Black coffee, black humor, black ops, film noir -- the word suggests subtlety, sophistication, refinement. In the case of Dynafit's Blacklight series, the skis reach their most refined in the form of the Blacklight 88, which infuses a layer of Skimo Blue (guaranteed to make you faster) over the blacks and greys of the ski's carbon fiber layup. Much more responsive and easy to ski than its predecessor in the mid-fat category, the Carbonio 89, the Blacklight 88 may be at the top of the charts for rando-sophistication: a high-performance ski without the high-strung demeanor. Forget the chattery, squirrelly skis of yore; the Blacklight 88 wants to do what you tell it, whether tentatively testing the snow at the top of a chute or opening up high-speed turns all the way to the valley bottom. A generous 40cm of early rise in the tip means the ski won't balk at subbing in for a high-fat ski while racking up vert on a powder day, and 15cm of tail rocker adds a more playful demeanor than for many in its width class. Still, don't mistake the Blacklight 88 for a noodly powder ski that only Rogers Pass and Little Cottonwood Canyon skiers would choose. Dynafit's athletes have been skiing the most demanding lines in the Alps and beyond for decades, and in turn, they demand a confidence-inspiring edging platform with plenty of effective edge to grip the snow. With the stylish refinement of black meeting the energy of Skimo Blue, the Blacklight 88 is sure to be a stylish choice in all conditions.
Dynafit's mountaineering-ski experience put to use in a wider, more versatile platform.
3D Sidewall/Cap Construction marries the low weight of a cap ski with the durability and strength of a partial sidewall.
Paulownia Speed Core makes use of some of the lightest, strongest wood on the planet to dampen the ski.
Unidirectional carbon layup is lighter than previous Dynafit iterations, but with a friendlier feel in choppy snow.
More rocker-focused than its Blacklight siblings, the 88 still has plenty of camber underfoot and a long effective edge.
Tip notch allows for the use of Dynafit's Speedskin or your favorite fast-gliding race skin.
Update 2022/23: New topsheets! Not only did the graphics change, but the BL88 is also available in a limited edition retro edition.
I bought the Blacklights 88 in 178 cm length for exploring Yosemite and other places that may require long approaches. I am wondering what would be the most adequate bindings for these. The use case is 2/3 time in the backcountry and 1/3 on resort for practicing descents in trees at moderate speeds. On my other setups I am using the Dynafit ST Rotation which I love because of the rotating toepiece, but they are on the heavy side. Are there any binding options that are noticeably lighter and still offer good power transfer and reasonably smooth release for the scenarios described. I am using Dynafit TLT8 Carbonio boots. Thanks.
Based on your skier profile, I would recommend the Titan Vario 2 bindings to go with the Blacklight 88s. It's much lighter than the Rotations, but it still has the gapless design that gives you consistent release when the ski flexes, like the Rotations. The Titan toe piece accomplishes something similar to the rotations, for much less weight. Unlike most toe pieces, as the boot moves laterally, the toe piece actually gets stronger.
I only used these a few times so not the most informed review out there but thought I could maybe add some substance here. My experience is pretty much exactly the same as Anthony O's, these skis are incredibly fun in good conditions. The skis are incredibly damp and stable for how light they are, and yet they are incredibly maneuverable and easy to turn which I was pleasantly surprised by. The Dynafit website says the Blacklight series is "NOT FOR BEGINNERS" but as a relatively new, mediocre skier the Blacklight is probably the easiest or one of the easiest skis in its class due to its easy-to-turn shape. Yes it is very stiff, more stiff in 172 than I need for my 150lbs but its not unmanageable. My only real criticism of the ski is that there is a bit of grabbiness/hookiness when going fast in less than ideal snow, I think caused by the unusually wide shovels. Perhaps these also contribute to the ski's easygoing nature. Also the ski's incredible construction encourages you to go faster than you probably should, so that could have something to do with it as well, I just don't go as fast on other skis in this weight/size.
Hi Ben, did you detune the skis? It's something we do when mounting them which could help.
I didn't, I was borrowing them from a friend. I don't know where they were originally mounted. I like the skis a lot, I will probably buy a pair at some point and follow up on my review.
I also have a question about sizing. In a few comments in various treads I saw people mentioned sizing down as compared to either fatter or resort-oriented skis. Is this rule ski-specific or there are more general considerations? I am 6', 185 lb, unpacked, and most of the time carry 10-15 lb backpack, or more if I am on a hut trip. Should I consider 184 or 177 version?
Also, based on the discussions in these comments, the Salomon MTN Explore 88 looks like another option. Do these arguments apply to that ski as well? Thanks. (sorry for the flood of questions; in my area it is close to impossible to demo any touring-related skis myself, so I have to digest other people's experience)
Sizing recommendations are general, and different folks of the same height/weight could get along well with different sizes. Generally, going down in length is going to be lighter, easier to kickturn, and more maneuverable for steep, tight places. Longer lengths will provide more stability at speed and flotation in deeper snow. Typically, we do recommend sizing down for a dedicated mountaineering ski (~10mm from your height in cm), and many more find that sizing down from their typical resort length is suitable for general backcountry conditions. But, if you ski as aggressively in the backcountry as you do inbounds, sticking with your typical size range would be advantageous!
I am thinking of getting a lean setup for longer/spring tours in places like Yosemite which require long approaches, but still can be occasionally used in resorts or, more generally, that are reasonable on the descent in California conditions. Based on what I found in the net, the specs of this ski are very close to those published for the Speed 90. I skied neither of these, but the Speed 90 gets mostly rave reviews and looks like it would be a good option. Now that '90 is discontinued (sometimes I am really puzzled by manufacturers business decisions), can this ski be considered a replacement or upgrade to the Speed 90 or there are caveats that are not obvious from the specs but that I need to be aware of? Thanks.
Thanks for reaching out, Scythian. The Blacklight 88 and Speed 90 have relatively similar dimensions, with some slight differences. The Blacklight 88 sports a different construction than the Speed 90, which leads to a better ski feel. The Blacklight 88 could be considered a replacement to the speed 90, and is a great ski for what you've described (though do keep in mind as a lightweight ski, this isn't the best option for lift-served access).
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I'm 177 cm, 82 kg, advanced skier,
Should I get 172 cm or 178 cm length? Looking for a dedicated spring setup
I'm looking for a spring setup for longer traverses (longer days), some peak bagging and yeah some couloir hunting. Doing something like peak bagging Eldorado.
is this my baby?
Hey Dwayne, quite typically going 10cm shorter than your height for a steep skiing/springtime lightweight setup is pretty ideal. I am 184cm in height and have skied multiple skis at 169cm-172cm and have found that size for my height very ideal for jump turns and easy touring on the up. So to answer your question the 172cm would be the way to go, but of course, it comes down to personal preference as well. Let us know if you have any more questions!
I bought these towards the end of 20/21 winter as a long distance objective ski. There are a few other skis with similar weight and shape, but flexing them in the store, this one is pretty darn stiff compared to others (looking at you Dynastar M-Vertical). I skied these a few days in the Tetons and a couple days in Idaho and they are fun as an objective ski. Strong and stable yet nimble in their small size. I highly recommend.
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I'm buying some new lightweight skis for mountaineering and training, and struggling to decide which ones to get. I have looked at these, the Blacklight Pro, Atomic Backland 85 UL and the Dynastar M Vertical 88. I average around 3000m vert a week for traning + trips in the weekends so I want a ski that is light enough to get me home before midnight but still able to get down steep terrain and varied snow conditions. Any tips?
Daniel, Great question. All great skis. The Blacklight Pro would be the one for vert training and mountaineering, but less versatile for tours in variable snow. The Blacklight 88, will be the quicker turning ski of the bunch, skis firm and powder equally well. The Dynastar is the choice for going fast, long radius, and damp for its weight. And the Backland UL 85 is an all-around, fun to ski, and the bestseller. To go deeper, send your questions to email@example.com Thanks
Got these skis for long spring missions in the Tetons, Cascades etc. They are stupid light and amazing when you're spend most of your day going up hill. I am 5'9" and about 150lbs and when with the 172s. This is my first time on a ski the light and this narrow. I will say they took some getting used to. I love how stiff they are and how they ski on hard pack and corn, they are also great for jump turns. I will say they do not excel in slush. I had some days where I wish I had something a little wider or stable to deal with deep slush on really warm days. I have not had chance to ski them on pow day. Over all if the conditions are right, these ski are super versatile and youll be stoked to have they on your back during a long boot pack, but on super warm days I might opt for something else.
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Hello! I'm looking at the Dynafit Blacklight 88 and the Salomon MTN Explore 88 for a new lightweight spring/mountaineering setup. I'd describe myself as an advanced but not expert level skier, so I'm looking for something that'll be forgiving and fun while still being lightweight for long tours and summits (my primary setup is Icelantic Natural 101s with the Shift binding). I'm not an aggressive skier – I won't be hucking any cliffs but I enjoy tree skiing. I'm planning to pair them with the Marker Alpinist binding, and I have a pair of Maestrale RS boots. Which of these skis do you think would be best for me? Are there any others I should look at?
Also, in terms of sizing, I am 6'1" and weigh around 165 lbs (without a pack). My Icelantic skis are 185s, but I've heard that I should size down for a touring/mountaineering setup. What size would be ideal for me? The Blacklight is only available in 184 while the MTN Explore also has an option at 177. Thanks for the help!
Thanks for your question, Cedric. For an all-around touring/mountaineering ski, sizing down to ~177 would be a great choice. Based on your setup, it sounds like the MTN Explore 88 would be the best option. While still very light, it is burly enough to not get overpowered by your Maestrale RS boots and will provide a more damp ride than some of the lighter skis in this category. Please let us know if you have any other questions!
I really, really like these skis. I'm 6' 170# and went for the 172 - it's a perfect length for my uses. I mostly ski in SW CO, and this year we've been keeping it relatively low angle with the rare exception. So think light snow, short approaches, lots of tree skiing - not exactly European conditions. But wouldn't you know, these skis have been awesome!
I wanted one ski that was nimble and light enough for uphill lapping on my lunch breaks on the hill behind town, but stout enough to withstand our shallow CO snowpack and "brushy exits" on bigger tours. A friend of mine got on these really early after they were released and said he was surprised at their performance in light powder, which we have a lot of down here. That's ultimately what sold me on this ski. Sure enough, it's a bit more playful than other similar lightweight touring skis I've used, and lighter by a little bit, too.
I can (mostly) keep up with my friends' big skis on low-angle powder, and of course they are amazing in the steeps, low swing weight and a great size/shape for edge hold in firm snow. These are slowly beating out my 100-waisted skis for my top pick on any given day. And the heavy 110-waisted powder pigs basically only see use on really deep days or for sled laps.
These are great skis. If you know this category is what you're looking for, this model will not disappoint.
I can't speak to durability yet, as it's only been half of one season (probably 25-30 days, maybe 60k vert) but so far they haven't seen any more wear than is to be expected, mostly inflicted by the occasional shallow rock strike.
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I'm locked into finally getting a dedicated Spring ski as I find myself skiing into early Sumer and traveling more to do so, ie Cascade Volcanoes. I've read plenty of reviews and was leaning towards the Backland UL 85. I mostly ski softer snow and moderate to mildly steep terrain, but all all day forays make for a bigger mix of snow conditions as do early Summer temperatures. Also I've left my steadfast bx diet for lift riding a wee bit so the new boards will not always in ol e skinning.With the price of a complete kit I'm more on the fence with the Backland, Voile Objective, Blacklight 88 and the heavier but seemingly better all around Salomon Mtn Explore 88. Your thoughts?
Thanks for your question, Kevin! If you are going to be using the skis for any resort use, I believe the Voile Objective or Salomon Mtn. Explore 88 would be the better options. The Voile Objective is going to be the most "fun" of the two and is also a little lighter. The Objective is not a hard snow specialist and will be better suited for softer snow conditions. The Salomon Mtn. Explore 88 is the heaviest, but with the addition of the C/FX sheet, will be the dampest and most friendly in more variable snow conditions. In short, if your skiing mostly more forgiving snow and want something a bit lighter, go with the Objective. If you are after something better in harder snow, go with the Mtn. Explore 88. Let us know if you have any other questions!
I really wanted to like this ski, and I do-with some caveats. This ski is very stable and damp for it's weight, and the rocker profile allows it to do better in soft snow or not very deep crust that one would expect for it's width and weight. In uniform surfaces this ski is amazing. I took it out of the first day for several hours and ripped fresh groom with a large grin and then took it on some firmer uniform hardpack off piste in about 35-40 degrees. The lower half of my run was a light semi supportive crust in which I was not expecting to enjoy, but ended up far exceeding expectations. I also encountered some refrozen and found it surprising damp. This is a very stiff ski, which also surprised me, but it isn't chattery.
So what don't I like? Well I'll put it this way, if you like short radius turning skis then look no further. This truly is an amazing ski. However, if you prefer low to mid 20s turn radius skis for very steep terrain, and handling in deep variable then this isn't the ski you want. The shorter turn radius and largish shovel tend to grab in less than ideal conditions and steeps. But if you tour regularly in not super steep terrain and you primarily tour in good conditions, ie pow, consistent hardpack, or corn, and enjoy shorter turns then look no further. This is an amazing corn harvester or even pow with it's rocker and wide tip especially considering you'll probably lap your buddies with how light it is. Overall an excellent ski by dynafit for certain conditions and uses. Not so good in less than ideal conditions so definitely not a quiver of one tourer if you ski regardless of conditions. But if lower angle hippie pow and corn are your thing and you tend to avoid heinous conditions then this could be your jam. High marks. Also I found it easy to ski with sub 800g boots and also beefier boots fwiw
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I've been lusting after a pair of dynafit Cho Oyu's since I was a broke teenager. I've finally started making money but the Cho's are loooong gone. The dimensions and weight of the Blacklight are not far off, but it seems like there's more carbon. Is this ski an equivalent (or close successor) to the Cho?
Hey Will, the Blacklight 88 has a similar sidecut to the Cho Oyu, but we think Dynafit has even improved on the classic Cho with this new release! A little lower weight and a little longer turn radius make this Blacklight 88 a fantastic successor.
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Hey guys, I currently have the Dynafit speed 90's as a quiver killer ski. I have enjoyed them but they are turning into a rock ski. I was looking at the Blacklight 88 or Blacklight pro and was wondering what your thoughts are on the differences?
To compare the Dynafit Blacklight 88 and the Dynafit Blacklight Pro, the Dynafit Blacklight 88 will be a more playful and forgiving ski, while the Blacklight Pro will be stiffer and require more input from the skier. Also, at 88mm in the waist, the Blacklight 88 will provide more float than the Blacklight Pro, which is around 80mm in the waist. Therefore, these two skis are aimed at two distinctly different quiver spots. If you would like to discuss these skis in more detail, reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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How do these compare to the Ski Trab Magico? Please also include value/price considerations. Thanks!
Are you referencing the Ski Trab Magicos or the Magico 2s? Generally, the Ski Trab Magicos are incredibly durable for their light weight. Also, despite their light weight, they can be skied pretty aggressively. The Dynafit Blacklight is a fun turny ski, and not quite as demanding. The Ski Trab Magico is more comparable to the Dynafit Blacklight Pro. If you would like more elaboration, reach out to email@example.com.
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Sizing advice for a 5' 2", 125 pound skier? Expert skier who skis slowly but confidently and wants a playful ski with enough stiffness and ski performance to ski firm, crusty, and manky conditions well. Would be paired with Scarpa F1s.
My go to ski is the DPS Wailer 99 Tour, 168cm. Everything about these skis is perfect, and I love how playful they are, but looking to add a lighter ski to the quiver.
Weight is less important than finding the length that would be the most fun. I am leaning toward the 165 out of fear that the 158 would not have enough substance and float to drive the ski through crust, mank, etc.
Hey Brian, the Blacklight 88 sounds like it would fit the bill quite well for you. I would say you'd be spot on with the thinking behind going up to the 165cm length as opposed to the 158cm, especially if you enjoy the 168cm length and want something just a tad bit more versatile.
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Thanks for the great info. Could you provide more detail on how much tail rocker there is, would like something that is easy to break away the tail.
Nelly, Sure, there is 15cm rise and Dynafit added a few inches of taper at the tail too. Making these turn easier, or break away much better than the flat, square tails of the previous Gen. I did demo the 80mm Pro model and was blown away by how well it held and was easy to turn.
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Hi Guys, i'm in the market to replace my Backland 85s (179). Great ski, but i feel like they ski short for me (6'2"/185 lbs) and also want a looser tail. Currently considering the Blacklight 88/185, Alp Traks 94/183, or Hyper Vector 98/184. Would appreciate any comparisons you could make between the potential group back to the BL85s. My specs: near or below 1300g, stiff tail (pack friendly), surfy tail (easy to pivot on poor snow). Planned use - multi lap in bounds, and long missions BC. Also, I've never skied an all carbon ski (Alp Track). Thanks in advance for you insights.
Thanks for the question, Nelly. All three skis you have listed are similar in functionality to the Backland 85's, however, they are going to have slightly more tail rocker and should all be easier to break away in the tail than the Backlands. If you are geared more for big days that sees a mix of variable snow, the Blacklight 88 is a fantastic option. The Alp Tracks has perhaps the best weight to surface area ratio of any ski on our wall, and would be a good softer snow option that splits the difference between the Hyper Vector and Blacklight. The Hyper Vector is the heaviest option, but best performer in the soft snow due to it's length and wider waist while still retaining an impressive ability in harder and more variable snow. The Voile V6 would also be good to consider. It doesn't perform as well on harder snow as the three you listed, however, it will be a surfier option and best soft snow performer. Please feel free to give us a call or shoot us an email if you have any other questions!
Cool, i will definitely check out the Black light, haven't seen many review on it yet,other than one on Wildsnow. It seems you guys have a pretty positive impression of it, would you care to expand on what you think are the strengths and weakness of the Blacklight 88.
Because the Blacklight 88 is a new ski for the 20/21 season, there unfortunetly aren't too many reviews out yet. The quote "good at everything, master of none" does a good job in summing up this ski. It handles itself with poise in powder, but it won't be as good as a more specific soft snow ski, like the Voile V6. It can make fast GS style turns down corn fields, however, the Blizzard Zero G 85 would have a higher overall speed limit. In essence, it's impossible to have a ski that is perfect at everything. In order to make this ski the excellent all around performer it is, they had to make some concessions.
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On the Dynafit site they list a 184 length as well, do you guys know if that is available and, if so, whether you’ll carry it?
Hi Tim, only two sizes are available in this limited early release. For next season, we will have all sizes, including the newly added 184 (specs still missing).