2022 Dynastar M-Free 99

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Testing skis so you don't have to.
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Mar 5, 2017
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This is one of the skis that caught me by surprise because playful resort powder skis usually don’t raise my temps; typically I would lean toward the M-Free 99’s brother, the M-Pro 99. The M-Free 99 is no tweenager or park rat’s party ski -- although it will do that juuust fine, the M-Free has more of the M-Pro DNA than I expected. In fact, I actually preferred the M-Free over the M-Pro, 99 to 99. Sure, the M-Free has the typical tip and tail flap that you expect from a ski with this much rise, but you shouldn't be looking at your tips and tails anyway; you really do not feel the flap at all. I think it is the slightly shorter turn radius that is steering me to the Free over the Pro.

Insider tip: Err on the long side.​
 
Awards
Who is it for?
Free thinkers. Yes, that quip is too easy, but someone who is open enough to realize Pros can be Free.
Who is it not for?
These ski short, so with a 185 being the longest, bigger skiers will need to either step up to the M-Free 108 or, more on the power side, the M-Pro.
Skier ability
  1. Advanced
  2. Expert
Ski category
  1. All Mountain
  2. Powder
Ski attributes
  1. Moguls
  2. Off Piste
  3. Trees
  4. Touring/Backcountry
  5. Park/Pipe
Segment
  1. Men

Specifications

Available sizes
171, 179, 185
Dimensions
128-99-120
Rocker profile
  1. Camber with tip and tail rocker
Size Scaling
  1. None
Construction design
  1. All new
Ski Weight:
1750/g
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Philpug

Notorious P.U.G.
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Nov 1, 2015
Posts
32,724
Location
Reno, eNVy
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Long term update:
Oh boy oh boy. I had intended to take out the M/Free 99 the day before at Mt. Rose but with the amount of weather that blew in quickly, the lifts shut down so it endup staying in the ski sack. So, today, the M/Free 99 was the bride and not the bridemaid. Snow is abound here in Tahoe but it is not the Utah light that will wisp away with a breath, this is a lot heavier. It is amazing how well a 99 can handle a lot of snow especially with it is a bit denser and the M/Free 99 was able to float, cut and carve all over Mt. Rose in the deep, steep and trees yet still handle the flats on the way back to the lift without undo pressure on the knees and ankles that a ski 10% wider can create.


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Andy Mink

Airborne Andy
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SkiTalk Tester
Joined
Nov 12, 2015
Posts
8,009
Location
Reno
Long Term Update: Another day, another bunch of soft snow at Mt. Rose. As mentioned in @Philpug's post above, Sierra powder is a bit heavier than Utah cold smoke. Throw in a bit of wind buff pack and things can get cut up with some soft chunky on top. The M-Frees were just the ticket today being strong enough to get through the cut up but not enough to get buried under the top. The tip and tail rise, along with the fairly easy flex make for a fun, surfy ride in the leftovers and allow the pilot to carve or play dirty tail pusher; you make the call and the Free comes along.

This ski isn't made to drive and a centered stance is all that is necessary to work it well. On the return groomers covered by a couple of inches of fresh the Free is super fun and playful. Swoosh, carve, slarve, switch, what ever is your pleasure. The ski definitely liked to go over, not through, the many wind ripples I encountered on the groomers with the long tip pulling a little more into the turn then letting go on the other side. It felt similar to a boat hitting waves at an oblique angle.

At 185, and a short running surface, it is still pretty stable at cruising speeds. A longer option would be a good addition for bigger skiers but, alas, it's not. I'm still not sold on the counter top marble look but when it's covered in snow, who cares?

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Truberski

Getting on the lift
Skier
Joined
Jul 23, 2019
Posts
134
Location
Vermont
Keep the updates coming as this is on my radar for a playful soft snow, tree, bump and spring condition ski. Hoping to demo this week but having hard time finding 185 length. Thanks.
 

Stephen

AKA Steven
SkiTalk Tester
Joined
Nov 14, 2015
Posts
253
Location
York, PA
I feel like I’ll mostly echo what has already been written about the M-Free 99. This ski is no joke. I was expecting a more “playful” ski than it was. To me, the Dynastar M-Free is a big mountain, bad ass type ski. Although it does ski a bit short, I was impressed with its hard charging feel. A groomer back to the lift is no problem as it will hold a carved turn much more than you expect a 99 width ski. If you want to lightly bounce over some bumps it has a great feel. If you want to bust through some crud it is a non-issue however don’t look down because it will be flapping like crazy even though you won’t feel it. If I have one negative note to it, I wish it had a little bit more “spring” to it but I guess that is the sacrifice to get all the other positive attributes.

As far as the graphic on the top sheet. Well I think it was a hit out of the park idea that happened to be just a very long foul ball. The graphic was explained to me in a lengthy story about how it was a collaborative effort and the design of the Japanese Birch tree zoomed in. Really cool story behind it. However, I just don’t feel like it translates at all on the actual ski. Not sure if it’s the shine of the top sheet or if it’s the actual graphic but everyone I’ve asked whether skier or non skier says it looks like marble. I wouldn’t let the graphic deter you from the ski but I have a feeling it might be one of those skis we remember the graphic for a long time, for the wrong reasons.
 

Truberski

Getting on the lift
Skier
Joined
Jul 23, 2019
Posts
134
Location
Vermont
I feel like I’ll mostly echo what has already been written about the M-Free 99. This ski is no joke. I was expecting a more “playful” ski than it was. To me, the Dynastar M-Free is a big mountain, bad ass type ski. Although it does ski a bit short, I was impressed with its hard charging feel. A groomer back to the lift is no problem as it will hold a carved turn much more than you expect a 99 width ski. If you want to lightly bounce over some bumps it has a great feel. If you want to bust through some crud it is a non-issue however don’t look down because it will be flapping like crazy even though you won’t feel it. If I have one negative note to it, I wish it had a little bit more “spring” to it but I guess that is the sacrifice to get all the other positive attributes.

As far as the graphic on the top sheet. Well I think it was a hit out of the park idea that happened to be just a very long foul ball. The graphic was explained to me in a lengthy story about how it was a collaborative effort and the design of the Japanese Birch tree zoomed in. Really cool story behind it. However, I just don’t feel like it translates at all on the actual ski. Not sure if it’s the shine of the top sheet or if it’s the actual graphic but everyone I’ve asked whether skier or non skier says it looks like marble. I wouldn’t let the graphic deter you from the ski but I have a feeling it might be one of those skis we remember the graphic for a long time, for the wrong reasons.
Thanks Stephen. I stumbled on some information Dynastar had published about the development of the M lines and the color, image concepts was part of it. There were some absolutely beautiful versions where the marble was replaced with “wood.” Topsheets and graphics aren’t most important but man I wish the black, white and wood graphic had been the winning design. Possibly best looking ski (IMHO) I’ve seen in a long, long time. Maybe a less abstract version of the Japanese birch (or Aspen) would have been an improvement.

Not sure if this is a supplychain issue but I can’t find any Vermont ski shops that are carrying this ski or have it for demo. Each year I swear I won’t buy a ski without trying it first but tempted with this one.
 

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