DPS was a pioneer of carbon ski technology. The powder focused brand chased lightweight above all else. Understandably, backcountry powder tourers rave about their feathery Pure3 carbon skis. But the ethereal line always came up short in our resort tests. When you’re hammering on well-packed snow, it’s possible to make a ski too light. This year DPS completely redesigned their resort construction in a new build dubbed Foundation. It’s essentially how the storied brands have been building skis for decades, with damp and limber wood cores, and fast gliding races bases. Oh, they’re still plenty light (the core is cut from bamboo and poplar, and carbon stringers replace metal), but they’re now powerful and stable as well. And low and behold, they jumped many a ranking in our tests. “What a surprise,” said a tester. “The Wailer 106 skis like a fat race ski on groomers and a pure powder ski off-trail.”
Swami gripe: You still wouldn’t want to run them all day on early season snowmaking.
Swami like: The 106mm waist width makes for some of the most versatile powder skis.
Overall: 4.4 Sluffability: 4.9 Hard Snow Pleasure: 4.0 Dimensions: 135/106/124