Dynamic Dynafit: An Insider’s Look into the Company with Rep Eric Poore
By Krista Crabtree
Back in 1973, famed Austrian downhiller Franz Klammer won the first downhill
race wearing boots with buckles from Dynafit. Fast forward to 1983, when Dynafit
unveiled the Tourlite, the lightest skiing/climbing boot ever manufactured. In the
early 90’s, Dynafit launched the uber light Tourlite Tech boot/binding combination
for ski touring. To this day, this athlete-driven brand continues to create innovative
ski mountaineering equipment. Here Eric Poore, Dynafit territory representative for
the Rockies, talks about the company, the gear and the three Dynafit skis offered at
Tin Shed Sports in Nederland, Colorado.
Tin Shed: What impresses you about Dynafit as a company?
Eric Poore: Dynafit used to make alpine ski boots for racers. Then they partnered
with Fritz Barthel (created with creating the tech “pintech” binding system), from
Austria, which made Dynafit one hundred percent dedicated to mountain endurance
athletes. Whether going up the mountain in the summer or winter, Dynatfit gets you
up faster and more efficiently, so you have more energy. Speed is safety in the
mountains: If you’re exhausted on the way up, it’s less fun on the way down so
having energy is important.
TS: How do you see the momentum for ski mountaineering building in the U.S.?
EP: At Eldora, for example, you’ll see about 100 people in the Uphill/Downhill Night
Hawk race. You wouldn’t have seen those numbers even 5 years ago. The USSMA
(U.S. Ski Mountaineering Association) was started by national champion Pete
Swenson—the pioneer for Skimo racing. Pete started the COSMIC Series (Colorado
Ski Mountaineering Cup). There are Skimo series all over the U.S. such as the
Wasatch Powder Keg in Utah, Vertfest in Washington and Cinco de Skimo at
Mammoth. Now we’re seeing ski mountaineering racing popping up all over the
West and on the East coast as well.
TS: What’s causing the growth of interest?
EP: It’s directly correlated with the rise of ski touring. Backcountry skiing has been
popular in Europe for many years and ski touring is a well-accepted way of traveling
in the winter. Now we see in the U.S. that people use ski touring to get fit for
backcountry skiing. You can tour for two hours of intense training and then you’ll be
more fit and have better energy for backcountry skiing.
TS: When thinking about gear for ski touring, what’s important?
EP: Dynafit views it in terms of four components: speed, lightness, endurance and
technology. In terms of lightness, you’ll have longer endurance with lighter gear.
You can only get lighter gear with better technology. Plus, you want a ski that’s
stable for downhill, while being light for uphill. All those things combine to create
our lightest ski, the DNA, weighing 690 grams at 162 cm.
TS: What is the difference between Randonnee and Skimo?
EP: No difference. One is a French word. Skimo racing and Rando racing are the
TS: What are the categories that Dynafit uses to differentiate gear?
EP: Race (DNA and PDG), Speed (wider waist widths, but light), Tour (wider waists
and more forgiving) and Free (widest, most rockered, do-everything, backcoutry
TS: Tin Shed carries the Speedfit 84, the Beast 98 and the Tour 96. Can you describe
each of these skis?
EP: The Speedfit 84 stands for “Speed Fitness,” but it’s in the Tour category. The
Speedfit collection is a resort fitness ski, so it’s designed for skinning up a resort and
skiing back down. The materials reflect that, including poplar, which gives life, and
paulownia, which is a forgiving and lightweight wood. The sidewalls are called
Microsidewalls, so they shave weight, create less chatter on hardpack and have good
edgehold. The Speedfit Pro is 81 underfoot, and has carbon stringers for added
The Beast 98 is in the Freetouring collection and a one-ski quiver to many skiers. It’s
the biggest and most versatile ski and the best-selling ski in the line. Poplar in the
core gives life, while ash (which has been used for ax handles) is dense and strong.
The Beast 98 has camber underfoot and early rise in the tip and tail. A full sidewall
adds edgehold and stability on hardpack and the tip has a combination of fiberglass
and carbon for dampness. All in all, the Beast has a slarvy, new-school style.
The Tour 96 is in the Tour category. It’s similar in width to the Best 98, except it’s
wider at the tip and narrower at the tail for more stability. The Tour 96 comes in the
Tour segment, so it’s for skiers who want a traditional touring ski as opposed to
more rocker and early rise. The Tour 96 has a semi sidewall, placed underneath the
binding where the most force is. The tip and tail are cap construction, which along
with a paulownia and poplar core, reduces weight.