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Levitation and Dynastar's New Cham High Mountain Skis for 2013 - Page 2

post #31 of 54

That's not really the bottom line at all but you will certainly have the opportunity to ski one and decide for yourself.

 

SJ

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post #32 of 54

You never let me have any fun.

post #33 of 54

The only way to find out if this is the ski for me you or the other is to ski it. And if it is or is not is really of no consequence since their is a slough of skis to choose from made for and by skiers of all styles and abilities.

 

So the bottom line is....... Really, that the new Ideas and formulas in the ski industry are cooler than 17 below ski days at Cannon Mtn and more exciting than a 4" powder day at Alta. And I am thankful that the second life skiing is enjoying since wider shapier skis came into the mix all those parabolic years ago. And I am stoked I am still strong enough to benefit from these new concepts. KUDOS to Dynastar and everyone willing to hang it all out there and keep the flow going.

 

The Original Granite Chief

post #34 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by nolo View Post

"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:

 

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


Edited the first post to include a video with Andy from Dynastar about the Cham.

 

post #35 of 54

Dynastar will have these at The Gathering Demo Day at Mt. Rose for everyone to try!

post #36 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...



Hey, you were at Mission too.  We should have gotten some runs together. 

 

What did you think about the skis?  I skied them, conditions weren't all that great off-piste, but I did get a good feel for them.  Hoping to get a 107 in the shop soon for more demo work, preferably in better snow.  In all fairness, it really isn't a powder ski, it is more of a big-mountain, anything you can think of comp ski.   I hope you weren't talking to the guy at the booth who isn't the rep; I wouldn't put anything into what he says.  

Full selection of 2014 skis available right now from Dawgcatching.com.  PM for current deals and discount codes: save up to 25% on mid-season deals. 

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post #37 of 54

Video of Mission.  Conditions weren't very good for these skis.  As a comparison, below is video of Kevin on the same pitch on the Magnum 8.0ti in 179cm from Blizzard. He is comparatively ripping on those.  That clip starts at :19.  Narrower skis are a big help in crusty snow and bumpy terrain, but still, I think the 107 may turn out to be a sweet ski in soft snow conditions.  More to follow.

 

 

 

 

Kevin on the 8.0ti in 179cm, at :19, on the same pitch

Full selection of 2014 skis available right now from Dawgcatching.com.  PM for current deals and discount codes: save up to 25% on mid-season deals. 

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post #38 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by dawgcatching View Post



Hey, you were at Mission too.  We should have gotten some runs together. 

 

What did you think about the skis?  I skied them, conditions weren't all that great off-piste, but I did get a good feel for them.  Hoping to get a 107 in the shop soon for more demo work, preferably in better snow.  In all fairness, it really isn't a powder ski, it is more of a big-mountain, anything you can think of comp ski.   I hope you weren't talking to the guy at the booth who isn't the rep; I wouldn't put anything into what he says.  



Nah, I was not at Mission. I should have found a way to be there though. Instead I was skiing snow that I think, based on those videos, made Mission look like total awesomeness. Nothing like giant runnels and breakable crust.  Ah well... Anyway, what you say about it being a "comp" style ski sounds sensible enough to me...  I should probably demo this genre of ski. However the skis I've played with that have tip rocker but conventional or really flat tails have not sung to me so far.

 

post #39 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by SierraJim View Post
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 Chams does not have that problem as they are pretty darned stiff.


Did anyone ski the 87 or 97 in bumps? I've owned and loved two previous Legend series models, with moderate tail flex and a couple inches of "flip" and taper at the end, but no rocker. These were / are fantastically forgiving and fluid skis in moguls. This is partly due, I surmise, to the tail configuration. (At 135, a really stiff tail is a deal breaker in moguls for me.) I notice in the video that the Dynastar rep emphasizes how flat the tail is. Having just demo'd a ski with a very flat, square, stiff (for me) tail, and hated them fiercely in the bumps, I'm suspicious that this line will give up something in that kind of terrain, compared with its predecessors. Comments from folks who have been on them?

post #40 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by qcanoe View Post


Did anyone ski the 87 or 97 in bumps? I've owned and loved two previous Legend series models, with moderate tail flex and a couple inches of "flip" and taper at the end, but no rocker. These were / are fantastically forgiving and fluid skis in moguls. This is partly due, I surmise, to the tail configuration. (At 135, a really stiff tail is a deal breaker in moguls for me.) I notice in the video that the Dynastar rep emphasizes how flat the tail is. Having just demo'd a ski with a very flat, square, stiff (for me) tail, and hated them fiercely in the bumps, I'm suspicious that this line will give up something in that kind of terrain, compared with its predecessors. Comments from folks who have been on them?



I loved the 87 in bumps. As good as anything I have ever skied in this width.  97 was really weird. Maybe I could get used to it, but it was stiffish in the front, but with no tip.  I felt a bit like a pinball in those icy bumps, whereas a couple of runs before, I was skiing easily and fluid on the same line on the 87.  It was probably the easiest ski I took in there all day. 

Full selection of 2014 skis available right now from Dawgcatching.com.  PM for current deals and discount codes: save up to 25% on mid-season deals. 

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post #41 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by dawgcatching View Post



I loved the 87 in bumps. As good as anything I have ever skied in this width.  97 was really weird. Maybe I could get used to it, but it was stiffish in the front, but with no tip.  I felt a bit like a pinball in those icy bumps, whereas a couple of runs before, I was skiing easily and fluid on the same line on the 87.  It was probably the easiest ski I took in there all day. 

Thanks. Just to clarify, you're talking about the Cham 87, not the Outland, right?
post #42 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by qcanoe View Post


Thanks. Just to clarify, you're talking about the Cham 87, not the Outland, right?


I am talking about the Outland.  I skied the Cham 97, didn't like it in bumps at all, too stiff, not enough contact length, flex was weird.  Didn't ski the Cham 87.  Outland 87 was everything I was looking for in a versatile ski, especially in bumps.  Consistent flex, full length running surface, forgiving, predictable tail.  It was just a really good ski.  

Full selection of 2014 skis available right now from Dawgcatching.com.  PM for current deals and discount codes: save up to 25% on mid-season deals. 

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post #43 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by dawgcatching View Post
I am talking about the Outland

 

Okay. Thanks for clearing that up. Good video. FYI, those conditions would qualify as an exceptional soft snow day where I ski, especially this year, and especially in the "groomer" shot, which kind of cracked me up. We would call that "crud." (I have yet to be out on a day, this year, that looked remotely like that. Here in Maine, a "groomer" most often means a run where your edges don't penetrate beyond the metal, to where the p-tex starts. Yes, there are exceptions, but that's the way it is more often than not.) I'm saying this just to burn in what non-Josh Easterners are talking about when they talk about certain kinds of terrain.
 

 

post #44 of 54

words to describe terrain and conditions are pretty precise. you want to re-define, go ahead, but it's a communication blocker is all.

post #45 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by davluri View Post

words to describe terrain and conditions are pretty precise. you want to re-define, go ahead, but it's a communication blocker is all.



I don't want to "re-define." I was trying to emphasize that in this case the use of video was a communication enhancer. The point of my comment about the video was precisely to emphasize how terms are revealed to mean different things to different people when you actually SEE what people are talking about. That's probably THE main benefit of these kinds of "video reviews" (possibly after getting a sense of the tester's skiing). In that sense the terms we use are not precise at all, unless you are saying that they are precise for skiers who use Tahoe (or pick you region) as a point of reference. Ask almost anyone who skis frequently in the east if their idea of a typical (not ideal) "groomer" is what you see in Dawg's video, and you will get a "no" for an answer. I don't see how calling out that reality is a communication blocker.

post #46 of 54

I'm not getting that terms in the East are different to that extent. the second part of the film was of skiers on a slope that had been prepared by machinery. crud has a specific definition and is not synonymous with snow that someone doesn't like for some reason. To me the term groomers does have a range of snow condition, often based on the time of day and temperatures existing when the grooming is done, and what happens to the groomed surface due to climate conditions after the machining is complete. Yes, it can re-freeze and be so firm that it is difficult to penetrate with your edge. but it's still a groomer. Scott and Kevin were skiing a surface that never deflected their skis. still a groomer. actually, even if skiers had turned perfect corduroy into a bump field, it would still be a groomer slope. These terms are not only objective and consistent between east and west coasts of the US, but after translation, consistent around the world. The video was great communication, explaining Scott's review very well. Your observations just muddy the waters, at least for me.

post #47 of 54

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by davluri View Post

actually, even if skiers had turned perfect corduroy into a bump field, it would still be a groomer slope


I was almost (but not quite) coming around to nodding at some of your points until you wrote this, which makes me realize we just plain disagree about what "groomer" means. What you're saying here is like saying that people should always describe me to others as having brown hair, even if I always dye it purple. If people experience me as having purple hair, that's how I should be described, even if I had brown hair twenty years ago. Similarly, if I'm testing a ski in a bump field, I'm going to say that; I'm not going to describe the run as a "groomer," even if it was groomed this morning or last week.

post #48 of 54

Linguists tend to differentiate between ambiguous words (which have two or more denotations), and vague words (which do not have a clear denotation). IMO words like groomer are ambiguous. People can use them to mean "a snow surface that is groomed prior to opening," or "anything that isn't off-piste," or "a smooth surface of packed snow," or "anything that's had a passing acquaintance with a grooming machine, but can be a cruddy bump field, etc." No right or wrong here, just ambiguity. OTOH, I find words like "powder" vague. There's no clear limit; is snow that fell 24 hours ago "powder?" What about last week? What if it's man made but soft? What if it's been skied, but not so much as to produce "crud."  And don't get me started on "ice." 

 

This is one reason that reviews can be fairly, ah, focused on one person's experience rather than the ski. Saying a ski honks on groomers, or laughs at crud, may mean 5 things to 5 people. And not because of the ski, because of the conditions. Or how you handle conditions. Maybe I get a high edge angle and cut through crud, you get a lower angle and it knocks the ski around. Same crud, same ski, different habitual style, to me it "handles crud," to you it doesn't.

 

So yeah, I find videos very helpful. Dawg's mounds of heavy chop and crud in no way resemble what I ski on back east, even though we're both on "groomers."

post #49 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by beyond View Post

Linguists tend to differentiate between ambiguous words (which have two or more denotations), and vague words (which do not have a clear denotation). IMO words like groomer are ambiguous. People can use them to mean "a snow surface that is groomed prior to opening," or "anything that isn't off-piste," or "a smooth surface of packed snow," or "anything that's had a passing acquaintance with a grooming machine, but can be a cruddy bump field, etc." No right or wrong here, just ambiguity. OTOH, I find words like "powder" vague. There's no clear limit; is snow that fell 24 hours ago "powder?" What about last week? What if it's man made but soft? What if it's been skied, but not so much as to produce "crud."  And don't get me started on "ice." 

 

This is one reason that reviews can be fairly, ah, focused on one person's experience rather than the ski. Saying a ski honks on groomers, or laughs at crud, may mean 5 things to 5 people. And not because of the ski, because of the conditions. Or how you handle conditions. Maybe I get a high edge angle and cut through crud, you get a lower angle and it knocks the ski around. Same crud, same ski, different habitual style, to me it "handles crud," to you it doesn't.

 

So yeah, I find videos very helpful. Dawg's mounds of heavy chop and crud in no way resemble what I ski on back east, even though we're both on "groomers."


Well said top to bottom. Thanks. Your last paragraph reinforces the positive feedback on video reviews that I was trying - perhaps unsuccessfully - to convey, while also validating my perception that Dawg is skiing in what I, too, would call "heavy chop and crud," in the groomer shot.

post #50 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by qcanoe View Post


Dawg is skiing in what I, too, would call "heavy chop and crud," in the groomer shot.


And I thought the groomers looked reasonably consistent - definitely not heavy chop as the step right before a 'groomer' starts mildly bumping up on the greater pitch sections, and no crud in sight.  

 

Except for the portion of the bump vid that is under the lift I would have qualified it more as cruddy, but then my bump perspective is Mary Jane.  I agree that the vids really illustrate the conditions with far more relevance than 'groomer', 'piste', or 'bumps'.

post #51 of 54

beyond has pinned down the difficulty. it's language in use. complex. what I meant by "it's still a groomer" (even though it's bumped out) describes a hill that was groomed over night and then skied on. If a detailed description was called for, I'd say it was a groomer that got bumped out in 2 hours from heavy holiday traffic or whatever. Corduroy describes a groomer that has not been scraped off or bumped out. All corduroy is a groomer, all groomer is not corduroy.  bumps formed off piste from fresh snow is much different than bumps formed on a groomer slope, really, truth, but you can dismiss my observations in the future, your call.

 

language is more precise in a group that has shared experience.

post #52 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by qcanoe View Post


Okay. Thanks for clearing that up. Good video. FYI, those conditions would qualify as an exceptional soft snow day where I ski, especially this year, and especially in the "groomer" shot, which kind of cracked me up. We would call that "crud."

That's confusing. There's hardly any snow there, how can it be crud? I wouldn't think you'd want anything but a hard snow ski for 1"-2" of new snow. Picking a ski that's designed to blast crud would leave you overgunned for that situation. Crud tends to be snow that will knock you around if you're not driving things well. On the other hand, 1"-2" new is nothing difficult to ski and isn't likely to deflect or push your skis in any strange way. I'd call 1"-2" nothing more than "loose" snow, certainly nothing that warrants considering a different ski from your hardpack choice.

However if you're usually on the WROD I can see needing a different term for a bit of loose new snow, either on top of the WROD or adjacent to the groomer's last pass. I remember the tendency of the Poconos ski hills to call 2" new "powder" as if it's deep enough to provide the dynamics of 3D skiing. In relative terms I guess it's "powder" but it's not the thing that makes people get up at 3 AM and take repeated sick days... is it?

I agree with davluri, precision helps when talking to a large audience.
post #53 of 54

The posted radii for the Cham 87 is wrong. The actual (@172) is 14m! The 97 is 16m @ 178 and the 107 is 20 @ 184.

 

All feel quick and smaller than their posted length and width. I had the opportunity to ski the 107 for several days around Utah and found it ideal as a daily driver. There wasn't a lot of new snow, but in cruddy snow, spring corn/slush as well as hardpack, these skis are totally confidence inspiring. Typical Dynastar crud busting ability (think LPR) but can make nice short turns, and nearly at the same moment will make huge/fast SuperG/GS carves that don't only feel in control, but even rival the feel of some purpose built speed skis.

 

My first time on the 107s, my friend was on a pair of Dynastar Speed Course Tis and really tearing it up on those and I was not only able to keep up, but to blow by him ocaasionally. You just have to ignore the sight of that big tip moving a round a bit a and just get to skiing however you want.

 

The 97 is quicker and snappier feeling than the Sultan 94 (it's predecessor) and will work great anywhere and eastern skiers especially should check it out.  It doesn't have the SuperG like stability of the 107, but anyone who just wants the proverbial 1 ski quiver will find very few compromises here. Good hard snow grip, easy to turn, competent in bumps, reasonable  turn radius. 

 

The 87 is aiming a little lower than the other two, but anyone preferring a softer flexing ski will enjoy these. Super quick and easy to turn.

 

In Dynastar terms I would put the 87 in the place of the old Sultan/Legend 8000, the 97 as the Legend Sultan 85/94 and the 107 as the Mythic Rider/Legend Pro.

The caveat here that all the Chams are quicker and even more versatile than their predecessors

 

I would encourage anyone to ignore the looks and specs and just try the Chams out to see how they feel to them. I have not been a big proponent of rocker but this shape really works for me and quite a few other folks I have seen try these skis and I really appreciate the camber and flat (camberwise) tails.  They may look a little like BBRs, but ski nothing like those. 

 

Anyone concerned about softsnow/powder performance should check out the high mountain (no metal. light cores) versions. I was not able to demo these yet, hoping to get a chance to do so in April. I am currently on a Kastle TX as my tourer but I like the shape of the Chams so much that I can't see the HM's being bad, maybe more like the difference between S7s and Super 7s ?

 

Are the Chams pure powder machines? No, but I personally don't want to limit myself to that type of ski. That tip and 107 width underfoot will plane me up as high as I need in any snow and for years like this year where powder is not such a common occurrence, I am going to enjoy myslelf a hell of a lot more than I would many dedicated powder boards.

 

 

Where skied? 87/97107 Winter Park SIA demo Jan/Feb, 87/97/107/127 Seven Springs PA Feb Demo, 107 Early March various Utah locations.

 

Me, early 50s, 175lbs, more carver than slider usually ski quiver of Kastles

 

 

post #54 of 54

I skied the Cham 107   184 cm at Snowbird today with a surprise  foot  new drier powder on top of hardpack.  These skis are absolutely the real deal. before skiing only knew there was a new series to replace the Sultans/legends.  I knew nothing about marketing or hype

 

In short these skis rock! They kill it! The turn off  the tip, the middle and the tail. I am blown away, NOT easy to do!  These are also loose under the ankle, so going across traverses they pivot or carve with ease! Back in Mineral Basin there was lots of old hard snow visible with some new. they were consistent in turns and stable and they held!  On top of Regulator they were steady in icy spots with powder. On the Cirque traverse the would carve or pivot for a smooth ride across rolling ruts bumps and Ice. In those bumps or regular bumps, a touch of the foot would get you straight over or around sides with easy. The response to independent feet rocked!. 

 

then climbed up High Baldy, even with hard snow at times underneath knee deep powder they keep turning.

 

Then through a curved upper chute between rocks and the bottom narrow chute , I could really layout short or medium turns with aggression and ease!

 

This is a skiers ski! They hold on variable hardpack with windblown, killed it in the Cirque , High Baldy , and Blackjack. They rock in medium and short turns.

 

We have a National JR  Freeski event here and I spoke with three coaches who had skied them.   They had skied them with pretty much the same results. 

 

For target conditions these are one of the finest and the best in width range I have ever skied!  They are absolutely a powder ski, a big mountain ski and they TURN!  Yahoo!  Also cannot believe how they were in and around bumps!

 

BTW: I just sold my S7 188 s a few days ago, They are great skis and an easy recommend for powder, crud and spring.   But the Cham is a whole new ballgame.

 

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