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Dynastar Sultan 85 video review

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
I have been skiing the Sultan 85 recently, and this is some video from "testing". Conditions; crusty snow (been very cold and has not snowed in a couple of weeks) and pretty firm everywhere.  Flat light, of course (hey, this is Bachelor: what did you expect?)  About me: 5 foot 9, 155lbs.  About the ski: Dynastar Legend Sultan 85, 178cm, radius 16m, dual titanial laminate construction, fluid plate and PX12 binding.  Also, not the world's best bump skier, as you can see.  These are the first bumps I have seen at Bachelor in years! If they refrain from mowing them they have every other season, I should be pretty good in bumps by year's end. 

One thing about this ski: the tune out of the box sucks, at least on my sample it did.  I would recommend putting on at least a 2 degree throughout the entire side edge: my side edge varied from .5 to 1.5, which translated to lousy and unpredictable edgehold until I went though it.  About the ski: fairly stable, fairly smooth, fairly easy to ski. Not really a standout in any one area, but overall just a nice feeling, fairly damp ski with enough energy to keep things interesting. Classic Dynastar Legend feel and capability; just what one would expect from a descendant of the old 8800.  A bit more challening in the bumps than the Peak 88 I skied the following day.  Very stable in 178cm for my size.  The sweet spot is pretty big on this ski, and due to dampness and an overall big-ski feel, it is more at home skiing cruddy conditions off-piste than trying to be a wide race ski on groomers.  I didn't take it into real deep snow, so I don't know how it performs there, but I have had it in 6 inches or so of new, and float was about what you would expect for a ski of this size.  Overall, this is a high performance ride for a reasonable price tag of $649 (especially if you can get the shop to throw in a free PX12).  Compared to the other mid-width skis I have been skiing a lot (Peak 88, Blizzard 8.1 Max): I would say the Peak 88 is a bit easier in bumps, has a bigger sweet spot, and is a little more suited to off-piste adventures with a softer flex and wider profile.  The Sultan has a little more punch.  Stability is a wash; both are very stable. The Blizzi 8.1 is probably more stable than the other 2, but is quite a bit stiffer than either and can be a handful away from the groomers, and especially in bumps. It is by far the most exciting of the 3 skis, but also more of a 70/30 ski. You have to ski the 8.1 shorter though; it is stiff and feels like a 2x4 in a length that is too long.

The Sultan a great ski for someone looking for a versatile, mid-width, stable feeling, jack of all trades ski.  I have heard nothing but positives from people who have been on it.  It doesn't really replace the Mythic Rider (which is much better in crud and even more stable) but definitely bridges the gap between the Sultan 80 (Legend 8000 replacement) and Mythic Rider, with more of a snappy feel than the MR gives the skier.
Edited by dawgcatching - 12/18/09 at 9:44pm
post #2 of 23
Nice review! My friend is looking at buying a pair of Sultans, I will certainly show him this.
post #3 of 23
Good review. Good form. But, it makes me wonder what people are talking about when they review bumps. I consider "bumps" when talking about reviews as zipperline only. Otherwise it's just short turns.
post #4 of 23
Nice review Scott.  From the look of your turns it appears as if the leg is doing well!

How does the Sultan 85 compare to the Stockli Stormrider VXL? 
post #5 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mohrgan View Post

Nice review Scott.  From the look of your turns it appears as if the leg is doing well!

How does the Sultan 85 compare to the Stockli Stormrider VXL? 

Stockli is definitely smoother; although the light is flat, you can see the Sultan bouncing quite a bit in the off-piste shot, as the snow was rougher than it looks.  The Stockli is also a bit stiffer and more stable, and has better edgehold, but is less forgiving.  It isn't for everyone:  the VXL requires your A-game on most every turn; the Sultan is easier to ski poorly on, and I would steer most people to the Sultan.  That is, unless they stayed away from bumps, or skied GS rippers at full speed all day and were skilled and fit skiers.     

Leg is feeling much better.  Probably 80% of full strength: I am still struggling lack of muscle and power around my ankle and my turns are weaker on that side, but it is much better than last year, when I was literally limping around, barely able to ski.
post #6 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ski=free View Post

Good review. Good form. But, it makes me wonder what people are talking about when they review bumps. I consider "bumps" when talking about reviews as zipperline only. Otherwise it's just short turns.

There are some troughs there, but it isn't zipperline: you are correct. Unfortunately, we don't have zipperline bumps here, at least not at the moment.  There are a series of around 20 that will form a bit later in the season. These are "trainer bumps" for now, and will have to do.  But, since they do have troughs and transitions, you can feel how the ski flexes and bends.  After we got some snow the other day, the bigger bumps have started to form, but I was on the Peak 88 that day and didn't have someone filming. 
post #7 of 23
 Aw, those are some purdy little bumps.  I skied my Sultans in some light bumps last weekend, and found them to be just about as stiff as I'd want in those conditions; just short of the point where they'd start to become unwieldy.  Which is nice, as my iM88 are brutes in bumps.  Are you going to post a review of the Peaks, Scott?  I have not demoed them yet.

The Sultans have quite a bit of energy and bite on hard snow, and ski shorter than they look (mine are 184cm but feel like a 176cm ski on hard snow).  Yet in softer snow, they felt every bit a beefy 184cm ski.  I like that combination, it gives the ski a wider range.  It was nice to make surgical short turns through bumps, then hit soft snow on the side of the trail and feel the skis float/cruise over everything, then go back to hard pack and rip turns like a carver.  Very good combination of performance from a single ski.  It never missed a beat.
post #8 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by skier219 View Post

 Aw, those are some purdy little bumps.  I skied my Sultans in some light bumps last weekend, and found them to be just about as stiff as I'd want in those conditions; just short of the point where they'd start to become unwieldy.  Which is nice, as my iM88 are brutes in bumps.  Are you going to post a review of the Peaks, Scott?  I have not demoed them yet.

The Sultans have quite a bit of energy and bite on hard snow, and ski shorter than they look (mine are 184cm but feel like a 176cm ski on hard snow).  Yet in softer snow, they felt every bit a beefy 184cm ski.  I like that combination, it gives the ski a wider range.  It was nice to make surgical short turns through bumps, then hit soft snow on the side of the trail and feel the skis float/cruise over everything, then go back to hard pack and rip turns like a carver.  Very good combination of performance from a single ski.  It never missed a beat.
I don't have video footage of the Peak at the moment, as my friend (who is an excellent cameraman, BTW; his shots are very steady and excellent for a little handheld pocket cam) wasn't skiing with me the other day.  But, I really, really liked it.  Definitely softer than the Sultan, more fun in medium sized bumps, and still very stable at "as fast as I can ski w/o being scared for my leg".
post #9 of 23
Scott, does the Head Peak 88 have metal in it?  I know it's been debated here a couple of times and I haven't had my hands on a pair yet.
post #10 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mohrgan View Post

Scott, does the Head Peak 88 have metal in it?  I know it's been debated here a couple of times and I haven't had my hands on a pair yet.

Yes, it has liquidmetal cap underneath the topsheet, not laminate liquidmetal like the old 88.  It is definitely softer when flexing it by hand, but on the hill, doesn't feel functionally softer.  I really had a good time on it.
post #11 of 23
Dawg:  Exactly my reaction to the Sultan.  Terrific, versatile, user-friendly ski.  My two favorites in this mid-80s waist width were these and the Stockli Stormrider XXL.  I found them quite similar.  I also liked the Rossi Avenger 82 Ti, which, although versatile, I thought a bit firmer and more hard-snow biased.  Would you agree?
 
 
post #12 of 23
What are reviews going to be now without a video? Nice job.
post #13 of 23
You've really stepped up the game now with video reviews!  I was actually thinking about doing that during our demo days at Loveland this year, but I ended up just trying to get on as many pairs of skis as possible and didn't bother with the video.

Your comments on the Sultan 85 are spot on with my feelings.  It's like the review I haven't written yet .  Interesting about your comments on the tune.  All the skis I rode at the Loveland demo days "looked" great (almost perfect condition for the most part), but I didn't pull out any tools to actually check how they were setup.  I was kind of assuming that manufacturers/reps set these things up the way they recommend.

mike_m - I absolutely hated the Ross Avenger 82 Ti.  The Sultan 85 had a quieter on snow feeling with a lot more edge grip (but not quite as much as the Atomic Nomad series or Volkl AC series).  The Sultan was a very "playful" ski (decent in most areas).  I couldn't buy a decent carved turn on the Rossi.  I don't know what exactly was wrong with it, but it wasn't working for me.  Note that I had to ride the Rossi in a 177 (only length they had) - normally I would have preferred the 170 for this type of ski, but I rode many skis over that weekend that were much longer and I generally preferred the longer skis.  So I don't think the length was the whole story on the Rossi.
post #14 of 23
Dawg - Just curious about the size you were on...video says 172 and your post says 178?  Do you think that the Sultan 85s ski short on the groomers but are pretty true to size off piste?
post #15 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by golfski View Post

Dawg - Just curious about the size you were on...video says 172 and your post says 178?  Do you think that the Sultan 85s ski short on the groomers but are pretty true to size off piste?

Definitely 178.  I will let the person who did the editing know, so he can modify it.  This ski has an early rise tip and tail, so it skis a bit shorter.  My 178 felt more like a 175.
post #16 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Noodler View Post

You've really stepped up the game now with video reviews!  I was actually thinking about doing that during our demo days at Loveland this year, but I ended up just trying to get on as many pairs of skis as possible and didn't bother with the video.
 

Thanks.  More to come, if we get back to some decent shooting conditions and away from the rain and fog. I am planning on doing the Atlas IQ, Peak 88, Elan 1010, and Answer IQ next week.   It is tough to do it at a demo even though, as you really cut down on the number of skis you would try, due to time spent shooting
post #17 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Noodler View Post


Your comments on the Sultan 85 are spot on with my feelings.  It's like the review I haven't written yet .  Interesting about your comments on the tune.  All the skis I rode at the Loveland demo days "looked" great (almost perfect condition for the most part), but I didn't pull out any tools to actually check how they were setup.  I was kind of assuming that manufacturers/reps set these things up the way they recommend.
 

I am sure the rep tuned them. They usually tune them before sending them out with any prospective buyers.   The skis would have had industry demo time on them the prior spring, so they have probably seen a couple of light tunes by now.  I was just more concerned by how they skied "out of the wrapper" as they seemed to require a bit more aggressive and consistent edge bevel. 

This ski will be a home run for Dynastar.  It is going to make a lot of skiers very happy.
post #18 of 23
Nice review, Dawg.
nice format, and nice skiing. Its good to see your leg working for you again...

I skied this ski yesterday, and it is great ski. my favorite of the skinnier versatile skis I've skied on. It listened well in short swing, or super G turns, slow speed or high speed and held well. A bit heavier feeling then my favorite, my watea 94, but more solid.

this ski is a definite winner.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ski=free View Post

Good review. Good form. But, it makes me wonder what people are talking about when they review bumps. I consider "bumps" when talking about reviews as zipperline only. Otherwise it's just short turns.
ski=free, i love that name! it says a lot.

I have to admit, I bet the highest percentage of people that benefit from the review here are not skiing the zipperline, or interested in it. I teach and ski lots of bumps, and skiing squaw day in day out, we have no choice, but there are soooo many great options that make skiing bumps fun, why would a recreational skier only consider bump skiing to be the zpipperline? I skied yesterday w/ a skier who was #2 in the nation behind mosley, and top 10 world cup bumper for  years, and he skied a variety of lines, not just the zipperline.
Anyway, how a ski flexes, accepts drifts mixed w/ edge sets, and moves seemlessely from edge to edge is good infomation on the ski for those using the review. How it skis a man made zipperline in world cup is something that most of don't need. Just my thoughts as one who loves big bumps on big mountains and hates affect the zipperline can have on my body.

Thanks again Dawg. Nice review!

Cheers,
Holiday
post #19 of 23
Seems like from the video, the Sultan 178 likes medium radius turns..
Can you mix in short radius and long gs-ey faster ones with it?...

Nice video, whoever made it did a real nice job...
post #20 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Holiday View Post


Nice review, Dawg.
nice format, and nice skiing. Its good to see your leg working for you again...

I skied this ski yesterday, and it is great ski. my favorite of the skinnier versatile skis I've skied on. It listened well in short swing, or super G turns, slow speed or high speed and held well. A bit heavier feeling then my favorite, my watea 94, but more solid.

this ski is a definite winner.

ski=free, i love that name! it says a lot.

I have to admit, I bet the highest percentage of people that benefit from the review here are not skiing the zipperline, or interested in it. I teach and ski lots of bumps, and skiing squaw day in day out, we have no choice, but there are soooo many great options that make skiing bumps fun, why would a recreational skier only consider bump skiing to be the zpipperline? I skied yesterday w/ a skier who was #2 in the nation behind mosley, and top 10 world cup bumper for  years, and he skied a variety of lines, not just the zipperline.
Anyway, how a ski flexes, accepts drifts mixed w/ edge sets, and moves seemlessely from edge to edge is good infomation on the ski for those using the review. How it skis a man made zipperline in world cup is something that most of don't need. Just my thoughts as one who loves big bumps on big mountains and hates affect the zipperline can have on my body.

Thanks again Dawg. Nice review!

Cheers,
Holiday

I guess you're right. It's just that I can ski non zipperline bumps with almost any ski and have fun. But, If I ski the zipperline with a ski  that is too stiff or too edgy, its a lot of work and sometimes not pretty.
 

I

post #21 of 23
OK,
I bought one of these beauties.
just couldn't pass it up when it had such a postive impression on me.
a good friend of mine who was ski school director at northstar for many years also skied on it that day and was amazed at the verstatility, so he bought one too!
that said, i think the 178 is a really nice flex for us lighter guys, as I'm 6ft 165,  and my friend is about 155. Many of these mid width skis around 180cm are stiffer then I like and get arguementative at moderate speeds and shaped turns. Any of these skis will just ride a clean carved arc pretty well, but when trying to mix up the shapes and speeds and seeing how it responds, for me that's where skis really show there true colors and either play or fight.


PS, thx for your response, ski=free.
for me, the real art is finding the ski that isn't too stiff or edgy as you descibed in the zipperline, or any fun bump line, but is still stiff and edgy enough to give good confidence when making a bulletproof ice turn at the top of chute 75 w/ a thousand foot slide into rocks as your reward if it doesn't hold effectively... speaking of that run, it's the one i have in my head for a versatile ski, as those first entry turns can be steep and hard, the as you get down into the gut, the bumps get big and you do end up in zipperline at times mainly due to limited line choices. it also gets lots of blown in snow, so you'll often ski 3 exposed ice turns, then 10 to 15 pow turns w/ occasional ice reefs underneath, then a tighter bump line, to a an open apron, and finally, rail high speed groomers back to KT.

Cheers,
Holiday
post #22 of 23
Make sure to send picks of the chute!! Sounds scary/fun!!!
post #23 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by dawgcatching View Post

One thing about this ski: the tune out of the box sucks, at least on my sample it did.  I would recommend putting on at least a 2 degree throughout the entire side edge: my side edge varied from .5 to 1.5, which translated to lousy and unpredictable edgehold until I went though it. 

I just gave my Sultan 85s their first tune, and can confirm that the factory tune SUCKS.  Mine had between 0 and 1 degree side edge angle, and it was not uniform at all.  I thought I was seeing things when I made a couple casual passes with a panzar to cut the sidewall back, so I went back with a sharpie and did a real test to confirm.  I had to take off a lot of material to put on a 2 degree side angle (the good news is that there was plenty of material on the ski because of the non-existent factory side angle).  I don't think I've ever had to put so much effort into correcting a factory tune before.
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