Voulez-vous rip all over the mountain?
The Dynastar Cham 97 Ski got its start in the motherland of big mountain skiing: Chamonix. Shocking, right? Given Chamonix's reputation, it's no surprise that the Cham 97 2.0 likes to ski big, burly lines in all sorts of variable conditions. The rockered tip gives plenty of flotation and enhances your ability to punch through crud. Moving back on the ski, the camber underfoot delivers stability and reliable edge-hold in a variety of conditions, right up to, and including, the most bulletproof conditions. The 5-point sidecut creates a pintail shape that prevents hooking and overturning in deeper snow and that helps initiate carving and turns on groomed snow. The full-length vertical sidewalls deliver tons of edge grip, balance, and stability, no matter how fast you get going. If you're a hard-charger who likes to be able to hit areas all over the mountain, you'll love the Cham 97 as your everyday driver.
- Tip and tail rocker, camber underfoot
- Sandwich construction
- Paulownia wood core
- 97mm waist width
- Five-point sidecut
- Item #DYN001R
- Q & A
- Familiarity: I've used it several times
Sooooo much better than the old Cham. Much more agile, fun, super stable and really, really versatile.
I've demoed a lot 100mm waist width skis the past couple of years trying to find something versatile to take all over the mountain. I've demoed the Bonafide, Experience 100, Mantra, Vantage CTI, Soul 7, Cham 1.0 and took a close look at the K2 Pinnacle and Nordica Enforcer. I'd have to say that the Chams are by far the most versatile skis of the bunch.
The Cham has stiff midsection, strong stiff tail, moderately stiff shovel, good amount of camber underneath and it's fairly damp. There's no metal in it so it's a lot lighter and more poppy than the previous Cham. With the old Cham, you really had to lay the ski over on it's side to get it to carve, not with the 2.0. Turns are much easier to engage and it holds a much better edge than the old Cham.
The ski carves pretty good on icy hardpack. To be honest, the best carving skis out of the skis I've demoed were the Bonafide and Experience 100, hands down. So, if the Bones and Exp 100 were A+, I'd have to give the Cham a B+, simply because it's not a pure carving ski due to its lack of sidecut. The Bones and Exp 100 on the other hand are more of a liability in soft snow and tight terrain. I skied these on icy hardpack, but in areas where the snow wasn't bulletproof, the carving performance was great.
In other areas such as stability, soft snow and crud performance and maneuverability the Cham was probably the best or near the top out of all of skis I previously mentioned.
The ski is super stable through crud and softer snow at speed, damp enough to save your legs but still lively to pop in and out of turns.
In terms of float, I'd say these are as surfy and floaty as the fully rockered Mantra, Vantage 100 or maybe even the Soul 7. The Cham was floaty and had the best grip in soft snow out of the bunch. The Mantra, Vantage 100, Soul 7 were good in soft snow, but it was a lot harder to finish turns either because the ski was too stiff (Mantra), too soft/not stable(Vantage 100) or too long of a ski to inspire confidence really tight bumps and trees (188 cm Soul 7) The Cham's wide shovel and the pintail causes to tail to sink and tip to rise in soft snow, making the ski "plane" across the snow rather than go over it(Soul 7, Vantage) or plowing through it (Mantra, Bonafide, Exp 100). The tips are practically unsinkable and it's sooooo easy to control in soft snow. And at 184cm, it's light and short enough to swing around but stiff and damp enough to hold an edge when you really need it without punishing you.
I haven't had the chance to take these into the trees or moguls yet, but The old Chams were tree machines and I suspect the new lighter Chams will perform much, much better.
Bought a pair and probably My "go-to" ski for several seasons to come.
5'11" / 200 LBS / Chams 2.0 184cm / Salomon STH2 Bindings / Advanced / Skis 15-20 days a year
- Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Threw these skis on an NTN telemark setup and these things absolutely rip. Lightweight, burly ski that you can take all over the mountain. These skis carve amazing and give tremendous edge hold in variable conditions. In the powder, these skis rip as hard as my powder skis in my quiver. I find myself taking these skis out more than any other ski because of its versatility. Overall, a great ski for cruisers all the way up to full senders that want to ski big lines.
- Familiarity: I gave it as a gift but have feedback to share
I bought these as a present for my mom, who skis in Vermont. She says they are very versatile and stable in all conditions. She's about 5'6" and an advanced skier, I got her the 166cm and she says the length is perfect for east coast bumps/tree skiing!
Total Mountain Performance
- Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions
I really enjoyed these skis, I found that the 172 length was a little short with the tremendous amount of tip rocker that these skis feature. The slight tail rocker is great for tighter turns on steeper terrain, as well as through the trees.
Dynastar updated this ski from previous years models by removing the metal throughout the ski. Initially I thought that it would cause some issues with the stability of the ski, but Dynastar used paulownia wood, that cut through the chopped up snow, and absorbed the energy very well. This ski still rides like the previous model, but just a little easier to manage through variable terrain.
I'd recommend this ski to any strong intermediate to expert skier who has a more traditional style of skiing, and enjoys an all mountain ski that will still perform well on groomed terrain. I had a blast riding these!