2012-2013 DPS Wailer 112RPC

Will Brown reviews the DPS Wailer 112RPC, Blister Gear Review
DPS Wailer 112RPC

Ski: 2012-2013 Wailer 112RPC, 192cm

Dimensions (mm): 144-115-127

Actual Tip-to-Tail Length (straight tape pull): 190.8cm

Sidecut Radius: 20-23 meters

BLISTER’s Measured Weight Per Ski: 2,004 grams & 1,961 grams

Boots/Bindings: Salomon Falcon Pro CS / Marker Jester Demo (DIN at 10)

Mount Location: Factory recommended line

Test Location:  Alta Ski Area

Days skied: 6

Preface

We took the DPS Wailer 112RPC down to Las Leñas this past August for the BLISTER summer test trip. I put four days on the ski in a wide variety of conditions and wrote a First Look. While the RPC had some impressive characteristics, it exhibited some very unpredictable and rather irritating “hooking” characteristics, particularly in chopped, variable snow conditions in the steeps.

Turns out, the RPCs we had with us in Las Leñas were railed—the skis’ bases were concave, and their edges less beveled than they should have been. (You can read more about this in the Editor’s Note of the original First Look of the DPS Wailer 112RPC.)

It was impossible to say exactly how much those tune issues affected the ski’s handling. But at the end of the day, my original First Look of the RPC was basically invalidated.

So, back to square one.

I recently put some time on a new pair of RPCs at Alta. This time, the skis were tuned on DPS’s own machines set up by the Alta Peruvian, a BLISTER recommended shop. The tune on these skis is dialed.

You don’t need to reference that initial review; I have borrowed some language from that First Look in cases where my impressions of the ski haven’t changed since Las Leñas.

Preface Part II: Wailer 112RP & Wailer 112RPC

A quick note about the RPC’s lineage:

The DPS Wailer 112RP is an amazingly versatile powder ski, combining great float and maneuverability in soft snow with remarkable edge grip and energy in firmer conditions. If you’re looking for a ski to go from fresh pow laps in the morning to cruising groomers in the afternoon, the Wailer 112RP Pure deserves serious consideration. (Though, really, if you’re interested in the RPC, chances are you already know something about the RP.)

With so much splay in its tip rocker, a fairly forgiving flex, and generous sidecut, some skiers may find that the 112RP isn’t substantial enough to suit a more aggressive style of skiing. DPS picked up on this, and developed the RPC—the C is for “charger.”

At 115mm underfoot, the RPC is slightly wider than the Wailer 112RP, with a longer, progressive 20–23-meter sidecut radius (compared to the 15–18-meter radius of the 112RP).

The splay of the 112RP’s tip and tail rocker is reduced on the RPC, and DPS has also tweaked its “S.S.” core construction, putting three vertically integrated titinal ribs in the RPC (vs. the two in the Wailer 112).

DPS Wailer 112RP and 112RPC, Tip Profiles, Blister Gear Review
Wailer 112RP on top, Wailer RPC on bottom

Here’s what DPS has said about the RPC:

• “The RPC is designed to ski more in the fall line with a shallower turn shape. It’s for the charging, directional skier …who wants to put less emphasis on the RP’s hard snow performance and more on its abilities in crud and soft snow.”

• “The RPC gives up some of the 112 RP’s hard snow-carving performance and versatility in exchange for enhanced crud busting and speed through powder.”

• “The RPC will allow skiers to surf powder in the morning, then charge leftovers all day as they sniff out stashes.”

For the most part, DPS is correct with what they have to say about the ski, but I think there are definitely some important details to be fleshed out. Yes, the RPC is absolutely a Wailer 112RP at heart, as it shares some of the same characteristics that helped put the original RP on the map.

However, other unique characteristics make the RPC a decidedly different animal than the RP. Despite the partially adopted name, by no means do I see the RPC simply as a wider 112RP with a longer turning radius (as it might sound like from DPS description), nor as an “ordinary” 115mm-underfoot directional powder ski that’s suitable for just any “charging, directional skier” out there.

The RPC is an impressively engineered, specified tool for skiers looking for a particular feel and set of performance characteristics in their powder board. If the RPC lines up with what you’re looking for, you’ll likely be thrilled—there really isn’t another ski quite like it.

Before I get into the ski’s performance, here’s a word about the tune that was put on these skis for testing. Just like on the 112RP, I’ve come to understand that tuning/detuning on the RPC, perhaps more than other skis, is crucial.

The skis I’ve tested were tuned as follows:

-Fine broken linear structure
-Flat
-1.5 base, 2 side edge bevels
-Detuned tips and tails just beyond contact points

 

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.

      WB

  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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