Ski Review 2019
SKI REVIEWS 2019
Click on the name of a model to view a full review
Dynastar Speed Master GS R22 [click]
Type of ski : Giant slalom
Already a winner last year, the Speed Master GS with its R22 "racing" plate has reaffirmed its incredible performance this year.
Along with its twin, the Rossignol Hero Master, this ski out-paced all the competitors in the "Giant Slalom" category where we're looking, above all, for high-performing skis that nonetheless remain accessible to a non-racing public.
The skis mainly stand out for their exceptional performance, including on hard pack at very high speed. Edge grip is faultless.
The intuitive nature and smoothness of this super-charged, high-performing Speed Master is astonishing. The ski absolutely "rolls out turns" with no particular steering effort. The ski is also very reassuring, edge hold never seems to falter and the speeds it can reach are unbelievable.
Obviously, it's a bit more demanding in shorter radius turns but it's still globally efficient.
Featuring the group's R22 plate, the Speed Master from Dynastar and the Hero Master from Rossignol are exceptional skis that we recommend for a wide array of riders. Good and very good riders will love this very efficient and forgiving ski that will help them to up their performance and improve their technique. Expert and competition riders will get a great deal of pleasure out of it as it's more versatile and intuitive than a pure FIS competition ski.
Recommended by our reviewers!
Liked: A pure adrenalin-boosting machine
Incredible grip and stability
Consistent, forgiving and relatively accessible
Disliked: It's only logical, the ski is less comfortable and more demanding (but still good) in short turns...
Dynastar Speed Master Konect [click]
Type of ski : On-piste cruisers
With its specialised racing plate, the Speed Master from Dynastar excelled in the "Giant Slalom" category. Here, it's in a less demanding category and features the simple mainstream "Konect" plate by the Rossignol group (which owns the Dynastar company).
Having a more flexible plate doesn't alter the ski's intrinsic qualities and it retains its race-inspired qualities. The Speed Master effectively stands out for the incisiveness, stability and edge grip that make it so awesome. The ski's energy and overall performance, together with its intuitive behaviour, provide a great deal of pleasure and the professional reviewers were really enthusiastic: "pure bliss!", "a playful ski that's ready for anything", "we ski without thinking"...
The level of performance is logically not quite up to that of the Speed Master with a R22 plate, reviewed in the "Giant Slalom" category. On the other hand, its user-friendliness and comfort have improved.
The Giant Slalom ski DNA inevitably makes it more demanding in short turns.
We recommend the Speed Master with the "Konect" plate for all good to expert riders who want a great tool to seamlessly carve out swooping long turns. More athletic riders might prefer the version with the R22 racing plate.
Liked: Excellent grip
A ski designed for speed that accelerates in the turn
Fast turn entry, an incisive and playful ski
Disliked: A typical "Giant Slalom" ski that’s more demanding in short turns...
Dynastar Speed Zone 7 (Xpress) [click]
Type of ski : Men's recreational groomers
In this category, we're looking for accessible skis for the weakest riders that will nonetheless help them to progress towards carving.
The Speed Zone 7 from Dynastar is a perfect match for the programme.
The ski is very accessible, intuitive, easy to handle ("it turns on its own"). Very little physical engagement is needed and the ski responds to the rider's slightest request. With easy rotation (despite a relatively large size: 175 cm) and consistency in skid turns, it's very reassuring for the least experienced riders.
For our reviewers, the Speed Zone 7 is a "very good ski to begin with."
The reviewers also noted its extremely forgiving nature. In effect, the ski is very forgiving, especially with edge mistakes.
But, above all, the Speed Zone 7 is a very adaptable tool. Riders can transition very naturally and smoothly from slow skid turns to carving at medium speed. You'll be surprised how easy carving turns is when you engage a stronger edge angle. "It carves in every position" one reviewer noted.
Very stable (true, this was helped by the size of the model reviewed), the Speed Zone 7 can accelerate again and again to reach higher (but still reasonable) speeds.
The ski's easy handling and smooth turns, especially on soft snow, make it extremely enjoyable.
The Speed Zone 7 is a perfect ski for this programme. It will help riders to master the snow plough or the stem and to make easy progress to parallel skid turns, followed by clean arcs and carving, while gradually stepping up their speed.
In short, it's one of the best skis on the market for riders who want to make technical progress.
Recommended by our reviewers!
Consistent and reassuring
Happy in long and short turns
Comfortable in skid turns
Disliked: Slightly more demanding in short turns...
Dynastar Speed Elite [click]
Type of ski : Women's high-end
The Speed Elite from Dynastar got this year's "Best ski 2019" award for this category.
The ski is clearly designed for performance and its short radius (13m) makes it hard to hide its slalom origins. It's great in all areas, including at high speed. Turn initiation is incisive, with rapid edge to edge, great stability in turns and fantastic punch at the end of turns, making it a very energetic model that will give a lot of pleasure.
The ski is not excessively demanding. Its overall behaviour is very consistent and reassuring and experienced riders will get the hang of it very fast.
The ski needs to be driven however, with well-dosed pressure (especially at the end of turns where the rebound may be destabilising) and it needs a little engagement. It's perfect for riders that already master carved turns well. Very adaptable, it can help riders move on to more technical turns.
The Speed Elite is an excellent ski for sporty riders looking for a very dynamic ski but that's not as demanding as a competition ski.
Recommended by our reviewers!
Liked: Good overall performance
Stable and reassuring
Lively and dynamic
Great rebound on turn exit
An adaptable ski, will help riders to...
Disliked: Requires some technical know-how...
Dynastar Legend 88 [click]
Type of ski : All Mountain 70/30
The reviewers were impressed by the Legend 88's qualities but found the bindings too central.
The ski has many qualities and the reviewers found it accessible, with easy turn initiation and rotation.
However, the central positioning of the binding made it impossible to add forward pressure in aggressive rides. The imposing tail in uneven snow conditions and heavy snow hampers rotation.
We tried mounting the bindings 4cm further back and this helped improve the ski's behaviour.
The Legend 88 is a very good ski that we recommend for intermediary to good riders. It's probably worth trying to mount the bindings a bit further back than the central positioning recommended by the maker.
Liked: Good overall behaviour
An easy and enjoyable ski for cruising
Behaves well off the groomed runs (except for our comments below)
Disliked: Central positioning required
Long tail due to the centralisation of bindings, hampering rides in the crud and even in powder
Dynastar Speed Zone 12 Ti (Konect) [click]
Type of ski : Men's high-end
Dazzling holder of a PROSKILAB "Best ski" award last year and scoring very well in many other reviews, the Speed Zone 12 Ti remains well placed in this selection of the best skis on the market. However, it lost a few places on the scoreboard, probably due to the arrival of new competitors, softer snow conditions and slight changes to the ski's structure (the Active Air Core wood core is lighter).
The ski has excellent qualities overall. It's very well-balanced and offers good performance and comfort overall. Its character is consistent and it's extremely reassuring.
The ski is globally efficient and enjoyable. However, the reviewers felt that its behaviour was less intuitive than last year and while it's very comfortable in its carving radius, it appears to find it difficult to adapt to other types of ride and needs careful positioning.
The Speed Zone 12 Ti is now a benchmark in this programme and we recommend it for good to very good riders looking for an easy carving ski.
Good carving performance
Disliked: Finds it difficult to move away from its radius
Skid turns fall short
Needs good positioning
Dynastar Mythic 97 CA [click]
Type of ski :
The Mythic 97 CA from Dynastar displayed an enjoyable and docile character. It's an easy ski, that's relatively soft, contrary to what its CA name (for Carbon) would have us think.
The professional reviewers appreciated its comfort and overall user-friendliness in most snow conditions: "a consistent and easy ski to handle", "an easy ski", "enjoyable on all types of snow"...
The Mythic 97 CA is playful, agile and especially happy in short turns. With a 15-metre radius, it's almost a go-kart in this category where the radius is generally around 20 metres or more.
The ski's softness combined with a large rocker means that it needs extra length and most of the reviewers had the impression they were testing a ski (at 177 cm) that was short. The ski appears less happy at high speed and in the crud, where the tip tends to flap.
The weight announced is 1.450 kg for 177 cm, which is fine.
In short, the Mythic 97 CA is an excellent choice for intermediate to very good riders looking for a well-balanced mix between weight and exhilarating downhill rides, with a focus on agility and medium speeds.
Easy to handle
Smooth in short turns
Relatively undemanding physically
Disliked: Soft tip that flaps in crud and at high speed
Less convincing performance-wise