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2013 DPS Wailer 99 (not a full review!) - Page 2

post #31 of 41

i should quickly add that my comments about ski reviews above was in no reference to alex's OP.  he very clearly indicated that the test was in limited conditions and limited duration.  just a comment in general about ski reviews, and what i personally look for when reading/evaluating them.

post #32 of 41

I'm considering getting a new ski for slack-country that might have some dual duty for gravity assist skiing (although my quiver includes bones and JJs, both of which I like a lot, these do not have BC bindings).  I'll continue to use my Manaslu/dynafit  skis/bindings for long distance forays, but was thinking of buying something a bit more playful for shorter jaunts (possibly with the new Solomon BC binding).  I've always been more traditional for BC skiing, and not sure how the DPS shape travels, but open to ideas.    Would probably go with the pure at 1.8 kg over the hybrid at 2.2 (the Manaslu is 1.4 kg\0

 

What are your impressions of the 99s  (or the 112s) with respect to all aspects of a slack-country ski. 

post #33 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by canadianskier View Post

I'm considering getting a new ski for slack-country that might have some dual duty for gravity assist skiing (although my quiver includes bones and JJs, both of which I like a lot, these do not have BC bindings).  I'll continue to use my Manaslu/dynafit  skis/bindings for long distance forays, but was thinking of buying something a bit more playful for shorter jaunts (possibly with the new Solomon BC binding).  I've always been more traditional for BC skiing, and not sure how the DPS shape travels, but open to ideas.    Would probably go with the pure at 1.8 kg over the hybrid at 2.2 (the Manaslu is 1.4 kg\0

 

What are your impressions of the 99s  (or the 112s) with respect to all aspects of a slack-country ski. 

 

I tour on the 112RP hybrid and I think they tour very nicely and ski great as well. I like that I can drive them in pow and typical UT BC conditions with a 6lb touring boot like my maestrale. I bought hybrids based on a screaming deal and would have gotten pures otherwise. 

 

For going out the gates, I think the wider ski makes sense and a lb or two won't notice much... Just get the pure or hybrid based on how they ski.   Had you considered the 112RPC? That is what I would go with were I you.

post #34 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by tromano View Post

 

I tour on the 112RP hybrid and I think they tour very nicely and ski great as well. I like that I can drive them in pow and typical UT BC conditions with a 6lb touring boot like my maestrale. I bought hybrids based on a screaming deal and would have gotten pures otherwise. 

 

For going out the gates, I think the wider ski makes sense and a lb or two won't notice much... Just get the pure or hybrid based on how they ski.   Had you considered the 112RPC? That is what I would go with were I you.


Thanks - was considering a wider ski.  I don't want to hijack a thread, but this is sort of on topic.....

 

How does the shape effect traversing something like steepish slope with boiler plate snow.  I'd imagine that a large rocker would make cutting trail easier?  I also have the Maestrale - any issues with light boot versus big ski? 

post #35 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andski View Post

 


I ski the 184 Pure w/TLT5s and they're easy as hell to ski even with my scarecrow-like build (5'8", 130#s). For a bigger dude driving them w/alpine boots, a 192 is a no-brainer for the West, IMHO.
 
I've skied these all spring/summer as my primary touring rig in the PNW. I love them. They respond to the same sort of neutral stance that the 112s do. For me, they behave a bit strangely when I up the forward pressure too much. Same is true of the 112s. It's hard to explain, but when applying aggressive pressure to the cuff of the boot, the forebody of the ski feels like it "sticks," almost as if the snow itself is sticky, even when it's not. Stay neutral, and all is very well, including in crud.
 
Coming from a 178 Wailer 105, the extra length and rocker profile of the 184 99 has been pretty much just what I wanted. They give you all the advantages of a slightly skinnier ski (fitting in skin tracks, better traversing edge bite, general quickness), but float as well as a much fatter ski. The tip rocker is a huge help in dealing with suncups, runnels and general shit encountered in the spring and summer. I'm not crazy about the tail rocker in some situations, like dropping into a steep slope where, despite knowing I shouldn't, I reflexively use a bit more heel pressure to put on the brakes because I'm a natural-born puss.
 
I just skied the 105s again a couple weekends ago on the Fryingpan Glacier on Rainier just to f<k around, and really missed the tip rocker of the 99, but otherwise loved the 105s. If DPS had given the 105 longer, deeper tip rocker, the squared tail of the 99, flattened the camber a little more (mine have quite a bit, though I know other seasons had less) and offered a 184, that would be pretty much my perfect touring ski. So I have to "settle" for the 99s :rolleyes2 God love the first world.

 

 
The above was just posted on TGR, and seemed to be relevant to your ski search.  
post #36 of 41

thanks - answers some questions - not surprising in light of my experience on the JJs

post #37 of 41

OK, still August. words.gif

Quote:
Originally Posted by msolson View Post

 

this is accomplished by the edge being basically straight (rather than curved, but with mild slope) from the rocker line forward to the widest point of the shovel, and back to the tail.  the radius in this section is defined by the shape of the rocker profile, rather than the radius of the edge.  this allows the turn-shape to GROW as the ski is put on edge and flexed deeper into the sidecut, opposed to CLOSE which is what happens on a traditional radius ski.  This is helpful. It leads me to the question of why it's a good thing for a turn shape - I assume you mean the effective radius - to grow. In skis with a dual radius and early rise, for instance, typically the narrower of the two radii is there to either quicken initiation or quicken completion, in both cases by reducing the amount of distance the ski has to travel. So if I follow this, a paddle wants to slow down both initiation and completion, relative to the belly, by traveling further. I'd also assume that in part this is because the swing weight is so low that the ski could become too quick, eg, twitchy, with a tight initiating or completing radius.

 

But I also assume that slower initiation and completion (eg, greater distance to travel) could tend to forestall a skid/smear by making it easier (in terms of force) to hold the edge. If you want. Or to release it if you don't; point and shoot at the apex. By contrast, a ski that wants to "close" a turn, as you put it, will place more physical demands on the skier if he/she wants to keep on edge to the finish. 

 

The downside, I'd guess, is that the start and finish of the turn may feel wrong if you're used to a quick, ever tightening start and finish, with a lot of rebound energy from loading the tip or tail to stay in its track. That could actually encourage skidding if you're impatient/fearful/. Combine this with your TGR quote above, that refers to a neutral stance, and I'd guess the more you pressure the tip of a paddle, the slower the ski feels, since you're riding an ever-widening arc.  I can't say I've felt that on the 112 very much, but I've had limited hours on it so far and haven't really played around with loading in the terrain I've been in (trees). Last supposition is that the progressive radius works especially well with carbon, since its springiness might cancel out the loss of energy from less loading. Yes?

 

going onwards from the design, as a skier reduces edge angle in the belly of the turn, the ski starts drifting down the fall line, and shedding a little speed due to drag against the snow.  the difference here is that with a conventional radius ski, as you de-pressure and de-angle the edge, the running length grows, which increases the drag means you shed more speed, but since there the turning radius also is growing, you cannot stay in or re-engage a carve smoothly.  with a paddled ski, as you de-pressure the edge, the running length and radius both shrinks, which allows the skier to keep the carve and maintain more speed.  this is what we mean by intuitively varying turn shape, etc.  All good, except that isn't the drag you refer to primarily an issue in soft snow? In some conditions you ski a conventional radius ski, such as hardpack or ice, you may wish to shed a bit of speed, typically by aggressive initiation at the top of the turn (thus narrower carvers may have a tighter radius in front), so you don't end up having to do it at the end, where you may want to accelerate smoothly rather than do a little hockey stop turn. Again, I'd argue that the paddle is a very creative approach to soft snow (which makes good sense for a 99 mm ski). 

 

And yep, I realize no one on your side of things was ever claiming otherwise. But since the real snow we confront can come in both hard and soft flavors on the same slope, and since some users have gotten into the detuning thing, remain wondering if the commitment to more intuitive entries and exits in softer snow + tail rocker will necessarily lead to issues in firm snow. And yep, understand that a technically strong skier can probably run gates in the W99 decently. Didn't Picabo make a hobby of doing GS well on various inappropriate skis, just because? Not about what's possible, more about what's design optimized. Cannot shake this feeling that tuning is frosting, not cake. 

 

>>>>

related to paddles, but specifically on the tuning side of it:

 

most skiers do not ski totally round and on edge all the way thru the turn, preferring to slide into a turn and slide out of it, which means they are typically not fully bending and loading the ski. Agree with the premise. Even some racers routinely do rotation turns on a tight course. 

 

back to skier style, and how it relates to reviews and "The Beyond Act":   (<- winky)

 

It is my personal opinion that every skier (at least anyone that fancies themselves an "expert") should strive to be capable of making any turn shape, in any condition, at any speed... with any style: forward powerful GS style; nimble, snappy slalom turns;  fall-line-destroying SGS/DH turns; as well as upright neutral (i.e. bumper style), and passive (slide/slarve) turns. then use this bag-of-tricks to preserve efficiency from top to bottom of the run, as defined by the terrain of the mountain.  The Beyond Act totally agrees that we all need a bag of tricks if we plan to ski anywhere interesting. But regardless of the style de jour, or terrain, or the current hot ski, we still have to accomplish certain things in that turn, and compensate for certain forces, and there are still more efficient and less efficient ways of doing it. Whether it's a pizza or a smear or a pure carve. So the Beyond Act is still mulling your (sorry if I misstate it) argument that a paddle design allows everyone to be happy, just pick their tune. May have to demo a W99 to see. 

 

beercheer.gif

 

post #38 of 41

beyond,

 

thanks for the feedback, though i do have to admit i lost your line of reasoning.  but the paddles does not slow the turn at initiation IMO.  if you set a radius at the start you can ride it thru the turn.  if you drift into the belly, you can still set a radius and either ride it out or drift it out. the radius is defined by the amount of pressure on the edge and the edge angle.  the paddle allows these 2 thing to work in conjunction with one-another, rather than opposed to one-another in a conventional ski in an all-mountain conditions (i can see positives and drawbacks for running a paddle ski on a race course.... no idea if this would be an improvement overall or not).  

 

All i can say is that i personally feel that the transition from low edge angle to high is very intuitive, and basically every review i have read has agreed with such, and typically feel that this geometry is a marked improvement over a traditional ski.  i have yet to see a single piece of feedback in which someone voiced anything remotely similar to your conjectured hypothesis, as i understand it... but as stated, i didn't totally follow your hypothesis, 

 

in regards to the review i posted, i cannot speak for that individual, but can speak to it from my own personal experience.  I really like to carve hard and fast and crank turns from the hip on firm snow.  the wailer 99 and wailer 112 are too narrow to maintain float for such a powerful, highly angulated turn, and you have to dial it back off from the shovel and reduce base angle for these skis to keep its plane... just as any ski of their width, though i would argue the shovel of the w112 and w99 support a much more powerful and dynamic shovel loaded turn than a mini-rockered ski.  I think the disguised compliment is how powerful they are on firm snow.  this is underscored because you need a relatively more neutral stance to float the waist width in soft snow or you over drive the ability of ski to generate plane.  this is exactly why the lotus 138 exists and is shaped as it is... so you CAN crank such powerful, angulated turns in soft snow.  

 

as i have stipulated, short running length is short running length... there is a reason DPS offers long running length skis as well.  just as much thought and design goes into them as it does on the short running length skis.

 

I have not, nor has DPS claimed the wailer 99 specifically or paddle tech skis in general are a silver bullet for all skiers in all conditions.  we do find them exceptionally versatile, and work in all manner of conditions, and basically an overwhelming majority of reviewers find them intuitive and truly appreciate the design.  

post #39 of 41

And thanks back for staying in this. Sometimes my "argument" is more thinking aloud than conclusions that follow from premises. I still think there's something there, but I can't conceptualize the design precisely enough to really pin down my hypothesis about tuning and design. And obviously, based on your experience, the fully edged 99's work just fine. And since you seem to mix up styles a lot as I do, suspect I'd like it too. Does DPS have demos in New England this season? 

post #40 of 41

demos on the east?  check.  

 

shoot me a pm with location, etc sometime and i can coordinate no problem.

 

its below 90 finally in SLC for the first time since about may.  pretty stoked about that.  ready for actual-skiing, not think-skiing :D

post #41 of 41

Thanks so much for articulating what the DPS Nina 99 gave me over a week at Big White, over Christmas 2012.   I have been skiing 52 years, so I am a "Vintage" finesse female skier, who just had 30 years taken off of my skiing life....the 'blue girls' Nina 99 felt like Porsche racing cars underfoot, driving me to want to have more fun and take more risk.  Every turn was sweet, no matter what the conditions.  My only drawback was in choppy moguls, where the Nina's threw me in the backseat: note to self:  get in better shape fast re quads, core and cardio!  Very motivated now to do so, just like taking a racing car off the streets and onto the track.  I agree entirely with this review, well written and described, anyone with decent technique will be swooning over these skis, if as the reviewer says, you listen to the ski and develop a feedback relationship with them. 

One wierd and delightful sensation on steepish crud or groomers was that the skis made me feel like I was 'tele-ing' :  I had the distinct sensation of leading by sliding my downhill ski a bit ahead, and bending my uphill knee a bit, very nice, like learning a new dance step that works.  Makes me want to try tele-ing now, and step up to a larger commitment to fitness and tree trunk strength in my quads, which I do not currently have (but could probably improve on before our March ski holiday out west.)

The engineering is scarily superb: I have never had skis that grew 'longer' on carving, shortened up in moguls, hanging on to ice a pow crud, then were able to float quickly in to a powder stash. I haven't had the need to de tune as yet, and found the sharper tips and tails helped out in the crud, with minimal hooking.  I bought them after a strong nagging gut instinct after reading reviews on this site, and speaking with other women in Ski shops who owned or had demo'd these skis.  Being a Vintage skier, I rely on the experience and reviews of other women.  I also had them mounted on Look bindings recommended by Steve at DPS, about 1 cm forward.  The Look bindings are a bit messy to get back on in powder, but I like the insurance re ACL or other injury prevention, as  longevity genetics in our family run deep, and I intend to be able to ski well into my 90's  injury free.  I intend to get every family member on a pair of these, to demo, and experience the fun, zap and joy. This is a bit of a problem, since my family skis in the Okanagan of B.C., and only 112's are available there for demo-ing, as there is a huge backcountry community there.   I am sure there are other skis out there that are amazing, but I chose my husband well too, for the long run, looking for heart, smart, durability and creativity,  through instinct.  . :)  Thanks again, DPS team.

cheers, Marilyn (Winni)
 

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