Part of what I like about my job is that I get to test skis that I could never afford to buy on the meager salary and bribes that a ski reviewer must survive on. Two skis that I have come to appreciate over the past season are the Renoun Endurance 98 V3.0 and the all-new DPS Alchemist Wailer 100 RP. Since the launch of Pugski.com, both of these brands and their owners have been closely knit into the fabric of the community. They read the site and they take our feedback seriously. Our team and, yes, you our readers have influenced more than a few products from both brands.
We are very impressed with with the new Endurance 98 from Renoun. IMHO it is the Western one-ski quiver that the Z-90 is for the East. It has everything we could want from a versatile 98-100 premium ski, especially the justification that a ski’s price is worthy of having a comma in it. With all the skis I have to review (as if it’s that hard of a job), this is one of the few that I look for a reason to take out. What is most surprising for a ski with its upside is how docile it is when you are just skiing around.
The Wailer 100 design is all new; it is not to be confused with the outgoing Wailer 99, which was a much different ski. This is a scaled-down Wailer 112 RP, the one that put DPS on so many skier's radar. DPS accomplished what pretty much every other manufacturer has tried but failed (miserably) at; it produced a 100mm ski that is very much biased toward soft snow but not nervous or skittery at slower speeds. Particularly in the Alchemist construction, you have a 100mm ski with a mid-teens radius that you can lay up on edge and rip slalom turns yet be confident on it on the cat track back to the lift. This is what a comma buys you.
- Why choose the Endurance 98 V3.0? You want the boutique of boutique, the niche of niche. You know what HDT is, and since you paid for it, you are damn well going to use it.
- Why choose the Alchemist Wailer 100 RP? You like a fun, playful ski, and you like yellow, lots of yellow.
- Insider tip: Grey Poupon users need not apply. These are skis for ramen noodle eaters (ok, ramen noodles with imported truffle oil), for skiers who haven’t forgotten their roots but now appreciate and afford the finer things in life.