In testing over ten pairs of backcountry skis through two North American ski seasons, the OutdoorGearLab team has gotten a solid handle on the market and what the community needs. If we had to put down, on paper, the specifications of our ideal ski, we might very well describe the Dynastar Mythic. Wider would be too heavy. Lighter would be too wobbly at speed. The shape Dynastar uses is modern, strong, and fun. Some will want lighter skis for going further, while many will want beefier sticks to better enjoy the down. But the center of the touring bell curve will be into something like the Mythic. Only our Editors' Choice products (this year the Volkl V-Werks BMT 90 and last year's Fischer Hannibal) scored better overall while hitting all the same major specification marks. Interestingly, a new addition for 2017, the Scott Super Guide 95 has nearly the same specs as the Mythic, and scores exactly the same overall. Is there some consolidation in ski design? Might we be getting close to an ideal size of ski for all-around backcountry skiing?
Dynastar Mythic Review
Compare prices at 3 resellers Pros: Versatile performance, moderate weight
Cons: Dark colored top sheet
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Dynastar Mythic marks a turning point in the backcountry ski market. With this purpose built, lightweight touring product, Dynastar makes a statement. In the past they made one of their all-mountain skis lighter and sold it as a touring ski. For 2015/2016, and continued into 2016/2017, Dynastar developed the Mythic from the ground up as a touring ski. It is their only touring ski offering and, as such, attempts to summarize the entire world's touring preferences and make a quiver of one. The dimensions, weight, and shape reflect that, falling exactly in the middle of the road for the market as a whole and for our selected subset.
The Mythic is near the middle of the pack for weight. At 1.4 kilograms per ski, the Mythic would have been one of the lightest touring skis on the market just a few years ago. As the market stands now, we consider this "weight point" to be perfect for the all-purpose touring ski. One of our award winners is a little heavier, two are lighter, and one is a lot heavier. The Editors' Choice Volkl V-Werks BMT 90 is just a few grams heavier. The specialized Top Pick Award winners are definitely lighter than the general purpose products like the Mythic and BMT, but they are less suited to all-around usage. Our one beef with the Mythic and weight is the dark colored top sheet. In any ski region with a latitude of less than 45 degrees, the solar effects on a dark colored top sheet are significant and unfortunate. The sun warms a dark ski more profoundly, which collects more slushy and sticky snow, thereby making the ski effectively heavier.
Stability at Speed
We couldn't help but compare the Dynastar Mythic to another, previous ski from Dynastar. In previous tests we reviewed the Dynastar Cham 107 HM as a backcountry ski. While the Cham's mass puts it more into the all-mountain resort ski category, Dynastar marketed it as a touring ski. As compared to touring skis, in this case its sibling the Mythic, the bigger, stiffer, heavier Cham was way more stable. It is "stability at speed" that is most directly correlated to ski weight. These lightweight touring skis will always be flimsier than their more massive all-mountain counterparts. That said, the Mythic does all right. Under experienced, balanced skiers, the Mythic can be let run. At a similar weight, there is something about the Volkl BMT that seems to charge a little more confidently than the Mythic. The K2 Wayback 96, with more mass and a little more running length, (the K2 has only tip rocker while the Mythic has turned up tip and tails) seems marginally more confidence inspiring at speed. It should go without saying that the lightweight specialists like the DPS Tour1 Wailer 99 are significantly more squirrelly than the Mythic at higher rates of travel.
We found the stiffness, mass, sidecut, and overall profile of the Dynastar Mythic to do pretty well on the hard pack. With a mid-fat overall width, traditional camber underfoot, and stiffening carbon in the construction, one would expect strong performance on the firm stuff. We found exactly that. We enjoyed and preferred the svelte performance of the Best Buy-winning Fischer Hannibal on hard snow. As compared to the Volkl Editors' Choice winner, the Mythic seems to perform similarly. The edges grab predictably and smoothly, the skis snap from one side to the other quickly, and carving is strong and steady.
We skied a lot of powder this test season. It was a great problem to have. The Mythic, in the soft and light, is bouncy and fun. Only when pushed past their "speed limit" in soft snow did we feel some limitations. On a giant day of El Nino powder on Colorado's Red Mountain Pass, with wide open terrain and visibility and a strong crew of charging riders, one tester found the Mythic to bounce and float in short radius turns but to wobble a little when opening it up. In Teton treed powder, the Mythic snaps around and floats into the next turn. The Volkl, despite it's svelte dimensions, seems to enjoy powder snow just a little more.
No one likes to ski breakable crust or sloppy isothermal rot. But we all have to do it from time to time. When it happens, we want skis with mass, rocker, and width. In this touring, all-purpose category, the best compromise in width seems to put skis in the mid to upper 90 mm range. The best crud skiing tools are well over 100 mm. Lightweight touring skis present an inherent compromise in crud skiing performance. The Mythic does all right, but feels a bit limited. The heavier and fully rockered Dynafit Chugach and Volkl V-Werks BMT 90 both do better when the snow gets funky.
The Dynastar Mythic is a solid quiver of one tool for the well-traveled, all-season backcountry skier. It hits the sweet spot for weight and is versatile on firm, poor, and powder snow. Its overall performance is just barely edged out by the Volkl. For users looking for a tool for slightly longer or steeper missions, the Fischer Hannibal is also a good choice.
The Mythic is almost exactly average in price for a modern backcountry ski. With solid, just-above-average-performance and an average price, we can call it a good value. They have only been available to the public for this one season, but it is likely that Dynastar used solid construction techniques and solid materials that will lend durability to the product.
The Dynastar Mythic is nothing flashy, and that is a good thing. For skiers traveling to a variety of mountain ranges and touring in all conditions, versatility is key. Having a tool like the Mythic, that can do everything at least somewhat well, is liberating and empowering.
— Jediah Porter