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SPEED COURSE TI 120-72-104@172 cm | R 15 | $875

EXCLUSIVE ELITE

SPEED OMEGLASS TI

120-72-104@155 cm | R 15 | $799 w/b

118-66-102@165 cm | R 12 | $875 The imperative here comes from the old Byrds song: Turn, turn, turn. The Speed Omeglass is like a Formula One race car made street legal, one tight turn linked to another at G-force-maxing speed. “Made for fast, precise turns — a true slalom ski,” wrote one tester. That might knock it down a notch when it comes to versatility, but for the unfiltered, race-car feel of powering through turns without ever hitting the brakes, this is as good as it gets.

And they call it puppy love… Testers oohed and aahed about the Exclusive Elite in a way they might about a cuddly yet well-behaved puppy. Playfulness and liveliness are abundant, yet the ski is always manageable, like a good dog that obeys its trainer’s commands. Take it into powder, take it on hardpack, explore the bumps — always obedient. “Adapts to all snow conditions,” enthused one tester. “Like being on a cloud.” This is one pleasure-producing pup.

CONTACT 4X4

EXCLUSIVE PRO 118-66-102@165 cm | R 12 | $899 w/b

122-75-106@172 cm | R 15 | $1,175 w/b A great, all-mountain ski is like a chameleon, changing its character as the terrain and snow change. Deep snow? Bumps lathered up with crud? Hardpack? Trees? The Contact 4x4 seemingly undergoes magical transformations to handle all of it. As a result, it’s a ski that can work well for different skiers of different skill levels and styles; the ski adapts to the skier rather than the other way around. It’s an all-mountain chameleon… and an all-mountain champion.

The Exclusive Pro leaves elegant flourishes on the snow that would make a calligrapher envious — evidence of its quickturning precision. When it comes to making quick yet easy turns, this is the tool you want. One tester suggested that even “aggressive grandmas” could handle this ski, but don’t think that means it lacks the toughness to stand up to higher speeds. The ski is able to execute forcefully and still win style points while doing it.

LEGEND SULTAN 85

EXCLUSIVE LEGEND IDYLL 124-78-106@164 cm | R 14 | $850 w/b

126-85-110@178 cm | R 17 | $1,000 w/b Some guys like brunettes; others prefer blondes. The Legend Sultan 85 is similarly a matter of preference. A few testers were like guys wowed on a first date. Wrote one: “Bravo, Dynastar! Everyone would be happy to own this ski.” For others, however, there would be no second date; they felt the ski lacked stability and short-turn quickness. Such divergence of opinion is often about finding the sweet spot; as one tester wrote, “once you’ve found it, you’ll have a whole lot of fun.”

Often, what you can’t say about a ski is as important as what you can say. The Legend Idyll didn’t necessarily have testers gushing effusive praise, yet they had nothing bad to say about it either. It simply performs any task you ask, in an efficient, dependable and unspectacular way. “A handyman that does everything well” is the way on tester described it. What else can — or can’t — you say about it?

CONTACT GROOVE

EXCLUSIVE LEGEND EDEN 126-85-110@172 cm | R 16 | $975 w/b

118-66-102 @165 cm | R 12 | $950 w/b Call this one Little Big Stick. Light and nimble underfoot, the Contact Groove is as easy to turn as flipping a light switch. Still, it packs a surprising big-game punch, enough to encourage two heavier testers to rate it the best ski in the category. One called it “soft and cuddly” when speeds were lower but “handles like a rocket” when speeds picked up. A good choice for intermediates looking to make the big step up to advanced nirvana.

Look out the window, and what do you see — a foot of new powder, maybe three. Testers agreed: when the snow is soft and deep, the Exclusive Legend Eden can be poetry in motion. It can be a little squirrely on harder snow, but the ride smooths out as the snow softens and float becomes more important than edge grip. One tester did, however, counsel patience; “not a short-radius ski,” she wrote, “it needs time to give you its all.”

CONTACT CROSS

EXCLUSIVE PARADISE 132-98-120@169 cm | R 20 | $650

120-72-104 @172 cm | R 15 | $950 w/b Think of the Cross as the Groove’s big brother who has spent a little time working out in the weight room. This is a powerful, all-mountain tool that won’t back down when push comes to shove. “The more you push it, the more it responds,” wrote one tester of a ski with so much energy it appears to throb just sitting on the ski rack. Big guys will love it; smaller guys might prefer the mellower Groove. Either way, you can do no wrong.

You’re strictly a big-mountain babe. Wide-open bowls, phat, fast turns, maybe with a little whooping and yahooing tossed in. Put it this way: you ski like a guy — pedal to the metal, big-radius turns only, fearless. The Exclusive Paradise is your kind of ski, stable as an aircraft carrier at high speeds. In-bounds hardpack? Pull another ski from the quiver. But barrelling with the boys through sidecountry powder stashes? You go, girl. That’s where the Paradise finds paradise.

6th SENSE SLICER 132-98-120@181 cm | R 23 | $750 Like those do-it-all tools hyped in infomercials, the 6th Sense Slicer is an all-purpose miracle machine — only without the hype. It slices! It dices on ice! It slashes through powder! It cuts up crud! Testers loved its rockerized flex pattern as an ideal compromise between firm-snow carving and deep-snow flotation. “Really interesting on all surfaces even if it is conceived for deep snow,” commented one tester. That’s rare for a ski this chubby underfoot. Operators are standing by! Call now!

6 | SkiPress Ski Test’ 11

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Photo: Blake Jorgenson

It’s great when ski designers mix contradictory characteristics and manage to pull it off. Trying to make a ski both powerful and easy often results in a muddle. Not so the Speed Course Ti. It’s got the horsepower of a monster truck yet can be controlled with the deft, easy handling of a Honda Civic. And testers liked its versatility in handling soft snow as comfortably as the hard stuff. Did we mention that it looks good, too? Nice job, Dynastar.


DYNASTAR