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FIRST LOOK: 2012-2013 DPS Wailer 99, 184cm

FIRST LOOK:

Ski: DPS Wailer 99, Hybrid, 184cm

Dimensions (mm): 122-99-111

Actual Tip to Tail Length (straight tape pull): 184.0cm

Running Length / Effective Edge: 149cm

Turn Radius: 22 meters

Boots / Bindings: Lange RX 130s / Marker Griffon (DIN) 10

Mount Location: Factory Recommended (80cm from tail)

Test Location: Arapahoe Basin

Days Skied: 2

 

INTRODUCTION:

Over the past couple of seasons, some of the best and most compelling ski designs have been cropping up in the class of ~115mm waisted skis. Rossignol got the ball rolling with the S7, and we’ve since seen the development of the Armada JJ, the MOMENT Bibby Pro, the DPS Wailer 112RP, the Line Influence 115, and the Black Diamond Amperage—to name just a few.

Now, a serious competition is shaping up in the ~98mm waisted class. Rossignol has held it down for a while now with the S3, and they are pushing the category with two other 98mm designs—the Experience 98 and the Scimitar. MOMENT has put out the 101mm PB&J. Nordica, the 97mm Soul Rider, and Blizzard, the 98mm Bonafide. Some of these skis we already know are good, and all of them look very promising.

Turns out, this stacked class is about to get even more crowded.

Enter the new DPS Wailer 99.

DPS Wailer 99

DPS Wailer 99

 

Two seasons ago, DPS made a very big splash with their Wailer 112RP, a fun shape ski that excels in powder, but is actually most surprising and nearly as impressive on hardpack. In short, the versatility of the Wailer 112RP is a bit of a marvel, and the ski didn’t stay a secret for long.

 

COMPARISONS: DPS Wailer 112RP / DPS Wailer 99

Given the success of the Wailer 112RP, I had heard that DPS was thinking of designing a scaled down version of the 112RP. (We’ve already seen two companies do this successfully: MOMENT’s PB&J is a narrower Bibby Pro, and Rossignol’s Scimitar is, in large part, a narrower Sickle.)

In the end, however, DPS didn’t simply shrink the Wailer 112RP, and I think this was a really good decision.

Normally, I wouldn’t talk about a 99mm ski to a 112mm ski, but since questions about and comparisons to the 112RP seem inevitable, I’ll say what I can given the limited conditions and amount of time I had on the 99s.

The Wailer 99 is certainly reminiscent of the 112RP, and both have a similar, slight amount of camber underfoot. But the Wailer 99 is stiffer overall than the 112RP, and especially in the tail. As I’ve said, DPS didn’t simply scale down the dimensions of the 112RP to a 99mm-waisted ski.

A few stats: while the tip and tail shape of the Wailer 99 look similar to the 112RP, the 99s have less tip and tail rocker height (or splay) than the 112RP. Given this, the effective edge of the 184cm Wailer 99 is the same as that of the 190cm Wailer 112RP, 149cm.

DPS Wailer 99

Profile of the DPS Wailer 99

The 184cm Wailer 112RP has an 18 meter turn radius, the 184cm Wailer 99 has a 22 meter turn radius.

The result is that the Wailer 99 bests the hardpack performance of the 112RPs, and not simply because it is a narrower ski. Think of the 99 as a narrower, intelligently tweaked, 112RP.

To me, this simply makes good sense: a 99mm, directional ski ought to be designed to outperform a 112mm ski in harder conditions, period.

3 Comments

  1. rod georgiu November 14, 2011 Reply

    thanks for the review of the dps 99. I need a bc ski to replace the K2 hardside. I think the hardsides are ok in most conditions, but I would like something that has better grip on ice.
    You also skied the Bonafide. how would you comapre the 99 with the bonafide in firm conditions? Also, the shorter running length concerns me, seeing that I had a few falls where I had my weight a bit back, hit ice, tails washed out and I fell head first, backwards.

    Most if my BC skiing is in the California Eastern sierra, mostly steep couloirs, in all sorts of snow.

  2. Author

    Hi, Rod

    I haven’t actually skied the Bonafide yet, but your in luck: I’m going to have both the 99 and the Bonafide with me at Alta for opening day (scheduled for this Friday), and so will be able to do A / B comparisons for four straight days. I’ll definitely let you know what I find.

  3. Rod November 15, 2011 Reply

    Thanks, look forward to your review. Im also interested in how both skis are in a narrow couloir, where you have to really finish the turns. some skis lock on edge and they are hard to release.

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