Ski: 2020-2021 Dynastar M-Free 108, 182 cm
Available Lengths: 172, 182, 192 cm
Blister’s Measured Tip-to-Tail Length: 181.5 cm
Stated Weight per Ski: 2200 grams
Blister’s Measured Weight per Ski: 2170 & 2180 grams
Stated Dimensions: 138-108-128 mm
Blister’s Measured Dimensions: 137.6-107.6-127.1 mm
Stated Sidecut Radius (182 cm): 18 meters
Measured Tip & Tail Splay (ski decambered): 73 mm / 53 mm
Measured Traditional Camber Underfoot: 5 mm
Core: poplar/PU + fiberglass laminate
Factory Recommended Mount Point: -7.75 cm from center; 83.0 cm from tail
This past week at Outdoor Retailer, Dynastar announced an overhaul of their freeride lineup. They’re discontinuing the Legend X series and now consolidating all of their freeride skis under the “M” moniker, and breaking that into three categories:
- M-Pro: directional, metal-laminate skis with more traditional shapes, rocker profiles, and mount points
- M-Tour: lightweight skis for backcountry touring
- M-Free: playful twin-tips with more progressive mount points and more symmetrical shapes
The current Menace Proto returns unchanged but with a new graphic and new name, the M-Free 118, and the Menace 98 returns completely unchanged. Oh, and they brought back the Pro Rider (!!!) without any changes to its construction, and that’s now called the M-Pro 105.
We’ll be reviewing the M-Pro 99 and the ski we’re talking about today, the M-Free 108. I’m super excited about this ski, so let’s dive in:
Many of the new skis in the “M” lineup feature a hybrid core made of wood and polyurethane (PU). While we’ve seen brands use PU sidewalls, we haven’t seen many that include this much PU in the core itself. For the M-Free 108, it uses a poplar wood core, PU, a titanal binding plate, and a fiberglass laminate. The M-Pro skis feature a partial titanal layer on top of a poplar / PU core, while the M-Tour skis use a Paulownia core, some PU, and a basalt laminate. The Menace Proto, Menace 98, and Pro Rider return with their regular constructions (i.e., no PU).
Here’s an image of the M-Pro 99’s core, which shows the wood and PU. The M-Free 108 has a similar core, but only features titanal under the bindings, rather than the metal plate extending far beyond the bindings. On an unrelated note, I think the M-Free line has the best graphics I’ve seen from Dynastar in a very long time.
Shape / Rocker Profile
In short, the M-Free 108 looks like a narrower version of the Menace Proto (which was formerly called the PR-OTO Factory, and will now be called the M-Free 118 … yeah, it’s hard to keep track).
The M-Free 108 has a very tapered shape, both in the tip and in the tail. Its tail is very similar to the Proto’s, while the M-Free 108 has a slightly less pointed tip vs. the Proto. The M-Free 108’s widest points and the tips and tails are still much closer to the middle of the ski than more traditionally shaped skis like the Black Crows Corvus, Icelantic Nomad 105, and Rossignol BLACKOPS Sender Ti. One thing we were surprised by regarding the Proto was just how loose and pivot-y it felt and we think a lot of that came down to its shape, so that’s something we’re curious about regarding the narrower M-Free 108.
The rocker profile of the M-Free 108 looks extremely similar to the Proto / M-Free 118, but the M-Free 108 actually has slightly deeper rocker lines and slightly higher tip and tail splay. This is interesting since wider skis are usually the ones with deeper rocker lines and more splay, but the difference is fairly subtle.
Compared to other all-mountain freestyle skis, the M-Free 108 has pretty deep rocker lines and a nearly full twin tip. There are some skis like the Moment Wildcat 108 and ON3P Jeffrey 108 that have deeper rocker lines, but the M-Free 108’s rocker profile looks pretty in-line with other freestyle skis in this width. Compared to more directional skis like the BLACKOPS Sender Ti and K2 Mindbender 108Ti, the M-Free 108 has much more tail rocker and tail splay.
Here’s how we’d characterize the flex pattern of the M-Free 108:
In Front of Toe Piece: 8.5-10
Behind the Heel Piece: 10-9
The M-Free 108 is a pretty strong ski with a very round, nearly symmetrical flex pattern. Its tips and tails feel about the same, and they’re a bit stronger than average compared to most skis in this class. The flex of the M-Free 108 smoothly ramps up in the middle and it feels quite solid underfoot and around the bindings.
The M-Free 108 isn’t quite as stiff at the ends vs. the ON3P Jeffrey 108 and Woodsman 108, but it’s not super far off. The flex pattern of the M-Free 108 reminds me of the Prior Northwest 110, but the M-Free 108 is a bit stiffer at the ends.
The Proto / M-Free 118 has a pretty traditional mount point of around -9 cm from true center, but the M-Free 108 has a slightly more progressive mount point at around -7.7 cm from true center.
That mount point is not as far forward as some freestyle skis like the Moment Wildcat 108, ON3P Jeffrey 108, and Prior Northwest 110, but it’s more forward than most directional skis. We’ll be playing with the mount point on the M-Free 108 to see how it responds, particularly in regard to if you can ski it centered and / or forward.
Like the wider M-Free 118, the M-Free 108 is a pretty hefty ski. Our pair of the 182 cm length is coming in around 2175 grams per ski, which is very heavy (especially when you consider the length).
We loved how damp and planted the Proto / M-Free 118 felt, and we suspect that the M-Free 108 could feel similar, given how heavy it is. We’re also curious to see how heavy its swing weight feels, since it’s very heavy but also has a very tapered shape (which tends to decrease swing weight).
1755 & 1792 Line Sick Day 104, 179 cm (17/18–20/21)
1787 & 1793 Fauna Pioneer, 184 cm (19/20)
1806 & 1862 Armada Tracer 108, 180 cm (19/20–20/21)
1814 & 1845 Elan Ripstick 106, 181 cm (17/18–19/20)
1848 & 1903 Line Sick Day 104, 186 cm (17/18–20/21)
1849 & 1922 Elan Ripstick 106, 188 cm (17/18–19/20)
1883 & 1898 Rossignol BLACKOPS Sender, 178 cm (20/21)
1996 & 2012 Dynastar Legend X106, 188 cm (17/18–19/20)
1999 & 2020 Rossignol BLACKOPS Sender Ti, 180 cm (20/21)
2005 & 2035 Liberty Origin 106, 187 cm (19/20–20/21)
2006 & 2065 Head Kore 105, 189 cm (19/20–20/21)
2011 & 2028 Moment Wildcat 108, 184 cm (19/20)
2027 & 2052 K2 Reckoner 112, 184 cm (20/21)
2030 & 2039 Rossignol Soul 7 HD, 188 cm (17/18–19/20)
2042 & 2062 Dynastar M-Pro 99, 186 cm (20/21)
2079 & 2105 Kastle FX106 HP, 184 cm (19/20–20/21)
2097 & 2113 DPS Alchemist Wailer 106 C2, 189 cm (19/20–20/21)
2101 & 2104 Fischer Ranger 102 FR, 184 cm (18/19–20/21)
2110 & 2119 Moment Wildcat 108, 190 cm (19/20)
2112 & 2125 4FRNT MSP 107, 187 cm (18/19–19/20)
2120 & 2134 Blizzard Rustler 10, 188 cm (19/20–20/21)
2143 & 2194 ON3P Wrenegade 108, 184 cm (18/19–19/20)
2153 & 2184 Rossignol BLACKOPS Sender Ti, 187 cm (20/21)
2165 & 2211 K2 Mindbender 108Ti, 186 cm (19/20–20/21)
2165 & 2219 Icelantic Nomad 105, 191 cm (19/20–20/21)
2170 & 2180 Dynastar M-Free 108, 182 cm (20/21)
2177 & 2180 Moment Commander 108, 188 cm (19/20)
2182 & 2218 Nordica Enforcer 110 Free, 185 cm (17/18–20/21)
2188 & 2190 Prior Northwest 110, 190 cm (19/20–20/21)
2190 & 2268 Armada ARV 106Ti LTD, 188 cm (18/19–19/20)
2202 & 2209 Shaggy’s Ahmeek 105, 186 cm (19/20)
2218 & 2244 Volkl Mantra 102, 184 cm (19/20–20/21)
2232 & 2244 ON3P Woodsman 108, 187 cm (19/20)
2233 & 2255 Nordica Enforcer 104 Free, 186 cm (19/20–20/21)
2250 & 2307 Argent Badger, 184 cm (19/20)
2283 & 2290 ON3P Wrenegade 108, 189 cm (18/19–19/20)
2312 & 2386 Prior Husume, 188 cm (17/18–20/21)
2318 & 2341 J Skis The Metal, 186 cm (16/17–19/20)
2321 & 2335 Fischer Ranger 107 Ti, 189 cm (19/20–20/21)
2376 & 2393 Blizzard Cochise, 185 cm (15/16–19/20)
Some Questions / Things We’re Curious About
(1) On paper, the M-Free 108 shares a lot in common with the wider Dynastar M-Free 118 / Proto, so just how similar will they feel?
(2) On that note, will the M-Free 108 be as damp and surfy / loose as the M-Free 118?
(3) The M-Free 108 is pretty heavy, but it also has a very tapered shape and a lot of rocker. So is this a ski that’s best suited to soft snow, will it feel very / fairly / somewhat stable in rough snow, and how will it fare in very firm, smooth conditions?
(4) How will the M-Free 108 respond to moving the bindings in front of its mount point? Is this a pure freestyle ski, or will directional skiers looking for a more playful feel still get along with it?
(5) Not many skis use a lot of PU in their cores, so will that feel weird on snow? Or maybe it’ll feel better than a more traditional wood core construction?
(6) The M-Free 108 only comes in 172, 182, and 192 cm lengths. Will many skiers be caught between lengths, or will this ski feel versatile enough that people shouldn’t worry about sizing up or down?
Bottom Line (For Now)
Many of us at Blister really like the Dynastar Proto / M-Free 118, and the new M-Free 108 seems like it could be pretty similar. We’ve been spending time on the new ski and Blister Members can check out our Flash Review for our initial on-snow impressions, and then stay tuned for our full review.
Blister Members can now check out our Flash Review of the M-Free 108 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, personalized gear recommendations from us, and much more.