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Dynastar Legend X96 Review

A total rebuild of the Cham, has led to a great all-mountain ski for a wide range of skier abilities.
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Price:  $800 List | $699.95 at REI
Pros:  Stable, powerful, consistent
Cons:  Tip chatter, slow edge to edge
Manufacturer:   Dynastar
By Andrew Pierce ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Nov 7, 2019
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71
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#11 of 14
  • Stability at Speed - 20% 6
  • Carving - 20% 7
  • Crud - 20% 8
  • Powder - 20% 8
  • Playfulness - 15% 6
  • Bumps - 5% 7

Our Verdict

The Dynastar Legend X96 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 6, it is a great ski and should not be overlooked. The Legend X comes in several different waist sizes (75, 80, 84, 88, 96, 106), but we decided to test the 96, which is 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.

Name Tweak and Graphics Update

Since we tested these sticks, Dynastar has dropped the "X" and now just refers to them as the Legend 96. Barring that and some new topsheet graphics (shown above), there are no other revisions to the ski.

October 2019


Compare to Similar Products

 
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Price $699.95 at REI$650.00 at Amazon
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Overall Score Sort Icon
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Star Rating
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Pros Stable, powerful, consistentFast, solid, consistent, large sweet spotHard charging, fun, easy to skiGreat all around ski, great pop, easy to swingExcellent carving ski, quick
Cons Tip chatter, slow edge to edgeMinor chatterSlight chatter at high-end speedSometimes feels soft, skis shortChatter in the tips, poor powder performance
Bottom Line A total rebuild of the Cham, has led to a great all-mountain ski for a wide range of skier abilities.The new Mantra, now called the M5, is more user friendly than previous versions but is still a powerful and consistently fun ski.The Daemon is a hard charging ski that can be tamed.Fantastic all around ski that will for perform for skiers of all abilities.This contender has superb edge hold and energy through turns.
Rating Categories Dynastar Legend X96 Volkl M5 Mantra Black Crows Daemon Blizzard Rustler 10 Nordica Enforcer 93
Stability At Speed (20%)
10
0
6
10
0
9
10
0
9
10
0
8
10
0
8
Carving (20%)
10
0
7
10
0
9
10
0
9
10
0
8
10
0
10
Crud (20%)
10
0
8
10
0
10
10
0
9
10
0
8
10
0
8
Powder (20%)
10
0
8
10
0
9
10
0
9
10
0
10
10
0
7
Playfulness (15%)
10
0
6
10
0
8
10
0
8
10
0
9
10
0
7
Bumps (5%)
10
0
7
10
0
8
10
0
8
10
0
8
10
0
7
Specs Dynastar Legend X96 Volkl M5 Mantra Black Crows Daemon Blizzard Rustler 10 Nordica Enforcer 93
Intended Purpose All Mountain All Mountain All Mountain All Mountain/Soft Snow All Mountain/Firm Snow
Ability Level Intermediate-Expert Intermediate-Expert Intermediate-Expert Intermediate-Expert Expert
Shape 132 - 96 - 112 mm 134 - 96 - 117 mm 132 - 99 - 120 mm 135.5 - 104 - 125.5 mm 126 - 93 - 114 mm
Available Lengths 165,171,178,186 170,177,184,191 170, 177, 183, 188 164, 172, 180, 188 169, 177, 185, 193
Waist Width 96 96 99 102 93
Radius 17m 21.2m 20m 14.5m, 16m, 17.5m, 19m 15.5m, 16.5m, 18.5m, 20.5m
Rocker Rocker/Camber/Rocker Rocker/Camber/Rocker Full rocker, reverse camber Rocker/Camber/Rocker Rocker/Camber/Rocker
Weight Per Pair 4032 4252 5265 4126 4464
Core Material Paulownia wood Beech, poplar Poplar wood Multi-layer wood Beech and poplar wood
Tested length 186 184 183.6 188 185

Our Analysis and Test Results

While our testers were a little disappointed that Dynastar decided to discontinue their Cham line, the Dynastar Legend X96, and they delivered.

Performance Comparison


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

Stability at Speed


When skiing Mach 5 down our favorite early morning groomer, the Legend X96 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... loving the return of the metal!
Picking up speed on the Legend... loving the return of the metal!

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

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

Carving Performance


The Legend X prefer short, fast carving turns over long, arcing ones. The 18m turn radius is relatively small, which is comparable to most of the other skis we tested. 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.

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.

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. Legend X resists tip deflection and stays true in all but the worst of the worst snow conditions.

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.

Powder


The Legend Xperformed just as our testers expected in the powder — excellent. The tip rocker and 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 a more pow oriented ski, the Legend X lacks the width underfoot to match the effortless surfing feel of others.

The Legend X96 has a pretty 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.

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.

Playfulness


This is probably the Legend Xs worst performing category, but it still earned a very respectable score. The ski has a bit of pop coming off of jumps, and it feels lightweight while in the air. Our testers found it to be a bit stiff and unforgiving in the landings, but that shouldn't stop you from sending it off your favorite rock drop.

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

Bumps


Don't let the moderate score 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.

The rocker up front helps the Legend X ski a little bit shorter in the moguls. 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

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. When the end of season sales come around, these are a true value.

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

Conclusion


The Legend X96 is a ski that performs well in every category, but never really stands 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.


Andrew Pierce