DPS Skis founder, Stephan Drake, no longer with DPS

Blister news: DPS Skis co-founder, Stephan Drake, no longer at DPS Skis

Stephan Drake, who founded DPS in 2005, is no longer with the company.

Our understanding is that differences arose between Stephan and one of DPS’ investors, and those disagreements led to Stephan’s departure.

Without question, Stephan has had an enormous influence on ski design and powder skiing, and the DPS Lotus 138 was a revolutionary ski that is still one of the best skis in existence for deep-powder skiing.

We reached out to DPS, and they provided these answers to our questions:

Q: Who is now heading up ski design at DPS? Is Peter Turner still there?

A: “Yes, co-founder Peter Turner is still fully involved with DPS. He is supported by a talented product team that has some great new skis on the horizon.”

Q: Will Stephan have a consulting role at DPS?

A: “No”

Q: Who is the new CEO, and / or, who is currently at the helm at DPS?

A: “Alex Adema, who formerly served as the COO, has taken over as CEO.”

Update: 11.13.19 — Statement from Stephan Drake

I spoke with Stephan earlier today, and in addition to our conversation, he also provided this statement: 

“To clarify, the change in control at DPS this late summer was the result of a hostile takeover by a single investor who yielded a large economic hammer. Based on positive growth, an innovative pipeline, and future vision, I had the support of the other investors, the board of directors, advisory board as well as new investors from both inside and outside the industry. Our collective efforts were ultimately blocked. 

That is the extent of what I will say regarding the past at this point in time. 

After a few months of what felt like mourning a stolen child–– something that I poured my entire soul, creativity and existence into for fifteen years, I am now exploring new ventures. The best brands possess an intense and inherent top-to-bottom respect and loyalty to mission and culture. I am energized to pursue fresh innovation with a tight group of talented people with the right principles and values. Announcements pending in the upcoming months.”

We will be extremely interested to see what the future holds both for Stephan and for DPS.

You can listen to our past conversations with Stephan Drake here:

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12 comments on “DPS Skis founder, Stephan Drake, no longer with DPS”

  1. Really sad to hear this, always enjoyed your conversations with Stephan. Be interested to see what he does next and what direction DPS goes in.

  2. Holy shit.. can’t believe this. And it’s soul crushing to hear!

    I really like that he’s planning on starting fresh again though. This could be cool.

  3. That’s really a shame. I’ve held an increasingly negative outlook on DPS conducting business in a way that was harmful to many shops (high sticker price with precipitous price cutting), and indirectly to skiers. Does anybody know more about this takeover investor?

    • Very sad to read that but I fully understand Stephan and sure that a new iconic indy skicompany is going to come. Looking fwd to!

  4. I suspect DPS will suffer a slow death. You can only mask the stink so long. Countless companies that essentially begged their founders to come back, Apple / Steve Jobs, a prime example. If you take away the visionary force, you are only left with previously trained internal “pretenders” that no doubt can mimic language and visual design, but will never be able to lead where it counts: THE PRODUCT. Sad ending to this brand. And how many countless stories in the outdoor industry of a great bRand lost to soul-less Wall Street types who see product as widgets. The graveyard is endless. Some good investigative journalism by someone should be able to expose who the party is that kicked out Drake, and that would probably expose a soul-less individual group/ with an ego the size of earth. Russia if you’re listening…!

  5. …”the result of a hostile takeover by a single investor who yielded a large economic hammer” … if we are going to boycott DPS, I need to know soon, getting ready to pull the trigger on some 124A’s

    • Merely my two cents here, so everyone should certainly act as he or she sees fit. But that 124A is a great ski, and if it fits what you’re looking for, I would get it.

      For what it’s worth, I’m not boycotting DPS. But the onus is very much now on them to keep making skis that resonate with skiers. If they do, great. If they don’t, then … not great.

      I am also excited to see what Stephan does next, and I hope that it’s a success.

  6. Well put Jonathan. I feel bad for Stephan but I think innovative, creative people like him find success at whatever they put their efforts into and really hope his next endeavor is focused on the ski industry

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