Dynastar Legend W 88 Review

January 12, 2018
Dynastar Legend W 88

The Good

  • Easy on and off the edges
  • Smooth and stable throughout the turn
  • Conquers crud and chop

The Bad

  • Sluggish in short turns
  • Soft tip can chatter at speed
  • Low rebound energy
East coast and West Coast alike, the Dynastar Legend W 88 offers stability and responsiveness in a variety of snow conditions and terrain choices. This playful mid-fat ski blends of edgehold, power and maneuverability and suits a range of ability levels. Though sluggish in short turns and soft in the tip, testers felt the versatility of the 88-mm-waisted ski made up for shortcomings, particularly because it performed well as both freeride and frontside skis.

The Dynastar Legend W 88 is a playful midfat ski with a healthy blend of edgehold, power and maneuverability. “The ultimate cruiser ski,” says one tester. “It suits a range of ability levels, but rewards women who spend their time on the frontside and in soft snow.” Testers gave the Legend W 88 high scores for Responsiveness and Stability, with slightly lower ratings for Carving and Float. Notable performance aptitudes include stability in cut-up snow, predictability, quick edge changes and a smooth feel. Conversely, testers noted sluggishness in short turns, a soft tip that can chatter at speed and a slight edge wash on steep sections in firm snow.

The Legend W 88 has a five-point sidecut, which means that the ski’s widest point is closer to the binding in the forebody (not the ski’s extremities) and the ski tapers as the shape narrows at the tip and tail. This shape can help tighten the turn radius without sacrificing flotation, and in other words, create a freeride spirit with carving performance. “This is an east or west ski,” says one tester. “It’s an easy initiator for intermediate through advanced skiers. Experts will like the ski’s power and edgehold on most terrain.”

Dynastar’s Powerdrive Free construction drives the layup of the Legend W 88. The technology consists of a grouping of four components: Core materials, core layering, sidewalls and rocker. The sandwich construction is designed for power and includes a core of wood, fiberglass and metal. The full-length vertical ABS sidewalls bring frontside performance and edge grip. The rocker profile combines tip and tail rocker with camber underfoot for easy turn initiation as well as float and maneuverability. Dynastar’s intention was to create a freeride ski that can turn easily on a variety of terrain and overall, testers feel that intention was met. “Here’s an all mountain ski that’s quick on its feet, can carve adequately and can hold its own in crust,” said one tester.


Testers scored the Legend W 88 high marks for Responsiveness, describing it as “spry,” “a quick reactor” and “easy on and off the edge.” Some testers noted that the the ski is slightly sluggish in short turns while other testers described the flex as progressive but slightly damp resulting in a stable feel without tons of “pop.” The five-point sidecut and tip/tail rocker can make a ski feel pivoty and surfy like some of the 7 series skis, but the Legend W 88’s dimensions and camber underfoot work in concert to add enough effective edge for the kind of edge grip needed for carving. All in all, every tester gave the ski high marks for Responsiveness, nearly the highest scores of all skis in the All-Mountain category.


Dynastar’s four-part Powerdrive technology, which includes full sidewalls, a rocker/camber profile, wood/metal/glass core in a particular layout contribute to the Legend W 88’s high scores for Stability, demonstrated by tester quotes such as  “has the stability of an ocean liner” and “crud and chop don’t stand a chance with this stable ski.” One tester noted that the ski felt short for its length as noted in big terrain areas like bowls and high-speed steep sections. Another tester commented on the tip feeling soft and a little chattery at speed. All in all, testers felt that Stability was a huge asset for most all-mountain situations.

Resort Float

The Legend W 89 scored average marks for Resort Float for the resort, a predictable score for a ski with an 88 mm waist. One tester noted a soft tip, but more as a precursor to lack of edge grip at speed instead of flotation enhancer. The ski does rely more on stability through chop and crud instead of surface float. What it lacks in powder prowess, it makes up for in all-mountain versatility, according to testers.


The Legend W 88 follows the tradition of the original Legend line, a line that gave a nod to Dynastar’s big-mountain heritage. The new Legend has a shape evolved from the 7 series, but borrows from some frontside attributes. Powerdrive increases adaptability to groomers and variable snow alike. “This ski is a cruiser that can suit a range of ability levels but rewards the frontside or corduroy lover,” remarks one tester.


Tester scores were split in the middle for Carving scores between the highest possible score and slightly lower scores. Comments included: “Easy on and off the edge,” “a quick reactor,” and “an easy initiator.” Medium- to large-radius turns are the Legend W 88’s sweet spot thanks to an 18 meter turn radius, full length vertical sidewalls and a heft core construction. As testers noted, the ski was slightly sluggish, with less rebound energy in short turns.

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The Gear Institute Women’s Ski test took place over three days at Snowbird, Utah, in March of 2017. Six female testers skied each of the skis in the test and completed a detailed test card after each test run. Testers ranged from Olympians, to former racers and coaches to ski instructors and skiers who prefer backcountry/off-piste conditions. Categories were concluded on the same day so that skis were tested during similar conditions and on the same terrain. An in-depth look into construction and performance of the skis took place in Vail, CO, during a December industry event where testers skied on all test skis under similar conditions.

Testers were instructed to view each ski as a “Tabula Rasa,” or blank slate. Test cards included initial rankings of Favorite, Excellent, Good and Awful. Testers were asked to list three things they both liked and disliked about each ski as well as answering the question, “Who is the ideal customer?” Lastly, testers rated the criteria in terms of best to worst in the following mini-categories; Responsiveness, Stability, Float, Carving and Versatility.


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