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Exclusive First Look: 2012-2013 DPS Wailer 112RPC

First Look

DPS Wailer 112 RPC, Blister Gear Review

DPS Wailer 112RPC

Ski: 2012-2013 Wailer 112RPC, 192cm

Dimensions (mm): 144-115-127

Actual Tip-to-Tail Length (straight tape pull): 190.82cm

Sidecut Radius: 20-23 meters

BLISTER’s Measured Weight Per Ski: 2,004 grams & 1,961 grams

Boots/Bindings: Nordica Firearrow F1 / Marker Jester Demo (DIN at 10)

Mount Location: +1.5 centimeters from recommended line

Test Location: Las Leñas Ski Resort

Days skied: 4

[Editor’s Note: Unfortunately, we have to place a significant caveat on our initial review of the RPC. Upon returning from South America, we discovered that the RPCs we had with us in Las Leñas were edge high (i.e., the bases were concave), and the base edges were less beveled than they should have been.

According to DPS, here’s what happened:

“The RPCs that were sent with BLISTER to South America were the first pair of skis out of the mold, and there was a 24-hour turn-around time to tune and mount the skis in order to make the trip. The regular DPS factory ski tuner was out of town the day the skis came out of the mold, so DPS took the skis to a local ski shop for edge and base prep. The ski tuner used excess pressure on the feed-wheel, resulting in the ski being slightly edge-high (railed).”

Obviously, no one is happy about this. But BLISTER’s policy is to review the product as we receive it from the manufacturer, and we did. And we can’t say exactly how much these issues affected or compromised the ski’s performance, but it is clear that the RPC will perform differently when these issues are resolved.

You can now read Will’s full review of the Wailer 112RPC with a correct tune.]

The Review:

Like a lot of people, I was psyched to hear about the Wailer 112RPC when DPS announced its release in July. Admittedly, a big reason for my excitement was because, unlike a lot of people, I wasn’t a huge fan of the RPC’s parent, the Wailer 112RP, for my personal style of skiing.

The 112RP is an amazingly versatile powder ski, combining great float and maneuverability in soft snow with remarkable edge grip and energy in firmer conditions. If you’re looking for a ski to go from fresh pow laps in the morning to cruising groomers in the afternoon, the Wailer 112RP Pure deserves serious consideration.

Yet with so much splay in its tip rocker, a rather forgiving flex, and a light swing weight, the 112RP can get squirrelly at high speeds in inconsistent conditions (old chop, crud, variable and wind affected snow, etc.). The 112RP wasn’t designed specifically to charge.

Enter the Wailer 112RPC—the C is for “charger.”

At 115mm underfoot, the RPC is slightly wider than the Wailer 112RP, with a longer, progressive 20–23-meter sidecut radius (compared to the 15–18-meter radius of the 112RP). The splay of the 112RP’s tip and tail rocker is reduced on the RPC, and DPS has also tweaked its “S.S.” core construction, putting three vertically integrated titinal ribs in the RPC (vs. the two in the Wailer 112).

So what does all this amount to?

Here’s what DPS says about the RPC:

• “The RPC is designed to ski more in the fall line with a shallower turn shape. It’s for the charging, directional skier … who wants to put less emphasis on the RP’s hard snow performance and more on its abilities in crud and soft snow.”

• “The RPC gives up some of the 112 RP’s hard snow-carving performance and versatility in exchange for enhanced crud busting and speed through powder.”

• “The RPC will allow skiers to surf powder in the morning, then charge leftovers all day as they sniff out stashes.”

We often evaluate a manufacturer’s own claims to see if they hold true—to see if they’ve actually made what they claim to have designed.

After four days of skiing the 112RPC in Las Leñas, DPS’ claims about the RPC seem to check out.

So far I’ve skied the RPC on groomers, in refrozen granulate/slush, wind-buffed crud, shallow fresh powder, deeper older powder, and windblown chalk, so there’s already lot to talk about.

I’ll try and keep descriptions as focused on the performance RPC alone (in case you’re unfamiliar with the original 112RP), though some comparisons to the 112RP will be helpful and necessary.

A pretty obvious but important thing to note about the RPC is that it’s still a Wailer 112RP at heart—built from the same versatile “Resort Powder,” RP platform.

What’s so great about the RP’s design? Its capability on hardpack, among other things, so we’ll start there with the RPC.

6 Comments

  1. MIkeP August 29, 2012 Reply

    I can’t help but feeling that you guys are biased toward DPS after reading this review. If Rossi or Armada or someone made a “charging” ski with the same problems you guys would eviscerate it and rightly so. As for the ski being aggressive compared to the normal 112rp, so what? Charger means charger, not slightly faster than a noddle pow ski.

    • Hi, Mike – I stand by every sentence of Will’s review. We make perfectly clear what our initial expectations were, then we evaluated exactly what DPS claims they were trying to do with the RPC, then we point out that this is no Katana or Belafonte, and that – actually – DPS never claimed it was.

      If DPS HAD said that the RPC flat out rages, then yes, we absolutely would have called them out.

      You might not feel that anybody wants or needs a more aggressive 112, but that’s what DPS decided to build, and this is our honest first assessment of what they came up with.

      • MikeP August 30, 2012 Reply

        That’s cool. I guess I have a problem with DPS’s markeitng then. Sounds like they should have called it the 112RPSSS (Slightly Stiffer Ski) cause like I said charger means charger.

  2. Zak (auvgeek) August 30, 2012 Reply

    MikeP: I disagree. DPS can call the ski whatever they want. Get over the name and compare the ski to others of its class—lightweight, pintailed, tapered skis. Even disregarding the 20-23 m turn radius, there’s simply no way an 8.8# ski can compete with Katana or Belefonte. That’s like complaining that a 1600 g AT boot doesn’t ski as well as a plug boot.

    Just like the Dynafit Vulcan ski boot, this ski appears like it’s aimed for the hard-charging touring crowd. Light enough that one can do 8K vert and still charge on the way down. And I fully support DPS’s quest for such a ski.

    Jonathan/Will: I’d love to see direct comparisons to the DPS L120, PM Gear 191 Fat (full carbon version), ON3P BillyGoat Tour, Praxis WooTest, etc. The problem with this category of skis is that it’s very hard to find reviews from people who have been on more than one of them. Few people have the cash to drop $1000-$1200 on multiple pair of carbon skis just to see how different they are.

    Also, rocker profile pics please?

    • Hey, Zak – rocker pics are up. We can definitely A / B the RPC with the WooTest and Lotus 120 this season, and we’ll try to get our hands on a PM Gear 191 Fat and a BG Tour.

      • Zak (auvgeek) September 14, 2012 Reply

        Thanks, Jonathan. You’re killing it, as usual. If you want to test drive my pair of 191 Fats, you know where to find me.

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