Antarctica Gear — Part 3 — DPS Cassiar 95 Tour 1 Skis

Post by blogger | April 20, 2018      

Cassiar do tour.

Cassiar do tour.

After much use, including Antarctica, my new favorite all round ski is the DPS Cassiar 95 Tour 1.

I first mounted the Cassiars at midpoint and knew I was on a good ski — but they didn’t quite sing for me. Then I moved to +1 (as with all my other DPS) and it was like Renee Fleming hitting a high note. I can now state without equivocation: this ski does it all. With a less pronounced rocker and different tip and tail configuration than the Wailer series, you get more effective edge. This allows you to really lay them over and feel a carve that fully engages in the tip and continues through the entire arc of the ski regardless of turn radius. The edge engagement also allows the ski to build up energy in the turn with great rebound for the next turn.

Due to low snowfall in Aspen during the first part of winter, most of my skiing was relegated to fitness uphill at the areas. So I got a good sense of how the 95 Tour 1 performed on firm and groomed snow. I was impressed with the lack of chatter and dampness for a light, carbon build. As a result the ski/snow contact was superb which goes hand in hand with the above comments about effective edge and clean arc. I found myself approaching speeds typically reserved for alpine skis. I ventured into some bumps with some relatively soft, chunky snow and found the 95 Tour 1 tracked with confidence and was very directional in nature.

My first experience with corn or funky conditions was in Antarctica and the 95 Tour 1 was as predictable then as on the groomers. They proved to be as smooth as the corn snow and unflappable in the weirdest junk (and believe me, junk snow in Antarctica can get weird). It wasn’t until I returned to Aspen and the snow began to fall with some consistency that I got to run them in some powder. If they didn’t perform in powder than everything above would be somewhat for naught. After all, skiing powder is my job.

My fears were dispelled from turn number one and by turn three I popped a little air off a rock, landed and kept right on going as if I had been on these skis my whole life. While certainly not as purely playful as the Wailer series, the 95 Tour 1 lays down the same clean arc in soft snow as on the firm and corn. I then realized that I missed the more technical nature of skiing that the Cassiar rewards. I am seriously thinking I need to get another pair right away to stash in the closet before DPS deems they have run their course. On a quick note, I have the 95 Tour 1 mounted with the Salomon MTN (Atomic Backland) tech binding binding which Lou and I have already glowingly reviewed. For this trip I relied on them all day, every day with no recourse. Both the skis and bindings were flawless.

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15 Responses to “Antarctica Gear — Part 3 — DPS Cassiar 95 Tour 1 Skis”

  1. Scott April 20th, 2018 1:40 pm

    Glad to hear the Wildsnow take on the Cassiars is positive. I chose the Wailer 106 as a powder ski partially because of Perl’s thumbs-up review and now considering adding the Cassiars as a daily driver for next year. Bob, could you explain any more about the +1 mount being the sweet spot for Drake’s creations? Would be interested in experimenting.

  2. VT skier April 20th, 2018 2:02 pm

    What length are you skiing the Cassiar 95 tour 1? How much does the flat ski weigh?
    I really like my Wailer 99 Pures (176 cm) as a short, backcountry ski, mounted with ION LTs Probably a heavier ski, but good on firm snow, windslab and (occasional) ice.
    I wish they made these skis in a 180 cm length. 🙂

  3. Bob Perlmutter April 20th, 2018 6:00 pm

    Hi All, I am skiing the 95 Tour1 in a 178cm. I am 5’8” on a tall day and weigh 132lbs. That’s a few cm’s longer than my typical alpine skis but because they are so lightweight they are very manuverable and easy to initiate a turn. I actually prefer the longer length to provide stability in a lighter ski. The catalog weight is 1375gr@178cm.
    The +1 mount point vs. midpoint makes for much better initiation and entry into the turn. The tip engages with a very positive feel that puts the ski on edge early in the turn and stays that way throughout the turn. I feel I have much better control over the edge angle and turn radius and can make minute adjustments at will. Simply put, +1 puts me in the drivers seat vs. the backseat and no one likes a backseat driver.
    The Tour1 106 shares a similar tip and tail shape and profile to the Tour1 95 so if you like one then you will probably like the other. Very different from the Wailer 112 and 99 which are more surfy. The Pure series has more torsion than the Tour series hence the comments about edge hold on windslab and other firm surfaces. Apples to apples, Tour1 99 vs. Tour1 95, the 95 will provide better edge hold. All things considered(no, this is not NPR) I have not skied a single day on my Tour1 87(which I have really enjoyed) since getting the Tour1 95 and far fewer days on my Tour1 106. You’ll still have to pull my quiver out of my cold, dead hands even if I don’t need them all anymore. I start to twitch if I have too few skis

  4. Eric Steig April 21st, 2018 4:16 pm

    Do those DPS “tour” skis STILL come without a climbing-skin notch in the tail?

  5. Andrei April 21st, 2018 4:47 pm

    I would love to see a head to head with a Voile V6. I skied the Wailer 106 Tour 1 last year and own a V6 and here in the Wasatch, V6 is simply sublime. 106, as the Cassiar, is likely lighter, but at twice the price I wonder if it’s worth the hype…

  6. Pete Anzalone April 22nd, 2018 6:50 pm

    Beautiful ski and nice review but at over $1000 retail, it better, without question, deliver for everyone the way it has for Bob.

  7. Dan April 23rd, 2018 1:30 am

    @ Pete: Skialper reckons they’re more of a middle of the pack ski – nothing special. Salomon Mtn Ex 95 is a better ski at half the price, without even mentioning offerings from Atomic, Blizzard, Movement, etc…

  8. Yellow Snow April 23rd, 2018 9:54 am

    Dan, if price is the only consideration then, yes. There are dramatic differences in how those skis perform vs one another and who they are made for. Generally speaking, the skier who likes the Salomon MTN Explore 95 won’t be excited about the DPS. The DPS is a great ski for a skier who prefers a ski that makes the experience a little easier and makes challenging snow a bit less challenging and scary. There is a HUGE market for that kind of ski and DPS has nailed it, but it comes at a cost. That cost also comes with a notable durability. I can’t recall seeing a DPS ski having a warranty issue or even much damage on rocks, but I’ve seen plenty from most every other brand.

    Disclaimer: I don’t ski and don’t care for DPS skis. Just being honest about the fact that they definitely are answering a demand and are quality skis that somewhat offset the price.

  9. Hiker Box April 23rd, 2018 2:17 pm

    DPS = Dollars Per Snowflake?

  10. Bob Perlmutter April 23rd, 2018 8:48 pm

    Hi All, I have skied all of the above mentioned skis and more including the Voile V6, Salomon Mtn. Explore 95, Blizzard Zero G 95, Volkl BMT 94, Atomic Backland 95, Dynastar Mythic 97, Movement something or other 88 underfoot and I’m sure some others I have forgotten. For starters, the Voile V6 is a five point geometry 99mm ski more akin to the Wailer 99. I am not going to compare every ski except to say that some of the above skis are also very good, some decent and some forgetable. More important is to recognize that ski preference is very subjective. By virtue of proclaiming one ski better than another only means that you like it better than the other but by no means is that an absolute. Nor does saying that a particular ski is my favorite mean that all the others are junk. I just know when I have found something that works well for me and why. Hopefully my impressions help others regarding a specific ski or extrapolate that info to best lead them in another direction. It’s the old one man’s trash is another’s treasure and different strokes for different folks. The great thing is the search for the Holy Grail of skis always has been and always will be a moving target as time and technology march on. Enjoy the ride.

  11. neil tilley April 25th, 2018 1:16 pm

    would the tecton be a good fit for the tour1 cassiar

  12. Lou Dawson 2 April 25th, 2018 3:24 pm

    Hi Neil, sure, I don’t see why not, though I’d wait for the 2018-2019 version at this point. No reason to early adopt now that the season is nearly over, or are you headed south? Lou

  13. neil tilley April 25th, 2018 3:40 pm

    “Heading south” would be nice , but alas it’s mtb for next few months !!
    After a 7day trip to lyngen alps this year , I’m looking for a light set up for more of the same next year , the Cassiar are high on my list , but after a slow speed crash that left me a bit worse for wear , I’m going to sacrifice a bit of weight gain for a better chance of release , have a pair of salomon shifts / qst 99’s sorted for lift served and shorter tours next year , but after 8500+ m in six days I want to spec a lighter setup
    To save my old legs for the downs
    Cassiar / tecton/ Scott super Guides is looking like a good possibility
    What changes if any do you foresee for next season ??

  14. Chris B May 3rd, 2018 9:13 am

    Perl, have you skied the Foundation version of the Cassair 95? I have talked to various people who said they prefer the Foundation iterations over the Alchemist/Pure when it comes to a front side ski. I am looking for a ski of this dimension that can hold an edge well on harder snow but still handle some heavy Spring funky powder.

  15. Bob Perlmutter May 5th, 2018 11:48 am

    Hi Chris, I had a pair of Cassiar Foundation 95 last season for front side skiing. I never really felt at home on them. As an interesting sidenote, one of the favorite skis of both myself and a long time Aspen Mt. instructor was the Hybrid Wailer 99. He bought a Foundation Wailer 99 to replace them and felt the same as I did about the Foundation series. I ended up on an Alchemist Cassiar 85 and he settled on the Alchemist Wailer 99 and we are both very happy.
    The Alchemist are a noticable improvement from the Pure generation and should not be lumped together. The Alchemist are smoother, damper, more supple with a cleaner arc while maintaining the reactive nature of an all carbon build.
    I have the DPS 18/19 catalog and advise waiting as the entire Cassiar line is under going a complete redesign in the Alchemist and Foundation series. Looks very exciting. The Cassiar 95 Tour1remains unchanged. Hope this helps.

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