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178cm Dynastar Contact 11

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
178cm Dynastar Contact 11


Where: Skied at Beaver Creek on 12/14/06.

Conditions at Beaver Creek: 6 to 12" of new natural snow fell on 12/12/06. 60% of the mountain was groomed into a soft corduroy and 40% was left natural with soft moguls and boot top deep crud conditions. Blue sky, 18F at dawn, 28F at 3PM.

My specs: 5’ 11", 225lbs. male, 40th season skiing, former USSA & High School 7-day-a-week competitor in New Hampshire, GS & DH specialist.

Skis used in the last 2 years: Fischer RX8 & WC RC, Volkl AC4 & Mantra, Head Monster 77 & 88, Dynastar Intuitive 74 & Inspired by Nobis, several others…

Boots: 2003 Salomon Course (red, 130 flex).

Comments: This is a superb ski. I had planned to demo 3 skis, including the AC4 (for the second time) and the Dynastar Legend Pro. However, I did not want to take these off and stayed on them all day.

The ski was comparable to my Fischer WC RC on the groomed corduroy, with massive edge-grip and very quick reflexes. A ski with very large sweet spot. Turn shape is very versatile. I could bend the front of the ski and produce rapid slalom turns or stay slightly back at higher speeds with no punishment. I could rub my elbows on the snow at the apex of the turns and produce large edge angles on the soft groomed surface. The ski will generate so much power out of the turn that I could project off the snow for 15 feet and transition into the next turn immediately. The Contact 11 is a true race-carver with 122-72-102mm dimensions.

The soft snow performance of the ski was even more impressive. Dynastar autodrive skis are always smooth performers with cap construction at the tip and vertical sideways underfoot. This construction shines in crud & bumps. I could exit the groomed areas and enter soft mogul fields with total stability and smoothness. The ski could be used two ways in loose snow. I could ski big lines and ignore the choppy conditions or I could ski down the fall lines and dance with quick edge changes. The only other ski I have used that was this good in soft crud is the AC4.

This ski can ski crud with the best all-mountain skis but can also carve the hard pack like a race ski.

A few niggles. The ski is not perfectly stable at very fast, Super G speeds. The ski does not misbehave at race-tuck speeds, it’s just not inspiring to use. I would also would be interested to see how they perform on Vermont ice. My guess is that very good edge-hold on polished ice is available, but a little below the level of a pure laminate construction race-carver ski.

I’m going to Demo a few more boards this year, but I’ll be surprised if I find a better do-it-all ski.

Michael
post #2 of 19
Great review. If winter ever arrives here on the east coast, I am planning to demo these and maybe work them in to next years quiver.
post #3 of 19
Thanks for the review. I had my eyes on those since last year Contact Limited. Now, more than ever, I'll have to demo it.
They could be a good replacement for my Skicross 10.
post #4 of 19
Nice review. This mirrors my own feelings about this model and is the reason why this ski in a 172 booted the Speedmachine 14's out of the "ain't snowed lately" spot in my personal quiver.

Apparently a few other folks have figured this out as well. Dynastar is sold out of 178's and I could only get a few barrel scrapings in 172 and 165 last week.

SJ
post #5 of 19
That was one of my favorite hard-snow skis that I tested last spring. Such a fun ski, and more versatile than it had a right to be. I have been skiing the Supershape in a 170cm as the Contact 11 172cm was out of stock earlier in the year when I tried to order a pair. I can't say that the Supershape was a downgrade in any way, it is just a little different in application.
post #6 of 19
Thread Starter 
Dawgcatching,

I agree the SS and 11 are different, but they both target the high-performance carving skier for hard & soft snow.

Personally I could see the SS as superior on firm snow and the 11 better as a crud buster. Can the SS deliver the same performance in variable snow?

Cheers,

Michael
post #7 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by barrettscv View Post
Dawgcatching,

I agree the SS and 11 are different, but they both target the high-performance carving skier for hard & soft snow.

Personally I could see the SS as superior on firm snow and the 11 better as a crud buster. Can the SS deliver the same performance in variable snow?

Cheers,

Michael
Great question! We had 16" of new fluff yesterday, and I didn't fool around with the Supershapes! I was on wider stuff all day, as I only was able to ski for 2 hours, I didn't want to waste time swapping out skis. I have skied these in 3-day old crud, and they were surprisingly forgiving and solid. I wouldn't normally choose the Supershape on mainly cruddy days, as I have other skis around. But, others might be limited to only one pair of skis (what is this world coming to?) and wouldn't mind the input. I have sold a couple of pair of Supershapes to customers this season who live back East and took them to Colorado for vacation. Both were happy enough with their performance in variable conditions to call and tell me about it. But, I can't say for myself yet. Ask me again in a few hours!
post #8 of 19
Michael and Scott, I think that based on what we were skiing in Beaver Creek, the SS was pushing its limits, many of the stashes were above the boot and that one day, the crud was getting heavy near bachelors gulch. In 6" of broken it was just fine. I would agree that the 11 is better on broken or crud, with 72 underfoot, it will provide a bit more float and stability over the 66mm. When I demoed Gary's 8's we went through a pocket of above the boot stuff and the 8 did much better. On the soft groomed you can be the judge of how the SS did! The SS is incredible in all but once it gets above 6-8" it can get catchy. In the hands of better powder skiers than myself, I am sure it can handle more. Michael's skiing jumped a full level once he clicked in to the 11's. He was super stable and was skiing considerably faster. I could keep up with him on the other ski's but not on those. I would have liked to see Michael on the SS's.
post #9 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Finndog View Post
...I would have liked to see Michael on the SS's.
Hey Ron,

Thanks for the kind words. I'm hoping you will see me on my Fischer WC RC when I visit NJ & PA. this January .

The 178cm Contact 11 (122-72-102mm) was much more versatile in turn shape than the 180cm Fischer Sceneo S500 (118-68-100mm) that I also skied at B.C., which is interesting considering the turning radius is about the same, with the Contact being 4mm wider at the tip and waist and 2mm wider at the tail.

Modern detail improvements in skis are substantial!

I was impressed enough to buy a pair , considering I'm normally too cheap to invest in current year gear, that's an endorsement !



Cheers,

Michael
post #10 of 19
Great review Michael, I just ordered a pair of very lightly used demo Contact 11's in a 172cm since I'm a bit smaller than you.
I did so without a demo but being a gear whore and having been on Dynastar autodrives in the past I don't expect too big a surprise.
I'm expecting some good things out of them and your review only reinforces that.
As an aside, I was on my Supershapes for a couple of days out in Deer Valley last week and felt they were one of the finest front side skis I have ever been on. Since the snow was less plentiful than usual for this time of year I really didn't get them onto anything other than groomers and light chop but they handled incredibly. Deeper tests will have to wait for another trip.
I also was at the Canyons for a demo day and skied the Nordica Mach 3's,
salomon X-wing Tornados and K2 Strykers and Crossfires [A ski that I had never been despite its seeeming popularity]. Would have liked to try the Jet Fuels and Afterburners but the conditions just didn't warrant them.
I'll try to post some reviews when I get a bit of time to do so.
I'm glad you guys had a good time at Beaver Creek. Finndog told me about it last year when I purchased his Fischer RC SC's.
Regards, Rob
post #11 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Robscapes View Post
Great review Michael, I just ordered a pair of very lightly used demo Contact 11's in a 172cm since I'm a bit smaller than you.
I did so without a demo but being a gear whore and having been on Dynastar autodrives in the past I don't expect too big a surprise.
I'm expecting some good things out of them and your review only reinforces that.
As an aside, I was on my Supershapes for a couple of days out in Deer Valley last week and felt they were one of the finest front side skis I have ever been on. Since the snow was less plentiful than usual for this time of year I really didn't get them onto anything other than groomers and light chop but they handled incredibly. Deeper tests will have to wait for another trip.
I also was at the Canyons for a demo day and skied the Nordica Mach 3's,
salomon X-wing Tornados and K2 Strykers and Crossfires [A ski that I had never been despite its seeeming popularity]. Would have liked to try the Jet Fuels and Afterburners but the conditions just didn't warrant them.
I'll try to post some reviews when I get a bit of time to do so.
I'm glad you guys had a good time at Beaver Creek. Finndog told me about it last year when I purchased his Fischer RC SC's.
Regards, Rob

Did you get those from Coupe? If so, I skied that pair last spring, and they were the basis for my original review of that ski. They ripped....:-) and I am sure he has taken great care of them since then.
post #12 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by dawgcatching View Post
Did you get those from Coupe? If so, I skied that pair last spring, and they were the basis for my original review of that ski. They ripped....:-) and I am sure he has taken great care of them since then.
Sure did! The price was a great one.
By the way Scott, Your original review and some research on last years Contact Limited, which was only available thru retailers in Canada, was what led to my initial interest in this ski. Regards, Rob
post #13 of 19

PSA: Deal

Sierra Trading Post has the Contact 11, with PX12 Ti Lifters, in 165, 172, and 178, for $600.

Add coupon code 51791 for 20% off, and your net is $480 before shipping.
post #14 of 19
Rob, how are the fischers doing for ya'?

Michael, that's a rippin deal for sure over at Sierra, thanks Alpinedad
post #15 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by alpinedad View Post
Sierra Trading Post has the Contact 11, with PX12 Ti Lifters, in 165, 172, and 178, for $600.

Add coupon code 51791 for 20% off, and your net is $480 before shipping.
That is a nice price on a fine ski, but it is the '05 Contact 11 and not the '06-'07 model currently being reviewed (which is significantly different)

SJ
post #16 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SierraJim View Post
That is a nice price on a fine ski, but it is the '05 Contact 11 and not the '06-'07 model currently being reviewed (which is significantly different)

SJ

Yes, the dims tell the story; 112-67-98 on the offer VS. 122-72-102mm on the reviewed model.

Cheers,

Michael
post #17 of 19
Aaah. Well, there you go.

Then I won't mention the additional $20 discount for using Google Checkout.
post #18 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Finndog View Post
Rob, how are the fischers doing for ya'?

Michael, that's a rippin deal for sure over at Sierra, thanks Alpinedad
The Fischers were fun but I need to ski them more. I've only been on the mountain a few days so far this year and have been playing with and demoing some other things. So many skis, so little time!
Regards, Rob
post #19 of 19
head west my friend.....
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