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Annother Sultan 85 thread

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 

Skis: Dynastar Sultan 85 178cm

Me: 5'9" and 210lbs. About 40 days a season.

Where I Ski: Beaver Mtn. UT

Other skis: I picked these  up in early February  based mostly on recommendations form Epic -- which I was seeking because I wanted something to replace my 179cm K2 PEs.  I was not in love any more. I also have a pair of 185 Praxis Powders  and 185 Dynastar Huge Troubles in the quiver. As well as some SL race skis.

Conditions: Between the 2nd week of February and March 29th closing day (which historically is the most consistent snowiest  time of year) we got about 3" per week so conditions were largely hard pack and spring like conditions.


Mount point: I mounted on the line for 305mm boot.

On to the review: 

Nature was not providing much snow, and this is what you had in the quiver. The ski delivers in just about any conditions I was able to find in a ski area. With some quirks.

Feel: This was the first thing I noticed when I got these.  I was getting used to skis with a backwards flex (stiff tip softer tail) and were more positive feeling at the beginning of the turn and more dead at the end. The Sultan was a change to get back on a ski with a medium  tip and stiff tail that can get some rebound.  When arcing a clean carve, the ski does not have the strong pull you into the turn feel that some other skis have. It does not feel solidly hooked up until it is almost in the belly of the turn. From there on out the ski has lots of power.  The ski is damper than the PES, also stiffer bit it gives plenty of snow feel and I think this gives the skier an edge in variable conditions or flat light. Overall I think the ski rewards good skiing and tells youwhen you  are doing it right.

Icy Groomers: We have had days that would have made an old school ice coast skier head back into the lodge. The sultan is not a race ski but the ski has the rigidity to hold an edge on real race course conditions if you can get it carving cleanly. They work best in long or medium radius turns. The ski "has a speed limit" where the tips start flapping. I found it, what that speed is... I don't know. But its fast. Good thing the tail and mid are stiff enough to hold on.

Bumps: Its really all about the skier. If you are good the sultan can be a fun bump ski. But it won't live there.

Fresh snow: I think the ski has a good amount of float given its size. No issues with upto boot top deep snow. Beyond that go fatter.

Crud and spring conditions: Really just a confident ski in crud, variable snow and spring snow. In thicker stuff the ski can slice through quite well. Really in its element here.

Trees: I look for predictibility and being able to make a variety of turn shapes when skiing trees. This ski works in the trees when the snow is consolidated. If the snow is deeper or unconsolidated there are other better options. The tails don't always want to release.


Edited by tromano - 3/26/11 at 5:06pm
post #2 of 18
Thread Starter 

Just wanted to follow up. I have had these for about a year now, over 20 days on them. It has been the most used ski in my quiver since I bought them. Usually this is the point where I start getting bored with a ski and looking to see what else is out there.  Funny enough, that hasn't really isn't how its happened.

 

The sultan is a ski that I have full confidence in for any run and that just works and pretty darn well for about 90% of the ski days I get. I have SL carvers and Huge trouble and a Praxis and those skis have their place in the quiver, but for most days especially if I don't know what to expect or there is some surprise in the weather. Its a ski that is always in the car. Today for instance, they were claiming 2" of snow when I packed up the car this morning, but when I got there I realized that it had blown in and was much deeper, more like 6-12". Well the sultans were fully at home ripping up the crud on the main runs,  untracked all day in the trees and even took them out for a few runs of slack country on the back side in the afternoon. They stomped a handfull of 5'ers with total confidence. And whats more, no tip dive, no deflection in crud, no sketch on blown off ridge lines, no problem. I'm a 210lb guy and when I bought these 85 under foot in a 178 It was to use then on the front side becuas I thought I would be really under gunned anytime I took these things out free-riding with fresh snow. But that's not how it turned out.

post #3 of 18

I also picked up a pair of these in a 178 Fluid model last month. I am 5'10" 200lbs. When I first tried them, they felt very grabby/hooky. I detuned the widest point on the front about 4" and a similar amount in the tails with a gummy stone. That made a huge difference in how they felt/worked for me. This season I have been really working on my bump skiing and really enjoy the smaller turn radius of the Sultan compared to my 184 MR's. I feel extremely confident that I can handle most anything on these except really big/deep and hard moguls where it is steep and that is my issue, not the skis. The Sultan like all Dynastar's is a fairly damp and solid running ski. There was really minimal tip vibration at speed IMO, but the ski is happiest on edge and may vibrate a bit when flat. As I have been trying to slow my skiing down and focus on well shaped turns, perhaps that is why the vibration issue is minimal in my case. I think I read these have tip rocker when decambered. If true, then it is hardly noticeable to me. I bought these for daily driver use for when there is not any fresh snow on the ground. While I haven't tried them on true ice, out of the wrapper the edges were very sharp as previously noted and the bases were flat. They are honestly so easy to ski, that I am kind of questioning why I need my 184 MR's anymore. That is something, as I loved those skis as a daily driver the previous two seasons. The longer MR likely is better at speed and while doing high speed big turns in a bowl or wide open area, but that really hasn't been my emphasize this season, so for now, I think I will be using the Sultans more. I think I will take the MR's in for a stone grind, get the edges sharpened up and compare the two over the remainder of the season, as they are very different skis from one another.

post #4 of 18

 

Second Tromano's & Liv2ski's reviews...after a season on these skis I can honestly say that I love them...about as close to a "1 quiver" ski as you can get.

 

Me: 5' 8", 155lbs skiing on 172 cms. 

 

Trees, chutes, powder...versatile and fun, stable yet turny, good rebound.  Function well enough in the bumps to be enjoyable.  No problem with factory tune as mentioned by some.

 

post #5 of 18

Just happened on this thread. A different view: I demo-ed these skis for a day in Utah based on reviews here.  I don't know if it was the tune or whether I just don't like the ski, but they felt reluctant to turn.  They were OK carving long runouts and big GS-style stuff, and the ski felt stable and controlled, but I just couldn't get them enthusiastic about getting into the turn.  Another person I rode the lifts with said "they come around; you just need to give them some time".  Well, I'm not the kind of skier who wants to give my skis time.  I want a quick initiating ski -- and these were not them for me. 

As always, YMMV -- or you might like something different.

post #6 of 18

I had my Sultan 85s (172s) at Snowmass for four days this week.  For me (5'9",150#) they were fantastic -- everything I expected when I got them, after demo-ing half a dozen other skis.  

 

I'd say they cover 90 percent of the spectrum:   

 

--  For cue-ball hardpack, there are probably better skis.  We skied Campground one morning first run, before the snow softened, and there were moments when I wished I had a stiffer, heftier ski.  No yard sales, though. 

 

--  For deep powder, there are of course better-suited skis.  On Day Three we awoke to six inches of new snow -- does that even count as powder? -- and our first run was Long Shot.  There were moments when I thought back to the Volkl Bridge I had demo'ed earlier in the season, because I couldn't seem to get into a rhythm.  But that may have been the skier, not the ski, because by half way down I had adjusted my stance and felt in better control.

 

--  Most of the time, we skied through mixed stuff -- clumps, chunks, hard snow, fluff, changing every half second -- and did moguls, glades, and jumps.  My skis were unphased by any of it. 

 

So, no regrets for me on my ski choice. 

post #7 of 18

I've been a Dynastar guy for ages - still have 3 pairs of MR's in quivers around the continent and one pair of 8k's on the least coast along with some Skicross 10's, but was very pleased to see my Sultan's go away on eghey last week.

 

They were uber-turny to start with, and after reading about Dynastar and convex bases I took them to a world-class shop in Whistler for a full tune. Even worse. So they worked with me for a couple of days then I said that was enough. Never could get the tips or tails to stop grabbing no matter what we did. First D'star I was pleased to see heading out of the stable.

 

Glad you guys had good luck - they never worked for me.

post #8 of 18

I have to agree with everyone except snofun3 and tch. You must've "got lucky". frown.gif

 

I got mine tuned prior to taking delivery. Maybe that made the difference.

 

In a word: Playful. Fun ski.

 

I also own the Sultan 94. Different feel. Also a fun ski, but a bit more businesslike. A bit more powerful and stable.

post #9 of 18

Interesting that Snofun found them TOO turny, and I couldn't get them to start turning. 

Different experiences for different folks.

post #10 of 18
Thread Starter 

Tch, FWIW, I agree with you that the tip is a a bit softer and more neutral feeling. I don't think the sultan is a ski that really wants to initiate too quick (where I am from people call that being hooky).  Its not a fat carver its pretty much a solid all around all mountain ski. Although I am wondering if you mounted at BOF over CRS (seach /google BOF ski mount) that may help, potentially alot. Sounds like you want a carver ski so maybe prefer a dual radius ski like a MX88 or AC50. Dual radius have a shorter radius in the tip that pulls you into a turn much more forcefully.

 

As for snofun, I agree that the tune on mine was not great out of the plastic. They had a flat base bevel to start (super aggressive and edgy) but once I got the base bevel to 1* it was much more of a versatile all mountain feel. I haven't touched the ski since, except to adjsut structure for spring snow. Basicly this is an improved 8k. I think you can do some mellow fun freeride on this ski, but you need to pay attention to them and they don't have a pure freeride feel like the older dynastar skis that are beloved of big mountain skiers. Oh well, not for everyone, there are other fish in the sea.


Edited by tromano - 3/26/11 at 8:46pm
post #11 of 18

My side edge tune was horrible out of the wrappers.  I ran a black marker along the side and then started to hone the edge with a diamond stone at 2*.  The edge was very uneven and IIRC closer to 0-1* side bevel which is very low.  Fixed it with a file.  I used them for a couple of days before fixing and they would behave very strangely at high edge angles on groomers.  Now they're great.  Never checked the base edge or convexity but all wide skis seem a little convex.

post #12 of 18

I too was in Aspen skiing Snowmass, Buttermilk, and Aspen Mtn this past week.  I had my Sultan 85's there and they handled pretty all conditions as we saw all conditions.  I was a little surprised in the new snow that I had to do some adjustments to get them to float a little.  That could be me as this is the first fresh snow I have seen in quite some time.  After a while I got the hang of them and I was dancing.  All in all I was pretty happy with them. 

post #13 of 18

FWIW - I bought the 165cm 85's at the beginning of the season and skied them 4-5 times since (been mainly on my 'Setheds due to the snow we've been getting).  I have a more thorough review of them under the "Gear Review" section, but in short, they work great for me in all conditions except the deepest/mankiest snow (they did quite well in nearly a foot of light snow over a firm base - conditions where my 'Setheds would be no better due to the firm base, and I don't bother skiing on boilerplate days).  Their secret for me is that their magical ability to be both damp and lively, and both easy and powerful - sounds strange I know, but true.  Otherwise, I do find them to be a bit too hooky which also makes them want to carve vs. surf when the snow gets deeper than a few inches (I think they would be the perfect 50/50 ski if they had a bit of early rise like the K2 Aftershocks).  When you add the short-radius sidecut in with the magical damp/lively and easy/poweful balance they are amazing in the bumps, especially humongous Mary Jane ones with some fresh snow thrown in (I know...the short length helps, but I am ~130lbs. and 5'5", and the ski is plenty stable at speed for me on the rare groomer skiing I do).  For this same reason I found them very maneuverable in trees as long as the conditions were fairly consistent.  In short I love 'em (like wisoskier says "I was dancing"), though if the snow keeps up they may continue to gather dust. 

post #14 of 18

Sounds like you would want the 2012 Dstar Legend 94, with tip rocker....skis like a wider and surfier Sultan 85 in soft snow and about the same on soft groomers..

I didn't do any hardpack....a review is in Gear Reviews...great tree ski!

post #15 of 18



 

Quote:
Originally Posted by nfp158 View Post

Sounds like you would want the 2012 Dstar Legend 94, with tip rocker....skis like a wider and surfier Sultan 85 in soft snow and about the same on soft groomers..

I didn't do any hardpack....a review is in Gear Reviews...great tree ski!


Yeah though at my size I find that skis over 90mm in width give up quite a bit of that light n' lively, edge-to-edge quickness that I want from a ski that will primarily see bumps (especially with the the less-deep conditions where I would use this ski and don't need the extra width for float).  I also heard that the '11 Sultan 94 was quite a handful vs. the 85.  There will be more sub-90mm skis that come closer to perfection in the near future, so I can wait.  Thanks!
 

 

post #16 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by snofun3 View Post

I've been a Dynastar guy for ages - still have 3 pairs of MR's in quivers around the continent and one pair of 8k's on the least coast along with some Skicross 10's, but was very pleased to see my Sultan's go away on eghey last week.

 

They were uber-turny to start with, and after reading about Dynastar and convex bases I took them to a world-class shop in Whistler for a full tune. Even worse. So they worked with me for a couple of days then I said that was enough. Never could get the tips or tails to stop grabbing no matter what we did. First D'star I was pleased to see heading out of the stable.

 

Glad you guys had good luck - they never worked for me.

As I said above, the ski was grabby until I de-tuned the front and tail edges. If you prefer to slide your tails as I do, they need to be de-tuned as they were hooking/grabbing on turns. I just got an edge/base guide, so I will be sure to give them a 1% base and 2% edge bevel before I take them out on this weeks trip and will report back in. Snofun3, sorry you had to sell yours as I really like them.
 


Edit: so a few more days to compare my 184 MR's to the Sultan 85. In a nut shell, I have decided I like the 179 Sultan 85 better than my 184 MR'seek.gif  The MR's are set up with a 1%/2% tune. The Sultans out of the wrapper have a much more aggressive tune. After de tuning the tips and tail I really like the way the Sultans feel better. The MR's are a superb large turn, high speed ski. The Sultan's will initiate a turn easier with a larger variety of turn shapes at your disposal. Sure, the MR is better at speed, but the 85 is still pretty darn solid and an easier ski to use. I am going to keep both skis, just my older MR's will likely be my new early and late season ski with the Sultans moving into the Daily Driver slot until I get next seasons Bonafidesbiggrin.gif

 

Edit: Sold the MR's, skipped the Bonafides and went with 183 TST's and 185 Movement Source skis.  I have a nice quiver now.  Deciding what to ski will be fun once it starts dumping again


Edited by liv2 ski - 12/12/11 at 8:54pm
post #17 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by ski-ra View Post

Their secret for me is that their magical ability to be both damp and lively, and both easy and powerful - sounds strange I know, but true.  [snip] When you add the short-radius sidecut in with the magical damp/lively and easy/poweful balance they are amazing in the bumps, especially humongous Mary Jane ones with some fresh snow thrown in [snip] For this same reason I found them very maneuverable in trees as long as the conditions were fairly consistent.  In short I love 'em (like wisoskier says "I was dancing"),


 

I have about 20 days on mine this year. I'm close to the same size as ski-ra, but a right-coaster, so for me this is the soft-snow / tree / bump ski in my quiver of 2. My impressions are pretty near identical to his, right down to the observation that the skis' favorite condition seems to be a few inches of new snow over bumps. I like them in the trees, but sometimes feel that their fundamentally solid and predictable nature gets in the way of the lightning-quick line changes I like to think I'm capable of making. (They like to be engaged all the way around, which most of the time fosters good habits and a satisfying conservative "instructor turn" feel, but sometimes in trees you have to throw everything out the window and just improvise. I wonder if a touch of actual rocker would help with this.) There are always outliers (sorry, snofun), but there seems to be about as much consensus on this ski as you'll ever get. Kinda kills my self image to find that I'm right in the center of the crowd  redface.gif  but in this case the high fun level is worth the blow. If I had to sum up the 85s in one word, it would be "reliable," and I mean that in the most positive sense possible.

post #18 of 18
Thread Starter 

Had my first lift served day of the year at snowbasin. The season is not going so well here and the conditions remind me alot of skiing back east. 

 

It was a short outing since I was splitting day care with my wife and she really wanted to ski so I let her have most of it.  This was the first time the sultans had seen significant man made snow. The man made was mix of normal hardpack with bits of bulletproof and other chalky very grippy bits. One or two other trails were being refreshed by the guns and were an interesting approximation of normal utah groomers.  I was surprised how well the skis worked since I never really gave them much credit in hard snow in the past. Maybe I just have the tune dialed or  maybe I just made some off season technique breakthrough, I did feel like I was doing better getting on my edges early in the top third of the turn. Either way, they seemed to do alot better than I remember. They were almost sexy how well they were carving today. Then later in the afternoon some granular piles built up. Just seemed to charge through everything pretty nicely. Money in the bumps.

 

Reliable seems like a good word. Its a ski that sort of does well most places and I just can't seem to get rid of.

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