Ski: 2018-2019 Dynastar PR-OTO Factory, 189 cm
Available Lengths: 189 cm
Blister’s Measured Tip-to-Tail Length: 186.6 cm
Blister’s Measured Weight per Ski: 2341 & 2357 grams
Stated Dimensions: 145-118-135 mm
Blister’s Measured Dimensions: 144.7-118.0-135.3 mm
Stated Sidecut Radius: 24 meters
Measured Tip & Tail Splay (ski decambered): 65 mm / 39 mm
Measured Traditional Camber Underfoot: ~7 mm
Core: poplar + fiberglass laminate
Factory Recommended Mount Point: -9.1 cm from center / 84.2 cm from tail
[Note: The official name of this ski is “PR-OTO Factory” but we’ll simply be referring to it as the “Proto Factory” or “Proto.”]
Last year Dynastar announced that they’d be coming out with a brand-new pow ski for 18/19 that was designed with close collaboration with freeskiing legend, Richard Permin.
If you’re not familiar with Permin, check out the video below and then do a quick search for any of his video parts from the past few years (his segment from MSP’s Attack of La Nina is particularly good).
Permin is one of the few skiers out there right now who not only excels on gnarly big-mountain faces, but who can also throw technical freestyle tricks of those same lines.
So, it seems appropriate that his new signature ski, the PR-OTO Factory, looks like it blends characteristics from both sides of the big-mountain spectrum. And as a result, we’ve been hearing conflicting reports about what this new ski is — is it a burly charger, a surfy freestyle ski, a mix of both…?
We’ll soon be getting on the Proto Factory, but for now, let’s take a look at its specs and see how they compare to some of the other skis in this class.
What Dynastar says about the Proto Factory:
“Built to handle the deepest days and the most challenging terrain, the PROTO FACTORY was designed, developed, and approved by Factory Team rider Richard Permin.
Validated across a diversity of playgrounds last winter by the man himself, from the bottomless powder and tree skiing of Japan to the big mountain arena of Alaska, the PROTO FACTORY blends a fall line seeking missile with playful freeride versatility for whatever terrain is in front you.”
Dynastar is definitely emphasizing the Proto’s powder performance, which makes sense given that it’s 118 mm wide. But as I hinted above, Dynastar isn’t compartmentalizing the Proto into either side of the playful vs. directional spectrum. Instead, they talk about its ability to bomb down the fall line and play around. Consider us intrigued.
Shape / Rocker Profile
The Proto’s shape looks a bit like a blend of their Legend X skis and their old Pro Rider. The Proto shares some of the tip taper of the Legend X skis, but the Proto has a bit less tail taper, despite being wider than any of the Legend X skis. But the Proto still has a more tip and tail taper than the pretty traditionally shaped Pro Rider.
In terms of rocker profile, the Proto is pretty moderate by modern standards for a ~118mm-wide pow ski.
The Proto has almost symmetrical and pretty shallow tip and tail rocker lines. The Proto’s tip rocker line is shallower than most other 118mm-wide skis we’ve reviewed. The Proto’s tail rocker line is less unusual — it’s a bit deeper than some directional pow skis like the Volkl Confession or Blizzard Bodacious, and not quite as deep as more freestyle-oriented skis like the Moment Wildcat / Blister Pro, Prior CBC, etc.
The other surprise with the Proto is how much camber it has — we actually had to measure and re-measure it several times to make sure we weren’t making a mistake. With ~7 mm of camber and tip and tail rocker lines that aren’t super deep, we don’t expect the Proto to be the surfiest ski out there.
Here’s how we’d characterize the flex pattern of the Proto Factory:
In Front of Toe Piece: 9-9.5
Behind the Heel Piece: 9-8
As I noted above, before receiving the ski, we’d heard a lot of conflicting reports regarding just how burly it is — some people said it was a super stiff charger that only expert skiers would like, while others talked up its playfulness.
After hand-flexing it, I got much more excited about the Proto. It’s a strong ski, but its tips and tails are far from unbendable. Plus, its flex pattern feels pretty round — the tails are a touch stiffer than the tips, but not by much. Many of our reviewers, including myself, tend to like skis with round flex patterns, so I’m psyched on this.
For a ski that’s supposed to be able to charge down big-mountain faces, the Proto Factory comes in at what I’d call a “proper” weight of around 2350 grams per ski.
While Dynastar’s Legend X skis are quite light, I’m glad to see that the Proto is not. Compared to the most of the more freestyle-oriented pow skis, the Proto comes in a bit heavier. And compared to the more directional big-mountain skis, the Proto comes in about average in terms of weight.
For reference, below are a few of our measured weights (per ski, in grams) for a few notable skis. As always, note the length differences to keep things apples to apples.
1910 & 1941 Scott Scrapper 115, 189 cm (17/18–18/19)
2013 & 2099 Moment Wildcat / Blister Pro, 184 cm (18/19)
2034 & 2052 Blizzard Rustler 11, 188 cm (17/18–18/19)
2102 & 2137 Line Sick Day 114, 190 cm (17/18–18/19)
2126 & 2173 Rossignol Super 7 RD, 190 cm (17/18–18/19)
2130 & 2130 Moment Wildcat / Blister Pro, 190 cm (18/19)
2133 & 2133 Salomon QST 118, 192 cm (17/18–18/19)
2161 & 2163 Faction Dictator 4.0, 186 cm (17/18–18/19)
2183 & 2190 Black Crows Anima, 188.4 cm (17/18–18/19)
2196 & 2199 Icelantic Nomad 115, 191 cm (17/18–18/19)
2220 & 2252 Faction Prodigy 4.0, 186 cm (17/18–18/19)
2212 & 2215 Armada ARV 116 JJ, 185 cm (17/18–18/19)
2222 & 2278 Prior CBC, 184 cm (17/18–18/19)
2228 & 2231 Blizzard Spur, 192 cm (17/18–18/19)
2230 & 2250 Black Diamond Boundary Pro 115, 185 cm (17/18–18/19)
2246 & 2265 Fischer Ranger 115 FR, 188 cm (17/18–18/19)
2267 & 2270 Whitedot Ragnarok 118, 190 cm (16/17–18/19)
2297 & 2317 K2 Catamaran, 184 cm (17/18–18/19)
2341 & 2357 Dynastar Proto Factory, 189 cm (18/19)
2343 & 2360 J Skis Friend, 189 cm (18/19)
2346 & 2351 Nordica Enforcer Pro, 191 cm (17/18–18/19)
2370 & 2387 Volkl Confession, 193 cm (17/18–18/19)
2382 & 2395 ON3P Billy Goat, 184 cm (17/18–18/19)
2408 & 2421 ON3P Kartel 116, 186 cm (17/18–18/19)
2418 & 2433 ON3P Wrenegade 114, 189 cm (18/19)
2429 & 2437 Kingswood SMB, 188 cm (16/17–18/19)
2438 & 2492 Rossignol Black Ops 118, 186 cm (16/17–18/19)
The Proto Factory has a pretty traditional recommended mount point of around -9 cm from center. However, we’ve been on several skis with similar mount points (e.g., Fischer Ranger 102 FR & Icelantic Nomad 115) that also worked well with the bindings moved a few centimeters forward to help with freestyle performance. So, I’m very curious to see how the Proto will respond to different mount points.
Some Questions / Things We’re Curious about
(1) Is the Proto Factory more of a fall-line-seeking, directional pow ski, or more of a surfy tool designed to throw tricks off every wind lip, pillow, etc.? This is the big question for me — the Proto has a nearly symmetrical rocker profile and playful-looking shape, but then it’s got a pretty strong flex pattern and a substantial weight. So what’s the result?
(2) How demanding vs. forgiving is the Proto Factory? Should it only be on the feet of pro skiers like the one who helped design it?
(3) What happens when you move the bindings forward of the recommended line?
(4) What the are closest comparisons?
Bottom Line (For Now)
The Dynastar Proto Factory is one of those skis where we can’t really figure out what it’ll feel like by just looking at its specs. It shares traits with skis from both the more directional and more playful side of the spectrum, and we mostly just want to get a lot of time on it as soon as possible to figure out where the Proto Factory slots in. So, that’s what we’re gonna do. Stay tuned for updates.