DPS Wailer – WildSnow Quiver Arrow of the Week


This post by WildSnow.com blogger  
DPS Wailer ski  review

DPS Wailer is said to be one of the better planks out there for human powered backcountry skiing, or whatever kind of natural snow you care to ride, for that matter, under whatever kind of power.

Here we go: Those of you who who’ve joined the church of DPS can relax on your preaching in our ski review comments as we finally have a pair of DPS skis to test — and I’ve already joined your choir. Which model? The Wailer 112RP 178cm Pure to be specific.

I love all things skiing but I must admit I haven’t been this excited about the promise of a new ski in a while. Introduced last year, Wailer quickly became DPS’s most popular model. The dimensions of the 178cm are 138/112/126 and vary slightly in the different lengths(168cm, 178cm, 184cm, 190cm) to achieve a constant turn radius of 18m. They have a pronounced rocker at the tip and tail with a minimal amount of camber underfoot. The tips and tails are medium soft flexing with noticeable beef in the mid section.

The Pure designation is important as most but not all DPS skis are offered in both a Pure and Hybrid construction. The Pure carbon/nano construction is DPS founder Stephan Drake’s goal to achieve the highest performance skis “on earth.” The end result according to DPS is a lighter, torsionally stiffer, more powerful yet damp ski. The Hybrid construction achieves a more accessible price point by replacing the carbon with triaxial glass, a different wood core and resins though still incorporating carbon stringers. The two constructions have different performance characteristics and weights.

DPS skis have a cult following among the big mountain freeride community, sidecountry slackriders and AT crowd. If the performance to weight ratio stands up to the on snow test then they could prove to be the closest thing we’ll see to the holy grail without intervention from a higher power. This certainly for those looking for a ski with progressive dimensions and profile.

While not the absolute lightest skis on the market, the 178cm 112RP Pure weighs in at an impressive 7.48 lbs (pair) given its girth. DPS touts this ski as the ultimate one ski quiver capable of slaying both the backcountry and resort with equal aplomb. I have skied a bit on both the 190cm Pure and 184cm Hybrid but will reserve comment until I get to spend some quality time on the 178cm.

With my job as a powder guide I’ll be able to spend a plenty of time on these, as well as other skis in our WildSnow “Ultimate Quiver” that Lou is putting together.

Lou said I sounded like a kid at Christmas when I told him the skis had arrived. Others have said that they have seen me fondle them so many times that it won’t be long before my wife finds out I’m having an affair. I don’t see the problem as long as she doesn’t mind sharing the bed with not only me but my new skis as well. More to come as soon as I get a chance to spend a few days laying down some arcs on the dare I say, “Bananaramas.”

DPS Wailer view of rocker.

DPS Wailer view of rocker.

DPS Wailer ski review for backcountry skiing - tip rocker.

DPS Wailer ski review for backcountry skiing - tip rocker is a real bananarama.

DPS Wailer backcountry ski review, tail rocker.

DPS Wailer backcountry ski review, tail rocker.

(WildSnow guest blogger Bob Perlmutter and his wife Sue live in Aspen where Bob manages Aspen Mountain Powder Tours, a snowcat skiing operation. Bob has sought adventure skiing over the past thirty years, in the nearby Elk Mountains as well as numerous locales around the world. Presently, he is reeling it in close to home while enjoying his biggest adventure yet, fatherhood.)

Comments

142 Responses to “DPS Wailer – WildSnow Quiver Arrow of the Week”

  1. Shoveler November 9th, 2011 10:44 am

    About time. Those are incredible skis. When will you be able to publish full review? Curious how they’ll do on hard snow.

  2. Jayson Faulkner November 9th, 2011 10:55 am

    You will become one of us, resistance is futile. They are not the perfect ski for every condition but damn….they are the best all around set up I have ever skied for the skiing that I do here in BC. Resorts like Whistler, Revy, Kicking Horse, Nelson, Fernie and the like where groomers are great but not what you want to do every day. With a pair of Plum Guides or some new Dynafit Radicals with some sweet mohair skins, you have a pretty lightwt set up that absolutely rocks the backcountry, slack country, trees, rippers, pillow lines, steep headwalls, steep chutes…and oh yeah…the groomers too. :evil:

  3. Clarsen November 9th, 2011 10:58 am

    They carve like a gs ski on hard snow.

  4. Lou November 9th, 2011 11:08 am

    I think I feel a tingling running up my right leg.

  5. Matt Kinney November 9th, 2011 11:31 am

    Skied with a partner who first timed a pair this past week. Weird profile ski that makes little sense with a near swallowtail taper at the tails and spatulated tips. Pretty color.

    Skied well with Dynafits as heel holders…

    [img]http://thompsonpass.com/Home/Home/Home_files/11-5-11.jpg[/img]

  6. Mark W November 9th, 2011 11:44 am

    I tested some very early Wailers back in 05-06 with Couloir. They skied well, but it appears DPS has REALLY ramped things up with true prepreg carbon fiber, good quality manufacturing, etc. I’m looking forward to hearing more comments and test beta.

  7. Xavier November 9th, 2011 11:47 am

    Like the latest “it” girl in Hollywwod( remember when everything was about Jennifer Lopez?).. this is currently ” the ski” to have and the hype surrounding it is massive and DPS have done an excellent job of marketing it.
    It’s fans, and there are many, are like fawning acolytes to the church and any criticism of the ski is handled them by saying ” you have to be a good skier to appreciate them to it’s fullest”. This clever approach furthers the demand for them as skiers fall over themselves to buy the product and post minutely detailed technical skiing reviews of them showing that they, the poster is a good enough skier to have fully realized their potential.
    They are an incredible ski despite my cynicism but the hype is fun to watch.

  8. tV November 9th, 2011 12:18 pm

    If you Wildsnow types like the Wailer 112RP, you will seriously appreciate the ski that will drop tomorrow. ;)

  9. Lou November 9th, 2011 12:37 pm

    I have no doubt they are good skis, but we got a hint of the “worship” over the last few years as it seemed each time we’d do a ski review, someone had to comment with something like “…. but, DPS.” Got a bit tiresome and childish, but did indicate that these skis have quite a rep. I don’t doubt they are excellent, and Bob is the guy to give them a real once-over. I’ll ski them as well, and perhaps we’ll hand them off to Anton or Tyler for some rockin’ race turns to see what the stuffing is like….

  10. Lou November 9th, 2011 12:38 pm

    P.S., what is a “WildSnow type?”

  11. tV November 9th, 2011 12:41 pm

    ^^ Good question. It’s kind of like the empty set which includes all ski tourers yet none. Or perhaps more like the Venn diagram between baggy-pants freeriders and longhaul skinny-tights skimo racers….

  12. Lou November 9th, 2011 12:49 pm

    Sounds diverse and inclusive, any women?

  13. tV November 9th, 2011 1:02 pm

    YES! Perhaps we can expand the Venn diagram into another two dimensions so it resembles Heidegger’s fourfold, but with the connective not being EARTH but DYNAFIT.

  14. Dimitri November 9th, 2011 1:06 pm

    tV, you sound half-piste

  15. tV November 9th, 2011 1:16 pm

    Heh, sorry guys. This is what happens when you are stoked about the coming winter and trying to write a philosophy paper at the same time. Back to yr regular ski programming…

  16. P Gyr November 9th, 2011 1:43 pm

    Prettier in the Swedish flag edition. Acolyte I am ’tis true. Not true that one must be a “good” skier to appreciate the versatility and responsiveness of these beauties.

  17. Brent November 9th, 2011 2:00 pm

    Lou, let us know if that tingling starts running back down your leg, ok? Maybe that’s why they made these skis yellow.

    Seriously though, looking forward to the review and my own first day on my 184s that just showed up. Yay.

  18. Bob Perlmutter November 9th, 2011 2:22 pm

    Glad to see all of the excitement. As hinted above, tomorrow there will be an announcement of yet more to froth and foam about from DPS. Stay tuned.

  19. Wade November 9th, 2011 2:31 pm

    Just took delivery of my 184 Pures last week, and have been driving myself batshit deciding on the bindings. Want to be able to ski with alpine boots so Dynafit is out, actually bought Barons that are sitting on my desk while I await word that the “new” F12s are in at Backcountry.com. Then started reading all the issues with first gen F12s, and went back to the Barons, then still having a problem with the weight especially after all the extra green spent on the Pures…….ugh!! I just have this great desire to only drill a $1200 pair of skis ONCE!!

  20. Clint November 9th, 2011 4:05 pm

    Wade, I was in the same situation. Went ahead and mounted the Barons, skied them last weekend and couldn’t be happier! I was torn between Barons and Plums but wanted a binding friends could shred as now I have buddies wanting to put some runs in on them.

  21. Xavier November 9th, 2011 4:22 pm

    News from DPS tomorrow is “skinny”112′s” for the spandex crew!

  22. Lou November 9th, 2011 4:30 pm

    Xavier, thanks for bringing that out. If I do it they cut me off. Yes, skinny DPS skis will be produced, perhaps the ticket for big, human powered vert. Also perhaps better for the European market? I’ll get the Press Release up when I’m in the office tomorrow, but I’m sure it’s probably out somewhere tonight.

    Ever since reading Stephan Drake’s recent treatise on how to ski modern, I’ve been concerned about how the wake coming off my planks looks. Now I have to be concerned about my spandex? Will this ever end (grin)?

  23. Steve November 9th, 2011 5:09 pm

    Bob-hope you are well and ready for pow.

    What do you think of 178′s on a 195lb guy who skis in deep snow? Dynafits. Touring only. I think I need a larger size…

    Thanks,
    Steve

  24. Xavier November 9th, 2011 5:35 pm

    Steve…. Me 6-2″ 190lbs naked… have skied the 112′s at 190 and 184. I preferred the 184 for the more playful feel and trees. If big mountain open bowls I’d probably have stuck with 190′s. 178 cm seems small for a guy your size but don’t know your height, style etc.

  25. Bob Perlmutter November 9th, 2011 7:18 pm

    Steve, on face value I tend to agree with Xavier on the length suggestion of 184cm. I come in at a whopping 130-135lbs and am on the 178cm. Of course there are the mitigating factors of how aggressive you ski, etc. If you are on the more aggressive side of skiing you’ll want the Pure construction regardless but another option for an exclusive powder, touring ski is the hybrid version due to it’s softer flex. It is silky smooth and incredibly playful in the powder. The downside is the additional weight.

  26. Jonathan Shefftz November 9th, 2011 8:04 pm

    Sound like nice skis, but I’ve always been confused by a very expensive and very light ski line-up whose fans are predominantly *not* lightweight gear oriented backcountry skiers.
    I checked out the company website to see if it offered any hints of the troubled history: wow, does it ever!
    Reminds me a bit of that classic exchange from Monty Python’s “Life of Brian”:
    BRIAN: I’m not the Messiah!
    ARTHUR: I say You are, Lord, and I should know. I’ve followed a few.
    Except in this context it’s, we totally have all our production problems solved now, and we should know, because we’ve previously fixed all of them quite a few times already…

  27. wade Bgall November 9th, 2011 8:18 pm

    Clint,
    Thanks for the vote of confidence on the Barons. After i write this I will likely go read Lou’s article on the 2012 f12 improvements AGAIN, and second guess myself, and ironically now you as well. Just holding out hope that someone will design, prototype, test, produce, and bring to market a step in touring binding with alpine binding performance and sub 900 gram weight all in the next two weeks.

    What?!? Is that asking too much…….?

  28. Xavier November 9th, 2011 8:28 pm

    Johnathan..I think you are confused based upon your post. The vast majority of BC tourers out West are “lightweight gear oriented backcountry skiers” , but we like fat skies>110mm with modern shapes that give us that surfy, playful performance in deep powder.
    The “lightweight skis” in the past such as some of the Dyanfit ( although the Stoke is pretty good ) etc .,have not provided this and therefore we have compromised in the past by putting tech bindings on heavy resort orientated skis to get our fix.

    Where DPS changed the game was to provide skis with the lightweight of the mountaineering type ski and with the performance of a modern, surfy, deep powder ski.

  29. Jonathan Shefftz November 9th, 2011 8:32 pm

    What I meant was that my understanding — correct or otherwise — is that the major of DPS skis are *not* being mounted with Dynafit or other “Tech” bindings for backcountry use. If so, then the most DPS fans are paying a premium price for a very light skis even though it’s not being used in a setting where every ounce counts.
    But maybe I’m just focusing on the rare exceptions and thinking that’s the norm?

  30. Xavier November 9th, 2011 8:46 pm

    Thanks for the clarification. I would say from my personal observations that most ( I’d say 80%) of the skiers that own DPS skis who ARE ALSO regular tourers are mounting them with with either tech bindings or( an increasing number) are using either swap plates( dynaduke etc) or threaded inserts. This allows them flexibility.

    Sure some people are buying them for pure resort use…and that’s the part that I think is just hype and adoration of a false idol ( to keep the biblical analogy going) as there are better skis for just pure resort use and cut up chunder skiing.

    However, those that tour understand what a game changer the 138, 120 and now, 112 is. Not everybody likes the limitations provided by the current light weight skis offered by Dynafit or Trab.

    The next logical step is for Dynafit to buy DPS and become the world leader in lightweight ski gear and throw in a magnet to spice it up like their shoe line.

  31. MorganW November 10th, 2011 2:32 am

    Are there any limitations with mounting these with Dynafits. A few seasons ago I was hearing reports of 110 being about the max they could handle. Obviously the guy I saw on the Haute Route this year with Amrmada JJ’s didn’t think it was an issue. Are any of the new models from Dynafit better equipped to handle this sort of width?

  32. Dimitri November 10th, 2011 4:21 am

    do you not think the 105 would have been a better first ski to review here first?

    Pontoon next? :wink:

  33. Lou November 10th, 2011 5:18 am

    Dimitri, oh, we’re all over the map. Wait to you see the Ultimate Quiver.

  34. Lou November 10th, 2011 5:21 am

    Morgan, exactly what kind of reports did you hear? Lot’s of that stuff is just mythology, or mistaken causality theories (e.g., my binding broke, the sky was blue, therefore my binding can’t handle blue sky.)

  35. Dimitri November 10th, 2011 5:28 am

    LOL

  36. Mike November 10th, 2011 7:42 am

    Having toured on the 112 hybrid in CO and AK last season, I can say that they are indeed a great ski. They ski short so the 184 length feels just about right at 5’10″ 165#. From a touring perspective, they have some nice advantages in that the rocker profile makes breaking trail in deep snow much easier. Skinning up firm snow also seems to take less energy as there is less drag due to the rockered tips and tails and the large contact area under foot provides superb traction. Because of those factors, the 9lb wt of the hybrid felt lighter than a lot of lighter skis when going up hill. I can only imagine what the pures would be like. Also the mounting point on this ski is set pretty far back so the tails are short given the length which makes kick turns with a 184 as easy as a shorter ski. Obviously traversing on steep firm snow is always more difficult with a ski this wide. The final great attribute to this ski is that they ski crap snow really well. You know that thick grabby snow at the bottom of the mountain after a long spring tour where you have to ski through the trees on tired legs to get back to the trailhead. Just some thoughts on my experiences with it. Can’t wait to try the new Wailer 99.

  37. tV November 10th, 2011 3:05 pm

    @jonathan, just a head’s up here, DPS skis are not light because they are being made FOR backcountry use. DPS skis are light as a side-effect of the performance benefits of using carbon in ski construction. The philosophy of DPS is to make the best skis possible, period, for all conditions.

    The concept behind Pures is not to build a light ski, but to build the best ski that we can (yes “we,” full disclosure: I am the BC Rep for DPS, but also a longtime customer). It’s like using carbon in windsurfing, bike components, the space shuttle, and so on. Carbon allows an entirely different set of performance characteristics: strong while being light, thereby reducing swing weight and allowing agile, ballet-like movement that use less energy, accentuating the surfy, playful feel while still holding energy and, as mentioned, reactive strength, especially torsional strength, which is ~30% stronger than fiberglass sandwich skis (twist the ski between your feet).

    The main engineer behind DPS, Peter Turner, worked on the Spatula with Shane McConkey; this was a metal ski, but metal is heavy and fatigues the legs. The idea was to create a less-fatiguing ski that skis like a metal ski but has more reactive, precise characteristics. So far, carbon is the way forward as a material when used with wood cores, and the Pure advances this even farther by using pre-impregnated carbon and vertical strips of titanal to create a highly responsive ski.

    So being light AND strong is a big boon for those in the backcountry but not the point of DPS as a ski company. It’s a side effect of aiming to build high-end, excellent skis (on that note, all DPS skis have Austrian graphite race bases).

    The other thing with carbon is that it allows very precise shaping of the ski across production runs. You will probably get old and droopy before your DPS ski loses its flex or profile, thanks to the carbon (especially the Pures). So the point here is also investment in high-end materials that retain ski shape, as well as allowing production standards that are very, very precise. This is why DPS can push more radical rocker shapes while retaining versatility in more challenging conditions; carbon can be more radically shaped without losing its shape. Make sense?

    As for durability, over the past three years DPS has a less than 1% return rate. You can research the whole history online. DPS is no longer partnered with the other company that it used to work with or the old factory… in fact it was this experience that pushed DPS to seek out the construction techniques to properly build Pures. I’d say it’s dialed in, which is why DPS is now popping up in wider circles.

  38. Lou November 10th, 2011 3:14 pm

    DPS has such incredible business chops, their reps are even their customers! (kidding). TV, thanks for setting us straight.

  39. Jonathan Shefftz November 10th, 2011 3:14 pm

    Interesting, thanks for that helpful perspective.
    I’m so used to ultralightweight touring gear entailing some potential drawbacks, so definitely a change to see ski gear designed to be lightweight for purposes other than uphill efficiency.

  40. tV November 10th, 2011 3:42 pm

    @Jonathan, ya I totally hear you and it’s been interesting from my own perspective as a backcountry rider as well. I too came to DPS from the touring / skimo perspective. This is also part of Stephan Drake’s style, he does AK and South American expedition trips every year, you can see him riding in this year’s touring-oriented Sweetgrass film, Solitude…

    @Lou, if only you knew. Heh. Let’s just say we’re all definitely in it for the love. ;p

    Historically, I feel like I’m hanging around Chouinard Equipment circa the early 70s or thereabouts. I think there are interesting developments in ski technology right now that parallel what came decades before in freeclimbing and alpinism.

    Lighter isn’t just about weight, it’s about movement… it’s about style.

    Anyway, I don’t want to play the minor deacon of Church DPS here, I just like skis and gear and technology, so I’ll get back to work (which actually is writing/editing philosophy essays).

  41. Lou November 10th, 2011 6:49 pm

    I didn’t hang around Chouinard Equipment in the 1970s. Instead, I went ice climbing and broke their crampons and axes. I also went skiing and broke some bones. Now, I go out and break ski bindings and Jeep axle shafts. Interesting, the progression of life… at least my skis are not breaking anymore, and I hope to keep my bones intact as well…

  42. Bob Perlmutter November 10th, 2011 9:37 pm

    TV sums it up pefectly. Jonathan is right that the old paradigm typically meant that lighter gear often equated to lesser performance. Now it is becoming the exact opposite as witnessed by the TLT5 Performance, DPS, the completely revamped Goode line (tainted history between DPS and Goode aside the proof is in the skiing), Formula 1 race cars, pro level bicycles, etc. High grade aerospace carbon properly applied results in higher performance with the added benefit of lighter weight. It couldn’t have come at a better time for all of us aging ski mountaineers. Don’t look back because the future is happening right in front of your very eyes and it’s great.

  43. Mark W November 10th, 2011 11:11 pm

    Funny stuff Lou. Gladly, I haven’t broken anything lately, be it mechanical or skeletal, but gave it a shot in a mistimed meeting with icy asphalt on the road bike (bruised the back of my knee like nobody’s business).

  44. phil November 11th, 2011 12:14 am

    imagine how light they could be if they intentional made a light weight touring ski.

  45. Michael November 11th, 2011 1:12 pm

    It is amazing to read (here and elsewhere) about so many people using the Wailer 112 ski in the backcountry. I think it is the right ski for me to get as I also do quite a bit on the frontside. While I am also interested in the Hi5, I get the impression that isn’t quite as versatile on the frontside.

  46. Jonathan Shefftz November 12th, 2011 11:18 am

    @ tV & Bob 9 (and anyone else too):
    Now that I think about it more, sure, my rd bike’s fork, handle bars, stem, and seat post are cf for performance, not weight. And ditto for my mtn bike’s cf frame (along with the purpose of bank account depletion).
    By contrast, I think the cf though on the TLT5, some other Dynafit boots, and various rando race boots is there for keeping performance strong while reducing weight, rather than achieving certain performance characteristics regardless of weight.
    But either way, I’ll believe that cf can enhance certain ski characteristics even if lighter weight is a byproduct rather than a goal.
    However, what about the deflection issue? Or this is a non-issue? By this I mean, when you have an increasingly wide ski, with so little mass behind it, does it get bounced around more in variable conditions with unconsolidated snow?
    Also, getting back to ultralight cf skis not intended solely for the touring market, just what is the history and/or current relationship between DPS and Goode? I usually wouldn’t ask this, but the DPS history is so detailed on the website, plus kind of curious that both these companies are so close to each other geographically. I’ve also been curious about the new Goode line-up once I read about the Three Sisters ski in the Backcountry mag, but of my four initial emails, only one was returned, although now I finally seem to be about to get more info after emailing Mr. Goode directly.

  47. tV November 12th, 2011 1:49 pm

    @JS — I don’t want to speak solely for DPS here, and what I’m throwing down is really my own reflection, based upon about 6 solid seasons now skiing DPS here in Whistler.

    But I don’t mind answering where I can, as I do get these questions all the time. :D

    If by deflection you mean ski contact resulting in topsheet chipping, this happens to all fat skis and is a consequence of width with a tight stance.

    If by deflection you mean that the ski fails to execute a turn in challenging conditions, where the ski doesn’t feel powerful or strong enough to push through snow, resulting in a sudden snap of the ski away from the intended direction, then no, neither Hybrids nor Pures suffer from this performance defect. Quite frankly, they wouldn’t be getting the reviews they do if they did. The big bonus here with carbon, as you mention in your own observations in bike frame use, is that it is quite capable of handling load stress and absorbing vibration. This is why road bikers like carbon frames. But it’s not only carbon here. Carbon is but one component of the construction. Pures have vertical strips of titanal and a bamboo core; the pre-impregnation process is key here, as is the Nano resin. Hybrids have bamboo cores and the construction here is very precise for a sandwich construction ski. Both have UHMW sidewalls, and there’s other tricks of the construction trade in there too.

    Now, there is a question of style. DPS does not (currently) make big, heavy skis, though the Lotus 120 is certainly a charging ski (check it out). Going stiff and dead is not the philosophy of the line. However, I charge and straightline often on my DPS, not only in soft snow conditions (where they excel wonderfully, pivot, smear and hold a true plumb line), but when zipping home down Blackcomb after a day spent in the high alpine…. I have straightlined right over all kinds of chowder, chud, skanky carpet and chunder without hesitation with these skis. They hold up just fine and in fact establish greater stability at speed; at no point do they feel squirrelly or out of control. Now, do they feel as damp or heavy as a ski pounds heavier? Of course not. Does this affect performance, in my view? Not at all; or at least not for what I want out of a ski, which is to be reactive to what I deliver to the ski, and not to feel sluggish and require all this unnecessary muscle, with the only benefit being that you can sit back and let the ski carry you down the slope like a bowling ball. To me, and I think many others, that’s a rather limited idea of skiing.

    Now that said, this is all quite subjective. If you aren’t in shape, those big heavy Rossi RC112s are going to “deflect” by virtue of you not being able to steer them. Stiffer skis often “deflect” for this reason. DPS Pures or any other ski will “deflect” if you don’t apply control through the turn or lack ability. So all of this assumes a competent skier who wants to bring the ski up to speed, to the point where deflection has to do with the underlying physics as the ski reacts to adverse and changing terrain, and not to do with the learning curve of skiing in general, or the learning curve of adapting to the ski’s characteristics. But I’m willing to bet that most riders will find adapting to the W112RP much easier, with its rockered profile, than adapting to a stiff, dead charging ski. (And I think market sales easily bear that one out.)

    I’d say the difference is this between Hybrids and Pures in this respect: Pures drive like a Ferrari. They reward precision and offer direct feedback through the feet. You feel the terrain, allowing samurai control over the ski’s movement. Hybrids are a tad more forgiving, and offer the benefits of carbon while offering a transitional platform from a conventional fiberglass sandwich construction to a high-end pre-preg carbon construction. Most people who drive power-assisted SUVs wouldn’t do well in a Ferrari. But once you get the feeling down, and adapt to the set-up, I have to say that you don’t want to go back (I don’t want to; I ride Pures in all conditions).

    Alright. Point being that Pures require less input and many people oversteer or overpower the skis when they first get them. Once you get the hang of the low swing weight, you find you can precisely pressure the ski and feel the carbon react with energy, providing ample pop. At the same time, the ski has stiffness, but not a dead feeling, which throws people at first, as it’s not the usual way skis have been built for the past 30 years. It is applying a precise, strong technique which allows the ski to attack challenging terrain and truly shine. I find that such properties teach you to become a better skier, rather than skis that plough a trench for you.

    As for corporate histories, I’m not the one to ask here. Frankly, it’s not that interesting really. Times have changed and everyone has moved on.

  48. tV November 12th, 2011 1:51 pm

    Sorry, small error: Hybrids have poplar cores w/ carbon, not bamboo. Pures have bamboo.

  49. tV November 12th, 2011 1:53 pm

    Nope, I am on crack and need coffee.

    Pures: Pre-impregnated carbon + Nanon resin + POPLAR core, with vertical strips of Titanal (the Secret Sauce).

    Hybrids: Bamboo core + fiberglass + carbon.

    Heavens. You’d think I’d know this by now.

  50. Lou November 14th, 2011 7:26 am

    TV, your lengthy comment got held in my moderation lineup, and I was gone for the weekend. Sorry about that and thanks for keeping it going. Can I buy you some coffee?

  51. Lou November 14th, 2011 7:35 am

    In terms of business history, ok to chat about that here in the comments if anyone likes but I do tend to avoid the “B to B” gossip in the blog posts. And sometimes it sounds a bit dumb in the comments as well, especially when folks show up with an agenda or bone to pick. Along those lines, one thing I avoid like the plague (though mistakes have been made) is getting myself caught up in industry politics, as certain other skiing web publishers have done from time to time, forgetting that while airing dirty laundry can indeed up their traffic count, in the end, it’s just, dirty laundry that sometimes even starts to smell.

  52. Jonathan Shefftz November 14th, 2011 8:45 am

    Interesting, thanks.
    So bottomline is that you don’t think that sheer mass has any benefits in and off itself?
    I mean, let’s say you could somehow design a Wailer 99 with exactly the same performance characteristics, yet it would miraculously weigh only as much as a rando race ski. Isn’t there something to be said for just momentum of a setup when encountering difficult snow?
    I suppose though the answer could be yes, but the benefits drop off after a certain point, and then become drawbacks instead (e.g., obviously a setup that weighed 100 pounds would be impossible to ski).

  53. Lou November 14th, 2011 9:36 am

    Ski engineers and coaches have experimented for years with weights taped to skis. Sometimes they help, sometimes they don’t — that’s the obvious consensus. There are probably a number of tradeoffs, thus as with other design parameters weight can not be looked at by itself, nor expected to always add, or always subtract, from ski downhill performance..

    In terms of touring skis, the advantage of lighter weight during the climb is so important, it is _frequently_ worth some degree of compromise on the down, provided it is compromise that doesn’t make the ski a total dog. More, if the rider adjusts their technique and style a slight bit, and has just as much fun, then the lighter ski is better than the heavier one.

    That’s why testing randonee skis off a helicopter, snowcat or ski lift is a dangerous methodology. We do it that way on occasion as the amount of vert that mechanical means offers really helps get a read on a ski — so long as one watches out for bias and “raving” about a ski that goes downhill nicely but weighs a ton.

    One other thing: I’ve always contended that building a lighter weight ski that skis well is tougher than slapping together a heavier plank. That’s where DPS appears to have hit a sweet spot. I wouldn’t mind a ski from them that was even lighter and perhaps had a hair of downhill compromise, but that’s probably not their business model.

  54. XXX_er November 14th, 2011 10:19 am

    Its twice what I have ever spent on a ski but there was a deal and some $ paying work so I ordered a pair of the pure’s because I wanted to experiance the ski and I will use them front side with a light set of marker demo bindings for at least this season but in spite of the sacrilege … I anticipate a long relationship with this ski

    it was either a new furnace or dynafit boots/bindings/new skin … I can hear them ripping out the furnace as I type

  55. tV November 14th, 2011 12:57 pm

    Lou, you’ve hit it on the head when you write “I’ve always contended that building a lighter weight ski that skis well is tougher than slapping together a heavier plank.”

    And I’d love that coffee sometime. I’ll buy you beer as I want to hear a few tales about your ice lines…

    @JS — I think you’ve answered your own question. “Mass” isn’t all there is to a ski, even for backcountry specialists; performance is the kicker, on both the up and down, and mass is just one part of that equation, which above all includes strength, resilience, durability, pop, reactivity. And performance is a quasi-subjective component related to style, which Lou elaborates well. DPS skis have a certain style; they’re not trying to be everything for everyone. :)

  56. Marshal Olson November 16th, 2011 12:00 pm

    @jonathan- interesting question in regards to weight. the DPS skis can certainly save weight, if there was the desire. it would be done with thinner edges, thinner/ base, thinner/less durable/less dense topskin, and a less dense core material. either way there is trade offs, either in durability (topsheet, edges, base) or ski-ability (core). DPS would rather build a pair of skis to last as long as possible than save 100g on base/topsheet/edges, or for it to ski as well as possible and not save 100g in core. if DPS can boost performance AND save weight, it will, that is the quest anyhow :D

  57. Nick November 21st, 2011 8:16 am

    As skis get lighter yet fatter, I wonder where the touring limit is in fat-dimensions. How wide is too wide to skin 4000-6000 feet of vertical without making our stride so awkward we look like penguins and totally destroy our hip flexors?

    I tour on a 134-100-125mm dimensioned ski and keep a comfortable, narrow stride while skinning, yet have fun when I drop in. But I’ll have even MORE fun on a 112mm-waisted ski, right?. And I’ll bet 125mm underfoot will be unbridled joy. Or how about just surfing a 15-cm waist? (I’m looking at you, DPS Spoon.)

    But how wide is too wide for our long touring days? Certainly opinion will be person-dependent as I imagine height, weight, and stride length all affect each person’s upper limit.

    Thoughts? Experience?

    I’m excited for the review of the Wailer 112′s. Just make sure Bob doesn’t just haul them up there behind his snowcat…

  58. tV November 21st, 2011 10:21 am

    FWIW the fattest ski I’ve toured on is the Lotus 120 Pure. It dealt with (icy, exposed) sidehilling well enough, and I didn’t find it to be an issue in the skin track. Sure, it’s more ski to handle and there’s no way around that, notably with kick turns. I know that Marshal (who commented above) tours on Lotus 138 Pures, which are big fatties, and reverse camber at that. But he also tours in the Wasatch and Colorado (correct me if I’m wrong Marshal) where most skin tracks go straight up — at least in BC there is much more tricky and nuanced terrain requiring tree thrashing and sidehilling. In any case I look forwards to touring on Lotus 138s this year, I have a few friends in Interior BC who do so.

    The point of a ski like the L138 isn’t just width, it’s the reverse camber properties of the ski including the pintail and bulletnose that create an entirely different style, closer to surfing. This is why these fatter skis have a cult following, as they are stylistically very different and in deep powder zones serve their purpose well indeed by opening up different kinds of movement. Ditto with the Spoons, the whole point there is the convex (ie 3-dimensional) base.

    Frankly Iike having all kinds of different widths amd styles to play with… that’s the point of a quiver.. and it’s exciting and invigorating to bring such stylistic choices out into the backcountry ;)

  59. caffrey November 21st, 2011 11:22 am

    any comparo on the wailer vs. nanutaq?
    also, most of yous are too skinny. I’m 200lbs, 5′,8″ but don’t like long skis. will i overwhelm a ski in the 180s?

  60. Bob Perlmutter November 28th, 2011 7:47 pm

    Hi Nick, as much as I love what I do for work, my ultimate passion will always be non mechanized skiing. That’s not to say you won’t see the Wailers on the cat throughout the season. Why choose, just say yes!

  61. James December 12th, 2011 4:17 pm

    I have some 112 RP’s sat in kitchen looking at me. They look beautiful, My wife has gone to bed, something to do with not listening to her and paying more attention to the skis than her. She’s only jealous because she wants a pair now she’s seen them.
    Anyway, a couple of quick questions
    What size skin have folk been using? 125mm, 130mm? I have never toured on such a wide ski before so it will be interesting to see how they cope with icy traverses. Any ideas if you could get a crampon wide enough that still fitted a dynafit FT binding. Could I shape the 110mm?
    Thanks for the advice,
    James

  62. Bob Perlmutter December 12th, 2011 9:53 pm

    Hi James, regarding the Dynafit crampon I think you have answered your own question in that fitting the 110mm is the way to go. As for the skins, keep in mind that with the pronounced tip rocker not much of that portion of the skin will be effectively in contact with the snow. Certainly if you already have either one of those sizes of skins then go with it. If not, I think you can get by with the 125mm and save a little weight. Of course, this all might just be my rationale for the fact that I already had 125mm skins before I got the 112′s and don’t want to face another purchase over a 5mm difference. Worse yet is the current lack of snow around Aspen and a pair of 112′s leaning up against the wall looking for an opportunity to show off their stuff. All in due time.

  63. tV December 13th, 2011 10:41 am

    Get a 110mm skin, it will fit near perfectly. Primarily you need wall-to-wall underfoot and underneath the camber zone, and not up in the rocker. For all my big/rockered skis I size skins based upon the underfoot width. As for the 110mm crampons, you should be able to make them fit — I believe that’s what I’ve got.

  64. Tom Wolfe December 13th, 2011 12:50 pm

    tV is correct — underfoot is where you need wall-to-wall, with the tip and tail you can have a good sized gap. Straight, untrimmed skins sized for the waist (as close to waist dimension as possible, or within 10mm) are lighter, glide better, are less hassle in all respects, and climb the same.

  65. James December 21st, 2011 1:35 am

    Hi,
    Thanks for the feedback.
    Where have people being mounting their dynafit bindings? Do these ski’s benefit from being mounted forward of the mid sole like some big tip, rockered ski’s or are you better off mounting them at the mid sole point?
    Thanks
    James

  66. Wade December 21st, 2011 7:25 am

    James,

    Just had mine mounted yesterday and I went through the same consternation. Spoke with Stephan Drake via email and he recommended mid-sole. Most of the stellar reviews you may have read about these skis were from demo boards mounted at mid-sole. Good enough for me……

  67. tV December 21st, 2011 12:10 pm

    There’s actually a thread over on TGR (Tech Talk) about mounting W112RPs. Worth checking into:

    http://goo.gl/5tZ1u

    As for some thought on the matter, after riding all models of DPS with touring bindings and downhill rigs, I wouldn’t hesitate to mount forward. I find that in PNW snow and with touring bindings and boots, the W112RP benefits from a +1 to +2cm mount.

    At +1.5cm the ski loses nothing in big open terrain. There is no loss in flotation. It’s just a different style. I like to be able to move between a relaxed, newschool stance and a driving stance, and so I push forward a bit so that I am closer to -10cm from true centre. I find this is especially useful with a touring setup.

    My Lotus 120s, btw, are mounted at +3cm, as I use them in deep, steep trees where I need to be able to swivel the ski. I also found no significant loss in flotation and the ski was just at stable at speed in wide open terrain.

    If you check DPS’ midsole line, you’ll find that its about 4-5cm back of similar skis, or about -12 to -14cm from true centre. This does make sense when you consider that the carbon construction allows a more rearward mount; you have greater control over the tips thanks to low swing weight. Marshal has written elsewhere how the midsole is in the ski’s neutral position. However not everyone wants neutral, which means you have to lean forward to engage the ski. By moving forward you remove some of the cuff pressure off your boots by weighting the ski from a positive position. I definitely favour this.

    Of note I have one friend who is riding his W112RPs at +3cm and another at +2cm. Both say the ski performs just as well, and floats just fine. It’s just a more relaxed, newschool stance; both also ski park as well as tour and ride big mountain lines. But in neither case is moving forward even close to a park-style centre mount.

  68. Harpo December 27th, 2011 6:15 am

    Went with a b&d 120mm cramp for my 112s. Didn’t want to bend and weaken my dyna 110 cramp.

  69. Lou December 27th, 2011 8:13 am

    Harpo, yeah, I tried bending some Dynafit crampons and doing so just isn’t practical. That stamping pattern makes them super strong and much too rigid to take a bend without damage. Lou

  70. tV December 27th, 2011 9:59 am

    FYI my 110mm Radicals fit over the W112RP no problem.

  71. Paul January 18th, 2012 4:50 am

    Advice please. I’m returning to skiing after several years away and a full knee replacement. I ski primarily at an area with heavy maritime snow, spotty grooming, and a lot of nice out of bounds terrain. I won’t be touring much and am still a bit tentative on the new wheel. I’m 6’1″, 235 lbs. I would classify myself as a solid intermediate skier who can handle anything blue, some black, and I want to improve my ability in difficult snow and powder. I would estimate that I will be a ratio of 70/30 or 60/40 groomed to powder or crud. Cost is not a big factor, other than that I don’t want to pay for an over-hyped ski that doesn’t actually meet my needs.

    I have my sights set on one of the Wailers. From what I’m reading, I lean toward the 99 Hybrids. Good choice, or too much ski for me?? Would its obvious superlative attributes be wasted on me, or is it a ski that will “raise my game”? What length would you recommend? And if not the Wailers, what else should I be looking at?

    Thanks for listening and I welcome all of your input. Great forum here!

  72. tV January 18th, 2012 10:58 am

    Out of the DPS lineup, I’d lean toward the Wailer 99s. Keep in mind that though the ski can carve (make sure to detune the tips to 2cm below contact point if the ski is hooky) it is an all mountain machine and not a skinny carving ski. In short, the point of this ski will be to get you offpiste. For the size of your terrain and ability, I’d suggest the W99s would be a capable ski for everything but ice bumps and blue ice boilerplate. More than that, the ski will be a lot of fun…!

    I put my Mum on a pair of W99s, she is a cautious intermediate skier, and it has changed her world. She’s been skiing since the late ’50s.

  73. Paul January 18th, 2012 6:04 pm

    Thanks tv. That’s where I came out. What do you think about bindings? I’m on dynafits with my current setup but I’m a bit tired of the “fiddle factor” and icing-related prereleases. I’m thinking of switching to a different AT setup. seems like it would be a waste to put alpine bindings on htat ski even if hiking was a minor consideration, no? Thoughts?

  74. tV January 18th, 2012 6:21 pm

    No comments on bindings, I’d go with whatever best suits your intended purposes, style, and boots :D

  75. Tom Wolfe January 18th, 2012 6:43 pm

    If you are having problems with Dynafits pre-releasing due to icing then you’re probably not being meticulous enough with knocking the snow and ice off between runs (specifically under the toe mechanism).

    Yes, the only things “better” about Dynafit bindings are their durability and light weight, but these are far and above the most important features in a touring binding. So it’s worth getting over an aversion to their idiosyncrasies. The “Fiddle Factor” annoyance diminishes to almost zero with experience with the bindings.

  76. David January 21st, 2012 6:30 am

    Will someone comment in more detail on tV’s comment above suggesting to detune the tips.

  77. Lou January 21st, 2012 7:32 am

    For your mom, or yourself (grin)? Seriously, David, what exactly do you want to know, how to do it? Or why? Lou

  78. David January 21st, 2012 8:45 am

    Good humor is always appreciated. Seriously, Lou, I would not ask if I knew the answer. At times the slang of the ski world reminds me of teenage boys. If you are the less experienced younger brother, the gang enjoys a chuckle at the kid’s expense, when all he wants is to learn more about the world they are so passionate about.

    I am interested in learning both the why and the how of the term detune.

    I might also suggest, for the benefit of some of the younger brothers hanging around this hood, a piece by one of the very skilled writers on this blog about ski tuning. David

  79. tV January 21st, 2012 8:57 am

    Here’s what I wrote over on TGR:

    ==

    TUNING the 99s.

    Ok, as always, YMMV.

    I’ve spent all last week on these (finally), really dialing in a pair of W99 184 Pures.

    First day I found the tips hooky and playing catch-and-release on the melt-icecrust groomers we have here right now. I had mounted at +1cm. I found when skiing off the heels the ski was fine. But leaning aggressively forward made the ski scrub.

    SO… I aggressively detuned the tips to 2cm below contact point. As in: 45 degree file, diamond stone polish, and gummi.

    The next day, the skis were a different beast entirely: bomber on edge, and much more predictable, with no scrub. I was able to lean the ski into full carves and spring out of the corners in a variety of turn shapes (yes both S and C, also the W, and Z). In soft-chop-crud-refrozen-raincrust the ski pivoted and planed well (looking forwards to getting it into true pow).

    I am happy with the +1cm mount — however I think I would’ve been fine at midsole (this coming from someone who mounts his W112RPs at +1.5cm and L120s at +3cm).

    Overall, if the ski is scrubbing, hooking, or catching DETUNE THEM TIPS. If you ride at a plus-mark forward or if you want to lean forward or whatever the case may be, if the ski scrubs and is hooky, detuning the tips will probably not only resolve the issue but open the ski’s true potential to execute a multitude of turn shapes (oooh!) as well as hold a better edge.

    I have to remind myself in this respect that for many riders this may be their first rockered ski. Or, riders are coming from other rockered designs that are less torsionally stiff/pronounced in the design. Either way, detuning has not yet been sufficiently understood as being as important as tuning the rest of the ski.

  80. Frank K January 21st, 2012 10:43 am

    Most ski shops seem to be stuck in a race/psia tune regimen, regardless of the type of skis. Even regular cambered fat skis need an aggressive detune in the tip and tail, IMO. Skis I know and love will come out of the shop razor sharp and hooky and I’ll find myself scoping for a rock halfway down my first run to do an impromptu detune.

  81. Lou January 21st, 2012 1:57 pm

    David, apologies for the slang. Ski tuning is an art, it would take a whole website… but de-tune is pretty simple, you just take a chunk of sandpaper and dull the edges in the area you want to de-tune. Usually doesn’t take much.

    I wrote that on WildSnow.com

  82. David January 21st, 2012 5:26 pm

    Lou and tV, Your comments helped my undertanding a great deal. I will give a little detuning a try on my Wailer 99s since the one time I have had a chance to take the skis out I did experienced a grabbiness. For whatever reason I did not experience this issue with other early rise skis such as my 112s. The 112s are just a great ski. It is dumping outside and is predicted to continue all night so the bananas will come out on Sunday.

    As far as the art of tuning, I will read it if you will write about it. Thanks much. David

  83. tV January 21st, 2012 5:36 pm

    in soft snow detuning is less of an issue, ie you don’t notice grab as much, especially if you are riding bump-style through trees or deep pow. It’s really on hardpack and on iceball backcountry exits (like Singing Pass Trail here in Whistler) that you notice hookiness. I detune my W112RPs, but I know plenty of people who don’t. Due to the width of the ski it has more of a platform than the W99, and depending on how you ride it and where you’re mounted, it may not be necessary. But if you experience grab, certainly detune. At the worst, you’ll just need to get your edges tuned again if you don’t like the effects of detuning. :)

  84. Bob Perlmutter January 26th, 2012 10:11 pm

    It’s beginning to look a lot like winter in CO and I have finally gotten out on my Wailer Pure 112. Previous I wasn’t willing to sacrifice or subject them to certain death by rocks for the sake of a few turns and a timely ski review.
    I spent the past several days on them at my day job guiding cat skiing, finishing with a run down Aspen Mt. at the end of each day. While hardly a comprehensive review, as there are many conditions and terrain yet to be skied on them, in a word the Wailer Pure 112 is awesome. Smooth as silk with power to burn. Pick a turn shape or radius, dial your speed up or down,carve, slarve, slash, surf or any other pick of the litter. Effortless, easy and playful. My one run down the ski area at the end of each day proved equally fun. The Wailer Pure 112 defies it’s dimensions and performs like a narrower, precise, high energy machine. It holds well, is stable, damp yet jumps out of each turn with an uncanny explosiveness that propels you into the next turn. There were a few turns where I thought I was back on SL race skis my feet moved so quickly across the fall line. I’m still trying to dial in my stance as to fore/aft and edge angle to best optimize the ski’s performance. I think I found it a couple of times on hardpack only to realize I was exceeding my personal speed limit, not the ski’s. I still haven’t experienced crud, chop, windpack or a host of other conditions as well as real steeps so there is still much to report. Suffice it to say, so far so very good.

  85. Lou January 27th, 2012 6:31 am

    Bob, thanks for the update! The acolytes are always up for a guest pastor (grin).

  86. tV January 27th, 2012 11:57 am

    DPS don’t need pastors. Like Martin Luther, we only give you the tools for holy communion with the intangible. It’s up to you to make the magic happen. ;)

  87. mtnwriter January 27th, 2012 12:08 pm

    sheesh. i really enjoyed the W95′s and drank more koolaid this yr with the 112RP, but the sycophantic fanboism makes coffeshop hipsters licking their iphones look respectable. kudos to DPS but there is a there any sharks in great salt lake?

  88. DL March 7th, 2012 5:52 pm

    Hey Bob,
    I was wondering how you felt about the 178 length that you are on. Did you find it ok or short for you. I’m same weight but shorter and was debating whether to go 178 or 184 for this ski.

  89. David March 7th, 2012 6:28 pm

    I have a pair of the 112s in 178 length. I am 6’1″ 165lb. For locked heels this is maybe short. For my tele setup it is the perfect length. Once the stance is figured out, these are wonderfully versital skis. One caution is the base material in these skis is really thin. I guess this is part of how DPS gets the weight down so low. I think this is the thinnest bases I have ever seen. Tough year here in Aspen for skis mating with rocks and leaving pieces behind.

  90. tV March 7th, 2012 6:32 pm

    ^^ Just a point of fact, but we use Austrian World Cup graphite bases — Ptex 9001 to be precise. That’s race-room stock. The bases are not thin (this simply isn’t correct). Weight reduction is NOT a goal in itself for DPS, and we would never deplete the strength or resilience of the ski to save weight; rather we believe that light, STRONG skis simply ride better. If we thought otherwise, the skis would be heavier. The light weight is a side-effect of working with carbon in both Pures and Hybrids, for the purpose of creating a ski with low swing weight.

    Now, as for your coreshots, I’d just suggest avoiding rocks. ;) It’s been a tough year in Whistler too. But no matter how strong the base, hitting a rock hard — as in a deep-knee bend in a tele stance — will destroy *any* base.

  91. David March 8th, 2012 7:19 am

    tv have no idea why the bases on my DPS Wailer 112s are thin. My comment about a thin base as part of keeping the weight down was just surmising on my part. As far as the how thin the base spec is on DPS skis I do not know. On the pair that I purchased new this year, the base are absolutely very thin. When this coreshot happened, upon inspecting the cut, I was surprised to see how thin the base material was.When I dropped the ski off for repairs at Hamilton Sports in Aspen, I said nothing to Rich or Greg about my observation of the base thickness. When I went to pick the skis up both of them brought this issue up. Their comments were these were the thinness bases they had ever seen on a new pair of skis. They work with skis all day long in this a highly regarded tune shop in Aspen. This simply is correct. David

  92. tV March 8th, 2012 9:26 am

    Well, you’ve got me seeking the spec on our bases, as fact is much better than shoprat speculation on base damage. I’ve emailed our engineer, and I’ll let you know what the spec is on our Austrian World Cup race bases — which I imagine is, frankly, to spec for Ptex bases of their class.

  93. Bob Perlmutter March 8th, 2012 9:35 am

    Hi DL, I find the 178cm 112 Pure to be right on for my purpose and size. I have skied the 184cm Hybrid, 190cm Pure and the Wailer 99 184cm Hybrid and have no doubt as to my preference for the 178cm Pure regardless if mounted for alpine or AT. Interestingly enough, in a conversation with Stephan regarding ski size, he indicated the 178cm was perfect for himself “for a day at Alta”. His style is far more big mountain oriented and aggressive than mine. That said, I know of two instances in Aspen where one person moved up from the 178cm to the 184cm and the other from the 184cm to the 190cm and both are happier for it. It’s good to know the ski town barter system is alive and well. My perfect world would be to own 2pr. each of the Wailer 112 Pure 178cm and Wailer 99 Pure 176cm. I would mount one set alpine and the other AT and call it done. Now if I can just find a bag full of hundreds on the street I’ll be all set.

  94. David March 8th, 2012 10:11 am

    tV – Thanks for being interested in this. What DPS engineer’s spec for the bases and what was actually built into my particular pair of skis may easily not be one and the same. To put down the guys doing my repair with the term “shoprat speculation” as means to lower mine or my repair techs credibility, maybe is not the best way to communicate with me as a DPS customer. I like DPS skis or I would not have purchased both 112s and 99 this year. Cheers. David

  95. tV March 8th, 2012 11:04 am

    No doubt you love your skis! Which is why I’m seeking some facts, and trying to guard against unwarranted and ultimately unhelpful speculation that is making you feel like your skis are not doing what they should — or presenting unrealistic expectations of what *any* ski can handle when it comes to knee-dropping tele turns on rocks. Keep in mind that when you buy Ptex 9001, it comes from Ptex itself; you’re dealing with a known quantity. So we’re all shoprats my man unless we have engineering degrees, a 20+ year history in ski design, and some actual facts. ;)

    If you feel your skis are not up to spec, contact us through our website and we’d be happy to help you out. Mention that tobias sent you, and we’ll get you sorted. :)

  96. tV March 8th, 2012 6:16 pm

    Just a quick note, I heard back from Mr. P. Turner, DPS’ engineer. This led me on an expedition into ski base knowledge… heh. Peter says:

    “The base is standard thickness from the supplier. However we don’t know what
    happens to them in the field. We try not to grind excessively during
    manufacture. Looking at the edge thickness can be a measure of that.

    Thin bases might be a common complaint in one of the leanest snow years in
    history.”

    In short, if you feel that your P-tex 9001 bases aren’t up to snuff, let us know — as I said, we’d be happy to help you out. :)

    Peter reiterated what I feel, which is being realistic about hitting rocks (I don’t believe any ski manufacturer warranties rock damage). It might help to understand a bit about ski manufacture — in particular, how supplies are sourced and the qualities available.

    All bases worldwide are basically made by Isospeed or Crown Plastics’ Durasurf, using UHMW plastics / P-tex. Without getting too into this, good skis use sintered, black bases without diecuts/graphics on the running length for speed and durability. There are different grades available. A lot of park skis/snowboards use 2001 quality Durasurf which absorbs wax, but is soft. At the 4001 quality level, you get a harder base, but with less wax absorption. Most decent skis on the wall use 4001. But it goes up from there.

    At the 8001+ level, you start seeing both hard and fast properties with graphite carbon additives, which means going to Isospeed in Austria. At the 9001+ level, you are using race-room stock, and paying for the best.

    If you’re making your own skis, it looks like Isospeed 7001 is the best quality you can get at lower quantities:

    http://www.blankslateskis.com/isospeed-7200-p-tex-base-material-price-per-meter/

    If you’d like to know more on this, check out: http://skibuilders.com . This is also a decent article on Durasurf’s process:

    http://fasterskier.com/2009/02/how-its-made-base-material/

    Alright. Learn something new everyday….

  97. paul March 19th, 2012 8:58 pm

    Questioning Church Doctrine:

    OK, so I have a nice pair of 99 hybrids, mounted with barons, attached to Scarpa Skookums. First couple of days, I couldn’t begin to understand the sermon – skis were grabbing, losing tail at awkward moments, etc. etc. So I read scripture (Book of TV) and did an “aggressive detune” just past both contact points, tip and tail. Much better, but still unpredictable. In chop, loose powder, corn, they work great. On groomed corduroy or scraped-off hardpack, they still seem squirrely. When trying to carve a hard turn, they may or may not hook up through the whole turn. Sometimes they give little sideways jerk (as if they slid 6 inches down hill). Another thing I’ve noticed is that the bad behavior seems more pronounced if I try to drive the skis off the front edge of the boot. Better behavior comes if I sit in the back and baby them. Basically, I”m concluding that they are much more sensitive to fore-aft weight distribution than traditional camber boards. Maybe I am not getting them far enough up on edge. By way of comparison, for skiing hardpack with my kid the last few days, I’ve been going back to my Shamans – not exciting, but not subject to all this existential angst.

    This leads me to the main question: Can anyone direct me to a different text that explains the hows and whys of turning early rise skis? There must be some accolyte who has prayed on the matter and can give a definitive description of the ways one needs to modify one’s world view to fit in with this new sect.

    If this post is not in the right forum, perhaps Lou can move it somewhere more appropriate. Thanks.

    Paul

  98. Lou March 19th, 2012 9:13 pm

    I’d move it to our religion section. But you’re already there.

    Nicely written.

    Anyone have some wisdom for this poor soul?

  99. tV March 19th, 2012 9:34 pm

    Awesome, that post had me chuckling. :)

    First, make sure the skis are tuned well for your conditions. Though all my W99 demos are tuned at 1/2, I’ve heard good results from DPS reps tuning their skis to 1/3. Check the bases, make sure they are flat too, get a good grind on there if need be.

    However it sounds to me like what you’re experiencing is the general transition from traditionally cambered skis to rockered skis. This isn’t a DPS thing. This is a rockered ski thing. It was like when twintips went mainstream — it’s a revelation when skis go backward. Instructors were asking: “how do I stop from sliding downhill backwards?” Groan. Etc. Us freeskiers/newschoolers had to explain that skiing switch was the *point*. It’s designed that way.

    Ditto with a centre-mount stance. That meant turning differently too and learning how to weight equally front and rear sections of the ski.

    Ditto with rocker. Having a slightly rockered tail means the tails is *supposed* to release. In short, you can scrub the tail. The turn shape can vary. You can get the tail to slide out — on purpose. It means you are no longer locked into a turn. This is variable turn shape by design, and it means you scrub as much as edge the ski. You have to rethink skiing: it’s not just about edging, but using the platform of the ski to scrub and smear. New concepts. New movements. The design is purposeful, as the idea is you can release that tail in variable terrain, like tight trees and nefarious bump and chop. That’s where the rockered tail comes into play to execute samurai-style slashes.

    As for stance, I do find you can drive these skis hard off the shovel — especially the Pures — but keep in mind it’s a rockered shovel. So you’re going to bite with the shovel, roll the ankle, and complete the turn with the edge underfoot. You don’t want to backseat these skis, which is always bad technique — save for when straightlining chop at mach 8, when you don’t backseat, but go into a mogul stance, knees tight, weight centered, lifting the toes up to fly over things (watch big mountain skiers do this all the time).

    Frankly, the best way to learn how to ski rockered skis is to just keep skiing them. You will find that you will adjust over time to the different stances required to enhance edging on what is less effective edge underfoot, and pick up the intuitive knowledge of how to scrub and smear the tail. Letting the tail release then becomes part of the design of the turn…

    Anyway, the whole point of the W99 is that it’s an all mountain ski. It’s designed to kill it in soft snow, chop, tight trees, basically off-piste, variable, all over the place conditions — and this translates well into the backcountry too. If you want to just carve, keep to the carving skis… (yah, perhaps worth saying; rockered skis will not ski like a carving ski — physics can be bent, but not broken).

  100. paul March 19th, 2012 11:31 pm

    Well, I’m not feeling the rapture quite yet, but I’m sure I’ll get there. It seem like what my grandma used to tell me when she dragged me to Sunday School every week: “One of these days the light will shine in. For you, you little devil, it may take a little longer. You just have to believe!” It will also help if I can meditate on it – which means ditch the kids and ski by myself. Thanks for the tips. Keep ‘em up.

  101. paul March 26th, 2012 11:36 am

    tV, this is great stuff. I just spent three days on snow and while I’m not speaking in tongues yet, I feel the faintest stirrings of rapture. I wonder if we can break down the “tail release” a bit more technically. Maybe comparing to a traditional carving turn would illustrate my question. I see the anatomy of a traditional carved turn like this:

    Cross fall line – - drive downhill ski off boot tongue – - weight and compress – - weight and compress (hold for as long as you want to carve the turn) – - unweight – - cross fall line – - start again on other side.

    Using this sort of liturgy, how/where does releasing the tail fit into a rockered sermon? What was making me uncomfortable seemed to be happening at the end of the turn – tail sliding out before I was ready to unweight and release into the next turn. But maybe that should not be a source of discomfort – just something to accomodate. LIke, is it really worth worrying how long ago the dinosaurs lived?

    Does the question make sense?

    Paul

  102. tV March 26th, 2012 12:14 pm

    ^^Makes total sense P, your comments are also good for me to hear as they remind me how people on carving skis ski.

    Wailer 99s are meant to be taken all over the mountain. If you’re doing turns like above on repeat, then groomers are evidently your terrain of choice, or if out East when the snow is scarce, by necessity.

    The way I ride the W99s…

    1/ drop into the bowl, slide off cornice, kick tails out, then hop turn with knees together, right kick out tails, pivot heels back to float up and over chop, begin pickup speed, then arc into left turn, widen stance, counter-rotate body downhill, arm forward with next pole plant, drive knees right, rock heels back… approaching trees now, tighten stance, throw ski like hockey skates sideways, slash wall of snow off the berm on my right side, widen stance, scrub speed… now knees together into bump stance through the trees, body centered and upright, bump bump knees working underneath focused centered of gravity, slash turn into that stash of pow, pop out onto the groomer, point it to the lift… (btw I am describing a line off Flute ridge on Whistler)

    2/ Heading down the groomer, pick up to take-off speed, big arc turn, whoops… kids ahead, quickly slash out tails, skid them across fall line in a smear, then a few quick slalom turns, open up again into downhill arcs, the ski tips chatter across the slop chop, pressure the inside edges more, roll the ankles, angulate the body, now the ski instructors will be happy… unweight as I approach the roller and kick the tails up, air over the flats, hang a sharp right toward the exit… (this be a decent description of Olympic Run past Green chair on Whistler)

    You get the picture. Unhinge the mind with this ski. Make it do whatever you want it to. Try new turn shapes and play the entire field…

    ;p

  103. tV March 26th, 2012 12:17 pm

    PS. Think less about weighting/compressing/unweighting and a lot more about slashing and smearing that tail by kicking out the heels and wiggling the hips in shorter turns and driving the knees forward in arcing, bigger turns. The biggest difference here is that *weighting*/unweighting is no longer as important, though you can certainly do so to load the ski up and rebound out of the turn, it is not necessary to turn the ski…

  104. Michael April 6th, 2012 9:57 pm

    I passed through Leavenworth Mountain Sports yesterday and was surprised to two new pair of DPS skis at 60% off ($480). Thats a great deal given they are sold out for the season. I paid full price last fall on one of the last pair. They were a yellow Wailer 112 at 184 length and a blue Yvette112 at 178 length.

  105. Paul April 6th, 2012 11:34 pm

    OMG. It’s Easter. Discounts on the Eucharist? This tests my faith! What’s next? Gallo Hearty Burgundy?

  106. Lou April 7th, 2012 9:49 am

    Indeed, WOW!

  107. Richard April 7th, 2012 9:26 pm

    Demoed both 99′s & 112′s @ 190 back to back. Not ideal test conditions: 5″ of light + wind drift ‘ over icy bumps or relatively firm groomers. I ski an older Watea 101 @ 191in powder and full FIS World Cup race GS or SG ‘s when there is no powder. At 240# I can bend anything.

    Under those conditions the 99 Pures blew me away. I’d have bet money that I’d hate any ski that light with that much tip and tail rise on groomers but I was making clean race turns at reasonable speed by the third edge set. In the mank the lightness and quickness of the 99′s placed them in another league from my Wateas, and I don’t take my GS race skis into that kind of crap.

    On the other hand, under the conditions that I tested the 112′s suck for my weight and style of skiing. I’m confident that as soon as there was real powder they would be the ticket, but If I had only the 99′s and 112′s in my quiver i’m betting that Orange would get five times the use of Yellow.

  108. Lou April 7th, 2012 10:55 pm

    Super review comment Richard, thanks!

  109. Bob Perlmutter April 8th, 2012 9:29 pm

    Richard, I’m not surprised by your comments based on the test conditions and your current choice of skis. The 99 has less pronounced tip and tail rocker and based on my limited experience the 99 felt stiffer in torsion and longitude. it seems likely that the crown for the “daily driver” is about to be handed down to the offspring.

  110. klaus September 11th, 2012 2:50 am

    so Bob – any more comments review on your 112 pures?

    and tV –
    - I demo’d 112 pure 190′s and loved them – I like to let my skis go speedwise with turns from giant arcing to whatever fits best into the particular terrain and possible obstacles…

    - but at 165lbs and based on assorted comments I’m wondering if I should be looking at shorter lengths?

  111. tV September 11th, 2012 12:59 pm

    Klaus, if you rip hard, and love the 190s, ski the 190s. If you found them a tad too long, get 184s. If you want something closer to your height, get 178s. Keep in mind that a shorter length will reduce some top end speed somewhat. Anyway length is relative. There are plenty of short dudes here in Whistler who rip 190s. Obviously, longer length over head height requires more skill. But if you’re skilled, have at it. best, tobias.

  112. tV September 11th, 2012 1:02 pm

    ^^^ Whoops, for some reason I read 165lbs as 165cm in height. At 165lbs, you can ride the 190s no problem. In my books, ski length is less related rider weight than height is, unless you are over 200lbs+ in which case going on short skis would be silly, as you’ll overflex them. But the other way around has tons of tolerance, and 165lbs w/ 190cm skis is not a problem. If you loved the 190s, rip’em.

  113. klaus September 11th, 2012 1:13 pm

    tV – I’m about 165lbs by 6′ or 75kg by 183cm… and shrinking… :)

    like I said, I loved the 190′s – but – I only had ‘em for a day…

    nonetheless, thanks for confirming -

  114. Bob Perlmutter September 11th, 2012 9:57 pm

    Hi Klaus, last winter in CO left a lot to be desired and therefore offered limited opportunities to test any ski in a full range of terrain, conditions and circumstances. Honestly, I don’t have much more to offer beyond what I have already said with the following exceptions. As I think back on last winter my most memorable highlights are the incredible high I got from skiing my DPS Wailer 112 Pure and the unexpected quality skiing last spring on Independence Pass with Lou, Lisa and other friends. I can’t wait to ski the Wailer 112(and hopefully Wailer 99) next season in what I hope will be an average or better season. More to come as soon as possible.

  115. klaus September 12th, 2012 12:43 pm

    thanks Bob – here’s looking forward to more snow this winter!!!

  116. Matt September 19th, 2012 10:35 pm

    Just ordered 184cm wailer hybrid 112′s, does anyone have experience with mounting these with dynaduke swap plates?I plan on using these out touring and in the resorts, and am undecide to mount them with just my dynafits or to try a swap plate such as dynaduke and be able to switch out to my alpine bindings for resort days. Thanks!

  117. Andy September 26th, 2012 1:35 pm

    @Matt: I mounted Sollyfits on my 99s and 112s and LOVE them. Sollys inbounds, dynafits to tour. Super easy home mount as well. Swapping bindings is pretty easy, though better to do at home on a bench than in the parking lot.

  118. Patrick Jackman February 28th, 2013 8:45 pm

    I tried the Wailer 99 Pure 184 cm at Whistler 10 days ago. Unfortunately that was at the end of their dry spell. The 99s were lots of fun on the groomers but I’ll have to wait for a soft snow opportunity.

    I own the Mustagh Ata and Manaslu both 169cm. I was hoping to try the Wailer in a 176 as the 184′s felt like they could be long for me in the trees; I’m 5’7, 135lbs. That length isn’t available to demo at Escape Route or anywhere else that I know of in the BC Lower Mainland.

    If I was going to let go of one pair of Dynafits which should it be in your opinion? Any words of advice about dps lengths are also welcome.

  119. Matt March 2nd, 2013 10:47 pm

    Patrick,
    I am 6’1 170lbs and have been skiing the wailer 112 hybrids in 184cm mounted with dynafits most of the winter. They are most enjoyable and have been no trouble in tight spaces. You should visit the DPS website and call the rep who will provide you with more info that you probably want to know about the skis, as well as pick your brain about the skiing habbits/ style and he will make a reccomendation to you.

  120. klaus March 2nd, 2013 11:42 pm

    alright guys – tV, Bob, and whoever else might care – my update: and fwiw, I’m 6ft, 165lbs…

    just spent a dozen hardcore days roadtripping utah (snowbird, powdermountain) wyoming (jackson, grand targhee) and montana (big sky, whitefish) – epic trip – with my new 112rp’s (190cm, pure) mounted with the salomon guardians (I ended up hanging on to my old faithful fit like a glove atomic b9 widefit boots)

    wow wow wow!!! I fell in love with the skis when I originally demo’d them for a day – but now – there are a couple of other factors (technique – ligety like inside knee leading turns as well as awareness of lateral muscle lines (working with a neuro muscular trainer…) amazing what remains to be discovered after half a century on the slopes) my skiing has gone to a whole new level!! my ski buddies were particularly upset about the groomer performance – no speed limit and snowmobile like tracks from tight fast to full spread giant arcing turns – they couldn’t keep up… :D – and then getting into the full spectrum of conditions – snow and terrain wise, I kept on getting pleasantly surprised by how the skis were totally handling anything I could throw at them… STOKED and champing at the bit to get back into the snow next week!!

  121. Patrick Jackman March 3rd, 2013 12:26 am

    Thanks for the suggestion Matt. You and Klaus are both on 112s and Klaus is railing the groomers with them! Maybe I should give those wider ones a try too. I had a pair of Tonics but decided that I didn’t need more than 100 underfoot and sold them for the Manaslus.

  122. Lou Dawson March 3rd, 2013 6:27 am

    Resistance is futile.

  123. Lou Dawson March 3rd, 2013 10:02 am

    Klaus, to be serious, what skis are you comparing the DPS to? In other words, what were you skiing on before you switched? Thanks, Lou

  124. klaus March 3rd, 2013 5:10 pm

    Lou – most recently, rossi s7′s, some ten or so year old atomic GS skis (blue)… both in the longish range – 190+ iirc.. as well as k2 coombas in the 180′s (first early rise I ever tried 3 or so years ago…) – while the groomer speed surprised my friends, what surprised me most about the 112 pures was the playfulness, ability to nimbly fly through the bumps, trees, changing snow conditions etc… and really the first ski I ever came across that I could let run through cut up crud etc like previously I had only experienced with a long snowboard…(like the 178 and 195 nitro powderguns… )

    but you make a good point Lou – and I have been hardpressed to find comparisons of the 112 pure to the latest crop of do it all skis – for example, solomon rocker2 115, atomic automatic etc…

  125. Lou Dawson March 3rd, 2013 8:27 pm

    Klaus, thanks for letting us know. Glowing reviews are not much use unless people know what the ski is being compared to, or at least what other skis are being skied along with it in a quiver, and so on. Lou

  126. tV March 4th, 2013 6:18 pm

    Thanks Klaus, glad to hear the skis are treating you well.

    Lou, thanks for your wit & patience with this thread. I see we’ve gone from a Religion to the Borg. I believe it was Nietzsche who argued they are more or less the same thing.

    Of note, we’ve gots some new stuff coming down the pipe next year… Pure3 construction, damper yet stronger, brings the Pure to the same level of dampness as our Hybrid series without gaining much weight (a couple of grams) while keeping the same increased torsional and longitudinal stiffness.

    Lotus 138 and Lotus 120 get convex shovels, adopted from the Spoon …

    And the W112RPC — the Charger — sees a full release. For those of you that find the W112RP isn’t enough ski, ie you want a stiffer tail, less rocker for more high end speed, less sidecut, 115mm underfoot, the RPC is your ticket. It’s become my daily driver…

    Last but not least, going forward all Pures are made in the USA. Lots of effort to make that happen.

    Thanks to all who are digging what we do … back to skiing …

  127. Daniel June 6th, 2013 1:31 am

    well, seems I found some source for a Wailer 112 190cm pures…

    6’2″ 180lbs naked. I always ski with a pack.

    question is, do i dare goind for that length?

    as an ex-snowboarder, i slowly moved up from pretty shirt skis. longest so far are my current 181 backlashes. these feel “right” now but have minimal rocker by freeride ski design standards.

    the deal on the 190s is really good.

    appreciate all hints and comments.

  128. klaus June 6th, 2013 1:37 am

    go for it Daniel!! – I’m 165 nekkid and barely 6′ and I love my 190 pures… I think you’ll be surprised how nimble they are, especially with your heft… :-)

  129. Tom Wolfe June 6th, 2013 7:19 am

    I don’t know much about the wailers but 190 seems reasonable to me for a big reverse camber ski and your weight. And if it’s such a good deal you should be able to recover most of your $ if you find them too long.

  130. Lou Dawson June 6th, 2013 7:40 am

    6 foot 2 inches at 180 lbs? 190 cm would be perfect, shorter would be strange… my opinion anyhow… Lou

  131. XXX_er June 6th, 2013 11:35 am

    I had the 184 112′s at 155lbs and IME they ski pretty short

    I put them on a flat surface and slid paper under the ends to see how much ski would be on a packed piste… only 109 cms

  132. Matt June 6th, 2013 11:51 am

    i am 6’2 175 lbs and ski the 185s. PERFECT. Call the rep and speak with him, it was very helpful in deciding what length to get.

  133. Dane June 6th, 2013 1:43 pm

    “And the W112RPC — the Charger — sees a full release. For those of you that find the W112RP isn’t enough ski, ie you want a stiffer tail, less rocker for more high end speed, less sidecut, 115mm underfoot, the RPC is your ticket. It’s become my daily driver…”

    I was on the 112RP for a season + and more recently a host of other similar 110/117mm lwt skis. RPC is one of the best and my daily mid winter.

    http://coldthistle.blogspot.com/2013/04/dps-112-rpc-reviewaka-dps-lotus-115.html

  134. Daniel June 8th, 2013 2:04 pm

    Zzero 4px enough boot for the 190 Wailers?

    What does everybody use with their Wailers?

  135. klaus June 8th, 2013 3:09 pm

    10-12 year old Atomic b9 wide fits – getting ready to switch to fisher vacuum rangers this coming season – on salomon guardians…

  136. John June 9th, 2013 2:36 pm

    Skied them with a set of Maestrales and never had a problem touring. I found that there was a bit of a compromise when I was trying to ski hard inbounds. I push it a fair bit harder in bounds than out.

  137. Dan October 8th, 2013 2:46 pm

    At the risk of reviving an old thread, I was hoping for some help from the experts here, and this thread seems the best place to start. I’ve recently become an acolyte of two religions: DPS and Dynafit. I picked up a pair of the new Pure3 Wailer 112RP’s during the summer (after a demo day last winter blew my mind), and my new Dynafit Radical ST’s are on their way. My old touring setup is G3 Saints with Freerides, and I’m gearing up for a Spring 2014 tour of the Haute Route.

    For those who have toured on the 112′s, what do you think of using them on a multiday trip like this where one might encounter some harder/icy conditions on traverses? Is the width underfoot likely to be an issue? I had thought of just mounting the Radicals onto my Saints, but I feel like I would possibly enjoy the actual skiing a lot more if I was able to use the 112′s. Any thoughts? Thanks in advance for your help.

  138. tV October 8th, 2013 3:43 pm

    ^^ I’ve actually got so used to skiing icy conditions and icy sidehill traverses with rockered skis (ie DPS) that I don’t even remember what it’s like not doing so. In short: (a) you get used to it, and you’ll be just fine and (b) the Pure construction is quite torsionally strong so your edge grip should be fine enough, granted the rocker limits your effective edge, you rarely use tip and tail to their full extent in such situations, mainly what is just underfoot. I also find that in adverse conditions I preferred both rockered tip and tail, as it makes turning in the stuff that much easier.

  139. Lou Dawson October 8th, 2013 3:47 pm

    I agree with TV. I’d add that with wide rockered skis asked to encounter ice, keep a nice sharp tune on the skis. I’m talking about _real_ ice, the kind you sideslip down and barely hang on. The kind you can see pebbles and rocks a few inches under the surface. The kind where you might even need a rope…. but I’m also talking about white ice, the kind that’s a bit more grippy but much safer with sharp edges. Lou

  140. Dan October 8th, 2013 8:01 pm

    Awesome! That’s what I had thought/hoped, but it’s nice to have it confirmed by the gurus here. After reading the reviews on the Binding Freedom plates, I’ll probably go that route to hit some frontcountry days as well (though the most recent blog post might change that ratio a bit :wink )

  141. Eric Rentschler November 1st, 2013 8:25 pm

    Lou,

    First, I should admit up front that I’m old school and haven’t quite caught up to the twin-tips and rocker designs. But I’m ready to join this decade and these skis sound tantalizing.

    My question is, are the twin-tip tails pronounced enough that they get in the way when herring-boning?

    Any

  142. Lou Dawson November 1st, 2013 10:52 pm

    Eric, I’d say not. But it depends on our radical herring-boning technique! (grin)

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