Dreamtime LT Powderworks — DPS Fantasy is Life


Post by WildSnow.com blogger | February 28, 2017      
The dream.

Did I really need this ski in my quiver? No, but so what. Some unseen force took over and before you could say, “blower dude,” all of a sudden a box appeared at my door.

Late summer every year, DPS fuels countless ski dreams with their annual Dreamtime offering. Part of Dreamtime is a limited edition Powderworks ski that offers a glimpse into the fantasy minds of the ski engineers tinkering and toiling somewhere in the depths of their Utah factory. Some brands call this their “race room” while others call it their “skunkworks”. Perhaps at DPS, it’s the “dream room.”

This year DPS came up with their Powderworks Lotus 124 Tour1. In their words: “…What if you want to both tour AND surf deep pow in one high-performance package? Enter a very special Powderworks edition of the Lotus 124 – the best of both worlds…”

Kingpins fit the bill.

Kingpins fit the bill.

I mounted my 178cm (also available in a 185cm) with Kingpins at the recommended boot position, thinking I could use them for both mid winter powder missions and guiding cat skiing. Until recently I have only pressed them into service for a handful of days on the cat. My initial impressions were good but I wasn’t overwhelmed. The tips were sensitive, which didn’t allow me to drive the ski like I wanted. I had to force an upright stance to avoid excessive tip pressure. While silky smooth, I felt my dreamtime bubble had been burst. How could a ski with 149/124/136 dimensions not float as good as my trusty Wailer 112?

As reluctant as I was to drill a second set of holes in a brand new ski, something needed to be done. Drill, baby, drill! Sarah Palin would have been proud as I moved the bindings back 1cm in search of nirvana.

Who knew that true happiness was only 1cm away? Next thing I knew my submarines were a lithe, nimble and silky powder slashing platform of pleasure. They prefer my normal stance, and work on or off edge at will. Their smooth rebound requires only the lightest movement to shift them underfoot into the next turn.

Note on dimensions: Despite the width and longer turn radius (23mm) compared to the Wailer 112, the Lotus 124 is not relegated to only high speed, long radius turns. The ability to regulate turn radius is easy and welcome. Nor are they relegated only to the deepest of days. I have found they are fun even in boot-top conditions.

Finally the other day, I grabbed the “Loti” for a sidecountry tour. Thinking I was going to be hauling around a bunch of extra weight, things turned out better than I expected. Lotus 124 Tour1 comes in at a surprising 1525 grams per ski in the 178cm — that’s light for a full-on plank this wide. Due no doubt from the Tour1 construction.

…The run is a beautiful open face dropping into tree lines. I push off into a foot of perfect powder, carrying more speed than usual — yet totally comfortable given the wider platform of the Lotus. I point it straight for a moment, crossing an old track, then throw the skis sideways to slow it down. A few turns later, I’m doing the same as the trees close in, able to whip off tighter turns before hitting the bottom. I’m exhilarated from the rush of a “perfect run,” and more than pleased knowing I can still push my personal boundaries of speed and flow — on a run I have skied a thousand times before.

Tail rocker profile.

Tail rocker profile.

Tip rocker profile.

Tip rocker profile.

(Guest blogger Bob Perlmutter and his family live in Aspen where Bob manages Aspen Mountain Powder Tours, a snowcat skiing operation. Bob has sought adventure skiing over many decades, in the nearby Elk Mountains as well as locales around the world. In Bob’s work he has the opportunity to evaluate many skis, some are provided on loan, while some are complementary due to his influential position in the industry. His reviews here at WildSnow.com are unrelated to what type of supply he receives. Loaner or comp, all skis get the same treatment. Meaning if they’re good they’ll probably get reviewed.)

Comments

39 Responses to “Dreamtime LT Powderworks — DPS Fantasy is Life”

  1. harpo February 28th, 2017 8:56 am

    Bob, how big are you?

  2. jay February 28th, 2017 9:31 am

    Seconded. Every blogger who talks about gear needs to have, at a minimum, their height and weight listed in their about me section.

  3. Lou Dawson 2 February 28th, 2017 10:17 am

    Thanks guys, I’ll gradually implement that, feel free to remind us. Lou

  4. Eric steig February 28th, 2017 10:43 am

    I do not get why, if light weight is part of the appeal of a ski like this, you would put Kingpins on them.

  5. Rick February 28th, 2017 10:56 am

    Bob,
    your descriptive last paragraph summed up my ride yesterday on my 184 Mythics 😉

    Speaking of Mythics, if you still have yours, have you compared the length of the 177 Mythic to the 178 DPS ?

  6. harpo February 28th, 2017 11:11 am

    I have a general powder ski question. Like Bob, I had to move my mounting point back on fat skis for better float in deep snow on a pair of 186cm skis (Praxis Wootest). A few years later, I upgraded on Keith’s recommendation to 196 (Wootest and Protest) yeah, I am a gear whore). The Woos are mounted with Binding Freedom plates that let me move my tech toes backwards and forwards, and the Protests are mounted with demo alpine bindings because so many people end up moving the mount point back on these skis (the BF plates also reduce the ramp on my Plum Guide). But with the extra 10cm in length, giving me more ski in front of my boot as well as more float in general, I have been loving these skis mounted at 0. For reference, my spring and hard snow skis are about 180’s.

    So it seems to me that with many powder skis with modern designs, to get adequate float, you can either buy a shorter ski and move the mounting point back or buy a longer ski and keep the mounting point at 0. For a resort ski, the obvious answer is go longer, get more float, and enjoy the maneuverability of modern ski designs in a longer length. In a BC ski, there are always advantages to having a shorter ski on the one hand, but the whole point of a powder ski is more float, and the skis might perform better if they are mounted as designed.

    In my case I am happy with the longer length in both the BC and at resorts, but we have been getting a lot of snow in Tahoe lately, and I don’t have to maneuver to much in chutes that are narrower than my ski length, and the extra half pound is not a concern, so YMMV.

  7. harpo February 28th, 2017 11:28 am

    Also, would you need to mount your mounting point with a heavier pack? With the same ski and the same mount point, at the resort with little on my back I can ski upright but in the BC with my air bag pack and other gear I end up hunching forward a little.

  8. Lou Dawson 2 February 28th, 2017 11:36 am

    Another point. Some of this mounting position performance depends on the ramp angle of the boot and binding. Change the ramp, and you can easily change how your mounting position feels in terms of tip pressure etc. But in my experience there is no rule to it, sometimes less ramp, sometimes more… it requires experimentation using shims and so forth.

    I’m not as good a skier as I used to be, due to ortho issues and so forth, but I’m still a technical skier and can feel small differences, In my case I like keeping my binding-boot ramp the same, that way I can play around with mount position and not get confused. Bob might very well have solved his problem with a ramp change, but simply back mounting the bindings is a good easy solution that usually works when you feel like you’ve got too much tip pressure, or the skis are too quick and aggressive in situations such as breakable crust.

    Lou

  9. BillyGoat February 28th, 2017 11:52 am

    Eric,
    Read the post: mixed use Pow touring and Cat skiing.

    Also, the kingpin’s alpine like heel makes it exponentially better for skiing anything over 110 underfoot. When you are dealing with skis over 120mm wide, the extra weight and drag of your skins makes the difference between a Kingpin and Radical Speed a bit of an afterthought, especially when it also brings such an increase in performance.

  10. benwls February 28th, 2017 12:10 pm

    I disagree about Kingpins being much of an advantage on a powder ski. I have skied both Kingpins and Speed Radicals in all manner of conditions recently, both in and our of bounds. On hard snow, yes, Kingpins are much better- damper and much less vague in the heel. But in the soft snow one would hope to see cat skiing, the advantage is basically nonexistant unless you’re skiing hard enough to potential break heel pins.

    As far as wider bindings being better on wider skis, I call BS unless you’re ripping out toe pieces.

  11. Andy Carey February 28th, 2017 12:40 pm

    Interesting discussion. Another factor is forward lean. I recently bought a pair of Dalbellow Panterra 120s for my lift served skiing. I had been using Zzeus (a TGR rated flex of 85-90). The Panterra allows quick adjustment of flex (100-120), ramp angle, and a minor adjustment of forward lean by raising the rear spoiler. I tried them on my 184 Kastle LX 92s and felt like I was prone to be in the rear seat. I was replacing my Kastles with 174 Fischer Motive 95 ti; the boots felt more natural and intuitive on this ski. I found the 120 to be a much stffer flex than my Mercuries (TRR reated 120), so I dialed it back to 100. And I replaced the powers strap with a Booster Strap than made for a nice progressive flex and great control on everything from perfect groomed to my off-piste favorilte of dense trees and gullies. All this to get to the point: Panterra set the base forward lean at 14 degrees because they believe a more upright stance is appropriate with modern rockered ski designs. My Kastles are reasonably stiff traditional camber skis. The Fischers are modern (rocker and shorter). And it seems obvious that is I wanted to use the Panterra on my Kastles I should raise either the rear spoiler or the ramp angle or both or go to the extent of remounting the bindings.

  12. harpo February 28th, 2017 1:27 pm

    Interesting discussion. The plates on my Woo’s are B&D shift plates, not binding freedom. Also, I ski both my TLT6P and Mercuries in the more upright forward lean.

  13. TwoCentsCharlie February 28th, 2017 1:42 pm

    I’d agree. I’d never consider putting Kingpins on such a light ski. I’ve done a lot of back to back testing of the various bindings (on the same ski), and the only real advantage of the Kingpin is better power transfer when finishing a carved turn. Who cares about this if your in powder? Especially if it costs you 600 grams per foot! If you want something safer, go with the Vipec. Otherwise, this ski screams for a Speed Superlite.

    Also, if you’re going cat-skiing, why in the world would you pick a short lightweight ski? Seems like a total waste of your cat-skiing dollars. I’d much rather grab some Lotus 138s. Or pretty much anything 110+ that isn’t super short and super light. Around here, you can find a better ski for cat-skiing for about $150 on craigslist. For example, I just did a quick search – Fatypus I-Rock in a 186cm for $150.

  14. Kristian February 28th, 2017 2:00 pm

    Lot’s to this. But often ignored is that many have long legs with short torsos and vice versa. A long torso’d person might need to mount back to get their center of gravity aligned. Body build could also come into play. Women usually have a much lower center of gravity.

  15. Dan February 28th, 2017 2:08 pm

    I’ve seen Kingpins on Vapor Sveltes…good luck to people who do that. I’ll happily ski more terrain/laps on my lighter gear.

    I still think it will take some time for people to realise that the Kingpin is more of a marketing success story than a game changing AT binding (the forthcoming Tecton will be the game changer, I reckon).

    If you want elasticity, you’re better off on a Beast 14 (thanks to the new toe). If you want better release characteristics, a Vipec is better than a Kingpin. Hell, if you want better power transfer, just buy one of the ATK bindings that can fit the free ride spacer (which weighs all of 40g). Basically, whatever reason you have for using a Kingpin, you can get a binding that does that job better at a smaller weight penalty.

    In the end, Bob probably sells Kingpins, and has to show off the gear he is hawking. And I will continue to enjoy seeing folks on heavy gear in the BC, as it reassures me that there will always be areas for me that are less traveled as a result.

  16. Lou Dawson 2 February 28th, 2017 3:39 pm

    Dan, I consider your guessing about our authors being unethical or compromised a personal attack. I’ll let your comment stand, but please refrain from snarking. As for Bob’s use of Kingpins, first, what makes you think he sells ski bindings? Second, I know for a fact where those bindings are sourced, they are Wild Snow demos provided by Marker for testing and review, which Bob is using. Third, for mixed use, cat skiing and backcountry, Kingpins are fine and the solid feel of the heel is noticeable.

    Sure, we usually pick lighter stuff, but that doesn’t make Kingpin wrong.

    Lou

  17. Dan February 28th, 2017 4:16 pm

    My apologies Bob (and Lou). Did not mean for that to come out the way it did – thought I saw someplace that Bob runs a retail thing, but seems I have that confused with someone else.

  18. Jeff February 28th, 2017 4:27 pm

    Bob, thanks for the review. I demoed the P3 version of the Lotus 124 this season and was wondering how it compared to the Tour 1. The Tour 1 lacks tip spooning and is substantially lighter. Have you had a chance to try both versions?

  19. Kristian February 28th, 2017 4:35 pm

    I avoid the TGR website because of the extreme unpleasant flaming blood sport…

    On mounting point, I wonder why Skis are not treated more like bicycle fits, particularly Time Trial Bikes. Seems like there should be a computation based on a person’s leg inseam length, overall height, and where their center of balance is. Foot length can greatly vary. Any thoughts?

  20. Lou Dawson 2 February 28th, 2017 4:39 pm

    Kristian, rest assured, we won’t turn this into a blood sport (smile). TGR makes good money letting that happen (which I respect as a publisher), but it’s not our business model, to say the least. We could probably do well for a while if we did the blood sport thing, but then we’d just fade into the woodwork — without enough dough to retire to the Caymans.

    Dan, thanks the apology and understanding.

    We do like to be different here…

    Lou

  21. Eric Steig February 28th, 2017 5:18 pm

    Since I’m the one that started it, I should make clear that my Kingpin question wasn’t snark, but just a sincere, “Huh?” I have not tried them.

  22. Lou Dawson 2 February 28th, 2017 6:14 pm

    Didn’t look snarky to me… good question for Bob, as he does know what he’s doing… Lou

  23. Hafjell February 28th, 2017 6:38 pm

    Kristian, please elaborate? I’m very tall but with a “swimmer’s torso.” Have always struggled with the consensus mounts. Maybe your reasoning is why. What else do you know?

  24. Kristian February 28th, 2017 7:23 pm

    I have skied with Eric Steig – 3 pin, Indian Peaks, previous century.

    Hafjell, what I am saying is that I do not know. But I have to wonder if there needs to be more precision about where to put people on skis and not have it all come down to just how long their feet are. Imagine a tall person with short feet or a short person with long feet.

    Here’s a possible suggestion, put the person in their boots, have them “bend zee knees”, and run a plumb line from their knee cap to the the ski. Similar to what is done during a bicycle fit.

    The leveraging of the upper torso bent forward seems even more important to me. So what I am asking is – Do competition ski professionals intentionally factor in these anatomy characteristics? Or should someone maybe study this for their sport’s thesis?

  25. Bob Perlmutter February 28th, 2017 9:27 pm

    Hi All, wow, where to begin. Let’s start with the easy one. I am just shy of 60 yrs.old (how did that happen?), I have been skiing for a little over the past 50 yrs, 40 of them professionally. I am 5’7″ and 130lbs. Eric, to reiterate, these are intended for mixed use and not dedicated solely to touring. Also, any touring on this rig will likely be sidecountry. I have numerous other AT rigs ranging from 87mm-106mm with Dynafit, G3 and Vipec all intended for longer tours and more extended outings. Plus, I have never used a Kingpin prior and was curious to check them out. Rick, I will look at the size comparison.
    Jeff, yes, I have skied the P3 version as well in the same length. My initial impression was similar regarding being very sensitive to tip pressure. Also, the heavier construction felt a bit clunky. I can’t say that I notice any real difference between spoon or not. I honestly don’t recall if I mounted the P3 at the recommended point or back. Regardless, I should have experimented with moving the binding back but didn’t. That said, I ended up giving the P3 to an Argentine peer who guides off piste in Las Lenas all summer. He thought they were perfect for his needs. What do I know?
    Two Cents, why short and lightweight skis for cat skiing? Probably because I am short and light weight. Skis that are too long and/or too stiff for me are too hard to bend in reverse camber. I guess it’s a good thing the past 33yrs of cat skiing haven’t cost me a dime.
    I would be curious to find out what is done at the World Cup level to determine mounting point for elite athletes. I know some people who can answer that question and will report back.
    In the end, this was just intended to make people aware of a niche ski that has brought a smile to my face every time I use them(since remount) and is helping keep skiing fresh and fun 50 yrs. down the road. This was never intended to be a Phd dissertation, a schlong swinging session or to discover who consumes way too much coffee before hitting the keyboard. But, I put myself out there so bring it on and thanks for keeping me on my toes.

  26. See February 28th, 2017 10:26 pm

    Anyone care to explain what’s up with tip taper/“paddle tech?”

  27. Bruno Schull February 28th, 2017 11:20 pm

    It’s an wonderful to read your posts and replies Bob. Totally apart from the gear, I love what you were shooting for here; fresh sensations and smiles after 50 years of skiing? That’s the whole point, I guess!

  28. Thomas February 28th, 2017 11:25 pm

    I have these super fun skis mounted w speed turns 1cm forward. Went forward because of my experience w the 112 tours needing a forward mount. Not sure I should have done this but have been happy with them since the first turn. I use the new BD skins and the climbing weight of this setup is incredibly lite. I got to really open them up last week in a foot of fresh and loved how stable they are. Pretty much felt like cheating.

  29. Lou Dawson 2 March 1st, 2017 7:25 am

    With most skis these days, the “factory recommended” mount position that’s marked on the ski is simply the narrowest place on the sidecut, possibly adjusted forward or back a centimeter or so based on various individuals testing pre-production iterations of the ski. I’ll ask around about how elite racer position is determined. Lou

  30. Fredrik Sorlien March 1st, 2017 9:10 am

    I broke my pair of Lotus 124 Tour1 in St. Anton last week :\ 15 cm of delamination and crack under the foot. Sucks when i dident even have time yet to go on a real ski touring trip with em yet. Guess thats life.

  31. Truax March 1st, 2017 9:42 am

    My partner also experienced the same thing with brand new W99 Tour1. Delam and separation underfoot with a minor impact to buried stump at low speed. DPS refused to do anything with warranty. We’ve both skied on a ton of LW skis and have not seen anything like this happen before with other brands. He’s bummed, and neither of us will be purchasing any more DPS in the future. DPS, I hope you’re listening.

  32. Jeff March 1st, 2017 1:33 pm

    Fredrik and Truax, what’s your height/weight? I’m 5’10” 175lb w/o a pack on, and my Denalis broke this season. I’d hate to get a pair of these Tour 1’s and end up in a similar situation.

  33. Fredrik March 1st, 2017 3:03 pm

    Jeff: same height and 170lb

  34. Jim Egnew March 2nd, 2017 9:13 pm

    You know, skiing is just plain fun. Don’t let the techie stuff get in the way.

  35. Daniel March 4th, 2017 1:26 am

    Jeff, it would be easy to just answer, get something more substantial then 🙂
    That said, I had a scott crusair delam badly, not at all an unsubstantial ski, but too much tech and layers in there maybe. Easy to find DPS delam reports, too. I have a Wailer myself, but its a stupid hybrid. Why not look for something 200-300g heavier and then cut weight at bindings, if any. Gear is much lighter than a few years ago anyway. The stuff that I hauled through multi day glacier tours in the early 2010s is now beef gear.

  36. Lou Dawson 2 March 4th, 2017 8:10 am

    While I don’t follow my own advice, I do generally tell people to save weight with the binding, somewhat with the boot, perhaps a bit by not using too long of a ski, but beyond that use a ski that does the job you want. I wish I followed my own advice more often (smile). Lou

  37. See March 4th, 2017 9:02 am

    I’m not sure what, if anything, it means, but since I took the time to look it up, I figured I’d share the following: Dynafit Chugach weighs 2000 g (188 length), Blizzard Zero G 108 weighs 1750 g (185 length), BD Helio 105 weighs 1550 g (185 length), Dynafit Denali weighs 1400 g (184 length). For all I know, they could be made in the same shop.

  38. Buck March 4th, 2017 10:59 am

    Truax – I’m curious, can you point me to a list of ski brands with a warranty policy that covers impacts to buried stumps?

    If I smacked something hidden under the snow, my first instinct wouldn’t be to ask the manufacturer for warranty consideration. Doesn’t matter if the ski was new or not. I understand potential defects in workmanship, but as soon as impact to a stump, rock, boulder, tree, fallen serac, ditch, fence, creek, river, or wolverine is involved – nope, that’s my fault.

    “He’s bummed, and neither of us will be purchasing any more DPS in the future. DPS, I hope you’re listening.”

    If I were the manufacturer, I wouldn’t be shedding any tears – I’d be happy to let some other poor saps deal with the sense of entitlement that demands redress for user error.

  39. Truax March 5th, 2017 10:04 am

    @Buck

    Let me reiterate and clarify.

    Having skied on dozens of LW and other skis over the last decade, including Hybrid and Pure construction DPS, I have not seen such an issue as this one with the Tour1 delam. This was merely bumping a log, not drilling anything. I and ski partners have hit much worse with higher forces at play without such drastic results. Year in and year out. Having further looked around, this is not an isolated case with Tour1 delams. Hence, his and others’ displeasure.

    DPS charges quite the premium (IMO) to not stand behind what seems to a known issue with this particular construction. Just as some may be hesitant to purchase Denalis based on field reports, I’m sure others would like to know about potentially suspect build quality in a $1000 ski.

    I don’t expect DPS to shed a tear. They’ve got their fan base and I personally have loved my W99 Pures. Just passing along feedback to the collective so that they can tally accordingly.

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