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