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~ Thursday 16th April 2009

 Well,  I've had a few weeks on these skis now. At first it was a bit of a shock - I've spent the rest of the winter skiing on 188cm Movement Thunders with Scarpa Spirit 4 boots, and the change back to a smaller ski and bendy Scarpa F3 took a while to get used to. 

The Dynafit info says they designed the ski to cope with "the daily needs of mountain guides" - which is a broad design brief! So far I've skied piste, powder and everything in between and they seem to cope well - all crashes definitely blamed on the skier not the ski. 

The first thing I noticed was going uphill - with relatively little sidecut compared to my old Movement Demons the ski goes in straight line when breaking trail, and gives better edge grip on hard snow. 

Although it is quite short - 178cm - the Guide ski is fairly stiff, especially in the tail. It has a "dual radius" sidecut - this means the radius is slightly tighter in the back third of the ski - ie behind the foot (are you reading this Alan?) The idea is to make faster short turns and it seems to work. Maybe it makes life harder in tricky snow, when accidental forward/backward weight movement  seems to have a dramatic effect. 

So overall I'm really happy - this is a fairly lightweight, fairly wide ski which still works well on hard icy snow.

The Dynafit Speedskin system works well - but no better than any other system really. The only advantage is that racers can remove the skin without removing the ski - this saves crucial seconds but means you don't get a rest at the top of the hill! A possible problem is when skiing short distances downhill with the skins on - the rubber front clip stretches and I've twice lost a skin. I'm also a bit concerned about the durability of the rubber whereas a normal Coltex metal clip lasts ages. And you can't use the skins on other skis. Other systems will fit Dynafit skis though.

The new Coltex non-sticky skin glue is great. It's odd stuff - it really doesn't feel sticky and even skin-savers won't stick to it. No problems though, hot or cold, and even after dropping a skin in the snow it re-stuck easily.