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DPS Lotus 120 Hybrid

DPS Lotus 120 Hybrid, Blister Gear ReviewSki: DPS Lotus 120 Hybrid, 190cm

Dimension (mm): 140-120-125

Sidecut Radius: 46m

Manufacturer’s Stated Weight Per Ski: 2,200 grams / 4.86 lbs.

BLISTER’s Measured Weight – one ski: 2,105 grams; other ski: 2,120 grams

Boots / Bindings: Lange RX 130 / Salomon S916 (DIN at 11)

Mount Location: Recommended line

Test Location: Jackson Hole Mountain Resort

Days Skied: 30

I might as well come out and say it: I had some of the best inbounds runs of this past season on the Lotus 120. I’m talking about the runs that still give me goosebumps and get me excited that opening day at Jackson is only about 130 days from now.

The Lotus 120 is a pintailed powder ski, defined by the tapered tail that gives the style its name. The general idea is that the lack of surface area in the rear will cause the tail to sink in deep snow, causing the tips to rise for easier steering and control in powder.

(Editor’s Note: Typically, a ski is regarded as “pintailed” if there is less than a 10 millimeter difference between its waist and tail. In the not too distant future, we’re going to be running a piece on pintail design, so, you’ll probably want to start gettin’ psyched for that now….)

When bombing the first few runs off Sublette after getting first tram during an early February storm at Jackson, I found the Lotus’ balance between aggressive turns up top and its ability to turn on a dime to navigate the choke in Alta 1. In the open upper section, where about twenty inches of snow had drifted in, I dove into the fresh pow and really pushed the ski without finding a speed limit.

With limited early season snowpack, some sharks lurked in the choke, and the Lotus handled this mandatory shut down incredibly well. One quick slash, and I had returned to a safer speed for navigating through the cheese grater.

Once through the middle section, I happily let it rip with Super G turns through Laramie Bowl. A few Alta 1 laps later, the Lotus 120 was equally at home wiggling through the sparse trees at the bottom to harvest the remaining untouched pow pockets.

On the Lotus 120, five inches of windblown cream felt more like ten as I slarved and smeared my way down Rendezvous Bowl. The huge tip rocker allowed the ski to plane early, which got me on top of the snow to surf and slash.

DPS Lotus, Rocker Profile, Blister Gear Review

DPS Lotus 120 Hybrid - Rocker Profile

Many big skis, like the Head Boneshaker 125 or the Kastle 128, need to be at high speed to start planing and become responsive, but that is not true of the Lotus 120. While there are a lot of skis that shred big lines well, the Lotus 120 outshines many of these in its versatility as a capable, nimble pow slayer at lower speeds, too.

Though one thing that I did notice at low speed on low-angle sections was the obvious effect of the pintail. It was clear that the tails of the Lotus 120 were submerged in the powder on the approaches to some of the upper Granite Canyon chutes. The ski was still responsive and could easily farm low-angle turns, but it didn’t have the same floaty feeling as it did when going faster.

DPS puts the Lotus 120 in their Big Mountain category, and this is certainly where it belongs. At high speed, the Lotus 120 really outshines other pintailed skis, especially the Rossignol S7. The large sidecut radius (46 meters), dampened bamboo feel, and stiffer flex of the Lotus 120 allowed me to open it up on Pucker Face—with about seven inches of day-old pow, I made only six turns sandwiched around a high-speed air off the middle cliff band.

Where the Lotus is comfortable making but a few turns, the 188cm S7 wants to turn more—way more—given its 17.5-meter sidecut radius, and is not nearly as stable when pushing the speed limit. That being said, the Lotus is also capable of making short, playful wiggles at low speed and can turn on a dime at high speed.

One situation where I really appreciated the Lotus 120’s ability to make quick adjustments was in steep sections with mandatory airs of unknown height. Due to the drastic difference in snowpack at Jackson between this season and the 10/11 season, drops that were a mere five feet the previous year were often three or four times as big, necessitating careful approaches this season. A couple of times in Granite and Green River, I was cruising into these drops only to be very surprised at the height, but, again, one quick slash just above the takeoff, and I was at a more comfortable speed to take the airs.

DPS Lotus 120 Tip, Blister Gear Review

DPS Lotus 120 Tapered Tip

Landing drops in powder on the Lotus was very easy, as one would expect from a ski with 600mm of rocker in the shovel. The significant tip rocker allowed me to ski out of a lot of airs where other less rockered skis would have had me headed over the handlebars.

In heavier powder, The Lotus 120’s tapered tip moved through the snow with less resistance and less hookiness than some skis I’ve been on with a wider tip, such as the ‘09 Black Diamond Megawatt. Deep, heavy snow can create resistance at the tip of the Megawatt, but this problem did not exist with the Lotus’ slightly narrower, tapered tip, where the widest point sits about 8 or 9 inches from the tip of the ski.

Another result I attribute to the tapered tip is that the sidecut of the Lotus 120 is significantly decreased, and on flat, groomed snow, the tip doesn’t engage when laying the ski over on edge. In my opinion, this makes some of the larger skis with a more traditional sidecut (such as the Atomic Automatic) a little more versatile on days when it is a tough call on whether to bring out the big guns. That’s OK, however, because the Lotus 120, is not made for flat, groomed, or hard snow—it is made to perform in powder.

But the Lotus 120 does have enough edge hold for billygoating sketchy hardpack entrances. I was relieved by the skis ability to bite into the chalk at the top of Corbet’s Couloir before making the jump into some creamy windblown goodness below. Once in the windloaded snow, it was a lot of fun to smear and slarve through the variable pow which the Lotus 120 handled quite well.

8 Comments

  1. Harpo September 6, 2012 Reply

    Can anyone make a comparison between the L120 and W112RP (not RPC)? I am guessing the 112 would be more similar to the S7? Reputation has it that the 112 doesn’t handle crust or wind hammered snow as well as it does powder or hardpack. Is the 120 any better in this respect? Or is the main difference that the 120 handles higher speeds better than the 112?

    • Ryan October 9, 2012 Reply

      Harpo

      Unfortunately none of us have skied both the Wailer 112RP and the Lotus 120, but there are some pretty big differences between the skis.

      First and foremost, the 112RP has an 18m turning radius which allows you to carve and make shorter radius turns with ease. The Lotus 120 has a 46m radius, which is not well suited for hardpack.

      The Lotus 120 is predictable and stable in funky snow such as sun crust and wind affected mank. But for serious wind scoured hardpack I would much rather be on something narrower and more traditional like the Kastle FX 104 or the Fischer Watea 106.

      The Lotus 120 is a more dedicated powder tool. For everyday versatility the 112RP has the advantage.

  2. nate November 20, 2012 Reply

    Has anyone skiied both these and the new 4frnt HOJIs? Sounds like maybe these are a bit more aggressive than the HOJIs, or am I mistaken there?

  3. Simon Kruger December 3, 2014 Reply

    I use the DPS skis for touring and backcountry skiing. You might enjoy the videos I have made mostly using DPS Lotus and the rp 112. In really deep snow the 120 is preferred but I think they both perform well in all conditions.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vSM2xfhaWag
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OsHhZpM38zE
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pStNcBBSPrU

  4. Chester Tartssnatcher September 15, 2015 Reply

    I absol0000tleee adore my Lotus 120s (200cm) in anything remotely soft. One of the things that fits with my skiing style is the stiff tail which provides a super springboard into the next turn.

    But I’m wondering about something just a smidge narrower, like the Skilogik Howitzer. How does the tail stiffness compare?

  5. Rob November 21, 2015 Reply

    I know this is old, but do you have any idea of the length of these skis with a straight pull tape?

    Cheers

  6. Blister Member
    Todd January 31, 2017 Reply

    Has there been any refinement/design changes to the Lotus 120 since this review? Just curious to know if any significant changes were made.

    -Thanks, Todd

    • Paul Forward April 4, 2017 Reply

      Hi Todd, In the buyers guide from this year I wrote up a summary of my experience on the newest iteration of the Lotus 120 Spoon in Pure3. It’s worth checking out. Also, very soon we’ll have a full review up of the Lotus 124 Spoon in the Alchemist construction. Best, Paul

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