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Dynastar – Speedzone 12 Ti
Wow. What a blast. Dynastar’s Speed Zone 12 Ti absolutely blew our test team away with its exhilarating speed and ice-skate like edge grip. Even the most dedicated powder hounds were hustling for more time on the Speed Zone, it’s that much fun; just throw it out to the side at the most obscene angle you can manage, lock the edge and they’ll whip you back across the fall-line like a gap-yah kid on a bungy jump. With a unanimous seal of approval we had no choice but to crown them Best Men’s Piste Ski of 17/18. Some other skis of this race-like calibre can be a handful to ride, with a fierce rebound that punishes any slip of balance, but despite its unbridled energy the Speed Zone is actually a lot friendlier than you might imagine. It definitely craves time in the fall-line and gives its best performance at mid-to-high speeds, but the slalom-esque radius and sheer agility make the velocity more manageable, with lightning-fast changes of direction just a twitch of the ankle away. The key to this mix of performance, fun and user-friendliness lies in the construction. Dynastar have gone all out on the best materials available, using high-quality dense poplar wood in the core with a single sheet of titanal for dampening. The Powderdrive tech is where the real magic happens though: tip-to-tail vertical sidewalls made of ABS are backed by more metal and a layer of rubber ‘ allowing the sidewall to shift slightly up or down independently of the core to smooth out shocks while carving hard snow. This improves edge grip by helping the ski stay in better contact with the snow, and saves feet/legs from the fatigue induced by constant hard vibrations. The Speed Zone family also includes the 14 Ti, built the same as the 12 but slightly more highly strung with a full race plate; the race-ready team edition 16 Ti with a slightly narrower waist and another sheet of metal; plus the Speed Zone 9, 7, 6 and 5 for beginners and intermediates looking for comfortable carving performance without the sheer oomph of their metal-charged brothers.