Hands-on Gear Review

Dynastar Legend X96 Review

Price:  $700 List | $699.95 at REI
Pros:  Stable, powerful, consistent
Cons:  Tip chatter, slow edge to edge
Bottom line:  A total rebuild of the Cham, has led to a great all-mountain ski for a wide range of skier abilities.
Editors' Rating:   
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Tested length:  186
Weight Per Pair:  4032
Available Lengths:  165,171,178,186
Manufacturer:   Dynastar

Our Verdict

The Legend X has some very similar qualities to the retired Cham, and that shows in our rating table. It is a ski that has plenty of power and the capability to deliver fun turns, no matter the conditions. Although it just barely cracked the top 5, it is a great ski and should not be overlooked.


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Our Analysis and Test Results

Review by:
Andrew Pierce

Last Updated:
Tuesday
March 13, 2018

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What could replace the legendary Dynastar Chams from years past? How about the Legend X?! While our testers were a little disappointed that Dynastar decided to discontinue their Cham line, we waited all summer in anticipation of the replacement, the Dynastar Legend X 96, and they delivered.

The Legend X comes in several different waist sizes (75, 80, 84, 88, 96, 106), but we decided to test the width closest to our Top Pick Dynastar Chams from last year. The Dynastar Legend X 96 has a slightly different sidecut with 132mm in the tip, 96mm at the waist, and 112mm in the tail. Dynastar claims that its new "Powerdrive Free" construction delivers dynamic power and edge hold, and our testers confirmed exactly that.

Performance Comparison


A LEGENDary replacement for the Cham.
A LEGENDary replacement for the Cham.

Stability at Speed


When skiing Mach 5 down our favorite early morning groomer, the Dynastar Legend X 96 reminded our testers of the ORIGINAL Cham. Dynastar brought back the metal in a titanal layer that adds an element of power at any speed that was missing in the Cham 2.0.

Picking up speed on the Legend X...loving the return of the metal!
Picking up speed on the Legend X...loving the return of the metal!

While not as stable as the Volkl Mantra or the Black Crows Daemon, the Legend X, our testers were still confident in pushing these skis to high speeds in almost any condition. The tip chatter we saw from last years Dynastar Cham that we reviewed is gone, and the Legend X feels much more consistent throughout the ski. Who doesn't like a little metal in their life?

Carving Performance


The Legend X prefer short, fast carving turns over long, arcing ones. The 18m turn radius is relatively small, compared to the Mantra at a whopping 25.4m. Not that the Legend X can't lay down longer turns and hold an edge throughout, but they are more fun when using the sidecut to your advantage and making quick turns.

Laying the Dynastars on edge on piste.
Laying the Dynastars on edge on piste.

Crud


The Legend X 96 is slightly more reliable in the crud than its predecessor was, and you can thank the return of the metal laminate (again) for that. Because of its shape and construction, it reminded our testers of the Blizzard Rustler 10 when the conditions deteriorated.

The large tip absorbs the initial impact, and even though the Paulownia wood core is lightweight, the unique core construction makes the ski feel damp when plowing through cruddy conditions. In a similar style to the Moment PB&J, the Legend X resists tip deflection and stays true in all but the worst of the worst snow conditions.

Powder


The Legend Xperformed just as our testers expected in the powder; excellent. The tip rocker combined with the large shovel upfront provide enough float to keep the rest of the ski from bottoming out, even on a smaller pow day. While the shape looks similar to the Rossignol Soul 7 HD, the Legend X lacks the width underfoot to match the Soul 7 effortless surfing feel.

The Legend X is a pow seeking missile  searching for and destroying even the smallest of stashes.
The Legend X is a pow seeking missile, searching for and destroying even the smallest of stashes.

The Legend X96 performs like a skinnier Rustler, in that they both have a nimble and playful feel in the powder. The Legend X is a great ski for your average (4-8 inches) resort pow day and will have you feeling like a legend by the end of it.

Playfulness


This is probably the Legend Xs worst performing category, but it still earned a 7 out of 10! The ski has a bit of pop coming off of jumps, and it feels very light in the air like the Icelantic Pioneer 96 does. It feels a bit stiff and unforgiving in the landings like the Soul 7, but that shouldn't stop you from sending it off your favorite rock drop.

These skis are so easy to swing around! Drop this rock like it was nothing.
These skis are so easy to swing around! Drop this rock like it was nothing.

Bumps


Don't let the 7 out of 10 in this category fool you; the Legend X 96 are quick and nimble when mashing your way down the moguls. Though the flex is a bit stiff to be a perfect mogul ski, the Legend X is fully capable of handling any bump line, no matter how steep or big.

Bumps! And plenty of them on the Legends.
Bumps! And plenty of them on the Legends.

The rocker up front helps the Legend X ski a little bit shorter in the bumps, just like the Soul 7, but feels more similar to the DPS Foundation Cassiar 95 because it is lightweight. This ski is fun in the bumps, despite its stiff overall nature.

We look on in awe as our fellow tester slays some bumps on the Legends
We look on in awe as our fellow tester slays some bumps on the Legends

Best Applications


The Legend X 96 is best suited for nearly any condition you can imagine. Dynastar has continued their tradition of making great all around ski that is easily accessible to most skier abilities.

Value


The Legend X is right in the middle of the pack concerning price. At $699 retail, it is a fair price for a great ski. Once the end of season sales come around, these will be a true value.

Conclusion


The Dynastar Legend X 96 is a ski that performs well in every category, but never really stood out among the other skis. We tested so many great all-mountain skis this year that a great ski was bound to find itself in the middle of the pack. The Legend X is a great replacement for the Cham 2.0, and it even won back some testers who preferred the original Cham line. This is a fantastic ski that you could trust anywhere on the mountain at any time.

LEGENDary conditions (thanks to our photographer!)
LEGENDary conditions (thanks to our photographer!)
Andrew Pierce

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Most recent review: March 13, 2018
Summary of All Ratings

OutdoorGearLab Editors' Rating:  
  • 1
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  • 5
 (4.0)
Average Customer Rating:  
 (0.0)
Rating Distribution
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5 star: 0%  (0)
4 star: 100%  (1)
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