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Legend 8800 1week review

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
After spending 8 consecutive days in a row on my Legend 8800's I now have a really good handle on their performance.

Skis: Dynastar Legend 8800 178 CM

Bindings: Look P10 Jr. Race (yes I'm over 30), 6mm lift

Boots: Lange Pininfarina 307 mm

Conditions: A little of everything but mostly hard packed and groomed.

Temp: -5 C - +5 C

Location: Panorama Dec 21 - 28
Skier: Level 7 - 8 (0-10 scale) 5' 10", 140 - 150 LB

Hard pack with loose topping:
I found a long radius close to the advertised 25 M was best for a effortless carved turn. when put on edge and rode through it was smooth, strong and had a large sweet spot. I did find the edge would let go if weighting and transitions were not done buttery smooth.

Shorter radius turns were a little more difficult and really required full attention and precise execution to get them to carve. I found speed is this skis best friend. It seemed if the speed was slowed down it wanted slip and not carve as well. Still fun and a handy attribute in the ugly stuff.

once in rythym and knowing the limits of this ski I had a good time on the hardpack but really wished for more bite and shorter faster turns that had more edge hold. Still lots of fun and far from unsatisfactory, just not as good as it could be. Another ski for my quiver is required in this department.

What was hardpack but warm weather turned to buttery goodness.
Much the same as above except that shorter turns are now executed much more crisp and with better edge hold. Very snappy, rythmic and lively. Strangely as soon as the snow got soft (or deep, more later) the ski just loves to hook up and make short turns. Doing so very energeticly yet forgiving if the body is loose and one just lets the ski go from turn to turn.

Again it was very dampening and what the eyes saw as "holy crap that looks rough" (IE big chunks of snow and crud) the ski just ate it up with hardly a care what it looked like.

in these conditions its a all mountain, all fun all the time ski.

Fresh cold cordurouy
Better make your turns long and fast in these conditions. at top end speed it felt light and fluttery but yet always had edge when laid down smoothly in a big arc. I found if you tried to tighten up the turn too much it just chattered off edge and simply slid.

I did numerous fresh cord runs every day and found the long one side to the complete other side turns at warp speed captain were the most fun and had all the edge I wanted.

Short fast turns could be smoothly carved but the speed again had to be up and the turns had to be very downhill orientated. At a certain point they simply slipped off edge. I was frustrated in this area. I am not the best carver, I have quick feet and it just seemed I couldn't make them turn as fast as I wanted or felt I could. Maybe lack of experiance, but maybe the waist size is the reason.

I'm not the best bump skier but I got through them and couldn't blame the skis for anything. I actually had more fun in the bumps than I have on any previous ski. If I got them railing and staying in contact with the ground they were alot of fun and didn't beat me up.

Didn't get alot of the good stuff but what we got was nice.

Dec 24 about 10 - 15 cm overnight on top of already groomed runs.

First 50 turns I was hooting and hollering and laughing like a fool. Wow after two days of hardpack and no pow to speak of I was in heaven finally experiancing this ski in some fresh.

This ski is made for Powder no doubt about it. It did everything I asked and did it with aplomb and attitude.

it just spit out turns like crazy. It has a neat zing right at the end of the turn which pops you and effortlessly wants to begin the next. They just zing across and underneath you as if they have little rockets on. I think this is due to the contruction and stiffness of the tip end of the ski. Enough give to not beat you up and enough strength to flex just right.

Once I had my taste of fresh I spent most of the following days hunting out deep of some form or other than hardpack. Seek and yee shall find.

Dec 24 PM
A hardly used chair in a odd location of the hill provided a sweet steep run under the chair with powder about over boot high on the edges all the way down both sides. Dumb ass rookies always stay away from the sides and slip down the middle. Woo hoo great for me.

Obviously being under the chair there was no room for goofs or pansy ass skiing. I cranked the toons and just pointed em and let em run and banged out as many snow spraying turns as I could. The snow was very spring like, heavy and wet. I did find weighting back was required at slower speed as the tip just wouldn't come up and you quickly just stopped moving. if weighted back there was no loss of speed and the turns were super easy, balance was tricky because of the back weighting.

Dec 25
I was fortunate enough to be second into a whole area that had been closed all year. Fluke really just came down saw patrol goofing with the rope and I asked is it open? YUP! Sweet Merry Christmas to me.

about 2000 ft of fresh untracked goodness. The temp was warm 0 - 5 C and the snow was heavy and wet. I had to backweight or you wouldn't go anywhere no matter how steep. Often I had 3-4 foot waves of snow plowing in front of me. Once weighted back the tips came out and it was pretty good, but a completly wrong body position for effective turning. It felt more like waterskiing, in fact almost exactly the same but with no rope to keep you from falling back.

Very strange feeling from absolutely no speed at all to ZOOM. lots of float once the tips were out, but other wise they just stayed static and you would stop.

DEC 27.
About to have a coffee break at the summit hut we overheard two locals say patrol is about ot open HELI HIGH. Hmm coffee or not. we stood and waited and watched. Sure enough patrol started walking towards the rope. Screw coffee we can drink it when were dead. RUN !

we were second group of two into this area that had been closed all season. 1500 FT of fresh knee deep goodness with very little patrol and poached tracks.

again laughing hooting, screaming fool took over, WOW this is a powder ski. The snow was light and cold this time and no back weighting was required. It was so effortless and easy and oh so good. A good rythym was required but once in it and making turns WOW great ski. Didn't float like a balloon but didn't sink either. A nice mix. The ski would go way down into the pow and pop up at just the right time with a nice amount of upward force for the next turn.

This ski made me look like a superhero. I heard more than a few "nice" "Sweet" "go man go" comments eating this area up. I have video so I hope how I felt is how I looked.

overall for powder if the snow is heavy or wet I would mount my binding back some more (Maybe 1 CM) In dry light pow they are great at the 05-06 default location. A movable binding would be the best.

definatly more impressed with its' soft snow performance than hard. Ice was darn right ignorant and unpleasant, no sense of grip in this.

A great fast long turn hardpack ski, and a do whatever you feel like soft snow ski.

Top end is more than I can dish out. I went as fast as I felt safe doing so on a week long ski trip with tonnes of kids around. I'm sure I went plenty fast and only the racers training passsed me when I put the pedal down and I wasn't unhappy with it's performance or stability.

Caution to heavier skiers, I think this ski may prefer us lightweights.

I did notice that during a whole week at Panorama I didn't see one other person with these skis. I thought this was odd, but wondered if the locals just use the bettter ski for the hill and conditions which would have been a real carving ski.

Pics from the Panorama Website to show terrain and a plug for a deserving resort
post #2 of 5
"it just spit out turns like crazy. It has a neat zing right at the end of the turn which pops you and effortlessly wants to begin the next. They just zing across and underneath you as if they have little rockets on."

This is pretty much my sentiments exactly. Nice review. I've had more fun on this ski this week than..? I've been hiking all over Jupiter bowl at PCMR just to find more goodies for these guys to eat up. They are amazingly good in varied conditions- I've been able to roll them into very tight carved turns on windpacked steeps with total confidence and they're very solid underfoot- They eat up powder, crud and even bumps. With a little pressure and roll of the tips they zing right into a sweet, evenly flexed turn. Total go-anywhere confidence skis- I was thinking of writing a review of these, but I'm bad at it compared to some here- so after sking them all week in everything from ice to deep powder, I was ready to write a poem instead- then I saw your review- so I'll just pile on. They sure ain't an ice ski- not even much for the groomers- but get them into the back bowls and they are light, precise, turny and can ski nimble short turns on steeps- but then, paradoxically, ski big and stable in the open. Quite a ski. I took them(on my shoulder) to the very top of Jupiter peak and over into McConkeys-the top is a bit technical and was wind compressed powder-they bit a beautiful tight series of arcs on a pretty steep face then effortlessly skied the powder below- it was really thrilling stuff.- ok there's my poem.

Last year I compared them unfavorably to Pocket Rockets-I'll get to that. But last year I really grew to love my 8000's for their sensual flex and round turns (hey! they're French!) and seeing a nearly new pair of 88's with Marker speedpoint demo bindings on them for $450- I couldn't resist.
When I put them next to the PR's it's obvious- a more thorough judge would have figured it out from the specs- the PR's are simply fatter and have more float. When testing the first time I took them out on West Rustler at Alta in 18-20" of fresh, light champaign powder on a fairly steep pitch. With a fatter, softer ski in those conditions you can just roll em and smear a big fat turn like a roundhouse bottom turn on a surfboard. The 88's aren't quite fat enough to do that- you gotta finesse them a little- but I bet the Pro's are- that's a whole 'nother thing.
Mix up the conditions- throw in crud and muck,windpack, cut pow, fresh pow- then some interesting terrain- this is a go to tool.

Dynastar 8800 178
Marker Speedpoint 1100 bindings
Raichle Flexon Originals
Ht; 5'11"
wt ; 170
ability; advanced
other skis I use:
Volkl 5*s 175
Dynastar legend 8000 178
Pocket Rockets 175
Usual review: "they rock! or "they suck"

P.S. We've had the most bizarre weather in Park City- it's rained every other day this week at the base, making the lower mountain sheet ice. Above 8000' light, dry powder- 6- 10 " every other day or so. Big storm coming New Years' day- 18-24" and cold, says the weatherman.
post #3 of 5
Very nice review MMB. Would be interested in any add'l comments on two points you mentioned: 1. "Caution to heavier skiers, .. this ski may prefer lightweights", and 2. Mounting position comments. Others have posted that if you don't use them exclusively in powder, such as east coast/New England conditions, the 04/05 position is good enough. Any comments on that?

P.S: Any more video to share?
post #4 of 5
Thread Starter 
Mr. Crab, thanks for the additional comments.

Elkmoutainskier, Caution to heavier skiers. I say this as I don't think this ski could take a whole lot more weight or power without starting to fade or become less of a ski, loose edging or be overpowered. I may be way wrong here and welcome differing opinions from personal experiance. It just feels so light and flighty.

Mounting of the bindings, can't comment other than the 0/06 position. I feel they may need to be back for heavy or wet snow as they performed just fine in dryer powder but pretty much sucked a$$ in the heavy wet stuff I experianced, but when I leaned back they planed right out and took off.

I'm having some trouble with putfile right now, have the vid ready to upload but can't. I will keep trying.
post #5 of 5
Thread Starter 

Legend 8800's in action

here is the vid from my recent trip.


My short stint of Pow skiing I guess felt better than it looked.

Bashing is welcomed in the Instruction and Technique board.

Thanks to http://www.putfile.com for the free hosting.
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