2012-2013 DPS Wailer 112RPC

Hardpack / Groomers

What’s so great about the original 112RP’s design? Its capability on hardpack, among other things, so we’ll start there with the RPC’s carving feel.

I spent a couple of hours lapping the groomers under the Collins lift on the RPC. I didn’t need quite that long to get a feel for the ski on groomers, but at the time I didn’t really want to go anywhere else—the RPC’s carving performance, especially for a 115mm-underfoot pow ski, is absolutely on point.

Fast, high-angle carves are fair game on anything resembling ordinary groomer conditions. The ski is easy to roll on edge with a bit of speed, and the edge hold through each arc is very impressive. (I did experience some slippage on very hard bulletproof patches, but I think this would have been the case on many narrower skis, too.)

The RPC’s rather short 20-23m sidecut radius feels pretty tight (something like a GS ski) as it cuts across the slope. The ski hand flexes and skis very stiff, especially underfoot and through the tail, so it took some edge pressure and energy to feel like I was really bending the ski and loading up the camber underfoot. When I did, however, the ski pushed back hard with a snap from one carve to the next.

I’m not sure I knew what “torsionally rigid” really meant until laying down some blisteringly fast, high-energy carves out the bottom of Alta’s Collin’s face on the RPC. In this respect, DPS’s engineering and construction of the ski is seriously impressive.

DPS says that “the RPC gives up some of the 112 RP’s hard snow-carving performance” but I wouldn’t quite put it like that. I wouldn’t say that the 190cm 112RP’s hard snow carving performance is obviously better than the RPC’s, though it is less demanding. The 190cm 112RP Pure has a noticeably tighter turn radius and certainly requires less speed / energy to snap in and out of carved turns (due to its softer flex), but its edge hold is not markedly stronger than the RPC.

Just like DPS says, the RPC does have a shallower turn shape, but I never felt it offered a significantly less stable, less powerful, edged turn than the RP did at speed.

Having had fun scaring myself maching GS turns under Collins, I started to work the RPC into long and still very fast skidded turns. In a word, when it comes to performance on smooth hardpack and groomers—whether we’re talking railed turns, skidded fast turns, or short scrubbed ones—the RPC feels precise like no other 115mm-underfoot (or 110mm-underfoot) ski I’ve ever been on.

Collin’s Face was mostly scoured down to firm, smooth hardpack. Hauling down the center of the run, I was able to feather the tails out and cheat the skis’ shovels across the fall line exactly how I wanted them. The sidecut of the ski was noticeable there, as there was a bit of pull from the shovels, but I was easily able to dictate their angle relative to the fall line—smearing the shovels exactly when and where I wanted—using the ball of my foot.

Again, I think this is a testament to the ski’s engineering. The RPC is built with DPS’ Pure: Carbon + Nano core, so its overall weight is seriously light for a ski this big. It’s very torsionally rigid (as I’ve already mentioned), and it’s stiff through the tail. It felt pretty eerie to have a big, 192cm powder ski feel so light, intuitive, and stable while moving that fast on scoured hardpack.

Tighter, short-swing turns in about a half inch of loose snow dusted along the shoulder of groomed runs felt similarly precise. The skis again felt really light, surprisingly nimble, and intuitive for their size. Here, in just the slightest amount of soft, evenly spread snow, the RPC’s considerable 17mm of taper (from the widest point of the shovel to that of the tail) seemed to come into play. It was easier for me to smear out the RPC’s tails in shorter turns, but they never washed out on me abruptly.

When it comes to this sort of smooth hardpack and groomer performance, the RPC is easily one of the most impressive powder skis I know of. It’s light, yet its powerful and very precise feel makes me think the ski would crush 2-4” of windblown chalk, corn snow, and, obviously, any smooth, fresh untracked conditions.

I will say that in areas where I went sliding over firm crud and ridges of hard ice on the sides of runs, often the ski felt more rigid than it did damp. I felt hard knocks on the skis’ edges and underfoot fairly easily, like vibrations were being sent directly into my legs rather than absorbed by the flex of the ski (think about hitting some uneven pavement on a road bike versus a townie cruiser). Curious to see how this rigidity, which otherwise gives the RPC such a responsive feel, would translate to variable, more bumped/chopped conditions, I headed for the steeps skier’s left of Alta’s Ballroom.


6 comments on “2012-2013 DPS Wailer 112RPC”

  1. Great work Will and team. I’ve been eagerly awaiting this update, as I love my 112RP Pures, but find that they “melt” a bit on me at higher speeds (too soft in the forebody) and aren’t damp enough for the kinds of set-up crud common to PNW resorts. It’s a dream machine for touring and most resort powder days, but for everything else, the Katana gets the call. I had hoped that the RPC could be something between the two: much more conducive to inbounds charging than the 112, while dropping a decent amount of weight from the Katana. Sounds like we’re not quite there.

    Here’s the question: is it your opinion that no amount of technology will overcome the lack of dampness that comes when a ski is as light as an RPC? Even the third SS strip doesn’t appear to have solved the dampness issue. This question rekindled in my head when whispers of a new Pure formulation came out of OR. A heavier, but damper pure would be right up my alley assuming the shape works. I know there’s the hybrid route and the every ski is a compromise to one degree or another, but I doubt I’m alone in thinking “if only my Pures were 25% damper, they’d be perfect,” even if that came at the expense of 25% more weight. After all, DPS employees themselves have been fond of saying that the low weight of the Pures is simply a happy byproduct of using the best-skiing materials, as opposed to a means to an end. If so, a heavier, damper version of the construction for an inbounds ski seems appropriate if feasible from a market perspective. I’ll probably always tour on the pure flavor we have now, but for lifts….

  2. Hey Andy, funny you ask. I was just chatting with Jonathan at sia, yesterday about the new pure3.

    It has an entirely new laminate, and rides differently. Jonathan will be posting a direct pure2 vs pure3 review on the rpc in the coming several weeks.

    I will refrain from posting my opinion, as I am the sales manager of Dps after all.

    • Hi Chicken,

      The Bibby doesn’t have the tenacious edge hold of the RPC, and feels a little heavier moving from edge to edge (for its width, though, you can rail the Bibby pretty well on some semi-soft groomers). It also requires a bit more of a centered stance than the RPC, which you can really lean on in a race-style carve. I haven’t skied the 191 BillyGoat for a while now, and I do know ON3P is changing that ski significantly for next season. But, the 11/12 version that I skied a while back didn’t seem to have the edge hold of the RPC, and felt more sluggish across the board (really, given the light weight of the RPC, pretty much anything in the same 115mm class will). However, the Billy Goat does MUCH better charging through chop/crud as a result. Unfortunately I haven’t skied the Concept. Hope this helps you – let me know if there are some other specifics you’re wondering about.


  3. Here is my take in the 112RP and the 112RPC. First DPS and frankly Blister didn’t do the RPC any favors by using the 112RP connection ( which you both keep doing) or testing a untuned ski (knowingly or not) and writing a review on it. Your review kept me off the RPC for most of the season. So much for trusting any review and I should know better! I still don’t agree with the majority of what you have said here about the RPC. A few knowlegable guys have started calling the RPC a *115 Lotus* which is likely a better comparison and name for the ski IMO. My take is the 112RP is a ‘beginners’ ski. The ski for the guy who never learned to ski powder on a traditional pair of sticks. The RPC is for a strong, mature skier who does know the value of a tortionally stiff ski. The RPC is simply the most versital LWT big mtn ski I have ridden. It is that good imo.

    Easy to take swings at what I think is a bad review. Harder to write a good review and test so much gear. That I appreciate as well as Blister’s efforst and contribution to the copmmunity. You guys don’t miss much. But on the RPC I think you missed a lot. I just wish I hadn’t waited so long to get on the RPC :- )

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