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Gear Review: Dynafit Cho Oyu + Speed Radical bindings

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 

I just purchased 182 cm Cho Oyu skis:  125-89-111,  1250 g, Scoop Rocker, Flex Tip (hollow inserts like soul 7 and Kastles), Micro-Sidewall, Carbon Speed Stringers, Triple Turn Radius, Tail Rocker, Pin Tail, Paulownia wood core with carbon stringers. sintered graphite base; and Speed Radical bindings: 341 g.


Total Weight on the Feet: skis, bindings, and TLT6 boots (1050 g): 11.6 lbs total



I've been able to ski them 4 days in a variety of conditions.  I liked them so much on pebble ice, corn, a foot of dense powder, and breakable crust that I sold my 7 Summit skis and  Manaslu skis (but kept my Stokes). Very easy, very quick turns on firm snow and ice. Lack a little platform for complexly layered snow and my 230 lbs + pack.  Can't weight to ski them some more.

post #2 of 15
Thread Starter 

Old injuries and deep snows with breakable crusts have kept me from skiing these skis as much as I hoped; after 5 weeks of physical therapy, I decided to go skiing with the grandkids.  I had put my downhill skis in storage, so I decided to use the Chos with my TLT 6 boots (with the stiff black tongue and aftermarket Booster straps).  The skis did suprisingly well on blue groomers, off-piste in stiff powder in the trees, and even on black diamond soft moguls with icy faces.  They did get knocked around a bit in hardened ski ruts (from the previous day) on ungroomed trails.

post #3 of 15
Andy, have you skied the Kastle TX 87?
post #4 of 15
Thread Starter 

I haven't skied the TX87; I would have liked to--I really like my LX92s, but they are a little stiff & heavy for backcountry IMHO; not many TX87 readily available; they are a little more than 1 pound heavier than the Chos.  I bought the Cho Oyu, mounted with Speed bindings and a shim under the toe, along with the TLT6 (which would accept my custom footbeds but my TLT 5 would not) to get the absolute lightest yet high performance setup to deal with a painful knee & shim problem.  Funny that the problem got worse before I could ski the outfit much; missed much of the winter season; now back skiing (including today in steady snowfall at marginal temps producing wet snow over saturated snow--not too bad to ski in with my Stokes, much better than my last 2 outings with breakable crust).

post #5 of 15
Thread Starter 

Yesterday, the sun didn't appear as promised and the clouds were low, down over the alpine, so I took the Chos on my favorite bushwacking tour over the river, thru the woods, up the ridge to the alpine with some ice and crust on the way up and soft proto-corn 2 inches deep on the down; had a max speed on the down of 23 mph despite the rolling cornices and dense trees; lots of route finding require side-steppin up and down, turns on steep snow tongues to get to traversable snow, and traversing knife-edge snow wedges between deep tree well.  Skis handled it all with aplomb, including old snowshoe traps and gobs of tree litter on the snow.  Good day, 7.5 miles, 700 vf elevation gain, home before lunch :-)

post #6 of 15
Thread Starter 

Sunny day today, climbed till the corn ripened and headed down.  It seems one needs a very centered stance w/o pressuring the shovel of the ski in softer/sticker snow to avoid flexing the shovel and slowing down.  The ski has a flex-tip shovel that is pretty soft.  I switched from southerly slopes thru a tree line onto shaded westerly slopes where the snow surface was still hard frozen.  The Cho held an edge well and, of course, one got that loud scraping sound turning on hard frozen crust.  Very nice ski, but I think I could do w/o a flex-tip shovel, but it is not a big deal unless one is dedicated to pressuring the tip.

post #7 of 15
Thread Starter 

Been skiing the Cho's on the Paradise Glacier--haven't been able to talk myself into a comparison with my Snowwolfs or my Nanuqs; I guess that says something about choices for summer snows, 8-mile round trips, and 3,000 vertical feet of climbing :-)

post #8 of 15
Thread Starter 

So, I did more-or-less back-to-back climbs to and skiing back down from the Paradise Glacier, using  new 182-cm Dynafit Cho Oyu, 20-year-old 184-cm Volkl Snowwolf, 182-cm Cho Oyu again all with Dynafit TLT6 boots.  It is a 7-mile round trip with 2500+ feet of elevation gain with the trip in and out across sun-cupped and runneled snow and the snow on the glacier very nice smooth corn.  1st and formost, both skis ski better than I can.  Snowwolf advantage: the tradtitional camber, longer running edge, narrower width, and flat, wedge-shaped tail almost as wide as the shovel made for superior grip down the glacier with less drift (more carve) thru the turn.  Disadvantages: slightly, but noticeably, heavier; even more so the Cho's Speed Radicals were fit with a 3.2 mm toe shim to reduce "delta" and my knees felt the difference from the Verticals on the Snowwolfs; the Snowwolfs traditional camber meant busting thru suncup edges and runnell sides (even got an ice face shot LOL).  Of course, the Cho's are signficantly wider than the Snowwolfs but not so wide as to be annoying on long side hill climbs or to be slow edge to edge.  So I expect I might be retiring the Snowwolfs and I think the Chos will be a year-round ski, not just a spring-summer-fall ski, given their dimensions and their "scoop" rocker in the shovel.

post #9 of 15
Thread Starter 

Whipping the mashed potatoes on my Cho Oyus; 6 days in the bc on the Chos this month.  Really liking these skis.

post #10 of 15
Thread Starter 

20 inches of new powder, but with some high winds, 1 snowshoer dead in the storm, time to go skiing!  I used my Cho Oyu skis, with some trepidation wondering if my heavier and wider Volkl Nanuqs would be a better choice.  The Chos did well breaking trail in the complex snow pack.  We started down off a ridge that had developed snow gullies, sastrugi, breakable crust, supportive wind crust, deep dense snow pockets, and even some nice powder.  The Chos impressed me because with a little weight on heels the tail would sink, the rockered tip would rise and I could ski with aplomb thru breakable crust and deep grabby snow pockets yet smear turns on the supportive (but breakable with force) crust and carve thru the sastrugi.  I never thought such a narrow ski would ski so well. :-)

post #11 of 15

Love how BC skiers have to handle all of that crap that doesn't exist with groomed in-bounds... yet on-piste skis are described as all mountain.... keep the reviews coming as I will be replacing my G3 Baron at some stage with a 90ish mm ski to compliment my DPS Wailer 105 Pure.

Edited by Taxman - 11/29/15 at 2:07am
post #12 of 15
Thread Starter 

So a big avalanche cycle and 1 inche of new over hard set concrete, deeply runneled.  Took my  Chos for their quick turning, edge hold, and rockered tip to ride the runnels; they did great including good edge hold on icy snow beneath the new 1 inch on steeper slopes.  Slope 911, one of our favorite skis:

the debris field:

Our lunch spot; my wife's Manaslus (90 mm waist) did just as well as my Chos.

post #13 of 15
Thread Starter 

So, 15 inches of new in the last couple of days, but I can't stop choosing the Chos over my Snowolfs, Nanuqs, Vector BCs, and Stokes; they rock:


My down tracks off Skyline Ridge are in the far background.


p.s.  Another day on the Chos in nice deep powder; today with turns at speed (a high dosage of Vitamin N let me forget about my injured knee--for a while).  The Chos were stable, predictable, and strong and I did not feel the twisting/deflection I felt on my 187 Manaslus on the same slopes with similar snow.  The Chos sank deeper than my Stokes (106 mm waist) would have but were actually more fun (and a little more work) laying down trenches in deep turns but with the flex tips lifting the skis up and out of the snow on transitions; not as stiff as the Stokes underfoot.


The Chos will be my go-to ski this winter--they have proven themselves in a wide variety of conditions to be a superb combination of light weight, short lenght, agility, and ability to deal with micro-terrain features and variable snow while being very user-friendly and forgiving.



Edited by Andy Carey - 1/21/15 at 4:56pm
post #14 of 15
Thread Starter 

So, I spent the summer and fall rehabbing my right leg (sprained MCL, tif-fib joint, peroneal tendeon, and foot) until we got 8 inches of new powder on top of 2 feet of really consolidated by rain snow and I was aching to ski!  So what ski did I choose from my backcountry quiver of Volkl Snowwolfs and Nanuqs, Movement Shifts, Voile Vectors, Dynafit Stokes Dynafit Cho Oyus--the Chos of course; 2.5 feet of snow in complex terrain with deep gullies, exposed streams, and lots of exposed trees with tight spaces-- I climbed until my knee stated complaining then headed down with the no-muss no-fuss Chos even in the tightess puckerbrush. :-)

post #15 of 15
Nice review. I picked up the exact same set up but with the speed super lite binding, this past spring. Can't wait to get out and have some fun this season.
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