DPS is no stranger to pushing the boundaries of ski technology. This past week at SIA we sat down and talked to the guys out of Utah about spooning, a new manufacturing facility in Ogden and the company’s new “Pure 3” carbon layup. In our eyes, the upcoming season is the most exciting year for DPS since the company’s birth in 2005. Take a look for pictures, audio from Marshal Olson and our take on the product…
Intro: The DPS history is deep rooted in a form follows function design philosophy. The company has no interest in building rental skis, skis for those just learning to turn down the bunny hill or selling their skis on loud graphics or conventional ski-model marketing. In our eyes, DPS is more of a club. If you know about it, you probably have a healthy skiing problem with no chance of remission and if you don’t know of them well, that’s probably for the best.
Its safe to say most of the company’s product has been so far ahead of the curve from a shaping and materials standpoint, its hard to imagine finding ways to improve. Thankfully, they have some of the biggest ski nerds in the industry working for them (sorry guys, its true).
What is New: This year the company has introduced “spooning” to three skis, a new completely revised carbon layup and manufacturing in the USA. To start, the most notable change in the line is the Lotus 138 and Lotus 120 both receive spooning while the Spoon 150 has entered into production.
Spooning: What is spooning? In short the “spooned” skis feature base convexity through a portion of the skis rockered tip. This allows for the least hooky, most rally-car-inspired-drifty-McConkey style turns while still retaining a more conventional feel and ski behavior through non-convexity in the underfoot and tail region of the stick. The idea is you can drift into a turn, at a variable radius yet complete the turn solidly and more or less conventionally (if you choose). Every model features a different amount of spooning depending on its intended purpose from the 120 (least) to the 150 (most). Confused? Don’t worry, pictures explain this a whole lot better than words.
New Layup: If there is one complaint some have made regarding DPS prepreg carbon skis, its that they can be prone to deflection due to their extreme lightness. Its a tricky engineering conundrum to keep a ski light, stiff and poppy yet retain some level of dampness, stability and “anti-deflection”. This year DPS is introducing a new prepreg carbon fiber layup (carbon/wood construction) that utilizes metal stringers through the length of the ski and small amounts of weight strategically added to the tip and tail of certain the pure skis. This is interesting to us as it is literally the opposite of what other more main stream manufacturers are doing. DPS claims this is similar to adding strategic weighting to the head of a golf club with the idea the club is less likely to turn or deflect at ball strike. Honestly, it makes a ton of sense to us. The weight of the new carbon constructed skis is nearly identical to that of last year but the ski is far less prone to deflection or instability despite the ridiculously light weight. Marshal explains (press play)
Manufacturing: Finally, the company has brought manufacturing of its carbon sticks back to the good ole’ US of A as they opened a new manufacturing facility in Ogden, Utah some 13 months ago. This should allow them more oversight, more manufacturing agility and yeah, job creation to boot. The more conventionally manufactured hybrid models will still be coming overseas.
What we are most excited about: We look forward to getting on the Lotus 120 Spoon in the near future. Combining a versatile 120 under foot platform, reasonable 35M radius, light weight, long-ish effective edge and spooning could be a combination that leaves the rest of our skis collecting dust. Marshal explains the difference between previous iterations of the ski and this iteration.
Pictures: We shot a whole bunch of pictures in the booth. Without further adieu, here you go!
Flagship Spoon 150 (production) – Marshal says 1/2 his days have been on this schtick. More versatile than you’d think…and at 2000 grams. LIGHT.
Erme holding the Spoon 150. Rocker profile looks aggressive and purpose built.
Lotus 138, Lotus 120, Wailer 112 RPC, Wailer 112 RP
Gentlemen, Valentines day is fast approaching. I spy an idea???
Spoon | Dimensions 158/148/151 | Radius: N/A Sizes: 190cm| Pure3 Construction only
Lotus 138 Dimensions | Pure: 143/138/140 (unconventional) | Radius: N/A | Hybrid: 140/138/139 (unconventional) | Radius: N/A | Sizes: 182cm, 192cm
Lotus 120 | Pure: 140/122/126 | Radius: 35m | Hybrid: 140/120/124| Radius 43m | Sizes: 178cm, 189cm, 197cm
*Spoon Technology in Pure models only
More on the Spoon: We thought it was worth noting something that Stephan Drake, DPS founder, mentioned about the Spoon a few weeks back (150).
Last week I skied in epic conditions, and had the most insane sensations that I have ever felt on skis. Like everyone else around these parts, since I was a little kid, I have always dreamed of how you want to ski. Daydreams, night dreams…. mind skiing. You visualize how it looks, how powerful the rebounds are, how your body is angulated, how it feels to air from pillow to pillow in compact form, how quiet your arms are, how fast you can charge, how you g-load deep pow turns, how you feel slashes, slarves, how you can play with all sorts of terrain, and how you can control trips to the white room at will.
The spoon lets you approach the vaunted realm of mind skiing in real life. It’s that transformative. Of course it’s not fully perfect, and there are some subtle things that we would like to keep tweaking and playing with. The ski will continue to improve over time, but it has given me the best runs of my life in a very short time, and has fully blown my mind.
A couple of disclaimer notes:
+ What I like about this ski is how technical and specialized it is. It’s sort of like a secret club; it’s not for everyone, and only works If you already know how to load up and rail a downhill ski, and already ski fast and aggressively in pow, and can play with terrain. If you can’t check these boxes, I don’t recommend it; it’s not a meadow skipper or a resort ski, and if that’s what you are doing, the Spoon is perhaps better utilized as wall art. It’s a specialized weapon for hyper-fast, creative charging of the bottomless and untracked. If it’s not truly deep, keep it at home.
+ As Mr. U pointed out, It’s unstable at low speeds. Once you bring it up to plane, however, get ready for a powder accelerator like you have never felt before.
+ Again, this is not for the resort or for places with tracks. The spooned shovel gets bounced laterally in tracks. What makes it deficient in tracked snow is precisely what makes it so damn good and next level in untracked snow. In untracked it does exactly what it’s supposed to do, and that, ladies and gentleman, is blow the cerebral cortex.
+ It’s been so fun getting used to the ridiculous and very predictable slarves. You quickly learn that too much anglulation will send you into a long, and wonderful trip into the white room. Spoon skiing should be done with a covered face, because you are going to get worked when you charge through your own sprays as they are tossed in huge waves down the fall line on each powerful and angulated slarve- how rad is that?