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
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.
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.
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.
Though the 'RP' stands for "Resort Powder," the DPS Wailer 112RP might just be one of the best one-ski-quivers on the planet.
Will Brown throws down (and flips) on the MOMENT Bibby Pros. Then writes this review.
The Black Diamond AMPerage enters a crowded field of very good, fun-shape skis. The field better be paying attention.