DPS has completely redesigned their 105 for the 2014/2015 season. A brawler of a ski, with metal and a dampness previously not seen in the Utah based company, we threw it to our gaggle of testers to see how it faired in the Earlyups Test Sessions
DPS Wailer 105
Defining tester quote: “DPS makes this ski?”
DPS has long been known for their special sauce blend of power and (very light) weight. Even with their previous hybrid (heavier) layups, their skis still lacked the “monster truck” “run shit over” feel between the ropes. For the 14/15 the minds at DPS have concocted a completely new layup more akin to a race room (now with metal!) ski than their featherweight ferrari like offerings. The new 105 in the T2 layup is DPS’s answer to the damp charger.
- Size: 185
- Tip: 136
- Mid: 105
- Tail: 119
- Weight: 5+ pounds/ski (mid/heavy)
- Radius: 29M
- Camber: early rise tip, camber underfoot, flat tail with slight splay
- Taper: mild amount
- Construction: DPS T2 Hybrid – Metal, wood, fiberglass, carbon stringers
- Flex: Stiff
- Testers: Brines, Byl, Cameron
Summary: A ski built for the traditionalist. If you know how to drive a ski properly, and looking for a powerful tail, the 105 won’t surprise you or let you down . However at 105 underfoot its a bit anemic to be a quiver of one for a place like Jackson but a great compliment to a larger (120+) pow stick for when stuck in a higher pressure situation.
Buy if…You are a higher speed, power oriented skier who likes the feel of a more conventional ski and living somewhere it snows less than 300″-350″ a year or likes to be *in* the snow as opposed to *on* the snow. You fit the 185 size, enjoy the power a flat stiff tail brings forth and looking for a damp (yes damp*) ski.
*In T2 (metal laminate) construction – DPS also offers this ski in Pure 3 (no metal laminate, prepreg carbon, construction)
Look elsewhere if…You live somewhere it snows north of 350″ year and this is your only ski. You are too big to fit the 185 size. You like something loose and surfy. You ski slow.
This ski was tested by three skiers ranging in weight from 175-200lbs.
Would you buy this ski? Yes – 2 No – 2
Rating: 3.2 (good)
The Wailer 105 fits right in line with the other 104-108 waisted skis in this test. For the most part, these slightly narrower offerings in our test have featured metal, a stiff flex, a damp feel and want to be pushed fast regardless of conditions. No surprise, the Wailer 105 performed very much in line with the other narrower offerings in the Earlyups Test session. As a surprise, every tester noting how un-DPS the ski felt in deflection prone terrain. “This is the dampest ski DPS has ever built”.
The ski arced big turns with ease and did not become rattled if snow conditions were not smooth. This is the best crud ski DPS has ever built. The large radius did offer the so-inclined pilot a somewhat manageable ability to scrub speed by releasing the tail though most testers mentioned other skis in this category had a more easy going tail release with one tester mentioning this was “the most locked-in ski he tested”. Still, in chalky or skied out powder day conditions, so long as you stayed on top of this ski, testers noted “this thing is a blast”. “Very confidence inspiring when I’m being aggressive”.
We believe one reason the ski felt so difficult to release was the tune. It is fairly aggressive, and most DPS buyers will likely appreciate this as its usually easier to de-tune than re-tune.
In powder the ski performed as expected. The early rise tip help the ski float and straight-ish sidecut kept things from being overly hooky, but make no mistake about it, this isn’t a surfy, loose, pow skiing machine. Still, if “caught” on a powder day with the 105, you’ll simply find yourself futher in the snow than on the snow, though you may not ski as fast as something fatter – we’d wager you’ll still have (a ton) of fun with perhaps an extra face shot or 7.
In corn or variable spring conditions, the ski was predictable and again, neutral. With the only downside again being the tail was a bit too demanding at times.
When looking at all the skis in this category it can be overwhelming. In our experience, this ski is mostly business and again had one of the more demanding tails. If you are the type of skier who stays on top of his shit more often than not and likes the feeling of being on rails, this is a solid ski. You are likely the “I wear black, was an ex-racer, my gloves have duct tape and I listen to old punk” type of skier. Alternatively if you want something with metal in this class but more easy going nature – look to the new Cochise or similar.
Overall this is your racer turned freeskier who lives on the front range quiver of one. It’d crush a place like A-Basin, Loveland, or even Jackson if complimented by a larger waisted alternative for when conditions warranted…