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2016-2017 DPS Wailer 112RP2 Tour1

Julia Van Raalte reviews the DPS Wailer 112RP2 Tour1

DPS Wailer 112RP2 Tour1

Ski: 2016-2017 DPS Wailer 112RP2 Tour1, 178cm

Available Lengths: 168, 178, 184cm

Measured Length (straight tape pull): 176.5 cm

Stated Dimensions (mm): 141-112-128

Blister’s Measured Dimensions: 139.5-112-127

Stated Sidecut Radius: 15-18 meters

Stated Weight per ski (184cm): 1550 grams

Measured Weight per Ski (178cm with Dynafit Radical TLT ST bindings): 1,946 & 1,946 grams

Mount Location: +1cm of Recommended Line

Boots / Bindings: Black Diamond Shiva Mx / Dynafit Radical TLT ST bindings

Core Construction: Balsa + Prepreg Carbon & Fiberglass Laminate

MSRP: $1,050

Days Skied: 6

Test Locations: Backcountry around Girdwood, AK; Crested Butte, CO

[Editor’s Note: Our review was conducted on the 15/16 Wailer 112RP2 Tour1, which was not changed for 16/17.]

Intro and Construction

DPS recently released a new core construction called Tour1 which will be offered in several of their skis, including the Wailer 112RP2, Wailer 99, and the Cassiar 95. And DPS isn’t waiting until next season to begin selling them; a limited number of Tour1 skis are already available for purchase on their website.

Skis with DPS’ lightweight, Pure3 carbon-laminate construction have been widely used as backcountry touring skis for a while now, but the Tour1 series is DPS’ first line of skis designed specifically with touring in mind.

Tour1 skis are built with a balsa wood core paired with a prepreg carbon laminate, so are made to be quite light, but they still (according to DPS) don’t sacrifice too much in the way of stability and downhill performance.

The Wailer 112RP2 Tour1 flexes nicely, with a pretty stiff flex in the tail and a noticeably softer (but even) flex in the forebody of the ski. Compared to other lightweight, touring-specific skis I’ve hand flexed, the Wailer 112RP2 Tour1 feels smooth and solid, not insubstantial.

And sure enough, the 112RP2 Tour1s are quite light. Mounted with Dynafit Radical TLT ST bindings, the skis weigh in at 1,946 grams each. This isn’t on par with the lightest race setups on the market, but Tour1 skis were developed with downhill performance in mind, and it’s certainly the lightest I’ve ever had on my feet. I clicked into the bindings in order to assess the skis’ swing weight, and it didn’t feel like I had much on my feet at all compared to any resort alpine setup.

Touring

Over the past few years, I’ve spent time touring on the 170cm Volkl Kiku with Marker Baron bindings, and the 172cm Line Pandora with Dynafit Radical TLT ST bindings. While my setup got significantly lighter once I invested in Dynafit bindings, the combination of Dynafits and the Tour1 skis felt ridiculously light (unless you’re more serious in the randonée scene).

Julia Van Raalte reviews the DPS Wailer 112RP2 Tour1

Julia Van Raalte on the DPS Wailer 112RP2 Tour1, Turnagain Pass, Alaska. (photo by Sierra Halverson)

 

I’ve spent most of my time touring on the Wailer 112 Tour1 up in Alaska, skiing some shorter days and a few full-day missions. I can’t say that there was ever a time that I didn’t appreciate the Tour1’s light weight when climbing; on shorter days I felt I could skin much faster and over many hours, it was a significantly longer time before I felt fatigued. A lot of times, it kind of just felt like I was hiking.

I have absolutely no complaints about how the Wailer 112 Tour1 tours, and I’ve loved always having more energy at the end of the day than I do on my heavier skis.

In The Resort

Now I know, I know, the Tour1 is a backcountry-specific ski, not at all designed to ski in the resort, but I figured it was worth taking it out for a few runs, just to see how it would hold up.

The day I took a few laps on the Tour1 at Crested Butte, conditions weren’t exactly great. It hadn’t snowed in awhile, but it had been warm, so the resort was firm and skied off. I started off skiing fairly conservatively, with slower turns across the hill. I was surprised that I was able to work them up a bit on edge, though, unsurprisingly, they didn’t feel totally natural doing that.

DPS says that the Tour1 construction doesn’t give up too much in the way of lateral rigidity even though it’s a lighter ski. I haven’t been on the most recent iteration of the Wailer 112RP2 in the hybrid or pure constructions, but I did feel like the Tour1 build did offer decent lateral rigidity and had a good amount of stiffness, which I could feel while pressuring the ski on edge. However, I felt like this was somewhat offset by the ski’s lightness, and once I got up to speed, things got a little bit scary.

Turning with a little bit of speed on the firmer snow, I felt quite unstable; in the transition of the turn when I would release some of the pressure from my outside ski, it almost seemed like the ski would shake from side to side. This required me to both slow down and make sure I applied more pressure on my outside ski to prevent it from moving around unpredictably. I only took a few runs in the resort, and that was pretty much my limit.

DPS is clear that the Tour1 construction is meant for the backcountry, and I certainly agree with that. So don’t plan on using the Tour1 as a one-ski quiver for both the backcountry and the resort.

9 Comments

  1. Blister Member
    Mario February 23, 2015 Reply

    I’d like to know how it feels when you need to yank it around in tight couloirs and trees. Does 112 under foot feel like too much ski and would you prefer something around 98?
    I’m thinking about mouting a king pin on that ski next year.

    Have fun!

  2. Andy February 24, 2015 Reply

    All that matters is how much dampness and stability they give up vs. Pure and Pure 3. A ton? A little?

  3. Blister Member
    Michael February 28, 2015 Reply

    Agree with Andy. If they’re 85% of the stability and 80% of the weight of the Pure3s, then I think we’ve got a winner. But if they give up a lot to shed that 300 g or so, then I’m not so sure it’s worth it unless you’re guaranteed nice, soft snow.

  4. Josh April 9, 2015 Reply

    The 112 is a great ski for powder touring days, and loosing a few hundred grams probably makes it better for touring in balance. A ski in this category has several inherent disadvantages on the tour: it’s wide so there is a lot of skin drag, especially with non-mohair skins. It can accumulate a lot of snow on the top sheet, again because of width. The rockered tail is cumbersome on steep kick turns. I’ve got about 30 touring days on the 112 pure, so it’s not like I don’t enjoy their skiing qualities. However, there are easily three lighter, faster categories of ski/boot/binding “below” the 112s, and all of them are going to permit faster times in the up track and longer tours, all other things being equal.

    • Blister Member
      Lucas Sky November 23, 2015 Reply

      Dear Josh, what combos do you have in mind? I’ll probably go for the Movement Shift or Conquest. Currently I have a K2 Sidestash which is great on everything, but I’m looking for something lighter for the uphills.

      Cheers!

  5. Blister Member
    Michael April 9, 2015 Reply

    Great review!!! I was wondering, for a lighter BC only setup, between the BD Carbon Convert, Wailer 112 Tour1 or even maybe the Dynafit Grand Teton … anyone here could chip in? Looking for a fun ski, I’m skiing mostly short to medium turns at slow to medium speed … so no fast arcing turns and no big jumps either! I’m 158lbs and 5’9″ … Thx!!!!

  6. Josh April 10, 2015 Reply

    When I look at the skis used by my friends who make short radius fall line turns, the euro-wiggle, I see a lot of 90mm and 100mm skis. People on 110mm and up skis are often making turns of varying radius, and typically ski a bit faster. The DPS 112 would compare to the Salomon q BC Lab. The other two would compare to G3 Synapse, Sportiva Vapor, Hi5, etc.

  7. that guy April 14, 2015 Reply

    funny. Maybe it was the tune, or maybe the ski just plain sucks, but I thought the 112 tour1 was the least confidence inspiring ski ever. It lacked the stability to skate from the demo tent to the lift. I’d rate it as being slightly less stable than a marriage between two 16 year old coke addicts.

    Basically if you are skiing on this near me, and there is the slightest chance of firm snow, or you plan on trying to make a quick turn, let me know so I can get out of the way of your soon to be flailing carcass as it comes tumbling down the mountain.

    There are currently lighter, better, and cheaper options out there now, so just get one of those. Bonus they don’t suck as bad.

  8. Justin September 9, 2015 Reply

    Have you guys been skiing these in the Southern hemisphere this summer? Any further thoughts on them? I already have Pure 112s and love them, curious how much of a performance sacrifice the Tour1s would be for a powder oriented (Wasatch) touring ski

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