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.”
(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.)