Skimo Co

Dynafit Cho Oyu Ski


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
convert to ounces
1090g [166]
1170g [174]
1240g [182]
1280g [191]
Weight (pair) 2180g [166]
2340g [174]
2480g [182]
2560g [191]
Dimensions   124-87-110 [166]
125-88-111 [174]
125-89-111 [182]
126-90-111 [191]
Turn Radius   15-10-13m [166]
16-12-15m [174]
18-14-17m [182]
20-16-19m [191]
Skin Fix   Tip notch, flat pintails
Specs Verified Yes
Profile   410-430mm tip rocker, 160mm tail rocker
Shape   Triple-radius sidecut, fish tip, pintail
Construction   Micro-sidewall, carbon stringers, sintered graphite base
Core   Paulownia wood
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

Question from Robert
Are the new blacklight 95 a suitable replacement for this ski?
Answer from Ian C
Hi Robert, the flex profile and sidecut differs pretty significantly between these and the Blacklight 95. The
Vokl Rise High 88 might be a little closer.
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Question from Nicholas B
This has been my quiver of one ski for the last few years, and has been absolutely brilliant. Just the right combination of weight/stiffness/float/flex. But they are probably nearing the end of usable live due damage and loss of flex.
Now that Dynafit has discontinued this model, what is their most equivalent ski? Blacklight-88? Carbonio-89? Speed-90? Tour-88?
Answer from Cole P
Hello Nicholas, thank you for reaching out. Sorry to hear that your Cho Oyu is at the end of its life. Luckily, the Dynafit Speed 90 ski will be very similar, check it out by following this link here. The Speed 90 is a little less turny than the Cho Oyu and also will handle higher speeds a little better but overall very comparable. Another great ski is the Carbonio 89 which would be a comparable option, it is similar to the Speed 90 but is lighter and a stiffer, you can look at it here.
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Question from liming z
is the effective edge on 166 cm is the 109 cm ? I calculated based on the number from the spec, 410 mm tip rocker and 160 mm tail rocker, in total will be 57 cm and the 166 - 57 = 109 cm? I am 5'6" and weight 165 lb, is this length will works for me? I am most time doing resort touring up and ski down grooming trails and sometimes do off piste.
Answer from I-M
Liming, I would recommend the 166cm length for you. I would say the 174cm is too long.
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T Fink (downright abused product)
I love these skis and they have been ABUSED and extremely well traveled. I originally bought them as a lighter weight option for skiing around the PNW but they turned into my go everywhere do everything ski that is pretty darn lightweight and actually float in pow with their spoony tip. I first took these on a trip to Iceland where they were extra fun on long runs of spring corn. Next, they came with me to France and skied the Haute Route. They handled every condition really well. They edge pretty well on icy skinning and turn on a dime. I also skied these on a traverse in Alaska where we were treated to some April powder and they were so fun my partner was jealous he was on skinnier skis. These give you some float and width while staying light. Super durable, no issues with the top sheet or base after several years and lots of abuse. A++
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Nick G (downright abused product)
[unverified] I bought these skis new in spring 2015 because they were a deal and mounted them with speed superlights. I was skiing them with Dynafit Vulcan boots. This set up is ridiculously light and good for the uphill. Unfortunately I can't echo other reviewers sentiments. They ski decently in blower pow and on groomers. In any snow that is slightly broken or variable they are floppy, unstable at speed, and not at all confidence inspiring. In bad conditions they are only useable for survival skiing on the down. I loved how deep into the backcountry I could punch with them, but then hated backing off a more aggressive line or skiing it extremely conservatively because I wasn't confident in the skis. I used them lots for a couple years and then broke them right behind the heel (just past the mounting plate) on a two-week trip in a very modest fall. I was not impressed. 4 days getting out with a busted ski sucked, but at least with that burly mounting plate they didn't break under foot.

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
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Jonathan S (used product a few times)
Overall: Five Stars for a great ratio of surface area to weight, plus excellent versatility in variable conditions.

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.
Reply from Jonathan S
Very nice to have a ski this versatile with visibility like this in conditions that pretty much definite "variable"!
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Jim (used product regularly)
Love these skis. The performance to weight ratio is outstanding. I have the 182cm for all-around touring but would go shorter for technical stuff.
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.
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Question from Dan
Has anyone skied the Cho Oyu and the Broad Peak? I'm definitely in the market for a thinner touring ski suited for higher alpine and firmer snow descents. Should I go with the more versatile Cho Oyu, or does the Broad Peak offer substantial improvements in firmer/icy/wind-blown conditions. Thanks for any suggestions or advice!
Answer from jbo
Hi Dan, the Cho is a fun ski that can get down a lot of peaks, but it's not necessarily a high alpine specialist. The BP is not bad but a bit on the heavy side for some. The sweet spot might be the Carbonio 74, which has similar specs to the BP but with a lighter construction and full length side walls.
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Question from Nick
Do you think this ski in a 174 would work well with the dynafit PGD boot or would that boot be too flexible for this ski? I would use it mostly for climbing volcanos and general mountaineering.
Answer from jbo
Hey Nick, I think that is within range for the boot. I sometimes use the PDG with similar 89mm 177s with good results. I also just reached out to someone on the Cho 182s w/ PDGs and he had positive feedback on the combo.
Answer from Rad
I am skiing PDG boots and the 182 with speed superlites and they are my go to set up. No issues. My only dream is with hard mountaineering conditions the skis chatter pretty good. For normal powder slaying expeditions they are ideal.
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Question from Joel
Could you compare the Dynafit Cho Oyu and the Movement Response-X?
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?

Answer from jbo
Hi Joel, both skis measure within a half-centimeter of the spec length. They are actually fairly similar in how they handle the conditions you list. Good float but sink in two feet of 4%. Excellent edge hold in hard snow. Some tip vibration at speed. The Cho has a beefier construction (e.g. titanal binding reinforcements), yet the Response-X feels a bit more damp and is less noisy. I personally prefer the sidecut of the latter, but the skin attachments of the former. I'm pretty sure you'd be happy if forced to ski either :)
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Matt (used product a few times)
I had the opportunity to take these and a number of other lightweight skis out to play recently. After writing off several other skis at a similar weight as too light, I ended up spending over half of a week long trip on these bad boys. The Cho Oyus are hands down the lightest ski I have ever skied that I could trust in any conditions. Compared to other skis in their weight range they are incredibly damp, which is a huge asset when skiing refrozen death snow. They are wide enough underfoot to ski powder well, although I would not choose them as a dedicated pow ski or a backcountry one ski quiver. People who tend more toward the ultralight rando racer side of the spectrum may disagree with me here.

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.
Reply from Matt
I should mention that I was on the 182's and wouldn't want to go shorter. My default to get out of trouble is to point it and I feel that I shorter length would trade away the stability that allowed me to do that on the 182's. I'm 5'10+ and 175lbs.
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Question from JohnnyD
Hoping for some advice... I'm 5'11'', 170lbs, and am planning to use these as an all-conditions, winter and spring touring ski. I'm wondering about the trade-offs between 174cm (for weight and tight, steep skiing) vs. 182 for a more stable/less squirrely ride. I have read that these ski pretty short. Any thoughts? Which length would you choose?!
Answer from jbo
Hi Johnny, tough call. The longer version is a bit more fun in the soft snow, the shorter version is easier to manage on climbs. A rocker does typically knock a couple cm off the effective length. They are both relatively stable, but the 174 wants to turn more with the shorter radius. I'm a similar size and would choose the longer version for pure downhill but the shorter version for tackling a mountain.
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Question from JoeC
Thinking about buying a pair of Cho Oyus to tele on. I ski everything but ice. I'm an aggressive 5'11" 170 pounds tele skier. I've moved from T2s to 4s; I like the light weight. I've skied G3s bindings since they came out. Any ideas for bindings?
Answer from jbo
Hi Joe, I have to admit we're not qualified to give advice on tele bindings as it's pretty much A/T only around here. I can say that the Chos have some nice reinforcement plates that are tough to drill through so should handle a tele mount no problem.
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Joseph B (used product regularly)
I've been skiing since early March this year on 174 Cho Oyus with Kreuzspitze bindings. Wow, they do it all. Climb like a feather, and handle everything from frozen chunky corn to powder amazingly well! They turn on a dime but feel very stable. If you get them, get the pre-cut Dynafit skins too. Excellent glide, plenty of stickum, and they climb really well. Plus they fit the skis perfectly and are a lot lighter than my old Black Diamond skins.
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nicholas j (used product a few times)
I've only used this ski two days so far. I have the 174 length, and am 6'3", 195lbs in the buff. I'm skiing these planks with tlt5 mtn boots, and Dynafit Speed Turn bindings. First time skiing them was on refrozen slush/ice. Amazing on the up; I've never been on anything this light before. Just as awesome on the down. Nice and damp through the chunder especially given the light weight. Incredible edge hold. Yes, they are loud. But they ski just fine. Just turn up the tunes!
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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Model: Cho Oyu

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