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Levitation and Dynastar's New Cham High Mountain Skis for 2013

post #1 of 54
Thread Starter 

"A powerful, user-friendly blend of float, maneuverability and stability in all snow conditions from powder, to crud, to hardpack."

 

900x600px-LL-c252c4d7_IMG_3620.jpeg

 

Dynastar is replacing the popular Legend series with a new group of freeride/adventure skis introduced at the SIA show called the Cham and their more touring-friendly cousins, the Cham High Mountain. The Cham 87, 97, 107 and 127 are the full wood core metal laminate

versions (although the 87 has no metal.) 

87-CHAM_HIGH_MOUNTAIN.jpg

 

The Cham High Mountain 87, 97 and 107 are the lightweight, more touring-friendly versions. The exact same as the previous models but with different graphics and a Paulownia wood core (lightweight and strong like bamboo).


The Cham 127 is not available in the "High Mountain" version.

 

These skis have a new technology called the Levitation Profile with five (count 'em!) sidecuts. There's reverse sidecut in the tip, classic sidecut in the middle, and reverse sidecut in the tail (see diagram below). The long tip rocker, traditional camber under the foot and the flat, somewhat stiff pintail enable the skier to levitate in powder and stick the turn in hardpack.

 

From a recent company email that reported comments from the SIA ski demos:

 

Quote:

“Most avid skiers know a wider, rockered ski will float better with less effort in deep conditions. The new Cham skis are really the first to combine that effortless feel with real versatility and legitimate power. I am simply more confident in every snow condition I come across on the new Cham skis.”                                                                                                            - Dean Cardinale, Snowbird Ski Patrol Director

levitation.jpg

Nick Castagnoli, the product rep we spoke with, says the Cham 87 is a great ski for the east. It's the one model without metal, but the ski is not at all wimpy. "A 174 is generally too short for a big guy like myself, but I never felt the least bit underpowered when I skied it." He credits the amount of ski in contact with the snow and the flat pintail which powers the end of the turn. 

 

FAST FACTS: Cham HM 107

  • Sizes: 175, 184, 190 cm
  • Sidecut: 130-137-107-122-98 mm
  • Radius: 20 m

 

FAST FACTS: Cham HM 97

  • Sizes: 166, 172, 178, 184 cm
  • Sidecut: 118-133-97-113-94 mm
  • Radius: 16 m

 

FAST FACTS: Cham HM 87

  • Sizes: 166, 172, 178, 184 cm
  • Sidecut: 109-127-87-103-90 mm
  • Radius: 16 m

 

Philpug talks to Andy Miller from Dynastar about the Cham High Mountain Skis

 


For Philpug's preview of this ski, see Cham WOW!

*This article has been edited with input from Nick Castagnoli of Dynastar. 

**Edit to add video footage

post #2 of 54

Very interesting, anyone else have demoed those? 

post #3 of 54

How much rocker does the Cham 87 have & does the ski have metal in it? 

post #4 of 54

Dynastar BBR?

post #5 of 54

Has metal. In theory, this S7 shape with a stiffer flex and longer lower rise could work really well in everything from chop to heavy pow. Including bumps and trees. Less clear how it would do on hardpack, and if that's not a strength, why make a 87 but not a 117? Maybe missing the point. As usual.

post #6 of 54
Thread Starter 

The catalog says there's a 127 model being offered too. My understanding is the skis have a sandwich laminate construction with "wood cores and titanal and/or high-tech laminates." There's no metal in the Cham 87, according to Nick C. 

 

The rocker is "long." No actual dimensions are given in the materials I have at hand. 

 

 

post #7 of 54

Your chart shows a radius of 16 for the 87, but Phil's photo of the ski in 178 showed a radius of 19.  Huge difference.

post #8 of 54

Not a fan of the top sheets but very interested on how they ski.  Always thought the tails on my S7's were non existent...

post #9 of 54
Thread Starter 

The turn radius of the Cham 87 in 172cm. length is 16m. It will be smaller/larger from there. 

post #10 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by huhh View Post

Not a fan of the top sheets but very interested on how they ski.  Always thought the tails on my S7's were non existent...



The pintail on the Cham series bears a vague visual resemblance to an S7 but that's about all it is. The tail on the S7 is narrow and also very soft and hence in certain snow/terrain conditions, it could "wheelie" out from under you if you got into the rumbleseat at just the wrong time. The tail on the Chams does not have that problem as they are pretty darned stiff. I have skied all versions except the 127 in the last three days and there is practically zero in common with the S7 except the first glance appearence.

 

SJ

post #11 of 54

Have you skied the Magnum 85 & if so, does it perform as well as the '12 87 mag on the hard stuff? Curious how flip core tech can translate onto hard snow performance better than camber. Perhaps Blizzard is gearing these skis more towards the all mountain market. 

post #12 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by aremis68 View Post

Have you skied the Magnum 85 & if so, does it perform as well as the '12 87 mag on the hard stuff? Curious how flip core tech can translate onto hard snow performance better than camber. Perhaps Blizzard is gearing these skis more towards the all mountain market. 



I mentioned the Mag 8.5 pretty extensively in the "Frontsider" thread. It was a conscious decision on Blizzards' part to make the 2013 Mag series more versatile than the prior models but in doing so, there was some sacrifice in pure hard snow performance. That is just the way it works.

 

SJ

 

 

post #13 of 54

I'm pretty sure the Cham and the Cham High Mountain are two different lines.  the Cham will be offered in a 127, 107, 97 and 87, with all but the 87 having metal.  The Cham High Mountain was designed as more of a lighter touring ski, with the 107, 97, and 87 models being offered, none with metal.

post #14 of 54
Thread Starter 

You beat me to it, skimadriver. I checked with my source at Dynastar after noticing the big difference in the graphics between the Cham and Cham High Mountain skis. (Check the orange model on the right margin.)  I edited my first post to add this info. My apologies for the confusion -- twas me who was confused!

post #15 of 54

they are out skiing these new models in the season of the decade for the Alps. nice.

post #16 of 54

I was at "Test Fest" at Boyne Mt. on Monday and tried the Cham!!!!  I loved it!!!  I was told by another skier that when I went by them, the tips were chattering like crazy!  I didn't feel it at all.  The next run I took, I looked at the tips and they were shaking like crazy, but again, I didn't feel it. 

 

I probably tested 20 different skis and this one really impressed me the most.

post #17 of 54

Thinking the same thing.  Should be interesting to ski.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by bronch View Post

Dynastar BBR?



 

post #18 of 54

I skied the 97 and 107 in mission ridge.  I have never been a real fan of dynastar.  These will be the first 2 skis I buy next year!

post #19 of 54

I was going to buy some Legend 115's but I am glad I waited...these skis look innovative for pow.

post #20 of 54

I'm curious about these. Looking at the rocker profile and the sidecut - especially in the tails,  they seem sensible enough for a "big mountain" ripper ski, but hardly optimal for a powder ski. Even in a big-ish mountain context it seems that tail could be pretty hooky for the normal mortal skier - something I'm arguably sensitive about having just spent a number of days skiing steroid-sized runnels largely composed of breakable crust (although I was happy I had the skis I did). Count me mildly skeptical until I try some or hear from folks I trust...

post #21 of 54

OK, coupla questions. First, there seems already to be a fairly pronounced division of opinion about these among people here who know and ski a lot of stuff, with Dawg finding them meh and unwieldy in difficult variable or bumps, while a number of others are pretty much incarnating them as this year's Bonafide/Chosen One/Must Get On Waiting List. Why do those of you who have skied them think there is this division? I wonder if the 5 point has something to do with it; as a S7 owner can testify that the design is surprisingly adept on modest hardpack, incuding bumps, but in no way handles like or carves like a traditional sidecut ski. More like a very wide version of my kid's 114 cm's with more sensitivity to fore-aft. An acquired taste, with a bit of a learning curve involving a different COM if on hardpack or with the convex bits engaged. Along those lines, would expect that the wider versions will be less divisive than the narrower. Yes? No? None of the above?

 

Second, could someone clarify if the high mountain versions do or do not have metal, just the lighter core, or if they're just a pure wood core ski. Seem to recall that wood is actually very stiff, so conceivable they could be light but stiffer than the regular Chams. Anyone have weights yet?

 

Third, not worried about hooky tails - the convex design takes care of that - but how do the tails handle in the last 1/3 of a carve? I'm all about tail...biggrin.gif

post #22 of 54

as for the tails.  I cant speak about how they handled powder but I think what I really liked about the ski that it had a tail.  I carved to the end of the turn, I could get snap out of it for short slalom like turns and let it rip gs turns and it held me all the way.  The rep at the mission ridge demo said one of the goals of dynastar and this ski was to put the " tails" back in skiing.

post #23 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by ptex1 View Post

  The rep at the mission ridge demo said one of the goals of dynastar and this ski was to put the " tails" back in skiing.



In other words to make them suck in powder...wink.gif

 

OK, there are reasons to have more tail platform, but compromising tail rocker too much unequivocally compromises powder performance. In some situations that may be a fine trade off. But it is a trade off. At least for me, that is a losing trade off...

post #24 of 54

Instead of comparing the shape to the S7, to me the shape looks a little more like the new dps Wailer 99.  Anyone been on both the 99 and the Cham 97?  Likely to have a different feel, due to the metal in the Cham, but I'd be interested in hearing about it nonetheless.

post #25 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by spindrift View Post



In other words to make them suck in powder...wink.gif

 

OK, there are reasons to have more tail platform, but compromising tail rocker too much unequivocally compromises powder performance. In some situations that may be a fine trade off. But it is a trade off. At least for me, that is a losing trade off...

"Suck?" "Unequivocally compromises?" Think you've piled on the hyperbole enough? It may be less supportive of certain styles of skiing powder, but more of others. Not every primo powder skier smears his/her finishes. Moreover, many are not big fans of tail rocker because of its impact on stuff you often do in powder, like land, or getting to powder, like skin or negotiate chutes, or do when the powder is in trees, like handle bumps. It's like the commercial: Sometimes you feel like a tail rocker, sometimes you don't...
 

 

post #26 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by ptex1 View Post

as for the tails.  I cant speak about how they handled powder but I think what I really liked about the ski that it had a tail.  I carved to the end of the turn, I could get snap out of it for short slalom like turns and let it rip gs turns and it held me all the way.  The rep at the mission ridge demo said one of the goals of dynastar and this ski was to put the " tails" back in skiing.

This is interesting because the rear convex sidecut doesn't always hook up like that. On my S7's, it tends to actually do the opposite, kinda push the skis to disengage. Must not be a 5-point thing as much as a particular convex shape married to a particular contact point. The pintail finish is weird too. 
 

 

post #27 of 54

The turn finish on the Chams is more substantial than other 5 points that I've skied due to the stiffness. On a planar surface, the engagement to the end of the normal sidecut is strong but aft of that point it's minimal. OTH, in even the shallow 3-D snow I've had them in so far you get much better redirection from the tail than say an S7 or an S3. The 97 and 107 models are not intended as powder specific skis and hence will not surf in deep snow like and S7 (etc.). However, that is not their intent. They are intended as daily driver types for skiers that want competence in a mix of conditions. For that task, they are very very good and notably different than other skis in this category.

 

SJ

post #28 of 54

That's what I am thinking... Would be interesting to get on both in similar conditions.  W99 was not the best hard groomers ski (as expected based on the profiel), I'd be surprised if Cham turns out to be any more confident on truly hard stuff. 
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by sinbad7 View Post

Instead of comparing the shape to the S7, to me the shape looks a little more like the new dps Wailer 99.  Anyone been on both the 99 and the Cham 97?  Likely to have a different feel, due to the metal in the Cham, but I'd be interested in hearing about it nonetheless.



 

post #29 of 54

I have skied both the Cham and wailer 99.  I dont think the 2 compare or ski at all alike.  I think the 99 had a much more surfy loose feel on the snow.  I liked the way it made small turns but I didnt feel it was the ski for me at medium or long turns at high speed.  Off groomed I loved the 99 wasnt my favorite in groomed.  THe cham must have fit my weight, skiing style, skill set because I thought it made small turns, large turns or whatever turned I wanted.  I wanted to love the whaler 99, I didnt.  Im sure someone will tell me Im an idiot.  I didnt expect to love the Cham and I do!.  Probably didnt clear anything up but thats my 2 cents

post #30 of 54

So, bottom line, the question is whether the Cham is a sham?

 

 

(Sorry, but it had to be said.)

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