Cho Oyu means "Turquoise Goddess" in Tibetan. However, the sixth tallest mountain in the world, named Cho Oyu on the Tibet / Nepal border, is mostly white with snow. Dynafit gets close to the proper translation with the Cho Oyu ski, a blue ski designed for expeditions with deep white snow. The mid-fat ski has a high-altitude weight coupled with a rockered, 125mm-wide, floaty tip. Included for free are features to help handle other, less-than-ideal conditions you might find out there:
- Triple-radius sidecut is longest in front for easy turn initiation, shortest under foot for grip on ice, and medium-est in the tail for reliable steering.
- Lively rebound provided by underfoot micro-sidewalls which are shorter than usual for weight savings yet extend deep into the core to reduce blowouts.
- Special flex-tip shaves off some wood and replaces it with carbon for a lightweight vibration dampening system, helping you keep the ski in check.
- A 420mm [182cm] rockered tip helps stay on top of mank and provides some lift in pow so you're less likely to go head-over-heels.
- Carbon speed-stringers run the length of the ski to provide surprising stiffness and rigidity for a lightweight touring ski.
- Tail is gently raised for smooth turns and has a pintail shape for quick pack loop insertion.
- Core is made with Paulownia wood, which has a great blend of low weight and liveliness.
|Lengths (cm)||166, 174, 182, 191|
|Weight (pair)||2180g 
|Turn Radius||15-10-13m 
|Skin Fix||Tip notch, flat pintails|
|Profile||410-430mm tip rocker, 160mm tail rocker|
|Shape||Triple-radius sidecut, fish tip, pintail|
|Construction||Micro-sidewall, carbon stringers, sintered graphite base|
|Skimo Co Says|
|Usage||Everyday touring and not-so-everyday expeditions.|
|Notes||Flex tip absorbs shock, pintail eases pack loop insertion.|
|Bottom Line||Possible one ski quiver with a preference towards soft snow.|
|Compare to other Mid-fat Skis|
Questions & Reviews
Now that Dynafit has discontinued this model, what is their most equivalent ski? Blacklight-88? Carbonio-89? Speed-90? Tour-88?
Maybe I'm expecting too much from a relatively cheap and very light ski, but I won't be getting another pair of these.
Pro: low cost cost, nice uphill
Cons: terrible downhill, poor durability
Background on product familiarity: Just two bc outings so far on the 166cm, mounted with Plum Race 165 bindings (equivalent of current 170 model), driven by Scarpa Alien 1.0 boots. Conditions ranged from nice powder to heavy powder to cut-up powder to compacted snow.
Somewhat similar skis I have used include the Volkl VTA 88 Lite (170cm, 88 waist with modest rocker, and love them except for their refusal to sell to Skimo Co!), Hagan Y Flow (173cm, 87mm waist with significant rocker, loved them!), Movement Response-X (169cm, 89 waist with significant rocker, loved the great float yet was disappointing on firm), Dynafit Manaslu (169cm, 92mm with early rise tip, great ski for its era), K Skis Wild Jelly (170cm, 90mm waist with modest rocker, prototype way ahead of its time, but extremely fragile, almost disposable!), Movement Logic-X (168cm, 88mm waist with traditional camber and geometry, and still in use for really low-snowpack outings), and Dynafit Mustagh Ata Superlight (169cm, 89mm with traditional camber and geometry).
First, the first impressions out of the box: Bought in a moment of impulsive weakness given the other similar skis in my quiver. Internal binding retention plate is stunningly strong – sharpen that drill bit (4.1mm for sure) and fully charge your drill battery! Sidecut is very innovative, just like the Denali skis I also love, with max tip width extended further back, and extremely tapered tail after the max width point there.
Second impressions, in use: I immediately felt comfortable on this ski. Powder skied well despite the modest waist width, and firmer consolidated conditions felt stable. My two concerns had been the relatively short length and the potential “hookiness” of the sidecut, but both of these seemed fine.
Third impressions, for long-term durability: No basis for that yet, but the metal reinforcements at the tip and tail bar are reassuring.
The edge hold is tremendous; they carve really well, and the rocker is great for powder and variable snow. Turn initiation is very easy. The shorter turning radius of these skis is great for negotiating trees and tight spots without having to swivel the skis around all the time.
Despite their light weight, I find them stable at speed, and they don't deflect as much as I'd expect. They do chatter a bit when carving aggressively at high speeds on hard snow/ice, but I've only had this occur at the resort. In the backcountry, I'm not blitzing rock hard snow.
About the only down side of the ski shape is that the large sidecut can make it a bit hooky in difficult snow conditions, like mank or crust. This is mostly an issue in winter when there hasn't been fresh snow recently. In spring, with a consolidated base, they don't sink far enough for it to be a problem.
I have them mounted with Dynafit Speed Superlite C-One bindings, which makes for a light but very robust combo.
I'm looking at the Oyu 174 and the Response-X 177. Do they actually measure their length's specs?
Could you describe ski performance in various conditions: hard snow, chop, powder, refrozen, spring corn, high speed, low speed, etc.
Bottom line: which is better all around?
At this weight, they of course climb like a goat with its ass on fire. For my style of skiing they are pretty much a dream all around ski mountaineering weapon.
Next day was in the ski area during operating hours, with about 5-6 heavy, wet snow. The ski handled those conditions flawlessly also...only thing lacking that day was my abilities. Handled the chop just fine. Buy this ski. It's awesome. It's easy to ski. It turns on a dime, and can do longer radius turns as well. Oh, and these guys had the skis to my door in about 2 days. Rad shipping. 5 stars for sure.
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