In our First Look of the Dynastar Mythic 97, we noted that its generous tip rocker would probably float well in deep powder, but we had concerns about how that rocker would affect the ski’s performance in firm conditions, as well as how the stiffness difference between the softer shovel and stiffer tail would play out on snow.
We’ve now had two Blister reviewers, Brian Lindahl (BL) and Sam Shaheen (SS), on the Mythic 97, and here’s what they’ve found so far.
(BL): In my time on the Mythic 97, we hadn’t seen a lot of big storms in Colorado, but I was able to get one day on the Mythic 97 in consistent, medium-depth powder. The ski’s ample tip rocker does allow the Mythic 97 to float well, and it doesn’t exhibit any alarming behavior in powder (such as plowing or hookiness). However, I felt that the Mythic 97’s much flatter tail didn’t slash and slarve like a softer, or more heavily-rockered ski — or even just wider ski.
(SS): In the 8-12” of powder I skied the Mythic 97 in, its huge tip rocker made it tough to sink the tips — I’ve never skied a 97mm-wide ski with this much float. In powder, I thought the Mythic 97 felt pretty playful for such a directional ski with such a traditional mount point, and could be skied from a variety of stances — though it seemed to prefer a more neutral stance in soft snow. Even though it has a more traditional mount point, the heavily tapered tips and tails, significant tip rocker, and light weight made the ski feel quick and responsive — not necessarily poppy, but it felt natural making quick turns and slashes. The Mythic 97 can be driven in powder (though the shovels can be overpowered if you drive too hard), and it can also be skied back on the tails, too. All in all, I found it to be pretty forgiving in powder.
Crud and Chop
(SS): The Mythic 97 is very light and, as a result, can definitely get tossed around in chop and crud. However, it’s very possible to drive the Mythic 97 and keep the tips pointed where you want them — you just have to ski with a more active style than you would with heavier skis. Though I was able to overpower the front of the ski in powder, I found it tougher to overpower the Mythic 97 on firmer snow as the soft shovels aren’t as engaged with the snow as they are in deeper powder (the ski gets noticeably stiffer once you get past the rockered portion of the shovel). The Mythic 97 can’t be driven as hard as (much heavier) skis like the G3 SENDr 112, Salomon QST 106, or Faction Dictator 3.0, but it can hold up to a surprising amount of pressure on the front of the boots in harder snow.
Firm and Variable Snow
(BL): In firm and variable snow, I found the Mythic 97 to have a strong preference for carving. Its stiffer tails liked to hang on and didn’t release as easily as other softer skis like the K2 Wayback 96 and more tail-rockered (and softer) skis like the Black Crows Camox Freebird.
In addition, when locked into a carve, I thought the Mythic 97 gripped well and felt very precise. When making quick carves across the fall line in steeper terrain, the sidecut radius felt as tight as Dynastar stated radius (17 m), and these sort of short turns were great for controlling my speed in this kind of terrain.
Interestingly, I didn’t find the Mythic 97 to feel hooky at all. Skis with a lot of sidecut often tend to hook up quickly, which can be a liability in steep terrain. But I didn’t find this to be true of the Mythic 97 — I had to give it quite a bit of input and be deliberate to initiate the next turn. For a backcountry ski, I really like this characteristic.
When the terrain opens up, the Mythic 97, again, preferred tighter carves, but wasn’t particularly hooky. In addition, I found the high-speed stability of the Mythic 97 to be quite excellent for its ~1500 gram weight, besting the Black Crows Camox Freebird and Faction Prime 2.0, which each weigh 100+ grams more per ski. Yes, the Mythic 97 still skis like a lightweight ski, but it’s one of the more stable lightweight skis I’ve tested.
Sun and Wind Crusts
(BL): When encountering sun and wind crusts, I found that the Mythic 97’s tails wanted to hang on at the end of the turn even more than they do in firm, smooth snow, which can throw off your balance. However, when entering turns, I again found the Mythic 97 much less likely to hook a tip than other skis I’ve been on in these conditions. The ski’s significant tip rocker / tip splay also seemed to make it less likely to get caught up underneath the crusts. Overall, the Mythic 97 is excellent in these challenging conditions, as long as you don’t try to rush the end of your turns.
(BL): In soft summer slush, the Mythic 97 was (unsurprisingly) much easier to release out of a carve than it was in firm snow or crusts — slarving down steep terrain wasn’t a problem at all in slushy conditions. Overall, there wasn’t a huge difference between the Mythic 97 and the Black Crows Camox Freebird in this kind of snow, aside from the Mythic’s enhanced power when carving.
Who’s It For?
For its narrow width and low weight, the Mythic 97 offers pretty impressive flotation and stability, making it an appealing option as a one-ski quiver for the backcountry in areas like Colorado, New Mexico, New Zealand, or the Alps — i.e., areas that generally see moderate amounts of snow fall. It isn’t the best ski for consequential, steep lines or really deep snow, but for one ski for everything, it’s an intriguing option.
During our time on the Dynastar Mythic 97 so far, it has performed quite well for a ~1500 gram ski. It’s not as demanding as the flex pattern may lead one to believe, but it is still impressively stable for its weight. The generously-rockered shovel design is very much not hooky, which is great in crust and on firm snow, and it also helps the Mythic 97 float very well for its width. However, the tail won’t break free as easily as softer / more tail-rockered skis and will want to finish the turn in firm snow. So overall, if you like to carve on firm snow in the backcountry and are looking for a mild-mannered yet-stable ski for a broad range of conditions, you should definitely consider the Mythic 97.
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