Expert Review: Dynastar M-Free 108 SkisPublished on 11/23/2023 · 8 min readCurated Ski Experts share their honest opinions of the Dynastar M-Free 108 Skis.
Photo courtesy of Tory Dobyns
Two Curated Ski Experts tested this product, and we have compiled their unbiased reviews below to give you the definitive take.
Expert Takes on the Dynastar M-Free 108 Skis
Tory Dobyns: If you are looking for a maneuverable and playful ski that also provides a good level of stability, the Dynastar M-Free 108 is a solid option. I love the M-Free because I can take them in the tight trees and moguls and also charge down an open bowl with minimal chatter.
The M-Free has a hybrid core made of wood and PU (plastic). This makes them relatively stiff and stable without adding metal that may compromise the playful feel. These skis have an 18m turn radius, however, I find they feel quicker than this. The rocker profile makes them easy to pivot underfoot allowing you to make smaller turns if you choose. They are 108 underfoot and have a pretty aggressive rocker which provides enough float on deep days.
These are a great option for an expert skier who wants a ski that can charge but also has a playful feel. I would stray away from these if you are looking for a super stiff charging ski as they have more of a playful and forgiving feel.
Tomasz Macieik: I demoed these skis on a nice spring day at Crystal Mountain and found them fairly unique. The first thing I noticed was how heavy they were—a trait I do look for in skis since I like skis that are stable at speed and can charge through piles of snow. Once I got to skiing them I noticed how very loose and surfy they feel.
These skis LOVE to turn and slarve around the mountain. Twin tips make turn initiation and slashing easy. On the day's nice corn snow, they felt perfect. Their weight also made the ride very smooth once I picked up some speed.
The one area they did fall short on was firmer snow. Then their surfy feel felt too loose, and I felt like they wanted to turn too much. I think this is a great ski for people who ski in higher snow areas or as a powder ski on the East Coast. If it is a firm day, they're not my first choice, but in anything soft, they were incredibly fun.
Strengths and Weaknesses
- Very surfy and loose in powder
- Heavy ski that blasts through chop
- Maneuverable and easy to throw sideways
- Handles varied terrain
- Maintains stability
- It can feel too loose in firmer conditions
- Heavy and not great on ice
- Not a beginners ski
(Averaged between the two Expert reviewers)
- Tory: "For a freeride, hard-charging ski, the Dynastar M-Free 108 is remarkably easy to turn. This is due to its tapering and rocker/camber/rocker profile. The taper on the M-free puts the heavier and wider part of the ski underfoot. This gives the ski its “surfy” feel and light swing weight despite the heavier weight of the ski."
- Tomasz: "The M-Free has a bit more tip and tail splay and rocker than some of its other 'big mountain' competitors such as the K2 Mindbender 108, the Salomon QST 106, or the Blizzard Rustler 10. This helps give it that easy turn initiation without sacrificing the stability of the ski. The M-Free's surfy feel is probably the best attribute of the ski. It is ridiculously easy to pivot, slash and turn. It is definitely a ski for skiers with a more playful style that like to ski more dynamically and turn a lot."
- Tory: "The M-Free line utilizes a hybrid core made of poplar wood and PU (plastic). Poplar wood is one of the strongest and most durable types of wood used in skis. The downside to this type of wood is that it can be a bit heavy. This being said, it is a great way to ensure the strength and durability of a ski without adding metal. Surrounding the hybrid wood/plastic core in the M-free is a fiberglass laminate. This helps add extra reinforcement to the ski. I have skied over 75 days on my skis. They still feel responsive and stable and I do not have a single chip on the topsheet."
- Tomasz: "This ski is pretty stable for what it is—and that is a playful twin-tipped soft snow ski. It has a solid weight behind it that absorbs uneven snow texture well but I think it feels too loose to want to go in a straight line super fast. These skis want to turn and I felt them pulling me to turn when I started going too fast in bumpier terrain. For skiers who value stability but ski in a more playful dynamic style, I think this ski has the perfect amount of weight and dampening."
- Tory: "The M-Free 108 is certainly not a carving ski. However, we all find ourselves skiing at least one or two groomers on any resort day. I have found this ski to be fun to lay down big, fast turns on soft groomers. The turning radius in the middle size (182cm) is 18 meters. When truly carving a proper turn on groomed terrain, this ski wants to make a larger turn. However, it can also pivot well on groomers allowing for smaller turns with a lower edge angle. On icy groomers, I find myself making these smaller turns more 'pivoty' style turns."
- Tomasz: "This ski is fairly versatile. It can handle groomers fine and excels off-piste, especially when it is soft with fresh snow. I would steer clear of this ski for the East Coast or other lower snow areas unless it is a dedicated powder ski, in which case it will thrive. The M-Free 108 is incredibly fun in the powder, spring corn, or anything soft. It is also a fantastic tree and bump ski since it can turn so effortlessly. I didn’t like it in more firm conditions where I would have preferred something more grounded. While I am not a park guy, I can see this being really fun in the park, but it is mounted fairly back. It's got an almost symmetrical tail rocker so riding it switch should be really easy."
- Tory: "The real question is can this ski be your 'one-ski quiver' or is it a bit too wide and not stable enough for hardpack days? I use this as my everyday ski, however, sometimes I wish I had something a bit narrower underfoot and easier to get on edge for hard-packed days."
- Tory: "The M-Free 108 has a relatively significant rocker and an aggressive tip and tail splay. This gives them great float in deep snow. They allow you to float on top of deep snow without being a super-wide, powder-specific ski. This float allows you to maneuver super well in tight spots when the snow is deep. If you want to navigate a technical line and not worry about getting caught up in deep snow, this is your ski. I rarely find myself getting caught up in heavy snow because I am usually able to stay close to the snow's surface. I can almost always see the tips of my skis even on super deep days."
Why did you choose the Dynastar M-Free 108s?
Tory: I compared the M-Free 108 to many of its competitors before deciding to purchase them. I tested the K2 Mindbender 108Ti, the Salomon QST 106, and the Rossignol Black Ops. These other skis I tested were slightly more stable and stiff but not as fun and playful to ski. I decided on the M-Free for its playful “surfy” feel. They are a ski that will adapt to many terrain types. Considering how quick and playful these skis feel, they do not compromise too much on stability.
What is the value for the money vs. other options?
Tory: These skis are around $800 brand new. This may seem a little steep, but for a high-performing ski that can really be your one ski quiver, I think they are a good value. They have held up well over time. They are very comparable price-wise to some of their top competitors, and they are a bit more affordable when compared to some high-end brands such as Black Crow or DPS. I find these skis are more versatile and unique than many of its competitors.
What was your favorite moment with this gear?
Tory: The first day I took these out, we had about 8 inches of fresh snow at Aspen Highlands in Colorado. Typically it takes me a few days to start really enjoying a new pair of skis, but this was not the case with the M-Free. They are such an easy ski to get used to and you can really adapt them to your own style. I had a great morning skiing pow with them and by the afternoon we had some soft bumps and cruddy snow and they were still a blast.
Tomasz: Going into trees. I could ski a lot faster since they were so easy to pivot! Going down a bumpy run was also very easy.
- Tory: "These are a fantastic option for an expert skier who wants a ski that can charge but also has a playful feel. This ski is incredibly easy to pivot underfoot and has a short turning radius when compared to some competing big mountain/freeride skis. I would stray away from these if you are looking for a super stiff charging ski as they have more of a playful and forgiving feel.
- Tomasz: "I love how maneuverable and playful this ski is. It really wants you to slash, turn, and pivot on soft snow. If I’m ever in the trees after some fresh snow I would love to have these skis."