19/20 DPS Skis Lineup with Stephan Drake (Ep.56)



TOPICS & TIMES:

  • Building skis in Salt Lake City, Utah (2:45)
  • What is “DPS Dreamtime”? (7:17)
  • Foam & DPS’ new construction (11:01)
  • DPS Wailer 100 RP vs 112 RP (25:10)
  • DPS’s “C2“ vs “RP” (29:30)
  • The redesigned DPS Wailer 106 (35:12)
  • DPS freestyle skis / DPS Koala 119 (36:25)
  • Update on the DPS Ski boot (41:10)
  • Update on DPS Phantom (44:27)

Yesterday I spoke with DPS Skis founder, Stephan Drake, about the new DPS 19/20 product lineup, and about two new skis they are introducing for their DPS “Dreamtime” event, which officially runs from July 15th to August 1st.

And while the two new skis are certainly interesting, the bigger news is the new “Tour” construction that DPS is employing in these two skis, which incorporates foam. That’s right, foam. You’re definitely going to want to hear Stephan’s explanation of the new construction.

Stephan also breaks news about their “Koala” skis, gives an update on the DPS ski boots that he and I spoke about back on Ep. 38 of the Blister Podcast (you need to check that out if you haven’t already), and shares some new developments with DPS Phantom base glide treatment.

Footnote from Stephan Drake — 7.12.19:

After our conversation, Stephan sent me this note, and I think it provides some valuable context and useful qualifications to our conversation. He wrote:

“I was replaying our conversation in my mind, and I recalled you saying a couple of times that the claims around the Powderworks constructions were “big”. While I maintain they are, I don’t think I articulated the nuance around the weight/damping equation as clearly as I could have.

Namely, I stand by claims that these skis are the dampest carbon skis ever produced and have an amazing/planted feel; the construction itself, in my mind, as well as the testers, has a planted feel equivalent to glass or metal but at dramatically less weight — and with all the “electric” power of carbon. However, what wasn’t discussed is the overall effect of mass (or lack thereof) itself.

When you get this light, especially when the ski is not on edge (more susceptible to being tossed around by snow/terrain), the overall lack of mass say vs. a 2500g metal ski detracts from the overall sensation of plantedness.

Yes the construction in this weight category is transcendent in terms of a huge breakthrough in respect to rebalancing the powerful/damp/light triangle without compromise.  The construction of these skis, when riding an edge,  have the stability and connected feel of skis that weigh significantly more — but the lack of mass (which is the point) doesn’t warrant an overall claim of “as planted” as say a 2500g heavy metal build when compared directly head-to-head, run to-run in manky snow — considering that your inside ski is often unweighted.

All this is to say that overall mass can be beneficial in certain snow/speeds, but generally speaking, mass is more punitive and the benefits of a damp/planted/light carbon ski like this far outweigh the benefits of additional mass.

There’s some nuance here,  but hopefully this makes sense from a carbon-build perspective.”

Other conversations we’ve had with Stephan:

Jonathan Ellsworth talks to DPS Skis founder, Stephan Drake, about DPS's Dreamtime sale, their new touring ski construction, foam cores, DPS ski boots, and more on Blister's GEAR:30 Podcast
Cross section of the Powderworks Lotus 138 Tour construction.
Jonathan Ellsworth talks to DPS Skis founder, Stephan Drake, about DPS's Dreamtime sale, their new touring ski construction, foam cores, DPS ski boots, and more on Blister's GEAR:30 Podcast
DPS Dreamtime Lineup: Powderworks Lotus 138 Tour, Powderworks Wailer 100 Tour RP, SE Alchemist Wailer 112 RP, SE Alchemist Yvette 112 RP, SE Alchemist Cassiar 94 C2, and SE Alchemist Uschi 94 C2
Jonathan Ellsworth talks to DPS Skis founder, Stephan Drake, about DPS's Dreamtime sale, their new touring ski construction, foam cores, DPS ski boots, and more on Blister's GEAR:30 Podcast
Dash Longe on the DPS Koala 119. (photo by Rocko Menzyk)

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