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Dynastar Powertrac 89 in deeeeeeep Tahoe pow

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

Here’s a late update on the Dynastar Powertrac 89. It should be noted that I reference an article titled “Revenge of the Crazy 88’s” that I uhhhhh……:o sorta haven’t published yet....... but will when a few final things are wrapped up.

 

Wednesday March 26, was a notable day in that I happened to be off work this day and my apartment at the base of the Northstar access road was staggering under a major dump of at least 2.75” of new snow. I grabbed the Powertracs from the corner by the door and struggled and fought my way through the massive drifts to get to the hill. Once there, I realized that this was going to be a special day. Many of the folks in the gondola line were sporting wide and rockered skis as they fiddled with their powder cords and agonized over the fact that they didn’t have their K2 Pontoons or Rossi S7s handy.

 

Out of the gondola and onto the lift and up the hill we all went. At the top, I pushed off and immediately headed for a couple of the frontside pitches that are steep and hadn’t been groomed since the snow started last night. On the first pitch, I immediately noticed that the snow, while wintery, was not super light. Rolling into medium radius/medium angle turns, I could tell that by the number of ankle shots I was getting that this was to be an incredible powder day. I cut off the beaten path into tree areas that had been hacked up and crusty prior to the massive snowfall. In those areas, I was being careful to not choke on the snow or breathe in too deeply as the snow billowed and boiled past my boot tops. The woods and glades echoed with shouts of “yeah!…….whooooo!……..awesome duuude!” from my fellow skiers. I ducked back toward the trail as the pitch flattened out and headed back to the lift. On the flatter and more packed out slopes, I found myself slashing past most of the folks on the bigger skis as they patted one another on the back and exchanged high fives.

 

Throughout this morning, the PT 89 showed just how good it is and also how well a “crazy 88” can handle these conditions. The Powertrac is notable in that much of the innovative stuff that Dyanastar has done with it revolves around the shape. This ski is a narrow 5-point design with a fairly short but relatively sharp tip rocker and a shallow kick tail that personally I wouldn’t call rocker. In addition, the tip and tail have pretty generous amounts of taper for this width of ski. Finally, the flex is pretty stiff and the mount point is very far forward from most skis in this width range. This may sound like an unusual combination and for sure it is……..but it works…….really well.

 

When I first wrote the review on the PT-89 in the “Crazy 88s” thread, I had skied it on quite a variety of firm and wind packed snow but hadn’t had it in anything with any depth. After skiing it in these soft, boot top conditions interspersed with the fimer snow in the groomed areas, I can report that this is the kind of 88mm ski that can truly be called “all mountain” One really notable thing about the Powertrac is that the firm flexing tip with its sharp rocker and taper does not deflect the way a more conventional rockered tip would. This tip slashes through this chopped up soft snow without knocking you around and the firm but tapered tail is solid and easy to release but mainly unnoticeable either on firm chalky snow or in today’s mashup of depths. I don’t think much about ‘flotation’ in this width of ski b/c I don’t think it matters much. An ~~ 88mm ski should handle boot top crud and even untracked of that depth but that just doesn’t take much flotation. Rather, stability while skiing on the bottom and maneuverability while turning in is more important than float. The Powertrac does all this in spades and can rail groomers at high angles with the best of ‘em. Today’s conditions sort of defined what the soft snow end of the performance envelope of this width of ski should be.

 

Right now……it’s hard to visualize a “Crazy 88” that does all this better. 

 

SJ

post #2 of 13

Indeed. It's really is a nice well balanced ski. It was pretty much at the top of the 'wow, that was a really nice surprise!' category. I haven't skied on a new 85-89mm ski that isn't pretty darn good, but this one will do well for a lot of folks. Good to see Dynastar sorting some things out. Never have been a fan of the Cham skis personally. My guess? The powertrack shape will move up the food chain into the Cham layups, but who knows? 2016 is above my pay grade.

post #3 of 13

Feel free to demo this tomorrow at The Gatherings Demo at Alpine Meadows tomorrow! I have a feeling after reading this review it will be one of the skis that will have a lot of runs.

post #4 of 13
Sounds interesting Jim, especially since I liked the Cham 97. I like your comments on the tip. That is what unnerves me most about tip rocker, the slight vibration/loss of contact that you feel compared to my usual race skis. I even noticed it in the Rossi hero masters ski while it is not apparent with the slight tip rise in the FIS skis. I know you just have to ignore it and push through it but it still subconsciously leaves me slightly less convinced they will hold! wink.gif
post #5 of 13

One sheet of titanal if I recall correctly, Scots. 

post #6 of 13
Thanks mark, that would explain it !
post #7 of 13
Thread Starter 

Ray; in case you miss them at the gathering demo tomorrow, my own pair will be living in my car for the next few weeks so you can spin on them anytime (I think you're a 305 BSL......?)

 

I certainly can't compare the tip feel of the PT 89 with a race ski, but of course, that's not what it is supposed to be. When compared to conventionally shaped and rockered tips on AM skis, the rounder softer tips and more gradual rise of many seem to want to push or peel back toward the skier when the snow is heavy or choppy. Of course that rounder, softer tip will float better. The PT wants to slash that type of snow rather than float it but for my part, I don't think float is a key attribute of an 88 anyway. 

 

SJ

post #8 of 13
Thanks Jim, appreciate the offer. However I am a 284 bsl so unless it is a demo binding we will be struggling. Certainly sounds very interesting though and as if it would fit well for what I like
post #9 of 13
Ray, I skied it in about a foot of chopped up pow, on piste, off, bumps, GS'ey, SL'y, cruisey... Sure, not a race ski, but really nice for the reality of a GWTSQ* for folks not really wanting a race ski. Does pretty much what Jim sed vis a vis crud. Found a couple small firm spots and edge hold seemed fine, though it certainly wasn't an adequate test by any means. I could teach on it no problem, though I still really like the E-100... A lot.



*global warming two ski quiver... An 80-something and a 1-0-something.
post #10 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by markojp View Post

Ray, I skied it in about a foot of chopped up pow, on piste, off, bumps, GS'ey, SL'y, cruisey... Sure, not a race ski, but really nice for the reality of a GWTSQ* for folks not really wanting a race ski. Does pretty much what Jim sed vis a vis crud. Found a couple small firm spots and edge hold seemed fine, though it certainly wasn't an adequate test by any means. I could teach on it no problem, though I still really like the E-100... A lot.



*global warming two ski quiver... An 80-something and a 1-0-something.

Thanks Mark.  Certainly sounds like i would like it.  I tend to be very influenced by how the tip feels as I usually drive fairly hard on it.  That was one of the things i liked about the Cham 97, you could push hard on it on hardback without it washing out or getting that tip rocker vibration feeling

post #11 of 13

I have a positive track record with Dynastar. I liked the n-3 Legend series (8000), the n-2 series (Sultan 85, which I own), and the Course Ti from a couple years ago. To me they all share a very solid, quiet, reassuring personality while remaining flexible and fluid under my small frame in a way that some brands (Nordica) don't. (I never got on the n-1 Outland because for the last couple years I haven't made pursuing demos a priority.)

 

So, SJ and markojp, with that comment in mind, would you say there is a Dynastar "feel" to this ski, if indeed such a thing exists outside my imagination?

post #12 of 13
Thread Starter 

I'm not sure I'm able to quantify a feel that is generic to Dynastar. The PT 89 with top and bottom metal falls about in the middle of the damp vs. energetic spectrum. The part of the PT that is different from other skis is the manner in which the shape interacts with varying conditions. I don't think there is anything much like it.

 

SJ

post #13 of 13
I had a pair of demo pt 89 a few weeks back. I had them for enough time to ski all different types of conditions: groomed, slush, wind slab, rime crust, breakable crust, corn, frozen chicken heads, and a bit of powder (two storms of 6" and then 9"). I can say that in my opinion I think dynastar came up with a gem.
I loved the stiffness and the overall feel. I have to agree with Sierra Jim. It has this great combination of snappiness and dampness. On longer radius turns it reminded me of the damp feeling of the old legend pro. While working the front of the ski it has some snappiness for short quick turns.
The two "powder days" I skied on them I was presently surprised of the float. I forgot to mention the demos were only 179cm. Which is a bit short for my size, 6' 200# w a zb World Cup lange boot. However, I didn't find myself burying the tips.
The ski was super stable at high speeds. No chatter or tip flap. Also super easy to initiate. I found the sweet spot to be much larger than its big brother the Cham and much better in the bumps (no brainier there though).
I'm not a huge fan of center mounted skis. I did play with moving the binding back from boot center. I personally preferred it back 1.5 cm, but that's me.
The Cham is an awesome ski, however I feel it is severely limited on hard to firm snow. I'm not talking about groomed, but hard bumps and challenging conditions. This ski is much more versatile. Of course on bottomless I put the Cham on my feet, but on everyday resort skiing. I don't think you can go wrong. Looking forward to the next size up. Which I believe is a 186cm? Once again dynastar takes there time and rolls out another winner.
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