Baltoro is a little beefier and pretty obviously will have a bit better hardpack performance. The ski that does everything perfectly doesn’t exist, which is why most ski companies make different models, but it’s a fun concept to fantasize about.

    One of the problems with all this is that many of the ski companies are in a trend where they keep the same ski model names but change the construction from year to year. Incredibly confusing, and not nice for the consumer who might be basing a purchase on a review that’s actually for a different ski from a previous year. Watch out for that, with any brand.


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