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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
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    Fort Collins
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    164

    Review: 19/20 Dynastar Proto

    This will be a fairly extensive review. I plan on skiing on this ski for the entire 19/20 season. As we progress further in the season I will be updating this review with additional information.

    About me:
    • Age: 32
    • Weight: 190
    • Height: 6'0
    • Ski 'style:' Generally ski a fairly neutral stance, but I still can flex a boot when I want to. I still get inverted and spin sometimes & also like quick turn initiation, so I generally aim for a more center-ish mount - somewhere in-between recommended and true center, usually around 1.5-3.5cm forward of recommended. Some of this is because I do prefer my skis ~190cm. The times I have had skis shorter than this, I go much closer to the recommended line.
    • Preferred skis in the past: Blizzard Peacemaker, Blizzard Gunsmoke (what this ski is replacing), Scott Pure, Faction Candide 3.0, Dynastar Cham 107, Dynastar LPR, Black Diamond Zealot, Moment Garbones, Volkl Gotama & Shiro, Kastle MX108, Nordica Zero.
    • Meh skis in the past: Rossignol S7 (and all its derivatives), Blizzard Bonafides, Blizzard Cochise, Blizzard Spurs (1st gen), Armada JJs, Atomic Bentchetlers.
    • My intents and purposes: I plan on using these skis for fairly big days, but I will also probably use them for some backcountry skinning, maybe some bigger hut trips. In bounds skiing will probably be Steamboat, Winter Park, Big Sky, Snowbird, Crested Butte, Bridger, Jackson Hole, Taos. Right now I plan on mounting them about 1.5cm forward of recommended for my alpine setup, and then mount a telemark setup with the ball of my foot about 1cm back from the midpoint of the camber/parabolic shape.
    • Experience: I learned to ski in the midwest/ice growing up, but I also spent the majority of my time skiing in Colorado. I used to spend a lot of time in the park, and I still enjoy building kickers in the backcountry and the occasional lap through the park. I've competed on the Freeskiing World Tour as well as the Freeride World Qualifier. Much of my backcountry experience has been side-country stuff off of Loveland, Cameron, and Berthoud pass, resort access gates, as well as trips in the 10th mountain division huts.
    • Approach: I worked in a ski shop (the dark days) for 7+ years boot-fitting, working in the dungeon, product testing, and helping with the hardgoods buy. My previous job centered around telling people what skis to buy, so I think I approach ski reviews differently than most; much less "this ski is bad" "this ski is good." I take a much more objective approach to ski reviews and truly believe that a ski's fit has many factors to matching a skier. I think the ski industry blankets about 90% of the product out there with something along the lines of: "this 165cm, 115mm ski is a great all-mountain ski and you'll have a ton of fun on it regardless of your terrain, snow, weight, experience, or style!" I will take a much more specific, detailed approach than typical ski industry standards.



    The Skis:
    • Name: Dynastar Proto, Menace Factory, Proto Factory F-team - whatever the hell you want to call it; it's from Dynastar and it's a pretty interesting one given their past decade of making skis.
    • Length: Dynastar -- 189cm. Straight pull tip-to-tail -- 186.5cm
    • Cambered portion: From a quick eyeball, I would say about 70% of the ski is cambered, with maybe 5cm fudge room where the cambered section flattens out.
    • Parabolic shape: Slightly longer than the cambered portion of the ski (more on this below).
    • Stiffness: Underfoot -- 9, In front/behind boot -- 8, tips/tails -- 7. I don't have a ton of confidence on these numbers until I break the ski in.

    Initial thoughts and inspection (pre-mount, pre-skiing):
    Given the shape of these skis, they're stiffer than I anticipated. There's also a very good amount of camber. I measured the distance between the cambered contact points, as well as the the widest points of the tips & tails. I divided them both in half and they both line up at the same point on the ski. True center is ~2cm in front of that point.

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    Tip and tail profile don't look like they have a ton of splay.
    Tails:
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    Tips:
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    One thing I noticed is that the widest point of the parabolic shape in both the tip and the tails extends for about 3-4cm in the tips, and 2-3cm in the tails, and they both extend outside the cambered portion of the ski - implying that these skis can be engaged on a longer running surface if you turn them over enough. That being said, I believe that these skis will actually feel and ski longer than skis of a similar fashion from other companies given the large camber profile, fairly long parabolic shape, and low tip/tail splay (relative to the usual 115mm, 5-dimensional ski). I was initially hesitant to buy anything 115mm+ unless it was at least 190cm, but I think I will actually enjoy this ski quite a bit.
    Last edited by DarthMarkus; 10-14-2019 at 12:15 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Fort Collins
    Posts
    164
    First day on these was in Colorado after the fairly large storm that came through. I think it's still too early to make any big assumptions on the ski - largely because I'm a fat lard and not quite in best ski shape yet, and because this ski needs some break-in I think.

    Regardless, my initial thoughts on the proto after a pretty big day (12+ inches) day in-bounds is that it's a dynastar. It likes to charge pretty hard and the camber in the ski seems a bit more than a lot of other skis in this category. I did manage to get inverted a few times and do a few tree drops; this ski is a dynastar and it punished me when I got in the backseat.

    I'm hoping the ski will break in a little more and take on a little more playful, freestyle type of feel than what it currently has.

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    1/14 - Further update after getting a few days in steamboat after a relatively big storm:

    I'm liking this ski more and more as I break it in and get used to it. A place like Steamboat unfortunately doesn't do this ski a whole lot of justice. However, there are a few notable observations I was able to make after breaking the ski in, as well as getting it into some nice exposed, steep, and snowy conditions.

    First, this ski will punish you if you let it throw you into the back seat. It likes to power out of turns off the tail, as well as pop off whatever you decide you wanna ollie off of. Its tail is strong, which is kind of a strange thing considering the slight twin tip and rocker profile on the back of the ski. It also makes for a very nice landing platform.

    There's a rock/cliff in Chute 3 in steamboat that I went off a few times and the Proto never failed to stomp the landing and ski away like a bat out of hell. 2/3 times my weight was pretty well centered directly under my heels & arches - which resulted in a very stable, smooth landing; no noticeable tip dive. The other 1/3 I got kind of backseat on the skis and they tried to run away from me - no wheelie or smeary run out though, I just needed to get my weight back forward to regain some control and the ski responded again even after picking up some considerable speed.

    It's not all that surprising, but at 118mm the Proto doesn't really enjoy deep, icy moguls all that much. Most of the conditions in steamboat didn't really make much in the way of challenging moguls, and the Proto actually handled 80% of the moguls I was in very well. The other 20% were fairly deep, irregular, icy moguls, which proved somewhat challenging on a 118mm ski (no surprise here). Along with this ski's ability to navigate said moguls, it also handled trees in a similar fashion; good maneuverability for the most part, easy to throw sideways and smear off some speed, unless things got icy and catchy.

    I've also noticed that this ski can power through quite a bit. Along with its capability to ollie off of pretty small hits, this ski can also power through some less-than-ideal landings as well. I was landing on top of some moguls, as well as on the up-sides of them and the Proto kinda just did its thing as long as my body was able to take the brunt of the impact. No pre-release or folding the tip of the skis.

    At +1 where I mounted them, I can't say I really regret it, but I'm not positive I'm really in love with it either. I realize that I'm a little different in that I like my skis a little more forward, but my reasoning comes from both the tip and the tails of the ski. If I were further back on the ski, I'm not sure I would want to be over the tips of the skis to an even greater extent - I like being able to throw the skis sideways by pivoting in a more upright stance. I also like the little bit of extra "oomph' that I get out of the tails of the ski when I want to air off of smaller hits. The downside of being an extra +1 on the ski I think makes finding the sweet spot in the ski a little harder. I notice that my center of balance on the ski has a little bit shorter length of fudge room. I would guess that if I went on recommended, or even -1, I could drive the tips of the skis with a little more impunity. Regardless, I'm actually pretty happy with where I've mounted them, and I'm enjoying them more the more time I put on the skis.

    More updates in the future when I get more time under my belt.

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    Last edited by DarthMarkus; 02-18-2020 at 11:21 PM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Fort Collins
    Posts
    164
    UPDATE 2/18/2020: I have 8+ days on these now. I'm continuing to enjoy the ski a lot. I'm not really surprised that they're making a line of skis that have a similar shape to the PROTO. I will absolutely buy the M-Free 108 in a 192 when it comes out.

    On the same note on length, I think I've come to the conclusion that these skis would be nearly ideal if they were slightly longer. At an advertised 189, but measuring at 186, I think these skis would be money if they were around 191cm measured length, and about 1mm of camber was taken out. Take what I say with a grain of salt though - this is largely MY opinion on how the ski reacts and behaves to my height, weight, and skiing style; I'm 6'1 and have been hovering around 184lbs since I've gotten my fat ass in shape.

    The tail profile on these skis is where a large part of my opinion comes from. The skis have a turned out tail, yet where the contact point is in the back, there is a pretty steep camber profile leading up to it, not leaving a whole lot of room for the camber to taper out. The result is a very energetic tail that will slap you if you ski it in the back seat at all, and wants to power off of everything - turns, ollies, little hits, moguls, etc. Though quite fun in a lot of circumstances, I think this profile is a little less ideal in situations where I don't want to be bouncing around. It is also somewhat unpredictable in some situations where the tail catches on harder snow instead of skidding/flexing through.

    With a longer profile, and a toned down camber profile, I think the ski would achieve a more predictable energy, give a little more forgiveness in more consequential terrain, give more ability to slarve, and fit the expectation of a 118mm ski a little better.

    Some food for thought: I'm 6'1 and I mounted mine +1 forward. Pretty sure Richard Permin mounts his forward as well. I know going forward is heresy to a lot of people on here, but it makes a little more sense out of this ski given some of the characteristics myself and others have mentioned regarding the tail.
    Last edited by DarthMarkus; 02-18-2020 at 11:05 PM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Fort Collins
    Posts
    164
    RESERVED-321

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Lapping the pow with the GSA in the PNW
    Posts
    3,239
    Is this thing more or less the OG Squad 7 2.0?
    In constant pursuit of the perfect slarve...

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Fort Collins
    Posts
    164
    Just realized I didn't add some pictures I meant to include - I added a few more. I'm not terribly familiar with the Squad 7, but I'm pretty sure this ski is pretty different.

    EDIT: This ski does seem pretty similar to the Squad 7. Tip Splay, turn radius, and sidecut look different from a quick comparison.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    Boston
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    3,212
    Quote Originally Posted by Bandit Man View Post
    Is this thing more or less the OG Squad 7 2.0?
    I havenít skied a GPO, but I bought my Protos from LVS and I thought his comment about them being close to a GPO with a Dynastar layup made sense to me. The GPO is reported to be surfy and good in chop/crud, and that matches my experience with the Proto.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    WA
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    874
    Quote Originally Posted by Bandit Man View Post
    Is this thing more or less the OG Squad 7 2.0?
    (Head snaps around). Except for the radius - on paper anyway - yeah. Even the excessive camber. Now intrigued.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Montucky
    Posts
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    Review: 19/20 Dynastar Proto

    I skied for a few runs at Big Sky last season. Conditions were about 4Ē-6Ē of cut up, fairly wet powder. Didnít have a great time, and felt the ski was a bit hard to turn. Would be interested to put more time on them in drier snow.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    SLC, UT
    Posts
    540
    I'm excited tip give the a try. Fun shape with a heavier layup sounds intriguing.
    Is it just me or is this the best graphic Dynastar has put out since pre Cham series?

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    panhandle locdog
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    6,737

    Review: 19/20 Dynastar Proto

    Proto Factory isnít the same ski as the Menace Proto by the way... the factory is from the dynastar race room and kind of a beast. The Menace Proto is made in Spain and softer torsionally. I think itís a touch more fun in less than ideal snow.

    Both are a hoot in deep powder of course. Both charge pretty hard.

    A 19x length in this ski would be nice for a fatso like me.

    I question the reviewers plan to mount them plus 1.5cm but maybe that more magical.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Fort Collins
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leavenworth Skier View Post
    Proto Factory isn’t the same ski as the Menace Proto by the way... the factory is from the dynastar race room and kind of a beast. The Menace Proto is made in Spain and softer torsionally. I think it’s a touch more fun in less than ideal snow.

    Both are a hoot in deep powder of course. Both charge pretty hard.

    A 19x length in this ski would be nice for a fatso like me.

    I question the reviewers plan to mount them plus 1.5cm but maybe that more magical.

    This would be surprising. What's your source on this info? I can't seem to find two different skis listed anywhere.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
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    Whistler to Vail
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    From Blisterís review:
    ďNote: The PR-OTO Factory returns unchanged for 19/20, apart from new graphics and a name change to the ďMenace Proto.Ē

  14. #14
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    Oct 2003
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    Lapping the pow with the GSA in the PNW
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    Quote Originally Posted by DarthMarkus View Post
    This would be surprising. What's your source on this info? I can't seem to find two different skis listed anywhere.
    Getting my popcorn Expecting a salty response.
    In constant pursuit of the perfect slarve...

  15. #15
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    Nov 2006
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    ha

  16. #16
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    Review: 19/20 Dynastar Proto

    One says made in Spain, the other said made in France. One has vertical sidewalls, the other is semi cap sorta. They arenít the same ski and blister is full of shit too. The proto proto is more ski hands down.

    My source: my Quiver last season. Yes had both, skied both, promise itís a different ski. Maybe like twins but one is a CrossFitíer and the other a powerlifter.

    Youíre not the only dynastar shill around these parts... we have a thread for this stuff.

  17. #17
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    Methodically testing to industry standards

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    Which pair am I on here? Itís the race room ones, you can tell by the powder cloud, the softer Spanish pair would have a cloud 13% larger due to the dynamic tip radius parabolic shape

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    Shilling might not be honest work but itís sure fun.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
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    Whoop der-it is

  19. #19
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    Nov 2006
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    I feel so blessed that my ski tips made it into this thread. Praise Jeebus!
    I tested the proto on said deep pow testing day and they were fun. Fairly different ski than the OG Squad 7. Mount is more centered, stiffer underfoot. More taper. Moar zoomzoom. The menace proto may be more like it, not sure as i have not skied the menace.

  20. #20
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    Guarantee Permin is still skiing the Proto Proto.

  21. #21
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    Or he is skiing something else...

  22. #22
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    probably a surfboard.

  23. #23
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    panhandle locdog
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    A proto proto proto

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leavenworth Skier View Post
    A proto proto proto
    So something thatís not even thought of?

  25. #25
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    panhandle locdog
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    Probably soul 7s

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