The Dynastar Cham 2.0 97 has undergone a makeover for the 2015/2016 season. This years Cham 2.0 has a new sidecut, more moderate rocker profile, and slightly less metal. So what does this mean for performance? I never had the chance to ski Cham 1.0, but after testing the Dynastar Cham 2.0 97 this past spring, I can say that this is a pretty solid ski. It is part of Dynastar’s freeride line-up, but at 97mm underfoot it feels more like a versatile all-mountain ski.
2016 Dynastar Cham 2.0 97 On Mountain Ski Review
Conditions: Icy Steeps, Frozen Chop, Soft Crud, Groomers
Boots: Rossignol Alias Sensor 120
Bindings: Look SPX 12
On the Snow Feel: The Dynastar Cham 2.0 97 feels like a solid and stable ski. I didn’t find it overly exciting, but solid, damp, and smooth on almost any terrain I skied on test day.
Powder: The Dynastar Cham 2.0 97 is part of Dynastar’s freeride line-up and marketed as 70% powder 30% all-mountain. At 97mm underfoot, I’d hardly classify this ski as powder specific, but the Dynastar Cham 2.0 97 does have some features that definitely help it to float better than expected given it’s waist size. First is the large shovel nose (skinnier than past, but still large), and long rocker profile. In deeper snow, the nose wants to stay on the surface, helping to increase float. There is a significant amount of camber underfoot keeping the ski from being surfy or loose, but a very subtle rockered pintail helps to keep the ski maneuverable. The tail is also relatively skinny, and skink into deeper snow helping to keep the nose pointing up. Again, I wouldn’t call the Dynastar Cham 2.0 97 powder specific, but it does a decent job in deeper snow for a ski that is only 97mm underfoot.
Turn Initiation and Carving: The Dynastar Cham 2.0 97 is lighter than Cham 1.0, but it still feels like a somewhat beefy ski. I wouldn’t necessarily call it super heavy, but it is solid and feels powerful. It takes a bit of effort to get the ski on edge, but with a smoothed out 5 point side-cut, turn initiation is smooth and predictable. The ski is relatively quick from edge to edge, but I didn’t find it to have a lot of pop or snap. I really had to work to transition from edge to edge. The pintail design allows you to break free when you need to, but feels pretty locked in throughout the turn. It has a 15m turn radius, but again I didn’t feel like it was exciting or snappy and I actually preferred I bit longer radius turns. I was never wowed by the Dynastar Cham 2.0 97 on groomers, but it was solid, stable, and predictable.
Speed: The Dynastar Cham 2.0 97 is lighter than the past, but still feels like a solid, stable, and powerful ski. The ride is pretty damp, and the large shovel helps to eat up terrain pretty well. I actually found the Dynastar Cham 2.0 97 was happier speeding down roughed up groomers more so than carving on smooth snow. It’s a good ski at speed, and fun on soft snow and chop.
Uneven Terrain: The Dynastar Cham 2.0 97 is pretty damp and does a good job eating up variable roughed up terrain. The large shovel and long rocker helps to smooth things out, and I never got bounced around or deflected in softer chop. It felt sort of unique as I didn’t really blast through the crud, but I didn’t feel like I was floating over the top either. It was just a nice blend of the two, and it felt stable, predictable, and smooth. It’s a damp and stable ski, and fun for speeding over roughed up terrain.
Moguls: The Dynastar Cham 2.0 97 feels a bit sluggish and unresponsive. It’s not terrible in moguls and trees, but I like a little more forgiving and exciting ski on these runs.
Edge Hold: The Dynastar Cham 2.0 97 has a decent amount of camber underfoot, and full length vertical sidewalls that help to provide, power, stability, and good edge hold. It was very solid on steeper wind-blown slopes, and so smooth and predictable on soft snow.
Flex: The Dynastar Cham 2.0 97 feels relatively stiff and beefy even though it has reduced weight and less metal than the previous version.
Switch: The Dynastar Cham 2.0 97 only has a slightly upturned tail and is much happier going forward than switch.
The Dynastar Cham 2.0 97 was a very interesting ski for me. It’s a very capable ski in a lot of different terrain and conditions, but I never found it extremely fun or exciting. It just has this mellow, easy going feel and was smooth, stable, and predictable all over the mountain. I definitely prefer a bit more energy, power, and playfulness, but I think the Dynastar Cham 2.0 97 will actually cater to a lot of skiers. To me it feels a bit more at home on wide open terrain with a bit of crud or soft snow, and less so on groomers, and powder.