2016 Dynastar TWIN Ski Collection Overview: Twin Tipped Versatility // Ski Reviews
We do a lot of focused, detailed ski reviews here at SkiEssentials, but every once in a while we like to take a step back and highlight a collection of skis instead of one specific model. In this case, it’s a series of skis that many of us here at SkiEssentials own or have owned ourselves and skis that tend to fly under the radar compared to some of the most popular skis out there. That series is the Dynastar TWIN collection. The TWIN collection is made up of all mountain, twin tip, freestyle skis that have developed a following for being exceptionally versatile and for their excellent performance as a daily driver.
We’re going to take a look at three skis in the line and cover the more prevalent features, where they excel, and for whom we’d recommend them. For the sake of simplicity, let’s go widest to narrowest. That has us starting with, perhaps the most well-known ski in the line, the Slicer. Dynastar and Rossignol share a lot of research, ski development, and technology, so it’s not surprising the Slicer is very similar to the Rossignol Slat. If you’ve read that review, you’ll know how much we enjoyed it as an all mountain ski.
The shape of the Dynastar Slicer gives a nod towards its versatile nature. They are twin tip, directional skis with a 98mm waist width, tip and tail rocker, and a 23m turn radius. Even though they sit in Dynastar’s “freestyle” category, right away we can tell this is more than just a park ski, which is part of the reason why those of us who have skied it among the SkiEssentials staff think very highly of them. The 98mm waist width is such a great choice for a daily driver, all mountain ski. It’s narrow enough for responsiveness on groomers and wide enough that it provides significant float and stability in soft snow. Dynastar uses a technology called “Springblade”, which when combined with a full wood core and camber provides tons of energy and a distinct “load up and pop” feel. The amount of energy in the Slicer is really impressive considering it’s a dual rocker ski, meaning it has both tip and tail rocker. Because of this, when you get into variable conditions and softer snow it’s easy to pivot and smear turns making it extremely versatile in tight terrain and tricky situations.
We certainly don’t want to take anything away from the Slicer’s ability as a park ski. Those who like skiing park on a wider platform ski will be psyched with the Slicer. Wide park skis are starting to become much more popular, so park skiers who know they want a wide ski we’re guessing already feel pretty confident they’d enjoy skiing the Slicer. It’s skiers who spend no time in the terrain park at all, however, who we think should take a second look at this ski. We know a lot of skiers at our local mountain, Stowe, who never ski in the terrain park, never ski switch, but use the Slicer as their daily driver ski thanks to its combination of responsive, energetic groomer performance and smeary, slarvy, pivoting ability in soft snow.
As we mentioned, we’re going to go widest to narrowest in this article, so the next ski we’re going to look at is the Distorter. The Distorter is essentially a narrower version of the Slicer and leans more towards park and groomer specific use, although still retains solid ability as a daily driver all mountain ski. Where the Slicer was 98mm under foot, the Distorter is 87mm. This reduces overall weight, which gives it a little edge over the Slicer in terms of terrain park performance. The construction on the two skis is essentially identical. Both use Dynastar’s “Springblade” technology, both have a sandwich construction wood core, and both have camber underfoot with tip and tail rocker. The tip and tail rocker on the Distorter combined with the 24m turn radius do give the ski solid ability in soft snow and variable terrain. If you live on the east coast or somewhere that doesn’t receive a ton of snowfall, they’re a great choice for an all mountain ski. They won’t plow through chopped up snow quite as well as the Slicer does, but they certainly hold their own off-piste. They’re also, as we mentioned, better as a designated park ski for those who want to do the latest, biggest tricks, and provide a snappier, more responsive feel on groomers thanks to the narrower platform.
The last ski we’re going to look at, the Serial, technically does not sit in Dynastar’s “TWIN” series, but we think it’s certainly worth mentioning as it falls into the twin tip category and is somewhat or a stepping stone before jumping up to the Distorter or Slicer. Essentially take the Distorter, take out the rockered sections, give it cap construction, and shrink it to 80mm underfoot and you’ve got the Serial. Now, obviously changing those three things makes a completely different ski, which is why the Serial is more intended for intermediate all mountain and park skiers who are still progressing their abilities. Cap construction results in a ski that has less torsional stiffness so is easier to initiate turns, but doesn’t provide the same strength and edge grip as a sandwich construction, vertical sidewall ski. For lighter weight and less aggressive skiers, however, this will help progress ski ability. Far too often skiers buy skis that surpass their own level of aggressiveness or ability more rapidly. A ski with cap construction will allow progression to happen more naturally as the skis have a softer, more natural flex pattern, and are also typically more durable for years and years of use. Because the Serial still uses a full wood core, as skiers become more aggressive they’ll still enjoy its performance. So if you’re more park focused, are an intermediate or less advanced all mountain skier, or a little bit of both, the Serial is a great choice.
And that’s the Dynastar TWIN series. If there’s one thing you should take away from this article it’s that these skis perform extremely well as all mountain skis and shouldn’t be pegged as park or freestyle specific skis. They certainly have their following as high performing park skis, but from what we’ve seen over the past couple years they are just as popular among all mountain skiers who don’t set foot in the park whatsoever. This is, unfortunately, looking like it could be the last season for the Slicer, so grab a pair before it’s too late. Among our staff at SkiEssentials it’s certainly a favorite and we’ll be sad to see it go.