Ski: 2019-2020 Dynastar Menace 98, 181 cm
Available Lengths: 169, 175, 181, 187 cm
Blister’s Measured Tip-to-Tail Length: 178.5 cm
Blister’s Measured Weight per Ski: 2085 & 2096 grams
Stated Dimensions: 132-98-120 mm
Blister’s Measured Dimensions: 131.7-97.9-119.5 mm
Stated Sidecut Radius (181 cm): 23 meters
Measured Tip & Tail Splay (ski decambered): 64 mm / 47 mm
Measured Traditional Camber Underfoot: ~4 mm
Core: Poplar + Fiberglass Laminate
Factory Recommended Mount Points:
- -1.75 cm from center; 87.5 cm from tail
- -7.75 cm from center; 81.5 cm from tail
The Dynastar Slicer series has served as the brand’s freestyle lineup for years, but it’s getting a makeover for 19/20. The new line is now being branded under the “Menace” moniker, and will consist of the Menace 80, Menace 90, Menace 98, and Menace PR-OTO F-TEAM (which will be the same ski as the current PR-OTO Factory, apart from graphics).
All of the skis have twin tips and are designed to let you take a more playful approach to the mountain. Dynastar’s 98mm-underfoot Slicer has remained the brand’s mid-fat all-mountain freestyle ski under a few names for nearly a decade. For 19/20, it’ll become the Menace 98, which is the same ski as the current Slicer Factory, but will be available in more length options.
So what’s so special about the Slicer / Menace 98 that’s caused Dynastar to keep it in their line for so long?
What Dynastar says about the Menace 98
Since they’re essentially the same ski, here’s what Dynastar says about the current Slicer Factory:
“The SLICER FACTORY is a surfy, freeride twin designed for stomping smooth, easy spins in the backcountry and slashing first tracks. The Twin Rocker profile provides easy steering, speed control, and float, while Spring Blade technology increases pop and shock absorption for playful freestyle versatility on natural and man-made features”
At a fairly heavy weight for its size and a relatively narrow 98 mm width, the Menace 98 doesn’t exactly look like it’s designed to hunt pow in the backcountry, but its rocker profile and shape do seem ideal for freestyle performance. As for the “Spring Blade” technology, that’s reportedly Dynastar’s term for how they vary core thickness and the camber profile to increase the ski’s pop / energy.
Shape / Rocker Profile
The Menace 98’s shape is probably the most obvious clue that its design hasn’t changed much for many years. Unlike many modern all-mountain-freestyle skis, the Menace 98 has almost no tip or tail taper. Instead, it has a pretty traditional shape for a twin, and basically looks like a fat park ski.
The Menace 98’s rocker profile sets it apart from most park skis though, as the Menace 98 has very deep, but very subtle tip and tail rocker lines. Its rocker lines are deep compared to most 98mm-wide skis, but the Menace 98’s tips and tails only really splay out at the very ends of the ski. In theory, the Menace 98’s lack of taper and deep, low rocker lines seem like they could equate to good edge hold on firm snow while still also floating well and making the ski feel loose when you want it to.
Here’s how we’d characterize the flex pattern of the Menace 98:
In Front of Toe Piece: 8.5-9
Behind the Heel Piece: 9-8
The Menace 98’s tips and tails are quite soft, and it slowly stiffens as you move from the tips to the middle of the ski. The Menace 98’s tails stiffen up a bit quicker, with the back half of the ski feeling a bit stronger than the front. The Menace 98’s flex pattern is quite strong around the bindings, especially compared to some modern all-mountain-freestyle / park skis like the Line Blend and J Skis Allplay.
Compared to the Rossignol Black Ops 98, the Menace 98 is similarly soft at the very ends of the ski, but the Black Ops 98’s flex pattern stiffens up much quicker and is stronger overall.
The Menace 98 comes with two recommended mount points. One line is only around -1.75 cm from center, and the other is around -7.75 cm from center. That’s a pretty wide range, so we’re curious to see how the Menace 98 will respond with the bindings moved within that range. Often when we see skis with this wide of a recommended mounting zone, they respond well to both more directional and more playful / centered skiing styles, depending on where you mount them. We’ll see if that’s true of the Menace 98.
For its size, the 181 cm Menace 98 sits on the heavier end of the spectrum, though it’s still notably lighter than many metal-laminate directional skis and some other freestyle skis like the 185 cm Nordica Soul Rider 97 and 185 cm ON3P Magnus 102.
For reference, here are a number of our measured weights (per ski in grams) for some notable skis. As always, pay close attention to the length differences to keep things more apples-to-apples.
1629 & 1684 Elan Ripstick 96, 180 cm (17/18–19/20)
1734 & 1750 Renoun Endurance 98, 184 cm (18/19)
1758 & 1774 Moment Commander 98, 178 cm (18/19)
1800 & 1824 Luke Koppa’s Romp Skis 100, 183 cm (18/19)
1807 & 1840 Atomic Bent Chetler 100, 188 cm (18/19–19/20)
1829 & 1838 Faction Prodigy 2.0, 184 cm (18/19)
1848 & 1903 Line Sick Day 104, 186 cm (17/18–19/20)
1863 & 1894 Blizzard Rustler 9, 180 cm (18/19–19/20)
1894 & 1980 Black Crows Daemon, 183.6 cm (17/18–19/20)
1921 & 1968 Head Kore 99, 188 cm (18/19–19/20)
1925 & 1937 Liberty Helix 98, 186 cm (18/19–19/20)
1937 & 1945 Fischer Ranger 94 FR, 184 cm (19/20)
1966 & 1973 Liberty Origin 96, 187 cm (18/19–19/20)
1985 & 2006 Parlor Cardinal 100, 185 cm (16/17–18/19)
1998 & 2044 4FRNT MSP 99, 181 cm (17/18–18/19)
1950 & 1977 Blizzard Rustler 10, 188 cm (17/18–18/19)
2002 & 2014 J Skis Allplay, 184 cm (16/17–18/19)
2007 & 2029 Armada Invictus 99 Ti, 187 cm (18/19–19/20)
2019 & 2022 Rossignol Black Ops 98, 182 cm (18/19–19/20)
2031 & 2038 Faction Candide 2.0, 184 cm (17/18–19/20)
2049 & 2065 Volkl Mantra M5, 177 cm (18/19–19/20)
2050 & 2080 ON3P Wrenegade 96, 184 cm (18/19)
2053 & 2057 Atomic Vantage 97 Ti, 188 cm (18/19–19/20)
2067 & 2074 Line Blend, 185 cm (15/16–19/20)
2085 & 2096 Dynastar Menace 98, 181 cm (19/20)
2101 & 2104 Fischer Ranger 102 FR, 184 cm (18/19–19/20)
2111 & 2125 J Skis Vacation, 186 cm (18/19)
2115 & 2149 J Skis Masterblaster, 181 cm (16/17–18/19)
2118 & 2139 Nordica Soul Rider 97, 185 cm (15/16–19/20)
2124 & 2137 Blizzard Bonafide, 180 cm (17/18–19/20)
2126 & 2136 ON3P Magnus 102, 186 cm (18/19)
2131 & 2189 Nordica Enforcer 100, 185 cm (15/16–19/20)
2133 & 2134 Faction Prodigy 3.0, 183 cm (18/19–19/20)
2233 & 2255 Nordica Enforcer 104 Free, 186 cm (19/20)
2311 & 2342 K2 Mindbender 99Ti, 184 cm (19/20)
Some Questions / Things We’re Curious About
(1) With such a wide recommended mounting range, how will the Menace 98 feel with the bindings moved between its recommended lines?
(2) On a related note, how will the Menace 98 respond to both a forward, driving stance, and a more centered, balanced one?
(3) Dynastar talks up the Menace 98’s soft-snow performance, but it’s still pretty narrow. So how well will it balance firm- and soft-snow performance?
(4) Is the Menace 98 a true all-mountain freestyle ski, or does it feel more appropriate within the confines of the terrain park?
Bottom Line (For Now)
The Dynastar Menace 98 has a fairly traditional design by today’s standards, yet Dynastar has kept it around for so long that we figure they must be doing something right with it … right? Blister Members can check out our initial on-snow impressions in our Flash Review linked below, and then stay tuned for our full review.
Blister Members can now check out our Flash Review of the Menace 98 for our initial impressions. Become a Blister member now to check out this and all of our Flash Reviews, plus get exclusive deals and discounts on skis, and personalized gear recommendations from us.