Cage Match Comparison 2018 Head Kore 117 vs 2018 DPS Foundation Wailer 112

Philpug

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Kore 117 vs. Wailer 112 R.png
Um, 112 vs 117? Did someone send a knife to a gunfight? Well, no. This cage match was requested by one of our loyal followers, and as I told him, I even skied them on the same day last year. I remember it well, it was a powder day at Northstar and I was skiing the DPSs in the untracked Sugar Pine Glades off Vista lift. I ran into the Head rep, who was on the new matte black Kore, and we had a chance to switch skis. It was quite the experiment playing with two skis that on paper have a lot of similarities -- light weight, playfulness, floooooaaaat -- and then to feel the differences.

I will start with the obvious: the Head had more float, and the DPS was quicker in tighter trees. Duh. What surprised me was that the Head was more stable than I expected for such a light ski, which has a lot to do with the Kore design; even at 117 underfoot, it was deceptively quick edge to edge. Plus, it felt better in areas where I actually got to open it up. The DPS still has one of the best tree skis on the market in the 112; a litter of lab puppies should be so playful. So, out of these two, the Foundation is the nimble one.
  • Why choose the Kore 117? You want a powder ski that is good in the trees. It is a bit more of a charger than the 112, but amazingly sprite for a 117.
  • Why choose the Wailer Foundation Wailer 112? You want a tree ski that is okay when you open it up. Yes, there is a limit, but so what: this is a ski that is about the journey. Even if you are not first to the lift, chances are you will have the biggest grin.
 

fatbob

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Isn't Alchemist construction a better comparable to Kore?
 
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Philpug

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Isn't Alchemist construction a better comparable to Kore?
Maybe, but the Alchemist has a comma in it's price and will rarely get compared to the Kore. As I posted, this was an actual request by a member and since I had just skied them back to back, I thought it would be a good cage match.
 

Ken_R

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Just saw and handled the Head Kore series of skis (93 and the 105) and WOW. They are super light but still have a pretty stiff flex. VERY impressive.
 

fatbob

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Maybe, but the Alchemist has a comma in it's price and will rarely get compared to the Kore. As I posted, this was an actual request by a member and since I had just skied them back to back, I thought it would be a good cage match.
Fair enough. And I realise you have a relationship with the brands. But as I don't I'll ask the question - are new mainstream constructions like the Kore going to kick the butt of the more specialised indie offerings like the Alchemist? After all if it's about price tag it seems it's a possibility. I guess jury is still out on the durability of the Kore in regular joe use.

I base this on admittedly limited time on both a Kore 105 and A112 at the weekend
 
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Philpug

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Fair enough. And I realise you have a relationship with the brands. But as I don't I'll ask the question - are new mainstream constructions like the Kore going to kick the butt of the more specialised indie offerings like the Alchemist? After all if it's about price tag it seems it's a possibility. I guess jury is still out on the durability of the Kore in regular joe use.

I base this on admittedly limited time on both a Kore 105 and A112 at the weekend
It is a fair question and one that a Stephan Drake would not dodge and I won't either. Mainstream brands are realizing that there is a market for these light weight strong skis. We are seeing great new options like the Kores and Armada's Trace/Tracer and even Völkl's 90/100Eights. These are skis that now can go head to head with DPS that have had the Pures and now Alchemists for years. There are skiers, that no matter how good these mainstream models are will never ski a mass produced brand and want a premium/specialty/boutique ski. Also by now offering these lighter skis is putting the DPS's on the radar of people who have never skied or considered one prior. And they other view that Stephan would probably argue is that DPS isn't as much of an indie as they were when they started, they ARE mainstream. IMHO they have earned that too. When we go to SIA, they have one of the nicest and most professional booths, there are "bro's" hanging out slamming beers and killing time. Again, I would not label DPS as just an "indie" but more as a premium, specialty or boutique, that have grown out of the "indie" label.
 

fatbob

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I don't use indie as a perjorative. Most of my skis are indies of one kind or another. I just tend to regard the market as - You have a full spectrum offering and make race skis and rental fleets then you are a major, if not you are probably an indie. Now within indies there is wide and narrow distribution, specialist niches or broadening ranges etc., garage band or made alongside the majors in state of the art factories.

I just think the Kore is the first mainstream ski I've skied that seemed to have some of that indie special sauce (granted I've never skied a Völkl BMT).
 

Superbman

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I was just in the Portland evo gear store, they had the kore 105 and the wailer 112 alchemist side by side. FWIW, in the "pick it up and feel it " test the DPS won by a wide margin, it's a beautiful ski.
 
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Philpug

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I was just in the Portland evo gear store, they had the kore 105 and the wailer 112 alchemist side by side. FWIW, in the "pick it up and feel it " test the DPS won by a wide margin, it's a beautiful ski.
I really like the finish of the new DPS's. Very worthy of the premium label.
 
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