Author Topic: Dynstar Outland 87 and Atomic Nomad Blackeye Ti  (Read 1129 times)

Svend

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Dynstar Outland 87 and Atomic Nomad Blackeye Ti
« on: December 20, 2012, 04:57:12 pm »
This past weekend Gary and I skied at Sunshine and Lake Louise in Banff National Park, and I had a chance to do a full day demo of the Dynastars.  The Atomics are owned by a friend that we skied with who wanted to try my Mythic Riders, so we swapped for a single longish run.

Here are some quick specs and impressions:

Dynastar Outland 87

- new ski this year in their all mountain series
- early rise tip and tail (very slight in the tail)
- sandwich laminate, full sidewall construction
- no metal, but has the basalt layer that Rossi (their sister company) is also using in some of their boards
- I demoed the 178 length, which is too short for me, but was the longest available at the Louise shop
- dimensions 132-87-114; radius 19m (I think) at 178
- medium-stiff flex
- conditions:  ~2cm fresh snow over hard pack and crust in the AM; scraped off icy patches in the PM; skied them all over the mountain, hard groomers, soft and crusty crud, bumps, chop, but no deeper fresh snow to be found

Impressions, Pro
+ supple, moderately powerful flex underfoot
+ very smooth, predictable release from turns; enough energy to make them fun; not so much to make them demanding
+ surprisingly solid edge hold for an 87mm ski, even on scraped off icy sections; they do not have an "always-on" type edge hold, which I dislike in a ski, but it's there when you need it and is good by any standard
+ very predictable handling and maneuvering; typical Dynastar...they go where pointed
+ fast! these babies want to move....high fun factor  :D
+ very smooth and stable at high speeds
+ more lively and not quite as damp as, say, the Peak 84, but definitely more damp than a typical Fischer; felt kinda like my Nordica Mach 3's in that they had a silky-smooth snow feel, even on hard snow, which was most pleasant
+ moderately light feel underfoot - a pleasant change from my heavy Mythics
+ very good in crud and chop; smoothed out the rough stuff and didn't toss me around

Impressions, Con
- the wide tips announced their presence in crud and especially in the bumps, where they kept catching their edges and banging into each other; this is probably just me not being used to a ski with such wide tips and sidecut, and I'm sure that this annoyance would disappear after a few more days of getting dialed in to these

Overall
An excellent ski! I really enjoyed them (almost) everywhere I took them (see comment, above, re. bumps).  I could imagine them being very capable off-piste in up to shin-high snow and deep crud.  Compared to a Peak 84, they do not have quite the BMW 7-series smooth luxury car feel of the Peak at high speed, but very respectable nevertheless, and definitely not a limiting factor for most people I would guess (certainly not for me, anyway).  More lively, fun and maneuverable at slower speeds and in crud and bumps than the Peak, but then I demoed the Outland in 178 vs. the Peak in a 184 (these were demoed in April), so not really a fair comparison.  Another great all-rounder from Dynastar, and would be a very capable and versatile ski to take almost anywhere on the mountain, save deep powder.  Highly recommended.

Atomic Nomad Blackeye Ti

I skied these for only a single run of about 2000' vertical, mixed soft crud and scraped off and wind-blown icy patches above the treeline, and a smooth soft groomer lower down.

- early rise tip only
- sandwich laminate, not sure if it has full-length sidewall construction
- 2 layers metal
- I skied the 174 length, which is too short for me, but they weren't my skis
- dimensions 126-82-111; radius 16m at 174
- medium-stiff flex

Impressions, Pro
+ supple, moderately powerful flex underfoot
+ very smooth release from turns; lots of energy but not kick-butt harsh
+ very aggressive edge hold, very torsionally rigid, but not so much that it locked me into a single turn shape
+ predictable handling and maneuvering on smooth groomers
+ very smooth and stable feel at high speeds
+ quite a light feel underfoot, but is no wimp
+ decent in crud and chop; smoothed out the rough stuff and didn't toss me around

Impressions, Con
- that aggressive edge hold that I mentioned is always there, which is fine on groomers, but not so great in crud, where the edge hold just got in the way of maneuvering through it all (but this could just be me not being used to the skis, or possibly the tune)
- some tip flap at high speed

Overall
This would be a great ski if you primarily skied groomers and wanted a wider ski to wander into softer snow at times.  The edge hold on icy patches and groomers was excellent.  Very stable, smooth and fun at high speed on smooth snow.  I could probably tune them to make them more compliant in crud, which would amp up their versatility greatly.  I wouldn't want to take them into the bumps unless I re-tuned them.  This was the first Atomic I have ever skied, and I was impressed.  Lots of potential here.


About me:
- 6'2", 220 lbs
- not sure what level I am....Gary says 6 or 7, or something like that...  ::)
- ski the whole mountain, but not much off-piste experience, being an Eastern skier
« Last Edit: December 20, 2012, 10:27:35 pm by Svend »


Gary

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Re: Dynstar Outland 87 and Atomic Nomad Blackeye Ti
« Reply #1 on: December 21, 2012, 10:59:39 am »
Very informative reviews Svend....I didn't think at that elevation you'd retain that much printable information.   :P

I wonder if the longer Outland would have had less of the "banging tips syndrome"?




Svend

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Re: Dynstar Outland 87 and Atomic Nomad Blackeye Ti
« Reply #2 on: December 21, 2012, 12:03:48 pm »
Possibly.  That and a good re-tuning would likely make them less catchy in the bumps.  My experience with rental shop tunes is less than stellar.  A couple of minutes with a gummi stone might have changed my mind on that.  And yes, you are right, a longer length would have been ace -- more stable and measured in their handling. 

But, all-in-all, that was my only gripe with the skis.  Otherwise they were great.  More fun than my Mythics; more versatile than the Peaks and my Mythics; solid enough to hold a 220 lb guy on a steep cruddy run; smooth and quiet at speed.  Impressive. 

In my opinion, they are a significant improvement on the former Sultan/Legend 85, whose niche they seem to have filled.  More stable and solid feeling, but without much of a weight penalty or being any more demanding.  They are as easy to pilot as the Sultans, but a notch higher in performance.

Interestingly, they don't seem to be getting much attention in the North American press, although the Europeans seem pretty keen on them.  Kind of a sleeper ski on this side of the pond, it seems.

Well worth checking out for anyone in the market for a ski of this type.


LivingProof

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Re: Dynstar Outland 87 and Atomic Nomad Blackeye Ti
« Reply #3 on: December 22, 2012, 08:50:09 am »
Svend,

In you retirement, you can be a professional reviewer of skis. ;D

I could never produce that much level of detail in a review, especially from one run on the Atomics. I either like them or not like them, duhhh!

From the Epic reviews of the same skis, you did pick 2 skis that get positive reviews. I'll try to find them at my mountains demo days, both Atomic and Dynastar usually show up.

Svend

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Re: Dynstar Outland 87 and Atomic Nomad Blackeye Ti
« Reply #4 on: December 23, 2012, 02:08:51 pm »
Thanks Mike.  If I ever figure out a way to review skis and get paid for it, I'm not telling! I'm keeping that little secret to myself.  Pfftttt........ (insert sound of raspberry being blown)

You would like the Outland.  It may not have the solid, dependable feel of your Sultan 94's or my Mythics (which have very similar characters), but for that the Outland is significantly lighter in feel underfoot and in real grams.  Still, it is very stable in crud and is not easily pushed around, and certainly strong enough to hold me (at 220 lbs) on a steep cruddy slope.  The sidecut at the tip doesn't seem to start until well back along the edge, so I can imagine it would be easy to handle in deeper snow and not the least bit hooky.  These would be a great replacement for my Mythics, as they are an improvement over those in many ways, edge grip on hard snow being the most dramatic.

I liked the Atomics too, but unless it was just a weird tune that put me off and I could re-tune to make them less grabby in the crud, they were simply not versatile enough for what I am looking for.  If a re-tune couldn't change their character, then IMO, they are just too front-side groomer oriented for my taste.  In mixed snow (pushed around and wind blown piles, interspersed with icy patches) they were a handful and needed a lot of attention.  An interesting comment from the guy who owned those and who swapped for my Mythics on that one run, was that he felt the Mythics handled the crud far better than his Atomics and that he really liked them there.  OTOH, on the lower part of the run, being a smooth groomer, the Atomics ruled with their superior edge grip and smooth high speed stability.  FWIW, the run that these were skied on was at Sunshine:  Goat's Eye Express chair; Upper Afterburner (groomed) to Gold Afterburner (ungroomed) to Sunshine Coast (groomed) (http://www.skibanff.com/sunshine-village/trail-maps/goats_eye_mountain.jpg)

The Outland seems to offer a bit of the best of both worlds -- very good crud and off-piste performance, and very good edge grip on hard snow, while having a nice smooth feel underfoot and plenty of power for speed addicts.  I would love to have tried it in a 184. 

Let us know if you get to demo either of these.

« Last Edit: December 23, 2012, 02:23:31 pm by Svend »

HighAngles

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Re: Dynstar Outland 87 and Atomic Nomad Blackeye Ti
« Reply #5 on: December 31, 2012, 05:07:55 pm »
The more equivalent comparison would have been with the Atomic Crimson Ti, not the Blackeye, but I understand that the situation didn't permit that option.

The Outland series is getting some great reviews from skiers I trust.  I haven't had enough time on them to fully weigh in, but it's been a long time since I genuinely liked a Dynastar.  I hate the new Cham series, but Dynastar has a better formula for success with the Outlands.

Too bad you can't find most of the Scott skis in the USA, but I just had my first day on the Scott Neo (176cm, 83mm underfoot, 14m sidecut) and I think I've found another great versatile ski.  What attracted me to this one was that it has the same profile as my Scott Crusade, but is narrower with the addition of 2 sheets of metal.  I'll post something more on them later this season once I have more time on them.  I had to buy mine from a dealer in the U.K.

Svend

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Re: Dynstar Outland 87 and Atomic Nomad Blackeye Ti
« Reply #6 on: January 01, 2013, 09:04:48 am »
HA - as you noted, I was not trying to compare the Blackeye to the Outland.  They are intended to be viewed as separate and distinct reviews.  I did enjoy the Blackeye, though.  It would make a great eastern all-mtn ski.

Sorry to hear that Dynastar has not tweaked your interest.  I have tried an number of their skis over the years, and have liked several, but have also disliked a few.  I own the Mythic Rider, which I really like, although the Outland 87 is superior to it in many ways.  I liked the Sultan 94 for its solid, smooth, unshakable feel, but it would take a strong and/or heavy skier to make it come alive.  The Sultan 85 was too light for my taste, but fun nevertheless.  I had a blast on the Contact Cross Ti from a few years ago - a great ski; seems to be similar to the current Speed Cross Ti.  I intensely disliked the Contact 4x4 - way too stiff and heavy feeling, like skiing on a couple of 2x4's (pardon the pun  ;D). 

By comparison, I would say the Outland 87 is the most playful feeling of the bunch (with the possible exception of the Sultan 85), yet still maintains that solid, dependable, predictable go-anywhere feel that I like about Dynastar skis.  I'd be interested to hear your impressions if you try a pair. 

I would love to try the Speed Course Ti, the electric blue ski - it is supposed to be fantastic.

Speaking of Scott skis, I would love to try the Crusade, but doubt I will ever find one here in Canada to demo.  I have only read glowing reviews on those.  Apparently as capable and fun on the hard pack as it is off-piste.  How do you like yours?

« Last Edit: January 01, 2013, 09:08:16 am by Svend »