Test: Dynafit Beast 108 – solid and agile freetour skis
We rarely do ski tests, but since this and last season I had the opportunity to ski several brands (K2, Majesty, Nordica, Kästle) and at least three models from the Dynafit stable (Speedfit 84, predecessor Free 97, Beast 108), I decided to share my experience. Time has shown that I return most readily to the latter. Beast 108 seems to me to be a universal model for Polish conditions and very well balanced – it allows comfortable ascents, but most of all it gives a lot of fun on descents.
The Beasts were created mainly with descents in mind, so they are a bit heavier than models designed strictly for rapid overcoming of long approaches (there is no shortage of such in Dynafit’s offer, such as the Blacklight series).
Nevertheless, 1750 g (1660 g – new model / length 181 cm) is a decent weight. When paired with a light boot and binding, medium and even long approaches are no problem at all, of course, if your goal is not to break records.
Dynafit Beast 108 (photo. outdoormagazine.en)
The tested model has been on the market for a few years and has undergone some minor modifications – the current version is a bit lighter than the tested one, has a new coating and camber. I present the specifications of the tested skis from the 19/20 season and a comparison to the current model (in parentheses):
- Core: ash, poplar (no change)
- Other materials: ABS, Carbon-glass fiber (new Snow Off Topsheet coating to prevent snow accumulation on the ski)
- Weight for the length of 181 cm – one ski: 1750 g (1660 g)
- Sizing for a length of 181 cm: 135/107/ 125 (no change)
- Turning radius for a length of 181 cm: 22m (no change)
- Profile: rocker-flat-rocker (the new model received a 2-mm camber under the boot; rocker-camber-rocker)
- Tip Rocker for 181 cm length: 480 mm (no change)
- Tail Rocker for the length of 181 cm: 300 mm (unchanged)
- List price: PLN 3099 (new model)
Elevation. Width 108 mm in Polish conditions
After fresh precipitation and in deep snow, the skis carry well, float, facilitate pumping – in such conditions they perform best. At the same time, the width of 108 mm (107 mm to be exact for the length of 181 cm) is not an exaggeration in my opinion. The Beast rides quite well in worse conditions, on harder, windblown or melted snow. I don’t see any contraindication to using this model all season in Polish conditions.
The 108 mm width and sizable rocker make it easy to take the ski out in deep snow (pic. outdoormagazine.pl)
The perception of this ski feature depends largely on the skier’s riding style and weight. I weigh 68 kg and like flexible skis, and as a result, I would prefer the Beasty to be even more “soft”. However, for a heavier skier their flex may be ideal. Either way, they are certainly not hard skis, you can clearly feel them working under the boot and all the way around.
Dynafit Beast 108 (fot. outdoormagazine.pl)
Agility, stability, control
The aforementioned flex and moderate rocker in the heels and quite a bit in the tip (300 and 480 mm) provide very good control in deeper snow. The ski is alive, responding immediately to the skier’s commands. This is probably Beast’s greatest asset. With a length of 181 cm (my height is about the same) and this width, the skis allow efficient maneuvering even in narrow passes. In deeper snow the rocker and good core flex facilitates rebound, in shallow snow the ski “lubricates” nicely (note: the camber in the new version probably improves edge bite – the “lubrication” in question may not be as smooth). On a wide slope, the waist makes carving easier, but in my opinion, in no way hinders fast turns in traditional style.
Of course, the Beasts are better ridden in powder than on hard snow. Nevertheless, it’s not bad, probably thanks to the carbon insert in the beaks – Ride Tip. I noticed that in demanding conditions the ski behaves better at higher speeds. The carbon insert in the front of the core also reduces leverage – the weight you have to flip when dodging in steep terrain is less.
Hard shell, soft snow underneath, windblown from above:
Dedicated Dynafit brand mounts (heel plate o hook / jaw in the tip and rubber element) make it easy to attach a seal. Cut-to-size, ready-made seals by Pomoca are available. This is important, especially if you make frequent switchbacks in one day and repeat a cool, spotted section of slope several times.
Mounting of dedicated seals by Pomoca brand in Dynafit Beast 108 (photo. outdoormagazine.pl)
I already noted at the outset that the reason I am writing about Beasts is that it is a model that particularly appealed to me, so the verdict could not be different. This is a fairly versatile ski, for people who are looking for cool slopes and head to the mountains as soon as they hear the slogan powder alert. They perform best in moderately deep powder, say up to the knees, and on a hard base with a thin layer of soft snow – that is, the conditions most often encountered in the lower Polish mountains, such as the Beskids. They’re light enough that the climb isn’t cumbersome, and they’re a lot more fun than lighter skit or speedtour models.
Dynafit Beast 108 (photo. outdoormagazine.pl)
The Beasts also come in a width of 98 mm under the boot, but the 108 version seems the most versatile to me. I would choose the length at least equal to your height, and preferably a little longer – the rocker is considerable, and the ski changes direction quickly, so no worries.
I hope that this test will be helpful, but let’s not forget that each of us is different and the best way to choose the right ski equipment is to test it on your own. Dynafit skis are popular and you can easily rent them in many places in Poland (in Katowice I recommend Wypoczalnia Turystyczna). From time to time there are also test events – it’s a good opportunity to test several models in one go.
I tested the skis with different boots, but the model I use on a daily basis is the Hoji Free 130:
A matched pair: the Dynafit Beast 108 skis and Hoji Free 130 boots (pic. outdoormagazine.pl)