We saw that Isaac Freeland had joined Dynafit earlier this year and that he was test riding the Tigard & Radical Freeride line up, our interest was piqued. After all, when it comes to Freeride gear, who better to talk to than a Freeride World Tour Champion! Isaac did the double in 2020 winning the World Tour and was voted Rookie of the year. We decided that his new partnership with Dynafit and the new Freeride line was the perfect excuse to sit down and get his take on the new line up, what he’s been up to and what he has in the works for 2024.
You’ve spent a full winter on the Dynafit Tigard 130 boot, what do you think of it?
The Tigard is marketed by Dynafit as a 50/50 resort / touring ski boot. To me it’s kind of a 100 of each. It's my go to ski boot for most days during the season. For me it’s kind of the ideal ski boot because you get four buckles plus a strap, this gives it full downhill performance. It basically feels exactly like a resort alpine boot until you unlock the Hoji lock and then you get a boot with a solid range of motion.
When I’m not using the Tigard, I’d use the Dynafit Radical Pro purely for ski mountaineering objectives. The reason being is the Radical Pro is a bit lighter, you get slightly more range of motion and the one buckle Hoji lock is a bit quicker than the two buckle Hoji lock on the Tigard.
Isaac showing the capabilities of the Radical Ski & Tigard Boot
What do you think of the Hoji Lock System in the Dynafit Tigard 130 vs the Dynafit Radical Pro?
The Hoji lock is mostly the same. The only major difference is that you're controlling two buckles instead of one. The extra buckle creates a bit more friction, so for the lock changes with the Tigard boot, I'll unbuckle the buckles and do the Hoji lock after. Compared with the Dynafit Radical Pro where I just flip the Hoji lock to go in walk mode and then flip it closed to go into ski mode. When I'm going into ski mode with the Tigard, because there's two buckles there is a lot more force needed to lock to boot, so I'll lock the Hoji lock first and then finish with the buckles.
How accurate would you say the 130 flex rating is?
It might feel a little stiff the first time you wear it, but it’s a pretty standard 130 I think. It does take a little bit to break in. For me, a 130 ski boot feels a little bit soft on hot spring days and feel pretty stiff on a really cold days.
What do you think of the new Dynafit Liner?
Historically I've always swapped out liners. However, with the Tigard, it just feels good out of the box. I put my footbed in and i’m set to go. Last season I probably skied three to five times a week all season depending on the week, and the liner is still looking good. Dynafit has three different size liners and the Tigard comes with the thickest 15mm compared to the Radical Pro which comes with the 10mm.
Isaac sending it big
I saw you were on the Dyanfit Radical 107 when you skied the Bubblefun couloir and Grand Teton last season - why this ski?
It’s actually the narrowest ski that I have but even if I had a smaller ski, I would have ridden the Dynafit Radical 107. I like the Radical 107 for year round skiing but I specifically like it for spring mountaineering. The wider platform prevents you from sinking into slush and if you are doing airs and in crusty terrain the wider ski can help push through the snow. I prefer this because I worry less about catching an edge. For Bubblefun couloir, that was steep enough at 55 degree and rocky enough through the choke that I could have gone for a thinner ski. Especially for the edging on rock, down climbing and rappelling at the end.
We get asked what size ski we recommend - how do you choose your ski length?
So I have the Radical 107 in two different sizes. 181 and 188. I'm 5'10. I like skiing both, but they're kind of for different uses. I bring the 181 on mountaineering missions. Basically, when I'm not skiing as fast. And then the 188 I bring out when I'm doing straight lines or I'm skiing really fast or I'm hitting some like bigger cliffs. I like skiing both skis and I like having the option, it kind of just depends on what I'm doing.
Whats in the pipeline for this winter - any exciting objectives?
This winter the overall picture is to do some film projects and to submit those film projects to some festivals. So that's kind of the primary goal. I want to show what Dynafit gear can do, that it can excel at hard charging Freeride skiing. I'm stoked to also see others skiing bigger stuff on Dynafit gear. It's really cool and i’m excited. I think it's awesome that a brand that has come from lightweight racing decides to build something more freeride oriented. You get all that expertise to make burlier and stronger gear. Instead of trying to take something that's really heavy and then trying to slim it down.
Check out Isaac Freeland on instagram.