2014-2015 Dynastar Cham 107

Sans Nom

Once the snow was sufficiently warm, I ventured out of bounds to Sans Nom, a steep, narrow chute with many subtle variations on the Northern side of the resort.

In the entrance, I encountered grippy, windblown chalk, and the Cham 107 navigated it well with solid, direct response to the input I delivered. Lower down on the soft, Northeast facing walls, the Cham was perfect for making slow, short-radius slide turns, and I navigated the narrow, corned flanks with ease.

Ryan Caspar, Dynastar Cham 107, Blister Gear Review
Ryan Caspar, Sans Nom, Las Leñas

Staying in the soft snow was tricky; as the sun set on our gully while we were skiing, I was happy to find that the Cham 107 danced through the narrow, corned mini chutes on the northeast side. Halfway down the run while dancing between the corned Northeast facing snow and the firm set up Southwest side of the gully, I realized that this ski was perfect for this type of skiing. I did not have to work any harder than I wanted to at the end of the day for a chute that would have been downright tiring on the Fischer Watea 106, yet the Cham offered enough in terms of predictability and maneuverability to deftly navigate the tasty corn.

Day 3: Casco

On our third day, Jason Hutchins and I decided to return to Cerro Martin to find out if the soft snow we had found earlier in the week was still there. After the 25-minute hike from the Iris poma to the summit, we opted for the Casco chute where the snow had been softest on our last trek up the ridge.

Upon dropping into Casco we found that the wind and cold had affected the snow more than we had expected. Throughout the chute, the snow was firm, and as I tried to ski hard and maintain a moderate speed, the 107 skidded and slid predictably but chattered quite a bit. This chattering left me wishing for a more damp and stable ski for these conditions and terrain.

Below the chute, the snow was soft but densely wind affected. I watched Jason rip through this snow with ease on the Salomon Rocker 2 108. When I attempted to attack the apron with the same speed and turn size, the tips of the Cham 107 started hooking up like crazy and I almost biffed it several times while trying to figure out how to adjust to the way this ski wants to maneuver through the dense snow. This was my only opportunity to shred wind affected, soft snow, and in my short experience, I was not able to find a way to effectively address this snow type on the Cham 107. Based on my experience with how it slides so predictably and precisely at slower speeds in soft corn, I believe that it may also perform better through set up snow when skied at a lower, more deliberate speed.

Some Speculation Based on What I’ve Found So Far

Unfortunately, I did not have an opportunity to ski the Cham 107 in blower pow, true crud, bumps, or trees. But, based on the way the tail releases while sliding turns in corn, it seems that the Cham 107 will do well at lower speeds in powder, especially while making medium- to shorter-radius turns. But if your thing is to attack powder aggressively, at speed and with larger-radius turns, the Cham 107 in the 184cm length is certainly not the answer.

I am looking forward to skiing the Cham 107 in the 190cm length. I anticipate that the 190 can be pushed harder, and will match up better to the way I prefer to ski. It will also be interesting to see whether the 190 maintains that subtle instability I found on the 184 while railing groomers, and the less damp, chattery feel while maching through variable, heavy snow.

Bottom Line

The 184 Cham 107 is a ski that is predictable at lower speeds and responsive to solid, direct input. And while it can stand up to more aggressive shredding, it isn’t a ski that comes to life or shines when being driven at high speeds. So far, its strength is its versatility: it’s a multi-tool that does a lot of things well rather than absolutely stand out in a specific condition or application.

All in all, this seems like the a very good ski for advanced to expert skiers who like to make slower, short-radius, controlled turns across the fall line in powder, groomed and variable snow. This ski will also be a maneuverable tool for intermediate skiers, easy to ski at lower speeds in most conditions (think narrower, flat tailed Rossignol S7).


10 comments on “2014-2015 Dynastar Cham 107”

  1. Thanks Ryan for this (and other very good reviews – this is the best review site).

    Just one question, have you skied on High Mountain version of Cham 107 and if you have how did you find that ski (in general or in comparison to regual Cham 107)?
    Many thanks in advance!

  2. VK,

    We only had the regular Cham 107 with us in Las Lenas. The High Mountain version shares the same sidecut and rocker profiles as the regular Cham 107, but has a lighter, softer wood core for touring.

    We will be sure to let you know if we have a chance to compare the two this season.

  3. Hey,
    Thanks for another great and honest review! Do you know what the running length for the Cham107 190 please?
    And if you were to have to choose between the Cochise 185 and the Cham107 190, what would you go for as a one ski quiver? (You’re going to tell me to grab the Bonafide and line up some super fat alongside these is my guess).
    Big thanks,

  4. Ryan, spot on review of the Cham 107 in the 184. I skied them last spring at Crystal Mountain in Washington. Bluebird spring day starting with firm groomers and turning into nice corn both on and off piste as it warmed up. I agree with everything you wrote. One week ago I had the opportunity to ski the 190 version-loved it – much better than the 184. Stevens Pass Washington. Soft grippy groomers, variable soft (boot deep) off piste. On groomers I felt as if I was on a GS race ski, I could turn them short, medium and long, they were stable and confidence inspiring. In the 184 I could get the tail to wash out, the 190 no way, solid and I felt no tip deflection no speed limit,I was laughing it was so much fun. In variable soft chop they were solid and just killed it-crud killer like last years Pro Rider 105. I did get them into some big soft bumps on 7th Heaven and they took some work to get through them, beat me up a bit, they are stiff. Later in the day on Tye Mill I took them into some medium size firm bumps, I was getting knocked around until I assumed a centered stance and Slarved/Pivoted them at slow to moderate speed, it became easy and fun-lesson learned. I really like this ski and am considering replacing my almost new Atomic Rituals for them but; I want to ski the 107 in some fresh pow, then ski the Cochise and lastly move my bindings to the team line on my Rituals before I decide.

  5. If you’re a strong, traditional type skier (i.e., ex-racer), try moving the bindings on the 184 Cham 107 1 cm back from recommended. I noticed a huge difference in everything from high speed GS to powder. The ski just felt more balanced. I sent quite a few people out on our demos 1 cm back and people seemed to like the feel of the ski better.

  6. Your review for the 2014/15 ski states that you have mounted this ski on the recommended line. Is that the front line or -2cm back line? It is important to clarify this because I have the 2014 ski in a 190cm length originally mounted on the recommended line (the only line marked on that year’s ski) and eventually had it re-mounted 2 cm back from that position after contacting Dynastar and Reine Barkered . The difference is quite noticeable and in fact all of the Dynastar pro free ride guys mount at this spot. I can say that the ski is just as quick but slightly more stable when bombing through crud and crap snow conditions. If you ski with stiff race boots and are a technical skier (ex racer or instructor) and power the ski with plenty of forward pressure then this position is vastly superior to the front line. The ski is stout, stiff in the mid body and tail, and quite damp (becoming livelier at speed -but doesn’t everything!),so a softer fore body allows it to skim up and over pow and crud when your speed is up. For this ski, faster is better, and slower is heavy and quite dead in feeling. The key to finding the best ski for any skier is to demo that ski if possible (in as many conditions as possible) because most of the magazine ski reviews are bullshit and too many buyers look at what some racer or top free rider is using, and that might not be the best criteria for making an informed choice. Gear is not getting any cheaper!!

  7. Just put these away after my first year on them, probably had about 20 days on them if I had to guess, in an extreme variety of snow conditions at multiple ski areas. My first impressions were not good at all, it was a hard pack day and I felt that chatter you talked about. After a few days though, 1 spent teaching a friend to ski where I really got a feel for them and a deep powder day, I realized I’d found the only real weakness of the Cham. They do chatter at high speed. The edge under your foot holds, but the ski bounces and it does make you a little nervous they’re going to give out. I found they were really quick for how big they are, I spent a few days skiing bumps constantly because there just wasn’t powder in February. The float is good, not a true powder ski, but they are still an absolute blast in deep conditions. Overall, I’m really impressed, they just feel fun to ski, and I’m not ever thinking about the skis limitations. While they may not be the ideal ski for the chute I’ve just dropped into, or the mogul field after it, or the groomer back to the lift, or the powder on the next run, they ski any snow type and terrain well. If you plan on flying groomers first, and skiing all terrain second, I’d go a little longer and stiffer. But if it’s the other way around, it’s a ski I would definitely recommend.

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