Skimo Co

Dynafit Free 97 Ski

$699.95 $399.95

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In designing the Free 97, Dynafit set out to create a balanced ski that isn’t too laborious on the up yet has the confidence to excel no matter the snow conditions. To achieve this, they started with a poplar wood core lined with carbon fiber stringers, which helps to provide a damp yet playful ride. They added more tip and tail rocker compared to their Beast series. This simultaneously increases maneuverability for those tight spaces as well as helps with float when it's nuking powder. All of this was done with you, the backcountry skier, in mind and a desire to elevate your ski experience every time you step onto these planks. As a "Thank You" we should probably all buy a set of these fun, damp, and ready-for-action Dynafit Free 97 skis. Just sayin'.

  • Rocker profile in both the tip and tail lends itself to flotation and turn initiation to keep you happy with face shots or fresh corn.
  • Full ABS sidewall construction helps increases durability and power transfer so you can rip around shark teeth with confidence.
  • Poplar Wood core and carbon stringers provide a lively yet smooth ride down that sweet, sweet ski line.
  • Notched tips for use with Speedskins or you can use any trim-to-fit kit with standard bails.

Update 2023/24: This model was replaced by Dynafit Radical 97 Ski.

Lengths (cm) 170, 177, 184
convert to ounces
1460g [170]
1560g [177]
1630g [184]
Weight (pair) 2920g [170]
3120g [177]
3260g [184]
Sidecut   124-96-114 [170]
126-97-116 [177]
128-98-118 [184]
Turn Radius   18m [170]
19m [177]
20m [184]
Skin Fix   Race-notched tips, rockered notched tail
Specs Verified Yes
Profile   Generous tip rocker, camber underfoot, ample tail rocker
Shape   Spoon tip, medium radius, tapered tail
Construction   Full sidewall
Core   Poplar wood core with carbon stringers
Skimo Co Says
Usage All around fun in a wide range of conditions
Notes Ample tail rocker helps to scrub speed when needed
Bottom Line A solid, versatile ski with that "quiver of one" potential
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Questions & Reviews

Andrew W (used product a few times)
I bought these as my first backcountry ski for the Tahoe area. Only been on them a few times so far, but couldn’t be happier. Damp and stable, light enough, with enough rocker to make them super versatile.
Definitely was a great choice to get out and start discovering the backcountry without feeling worried about my gear.
Comment on this review:

Chris G (downright abused product)
For those wondering, yes, these really are 10/10 skis at a consistently superb price and you should absolutely get them. Dynafit created a relatively simple ski construction, but executed it extremely well. The ski profile is essentially a modern freeride "banana" with an easy-to-pivot, early-rise tip, but with admittedly a more traditional tail so we're kind of in that Dynastar M-tour or Rossignol Nano territory which are themselves very popular skis.

The most noteworthy feature of the Dynafit Free 97 is that they're among the lightest skis on the market with a full Poplar wood core construction: I've weighed my pair of 177cm's at 1,570g & 1,560g which is Goldilocks territory. Core construction is still the most important feature when choosing a ski: there's a reason why we're still putting grandma's rocking chair inside of a Lamborghini-esque chassis and calling them "skis". You're also getting full sidewalls that basically are full tip-to-tail unlike the majority of "full" sidewall constructions out there... The ski also has a medium-high turn radius of 19m in the 177cm which gives the ski more power and turn-customization (try carving a 19m turn radius with a 15m turn radius ski; much easier to slarve-out of your 19m turn radius to cause a 10m turn radius.)

The result is a remarkably damp ski that absolutely crushes it on variable snow conditions. This is a downright paradoxical fact for a slarvy, banana-profile freeride ski with their lessened effective edge lengths and subsequent lack of "full contact" with the slopes. I'm consistently amazed at how well these skis perform on heinous, icy nonsense when compared to the direct competition (which is based on ski profile & weight class.)

The fact that these skis have been consistently the most well-priced skis all year, but seemingly without sellout risk means that we're a ski community making purchasing decisions without the protections provided by serious independent ski reviews. Sellers are advertising fairweather, objective-only backcountry tools like 100% Paulownia wood cores with a simple carbon weave at a mere 100-200g weight savings and at a $900 price point as anything other than seriously compromised products and we're all paying the price as the market lurches in uncomfortable directions.
Comment on this review:

Nathaniel V (used product regularly)
I got these as a spring skiing/firm conditions complement to the Free 107s, which are some of my favorite skis ever. I'm super happy with the Free 97s.

Set up with Trab Titan Vario.2 bindings, these skis rip hard pack, play in the trees, and swivel through bumps. They are less forgiving, but more powerful. Edge power on steeper terrain is what I was looking for, so that's a win!

I'm skiing the shortest version of both Dynafit Free models--170cm in the 97, 173cm in the for 107, and this size is great for my 140 lb, 5' 8" build. The Free 97 has less rocker than the 107, especially in the tail. This results in almost identical edge length on snow between the two "small" versions and comparable stability at speed, but the 97 has a much stronger ability to finish turns without skidding--more than the waist difference would suggest.

In summary, the 97 is a little less playful, a lot more powerful, and a great late-season tool when Colorado conditions firm up. If you're on the fence, get it!
Reply from Tjaard B
Thank you for this. I was specifically looking for a a looser ski, with an easier to release tail, so it’s very useful to know these are not (quite) that.
Comment on this review:

Question from Matthew Berke
Hi! I’m currently skiing BD Helio Carbon 104 in a 178 length with atomic backland bindings. I tour in the wasatch and while I like the ski in good conditions/powder I have a hard time skiing it in crust, chopped up snow and hardpack. I’m looking for something a little more forgiving that still skis powder well. Do you think the Free 97 would be a good option? Worth going wider?
Answer from Emmett I

Shoot us an email at and we can get you more personalized info!

I've skied both and prefer the Free 97 in variable snow and crud and such. In general, I'd say they'd be a good option for what you're looking for. Worth noting that breakable crust isn't going to be fun regardless of the ski. Also, if you're in the Wasatch, we have a few pairs of Free 97s in our rental fleet; might be worth renting for a day to try them.
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Question from Ian
Hi Skimo, I'm looking for a ski that i'll mainly use for all conditions, resort and off-piste, probably mainly on-piste since i don't have a piste ski right now, does this ski stable on hardpack? i'm not a carver though, just want something a bit fun but still from time to time can take it out for backcountry use. I'm 172cm tall and 167lbs. I'm a intermediate level skier. Plus, what's the best binding for my needs? Kingpin? Thank you!
Answer from Niko M
Hey Ian! This ski would be a great option for what you are looking for. With an inherently stable shape and versatile nature, these skis would be both fun in the resort and in the backcountry, in a variety of conditions. They also benefit from a tougher construction that'll handle the abuse of resort skiing. Thanks!
Answer from Youqing H
thank you! I think 170 length should fits me well? do you recommend any tech bindings for my purpose of use? downhill performance oriented but no hybrid bindings.
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Question from Brian
Thoughts on skiing these as telemark skis?
Answer from Niko M
Hi Brian, go for it! These have a metal mounting plate and a burlier wood core while not being overly stiff in the tips. Great telemark option.
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Question from Hayden
These are looking like they're gonna be my next ski but i'm held up on the price. Why are they so cheap?
Answer from jbo
Hi Hayden, we have a bit of overstock on these. Great skis, but maybe they are a bit too heavy for most of our customers, hah!
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Question from Will
Hi Skimo - These are the top contender for my next ski (also looking at Camox Freebird and Enforcer 94 unlimited) I like the lighter weight of the Dynafit, but hoping its a ski that will still hold up when pushed. I'm stuck trying to decide between the 177 and the 184. I'm hoping you can give me some insight... Im 6ft, 190lbs, type 3 skier. I will be skiing primarily in the northeast backcountry. I ski 177 in Volk Katana, 179 in Enforcer 88, 180 in the Armada Declivity 92, and 186 in the K2 Mindbender 108ti. I'm usually most comfortable right around 180cm unless there is decent tip/tail rocker then I've skied all the way up to 189's... I seem to be right between sizes on this one... Hoping you can give me some insight/guidance... Thank you!
Answer from Carlos M
Hi Will,

This is definitely a ski that can stand up to being pushed. Based on the rest of your quiver, I would say you'd definitely be happier with a Free 97 than a Camox Freebird, they're a much more substantial ski. Offers a lot of performance for the weight. In terms of sizing, At 6 feet and 190lbs, I would go with the 184, especially for powder performance. The ski has a pretty deep tip rocker, and some tail rocker as well. It will be a strong ski on edge, but the effective edge is not particularly long.
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Question from Paul Z
I’m new to backcountry, I’m a 65yo guy, love skiing and want to experience backcountry. I will not be aggressive, or want to skin all day up steep slopes !! so want some advice on whether the free 97 plus seperate bindings and skins are a good entry level for me, or the dynafit backlight package . I’m 173cm tall and 165 lbs, which length should I select in these. Any advice on alternatives also appreciated… my initial ideas had been around black crow camox freebird.
Answer from Jeff
HI Paul,
Welcome to the Backcountry. First, you can email me at and we can really get into this. PS, I am your age, not an aggressive twentysomething :)

With more information and where and what you hope to ski will help. This ski is a solid all around ski. And would be great for a mix of BC powder to some resort skiing.
For an inexpensive option in a more entry level package, the Seven Summits is a good choice. All mounted and includes skins.
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Question from Earl
I skied a G3 102 Findr in 174 cm the last 2 winters (Trab Vario 2.0 binding) and at 6'/170 lbs it felt a bit hard to control on firm, icy snow and chattery on the steeps (though i loved it in tight trees, chutes and soft snow). This ski looks to be similar in weight but is much more rockered. I've never skied a rockered ski before. Would I benefit from going up to 184 cm? Was also looking at the Elan ripstick tour 94, which doesn't look as rockered. Any suggestions?
Answer from Jeff
Earl, Lightweight Touring skis and ice don't always go together well.
I haven't any experience with the G3 Finders, so did lots of online searching. On paper, they are pretty similar to the Free 97, except for the rocker profile. The Free 97 are also 5mm narrower and a narrower ski will always be better on firm snow. Some reviews I read backed you up, not a favorite for firm and icy. The Dynafit Free 97 does do quite well when the snow gets hard or difficult, so definitely a better choice.
The Ripstick 94 may not be as well known, but is a great all around ski too. I haven't tested it on steep ice, but it rips groomers better then most any ski you will find here.
The Free has a more pronounced rocker, but the 177cm length should still be good for you.
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Question from Patrick
Hi Skimo - I am looking to replace some Navis Freebird 185s with something a bit lighter and slightly narrower, used 75% for touring primarily in the northeast. I currently have, and love, Transalp 90s and want something with a bit more beef on hard crud but without too much of a weight penalty. Lots of good choices out there for a ~95 UF ski that's light (like a Backland 95) but I feel those would be quite similar to my Transalp setup. Do you think the Free 97, with say a Blacklight binding, would be a good option for a light-ish setup? Appreciate your thoughts. Thanks. -PL
Answer from Emmett I

The Free 97 would work great for you! It's damp so it handles crud well, but not so damp that it isn't fun and energetic. Another good option is the Dynastar M-Tour 99. It's similar to the Free 97, just a bit lighter and a bit stiffer. All depends on your skiing style! I personally have skied and love both.
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Question from Dane
Curious if you guys have seen, or if you know, what the new "Snow Leopard 97" is? Same ski as the current Dynafit Free 97? Price point is/was the same. Just a new top sheet? Thanks! Love to see a 110/115 Dynafit with the performance of the older Huascaran or Denali with similar Black Light build weight.
Answer from jbo
Hi Dane, the Snow Leopard is a special topsheet for the 97, we should have it soon. They have a Tigard ski coming next year which is essentially a Free 114. Heavier build than the Blacklight series but similar to Huascaran. The Denali could be considered replaced by the BL95.
Answer from Dane
Thanks Jason! Love the 95. It is a lot more ski than the Denali and no weight penalty. Hard one to beat. Looking forward to seeing the Tigard's specs. Huascaran was another great ski. Hopefully they'll put the Tigard on a serious diet by comparison ;)
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Question from Marshall Pratt
Hello Skimo! The Dynafit website gives different weights for this ski. For example, they claim the 184cm comes in at 1540g per ski. Are your weights measured as opposed to claimed? Thanks!
Answer from Marshall P
To explain the question, I'm actually looking for heavier/damper touring ski to handle all the wind hammered steep skiing that my local range offers. So I'm secretly hoping that your weights are correct!
Answer from jbo
Hi Marshall, if you see "Specs Verified" and "Yes", that means this is our verified weights. Since skis are made of natural materials (wood), they can vary. Our weights are the average of many production pairs we receive. We'd be happy to send you our heaviest pair, most of our customers wouldn't want those anyhow!
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Question from Cian
This season I wanted a stable hard charging ski that can do frozen chop to fresh powder and everything in-between and at a reasonable weight. I'm torn between the free 97 and hustle 10. From what I can tell they are pretty similar except the Hustle 10 has a wider tail, a bit more weight and obviously slightly wider by 5mm all around.

What will be the main difference in their performance characteristics?
Answer from jbo
Hi Cian, you are on the right track! We skied the Hustle and it was decent, we just were expecting more for the extra weight. The Free 97 skis as well or better at less weigh in my opinion, especially when it comes to holding an edge on harder snow. It's also a bit quicker and easier to pivot and has a tip notch!
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Question from Brad
What's the word on mount point for these? The beast 98 was a bit more progressive and I'm hoping these are the same. Is this my rockered, progressive, ~1450g goldilocks? Any other skis meeting this description if not? (PS. A listing of mount points article would be so $$$$)
Answer from Brett S
Thanks for reaching out, Brad. The factory recommended mount position is -10 from true center, fitting between traditional and progressive. If you're after a maneuverable/rockered ski with a progressive mount point, you should check out the Voile Hyper Manti which has a mount point of -5.4cm in the 176cm length.
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Model: Free 97

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