Dynastar Legend – reborn or remade?

Al Morgan, the Ski Club's Kit & Equipment expert, gives the low down on the Dynastar's latest range of freeride skis.

Dynastar’s tagline for their Legend range of skis is ‘Legends are made not born’.

So, by this statement does it mean legends are remade? Dynastar has previously had a Legend range of skis and it was exceptionally popular and had a very strong following. This did make it very exciting that they were bringing the Legend name back.

As far as I can recall, the last time the Legend freeride line-up of skis was in the range was in the 2011/12 winter, as they then released the Cham range of freeride skis for 2012/13. The Cham range was also very popular and for winter 2016/17 they had their Cham 2.0 range, and this was again an improvement on their Cham range.

For this winter, 17/18, the new Legend range has been launched and I was lucky enough to ski some of the range at the SIGB Ski Test in Kuhtai, Austria, in March 2017. I’ll tell you a little more about that in due course.

First, a bit of recent ski development history from Dynastar.
For 2016/17 winter Dynastar introduced the new Speed Zone range of skis with Powerdrive technology, an innovative and very interesting way to smooth out the ride on firm snow and provide superb levels of grip.

Typically in skis, the layers in the ski are built one of top of the other above and/or below the wood core (the wood core is often a laminate construction with long, narrow bands of wood glued together side-by-side in the core of the ski). Different woods have different characteristics, and the materials used above and below the core can help alter the stiffness and dampening of the ski. This can alter the ride of the ski, helping to keep the ski smooth and grippy.

Powerdrive

Dynastar has flipped this all on its side – literally. For their Speed Zone range of skis they introduced technology called Powerdrive. For this they laminated layers vertically of visco-elastic and Titanal at the side of the ski between the wood core and the ABS sidewall of the ski.

The visco-elastic layer helps to keep the ski really smooth though the turn and the Titanal layer helps to deliver power and drive through the edge of the ski; and it really works. It worked so well we were almost fighting over each other to ski on the Speed Zone 12’s when we first tested them; testers raved about its grip and how smooth this ski was.

Unlike some other skis, where smoothness of ride can come at the cost of the sensitivity of the ski meaning you get less distinct feedback, the Powerdrive sidewall construction of the Speedzone meant the snow feel was still superb even though the turn was sooooo smooth. The added benefit of having a ski that soaks up vibrations through the turn is that grip is maintained, and in skis of this calibre the grip is superb.

So, why would you need technology from a race ski in a freeride ski, like the new Legend range? You are not skiing on really hard snow so surely floatation, low weight and snow sensitivity are key assets. Well, Dynastar knows a thing or two about this and came up trumps with an evolution of their Powerdrive sidewall, called Powerdrive Free.

Powerdrive Free

They’ve kept the idea but adapted the concept for freeride skiing, replacing the Titanal layer with a lighter wood to make the skis more adaptable for the varying conditions you get in freeride terrain, whilst keeping weight down and allowing the visco-elastic layer to soak up the vibrations you get when skiing variable snow off-piste. Yet again this technology works and these skis are superb. The Legend X88 won a Top Performer award in this year’s Ski Club Ski Tests, and you can read our write-up for this ski online here now.

The Legend range of skis is not only about the new Powerdrive Free sidewall. They’ve taken some profiling and design inspirations from the Cham range of freeride skis as well as the Powertrack all-mountain skis. This means the Legend range delivers on and off piste – smoothness of ride, floatation in soft and variable snow, grip on firm snow and reduction in deflection in variable conditions means you are onto a winner.

Don’t get me wrong, there are other skis out there that perform really well across the range of conditions mentioned, and as such the Legend skis are up against some serious competition. The good thing here is that Dynastar is delivering what they promised with the new Legend skis – and for me they deliver a better ride than the Cham’s when they launched them in 2012. If you liked the old Legend range, and want to rekindle that love then now is your chance. If you’ve never skied on Dynastar skis before and thought that they were too piste orientated for you then think again.

If you are after a truly lightweight set up for free tour skiing then I’d check out the Dynastar Mythic – one of the best free tour skis on the market at the moment and although not the lightest it does provide one of the best skiing experiences of these modern touring orientated skis.