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Ski Review: Elan 888 and Dynastar Mythic Rider

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
Ski Review: Dynastar Mythic Rider 178cm and Elan 888 177cm
Conditions: day-old crud (6-8 inches deep) with 2” of fresh on top. Groomers were soft.
About me: 5 foot 9, 148lbs (been riding my bike a lot!), level 8 skier
Terrain: fast groomers, some SL-type turns, lots-o-crud, small bumps

I was able to finally get out on both the 888 and Mythic Rider in suitable conditions. I have been on the iM78 exclusively for the past month. The testing ground was near perfect and exactly what these skis were designed to do.

Elan 888 177cm: I skied this very briefly 2 months ago, but conditions were far from perfect (hardpack groomers, a couple of inches of new snow on top of hard snow) and I really didn’t get a great feel for this ski. The same goes for the Mythic Rider, as I hadn’t really been able to follow up with it either. The 888 is a new ski from Elan, and has a 21m radius, 88mm underfoot, 108mm tail, and 128 tip. The mounting position is set more forward than on most skis. It is completely different than the Magma (which is 82mm underfoot) so they aren’t comparable the way the Head iM82 and iM88 are. It is also a completely new ski from the 777, which had a similar turn radius, yet was 85mm underfoot, 117mm at the tip, and much heavier underfoot (lots of metal and wood in there). I loved the 777 as a crud ski, but it was pretty sluggish on the groomers and was so damp, stable, and fairly stiff that it wouldn’t go slow or do short turns.

Review: I started with the 888 in the neutral position. Right off, it felt carvy and grippy on the groomers, but a little catchy in the crud, like I was overweighting the tip. I found it to be a bit demanding in this position. The ski almost wanted to turn itself, which is not a sensation that I value. I really don’t like skis that are locked into turning and would prefer a ski that would turn when I want it to. It pivoted easily (more than my iM78’s) and eased into the turn well when moving from a flat ski, but was a little more touchy than I would have liked in uneven crud. I moved the binding back via the Railflex 1.5cm after 3 runs.

Once the binding was set back a bit, the ski became much more predictable, without losing any turn-ability. It gained in stability on both crud and groomers. I could put the ski where I wanted it to go without fuss. It definitely felt similar to the 777 in terms of dampness, stability, but lighter and more flick-able underfoot. The major difference was the carve-ability of the tip: it would roll into the turn better on groomers and was a more exciting ski. In the crud, it seemed a bit turnier than the 777 but no more hooky. It rolled into the turn only when I asked it to. Float was great, but the ski did want a fairly aggressive skier and decent speed to come alive, same as the 777. Forgiveness-wise, the 888 was middle-of-the-road. I could easily make good turns with minimum effort, but if I got behind the ski, it would tend to run away a little bit. For it’s level of stability, I found it quite forgiving, but perhaps not as much as, say a K2 Outlaw. I took it into some moderate bumps and the ski was very easy to ski. Maybe a bit stiffer than optimal, but not so stiff that the ski was in any way unworkable. I actually felt it was pretty easy to get a handle on in the bumps, which surprised me. In big arcs on groomers, this ski was very good for a wide ski. It wasn’t wandery, and didn’t tend to diverge like some wider skis do on soft groomers. It was predictable and solid in the mold of a good GS ski. I could roll it up onto edge and know it was there for me. Not the quickest ski edge to edge, and didn’t have a ton of energy, but was fun to pilot at speed nonetheless.


Dynastar Mythic Rider 178cm: new ski from Dynastar, same dimensions and turn radius as the 888. This is an all-wood ski from Dynastar. I skied it with the bindings on center. The Mythic essentially replaces the 8800.

This ski impressed me at the on-snow demo in February (it impressed all of us, actually) and I definitely wanted to get more time on it this spring. I know that SierraJim likes it as well. The overall feel was smooth, damp, yet more robust than say a typical Rossi or K2, and it seemed to have more pop than the old 8800.

When I skied it this time around, I had much more suitable testing conditions: namely, snow conditions that this ski was designed for. It was mounted with a Look PX12 binding on a demo rail. The Mythic definitely had a crud-snow emphasis to it. The flex was soft overall, and with a fairly soft tip that really eased into the turn. In the crud, this ski shines. It really has the perfect flex for tight trees and smaller radius turns, in that it can de-camber enough and pivot well enough to ski easily and with good float. The feel is smooth, damp, and stable, but not dead or overcooked-pasta like I feel that some of the really damp skis can be. I could ski really slowly on this ski and it did very well, but at higher speeds, it was totally solid in crud and I didn’t get bounced around whatsoever. It really seemed to be built as a crud-buster.

In bumps, the ski was totally adequate as well, and wasn’t overly stiff or demanding. It rolled well into the turn and felt comfortable during flat transitions. It could come around pretty darn quick. On the groomers, I felt the Mythic to be out of it’s element a bit. It was fine on the hardpack when I skied it in February, but here, on the soft snow, it got rattled around pretty quick, and I found the speed limit. In the soft snow, the skis really wanted to diverge and go their separate ways, which is often a problem I find with the wide skis, but not a stiffer, bit narrower ski. I could ski the Mythic in these conditions, but had to take more care to properly weight both skis and keep them relatively under the hips. Big angulation produced a ski that could either overbend or get caught in soft snow and track a different direction than I desired.

Comparisons:

The Elan 888 was the beefier of the two, and it’s soft snow performance, for me, was similar to that of the Mythic. The big difference came in the speed needed to make it come alive: the 888 wants more input and energy from the skier, and can be a bit more demanding if skied slow or sloppily (still easier than the 777 though). The Mythic is more forgiving and easy to ski at slow speeds. Under a moderately skilled, aggressive skier, the 888 and Mythic, in crud, are of similar performance. In bumps, I found the 888 to track a bit better and be more forgiving than the Mythic (the edge on the Mythic wanted to sometimes do it’s own thing, making it a bit harder to ski). On groomers, and especially at speed, the 888 has the big edge. The Mythic is too soft and wants to go its own way on the soft, cut-up stuff at higher speeds in GS arcs, whereas the 888 just blasts through the soft snow and is steady, maintaining its initial line. In comparison to other skis I have tried, the 888 is a little carvier than the 777, with a bigger tip, and better float, with a lighter feel underfoot, but similar stability. The Mythic is definitely softer and reminds me of a wider 8000, but more stable in cut-up crud. The iM88 is a bit more heavy underfoot than either of these, and tends to be a bit more damp, very stable and predictable, and stiffer with regards to flex, making it really good at high-speed crud runs but not as nimble and probably a little stiffer for uncut snow than would be ideal (Mojo 90 would be great for uncut snow, however). I actually think that the Mojo 90 and Mythic will ski very similar, but I need to get them up on the same day to find out. The Snoop Daddy, to me, was stiffer, lighter, and more aggressive laterally, but not quite as stable as the 888, and probably a little more stable on groomers than the Mythic, but with a totally different feel.

Overall, I would recommend the 888 to the skier looking for a really nice do-it-all crud ski that can handle groomers reasonably well and hold up under fast, aggressive skiing. The Mythic gets the nod for the skier who wants a ski that requires a little lower energy input and is a superb soft-snow ski, yet remains very forgiving.

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 #2 of 15
Thanks for the review, excelent as usuall. One question for me, I have been using a 2 yr old 8000 for about 4 days and like the ski compared to the metron 9 that I was on here at Tahoe. I have been also looking at skis in the 88mm range projecting more snow days next year,and reading many reviews and opininions. Is there generally a significant jump from the 78mm 8000 to say the 8800 or the mythic. I assume that there is but not having skied the larger waist ski, don't have any real knowldge. I generally ski on piste and prefer it when they are not groomed with fresh snow. Don't we all like them that way?

Thanks, Mark
post #3 of 15
The Dynastar must be a breeze to ski, because I found the 888 to be very forgiving, even my son who couldn't handle my Titans and actually felt these were more nimble than the Recons he was using.

Like Dog, I found that these were better slightly rear of center mark.
post #4 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mkevenson View Post
Thanks for the review, excelent as usuall. One question for me, I have been using a 2 yr old 8000 for about 4 days and like the ski compared to the metron 9 that I was on here at Tahoe. I have been also looking at skis in the 88mm range projecting more snow days next year,and reading many reviews and opininions. Is there generally a significant jump from the 78mm 8000 to say the 8800 or the mythic. I assume that there is but not having skied the larger waist ski, don't have any real knowldge. I generally ski on piste and prefer it when they are not groomed with fresh snow. Don't we all like them that way?

Thanks, Mark
Hi Mark,

I would say that in general, some of the wider skis that are simply wider versions of narrower skis will increase in stability and sometimes also be not as user-friendly. But, many of the skis that are wider (including both in this review) are quite friendly, the Dynastar easily as friendly as the 8000. They can sometimes take a bit more technique to ski in tighter spaces (due to relative lack of sidecut) but on the other hand, they can pivot well and aren't as likely to hook up and carve as a narrower ski.

If you like the 8000, then the Mythic Rider is the obvious ski for a versatile crud and deep-snow day ski. The Pro Rider may be a bit much ski for you, as it is pretty stiff and likes to go fast.

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 #5 of 15
I would be curious to know how far back the midsole mark is from the sidecut center. On free-ride skis, Elan usually puts their midsole mark ~2cm further forward (closer to sidecut center) compared to other brands. I find this to be comfortable on the narrower skis (M666, Mag12) but not great on the wider skis (777, probably 888).
post #6 of 15
Good review Dawg.

Interesting comments on the Mythic. While CO crud likely shares little similarities with OR crud, I found Mythic to be a superb crud ski. Very smooth & stable and my impression is that the 178cm Mythic is fairly stiff longitudinally - at least compared to Mantra. While I didn't find Mythic to be too demanding, I think I view it as more of an expert's ski than you do. It really responded well to strong modern technique and did not want to scarve. I think I found a higher speed limit than you did on the groomers but I really don't know how fast I was going. And besides, it's not really groomer speed that these types of skis are made for.

I'd love to demo a 888 for comparison but Elan demos out here are tough and I've already transitioned from the sticks to the bike.
post #7 of 15
mkevenson writes: "Is there generally a significant jump from the 78mm 8000 to say the 8800 or the mythic ?"

I went from using 8000's to using Mythic as my everyday ski this Spring (Spring is still going strong in AK) and I could not be happier. I loved the 8000's, but they could get beaten around by our coastal crud. The Mythics really don't.
One thing I did do to accommodate skiing on the wider ski is buy the Mythics shorter. Then you keep that nice, easy turning feel of the 8000's while skiing the wider ski.
The Mythic is not the perfect ski for hardpack, but it is not bad. It does have a lower speed limit than the 8000's on groomers (maybe just because I went shorter ?). And I still want my Sugar Daddys for real honest to God powder days (although once again the Mythics aren't bad). But the Mythics seem like a near perfect ski for resort off-piste skiing (read cut crud) mixed with some groomers. Goes anywhere.
post #8 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Girdwoodguy View Post
And I still want my Sugar Daddys for real honest to God powder days (although once again the Mythics aren't bad). But the Mythics seem like a near perfect ski for resort off-piste skiing (read cut crud) mixed with some groomers. Goes anywhere.
Same with the 888. I have the Seth (prolly to be replaced with a 999) for real powder, but if I couldn't have a 100 waisted ski, the 888 would be a fine choice.
post #9 of 15
In '08 the Mythic Rider got a layer of titanal which sounds like it dramatically changed the nature of the ski. The '08 MR is basically a wide GS ski and its race pedigree shows.

I demo'd my '08 MRs (flat, PX-12, 178) against the '08 Elan 888 (178) today at Keystone. Conditions were packed powder on groomers, a little crud (heavy, cut up fresh), some ice. Two runs on the 888, two runs on the MR (though I probably have a hundred days on them in total).

I'm 6'0, 155lbs. Agressive skier, like high speed arcs.

The 888 has a markedly softer longitudinal flex. It has a nice, even flex. The MR's flex is a bit more progressive and it will push back on you. Both skis hold well on ice, but the MR requires more finesse due to its stiffer flex. The 888 is a very damp ski and the softer flex helps smooth out the ride. The MR is also damp, but you have to smooth out the ride yourself; it will leave the ground if you fail to absorb. As DC mentioned, the 888 is sluggish at slow speeds. The MR is probably even more so; it won't turn at all until you give it some gas. The 888 seemed happiest at moderate speeds. It wasn't bad at high speeds, but the soft flex didn't inspire confidence. I felt like I was always on the verge of overpowering the ski. The MRs at speed aren't much different than my Atomic GS:11s. They are dead stable with zero tip deflection. On an uneven surface you will get bounced a bit and you need to ride a loose ski to minimize that. Releasing a turn on the MRs at high speeds yields good rebound energy, but you do need to be ready for it. The 888 lacks the energy of the MR, but it is cadillac smooth. The 888s should be a much better ski in powder and bumps (though I didn't get to experience either today). In crud the 888s are a bit lacking in the beef department. They aren't bad, but I did experience some tip deflection. The titanal in the MRs ensures that they will plow through about anything at any speed.

I should also mention that we tried mounting the 888s aft and it wasn't a pleasure (IMO). They would arc, but it required agressive ankle flexion to get the tips to engage at the top of the turn. I also found the aft mount to negatively impact stability (the tips flopped a bit at speed). My personal preference was for the neutral mount. Do play with the mount point, but demo before you drill.

Overall, I thought the 888 was a very versatile ski. Like I've said before, the MR is biased towards speed so the trade-offs will be in powder and bump performance. If you live for high speed GS turns, the MR is the better choice. OTOH, if you don't have to be on a race ski, the 888 is a great option.
post #10 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by geoffda View Post
In '08 the Mythic Rider got a layer of titanal which sounds like it dramatically changed the nature of the ski. The '08 MR is basically a wide GS ski and its race pedigree shows.

I demo'd my '08 MRs (flat, PX-12, 178) against the '08 Elan 888 (178) today at Keystone. Conditions were packed powder on groomers, a little crud (heavy, cut up fresh), some ice. Two runs on the 888, two runs on the MR (though I probably have a hundred days on them in total).

I'm 6'0, 155lbs. Agressive skier, like high speed arcs.

The 888 has a markedly softer longitudinal flex. It has a nice, even flex. The MR's flex is a bit more progressive and it will push back on you. Both skis hold well on ice, but the MR requires more finesse due to its stiffer flex. The 888 is a very damp ski and the softer flex helps smooth out the ride. The MR is also damp, but you have to smooth out the ride yourself; it will leave the ground if you fail to absorb. As DC mentioned, the 888 is sluggish at slow speeds. The MR is probably even more so; it won't turn at all until you give it some gas. The 888 seemed happiest at moderate speeds. It wasn't bad at high speeds, but the soft flex didn't inspire confidence. I felt like I was always on the verge of overpowering the ski. The MRs at speed aren't much different than my Atomic GS:11s. They are dead stable with zero tip deflection. On an uneven surface you will get bounced a bit and you need to ride a loose ski to minimize that. Releasing a turn on the MRs at high speeds yields good rebound energy, but you do need to be ready for it. The 888 lacks the energy of the MR, but it is cadillac smooth. The 888s should be a much better ski in powder and bumps (though I didn't get to experience either today). In crud the 888s are a bit lacking in the beef department. They aren't bad, but I did experience some tip deflection. The titanal in the MRs ensures that they will plow through about anything at any speed.

I should also mention that we tried mounting the 888s aft and it wasn't a pleasure (IMO). They would arc, but it required agressive ankle flexion to get the tips to engage at the top of the turn. I also found the aft mount to negatively impact stability (the tips flopped a bit at speed). My personal preference was for the neutral mount. Do play with the mount point, but demo before you drill.

Overall, I thought the 888 was a very versatile ski. Like I've said before, the MR is biased towards speed so the trade-offs will be in powder and bump performance. If you live for high speed GS turns, the MR is the better choice. OTOH, if you don't have to be on a race ski, the 888 is a great option.
Interesting conclusions, especially since you are about the same weight as I am. With regards to mounting, the 888 last year was happiest for me 1.5cm behind center, but the 2009 version had the mounting point moved back (there were no other changes to the ski). The more I skied the 888 last year, the more I found it to be a very strong, powerful ski, happiest at high speeds, and close to the Stockli XXXL in terms of performance in crud. It ended up being my "main" ski last year. OTOH, the times I had on the MR last year gave me the impression that it was fun, easygoing, and happiest at moderate speeds, opposite your conclusions. Others have found that not to be the case (such as yourself). I found the new Legend Pro to be more like the 888 in terms of performance than the MR.

Thanks for taking the time to sum up your thoughts.

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 #11 of 15
Have you skied the >= '08 MR since they beefed it up a bit? I haven't skied the '07, but if that is what you were on when you did your review, it might explain the difference in opinion. Otherwise, I guess it's just different strokes for different folks .

I was thinking about it more last night; it may be that comparative lack of energy in the 888 was a significant factor in shaping my opinion. It wasn't that the ski was unhappy at speed per se--it was certainly stable enough (and stability seemed to improve at speed)--I think it was just that feeling that the ski didn't want to push back and the lack of snap at turn exit.

I definitely will demo again when we have some powder and bumps. The ski felt like it would be a blast in those conditions.

I had heard that they moved the mount point back on the '09 and I can certainly believe it makes for a better feel for some. This is the second ski I've demo'd with an aft mounting point and in both cases I haven't preferred it. Might be boot setup combined w/ delta on the binding. I have toe-lifts on my Salomon Falcon 10s because the forward lean is too agressive for me. The lifts assume 8 degrees of delta, so perhaps I wasn't getting that with the rental binding & it moved my hips slightly back. JMD had a little trouble with that mount as well (they were his skis). He was taking one more run with them mounted center when I had to leave; I'll be interested to hear his opinion.

Anyway, thanks to you too for your initial review. It was a good one.
post #12 of 15
Hi geoffda. It was a pleasure sharing turns with you Monday. It helps we have the same boot sole length and can swap skis easily. I measured the ramp angle on the demo bindings and found the heals to be 2mms higher than the toe. Interesting all three of my Atomic Bindings, Neox 412-Neox 614-Race 614 share the same 2mm ramp. The Elan 888s were a joy to ski. I also preferred the Center Line Mounting Position to the 1.5 cm aft location. Your MRs were also fun to ride and I will Review both skis after a little more time riding them. Initial impression was very simular to geoffda's review with me leaning to the forgiveness of the Elan 888s over the slightly stiffer riding MRs. I do not yet fell comfortable at the same Higher GS Speeds geoffda cruises at regularly. It will be fun to try them in knee deep snow.
post #13 of 15
Interesting review - thanks - I haven't tried the Elan's but they sound like they could be worth a try.

I am 5' 10", 180lb - level 8/9 skier (worked a couple of seasons in Europe/New Zealand) but have spent last 5 years or so 50:50 boarding/skiing. I own some Stockli Stormriders (2005 model I think) but wanted to try some Legend Pro but couldn't find any so tried the Mythic's at the end of last season - not sure of exact length but probably 184-ish - assume 2007 model.

The week had a mix of deep fresh (not champagne stuff but pretty good) that -> slightly heavier (late season but stayed pretty cold) -> very cut up. I spent as little time as possible on piste and I have NEVER skied anything that I felt as good on as these. I felt very comfortable skiing controlled in the fresh but what amazed me was the way you could absolutely destroy the cut up/choppd up snow at ridiculous speeds without feeling like they were going to wash out/get derailed at all.

I am skiing in a couple of weeks (after New Year) so will try to get on the 2008 versions and provide a proper review......although my T6 board I picked up cheap will be itching to fly too....

Have a good Christmas/holidays all.
post #14 of 15
Just want to clear up a few facts.
1. Mythic has a composite core, not wood. 8800 was wood, Mythic has been composite from day one.
2. 1 layer of titanal and it is on the bottom. 8800 and all other Dynastars (with metal) have two layers.
3. There is only one version of the Mythic starting with the 07-08 model (orange tip with white/wood grain). The ski has not changed one bit from the first shipment in 2007.

In the end none of this really does matters if you like the ski. But know that if you like a Mythic the only decision you'll need to make is which graphic.
post #15 of 15
I always enjoy reading a Dawg review. Very balanced and thorough.
Last week I demo'd both the Mythic and the 888. Two 1000 ft verticle runs down an eastern trail with a mix of hardpack, soft snow bumps, glare ice and goomer runout. I've never skied anything wider than a 77 prior to these runs.
Both opened my eyes to how much fun a wider ski can be. A nod to the 888 in the bumps, but, I'd love to get back on both and develop a more longlasting releationship.
BTW I'm 200 lbs, level 7/8. Condtions demo trail we skied took me down to the 7 very quickly.
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