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2011 Dynastar Pro Rider 115

post #1 of 33
Thread Starter 
 So... I walk in the Starthaus on Sunday evening to return the demo of the Sultan 94 and the good folks there ask me casually whether I want to try the Pro115 next day.  Of course this is an offer I could not refuse, so here we go…

 

Ski tested: 2011 Dynastar Pro Rider 115, 184cm length, 115mm underfoot; ski was mounted with PX12 rental-style bindings, my boot ended up being a few mm in front of the line.  This is my first rockered ski.

 

Me: 39y/o male, 6ft, 187lb, expert skier, ~L8 on a good day, ski at Tahoe for 10 yrs, last 6 yrs exclusively at Squaw Valley.  Skis I liked/owned previously:  Dynastar Legend 8000 and MR, Dynastar HugeTrouble, Salomon XScream, Head Mojo 94.  Skis I didn’t like:  Blower, Mantra, Watea 94.   Current quiver: HT, Mojo 94, MR.

 

Conditions:  A perfect powder day at Squaw, about 18 inches of fresh light powder (in April!!!).  Of course most of the snow got chopped up by 10:30, but there were still some places where you could find fresh tracks, and the rest of the mountain stayed very soft.

 

Background and physical dimensions:   ProRider 115 is a conventional camber ski with a conventional camber underfoot, and a very pronounced rocker tip upfront.  The tip shape is gradual.  I would classify the flex as medium.  The ski was tuned at 1/2, which is a proper tune for that kind of a ski. 

 

Skiing impression.  As I said it is my first rockered ski, so I didn’t quite know what to expect.  Those who ski at Squaw know the powder day drill- you wait in KT22 line and then you dart to the best line you can find and ski it as fast as you can before someone else takes it.  So, I just had to trust the skis and go.  First impression: this ski can turn, second impression: this ski is solid, by the middle part of the run I was feeling quite giddy, by the end of the run I was convinced that I would have a great day on these boards.  I ended up skiing pretty fast with my friend and his teenage son (who is on the Squaw freeride team) until shortly after noon all over the lower mountain, then I did slow laps on Shirley with my 4-year old daughter, and I finished the day skiig the Hidden Bowl at Granite Chief with my 7-year-old girl, so I got a chance to do some hard and fast skiing in expert terrain, slow turns on blue runs and slow-ish precision skiing in expert terrain.

 

The rocker really helps the ski to initiate the turn in 3D snow, and it also makes it practically unsinkable (and believe me I tried).  The turn initiation is very quick and easy and the conventional camber makes the turn finish very solid. The ski is neither a slicer, not a floater, but it likes to carve as oppose to skid.  My Huge Trouble is a delightful “slarver”, the ProRider is a reluctant slarver.  The stability is excellent, it is almost as stable as my Huge Trouble, but it is much quicker.  It has this trademark Dynastar snow feel without being harsh or jarring like a good sports car. 

 

Further impressions: Trees: point and shoot, really fun; I was practically flying through the trees between Red Dog and Squaw Creek chairs.  Bumps: A lot more fun than a 115mm ski should be.  My HugeTrouble is a very good bump ski for its width, Pro115 is  even better.  The rocker tip and balanced flex really help there.  Steeps: There was pow all over, so I could not test it on firm snow steeps, but a ski with a sidecut that straight should not be hooky; indeed whenever I hit a scrapes up icy patch, the ski held well and felt solid.  Groomers:  Decent carver as long as you give it time to come around, but not quite in their element.  Subjectively Huge Trouble is more fun on soft groomers because it can easily slarve.   Speed; No speed limit whatsoever, you can feel the rocker going straight through chopped up snow at high speed, but it is well controlled and damped.  This ski is almost as good at large high-speed turns through cut-up snow as the Huge Trouble and is better at everything else.  Short turns: a ski with this dimensions has no right to turn that quickly, it feels more like a 178cm ski than a 184.

Compared to Huge Trouble:  I was having so much fun on the Pro115 that I never got to take my HTs from the car.

 

Closing thoughts:  I was really struck how well this ski balances the ability to float in deep powder with the muscle and stability necessary to handle the chopped up resort snow.  It handled everything I could and felt like it could be pushed more.  Really versatile with tons of stability coupled with great snow feel and uncanny quickness.  This is a real winner for Dynastar this year.

 

Conclusion:  A terrific expert soft snow ski for the real world resort conditions.  Stable, quick, confident, fun.  I want a pair.

 

 

 

 


Edited by alexzn - 4/7/10 at 11:41am
post #2 of 33
Great review.
I'm thinking I need a pair of these skis by next year.
post #3 of 33
I'm coming to the conclusion that the PR 115 might allow me to consolidate my two fat ski quiver into one. While I really like my S7 while the snow is relatively fresh, once it heavies up or gets chopped and tracked out, I'll normally head back to the car for the Huge Troubles. I think that this ski might just save me that trip.

Of course the double rise HT that is coming might do the same thing and it's possible that the 2012 S7 in 188 (with metal like the current 195) would too. For now though, the LP 115 might become the best "all day" powder ski for my tastes.

SJ
post #4 of 33
This is an interesting ski.  SJ, do you think this ski would be fairly comparable to the Line Mothership?  Both are 115ish underfoot and very solid, big mtn. cambered skis with a rockered tip.  Is this a fair comparison?
post #5 of 33
Fair comparison for sure and the configurations are pretty similar but they are rather different skis. The Mutha is quite a bit stiffer and heavier. Not a bad thing at all and it has an edge at the highest speeds and the roughest snow. OTH, the LP 115 is quite a bit more nimble in tighter spots and especially at relatively lower speeds.

There are times when the MS is a great ski for my tastes but then again there are times when I wouldn't want it. The LP 115 would cover all the conditions where I would personally choose a ski this big.

SJ
post #6 of 33
Thread Starter 
When I flexed the MS in the store it felt a lot stiffer.  My feeling is that it would be much more of a straightline-charger than the Legend 115.   The legend is quite quick without feeling squirrely. 
Quote:
Originally Posted by locknload View Post

This is an interesting ski.  SJ, do you think this ski would be fairly comparable to the Line Mothership?  Both are 115ish underfoot and very solid, big mtn. cambered skis with a rockered tip.  Is this a fair comparison?
post #7 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by alexzn View Post


When I flexed the MS in the store it felt a lot stiffer.  My feeling is that it would be much more of a straightline-charger than the Legend 115.   The legend is quite quick without feeling squirrely. 

 

That's about right. I think that the Mutha is a great ski but a little limted in it's audience. The MS might be a better choice for those that shred the gnar then sprinkle it on their Cherrios. I'm not that guy so although I like the MS in certain circumstances.........so far at least I like the 115 in all circumstances where that width is appropriate.

SJ
post #8 of 33
Thanks for the reviews. Now I know what I will probably be skiing on in 2014.
post #9 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by SHREDHEAD View Post

Thanks for the reviews. Now I know what I will probably be skiing on in 2014.

Oh no you don't. You haven't seen the quad rocker triple reverse skis yet................

SJ
post #10 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by SHREDHEAD View Post

Thanks for the reviews. Now I know what I will probably be skiing on in 2014.

Oh no you don't. You haven't seen the quad rocker triple reverse skis yet................

SJ





I love it!  The search for the perfect ski never ends!
post #11 of 33
I really need to quit reading reviews. I have enough skis
post #12 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by liv2 ski View Post

I really need to quit reading reviews. I have enough skis

Ditto!
post #13 of 33
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by liv2 ski View Post

I really need to quit reading reviews. I have enough skis

That's what I said... and then I was handed a demo of the PR115 
post #14 of 33
Hi Alexzn,

Can you make any further comparisons with the HT, e.g. differences in flex pattern?

Given the HT is medium-stiff in the front/mid section of the ski and medium-soft in the tail, would I be right in assuming that this is why it is marginally better at high speed in chop than the PR115?

Is the PR115 a fairly consistent medium flex along the whole length?

Sounds like an amazing ski.

Quote:
Originally Posted by alexzn View Post

I would classify the flex as medium.

This ski is almost as good at large high-speed turns through cut-up snow as the Huge Trouble and is better at everything else.

Compared to Huge Trouble:  I was having so much fun on the Pro115 that I never got to take my HTs from the car.

post #15 of 33
I thought the HT was more maneuverable and better in tighter, cruddier snow than the PR115 (I am ordering a pair of new HT's at some point before next season). They were very impressive. The new Pro Rider just felt like a long ski with a big rockered tip: it could be skied in tight spaces, but liked to run in bigger arcs for sure.  The new HT was much more of my skiing style (untracked 1st thing, tracked up and bumped up by PM) and I could see it being a super versatile, everyday ski.  

The new Pro Rider and the Answer IQ from Blizzard skied quite similarly.  Both are of similar design: big rockered tip, basically flat underfoot, fairly soft tail, not much sidecut. Both skis liked big arcs, soft snow, and straight-ahead skiing, and didn't care for smaller turns, bumps, quick edge changes, and hardpack.  I probably can get 97% of the Pro Rider performance out of the new HT, and 300% of the versatility.  The other nice thing about the new HT is that it is a tad wider than alot of the super versatile wide skis out there, which is important for me. I ski a ton of wind-affected snow, and staying on top of it is key to really enjoying the crust, when everyone else is getting rolled up in it.     

Full selection of 2015 skis available right now from Dawgcatching.com.  PM for current deals and discount codes: save up to 25% on mid-season deals. 

Reply
post #16 of 33
Thread Starter 

For the full disclosure, I am comparing the PR115 to the old HT, flat camber non-rockered ski. That HT has a Trouble series flex- stiff tip, soft tail, and flat camber which sinks the tails in powder and makes the ski rise.  It works very well, but the PR115 rocker works noticeably better in true deep snow. Of course rocker is not as stable in highspeed chop as the straight stiff tip of the HT. The main difference for me was that the PR115 wanted to carve powder turns (and did), and HT wanted to "slarve" (which it also did really well).  Both skis are very effective in soft resort snow, but the feeling is very different.   HT is slightly more effective in the chop, but the PR115 is a much better deep snow ski.  

The flex pattern on the PR115 is much more even throughout the ski. I think the camber on the PR115 is not very large, so the ski effectively becomes flat camber as soon as you stand on it.  

Alex

P.S. I have no idea of what the new HT that Jim and Dawg are referring to, but I am curious.  



Quote:
Originally Posted by Vinski View Post

Hi Alexzn,

Can you make any further comparisons with the HT, e.g. differences in flex pattern?

Given the HT is medium-stiff in the front/mid section of the ski and medium-soft in the tail, would I be right in assuming that this is why it is marginally better at high speed in chop than the PR115?

Is the PR115 a fairly consistent medium flex along the whole length?

Sounds like an amazing ski.
 


Edited by alexzn - 1/11/11 at 8:05pm
post #17 of 33
Yup, I was referring to the old HT too. Thanks for the feedback - very interesting stuff.

AFAIK the new HT for 2011 is similar to current in many ways but has some tip and tail rocker with camber underfoot... Which sounds money to me!

Would love to read a review from anyone who's skied the 2011 HT. Dawg?


Quote:
Originally Posted by alexzn View Post

For the full disclosure, I am comparing the PR115 to the old HT, flat camber non-rockered ski. That HT has a Trouble series flex- stiff tip, soft tail, and flat camber which sinks the tails in powder and makes the ski rise.  It works very well, but the PR115 rocker works noticeably better in true deep snow. Of course rocker is not as stable in highspeed chop as the straight stiff tail of the HT. The main difference for me was that the PR115 wanted to carve powder turns (and did), and HT wanted to "slarve" (which it also did really well).  Both skis are very effective in soft resort snow, but the feeling is very different.   HT is slightly more effective in the chop, but the PR115 is a much better deep snow ski.  

The flex pattern on the PR115 is much more even throughout the ski. I think the camber on the PR115 is not very large, so the ski effectively becomes flat camber as soon as you stand on it.  

Alex

P.S. I have no idea of what the new HT that Jim and Dawg are referring to, but I am curious.  

 



 
post #18 of 33
Very interested in this thread because, for me, the 115ish underfoot range ski is the perfect fat ski for the resort.  After trying lots of different things, I have included that I don't need anything fatter than this.  If I can nail the right ski in this range it may actually allow me to thing my quiver significantly: maybe down to 1 fat skis, 1 mid-fat (90ish waist for me) and a pair of mogul skis.  I feel like the right ski in the 115 range still does fine on groomers and really excels when there's anything soft; the right pair does well once the snow is no longer untracked also.  I think the Mothership may require constantly being "on" every day and that gets old for me.  I assume the LP XXL will be similar.  That said, I want to look at the Huge Trouble and Line P115.  Have also heard lots of good stuff about the Moment Bibby Pro and perhaps the Katana.  
post #19 of 33
IMO, the low double rise skis such as the Blizzi Answer, 2011 HT, and the Katana, all offer a good combination of the ease of double rise while maintaining at least some of the solidity of the conventional skis (ie: older HT, XXL, older Goats....etc). The single rise skis like the LP 115, the Prophet 115, Muthaship, etc....all sacrifice a little of the nimbleness of the double risers in favor of a bigger dose of the conventional feel. Choosing between those batches of skis will come down to a choice of character and the flex will probably be the ultimate determinant.

I have a fair sense of where the market is going at this point and while some makers (and consumers) will pursue the more extreme niches of the powder ski genre, the majority is certainly "toning it down" Heck even a maker like Praxis who has built his rep on double R skis was in the store the other day having us finish up a prototype directional, low rise (tip only) ski. His version is actually even more moderate than the LP 115.

SJ
post #20 of 33
Thanks for the review Alex, excellent writeup.  I have been eyeing this ski for a while now, and wish I got a chance to demo before the season ended here.

locknload, I am also intrigued by the 115 as a Mothership alternative.  Main attraction to me would be weight, as the Mothership can be heavy for touring and carrying around (for everything else, including downhill runs, I don't notice the weight).  If the 115 has Mothership qualities in a lighter package, that would be a great ski.

One place where I have questions is maneuverability in tight spaces -- the 115 has a significantly longer turning radius on paper than the Mothership (32m for the 115 versus 24m for the 185cm Mothership).  One aspect I like about the Motherships is that I can get them to turn on a dime by standing on the edge in almost any condition, which is a nice little trick/maneuver to have at my disposal for such a big ski.  On other Dynastar Legends with a longish turning radius, I know I have had to make a pretty deliberate skid turn to get the same maneuverability, and I wonder if that is the case with the new 115.  Nothing wrong with the skid, just a different strategy for tight spaces.

The Mothership is extremely solid at high speeds in all conditions, but I am not convinced that the skis need to be so beefy/heavy to attain that (witness Kastle MX models).  I think the 115 could still compete in that area if it has traditional Dynastar qualities I have come to like.  Might not be ultimate bomber, but still good enough for most of us.  The Mothership is clearly more ski than most people will ever need.

Another question I have about the 115 is how it measures for length.  The 185cm Mothership is really 189cm (straight line from tip to tail) which is beneficial for stability, since there is a little more ski underfoot.  I believe they spec it as 185 simply because the middle section of the ski (ie, the actual sidecut aft of the early rise tip) is so short.  I would love to learn what the tip to tail measurement is for the 184cm Pro Rider 115.  Heck, if someone has the weight, that would be awesome too!  To me, length and weight will be the two important specs to compare the skis on paper.

BTW, the Mothership has a reputation for being a gnar ski, but at 6'1" 200lbs, I don't find them to be too demanding -- more like gentle giants.  You'll never confuse them for light skis, but they are not butt-kickers in my experience.  I'd say they are significantly more easygoing than something like a Head iM88 (the old one) which did kick my butt in many conditions.
post #21 of 33
Thanks for those additional thoughts on the MoShip, skier 219.  I have yet to try them and I definitely will.  I have also never ridden the old Pro-rider or XXL.  I have moved away from Dynastar skis even though I think they are a quality product.  I tend toward fat twins (Gotama, Praxis Pow RX) but my mind is definitely something more hard charging as long as its not going to beat me up all day long.  Since I'm not trying to win any big mtn. skiing competitions in AK, I'd like something that is simply fun--even on a lazy day.  That said, I want it to be powerful, smooth and very "there" if that makes sense.  Weight doesn't bother me so much since I'm not going to tour on this skis....probably tour on something lighter and skinnier.  I'm going to keep the MoShip on my short list along with the Katana, Bibby Pro, Lhasa POW and Line P-115.  I'm still trying to decide exactly what I'm looking for: traditional camber with rocker, full rocker, no rocker so I need to work out my specs first.  BTW..I did hear that the old Monster IM 88 was absolute ass kicker, ball-buster of ski.  Someone who I know is HUGE and a great skier said it was like skiing on steel I beams!
post #22 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by SierraJim View Post
2012 S7 in 188 (with metal like the current 195)

Is that confirmed? It sounds like this would overcome many of the shortfalls of the current 188 and would make this already versatile ski even more versatile.
post #23 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by D(C) View Post




Is that confirmed? It sounds like this would overcome many of the shortfalls of the current 188 and would make this already versatile ski even more versatile.

Confirmed? No, it is projected.

SJ
post #24 of 33
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by skier219 View Post

One place where I have questions is maneuverability in tight spaces -- the 115 has a significantly longer turning radius on paper than the Mothership (32m for the 115 versus 24m for the 185cm Mothership).  One aspect I like about the Motherships is that I can get them to turn on a dime by standing on the edge in almost any condition, which is a nice little trick/maneuver to have at my disposal for such a big ski.  On other Dynastar Legends with a longish turning radius, I know I have had to make a pretty deliberate skid turn to get the same maneuverability, and I wonder if that is the case with the new 115.  Nothing wrong with the skid, just a different strategy for tight spaces.
I would not put any value to the sidecut on a powder-oriented ski such as PR115.  Flex, camber, and rocker are much more consequential to the turnability of a ski in soft snow.  You are not really using your edges in powder, right, so sidecut would matter only on a groomer on the way back to the lift.  For skis like 115 it should be an afterthought.  I have not skied the MS, but based on flexing it in the store, I think the PR115 will be quicker in 3D snow. On hard snow, both skis would be less than ideal (IMO). 

   
Edited by alexzn - 4/13/10 at 12:51am
post #25 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by SierraJim View Post

e 2012 S7 in 188 (with metal like the current 195) would too.

SJ

If I could change the S7, I'd rather see a soft 195 than a stiff 188 (having skied the 188 and the 195 this season). The LP 115 and that new square tip Rossi both look like great skis to me.
post #26 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by alexzn View Post



I would not put any value to the sidecut on a powder-oriented ski such as PR115.  Flex, camber, and rocker are much more consequential to the turnability of a ski in soft snow.  (IMO). 

   
 

QFT

SJ
post #27 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by epic View Post




If I could change the S7, I'd rather see a soft 195 than a stiff 188 (having skied the 188 and the 195 this season). The LP 115 and that new square tip Rossi both look like great skis to me.

I don't think that the 195 is overly stiff, but for sure it's more cumbersome than the 188. The Rossi development team is working on changes for sure but they are currently planned for '12-13. The specifics are not yet finalized and probably won't be for close to a year.

One thing seems certain. In the ski biz, you can't please every constituency. Dynastar is taking the approach with the 115 of taming the XXL. While a few skiers really like that ski, it is quite honestly too much for most folks. The old HT was (still is) a great ski but not well known by the public. Until the 115 came along, that is the one that I'd have kept if I'd had to choose between the S7 and the Huge. The double rise Huge for 2011 has great potential as well because the rise is very moderate. Currently the 115 and the Blizzi Answer both hit the bullseye for me.

SJ
post #28 of 33

I was thinking this exact thing! I have a pair of the older Dynastar 176 pro riders 94mm underfoot and I also have a pair of 185 huge troubles...I love both but I've grown out of the pros, and the HTs just don't have that quick response and overall solid feeling to them that the pros do. I feel like FINALLY I've found the best of both worlds, I cannot wait to try these babys out, but more importantly I CANNOT WAIT any longer for winter to be here. 

post #29 of 33


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by SierraJim View Post

I'm coming to the conclusion that the PR 115 might allow me to consolidate my two fat ski quiver into one. While I really like my S7 while the snow is relatively fresh, once it heavies up or gets chopped and tracked out, I'll normally head back to the car for the Huge Troubles. I think that this ski might just save me that trip.

Of course the double rise HT that is coming might do the same thing and it's possible that the 2012 S7 in 188 (with metal like the current 195) would too. For now though, the LP 115 might become the best "all day" powder ski for my tastes.

SJ

I was referencing this ^
 

post #30 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by kboleski View Post

I was thinking this exact thing! I have a pair of the older Dynastar 176 pro riders 94mm underfoot and I also have a pair of 185 huge troubles...I love both but I've grown out of the pros, and the HTs just don't have that quick response and overall solid feeling to them that the pros do. I feel like FINALLY I've found the best of both worlds, I cannot wait to try these babys out, but more importantly I CANNOT WAIT any longer for winter to be here. 

You can never grow out of the Dstar 176 LP,  97mm waist, btw.
 

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