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2015-2016 DPS Wailer 112RPC, Pure3

DPS Wailler 112RPC Pure3Ski: 2015-2016 DPS Wailer 112RPC, Pure3 construction, 192cm

Dimensions (mm): 144-115-127

Actual Tip-to-Tail Length (Straight Tape Pull): 190.8cm

Sidecut Radius: 20-23 meters

BLISTER’s Measured Weight Per Ski:

• 2013-2014 RPC Pure3: 2,057 grams & 2,037 grams

• 2012-2013 RPC Pure: 2,004 grams & 1,961 grams

Boots/Bindings: Atomic Redster Pro 130 / Marker Jester (DIN at 10)

Mount Location: Factory recommended line

Test Location: Alta Ski Area, Taos Ski Valley

Days skied: 7 on the 13/14 RPC Pure3; 7 days on the 12/13 RPC

[Editor’s Note: Our review was conducted on the 13/14 112RPC Pure3, which was not changed for 14/15 or 15/16, except for the graphics.]

Will Brown has already done a nice job assessing the 12/13 DPS Wailer 112RPC, and since I agree with him on all points, I would encourage you to read his review first.

My aims here are to (1) comment on the 12/13 RPC vs. the 13/14 RPC Pure 3 (which incorporates DPS’s new “Pure3 construction”), (2) flesh out what I’ve found to be the strengths and weaknesses of the RPC, and (3) explain who is most likely to enjoy it.

The New Pure3 RPC vs. RPC 1.0

DPS took their prepreg carbon construction and tweaked it with “perimeter weighting”—tip spacers to the tips and tails—and a new laminate to make their skis “more powerful, damper, and more refined.”

Well?

I’ve found the new Pure3 construction of the RPC to be a fairly subtle but notable improvement over the original RPC.

In Pow

In deep untracked, I felt that the Pure3 RPC did a better job than the 12/13 RPC of smoothing out transitions between varying snow densities—e.g., moving from sections of dry, light blower in the shade to patches of thicker, wetter snow in the sun.

The difference here between the 12/13 RPC construction and the new RPC Pure3 construction isn’t huge, but I’d still definitely opt for the Pure3 version.

Chop

The Pure3 RPC also handles soft chop better than the original RPC. By my second run down Alta’s Ballroom, I was skiing the Pure3 with more confidence than I had after a number of days on the first RPC.

But it’s important to be clear about the terrain and the conditions here: Ballroom has a pretty mellow pitch as you start on the traverse from the Collins lift, then gets a bit more steep and techy the farther skier’s left you head: you can get into mini-spines, gullies, and trees over more abrupt pitch changes.

In pretty soft, tracked, and bumped-up conditions, I had no hesitation letting the RPCs fly. Pop the tops of bumps, land down the fall line, keep nuking through the runout. Fun.

As the pitch steepened, however, or bigger bumps or obstacles (trees) came into my path—essentially terrain where I wasn’t willing to simply let these go—the RPCs weren’t easy to shut down speed, and doing so could still be pretty jarring. And as Will noted, given that, I generally found myself unwilling to let the RPCs run in inconsistent conditions.

But I think this actually has a lot less to do with the Pure3 construction per se and a lot more to do with the stiffness of the RPC, version 1.0 and 2.0.

I’ll say more about this below, but Will and I both found that the farther removed we got from untracked, consistent pow (where the RPC is amazing), or consistent groomers (where the RPC is great), the ski was too light and too stiff to be comfortable at speed.

So, yes, I found the Pure3 construction to be a subtle but noticeable improvement, and that it did improve the ride of the RPC in chopped, bumped-up conditions and in varying snow densities. But when talking about the RPC Pure3, it’s important to also discuss those big three letters:

R P C

All of them are important, two of them are somewhat controversial and in need of clarification, and one of them ought not to be overlooked. I’ll begin with the middle one.

“P” is for Pow

The most important thing I can say about the RPC is that it is a POW ski.

Many of us have become accustomed to skiing ~115mm-waisted skis whether or not there is any fresh snow. But this is not one of those skis. In the case of the RPC, if you disregard that “P” and head off to the mountain when there isn’t any, Will and I both feel that you could likely be using a better tool for the job.

The RPC is a pow ski, and a very good one. The RPC loves untracked snow. It is at home in it, and you will have fun in it on the RPC.

DPS Wailer 112RPC Pure3, Blister Gear Review

Jonathan Ellsworth, Gunsight, Alta Ski Area.

In pow, of everything I’ve skied in the past three seasons, the RPC reminded me the most of the very fun, surfy AK JJ (and you can see what I thought of the AK JJ in untracked pow). But the RPC is more directional than the AK JJ, and I have had no issues with tip dive on the RPC.

 

21 Comments

  1. Zak (auvgeek) March 14, 2013 Reply

    This is a GREAT review! I spent some time on the original RPC (which DPS has referred to as the Pure2.5 construction) and have the exact same opinion of the ski, which I expressed far less eloquently. Light and stiff just doesn’t work that well in the resort. Or really — a light ski just doesn’t wok well in bumpy terrain, and adding stiffness doesn’t make up for the lack of mass. (Rather ironically, this is kind of like Marshal’s point about the D-fit Beast: it just doesn’t ski like an alpine binder, despite having a higher DIN.) But light and stiff makes for an amazing ski to charge backcountry lines in consistent snow. The problem with the RPC is that I can’t see it being better for this application than the Pure3 L120 spoon (which has recently received a substantial increase in stiffness as well)…except maybe in trees.

    • Author

      Thanks for the feedback, Zak, interesting that we had a very similar experience. And I haven’t skied the L 120, but I see where you’re coming from. The L 120 Spoon clearly seems to be DPS’s “BPC,” while the sidecut of the RPC does probably make the RPC more fun on groomers. Interesting.

      • Patrick March 17, 2013 Reply

        Jonathan, I’m stuck…not in a tree well but with making a decision.
        I’m looking for that impossible one quiver ski. I’m 6ft, 185lbs. Live in Toronto, Canada but this setup is intended for west coast big mountain skiing (Revelstoke, Kicking Horse, Fernie). I’m just starting to get into ski touring. I’m not a purest and want to make sure I’ve got a ski that is light(ish) for the 2 touring trips a year but also crushes on the downhill for every other trip. I’ve been reading and reading and have come to consider these skis but need some expert advise to wade through all the reviews.
        Atomic Vantage Ritual
        Voile Charger
        Blizzard Cochise
        Kastle FX104
        DPS Wailer (not sure which model yet)
        I love trees so tight turns tend to be required. I’ve been skiing for 35 years, all mountain, back/slack/side country but also resort. Fairly aggressive skiier and want a fun ski. I think I’m looking for something with a waist between 100-112mm as they must be able to float well.
        What would you suggest?

        • Author

          Hey, Patrick – of the skis on your list, if “light and floats well” are your top priorities, then I would seriously consider the Wailer 112. I haven’t skied the Voile Charger, but neither the FX 104 or the Cochise “float well” – not nearly as well as the 112RP. The Cochise is a better crud buster, however, than the 112, and will “crush the downhill” better than the 112. Sounds to me like you might still need to get clear on where you really want this ski to shine – what you’re willing to compromise on, and what you aren’t.

    • marshal March 15, 2013 Reply

      great comments zak and jonathan. This gets back to my original comments that the RPC that it is really more like a narrow Lotus 138 with sidecut than it is anything else – at least IMO. The RPC is an incredible soft snow / powder ski for a ripper, and is very good in corn, breakable windslab / soft slab, etc. That is where the stiffness really shines.

      I definitely think the VCC vs PC distinction is very much on point. The RPC is not for pointing the tips straight down the fall line the way you would ski a katana or bibby pro. in these conditions, the RPC is much more suited to a different style… bending and driving the ski, and rounding across the fall line, and letting the radius of the ski track and slice thru this snow.

      I look forward to getting both y’all on the hybrid version in the fall, as it is both more substantial in weight and has a more forgiving flex pattern. i would be curious to hear how if the alternate construction might address the above.

      radical.

      • Author

        Marshal – I agree 100% with that: that one would do well to think of the RPC as a narrower Lotus 138 with sidecut. The days you’d take out the 138s on will be the days you’ll have the most fun on the RPC. And I’m curious too about the hybrid RPC.

  2. Shanti May 2, 2013 Reply

    Curious how you gentlemen would feel bringing the RPC down to South America as a quiver of one?
    My reasoning is that you want a light weight ski for touring as you tend to hike/skin for a lot of lines down there (chairlifts are unreliable and side/backcountry is so plentiful and amazing). You also want the ski to shine in pow, rail on groomers, and be able to negotiate wind affected snow reasonably well. But, in my experience at least, you don’t ski much chop/variable bumps in SA. With few skiers lapping challenging terrain, a ton of exposure to wind, and abundant terrain, I can’t remember seeing real variable chop/bumps like we get in the states during my whole season down there last summer. I haven’t skied Las Lenas or Farallones. Maybe my generalization doesn’t hold true for those areas which might receive more skier traffic and I’d be interested to hear your thoughts on the RPC at Lenas, but I think in Nevados de Chillan, Bariloche, other lesser visited areas, and for touring, the RPC could work pretty well as a one ski quiver down there.

    Hope your season has gone well and great job on the reviews.

    Shanti

    • Author

      Thanks, Shanti – and good question. For touring and for shouldering skis on boot packs, these would be fantastic. And there’s definitely not a lot of bump skiing in or around Las Leñas, and the chop is rarely deep chop; it’s not the kind we see plenty of in Utah.

      Really, my only hesitation would be if you’re going to be skiing off-piste when it hasn’t snowed in a while. On groomers, these are fun. But they’ll be less fun – because of the stiff & lightweight combination – skiing frozen / refrozen chunks off piste. Pretty much NO ski makes those conditions really fun, but the stiff / light won’t do you any favors there. But if you don’t plan to ski that stuff anyway … you might have your one ski quiver.

  3. Tutuko (Tom) May 8, 2013 Reply

    Excellent review. From what i understood from Marshal, there is pretty negligible differences in the actual construction of the 12/13 and 13/14 RPCs?

    I spent the 12/13 northern season almost exclusively on the RPC, and have next years pair as a warranty replacement coming to N.Z. as soon as they become available. It will be interesting how they fair in our usually variable snow, dense but often untracked pow and spring corn. I’l chime in on TGR or here once i’ve put them through their paces.

    • Author

      Thanks, Tom. In addition to the tip and tail spacers, DPS is also using a different carbon material, and they have reorganized the other structural materials of the laminate in a new way. So the the overall flex pattern and profile is the same as the 12/13, but it skis a bit more damp.

      And I’ll definitely be interested to hear how they work for you.

  4. Tutuko (Tom) July 24, 2013 Reply

    I posted my thoughts on TGR, but in summary, your review is pretty spot on, an incremental but welcome improvement in less than ideal snow conditions to a winning shape.

  5. Luke December 3, 2013 Reply

    Have you guys had a chance to ski this in a 186 or in the hybrid construction?

  6. Marchetti December 25, 2013 Reply

    Hello, tha,ks for this brillant nalysis of the ski.

    What kind of ski do you choose with at bindings for touring freeriding mode. RP or RPC in 184 of course.

    i’am 178 cm tall and 78 kg

    Some of my friends in France telle me that the RPC in to stiff to ski it with it with dynafit or plum bindings and you propably dont ski that ski at is potential. So the one quiver sky should be RPC with a Duke or a RP with a plum yak ?
    rgds

  7. Simon Kruger July 16, 2014 Reply

    I live in Norway and mostly use dynafit bindings. I am 172 cm tall, weighs 64 kilo and I am 42 years old. I use the dps 112 pure for coastal skiing and the lotus 120 hybrid for powder days. I like the shape and feel of these skis and I like them long. In this video you can see the 112 on ice that you can see your reflection in and the lotus 120 on the exact same ice with a 20 cm layer of powder. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Mfe8xmLWhI – you might like the hard rock video from Myrkdalen better http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OsHhZpM38zE -there is also a couple of videos on vimeo, http://vimeo.com/91619123

  8. Bob Davey September 30, 2014 Reply

    I don’t agree that the 112RPC is hard to ski. I skied 4 days at Alta and 14 at Big Sky – all on the 112RPC. I skied all day every day and saw all of the steepest and most difficult terrain on both hills.
    I weigh in at 162lbs. and am a strong, fast and good skier. Of the 18 days, 14 had new snow of 2-12″ totalling around 5′ fresh. Steeps, trees, chutes, couloirs, bumps (I slayed them) and groomers. There was no time or place I felt the ski wasn’t up to my plan.
    The ski is good.

  9. Andy March 19, 2015 Reply

    About to mount a pair of 186 Pure 3s with the intended primary use being touring in pow and sometimes corn/slop. I’m in the “the RP is too turny and soft for anything other than tight tree skiing, but Squad 7s are too damned heavy to do big days on” camp. On paper, the RPC should be just about right. Will report back in a couple weeks, conditions permitting.

  10. Blister Member
    Sven October 14, 2015 Reply

    Hi Jonathan,
    I’m 52Y, 6ft 3 / 90kg ex mogul rider and active Hockey player.
    I ride a 2015er Movement Super Turbo Evo 198cm as every day ski (may be that sounds unusual but except of the weight, it rides every condition perfect).
    I’m looking for a quite similar ski with half a kilo less per ski, for longer uphill touring eg. Tromsø / Norway.

    I’m not yet sure choosing a Katana V-Werks 191 or a RPC Pure 3 192, what do you think about my perfect choice?
    greetings Sven

  11. Andy February 4, 2016 Reply

    Disclaimer: I’m 5’8″ 135#s, and ski these with either Vulcans/Dynafits or Lange RX130s and Sollys (yay Binding Freedom plates!)
    1. This “they’re like a skinny Lotus 138” stuff floating around didn’t make sense to me when I first read it and still doesn’t after skiing the RPC for about 15 days inbounds and out. The 138 is reverse/reverse, the RPC is a 20M radius, slightly-cambered 5-point ski. I don’t understand how that comp is helpful to someone evaluating an RPC purchase. Both skis are stiff and share the same construction, but that’s it. You can feel, and use to great effect if it’s your bag, the RPC’s sidecut. The 138 has barely any sidecut. It’s a different type of skiing.

    2. The RPC is too light, stiff and reactive to crush crud in the “front-of-boot, pedal-to-metal” sense, which shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone. If you want to do that, get an older Katana or Cochise. That said, you CAN have have a lot of fun in resort crud in the RPC – so long as it’s not too set-up – if you play to its strengths: Quickness and lack of weight. Slice and dice rather than stomp and destroy. Launch between soft spots and quickly move laterally on the bases and float the thicker stuff. There’s no doubt that the lack of dampness in the RPC can feel harsh when, for example, you throw a turn on a patch of scraped-down-to-ice “snow” in comparison to a traditionally-constructed ski. It does feel rattley. But on any ski in this size class, you’re just getting through that type of surface condition to get to softer stuff. And, the RPC will hold a perfect edge on it.

    3. I like the stiffness of the ski, even the tail. With low camber, taper and sidecut, you don’t need much help to turn these. Slash at will. Would softening them up a bit help them feel less harsh if you get in the backseat or just make chattery snow less jarring? Maybe, but I wouldn’t trade that for the precision and energy the stiffness gives you. YMMV. There was a moment the other day when I was coming in a bit hot in a turn where the back 3/4 of the ski was skidding on an icy layer, and the from 1/4 was getting into a pile of fresh snow. With the RP, the soft tip would load up and deflect at this moment, or just force a quick turn to keep flowing. With the RPC, I just held my ground and the tip stayed exactly where I wanted it. Sweet.

    4. I wish I had time on a similarly sized V-Werks Katana to compare w/the RPC, because that’s probably the only other ski that somewhat compares to this. The shapes are pretty different, but the weight and quiver slot are probably the same.

    5. The RPC is definitely awesome in powder of all kinds without any weirdness whatsoever getting back to the lift.

    It’s definitely a specific ski, but I love it.

  12. Andy May 23, 2016 Reply

    +Spring update.

    Skied these for a hut trip week that saw all flavors of corn, slop, mush, some crust, 33-degree “new snow” and the like, and the RPCs were outstanding. I only used my 108mm touring skis once the whole week and wished I hadn’t that day. If it’s even remotely soft, the RPCs get the call. Love the ski.

  13. Blister Member
    Sven June 16, 2016 Reply

    Whatever, thanks for all comments but as I didn’t get any answer til December, I started getting both, the Katana in 191cm (Marker Tour 12 mounted at 0) and the RPC in 192cm (Marker Baron 13 mounted at -1). Both weren’t really bad. In deeper pow the Katana was missing a powder shovel because due to the wide tail (5mm more than the RPC’s) the Katana stays more horizontal at medium speed and I felt always a bit uncomfortable while burdening always the heels. With the RPC I could stay in neutral to a bit forward, lay over the ski, slice and carve through pow, crud, wind blasted terrain. Then I touched a rock in a very little compression with the Katana and the very narrow edge was crushed. After crash replacement, I mounted the binding to -1 and it went only a little better (for -2 I think the tail is definitely to short).

    So I love the RPC for it’s precise and slicing behavior especially in wind blasted conditions, there the Katana started chattering around and losing tail grip.

    On piste the edge hold in icy conditions the RPC has done a great job due to it’s torsionally stiffness and camber under foot. There the Katana had a good edge grip as well but the felt radius was very big and I don’t like the typical behavior, if you are crusing at some speed and lay over the ski, I feel for one tenth of a second riding on a vat of a rocking chair (this is one real disadvantage of the full rocker shape).

    In softer conditions both made a good job but the RPC was a bit more lively, playful and also stable, which are normally parameter of opposite. The Katana was very stable in soft conditions but due to it’s big radius I had to be active lowering the radius of a turn and as I already mentioned taking care to keep the shovels out of the snow.

    So I opted for the RPC, but I know that my height (6ft 3″), weight (200lbs), my powerful femurs and riding style (less smearing swing, more slicing) are the reason for my choice.

    I would not recommend the ski to riders weighting less than 180lbs, who like smearing or sliding the turns, like Jonathan wrote: “…I was tossed around in wind blown and crusty conditions…, this might be less if you are 200, 220lbs…” I totally agree!

    BTW: I just returned from Lyngen Alps (most north of Norway), using a Wailer 99 P3 (Marker KingPin13, 2.800gr per ski incl. binding), for free touring, this ski is much more playful but floats like 110mm under foot and was the best choice but I had to swing very careful in crusty conditions (may be I was too much used to the RPC), great combination for climbing without doing compromises in downhill performance.

    CU Sven

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