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2013 Dynastar Cham 97


Pros: Nice "pop" out of turns. Pivotable. Rails if you lay it over.

Cons: Some tip flap. Debatable tail.



Length Tested: 178cm

Dimensions/Turn Radius: 113 / 97 / 133, 15m radius

Camber: Rockered Tip w/camber

Binding: Demo

Mount point: Suggested


Environment & Conditions:

Location of Test: Squaw Valley

Number of Runs: All day

Snow Conditions: Spring conditions, not quite corn

Demo or Own: Demo


Tester Info:

Username: Xela

Age: 41

Height/Weight: 5'9", 150 lbs.

Ski Days/Season: 30

Years Skiing: ~20

Aggressiveness: Aggressive

Current Quiver: 2012 Blizzard Bonafide 180; 2006 Dynastar Legend 8000 172

Home Area: Squaw Valley

Preferred Terrain: bumps, off-piste, trees


Conclusion: A fun modern all-mountain ski with some tail.


Pros: Nice "pop" out of turns.  Pivotable.  Rails if you lay it over.


Cons: Some tip flap.  Debatable tail.




My initial impression of the Cham 97 was that it was easy and familiar.  Having spent most of this season on Bonafides, that's not surprising.  The Cham feels pretty similar at first.  It has a similar pivoty feel and also needs exaggerated tipping to get it to carve.  It should be skied from the center of the foot.


What pleasantly surprised me was the energy of the Cham 97.  It delivered a nice pop at the end of the turn.  If the Bonafide is a hiking boot, the Cham 97 is a sneaker.


On paper, the Cham 97 has an aggressive turn radius.  Perhaps it was the soft snow, but I didn't really feel it.  To me that's a good thing.  I'm not looking for this size of ski to do slalom turns.  And I don't think any skis in this class are ice skates.


In chopped-up snow at speed, I noticed some tip flap, which is not surprising for a big, wide, rockered tip.  Still, the ski tracked fine and turned as desired.  Here's a look at the Cham 97's shape:






It's pretty clear from the picture that the tip rocker isn't matched by any corresponding rocker in the tail.  Instead, the tail appears more traditionally flat.  What the designers have done is to thin the sandwich fairly abruptly behind the binding, making the tail flexible, but present.


I think the tail of this ski is the most interesting and, probably, controversial part.  Likely, people will love it or hate it.  Personally, I had the tail catch on me a few times in off-piste conditions.  I don't enjoy surprises like that.  For a ski with tip rocker and a pivoty feel, having a flat tail like that seems a bit odd.


I could have switched these skis out for my Bonafides easily, but I ended up keeping them for the whole day.  I think by the afternoon, I had adjusted my skiing style to take advantage of the tail.  It can be reassuring to have it there, even if it sometimes prevents the ski from smearing cleanly around moguls.  I'm not sure, but it may be that the tail provides some of that pop that I liked.



In all, I think Dynastar has put together a fun, versatile ski.  I'm glad they haven't produced a clone of someone else's ski.  Variety is the spice of life and some people are going to snap this up for its tail.  Frankly, if I owned this instead of my current skis, life would be fine.




Pros: Easy to initiate, carves great

Cons: even with a pin tail, does not release as smooth as a ski with early rise in the tail




If any ski is primed to dethrone the Bonafide, it is the new Cham 97 from Dynastar. Dynastar's Cham collection is is about the freshest collection of skis to come out of Chamanix in recent memory. With it's early rise/extended tip profile/ tip rocker, and cambered underfoot and pin tail, the Cham sports uniquely visual difference from other collection from mainstream manufacturers. On snow the Cham 97 was a great performer even in a size below what I would choose for myself. It handled great in the high speed groomers and even the cut up crud didn't affect the 97 at all. I look forward to putting it through its paces when we get some softer conditions.



Length Tested:178

Dimensions/Turn Radius:  5 point contact with a 16.5M radius in a 178

Camber:  Early Rise,

Binding: Demo

Mount point: Suggested 


Environment & Conditions:

Location of Test: Mt. Rose

Number of Runs: 2

Snow Conditions: Powder

Demo or Own: Demo


Tester Info:

Username: Philpug

Age: 48

Height/Weight: 5'10" 185lb

Ski Days/Season: 60+

Years Skiing: 35

Aggressiveness: Moderate (Finesse) 

Current Quiver: 13 Blizzard Bonafide, 13 Blizzard Gunsmoke, plus various vintage skis

Home Area: Squaw & Northstar

Preferred Terrain: bumps, off-piste, trees

2013 Dynastar Cham 97

The all-new Cham Series is a next-generation, freeride-adventure line built in the shadow of chamonix, the birthplace of extreme skiing. dynastar’s handcrafted, high-quality construction combined with the new levitation profile delivers a unique, user-friendly blend of float, maneuverability and stability in all snow conditions. levitation profile is an evolution of five-point sidecuts, featuring a long rocker tip, classic camber underfoot and flat pintail. With powerful, reliable and versatile performance, the cham series redefines “free ride.” Levitation Profile: The new cham adventure series features a unique new design that delivers more power, stability and maneuverability in all snow conditions from powder, to crud, to hardpack, for all skier types. cham’s levitation profile is the next generation in ski design. The combination of an evolved “5-point sidecut,” long tip rocker, classic camber underfoot and flat pintail provides the reliability and versatility to meet the demands of all- mountain and big-mountain skiing. Progressive 5-Point SideCut: combines reverse (tapering) sidecut in the tip and tail with traditional sidecut underfoot. • delivers effortless maneuverability and smear turns • Quick, easy turns and speed control in all snow • prevents hooking, twitching and overturning at speed in deep snow • carves and turns well on groomed snow Long Rocker Tip: long rocker from tip through forebody. • delivers superior floatation through deep snow and crud • enhances steering, maneuverability and control Classic Camber Underfoot: • delivers stability, reliable edge-grip and power • enhances turning and maneuverability on groomed snow Flat Pintail: The narrower, flat tail maximizes the benefits of the progressive 5-point sidecut. • enhances tip floatation for phenomenal ease-of-use in deep snow • delivers power, tracking and stability in all conditions • easier to balance and maintain direction for enhanced powder performance • delivers easier speed control Sandwich Laminate Construction: • Wood cores with titanal and/or high tech laminates provide the best feel, balance, power and stability Full length Vertical Sidewalls: • deliver the ultimate edge grip, power and balance

Lengths166, 172, 178, 184 cm
Dimensions118-133-97-113-94 mm
Turn Radius16M
Core MaterialSandwich construction
Binding IncludedNo
Recommended BindingLook
Recommended useOff-piste
Binding TypeFlat
Recommended LevelAdvanced
Model Year2013
Model Name/TypeMPNEAN/UPC
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