The 2016 Dynastar Powertrack 79 Ca Fluid X Ski Review: High Tech, Low Price // Ski Reviews
We do a lot of ski reviews here at SkiEssentials.com. You may have noticed, and this is generally true with ski reviews across the industry, that we typically focus on high end skis with new shapes, technologies, and usually high prices. Sometimes, however, a ski emerges that’s targeted more towards beginner and intermediate skiers and that’s so good we feel we need to give it some extra attention. The Dynastar Powertrack 79 Ca with the Fluid X binding system is a perfect example of one of those skis. It has taken proven technology from much more expensive skis and integrated it into a versatile platform that inspires confidence and promotes progression in beginner and intermediate skiers.
The Powertrack 79 Ca is a true all mountain ski that borrows from modern freeride skis in its major design elements. Those design elements are most obvious when looking at the side cut of the skis. Dynastar, across their entire Powertrack line, uses a 5 point side cut, something that we typically see on much wider, more freeride oriented skis. This 5 point side cut or "early taper" also coordinates with rockered tips and tails. The simplest way to describe this shape is that the widest part of the tip and the tail is also where the rocker starts. On firm snow this provides incredibly smooth and easy turn initiation, something that beginner and intermediate skiers will absolutely love. On the other side of the spectrum, this shape also allows you to release your turn very easily and wash around the tail of the ski. On groomed terrain it makes for very fun skiing, easy to get in and out of carving turns and just as easy to slide around pivoting turns as well. It’s perfect for skiers progressing into linking carving turns.
The 2016 Dynastar Powertrack 79 Ca is so easy to ski, in fact, that beginner and intermediate skiers will likely find their ability improving quickly and drastically. Because the skis promote easy carve initiation, chances are you’ll find yourself wanting to carve more and more powerful turns the longer you ski them. This is where the wood core, partial vertical sidewall and traditional camber really come into play. The tips and tails of the ski, where the rocker and early taper is found, also feature a cap construction where the top sheet wraps all the way around the ski to the edge. Cap construction generally has less torsional stiffness than a ski with a vertical sidewall, which works well in this ski as the tips and tails are designed to help initiate turns without needing a lot of power. What’s great about a ski with a partial vertical sidewall for intermediates is that turn initiation remains easy, yet when you’re in a carving turn you have a solid, relatively stiff platform underfoot that will allow you to make pretty powerful turns. Retaining camber under foot also gives the skis plenty of energy and "pop" for fun, snappy performance where and when you want it.
So, it’s a great ski for intermediate skiers who are looking to progress their abilities on groomers, we know that now. What about for skiers who are looking to venture off the groomers into more variable terrain and conditions? Just as it helps turn initiation on firm snow, the "freeride" inspired 5-point side cut and rockered tips and tails give the skis tremendous ability off-piste considering their relatively narrow 79mm waist. The rockered tips and tails help keep your skis floating on top of soft snow, while the early tapered 5-point design make for easy, pivoting, catch-free turns in moguls, tight trees, and other places where you sometimes have to make quick moves. Whether you’re spending the whole day testing your abilities and exploring ungroomed terrain, or just want to take a couple mogul or tree runs amidst mostly skiing groomed slopes, the Powertrack 79 is an excellent choice. Its strong ability both on firm, groomed slopes and ungroomed, variable terrain is extremely impressive for a ski in this category and is relatively unmatched as most manufacturers don’t give their beginner/intermediate skis nearly this much off-piste performance.
Dynastar packages the Powertrack 79 with two different binding systems, the Fluid X and the Xpress. Here at SkiEssentials.com we’re offering them just with the Fluid X binding for men. The Fluid X is a slightly burlier binding system than the express. Although heavier, it uses a metal on metal interface designed for precision power transfer and to hold up to even aggressive skiers as your abilities improve and you start skiing more powerfully.
On the women’s side of things, don’t worry, we haven’t left you out! Dynastar’s women’s version of this ski is the Glory 79, which is offered just with the Xpress binding system. You’ll find these skis on SkiEssentials.com as well. The Xpress binding system is great for women, as it keeps the overall weight of the ski at a minimum. If you’re an aggressive woman skier you can always jump up to the mens ski to get the Fluid X binding, but for 99% of beginner and intermediate women skiers the Xpress is the way to go. Especially for those looking to progress their ability off-piste, a heavier ski is much more difficult to maneuver, and we think most women will appreciate the reduced weight.
What’s our overall take on the Powertrack 79 and Glory 79? We’re very impressed by the design and technology behind these skis. Sometimes within the ski industry we’ll see amazing innovations in really expensive skis, leaving the beginner/intermediate all mountain category a little bit neglected. This is certainly not the case with the Dynastar line. Considering the performance and versatility you get for a relatively low price, it’s obvious Dynastar put a lot of time and energy into designing these skis, and for that, we want to say "Thank you!" We’re not all World Cup superstar skiers, and it’s nice to see some real attention given to this category.