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
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.
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).
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.