DPS Phantom Permanent Base Glide Treatment

DPS’s Phantom Glide treatment has been receiving a lot of attention, and for good reason. If it performs as advertised, this single-application alternative to standard base wax could revolutionize the way people slide on snow. (We covered the introduction of Phantom in this article and on this blister podcast).

If you haven’t already, you should definitely check out our conversation with DPS founder, Stephan Drake, and the lead chemist behind Phantom, Jeff Bates. Stephan and Jeff go over the development of Phantom and the details of how it works:

And we are now putting time on several skis and boards that have been treated with Phantom, and will be posting updates here as we continue to get more time on the product.

Blister reviewer Paul Forward now has over 6 days on the DPS Alchemist Wailer 106 that has been treated with Phantom, so he is the first to offer his initial impressions.

Paul Forward:

Shortly after I received and mounted the Phantom-treated DPS Alchemist Wailer 106, Southcentral Alaska experienced a relatively cold spell with temperatures in the single digits (Fahrenheit). During this period, I spent several days skiing cold, chalky snow on the Wailer 106, mostly on relatively smooth, grippy groomers.

In the cold snow, the Phantom treatment seemed to perform well, and the glide across flatter sections was at least as good as other skis that I’d recently waxed with standard blue Swix CH6X wax (which has a temperature recommendation of -14°F to 23°F). When we got a few inches of cold / light snow, the Wailer 106 continued to glide well without any hint of extra drag from the new cold crystals.

Recently, things got a bit warmer with temperatures in the high 20’s to low 30’s, and we received 10-12” of high moisture-content snow. After canceling our day of heli-skiing due to the ongoing storm, I headed up to the hill for some inbounds maritime pow skiing. The first thing I noticed when I got off the tram and clicked into the bindings was that the skis felt a little sluggish as I was pushing away from the tram deck. Once I started heading downhill, however, that sensation immediately disappeared and I skied down to the next chair with great glide and overall performance.

Throughout the day, the base treatment worked great, and the only time I had any other thoughts about it was while doing a beacon drill during which I took off my skis for about 30 minutes. When I picked up the skis from the snow to click in again, I was a little surprised to see that quite a bit of snow was sticking to the bases. I opted to just toss them down, click in, and ski away, and this was all it took to get back to excellent gliding.

While having some wet snow stick to my skis while stationary was a little surprising, it is something we were told to expect by the folks at DPS. Specifically, I was told that Phantom “behaves differently than wax, since…it isn’t wax. At very slow speeds (like a lift line) you will NOT feel the slippery, freshly waxed feel. But as soon as the initial friction between the base and snow is overcome you’ll have great glide.”

I would say that this description exactly reflects my experience so far.

After only a few days, I’m definitely not ready to fully endorse all of DPS’ claims about Phantom, but so far, things seem to be working as advertised. We will be getting some other reviewers on skis and boards that have been treated with Phantom, and will be providing updates on how Phantom deals with different types of climbing-skins glue, how it performs in different temperatures, and do some A/B comparisons with traditionally waxed skis. So keep an eye out for updates, but so far, so good.


  1. Ian February 15, 2018 Reply


    What happens if you need to do a base weld or base grind on a ski ? Presumably a new application of Phantom is then required ?


    • Bob February 18, 2018 Reply

      DPS says it penetrates the ptex and to base grind as normal when the bases need a refresh.

  2. Blister Member
    wilk800jkw February 15, 2018 Reply

    How hard was it to apply the treatment?

  3. k-roc February 16, 2018 Reply

    The thing about this is when you don’t wax your skis, they don’t glide very well on the flats. But when you get into your run, and you’re skiing fast, they work just fine. This seems to be the feeling you get with Phantom!
    I’m the kind of person who waxes once a week or more. I love flying across the flats and traverses, to get to the goods ahead of the crowds.
    I ski with patrollers a lot. I’m not sure about the ones in your area but the Fernie patrollers never, or at best rarely, wax. They might be slower on the traverses but once they point their skis downhill, you won’t be hearing any complaints.

    I’d like to believe Phantom is awesome and the solution to our wax problems, but I’m not convinced. Also why doesn’t DPS just apply Phantom to all their skis at the factory? Why wouldn’t other ski manufacturers license the product and do the same?

  4. SallyCat February 16, 2018 Reply

    What’s being lost here is the aesthetic aspect of ski waxing. And by “aesthetic” I mean “the opportunity to drink beer and listen to music while still feeling ‘productive.” :-)


  5. Blister Member
    MO February 16, 2018 Reply

    I have it on two pairs of skis now — one pretty used ski with some base repairs and one fairly new ski. Both prepped the same with a stone grind and applied in similar conditions. The newer ski glides much better than the older one after about the same number of days. The older ski was so slow on flats/traverses that I ended up just waxing it on top the Phantom. I’m not sure what conclusion to draw here other than perhaps the application does not take quite as well to an older base.

  6. Blister Member
    Yeti February 16, 2018 Reply

    I just returned from 14 days of skiing in Japan we did a good mix of resort, side country, and back country. I skied entirely on my Blizzard Spurs which I had just treated with Phantom. The Phantom was very easy to apply but a little time consuming. As DPS says the first few runs the skis felt sticky on the snow, almost like I had climbing skins on but after a few runs that quickly went away. You can defiantly tell a difference when standing in the lift line but as soon as you start moving things quickly change and they feel freshly waxed, within a few days everyone else s wax had worn off and I was quickly out running them to the goods. We had 3 days entirely in the back country and I did not experience any issues with the skins not sticking to the base of the skis. I will be treating all of my skis with Phantom.

  7. Blister Member
    Eric February 16, 2018 Reply

    Are there any benefits to waxing over a phantom treatment?

    Would it improve the low speed glide and when the wax starts wearing off give you a backup (at non-slow speeds)?

  8. bj25430 February 19, 2018 Reply

    I just got back from a 7 day ski trip at steamboat, co. I skied 5 of those days with DPS Phantom for the first time. First day we had 8-10 inch of fresh powder. I was concerned about skiing for the first time on Phantom in powder. No run to ski off excess Phantom. The skis never were sticky at all! right off the lift into deep powder, in the trees, the skis worked great. I also did something after application of Phantom that was a little different. I called DPS and asked what the main goal was after the “B” application. its to get off as much remaining material of phantom as possible after the “cure” process. i ditched that worthless cork /nylon brush DPS includes in the package and got my robust Nylon brush out and went to town on the skis. i feel it paid off! I had no sticky skis at all. They worked as a fresh wax ski would. Had no problems. Even after the powder was skied over and groomer runs the next morning, no problems at all. Temps were warm. 25F in the morning and 35-40 in the afternoon. Never did my skis stick at the bottom on the warmer snow. I will be applying Phantom to my other pairs of skis. I have no reason to believe that it didn’t perform as advertised. At least for my 5 days of sking the skis felt great. I will say that the brush and cork they include isnt even worth much. For 100$ i feel they could have done better with that. But if you are dropping 100$ on the product then you probably have dropped some money on some good ski tuning tools and have been waxing your own skis. If not, then get a stiff nylon brush that will brush off the excess material after the last product cure.

  9. Blister Member
    Gregory David March 14, 2018 Reply

    I wish they would not include the brushes. Most skiers/boarders have their own kit. These things rarely get “recycled” and end up in a landfill or worse…. and that goes for all plastic and mixed packaging……….

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