Ski: 2019-2020 DPS Foundation Koala 119, 189 cm
Available Lengths: 179, 184, 189 cm
Blister’s Measured Tip-to-Tail Length: 186.9 cm
Blister’s Measured Weight per Ski: 2438 & 2480 grams
Stated Dimensions: 144-119-131 mm
Blister’s Measured Dimensions: 145.2-118.5-130.9 mm
Stated Sidecut Radius (all lengths): 23 meters
Measured Tip & Tail Splay (ski decambered): 66 mm / 62 mm
Measured Traditional Camber Underfoot: ~3 mm
Core: Bamboo/Poplar + Carbon Stringers + Fiberglass Laminate
Base: “high-graphite World Cup race base”
Factory Recommended Mount Point: -6.45 cm from center; 87.0 cm from tail
DPS has been making unique and progressive powder skis since the brand was founded. They gave us some of the first reverse-sidecut, reverse-camber skis, massive super-fat skis like the Spoon and Lotus 138, and recently, the excellent Alchemist Lotus 124.
But one thing that’s been missing from DPS’s line has been a freestyle-oriented, twin-tip ski. That was, until they announced the release of the brand-new Foundation Koala 119.
Given some of DPS’s long-time athletes’ freestyle backgrounds (see below), I’m honestly surprised they didn’t come out with something sooner.
(Full disclosure: DPS athlete Santiago Guzman only spins a couple times in that edit, but I mostly just wanted an excuse to post it again, since it’s one of my favorite ski edits of all time.)
Anyway, now the Koala 119 is finally here, and we’re getting it on snow today. In the meantime, let’s see how the design of DPS’s first freestyle ski compares to the competition. Spoiler alert: this isn’t your typical jib stick.
What DPS says about the Koala 119
“A new ski built for animals. The Koala started from the DPS Koalas. As the stars of DPS Cinematic, skiers like Piers Solomon and Santiago Guzman are mixing hard-charging directional skiing in deep snow with creativity and a flair for play. Over the last few months, newly minted Koala Dash Longe has taken the design reigns and sparked a quick, focused evolution of the design. Structured around a more forward mounted chassis platform that enables butters, switch skiing, and landing airs, the Koala blends directional charging with freestyle nods to create a powder-oriented all-arounder for those who want to push the creative side of their big mountain skiing.”
DPS is making it clear right away that the Koala isn’t just for spinning and flipping. Instead, they say it’s designed to mix “hard-charging directional skiing” with “creativity and a flair for play.” They also highlight the Koala’s more forward-mounted platform, talk about its ability to butter and ski switch, and mention that it’s a “powder-oriented all-arounder.” There’s a lot going on there, so let’s take a closer look at the Koala’s design to see the result.
Overall, the Koala 119 looks fairly similar to DPS’s other pow shapes — the Koala has a lot of tip taper, a more subtle tail taper line, and a slightly more symmetrical shape than their directional skis. The Koala 119’s tail looks very similar to the DPS Lotus A124’s, while the Koala’s tip looks like a blend between the tip on the DPS Wailer A112 and the Lotus A124.
The Koala 119’s rocker profile is where things start to differ more. The Koala has a deep tip rocker line, a pretty deep tail rocker line, and a high, twinned tail. The Koala has much higher tail splay and a deeper tail rocker line than most of DPS’s other pow skis.
Compared to other freestyle pow skis, the Koala 119’s rocker lines aren’t crazy — if anything, they’re fairly average when compared to skis in its class like the ON3P Kartel 116, Rossignol Black Ops 118, Line Outline, Moment Wildcat / Blister Pro, Folsom Trophy, J Skis Friend, and Icelantic Nomad 115.
Here’s how we’d characterize the flex pattern of the Koala 119:
In Front of Toe Piece: 9.5
Behind the Toe Piece: 9.5
Surprised? I know I was. My notes from hand-flexing the ski start, “This ski is stiff as f***.”
There is no part of the Koala that I’d call “soft.” It’s just really stiff, through and through. So if you thought DPS was going to make their freestyle pow ski some noodly butter stick, think again.
Overall, the flex pattern of the Koala 119 reminds me of the flex patterns of the Prior CBC and Prior Husume. All three skis never soften up that much, and instead, just have a very solid flex throughout. And of the twin-tip pow skis we’ve reviewed, the Koala 119 is definitely the stiffest (though the CBC isn’t far off).
While many of DPS’s skis come in on the lighter end of the spectrum, the Koala 119 is not a dainty ski. In fact, it’s one of the heavier pow skis we’ve reviewed. If you’re a frequent reader of Blister, you’ll probably know that this makes us very excited. Because heavy skis often stay more composed at higher speeds in rough snow, and since DPS is claiming that the Koala 119 mixes hard-charging directional skiing with a playful nature, its heftier weight seems to make sense.
For reference, here are a whole bunch of our measured weights (per ski, in grams) for a number of notable skis. As always, note the length differences to keep things apples to apples.
1710 & 1744 Atomic Bent Chetler 120, 184 cm (18/19–19/20)
1910 & 1941 Scott Scrapper 115, 189 cm (17/18–18/19)
2013 & 2099 Moment Wildcat / Blister Pro, 184 cm (18/19–19/20)
2034 & 2052 Blizzard Rustler 11, 188 cm (17/18–19/20)
2043 & 2046 4FRNT Inthayne, 188 cm (18/19-19/20)
2083 & 2097 Line Magnum Opus, 188 cm (15/16–18/19)
2102 & 2137 Line Sick Day 114, 190 cm (17/18–19/20)
2126 & 2173 Rossignol Super 7 RD, 190 cm (17/18–19/20)
2130 & 2130 Moment Wildcat / Blister Pro, 190 cm (18/19–19/20)
2133 & 2133 Salomon QST 118, 192 cm (17/18–18/19)
2183 & 2190 Black Crows Anima, 188.4 cm (17/18–19/20)
2196 & 2199 Icelantic Nomad 115, 191 cm (17/18–18/19)
2220 & 2252 Faction Prodigy 4.0, 186 cm (17/18–19/20)
2212 & 2215 Armada ARV 116 JJ, 185 cm (17/18–19/20)
2222 & 2278 Prior CBC, 184 cm (17/18–19/20)
2228 & 2231 Blizzard Spur, 192 cm (17/18–19/20)
2230 & 2250 Black Diamond Boundary Pro 115, 185 cm (17/18–19/20)
2246 & 2265 Fischer Ranger 115 FR, 188 cm (17/18–18/19)
2267 & 2270 Whitedot Ragnarok 118, 190 cm (16/17–18/19)
2296 & 2309 Liberty Origin Pro, 192 cm (17/18–19/20)
2297 & 2317 K2 Catamaran, 184 cm (17/18–19/20)
2341 & 2357 Dynastar PR-OTO Factory, 189 cm (18/19–19/20)
2343 & 2360 J Skis Friend, 189 cm (18/19)
2346 & 2351 Nordica Enforcer Pro, 191 cm (17/18–19/20)
2382 & 2395 ON3P Billy Goat, 184 cm (17/18–18/19)
2408 & 2421 ON3P Kartel 116, 186 cm (17/18–18/19)
2429 & 2437 Kingswood SMB, 188 cm (16/17–18/19)
2438 & 2480 DPS Foundation Koala 119, 189 cm (19/20)
2438 & 2492 Rossignol Black Ops 118, 186 cm (16/17–19/20)
2490 & 2529 K2 Catamaran, 191 cm (17/18–19/20)
In line with DPS’s claims about the Koala’s freestyle design intent, the ski comes with a pretty progressive recommended mount point of around 6.45 cm from center. That’s not crazy far forward, nor crazy far back. It’s just a pretty moderate mount point that should allow for a more balanced feel, while potentially still allowing you to drive the front of the ski (based on our experience on many other skis with similar mount points).
Some Questions / Things We’re Curious About
(1) The Koala 119 has a twin tip, lots of rocker, and a progressive mount point — yet it’s super stiff and quite heavy. So our main question is: just how playful it will actually feel?
(2) On the flipside, how stable will the Koala 119 be, and will directional skiers who aren’t spinning still get along with it?
(3) At 119 mm wide, the Koala is pretty fat. So should it be thought of as a dedicated pow ski for super deep days, a versatile soft-snow ski, or even a wider all-mountain ski for high-snow areas?
(4) We can’t think of any current skis that offer the Koala 119’s combo of weight, flex pattern, and shape, so what are the most relevant comparisons going to be?
Bottom Line (For Now)
For their first freestyle pow ski, DPS went with something a bit different than what else is currently on the market. The Foundation Koala 119 has a rocker profile and shape that’s similar to many other playful pow skis, but the Koala 119 clearly stands out once you flex and weigh it. We’re spending time on the Koala 119 today, so Blister Members will soon be able to read our initial impressions in a Flash Review, and then stay tuned for our full review.
Blister Members can now check out our Flash Review of the Koala F119 for our initial impressions. Become a Blister member now to check out this and all of our Flash Reviews, plus get exclusive deals and discounts on skis, and personalized gear recommendations from us.