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Advice please -- Dynastar Sultan 85 & 94 in 178 or 184

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 

Greetings all.  New member.  Have scoured the site & read a lot about these skis.  Contemplating purchase of one.  Looking for experienced advice specific to my situation.  Background --  male 5' 10" 195 lbs.  Expert skier. In a former life, a part time patroller & patrol ski & toboggan instructor at a Colorado area known  for its steeps & high alpine variable conditions.  Now I'm 55 yrs., ski about 10 days per season, not as physically fit as in patroller days, but still technically proficient.  Recently purchased Apache Recons in 177.  I like the comfort level, maneuverability, & great float & ease in powder & bumps compared to old Volants.  Soft flex is definitely easier on my back in bumps.  But not nearly enough ski.  Too soft, & just doesn't hold up at speed in crud or on hard pack, and I feel like I have to nurse it along on the steeps.  I'm just too fat & too fast for that ski.  My perfect ski would have the best blend of quick & mildly snappy for bumps, narrow chutes, & super steeps, while being stable enough to just stand on & go with total trust at high speed gs in all conditions (of course, a handful of oxymorons).  I ski fast, and as aggressively as an old guy can at 10 days per year & a sensitive back, on all terrain in all conditions.  If I'm on a groomer, it's just for transport to something more interesting.  Colorado steeps, bowls, trees, bumps, chutes, & a few high speed groomers.  Based on what I've read here and elsewhere, I'm contemplating the Sultan 85 or 94 (94 would be a big step up in width for me and I fear it would not provide the edge-to-edge quickness I sometimes like to play with), in either 178 or 184.  Am leaning towards an 85 in 184.  Thoughts, please?  Thanks in advance.

post #2 of 19

First, Welcome to Epic. Second, I am about the same size as you but a few lb's less and I have the 94's in a 178. Quite frankly, I cannot thing of a situation where I would prefer the 85. Both skis have identical turn radius's and construction and are a ton of fun to ski. 

post #3 of 19

I'm actually looking at the same skis - though in a 165 (I'm 5'8" and 142lbs).  A salesman in a local ski shop was steering me towards the 94 when I asked him about the 85.  I too am coming from some narrow skis and was concerned about making such a big jump in width for an everyday ski.  I suppose once you get used to them it's not an issue.  I do have a concern about how either would handle turning at slow speeds, since I'll be spending time in the next several years skiing with my young kids while they get their ski legs.  Any big difference in how each width handles slower speeds?

post #4 of 19

 

Both the 85 and 94 are great skis. Based on what you said about the type of skiing you do I think the 94 would be better for you. I have tried both and I really liked the 94 in crud, 6 inches fresh pow, and soft bumps. The 85 was better for groomers but it sounds like that is not your priority. If you only ski 10 days/yr, you are probably selective and favor the fresh snow days. No question that the 94 would work better for Colorado steeps, bowls, chutes on days like that. I would suggest trying both if you can through a demo program before purchase. That really helped me. My suggestion is the 94s in 178. You will love them. Good luck.

post #5 of 19
Thread Starter 

Thank you all for the replies.  A couple of follow-up questions/responses.  Philpug &/or Utahpow -- do you think the 94's are easy enough to get up on edge, and to go edge-to-edge, vs. the 85's?  Can the 94's execute quick little snappy turns when asked, or are they strictly gs oriented?  Utahpow, you are absolutely right regarding my being selective on ski days.  I am self employed and have the luxury of picking my days, and those are weekdays when conditions are good.  However, I seem to be having a hard time finding demos of this ski, and if and when I can, would like to have it narrowed down to a 'first pick', since demos around here go for $45-$50 a pop.  To all -- the reason I was leaning towards a 184 length is that in seeing the skis in the shop it seems that the contact point when on edge at the tip is several inches back, and the slow rise tip (obvious on the 94's, not so much on the 85's) will both, in theory, shorten the dynamics of the ski, effectively turning the 184 into more like a 180.  Do those of you with 178's ever find yourself wanting more length?  Do either or both of these seem to ski short, or is my theory just hogwash?  BTW, you won't offend my by saying hogwash.  

post #6 of 19

I have the 85s in a 178 and I am about your size. The skis tend to ski short in that their straight tip to tail running length is reduced by the long rise tip. However they tend to ski long in that they have a long effective edge due to the shorter turning radius relative to other skis of this type.

 

If you let them ride flat they feel short. If you get them up on edge the fell long.

 

Given your bio and other goals and skis in the quiver the 85 in a 178 would replace the recon and be as good or better at everything.The 94 in a 178 will probably replace it too but will be more backside focused. If you want to complement the recon get a 185cm 94. Just my $.02

post #7 of 19

At 150lbs I think I'm beginning to see why the Sultan 94 (demo'ed 178) didn't ride like I thought it would.   It was a fine ski but I got bucked around a bit.   I'm going to give them a go again but knock them down a notch. 

post #8 of 19

I'm 6'1" 180lbs and have about 15 days so far on the 94s. Get them they are every bit as good carving as the 85s only better of piste. It took me a while to get used to such a wide ski but now I don't even notice them. I have skied a few full days with my wife on groomers and they are great. probably as close as your going to get to the 1sq.

post #9 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by trouta2 View Post

I'm 6'1" 180lbs and have about 15 days so far on the 94s. Get them they are every bit as good carving as the 85s only better of piste. It took me a while to get used to such a wide ski but now I don't even notice them. I have skied a few full days with my wife on groomers and they are great. probably as close as your going to get to the 1sq.



What length?

post #10 of 19

 Yes, I think the 94s are easy to get up on edge for a ski that is 94 waist but, in comparison, the 85 was certainly better on groomed snow and hardpack. The 94 did better and was more fun when the snow was soft and 4-6 inches of powder/crud and that seems like the conditions you will be in most of the time.  I also think the 94s were perfectly at ease doing quicker/snappy turns. You seem worried about the 94 being too wide--in your conditions, I just don't think that will be the case. You are right about the contact points of tip and tail and that makes both of these ski a bit short. I think 184 is a great choice  for someone who is 5'10 " and 195 lbs but I had recommended 178 because of your description of also wanting something "quick and snappy."  I was also just focused on your height but at 195 lbs, I am thinking the 184 would probably be better. After you narrow down to the 85 or 94, testing (demo) the 184 vs 178 would be worth the money. It really helps to see the difference for yourself. I still vote for the 94! Let us know how it goes!

post #11 of 19
Thread Starter 

Sooooo...  After much research and deliberation, and after receiving welcomed and thoughtful comments on this forum, and after an unsuccessful search to find decent demos, I made a gut-feel and price-based decision and bought some 85's in 184.  After one day of following my 26 year old Energizer Bunny offspring  through a mix of nasty firm wind-rippled old snow, totally set up crud, hard-packed steeps & bumps, some blue groomers, and late afternoon slush on steep south faces, I have some first impressions --

 

The 184 is a really solid ski.  Totally reliable through the worst snow conditions I've seen this year.  No speed limit and quiet, either flat or on edge.  Found myself skiing faster and with more confidence, in all conditions, than has been the case for awhile.  So stable that I think I probably could have gone with 178's without sacrificing much, and might have picked up some easier slower-speed manueverability along the way.  But so far I would say the 184's are just what the doctor ordered.  These skis don't do anything unexpected; they just follow orders.  They generally favor speed and bigger turns. Slower speeds and shorter turns require some driving, but doable and that's ok.  They seem moderately stiff.  They flex well enough while still providing good support.  Workable in bumps, but good technique -- early on edge and tips on the snow -- required to navigate big hard bumps without taking a beating.  

 

For anyone else contemplating different lengths as I was -- in my opinion these skis ski big.  If you just want to stand on 'em and go with total confidence in the belief they will go where you point 'em until you tell them to go in a different direction (someone else here said something like that, and I'd give 'em credit if I remembered who), and if you have the weight and fairly good technique to throw at them, and if you skied big skis in the past, then the 184's are great (and hopefully just as good in soft snow).  Anyone not approaching 200 lbs. and/or looking for a more easy-going all purpose all day ride might want to look at shorter lengths.

 

I have one small nit to pick.  Was expecting more bite on the slick stuff.  Had to get much higher on edge than I thought would be needed.  Checked the bases and they're dead flat.  Base edges are either recessed or beveled.  I took side edges to 2 degrees which took off some material (they were probably more like 1 degree originally).  Don't know what the base edge bevel is.  I put my adjustable file holder (not that accurate probably?) on the base, set at 1 degree, and got no metal contact.  In skiing they felt like they had maybe too much base bevel.  I've seen comments about railed Sultan factory tune.  But no comments about too much bevel, and I've never seen a factory tune with too much bevel.  Anyone else ever have to reduce bevel out of box?  Or maybe these just aren't as hard driving on hard snow as I thought they would be?

 

Thanks again to all for your comments -- much appreciated.

post #12 of 19

Congratulations on your purchase.  Sounds like you are compensating for the smaller width with added length and it sounds like it works for you. (For disclaimer, I would not have even looked at the 85, at least for the type of skiing that I do I find that mid-90-100 range is just as good on hardpack.)  No experience with Sultan tune, as I didn't buy after my demo, but my LPRs seem to have a decent tune out of the box. 

post #13 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by alexzn View Post

Congratulations on your purchase.  Sounds like you are compensating for the smaller width with added length and it sounds like it works for you. (For disclaimer, I would not have even looked at the 85, at least for the type of skiing that I do I find that mid-90-100 range is just as good on hardpack.)  No experience with Sultan tune, as I didn't buy after my demo, but my LPRs seem to have a decent tune out of the box. 


Well my old stand-bys were 70mm, then my 78mm's seemed fat, so how 'bout 85's?  Maybe someday I will hurl myself into the 21st century.  For now it's baby steps I guess.

post #14 of 19

I don't think an 85 would be of much benefit to you. My widest ski now is 85 but I demoed Sultan 94's and Faction's @101 and less sidecut a few weeks back and realized that the Sultan 94s were an everyday ski out west and my 85's would be delegated to "it hadn't snowed in a week" status.

post #15 of 19

I want to thank the OP for taking the time to post up his followup experience. Too many folks stop buy ask for advice and then we never hear from them. Feedback is as important as advice.

post #16 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by steveturner View Post

I don't think an 85 would be of much benefit to you. My widest ski now is 85 but I demoed Sultan 94's and Faction's @101 and less sidecut a few weeks back and realized that the Sultan 94s were an everyday ski out west and my 85's would be delegated to "it hadn't snowed in a week" status.



Out here, it was more like "it hasn't snowed in 5 weeks, but rained a few times". Fortunately that is all gone now, but it was still pretty fun for a change of pace. 

 

People were bitching about the conditions, but they were plenty of fun on the right skis and if you know how to ski (hard snow). My personal choice was the Magnum 8.1, but same difference as the 85. It is great to have a ski like that around for anyone who doesn't live in Haines and own a helicopter.

 

I noticed that in Utah as well; people complaining that the snow sucked, when it fact it was decent, and hello, you have some of the world's best resort accessed terrain.  Get a clue, get out there and ski; chutes, steep off-piste, and bumps are fun, pretty much in any condition short of pure ice.  Complaining about that is like complaining about only winning $50 million in the lottery, instead of $200 million.   Then again, you gotta actually be able to ski to enjoy that terrain, and have skis that hold an edge.  You can't buy a turn on hard snow like you can in pow. 

post #17 of 19


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by dawgcatching View Post





Out here, it was more like "it hasn't snowed in 5 weeks, but rained a few times". Fortunately that is all gone now, but it was still pretty fun for a change of pace. 

 

People were bitching about the conditions, but they were plenty of fun on the right skis and if you know how to ski (hard snow). My personal choice was the Magnum 8.1, but same difference as the 85. It is great to have a ski like that around for anyone who doesn't live in Haines and own a helicopter.

 

I noticed that in Utah as well; people complaining that the snow sucked, when it fact it was decent, and hello, you have some of the world's best resort accessed terrain.  Get a clue, get out there and ski; chutes, steep off-piste, and bumps are fun, pretty much in any condition short of pure ice.  Complaining about that is like complaining about only winning $50 million in the lottery, instead of $200 million.   Then again, you gotta actually be able to ski to enjoy that terrain, and have skis that hold an edge.  You can't buy a turn on hard snow like you can in pow. 

 

This is soo true.

 

Even in UT we get about half the season where it hasn't snowed in a while and you are on firm chalk, bumps, or crud. This year all of Jan and the first part of Feb were high pressure with small storms that were dust on crust and quickly followed by warm thawing days. All the locals were belly aching about the conditions-especially after it rained on MLK.  Funny enough, if you have a sultan 85 or other narrower all around ski and actually know how to ski, there was so much fun days to be had.
 

Also the sultan is enough where if its 6" of dust on crust, it is totally enjoyable. And I wouldn't balk at the sultan a narrower every day ski. It really depends on where you ski and what you like to do.  It skis light pow and mixed soft snow much better than most 85 under foot skis.

post #18 of 19

It's funny. Around 6 years ago I remember asking the forum whether to bring my 65mm carving skis out west. The way things have changed it's almost worth asking whether to bring my 80mm all mountain ski west. At this point I've skied in Utah in so many different conditions (50 degree inversion to 2 feet of powder) that the answer is: given that you can't predict the whether, of course bring them. If it dumps spend a few extra bucks and rent something wider. If not, the good old dynastar 8k is a pretty decent ski to be on. Also, given my modifications to the binding delta (now at -2.5) there are few skis I feel as balanced on - which makes more difference to me than 10 mm of girth. 

post #19 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by mcolorado View Post

  Background --  male 5' 10" 195 lbs.  Expert skier. ... Recently purchased Apache Recons in 177. ...  But not nearly enough ski.  Too soft, & just doesn't hold up at speed in crud or on hard pack, and I feel like I have to nurse it along on the steeps.  I'm just too fat & too fast for that ski.


The Recon is "not nearly enough ski" because the 177 is too short, given your height, weight, ability level.  I am 53, 185lbs, 5'11, strong expert skier (L3 instructor), and have the 181 length which does an exceptional job all around.  Not too soft in the tip, I can get way forward and pressure the tips if I want to.  Decent crud buster, groomer carver, and pow ski. I can carve it pretty darn good at speed on the groomer. It is my go-to ski for most all around conditions, and my only off-piste ski.

 

I did notice a difference in the Recon over the years.  I got it the first year it came out (2003?), and liked it so much I got another pair two years later (2005?).  The 2nd pair (2005?) was a bit stiffer, so subtly better on the groomer and crud, slightly less so in the soft pow.  I still have both!

 

Reading ski-review posts on epicski, I often see skiers review a ski which is too short for their height/weight/level, then conclude the ski is uninteresting or requires too neutral a stance, or is overpowered.  For example - and I'm not picking on anyone - but in  http://www.epicski.com/forum/thread/89532/dynastar-sultan-85  a skier at  6'1", 225# demos the Sultan 85 in a 178cm and is underwhelmed, but the ski is too short for his profile.  The Dynastar sizing chart says he should've been on the 184cm.

 

It is very enlightening to demo the same ski in different lengths - 5-8cm can make it feel like a completely different ski.

 

 

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