Skis: 2012-2013 DPS Wailer 112RP Pure, 190 cm
Dimensions: 142-112-128 mm
Actual Tip-to-Tail Length (straight tape pull): 188.0 cm
Sidecut Radius: 15-18 meters
BLISTER’s Measured Weight per Ski: 1840 & 1840 grams
Boots / Bindings: Lange Banshee Pros / Marker Jesters, (DIN) 10
Mount: Factory Recommended
Tune: 1 / 1
Days skied: 12
(Editor’s Note: Our review was conducted on the 11/12 Wailler 112RP, which is unchanged for 12/13.)
Few new skis made a bigger splash in the 10/11 season than the DPS Wailer 112RPs. At the end of the 09/10 season, I had the opportunity to ski prototypes of the 112RP in full on spring conditions, but didn’t have the opportunity to ski it in its natural habitat, RP: Resort Powder.
In what follows, I’ve posted my initial impressions of the prototype 112RPs, and I owe a more thorough review now that I’ve had the chance to ski the production version over many days and in a broader range of conditions – including powder.
In May, 2010, Marshal Olson invited me (check that, coerced me) to come up to Denver to check out the new DPS Wailer 112RPs by dropping some vague remarks about how Colorado was supposed to be getting a foot or two of snow.
And even though forecasts for Arapahoe Basin showed no such storms, the slightest chance of skiing powder on the new 112RP Pures was too tempting for me to pass up (or to pay any attention to actual forecasts).
So I drove up to Denver, grabbed the skis, had dinner with some friends, and headed up to A-Basin Saturday morning. There was no fresh foot or two. The conditions were pure spring: lots of rocks, dirt, and shrubs surrounded by beautiful slush, some smooth hardpack, and plenty of refrozen softball-sized ice chunks.
I clicked in and headed over to the Pallavicini lift. First run of the day was down The Spine, basically a slush and ice bump field. I’d put a lot of days the previous season on the Armada JJ, and due to their similar shapes, I imagined that the 112RPs would ski similarly. But looking down, I was more reminded of the Rossignol Super 7s, a ski that just didn’t do it for me because of their weight and swing weight: the Super 7s were just a chore in tight trees and steep frozen bumps.
Halfway down The Spine, however, I realized that I was overturning the 112RPs. While the shovels look big (perhaps it’s all that blaring yellow), like they’ll require a good bit of effort to throw them around, these looks are totally deceiving. Thanks to the weight of the ski (or lack thereof), you do not need to work to turn these things. DPS has managed to design a ski that turns as ridiculously quick as the Armada JJs, but offers more stability than the JJs when arcing larger turns at speed. It just doesn’t seem that this much ski should be able to turn this fast.
Montezuma Bowl allowed for some nice, fast, big turns, and the light PURE construction handled the soft chop well. As long as you drive and carve these skis, they can lock into a turn with minimal deflection and the tips do not hook. The only time I ever found myself getting bounced off line was when I got lazy and got back on my heels. But I can’t think of a ski (that I enjoy) that won’t bounce you around in chop if you aren’t piloting it like you’re supposed to.
This past month I have had a lot of days on some skis that I’ve been using for backcountry touring, and I have been reminded how much it blows to be on equipment that you don’t trust. Those skis (which I won’t bother to name) are hooky, the tips dive, and they are completely unpredictable. In variable conditions, the 112RPs were the opposite of this, and it felt good to be back on skis that I could trust. Size up a line, then execute. Tricky snow and sketchy lines give less pause because you know that the skis will allow you to do what you need to do. Can I make these three tight turns in this no fall zone? Yes. Do I need to worry about catching an edge or holding an edge? No. And just like that, skiing is fun again.
Basically, in assessing these skis, the primary questions for me were: when do these skis fail to do what I want them to do? When would a different ski clearly perform better, make the conditions more fun?
Over those first two days on the Wailer 112, I straightlined, made big turns, small turns, skied some trees, skied lots of ice bumps and slush bumps, even snuck a few laps down a freestyle moguls course that had been built up for a Bumps Camp at A-Basin. (Please don’t mention this to the camp coach who told me that I would never be able to make it down the course on those water skis.) All I can say is that the 112RPs versatility and fun factor are off the charts. In 3-4 inches or more of new snow, I am confident that these skis will make a lot people very, very happy. And what I know for certain is that the 112RPs will even make you happy skiing dirty snow and chunked-up ice, you know, for those days when Marshal Olson lies to you about the weather.
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