Featured Image: Noah Wetzel
Back in the 2000s, Dynastar delivered some of the first big mountain twin tip skis with the Trouble Maker series that was beloved by athletes like Candide Thovex. They got away from the freeride category for a bit until Dynastar athlete Richard Permin joined the team and helped to design the Proto—a big mountain twin tip ski. That reestablished the brand’s presence in the progressive freeride category and three years ago, the M-Free line was born. The M-Free 99 is the continuation of where things started at Dynastar with the Trouble Maker.
“This is really a collection of skis that are bold and simple—not overly elaborate,” Dynastar Alpine Category Manager Matt Farness said. “The M-Free 99’s energy is akin to the Trouble Maker from the early 2000s for a generation of skiers that doesn’t remember the legacy of innovation in that category that Dynastar has.”
That bold and simple design is highlighted by the Hybrid Core construction that delivers that identifiable Dynastar on-snow feel. A poplar wood core is wrapped by a secondary core of polyurethane. Using an engineered material like polyurethane refines the ski and helps to control its consistency—something that is more difficult to accomplish with wood alone do to the wood’s variations and grain patterns.
“The Hybrid Core technology really draws out characteristics like smoothness and suppleness,” Farness said. “I use the term ‘damp’ with hesitation because it comes with connotations of feeling a bit dead, but the M-Free gives you that glued to the snow feeling with a lot of energy and power but also playfulness and responsiveness. The ski delivers liveliness with that connected-to-the-snow feel.”
In addition to the Hybrid Core technology in the M-Free 99, Dynastar added a titanal binding reinforcement underfoot. The results? A progressive, playful, slashy and poppy ski that rounds out the M-Free line. This is a daily driver for in-resort skiing in both the eastern and western US and it immediately became one of Dynastar’s best-selling models.
“When you get on this ski it’s amazing how confidence-inspiring it is due to its consistency,” Farness said. “As terrain and snow conditions change, the ski navigates and maneuvers the variables of the mountain so effortlessly. You can be carving a turn and get into some chunder, can throw it sideways and break out of that turn with ease. It is a unique level of ski-ablility for this twin tip category where you often don’t get the same type of firm snow performance as a flat tail product. You’re so glued to the snow on this ski… it never feels like you’re going to get in trouble or lose an edge.”
While the M-Free 99 was developed at Dynastar headquarters in Chamonix, France, the ski is produced at a zero emissions factory in Artés, Spain. Dynastar’s commitment to sustainability really shines in this ski as they used recycled materials in the edges, base and top sheet along with bio-sourced formulations for the epoxy. “Winter sports are inherently linked to the climate,” Farness said. “As we all deal with the climate changes happening to our world, these types of initiatives are going to become even more important.”
Graphically, Dynastar is leaning into this elemental marbling look that they pioneered in recent years. The ‘22/’23 version of the M-Free 99 will feature matte black tips and tails and the visually unique and iconic marble through the middle of the ski.
“This ski really resonates with the young progressive audience,” Farness said “We’re building this organic grass roots movement amongst junior freeride athletes from middle teens to early 20s. Kids are throwing down lines you wouldn’t have seen in a Warren Miller movie 20 years ago. That’s who this line is built for.”