2012-2013 DPS Wailer 99, PURE, 184cm

Ski: DPS Wailer 99, PURE, 184cm

Dimensions (mm): 122-99-111

Actual Tip to Tail Length (straight tape pull): 184.0cm

Running Length / Effective Edge: 149cm

Turn Radius: 22 meters

Weight Per Ski: 1705 grams

Boots / Bindings: Lange RX 130s / Marker Griffon (DIN) 10

Mount Location: Factory Recommended (80cm from tail)

Test Location: Alta Ski Area

Days Skied: 5

DPS Wailer 99 Pure
Having performed an initial review of the DPS Wailer 99 Hybrid over a couple very early season days at the end of October in Summit County, Jason Hutchins and I had the chance to ski the Wailer 99 PUREs and the Blizzard Bonafides for 5 days at Alta, and we were able to get them both into a broad range of terrain and snow conditions.

If you haven’t already read my First Look at the Wailer 99 Hybrid, you might want to start there for an introduction to the 99.

(A quick note: this review isn’t going to go into detail about the difference in feel between the Hybrid and the Pure construction. While I can offer some (relatively unhelpful) generalizations about the difference, I don’t care to say too much with respect to the 99s, since we’d really need to ski the 99 Pure and Hybrid back to back over the same terrain and conditions to meaningfully compare and contrast. So this review will speak to the ride quality and characteristics of the PURE Wailer 99s.)

The first day on the 99s, it was just beginning to snow in the Wasatch, so things were quite thin, the groomers were sporting a decent amount of man-made snow and ice, and visibility was low.

As I’ve mentioned before, I have the awful and humiliating habit of hiding out in the backseat when skiing in low visibility. And I can tell you, this is not the way to ski the Wailer 99s. On groomers, you have the options of either skiing balanced or driving the shovels, but you don’t want to be chillin’ out back. If and when you unweight the incredibly light shovels and tips, the 99s will let you know that you are not skiing the way you ought.

When you do get centered or drive the tips, these skis are very impressive. Corkscrew was the groomer that we hit every lap as we made our way back to Collins. At the end of day three, it was pretty bumped up, and hitting it very fast often meant catching air off of bumps and turning in the air a bit. Hitting these bumps (at speed) in the backseat would get me in the air and out of control. Staying on the balls of my feet, however, made it a very fast, fun, high angulation ride, especially on our fifth day, when Corkscrew and Main Street had been groomed and there was less man made snow sitting on the surface. This is where it was fun and confidence inspiring to arc very high speed turns.

My sense of the 99s from the limited early season terrain in Summit County left me certain that the tails are stiffer than those of say, the Rossi S3, but I don’t think I had appreciated just how stiff they are. They aren’t MOMENT Garbones or anything, but they are not a super forgiving, fun-time noodle, either. After Summit County, I said that you can push the 99s; after Alta, I’d say that you most definitely can.

Dropping West Rustler into soft but thick chop, the weight – or weightlessness – of these skis becomes apparent. With some worry about what I was going to hit beneath the early season snow, I was initally skiing this line a bit backseat, unwilling to trust the shovels, not wanting to get slammed into something unseen. Again, wrong move. When you are on edge on the 99s in chop, unweighting those tips will either lock you into a turn or get the tips deflecting. Stay balanced or drive them, however, and they will fully cooperate.

Another thing: we didn’t detune the tips and tails over the first couple of days, and Jason and I would both highly recommend this. My first day skiing dense, fresh snow on West Rustler and Lone Pine, the tips were demonstrating some hooky behavior.

From the tip, we detuned the edges about one and a half inches down the ski, past the widest point of the shovel. From the tail, we detuned down to about an inch in front of the widest point of the tail. This noticeably improved groomer and chop performance.

On our second day out, nine inches of fresh snow had fallen, and Lone Pine and West Rustler were skiing incredibly well. I wasn’t getting bucked around, and there was no tip dive.

As I mentioned earlier, we were also skiing the Blizzard Bonafides, and Jason and I both felt that the 99s were very nearly as good on groomers, while being a more playful and more nimble around the mountain. In the fairly dense, fresh snow on West Rustler and Lone Pine, both Jason and I were getting bucked less on the Wailers, which we felt was due to the fact that, while the tips of the 99s and the Bonafides are both relatively soft, the 99s maintain their underfoot stiffness further up the shovel than the Bonafide, which stabilized the ride in boot deep, dense, fresh, maching big turns down West Rustler.

15 comments on “2012-2013 DPS Wailer 99, PURE, 184cm”

  1. Thanks for the review! I just picked up a pair from DPS and was wondering if you have tried the 99 Wailers mounted forward?
    Thank You,

  2. Michael,
    I’ve been riding the 99’s for about a week now and I can assure you that you are in for a treat once you get them mounted up. For the past few days I’ve been planning on moving the bindings ahead, a move that I typically do as I usually prefer a slightly forward mount, but honestly I still haven’t done it. I haven’t found a real reason yet to try them forward as they are absolutely crushing everything at the recommended line. The skis are insanely light, swing weight/balance in the air is a complete non-issue. The tails are stout enough that I feel like I don’t really want any more back there in added length or stiffness. Lastly I’m not sure if I’d want them further forward when it comes to skiing pow or chopped up left overs.

    With all this being said, tomorrow I’m going to play around with it and move them forward. If anything blows my mind I’ll drop a quick note here, if not I’ll be posting a pretty in-depth second look early in the week. Right now I say mount at the recommended line and go have fun on them!


  3. I asked you a couple of weeks ago about how these compare with the Bonafides, and thank you for the reviews. I am considering getting the pure 99 for steep backcountry skiing on the East side of the Sierras, mostly steep couloirs. Snow there is mostly inconsistent, wind affected, some firm, some corn.
    Mostly jump turns in the steep (50 degrees).
    1. How do you think these skis would work there?
    2. You mentioned a few times the stiff tails. I am an expert skier, but sometimes i do get in the back seat. I am on K2 Hardsides now. Is the pure 99 tail stiffer than the hardside? or the Mantra?
    3, Any other ski I should consider?

    thank you very much. I know the answers won’t be straightforward, but give it your best guess.

  4. 1) Jump turns are simply easier on super light skis. +1 Wailer 99s.

    2) I haven’t been on Mantras for a few season, and I’ve never skied the Hardside (though I think Jason may have….) As Jason and I have said, the 99s are not noodles, but they are definitely not super demanding or overwhelming.

    3) Before I saw the question that you posted to Jason’s 2nd Look review, I would have asked you whether you want to go with a ski that has a conventional, non-rockered tail, for extra bite. But if you’re talking about sliding turns to finish them, then the 99s tail would often feel less grabby / be smoother than a ski with a totally flat tail. I’m sure there could be other interesting options out there, but nothing else that I’ve skied comes to mind as an obvious better choice than the 99s for what you say you’re looking for.

  5. Thanks for the skinny on the DPS Wailer 99. But I have questions. I think I want an all mountain ski but is this really what I should get or should I go for a more frontside friendly carver? First who am I–a decent recreational skier but I struggle a bit when the conditions get tough. I am looking to replace my old (15 years!) Bandit XXs and have started to demo a few skis (Bonafide & Bushwacker by Blizzard, Kastle LX92 & BMX 88. The ski conditions at Aspen Mountain dring my first demo day–skis just mentioned–were packed powder groomers and very thin chopped up cruddy stuff elsewhere. The LX 92’s really cut up the groomers, were very lively and supper easy to turn (felt like a rock star) but felt a little stiff in the bumps and skied the crud pretty good I guess. The Bonafides felt like planks (2X6’s) at first but once I dropped down in size (next size down from 180s) they felt better. They seemed pretty good in bumps and good in crud, not as good on the groomers as the Kastle 92s. I ski exclusively in bounds mostly at a little ski area called Powderhorn near Grand Junction, CO, although I do get to ski bigger areas like Vail, Aspen, Telluride, etc. on occasion. I like to ski the whole mountain, need to get better at bumps and pow, and I like to ski groomers to be with my 8 & 10 year old kids. I’m 52, 6′, 200 lbs and slightly fat, but athletic (I bike and skate ski). I get 8-10 days a year of alpine and I am sick and tired of struggling in the trees and deep powder. We get some really good powder days at Powderhorn–oepning day today saw 2′ of moderately heavy pow–I struggled on my Rossis. Can you help?

    • Hi, Randy – it seems to me that the wailer 99 could be a good call for you, but the more you talk about struggling in trees and powder, the more I wonder if you shouldn’t step up to the DPS Wailer 112RPs.

      The 112s are very good on groomers – not quite as good as the 99s, but they will provide even better float than the 99s for those 2′ days. Plus, the tails of the 112s are not quite as stiff as the 99s, so I think you’ll find the ski to be even more forgiving. If you are getting 8-10 days a year, but getting out mostly when it snows, then the 112RPs will be great. You’ll sacrifice a little of hard pack performance, but gain even more pow performance. It doesn’t sound like groomers are the frustrating part, so why not get one of the most versatile pow skis on the market?

  6. I have narrowed it down to the W99 and the Armada TST for a non-deep day ski. They will be mounted with DynaDukes and used inbounds, side country, and the occasional tour. Any thoughts on how these skis compare to each other? Thanks.

  7. Thanks for the comparison of the skis in the 98mm class. I am looking to replace my 178 Rossi S3 that are getting severally beat up after several seasons.

    Half the time I love my S3’s in that length but the other half of the time they seem too soft and unstable. I was thinking of the 99’s or the PB&J…or just getting the next larger size of S3’s.

    I am 5’8 160lbs. I ski in Vermont and New Hampshire, about 60/40 BC and resort. I use the Onyx binding with Titans. I would consider myself an “expert”. The vast majority of the time I ski low to mid angle trees and/or bumps. I do spend a fair bit of time in legitimately steep and technical gullies. I almost never ski groomers. Any recommendations?

    Again, thanks for your time and great reviews!

  8. Hi, great site, thanks.

    In this review from 11/24/11, an upcoming review of the Blizzard Bonafide is mentioned.

    Is it coming soon?

  9. Jonathan,

    I have been reading your reviews about the Wailer 99 and Salomon Q105. I am considering buying one of those. I have ridden Salomon for the last few years (BBR 8 .9, Rocker 108) , but was really impressed by a recent demo of the DPS. I ski the east, Sugarbush, Stowe, Killington with several trips out west per season. I want a daily driver. Any thoughts on the comparison or key differences between the Q105 and wailer 99 pure?

  10. I was surprised and disappointed that in the Blister Buyers guide the 99 wasn’t even mentioned? So am I to gather that ever ski in the buyers guide are better than the DPS wailer 99 Hybird in the 100mm category? I bought mine because i cant demo very many skis and based on the review that they might even be better than the bonifide i noticed the Bones are there in the all mountain category. Why not the DPS99?

    • We didn’t include the Wailer 99 in the Buyer’s Guide because we haven’t been back on the Wailer 99 in several seasons. Those skis have changed a bit, and our first priority, always, is accuracy. And unfortunately, it simply isn’t accurate to assume / act as if the skis we reviewed several seasons ago – that we know have been tweaked. It has nothing to do with the skis in the guide being better.

      So we still have our reviews of the 99s on the website, there for everyone to see and read. As a Blister member, you’re certainly welcome to say that you’d like us to review the latest version of this ski (or any ski). And we are already planning to review the latest iteration of the Wailer 112RP this season.

  11. OK thanks for that. That makes sense. i am enjoying the buyers guide i was just looking for the quick take on the 99 and though why isn’t it there. haha Anyway im plotting another pair of skis and your guide will be super helpful I’m sure. i like how you break down each ski with the 3 categories. The v works im getting stoked on as i am the Line superNatural 108 and the scott Punisher 110. i can demo these 3 to make up my mind. Just looking for another Mach Snell ski That takes no prisoners. haha Thanks for your quick response. As always Blister Rocks!!

  12. I moved the bindings forward on my Wailer 99 and found the ski more stable, turned faster, and caught edges a little more. Not a big deal. BTW I love this ski in the trees. Telepathic turns.

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