Pugski Test Team

Testing skis so you don't have to.
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19 A C 79 TC.png
DPS Cassiar Alchemist 79 "The Trainer"
Dimensions: 123-79-106
Radius: [email protected]
Sizes: 160, 167
Sizes tested: 160, 167
Design: All New
Weight: 1380g/[email protected], 1445g/[email protected]

Philpug: This is a ski that I did not expect from DPS; in fact, just looking at it, neither would you. Not so much that the 79mm width isn't what you would expect, but the way the ski reacts on hard snow is what really surprised me, the Trainer is a scalpel of a hard snow ski.
  • Who is it for? The nonconformist.
  • Who is it not for? While this is called The Trainer, some might still want something traditional.
  • Insider tip: Yes, the 167 is the longest available currently; it is adult-sized.

Tricia:
If I were to make a top 5 list of skis that blew me away this past season, this would be No. 1. Coming from a company like DPS, which has built its reputation on top-quality powder skis, I didn’t know what to expect when they told me to try what they referred to as The Trainer -- but I didn’t expect what I got, which was a playful, snappy ski that turned on a dime and flew through the moguls. The only conditions in which I didn’t feel like it excelled were heavy Sierra snow; that’s when the Cassiar 79 got pushed around.

This is the ski that will make you rethink DPS as just a powder and off-piste ski company and know them as a ski company that knows how to make quality skis for the entire mountain. I skied this ski in both offered lengths; I tend to prefer the 167 length, but the 160 was just as fun.

I liken this ski to the sexy librarian: she looks very serious, but isready take off the glasses and show her naughty side.
  • Who is it for? Any skier looking for a playful ski that seriously carves.
  • Who is it not for? Someone who just wants to straightline.
  • Insider tip: Don’t overthink the sizing.

19 F-Cassiar82.png

DPS Foundation Cassiar 82

All Testers: While we didn't get on the F82 as much as the 87 and 94, what is said about them goes for the 82mm version as well.


19 F C 87 TC.png
DPS Foundation Cassiar 87
Dimensions: 127-87-108
Radius: [email protected]
Sizes: 165, 171, 178, 184, 189
Size tested: 184
Design: All New

Andy Mink: DPS expands its already fine Foundation line for 2019 with the introduction of an 87mm all-mountain ski. Utilizing the C2 chassis found on the 2019 Foundation models, the ski is very strong but forgiving. I found that it will carve as far over as I can go, but the rounded tail allows for a quick detach to a slarve or slide if the situation calls for it. Give the ski a bit more angle and you're back into the carve. In the trees and bumps, that same tail shape, along with a little rise in the forebody, allows for a safe, secure feel for those who are learning the literal ins and outs of bumps and trees. A stronger, bigger skier would probably enjoy the 189 length; lighter or less experienced skiers would do well with the 184 or 178; and the 165 and 171 lengths would be reserved for smaller skiers.

The ski does not demand full attention at all times but it will reward the more technically proficient skier who drives harder. It will also not punish the intermediate skier who is climbing the skill ladder. The 87s would make a really good one-ski quiver for the Tahoe/Sierra skier or a great addition to a two-ski all-mountain quiver with a 100+ for those sweet, sweet powder days. With the shape of the tip mimicking DPS's very popular Wailer lineup, these are the ticket for carving up groomers and then hopping off into the powder stashes.
  • Who is it for? Advancing intermediates or experts looking for a comfortable, competent everyday driver that doesn't punish mistakes but rewards proficiency.
  • Who is it not for? Beginners or early intermediates who are still feeling their way around the mountain.
  • Intermediate tip? Take these skis to areas that may normally be out of your comfort zone; they will help you without a lot of drama.

Philpug: It is always cool to be there at the beginning. DPS launched its Foundation series right when we started Pugski.com, and DPS was one of our first sponsors. Two years later, DPS is updating the series we helped launch by giving the Cassiar collection a new shape and a new model, the Foundation Cassiar 87. While the Chassis 2 shape is shared with the Powderworks 87, this is an all-new construction in the Foundation application. See our Long-Term Review HERE.
  • Who is it for? Skiers who want an entry-level premium ski without entry-level performance.
  • Who is it not for? Stronger skiers can overpower their regular sizes, so think about sizing up.
  • Insider tip: Look for the upcoming Uschi 87 and a junior version from this mold: the Wailer Grom available with a scaled-down construction and flex pattern in 148 and 158 lengths.

19 F C 84 TC.png
DPS Foundation Cassiar 94
Dimensions: 133-94-113
Radius: [email protected]
Sizes: 165, 171, 178, 185, 191
Size tested: 185
Design: All New

Andy Mink: New for 2019, the Foundation Cassiar 94 fills the spot formerly held by the FC95. Don't assume this is just a millimeter drop in the waist, though, as the build and shape of the ski is all new. The updated tip may be the biggest change that you'll notice as it turns just a bit easier than the outgoing 95. The slight tail rocker and curve of the tail allow for easy maneuvering in bumps, junk, and powder. While the 94 will carve (and quite well thank you very much), its main job is heading into cutup leftovers, mashed-out edges, and freshies.

The 94 is a very easy, forgiving ski that doesn't mind being taken into less-than-perfect conditions. It has the float to go over the top but it's stout enough to go through when necessary. It does like to be skied in a neutral position; there is no need to try and drive it. This green machine would be a nice complement to a quiver that already has a dedicated groomer slicer and powder beast.
  • Who is it for? The resort skier looking to spend more time off the groomed than on.
  • Who is it not for? The groomer skier with no desire to see what's off the corduroy.
  • Intermediate tip: Peek off the edge with these and see what's over there.

Philpug: Ever ski a ski and think, "Yeah, this is just what it should be" -- only to try its replacement and think, "Damn, this is even better; how do they do that?" Well, that's how it is with the all-new DPS Foundation Cassiar 94. While the outgoing model is quite good, light and playful with a whimsical personality, the new one retains all of that but is now stronger and has a more serious side. See our Long-Term Review HERE.
  • Who is it for? A premium ski at an entry-level price without entry-level performance. Sound familiar?
  • Who is it not for? The biggest of the big chargers -- unless you want a playful ski.
  • Insider tip: Size up, and when you order, step up and get the Phantom Permanent Base Glide Treatment.

19 F W106 TC.png
DPS Wailer Foundation 106
Dimensions: 142-106-125
Radius: [email protected]
Sizes: 168, 178, 185, 191
Size tested: 185
Design: Carryover

Philpug: (from last year) Maybe I am getting old, but I am liking easy skis more and more all the time. The Wailer 106 with the new Foundation construction is just that, easy. Now, just because a ski is easy, doesn't mean it isn't good. We can now have easy, fun, and playful at only the cost of the Nth degree in top end; to me, that is an acceptable price to pay. If I want to charge, many skis will do that. The shape and feel of the new Foundation series is just nice and workable. These are 185s and the length is there when I want it but it doesn't get in the way in the tight trees of Northstar's Lookout Mountain. The Wailer 106 is just deceptively easy to ski. Read the full Long-Term Review HERE.
  • Who is it for? Individuals who aren’t looking to compromise. These skis are on the finesse side of the scale and reward skiers who are neutral on their skis; they do not need to be driven to get the most performance.
  • Who is it not for? 11/10th skiers.
  • Insider tip: Could very well be the best balance of an all-mountain One-Oh-Something ski.

A-Wailer-106.png
DPS Wailer Alchemist 106
Dimensions: 138-106-124
Radius: Not Published
Size tested: 186
Design: All New

Philpug: (from last year) DPS has great shaped skis, and it creates different constructions for different skiers, which is a novel way to build skis, and a loyal following. The new Alchemist construction is the flagship of DPS’s new builds, and when put in the highly versatile Wailer 106 shape, it has a winner. Where the Alchemist differs from many of the other One Oh Somethings is in its turn shape: the ski feels like it is a 92mm ski with a 15m radius, although the numbers are nowhere near that. It is deceptive, with a nimbleness not found in other skis in this segment.
  • Who is it for? The nonconformist.
  • Who is it not for? Those who make figure 11s; these like to turn.
  • Insider tip: Not merely a Pure4, but a much better ski.

Women

19 F-Uschi82.png
DPS Uschi Foundation 82
Dimensions: 124-82-107
Radius: 15m
Sizes: 153, 159, 165, 171
Size tested: 165
Design: All New

Tricia: This is one of the skis that I liked in its previous build and like just as much, if not more, in this current construction. The Uschi 82 turns smoothly, busts through crud, dances in moguls, and holds an edge on those days when you’re not sure what the day is going to deliver. Other than the deepest of powder days, I’m not sure there is anything that the Uschi 82 won’t do for you.
  • Who is it for? An advanced female skier who likes to play in a variety of terrain.
  • Who is it not for? Lower-level intermediates.
  • Insider tip: If you want a ski that is a little more off-piste-oriented, go for the Uschi 87.

19 F U 87 TC.png
DPS Uschi Foundation 87
Dimensions: 127-87-108
Radius: [email protected]
Sizes: 157, 165, 171, 178
Size tested: 165
Design: All New

Tricia: Much like its baby sister the Uschi 82, the Uschi 87 is a great all-mountain ski that skis extremely well all over the mountain, busting through crud without a care in the world and making moguls fun. While it doesn’t turn quite as quickly as the Uschi 82, the edge hold won’t let you down when you’re cruising groomers back to the base.
  • Who is it for? Someone looking for a great off-piste ski for the whole mountain.
  • Who is it not for? Someone looking for a crazy carver.
  • Insider tip: If you’re looking for something a little more frontside-oriented, look to the Uschi 82 or Cassiar A79 Alchemist.

19 A Z 106 TC.png
DPS Zelda Alchemist 106
Dimensions: 130-106-120
Radius: [email protected]
Sizes: 158, 168, 178
Size tested: 168
Design: All New

Tricia: (from last year) DPS is changing its carbon construction line after many years of success with the Pure3 series. The Alchemist construction of the Zelda 106 has a bit more taper in the tip shape, which changes the quickness of a turn but offers more versatility for skinning and seeking backcountry turns. I skied the Zelda 106 Alchemist in a variety of conditions at Whistler, ranging from fluffy cold powder to heavy wet snow and skied-out crud. While it took more effort to initiate a turn in the heavier snow, the lightweight construction was a dream in the fluff and the steep bowls.
  • Who is it for? Someone looking for a lightweight ski with enough float for powder days in the bowls.
  • Who is it not for? Someone looking for a damp ski to ski powder and trees.
  • Insider tip: If you’re looking for a ski like this but want something a little more damp, look to its Foundation counterpart.

19 F Z 106 TC.png
DPS Zelda Foundation 106
Dimensions 133-106-122
Radius: [email protected]
Sizes: 158, 168, 178
Size tested: 168
Design: Carryover

Tricia: (from last year) With its traditional tip shape and carbon/bamboo/glass core, the DPS Zelda 106 Foundation stands out as a versatile ski with enough float to excel on a powder day and enough shape to make a quick turn when you need to make a split-second decision. The dampness of the construction makes it stable and calm in the choppiest of conditions. I had the chance to ski the Zelda 106 Foundation back to back with other skis in its class, in a variety of conditions, and I always came back with a smile on my face.
  • Who is it for? A skier looking for a narrowish powder ski that will hold up til the day gives out.
  • Who is it not for? Someone looking for an all-mountain ski with a frontside bias.
  • Insider tip: If you’re looking for something a little more backcountry-oriented, look at the Alchemist version of this ski.

19 F-Yvette-112.png
DPS Yvette Foundation 112
Dimensions: 135-112-124
Radius: [email protected]
Size tested: 158
Design: Carryover

SkiNurse: (from last year) I was a bit concerned taking these out in the conditions that day. At 112 mm underfoot, this is considered big for me, but the rep persuaded me to go have fun. I happened to be lucky and pretty much got the rope drop up in the bowl -- i.e., untracked, knee-deep snow -- and these skis just wanted to do big GS powder turns! What a thrill! Not only did they perform in the perfect powder conditions, but they also made tight, effortless on-the-edge turns on the way back to the tent.
  • Who is it for? The skier who loves everything but hard pack and bump runs. You might not ski this often during the season, but you’ll be happy to have it when the time is right.
  • Who is it not for? Racers, bump freaks, and people who don’t like big mountains.
  • Insider tip: If you can afford it, get it.
 
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Jtlange

Getting on the lift
Skier
Posts
145
Location
Denver, CO
Anyone get on the Wailer A99? Thinking of that as a mid-weight back country setup with a tech binding.
 

Noodler

Currently on the IR list. :(
Skier
Posts
1,342
Location
Denver, CO
Anyone get on the Wailer A99? Thinking of that as a mid-weight back country setup with a tech binding.
Yes I have time on them, but first some questions. It depends on how big you are and what you need out of the touring setup. Will it have enough float for you? What length were you considering? You're generally going for fresh lines if you're touring, so why not go for the 112 Alchemist?
 

Ken_R

Living the Dream
Skier
Posts
3,587
Location
Denver, CO
Anyone get on the Wailer A99? Thinking of that as a mid-weight back country setup with a tech binding.
I skied it. It is a great powder ski for lighter skiers. I am 6-2, 185-190 lb so I dont qualify. Even so the ski was fun it was a bit too light for me in the resort. Yes its 99mm underfoot but it is shaped like a powder ski. It should work very well with a tech binding setup in the backcountry even mid winter if you want a light setup.
 

Jtlange

Getting on the lift
Skier
Posts
145
Location
Denver, CO
Im 6'2" 225 so I'm not small either. I wanted a light setup that had some backbone to handle less than ideal snow slower than I ski it at the resort, but I mainly tour for soft snow. Going for the 184 length as well.
 

Noodler

Currently on the IR list. :(
Skier
Posts
1,342
Location
Denver, CO
Im 6'2" 225 so I'm not small either. I wanted a light setup that had some backbone to handle less than ideal snow slower than I ski it at the resort, but I mainly tour for soft snow. Going for the 184 length as well.
You'll need some speed to get the float then with the A99. I don't have the weights handy, but I wonder how much more the 112 weighs than the 99? Is it enough to be critical for the ascent? Also, I feel the 112 is a much better tree ski. It literally turns on a time when you're skiing 3D snow. The 99 is no slouch, but it's not quite as quick as the 112 in those conditions.

That said, I'll default to @Ken_R as he has way more experience using these skis in the conditions you're intending.
 

Jtlange

Getting on the lift
Skier
Posts
145
Location
Denver, CO
its at least 200g heavier in the 184cm but I would have probably gotten the 189cm. And then its pretty much the same weight as my Rusler 11 with Shifts...

Also, I do want some variable snow performance for spring or if things get dicey.
 
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textrovert

Reelin' in the years
Skier
Posts
753
Location
Bay Area and Incline Village
I'm thinking about a 100ish potential OSQ for next season. Wailer is on my radar. How do these size?

I'm 5'10", 175lbs.

This season with so many side snowsdays at Tahoe, I've been only on my widest ski in pretty much all conditions. It's effectively been a OSQ for me this season. It's a 2016 Line Sir Francis Bacon (twin tip, close to center mountm oun/uniform flex, 5-point shape, rocker/camber/rocker, 104mm underfoot, 17.4m turn radius). Since it's got a pronounced early rocker rise, it skis short. I'm very comfortable on a 184cm length on this ski.

Apart from the construction type in the Wailers (Foundation, Alchemist, Tour1) - the shape seems to resemble the Bacons. Do they also ski short? For example an A99/F99 or A106/F106. What would be a size that I should look at in the 2019 Wailers?

2020 seems to be getting many new combinations for the Wailers. Looking forward to those early reviews/tests. :thumb:

Thanks!
 

Wendy

Trying not to face plant
Skier
Posts
1,181
Location
PA
I'm thinking about a 100ish potential OSQ for next season. Wailer is on my radar. How do these size?

I'm 5'10", 175lbs.

This season with so many side snowsdays at Tahoe, I've been only on my widest ski in pretty much all conditions. It's effectively been a OSQ for me this season. It's a 2016 Line Sir Francis Bacon (twin tip, close to center mountm oun/uniform flex, 5-point shape, rocker/camber/rocker, 104mm underfoot, 17.4m turn radius). Since it's got a pronounced early rocker rise, it skis short. I'm very comfortable on a 184cm length on this ski.

Apart from the construction type in the Wailers (Foundation, Alchemist, Tour1) - the shape seems to resemble the Bacons. Do they also ski short? For example an A99/F99 or A106/F106. What would be a size that I should look at in the 2019 Wailers?

2020 seems to be getting many new combinations for the Wailers. Looking forward to those early reviews/tests. :thumb:

Thanks!
Wailer99 skis shorter than its length, but.....it has a very traditional mount point, so there’s more tip in front of the binding than on similar length skis. The 106 doesn’t ski as short; it has less rocker. I demoed the 106 (in both constructions) last year, and I own the Wailer99 in the Alchemist build. Wailer99 is more surfy, has tons of float, yet is still good on hardpack. The 106 feels more traditional. DPS is very helpful if you have sizing questions.....they have an online SkiFinder and also good customer service for sizing questions.

For reference, I ski a 174 Renoun Z90 and am on the 176 Wailer99. I think the binding mount point is why I found the 184 too long for me. The float on the 99, even at just 176 cm, for me (5’10”, 165) was awesome. Tips will never dive. I have found this ski to be remarkably versatile and fun, and usually I am not a huge fan of skis with a large amount of tip rocker. This design just works really well.
 
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textrovert

Reelin' in the years
Skier
Posts
753
Location
Bay Area and Incline Village
Wailer99 skis shorter than its length, but.....it has a very traditional mount point, so there’s more tip in front of the binding than on similar length skis. The 106 doesn’t ski as short; it has less rocker. I demoed the 106 (in both constructions) last year, and I own the Wailer99 in the Alchemist build. Wailer99 is more surfy, has tons of float, yet is still good on hardpack. The 106 feels more traditional. DPS is very helpful if you have sizing questions.....they have an online SkiFinder and also good customer service for sizing questions.
Thanks! Sounds like I would be okay on a Wailer 99 184cm. The Ski finder gave that too. Difference would be the amount of ski in front of the mount point (compared to the Bacons which are also 184cm, but center mount).
 

Wendy

Trying not to face plant
Skier
Posts
1,181
Location
PA
Thanks! Sounds like I would be okay on a Wailer 99 184cm. The Ski finder gave that too. Difference would be the amount of ski in front of the mount point (compared to the Bacons which are also 184cm, but center mount).
I found their SkiFinder to be pretty accurate. The Wailer can be skied with a pretty centered stance. I just need to remember to pressure the tips in big bumps, but that’s probably just my skill level (lack of, I.e.) talking......ogwink
 

PNWRod

Putting on skis
Skier
Posts
114
Location
Crystal Mtn
That DPS ski finder is interesting. No matter what I input for I get the same result... a 99 Wailer 184 CM to 124 lotus at 184cm. Wow. I input for a hard charging groomer.
 

neonorchid

Out on the slopes
Skier
Posts
3,461
DPS Foundation Cassiar 87
Andy Mink: DPS -
A stronger, bigger skier would probably enjoy the 189 length; lighter or less experienced skiers would do well with the 184 or 178; and the 165 and 171 lengths would be reserved for smaller skiers.
Do these ski short?
I'm 5'6.5" !40 lbs and the DPS ski finder points me to the 178cm length.
Would it be correct to assume the 171cm will be too short for me?
 

Wendy

Trying not to face plant
Skier
Posts
1,181
Location
PA
I noticed that happen to me too :roflmao:

Maybe it's only giving the ones they have in stock from the current 2019 lot :D
I think you’re right about providing only what is in stock.

But it is accurate in terms of length recommendation...that’s what I was referring to.
 

neonorchid

Out on the slopes
Skier
Posts
3,461
I found they ski short.
Dratz! I was considering the 171cm Alchemist Uschi 87 currently on clearance at Sierra for $499. Best as I can tell it is the exact same construction and specs as the 171cm Alchemist Cessair 87 only a different color and possibly a different center line location which would be easy enough to change.
Thx for the info. I'd hate to find I wasted money on the 171cm if it skis short and the 177 is the correct size for me, I'm sure I'd end up noticing the difference too, and I'm terrible at re-selling things.
 

Wendy

Trying not to face plant
Skier
Posts
1,181
Location
PA
Dratz! I was considering the 171cm Alchemist Uschi 87 currently on clearance at Sierra for $499. Best as I can tell it is the exact same construction and specs as the 171cm Alchemist Cessair 87 only a different color and possibly a different center line location which would be easy enough to change.
Thx for the info. I'd hate to find I wasted money on the 171cm if it skis short and the 177 is the correct size for me, I'm sure I'd end up noticing the difference too, and I'm terrible at re-selling things.
The only other clarification you could getis if you called DPS and asked a rep.
 

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