Dynastar Legend X96 Review

January 3, 2018
Dynastar Legend X96
GEAR INSTITUTE RATINGS
84
Overall
6
Sluff-ability
6
Stability
8
Float
6
Hard Snow Pleasure
8

The Good

  • Very quick edge-to-edge
  • Easy to initiate
  • Loves the fall-line
  • Decent stability
  • Extremely forgiving

The Bad

  • Needs to be in a turn
  • Not as much float
  • Overpowered by some other skis in the Powder Categ
  • Lost performance in deeper conditions
  • Feels like more of an All Mountain ski
THE VERDICT
Dynastar’s Legend X96 thrilled testers with its ability to turn on a dime, especially in steep fall-line shots, with a wicked easy initiation and a sweet swingweight from edge-to-edge. Dynastar’s All Mountain Profile, with a five-point sidecut and moderate tip and tail rocker result in a ski that quickly grabs hold of a carve, particularly on light powder or windpack conditions, and also on the hardpack. The ski did earn some of the best scores in the Hard Snow Pleasure classification in the Powder Category, but only did moderately well in the Sluff-ability scores when we took it off-piste. The Legend X96 is 96 millimeters at the waist, which is 8 to 10 millimeters less than most of the skis in this category. That made it feel more like a very versatile All Mountain ski that you could easily ride all season in most lift-served conditions, rather than a powder ski that you break out for when it gets deep.
FULL REVIEW

Dynastar’s Legend X96 was one of the easiest turning skis we tested in the Powder Category, with remarkable quickness and control from edge-to-edge. It absolutely carves up the fall-line, particularly in steep terrain, where it is stable and confident. Thanks to Dynastar’s All Mountain profile, with tip and tail rocker and five-point sidecut, the ski engages quickly with great edge grip. It had some of the best scores in the entire Powder Category in the Hard Snow Pleasure classification, racking up one 9 (out of a possible 10), several 8s, and at the lowest end, a 6. With a 96-millimeter waist width, the Legend was one of the narrowest skis in the category, which often made it feel more suited to being used as an exceptionally versatile All Mountain ski able to handle all lift-served terrain, rather than a pure powder pig made to oink out at the deep snow trough.

The ski does have to be on edge for its best performance, and like other Dynastar Legends we tested in the Frontside and All Mountain Categories, its easy swingweight could lead some hard-charging to say it felt a little short. Its Sluff-ability scores were respectable, but not on the same level as more off-piste oriented skis like the Atomic Backland or the category winning Blizzard Rustler 10. Scores in the Float classification were where the ski saw its lowest results, averaging a 6. We recommend the Legend X96 for true All Mountain use, as a versatile, harder snow preferring ski that can else keep edging off-piste.

Overall

In the Overall classification, one tester who skied the Dynastar Legend X96 gave it an 8 (out of 10) at the high end, while the rest of the testers gave it a 6. Testers who gave it higher scores remarked on its ability to handle a variety of terrain with quick-turning confidence, while the other testers felt that for a ski placed in the Powder Category, it did not demonstrate enough ability off-piste. If you like carving up the fall-line, especially in steep terrain, that is where the Legend X96 is at its absolute best.

Sluff-ability

The Legend X96 earned moderately good scores in the Sluff-ability classification, with 8s at the high end, and lower scores of 6. It doesn’t have enough Float to really schmear up the powder pockets, but its ease of initiation and quick turning ability do mean you can pivot this ski anywhere you take it. It does take more to drive the ski, especially into longer turns, the deeper the snow gets.

Stability

In the Stability classification, the ski did get solid 8s on every testers sheet. It is completely predictable and accurate in short to medium radius turns, especially on steeps and hardpack.

Float

The X96 got its lowest overall scores in the Float classification, with one tester giving it a 7, and everyone else scoring it a 5 or a 6. There isn’t enough pronounced rocker in the tip for it to really start to rise and porpoise in significant snowfall or in cut up crud, and the narrower waist width invites you to carve more than Float.

Hard Snow Pleasure

This is where the Legend X96 really stood out in the Powder Category, providing superior carving skills that surmounted just about any other ski in the class. The narrower waist width and more moderate rocker profile, along with the edge friendly five-point sidecut, result in a ski that is much more comfortable making high angle turns than almost any ski other than the Elan Ripstick 106. Get the Legend X96 for all season arcing, but with ever so slight a preference for hardpack and steeps.

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WHERE TO BUY
MSRP
$800.00
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$699.95
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