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compare / contrast: RX8 vs Contact 11

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
For those who've skied both the Fischer RX8 and newer Dynastar Contact 11 - and I know you're out there (barrettscv? dawgcatching) - I'd be interested in how you'd compare them one on one. Bonus points for 170cm RX8 and 172cm Contact 11.

I've skied the Rx8 a few times now. I've read a lot about both skis, both here and elsewhere. Anyone who's actually skied both, what do you think? Tradeoffs? Significant differences? If you had to choose one for an east coast skier, which would it be and why?

Extra bonus points if you can throw the Elan Ripstick or Dynastar Omecarve 10 into the mix (other "consumer carver" type skis I'm familiar with).

post #2 of 8
I can't speak for the Omecarve 10, but the RX8 is a little lighter and more lively than the Contact 11 (now the 10 for 2009). The 10 is no doubt more stable, a little more damp, and feel like a wood core ski. Think Legend 8000 with more sidecut and a little more performance. The RX8 is snappy, fun, and has a lower speed limit, but feels more short-turn oriented, even though the sidecut isn't really that much different from the Contact 10/11. I personally preferred the Contact, but I like to make medium to big turns at speed.

The RIPstick is more energetic than the Contact 10/11, similar stability, and more medium-turn oriented than the RX8. It has a traditional wood-core race ski feel, and feel more powerful. Perhaps more demanding, although I thought it was quite forgiving for what it was.

for a little more $ than the RX8, you can get a Progressor 8+, which is more along the lines of a RIPstick in terms of performance. A better ski, IMO, unless you like that really light RX8 feel.
post #3 of 8
I owned both, have mentioned both in reviews here. (meaning, try a search. ) Found the RX8 to be the best learning ski I've ever used; it wants you to carve better and rewards you when you do. Stiff tail, so not optimal in bumps, but wonderful energy out of the turn, light and easy edge to edge, excellent on ice, has a speed limit, and can get knocked around in stiff crud or on irregular surfaces. Wants to carve, not scarve.

Contact 11 (now the 10) was a bit beefier, unusual taper for a ski this width, so the tail was very adaptable (skid, carve, smear, pivot) and so very nice in bumps. Higher speed limit than the RX8, more versatile (meaning better in pow and crud), a bit less sure footed on hardpack and ice. Like all Dynastars, the cap tip will get pushed around a bit at speed, but that's not an early warning of systems failure. Sierra Jim had a nice review of this ski when he worked at Sierra Ski/Snowboard, not sure it's still up. IMO, still a top choice for lighter advanced to expert skiers who are looking for a 70/30, the 4x4 would be better for those over 180 and don't spend much time in bumps.

Of the two, found the 11 more interesting and versatile as a ski, but the 8 better to practice on and more pure fun on groomed. Both are superb skis IMO.
post #4 of 8
Thread Starter 
Thanks to you both for weighing in. Certainly have searched and read reviews - though it's a bit confusing with the Dynastar name changes. I think the same ski went form "Contact 11" in 07, to "Contact Limited" in 08, to "Contact 10" in 09. You both are talking about the one that's 122-72-102 in dimensions (Contact 11 here: http://www.ski-depot.com/miva/mercha...e=dynaconp1107, and Contact 10 here: http://www.ski-depot.com/miva/mercha...roduct_Count=2 )

Context of the current query is I just sold a Ripstick, which was a ton of fun but primarily at high speed, and was tough (for me) in bumps. Replaced with an RX8, which is a ton of fun too but the speed limit is more of an issue than I thought it would be.

Turns out - DUH - the days when I want to use the carving skis are the hardpack days when speed gets seductive, and the light and lively, turny tendency of the RX8 is a little unsettling while chasing my kids at mach speed down xxx . Contact 11 / 10 seemed like a good in-between option, and if it's more bump friendly AND better at speed then I might give it a try and say goodbye to the RX8's while they're still in new condition.

Dawg I'll look at the Progressor 8+ as well. Does it need speed to "come alive" or more versatile?
post #5 of 8
I have the 08 Limited(165) and love it. Demoed the RX8 in a 165 and also liked it. The RX8 felt quicker edge to edge but wasn't as forgiving in bumps or deeper snow. The Limited is the best overall ski I've ever owned, will hold a decent edge on hard pack works great in bumps and can hold it's own in powder under 12"
post #6 of 8
Thread Starter 
Whoops, a little sloppy on that last post. What I meant to say was RX8 is unsettling at all-out catch up with kids speed on boilerplate icey groomers, especially when there are irregular chunks and ice pebbles bouncing around underfoot, which is all too common around here. I've got the 170cm and weigh in at 170lbs -- so I don't think length is an issue, just the light construction of the Fisher. "Snow feel" is great, but "death cookie feel" kind of sucks.

Is the Contact 11/Ltd/10 (or Progressor or any other recommendation) going to be significantly more stable?

Another option would be to simply hold onto my Rx8's and pick up a GS ski; I have an extra pair of Rossi bindings and "lightly used" Rossi / Dynastar GS skis are abundant and cheap on the interwebs. But I'd prefer some versatility and less clutter in the gear room. Hence the one-ski quiver quest for an east coast carver.
post #7 of 8
Here's my recent thoughts on the Contact 11:

I have 2-year old Dynastar Contact 11's (165) and love them. I'm similar ability and 5'10" and 165 lbs. I would call them good Western all-mountain skis when you can't count on always having powder, which happen to be great in bumps.

They are great in bumps with a soft tail. At 165, they are pretty quick turners and pretty good cruisers.

They have a pretty deep sidecut and are not bad in crud and powder (certainly better than my prior skis - Rossignol 7S blades!). The deep sidecut, however, means they aren't that stable as straight downhill skis, e.g.., when you and your friends are going all the way from top to bottom before lunch on groomers.

My only complaint about my Contact 11's is that they don't seem that nimble in the trees. But that's probably me, not the skis.

One warning though: One of my skis got slightly bent doing moguls. Probably after only about 15 days of skiing.

I'd love to know a pair of skis like my Contact 11's that wouldn't bend doing moguls.

* * *
Also, I started a thread called "My review of Contact 11" back in Feb 2007 and other posters compared to the RX8.
post #8 of 8
Thread Starter 
thanks, i'll look for your old thread as well.
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