2nd Look: DPS Wailer 105

DPS Wailer 105 vs. 14/15 Blizzard Cochise, 185cm

Speaking of firm, frozen, nasty off-piste conditions (think spring skiing early in the morning or late afternoon, before or after conditions have softened up), the Cochise has felt more forgiving and less harsh than the Wailer 105. But as conditions begin to soften up at all, that harshness diminishes and the ride quality of the Cochise and the Wailer 105 feel more similar.

Having said that, the Cochise is a bit less work than the Wailer 105s in virtually all conditions. But we still need to get the new Cochise on groomers to see how the two skis compare.

So, Who’s It For?

For those looking for an all-mountain ski that can be pushed very hard in firm conditions, I would be most inclined to recommend the Wailer 105 for bigger skiers or physically strong lighter skiers.

I.e., for a 165 lbs. skier (we’ll call “165 lbs.” the lighter side of the spectrum), I’d likely recommend the Cochise or the Belafonte over the Wailer 105. They both feel a bit easier to ski, but they can both still be pushed hard.

If you’re around 185 lbs., then I think it’s difficult to clearly recommend one over the other. As noted, the Cochise feels a bit less harsh in very firm, frozen, pretty nasty off-piste conditions. But as conditions soften up a bit, the stiff shovels of the Wailer 105 feel less harsh and simply stable.

And for those over 185 lbs—and certainly for those closer to 200, 220, 240 etc.—Paul and I would both be increasingly inclined to recommend the Wailer 105.

In other words, if you’re a bigger skier who doesn’t necessarily want to bump up to a longer-length ski, the Wailer 105 is one of the most solid 185cm-long skis currently available. Heavy skiers will still feel very well supported on this ski, and won’t have to go long in order to get that stability.

A Few Thoughts on Mount Location

If you will most likely be breaking out the Wailer 105 in firm conditions, Paul and I have both liked the skis mounted 82.0cms from the tail.

If you care more about optimizing for soft / deep conditions, then you might want to go back 1cm to 81.0. There were times at Alta this past season where in thick, deep, spring slush, I felt a bit far forward on the skis.

For me personally, given that I would use this ski primarily when conditions were slightly soft but without fresh snow, I would mount at 82.0cms from the tail. And especially given that the final production model is said to have slightly less tip splay than the pair we’ve been testing, I’m less worried about feeling like I have too little ski out in front of me.

Bottom Line

As some ski companies seem to be struggling to get clear on what sort of skis they really want to build, DPS now stands out as offering three clear and coherent product lines. This is a really good development, and a really good thing for all types of skiers.

The new Wailer 105 Hybrid T2 is a very good all-mountain ski that will be most appreciated by physically strong skiers who like to ski hard and fast (rather than light and fluid) in variable conditions.




3 comments on “2nd Look: DPS Wailer 105”

  1. I can echo Paul and Jonathan’s observations about the new Wailer 105. I only spent a day or so on them last Spring, and they are a serious departure for DPS’s recent designs…nearly returning to the direction of the original Wailer 105. After skiing a bunch of DPS Hybrid and Carbon models, jumping on the T2 Wailer 105 is like clamping yourself into a damp and metallic set of sleds with stable crud-cutting ability and a sold, reliable feel underfoot. Not “playful”, but more a more “business-like” and rock-solid personality. I tend to be on the heavier side of many skiers at 185-190 lbs, and the strength of the Wailer 105 T2 was impressive, never folding or deviating, no matter what the pressure situation was. The new Wailer seems to like to get up to speed to show off its torsional traits and will make plenty of stronger and heavier skiers (or those who like the damp feel of metal) really happy when conditions get variable. I got the distinct impression the new Wailer 105 would have a long lifespan with its dense and solid construction. It’s good to see DPS exploring new directions for new styles of feel underfoot. The new Wailer 105 and Cassiar 95/85 models will give plenty of people something to try this season. (I was very impressed with the new Cassiar 85 and 95 as well last Spring)…Thanks to Jonathan and Paul for the observations….

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