Author Topic: Dynastar Chams - First Impressions  (Read 306 times)


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Dynastar Chams - First Impressions
« on: February 26, 2013, 09:45:45 pm »
When I unloaded this morning for a great day of skiing....mostly groomed up remnants of a 24" dump a few days ago. Weather beautiful, sunny and high 20's low 30's throughout the day. And it got better. I couldn't help but notice 10 or 12 canopies set up near the base of lift #1.
Indeed, I had stumbled onto a demo day... ;D  Most of the manufacturers were represented. I inquired and found that it wasn't an open demo day, they were there for "retail reps and shop owners"... :(  However, I struck up a conversation with the Dynastar rep who said, "come by after lunch and I'll hook you up".  I had been interested in the Cham series, if for nothing more than their intriguing shape and respectable purported turn radius.
I thought I would provide my initial and brief thoughts on two of the Cham series skis I demo'd today.(Disclaimer: This review comes through the filter of a progressing yet less than "solid" technical skier)
Conditions for all tests were the same: I basically tested both skis on the same series of runs that one point or another; Fresh groomed...Four to eight inches of chop...Windblown dust on packed.
Cham 97.... Stable platform, edged better than I would have thought. I didn't have any trouble initiating turns.....and they seemed to hold an edge good enough. They broke thru chop well and windblown dust  didn't seem to affect them. My first thought? "My quads are killing me". These skis are heavy!! While stable, they are a "lot of work".
Cham 107 HM (HighMountain)...Expressing my thoughts on the "weight" of the regular 97's. The rep opined a lighter ski (without metal) might be a better choice. I did not feel a huge difference in profile with the 107. Again, edged better than expected, performed similar in turns, stable under the conditions I presented. Yet even with a bit more surface, they were a bit lighter than the regular 97's...But overall,  still relatively heavy. Again, my quads were on fire half way down the mountain.
The tips of both the 97 and 107 felt a bit unwieldy( perhaps due to mount position)  While I think a more technical or even flat out "stronger" skier may fancy them...I just didn't feel as if for the extra "beef" in terms of width, was I getting my bang for buck in terms of overall performance, allbeit, in the chop they both did "fine". And..its entirely possible they are the best thing since sliced bread in powder, alas none fresh to be had.
Realizing this last comparison could not be done without some bias...However, when I snapped back into my Rev 85's and skied them under the same conditions...I confirmed my feeling the extra girth of the Chams take them out of my everyday ski category. For lighter, progressing may want to demo the Chams first before buying....I "believe" you can get as much overall performance out of a lighter, more nimble ski. Cham owners, don't hate on much as I wanted to like them....they just weren't my cup-o-tea..... :-X
The reps will be there again tomorrow....I am going to see if I can get a ride on some different boards, if I am lucky....some slated for 2014 perhaps.....
ps: Moderators...feel free to bump this to the review thread...sorry for the extra work...I should have put it there initially.... :-X
« Last Edit: February 26, 2013, 10:23:07 pm by byronm »

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Re: Dynastar Chams - First Impressions
« Reply #1 on: February 27, 2013, 06:33:29 am »

For sure, you've been hanging out in our forum long enough to take advantage of a demo day when chance puts you in the right place. Good on you. And, yes, I've found that chatting it up with a rep works.

Last year in Tahoe, I did demo's of the Cham 97 and 107. The ski I was using that week was a Dynastar Legend 94, so weight was a change from my daily driver. Like you, I was at an area that had new snow, so the skis were in the environment where they should work. I liked the 97 during a quick 2 run demo, had the 107 for a halfday, not as impressed. I've stated, many times, I don't understand wide skis, as, my max width is 77. I just like fast edge changes, bringing skis to higher edges and precision. All in all, I was underwhelmed, I had to make them work. Others reviews of the Cham series are polrizing.

The great thing is you now have some real observations about a width of skis that some rave about. We all need to know ourselves and not be influenced by raves from others. In your development, stay on narrower skis....but, next time at a demo get on as many new skis as you can.


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Re: Dynastar Chams - First Impressions
« Reply #2 on: February 27, 2013, 09:09:03 am »
Nice job B....well done. It's always fun to demo new gear ...certainly helps us move towards more "co-operative" skis.

Although I have not demoed the Cham series....the shape of the ski kinda weirds me out....I have talked with ski testers that have been on it and  it's either love or grey area.
For me, the Dynastars always felt like they needed more muscle to turn....maybe a bit too stiff for my liking...similar to Volkl.

SO> those same conditions, how did the Rev 85's perform?



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Re: Dynastar Chams - First Impressions
« Reply #3 on: February 27, 2013, 07:10:54 pm »
LP...My thoughts at this point regarding the crave for uber wide skis is they tend to be specialty tools designed to "work" in conditions other than their design intent. While I think the line is being blurred somewhat by some designs into more utilitarian all around skis, under the most common conditions (for me), at some point, they take more make work. 
Gary....At the risk of sounding like a proud papa regarding my new Rev 85's. I can tell you that under the conditions related in my OP, the Rev's handled variable snow (as defined) as well as the wider skis and  handled the groomed terrain signficantly better with more versatility and less effort. EDIT: Just to be clear G...the Revs are rockin!!  :P 

No chance to demo again today as I cut my day short to make the drive back home and quite honestly, a nagging quad pull procurred sometime yesterday after skiing hard with zero wait at either of the two high speed lifts. By myself, skiing at a faster pace and a bigger dose than I would normally. Even after a jacuzzi treatment last night, this morning it was worse. With great conditions on the hill, I still had to give it a go... but called uncle at noon.... :-X
However, a little recoup time and I will be back at it........ :D
« Last Edit: February 27, 2013, 09:23:35 pm by byronm »