Crud Buster + Powder Charger Revisited, Part II: ON3P Wrenegade vs. DPS Wailer 112RPC
In my review of the 192cm DPS Wailer RPC Pure (144-115-127mm), I noted that the ski certainly is a good Powder Charger, but that the Pure construction model, at least, didn’t shine in chopped up, variable snow (we’ve yet to ski the RPC Hybrid). I have no reason to assume that the Wrenegade will best the RPC’s performance in straight up, untracked, consistent pow, but I think it’s got a shot to be excellent at carrying a whole lot of speed through good snow without tip diving or feeling like a sluggish ocean liner. And I think the Wrenegade has a significant shot at outperforming the RPC as the conditions get more and more variable.
[*** Yep, that was some good speculating. And to be both fair and clear, the true apples-to-apples comparison here would be to the ON3p Wrenegade and the DPS Wailer 112RPC Hybrid. But Wrenegade vs. RPC Pure, everything I wrote above is right. “Excellent at carrying a whole lot of speed through good snow without tip diving or feeling like a sluggish ocean liner,” very accurately describes my time so far on the 181 Wrenegade.]
Trees and Bumps
I opted to go shorter on this ski than I normally do for the sake of negotiating tight trees and bumps, and I had a lot of fun skiing Taos’ frontside trees and bumps—Spencer’s, Rhoda’s, Edelweiss Glade—far more fun, I’m sure, than if I was on the 191 Wrens. Admittedly, the tips of the Wrenegades are too wide to make them ideal for bumps, but the relatively short length, substantial tails, and slightly softer shovels all worked pretty well down Taos’ classic frontside trees and moguls, especially given how well the Wrenegade also works in pow.
Still, this isn’t the best tool for the job if you’re trying to wiggle at slow speeds through very tight trees or bramble. For that, a ski like the Armada JJ, DPS Wailer 112, or Rossignol Soul 7 will make a lot more sense.
So, What about Reforma?
This whole thing got started back when I thought the 181 Wrenegade might be perfect on Taos’ Reforma: big, steep-ish bumps at the top, a more mellow middle section that allows for some wider, sweeping turns that get interrupted by the need to negotiate a few more big, steep bumps, then a very fast straightline out the bottom. The 181 Wrenegades handled the top and middle sections perfectly. It was only on the bottom straightline once conditions had firmed up that I clearly felt that the Cochise, Katana, and Belafonte would be the better fit. Those three skis are all better at speed in firm, bumped up conditions, and definitely worse as the conditions start to get deep. (And keep in mind, too, that the Wrenegade is the fattest of the bunch.)
I’ve already said a good bit above about length, but just to reiterate, I would not caution bigger guys against going with the 191 Wrenegade. I’d really like to ski that length, too, though for where I tend to ski most at Taos, I can’t say that I would clearly prefer it. But actually, a 191 Wrenegade in the lighter, “Tour” layup that ON3P offers could probably make me stop wondering about that hypothetical 187cm Wrenegade. And strong skiers who are 10, 20, or 30 lbs. lighter than me will probably really like the 181s.
Resort. Powder. Charger. That’s the ON3P Wrenegade to a T, and I can’t sum it up any better.
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