From Dawgcatching's 2011 Ski Reviews: Mid-Fat skis, 80-100mm Waists, 11/28/10
Dynastar Sultan 85: 178cm. No changes for 2011, 85mm underfoot, 17m radius.
These were tested over several days: conditions included lots of manmade snow, firm and rock-hard bumps, fast groomers, a few inches of new snow, steeps, icy chutes, some heavy new snow, and a fair amount of crud. Since I only got a couple of runs on these skis, for the most part, I didn't do the 1-10 scale for these skis.
5 foot 9, 155lbs, competent all-mountain skier, and could zipper-line double-black bumps for the first time in my life by early spring. Probably ski 40-50 days per year. I tend to enjoy big open, high speed bowls, bumps, trees, fast groomers. My skiing speed is fast to full-on. Overall fitness is high, as I am on my road bike 15+ hours a week 9 months of the year, and race pro-level races as a Cat1.
I chose to ski this in the longer 178cm, to better match up with the other skis in this category. Running surface is a little shorter than some of the others, due to the early rise tip and tail. Overall, as this ski is unchanged for 2011, it is still a great, versatile ski. See review of the Legend 94, and subtract around 1cm from the width and other dimension, and you have the Sultan 85. This ski has better edge hold, is a touch quicker, and perhaps seems just a little stiffer than the 94, but is very close in feel. On the snow, it is light, smooth, tracks well, and relatively quick edge-to-edge. I like it as a medium stiffness, medium power groomer ski. It has a bit more solid feel than the similar K2 Aftershock, but still forgiving. Sweet spot is above average. In bumps, it is very good; the relatively moderate flex really helps here. It blasts crud, but is perhaps a bit more catchy than the Legend 94, and quite as comfortable at speed as some of the other, more crud-specific skis that have less sidecut. This is more of a 60/40 ski: 60% of the time on groomers and frontside, and 40% of the time off-piste. I would rate the Legend 94, as a 40/60 ski. What makes this ski so good is that it is suitable for anyone from a high intermediate up to a full-blown expert: all but the fastest, most aggressive skiers will be happy on it. Plus, the feel is very traditional and smooth, and this ski is as predictable as they come. Little wonder that it has been an instant success.
Pros: easy to turn, great carver, big sweet spot, appeals to many skiers, nice in bumps, enough stabilty for most anyone
Cons: not as strong of a ski as some, a lot of shape for crud skiing.