I provided a quick and enthusiastic review of the Dynastar Contact 4X4 in Feb of 2008, see: http://forums.epicski.com/showthread.php?t=66258 .
Last years experience in deep snow and softer packed-powder conditions does not really test a ski the same way boilerplate ice does. Is the ski as good as I reported? A day at Mt Bachelor would provide the answer.
172cm Dynastar Contact 4X4
Where: Skied at Mt Bachelor on 1/16/09.
Conditions: The mountain was machine tilled frozen granular and some boilerplate ice and some moguls were found on a few runs. Blue sky, 25F at dawn, 45F at 3PM.
Conditions were Vermont like with frozen granular, and I do mean frozen. An ice storm hit the mountain last week leaving a shimmering clear blue ice on every slope, tree and structure. Several inches of rain had drenched the subfreezing mountain, leaving a crystal blanket.
Carving conditions were awesome due to the effective grooming the night before and the sunny warm temperatures in the forties. The snow stayed cold and firm, but maintaining good edge-grip was not difficult. The wide runs & moderate slope allow carving from top to bottom.
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, WC SC, Progressor, Cold Heat, Watea 84, 94 & 101. Volkl Tigershark 12, AC4 & Mantra. Head Chip Magnum Supershape, Monster 78, 82 & 88. Dynastar Contact 11, Legend XXL and Mythic Rider. Elan Speedwave 14, 999 and 888. Atomic Crimson Nomad. Nordica Mach 3 Power. Many others…
Boots: 2003 Salomon Course (red, 130 flex).
Comments:I skied a 178cm Contact 4X4 last year and the 172cm Contact 4X4 for this review. The Contact 4X4 is capable of the high-edge-angle carving heroics and provided the same edge-grip as the any good laminate construction race carver. However, the real world versatility of the Contact 4X4 is apparent even on firm snow. The ski is simply superior in every way to the much more specialized cheater GS ski.
The ski was comparable to my Fischer Progressor on the firm groomed corduroy, with massive edge-grip. Very easy turn initiation. A ski with very large sweet spot. Turn shape is very versatile. Mid-length turns are no brainers while very tight turns require a very little extra effort. 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 hard groomed surface. The Contact 4x4 is a true race-carver with 122-75-106mm dimensions.
The ski can be used as a carver and can perform in a wide range of conditions. The 75mm width-at-the-waist provides moderately quick edge-changes but feels a little plush compared to a thinner SL ski. This is a benefit as I was concerned, the ski never feels twitchy and is 100% dependable in a wide range of conditions. Top racers might want faster edge-changes, but free skiers don't need it, IMO. The ski could easily be used for club racing.
Hardsnow skiing confirmed a few points from my Utah review and revised others.
Confirmed: Cheater GS ski performance in a more versatile and user friendly package.
Revised: Stability is no problem even in the 172cm size. Grip is superb, even on ice.
Edited by WILDCAT - Mon, 02 Feb 09 18:23:38 GMT