Ski: 2010-2011 DPS Wailer 112RP Hybrid, 178cm
Dimensions (mm): 141-112-128
Sidecut Radius: 16 meters
Actual Tip to Tail Length (straight tape pull): 177 cm
Boot / Binding / DIN: Scarpa TX Comp / Rottefella NTN / Green Cartridges, 5.
Mount Location: Factory recommended line.
Test Location: Alta Ski Area, Alta slackcountry and Wasatch backcountry
Days Skied: 50+
Me: 5’6”, 140 lbs.
This season I’m riding Rottefella’s somewhat controversial and certainly evolutionary NTN telemark binding, mounted on a pair of 178cm, DPS Wailer 112RP Hybrids.
Having skied more than 50 days on this set up in all types of snow conditions in the backcountry, slackcountry, and resort, it’s fair to say that the equipment has influenced and changed my technique and approach to skiing.
This review focuses on the NTN binding, but wouldn’t be complete without a discussion of the skis they were mounted on. Having skied the NTN on both the K2 Sidestash and the Black Diamond Megawatt, I can say the DPS Wailer 112RP far surpasses both of these other skis in terms of all-around versatility.
My first turns on the Wailer 112RP’s were in the backcountry of Little Cottonwood Canyon. I skinned up the Pink Pine Ridge and skied a nice Aspen glade in ankle deep powder. The touring mode on the NTN is amazingly easy to use: I just flipped up the tour lever that is located on the front of the binding, and I was able to remove my skins without removing my skis. I could also lock down the binding when the skin track went down hill. The heel riser is a bit bulky, but I was able to pop it up easily and push it down with the grip of my pole.
The NTN does not offer as much motion in tour mode as 22 Design’s Axl, but I have been more than happy with the range of motion on steeper pitches of 35-45 degrees. Combining the NTN with the 112RP’s weight (4.4 lbs), width (144/112/128), and stability, and touring becomes easy.
Skiing in bounds at Alta this season has been ideal for putting the DPS Wailer 112RP to the one ski quiver test. While we have been choking on blower pow for most of the year, January offered some very difficult hard pack conditions that inspire most telemark skiers to slide and rely heavily on the tail of the ski. This is the way I was used to skiing after riding most of the early season on skis such as K2’s Antipistes, 4Frnt’s Turbo, and the Fatty-Puss A-Lotta , all mounted with a set of 22 Design Hammerheads.
The first thing I noticed about the Wailer 112RP was the lack of tail to support the tele-slide. With the strength and support of the NTN, my ability to carve steep hard pack on the 112RP’s short but stiff regular underfoot camber changed my whole approach to telemarking; I left the slide behind. This translated to easier and improved skiing in crud, sun/rain crust, and heavy spring snow. The Rocker tip of the 112RP glides over (or pushes through) any inconsistency in the snow. It places the carving edge into the snow, which allows the ski to maintain constant contact with the slope.