Built to explore.
DPS has the reputation of being a backcountry-first company, but that's not entirely accurate. It's always valued lightness, but that's been taken to mean, "touring performance," which wasn't really DPS' intention. Lightweight skis, the company will tell you, are just as useful in bounds as out, so trimming the fat is as much a matter of increasing downhill performance as helping you crush the skinner.
What you just read, though, doesn't really apply to the Wailer 99 Tour1 Ski. This year, DPS is introducing Tour1 construction, a superlight alternative to the classic Pure3 layup, and one that's explicitly meant to keep the ounces down for improved backcountry performance. DPS has swapped the aspen core out for balsa wood, traded UHMW sidewalls for a lightweight cap, and changed the laminate slightly, all of which means the Tour1 version of the Wailer 99 is .75lb lighter than Pure3 while being nearly as stiff, so you can fly on the way up and charge on the way down without pooping your pants because of floppy-ski fear.
Balsa's ridiculously lightweight, as you remember from your glider-building days, but returns plenty of energy for a lively, fun feel. DPS' special laminate blend of prepreg carbon fiber and fiberglass keeps the Wailer stiffer and more powerful than other touring skis with comparable weights, and even the cap construction is designed to resist twisting, so you can rail powerful turns through chop, chunder, and all sorts of unexpected alpine mank. The profile of the Wailer is pretty traditional by current standards, with moderate tip and tail rocker and plenty of camber underfoot to provide an all-season combo of hard-snow grip and soft-snow float. DPS also designed it with its trademark Paddle Tech sidecut profile, which blends the sidecut to almost nothing at the rocker contact points for smooth turn initiation and a predictably hook-free feel. Narrow-gauge Rockwell 48 steel edges provide loads of bite with a low weight penalty, and the World Cup base lets you mob on the descents for maximum fun and speedier yo-yo laps.
- Rockered tip and tail with traditional camber underfoot
- Paddle Tech sidecut profile
- Tour1 cap construction
- Balsa wood core
- Prepreg carbon fiber and fiberglass laminate
- Narrow-gauge Rockwell 48 steel edges
- World Cup base
- Item #DPK0009
- Q & A
Everything you would Expect from DPS
- Familiarity: I've used it several times
Skis just like the Wailer 99 Pure with a little more deflection. They had to do something to lighten the load here on their Tour Series.
They are just as precise and can stop on that dime like the Wailer Pure but, when charging through choppier snow I felt some deflection.
I actually really liked the Balsa core. Its obviously really light but, that makes it very easy to whip around the mountain. It had an extremely lively poppy feel to it!
I normally stay away from capped skis as they don't hold an edge as well as a vertical sidewall but, not in this case. I was surprised to see how well the skis could hold on some icier spots. As far as durability goes, DPS says they see very little to no warranty claims on these skis due to sidewalls blowing and what have you.
Let me know if you have anymore questions like:
What bindings would go well with these?
What size or brand skins should I get?
Can they be used in bounds?
Don't hesitate to contact me directly via email or my direct phone line.
Light as a Feather, Stings like a DPS
- Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Had the chance to demo these puppies in some late season pow at the end of last year. All I really have to say is that if you are interested in the style and construction that DPS ski makes, but at a lightweight tour orientated model - this is the jam!
Ski planes suppppper well in powder - (i.e. like the pros in all the films) - the rocker provides pop and playful mobility and the lightweight does nothing to hinder the skis drive.
For us light(er) folks that want a little less weight for the up than a 112 underfoot - the 99 is the new aged sweet spot - not once did i wish i had a bigger underfoot ski.
Paired em with some speed radicals and had a blast - crush on the skin track as well.
DPS lovinnnnn! Party like its 1999.