My Three Favorite Days

Post by blogger | July 11, 2013      
Orwellian or core?

Orwellian or core?

My three favorite days of the year: Christmas, Mother’s Day, and that fine afternoon when Mr. postman delivers the new DPS catalog.

One must keep their sense of humor about the DPS skis campaign for world domination. After all, if you took it seriously you’d start wondering if they were building surveillance devices into their skis with NSA help. Indeed, those spy cams in your ski tips put Facebook data mining to shame.

In reality, DPS continues to accomplish that ever elusive mix of “core” and outright marketing hype that PR savants have pursued since the Egyptians made papyrus “stickers” to brand their products.

“We love print as a medium” Stephen Drake states in outright defiance of my new smartphone. But he and the folks at DPS pull it off with a catalog that defies the fanatical de-cluttering we’re doing here at WildSnow HQ. It’ll kick around for a while, what with a touching eulogy to Robert Liberman, who died in an AK avalanche last winter, along with frame worthy photo reproductions that inspire one to another pre-season workout.

Oh, and lest I forgot the essentials you _will_ find the usual sermon from Pastor Drake. This time he of course writes from Hokkaido, the new Haines? The subject is “snow surfing” but he might as well have titled the essay “soul surfer.” A mystical interpretation of a worldly experience is always fun to read — though one does have to be careful to note that some day perfect skis and perfect snow that form the “perfect unison” will be but a memory as you find out what really lies beyond the veil.

But in the meantime, as Stephan writes: “…if those ingredients line up, your life changes and you find yourself…living in tents or vehicles, working strange jobs, or on a whim buy tickets to faraway places to chase big, slow churning blobs of color on a weather map…”

I’m not sure that working strange jobs is necessary to the equation (been there, done it, perhaps still doing it), but I’ll claim that living in tents or vehicles a reliable mark of adventure ahead. Yet remember, when you’re sleeping in a snowcave in Hokkaido and reading your ramen stained DPS catalog for the fortieth time, don’t let the blur of back-to-back perfect surf days make you forget Christmas and Mother’s Day.

(And yes, acolytes striving for that transformational “DPSperience” in the white room, The Spoon is in there. “…A ski that requires very little up-and-down movement in deep powder…incredibly fast slarving.”)


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12 Responses to “My Three Favorite Days”

  1. John July 11th, 2013 10:14 am

    As a back country skier that regularly skis the Lotus 120, I find it to be a very versitile ski. I have 184s and 190s mounted with Dynafit FT-12s. I use them for powder touring (1.8kg for a 190) and heli skiing. Even though the the turn radius is 43m and 46m, they will turn on a dime. One unique characteristic is the way the shovel will slide sideways at any speed for a unique turn initiation.This allows for the surfy slarvy feel of the ski. The 184 works great in trees and the 190 for stomping air on pillow runs. Both handle speed very well, as well as sudden transitions. I skied for a week in Canada with a guy on spoons. His comment about the difference between the Spoon and Lotus was that the ease of rotation allowed for even easier initiation of sliding the ski without loss of directional initiation.

    The 2014 Lotus skis also have a spoon nose.

    I am not normally a fan of this style of skiing, as I still prefer a tradional camber ski, but they really work well and are light enough for skinning.

  2. sean July 11th, 2013 1:58 pm

    Do anyone else think he should put someone else on the catalog cover? Seems rather vain to always be in the ads and all over the catalog. Clean looking boards though.

  3. Lou Dawson July 11th, 2013 2:32 pm

    Well, the least he could do is not snowplow! (grin)

    As for vanity, I think it’s more about showing how involved Drake is in the process of making a good ski. It’s a different way of marketing, way more personal, but it seems to work.


  4. David B July 11th, 2013 4:47 pm

    I’d love to see the owner or CEO of every ski company smashing lines like Stephan does all over the world.

    What a great world that would be and imagine the surge in design.
    One thing Stephan is not and that is vain.

    As for the skis, well I loved ’em so much I now work for the company. A little bit like the poor man’s Remington.

    I ski the past 13 northern hemi seasons in Japan. I have skied many skis there over the seasons and some were diamonds others rocks. The change in my deep snow experience once I got on a DPS platform was marked. I am just having so much fun on them. At speed in any depth I can confidently put them anywhere I want. I’ve never skied tight trees so fast with so much confidence.

    Each model has it’s own character but the stoke is the same. Skiing is fun again and not just a job.

    That last line sounded a bit stale and bitter didn’t it. You get my drift, best job in the world.

    Cheers all.

  5. XXX_er July 12th, 2013 10:10 am

    2 seasons ago I got in on the 1st local group buy of DPS which means hand buddy the plastic, cha-ching and wait 2 months for the skis to show up. The carbon 112 is the only ski I ever owned where a random stranger came up to me to ask are they “are they worth it?”

    I usually buy skis used or on sale, so DPS seem to have that stoke/mystique going pretty good on all of us… me included

    yeah its a good ski and I got good service from DPS

  6. Mark W July 12th, 2013 6:12 pm

    The Spoon is endlessly intriguing to me. Would love to test ’em out.

  7. gerard July 13th, 2013 4:07 am

    as this is bc blog, to all the dps army out there, whats your binding choice, marker or dynafit ?? I dont see any dynafits in the catalogue.

  8. Frame July 13th, 2013 6:28 am

    I was trying to open the catalogue online at work, but it was taking too long, so I had to do some work… The DPS website though had some specials on, including marker, dynafit, plum and tele binders.

  9. Lou Dawson July 13th, 2013 6:54 am

    Not that any of you guys need it (though perhaps your buddy with the DPS URL tattooed on his forehead is not around for reference), but apologies for forgetting to put a link to DPS in the blog post. I just added, it’s of course Lou

  10. Lou Dawson July 13th, 2013 6:58 am

    Gerard, that would simply depend on type of use. Dynafit and other tech bindings work well for hundreds of thousands of skiers all over the world, but the convenience of step-in offered by bindings such as Marker can not be denied, and they do have better shock absorption in the vertical release mode. Thing is, if you are human powered, once you ski with tech bindings it is very hard to go back. So beware of corrupting your otherwise balanced worldview (grin). Lou

  11. Rod July 13th, 2013 9:28 am

    Amazing what good pr dps has. I tried the 99 and 112, ski ok in untracked, not good in any other conditions.
    But I dont understand what people mean by”it’s easy to slarve”
    Every fat ski is easy to slarve and pivot in powder otherwise.
    I ski katanas in the resort and even though they are stiff and not much splay, I can still put them sideways in powder, or make any shape turns I want.

  12. Kevin Smith July 15th, 2013 8:26 am

    Gotta go with the pr dps. I also ski katanas and I do not have a problem with them either.

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