The DPS Wailer 99 has gotten some well-deserved attention for the last several years. The DPS Wailer 99 is basically the skinnier, more versatile version of the Wailer 112RP. It may be the better option for a daily driver ski in a lot of different areas. Last season we got to try out the DPS Wailer 99 Hybrid, and the flagship Wailer 99 Pure 3. These two skis remain pretty much unchanged for 2016. DPS, however, has added a light-weight Wailer 99 Tour1 and DPS Wailer 99 T2 Hybrid option. The new Tour1 option is one of the lightest skis out there, and even more backcountry oriented than the Pure 3. The Pure 3 is built with carbon fiber and nano tech, and is light-weight while still being quite rigid. It’s a great option for those who ski the resort, but also spend a lot of time in the backcountry. The Hybrid is bamboo, fiberglass, and carbon, and we found it to be much better in the resort than the Pure 3. The Hybrid still remains relatively light weight. For the budget conscious, the Hybrid comes in at about $400 less than the Pure 3. This season we also have the Hybrid T2. This ski comes with the same shapes as above, but with two sheets of titanal. While we find last season’s review of the Pure 3 and Hybrid to hold up pretty well for this season, we have added in a few thoughts about the new DPS Wailer 99 Hybrid T2 for comparison.
DPS Wailer 99 Hybrid and Hybrid T2 On Mountain Video Ski Review (Ignore me calling the T2 the Pure 3, they are not the same ski!)
Riders: Matt and Brian
Conditions: Soft Snow (5”), Crud, Groomers, Hard Pack, Bumps
Boots: Rossignol Alias Sensor 120
Bindings: Tyrolia AAAttack 13
On the Snow Feel: Although the Pure 3 was one of the lightest skis we’ve tested, the DPS Wailer 99 Hybrid was no slouch. The Hybrid weighs in at 2010g, and allows you to pivot and swing the ski almost as quickly and easily as the Pure 3. Where the Hybrid performs better than the Pure 3 is overall stability. At equal lengths the Hybrid was more stable than the Pure 3, and could compete with any other ski in this category for stability. At the same time, the Hybrid’s low profile, but significant rocker in the tip and tail help to keep the ski maneuverable, playful, and loose when you want it to be. T2 – The DPS Wailer 99 Hybrid T2 is a bit heavier than the hybrid and quite a bit heavier than the Pure 3. This extra weight and extra dampness from the titanal make it feel more stable on the snow. It was still fun and playful, but slightly more geared to those who like speed and stability over playfulness.
Powder: Of course the Wailer 112RP would be a better choice for those who ride more powder than hard snow, but for those who want a more versatile frontside ski, the DPS Wailer 99 Hybrid is a great option. The 99 is much better on the hard snow than the 112RP, and at 99 underfoot, it still gives you a decent amount of float in the deeper snow. With 400mm of rocker in the tip and 350 in the tail, both of which are low profile, the Wailer 99 has a nice gradual platform for floatation. We found the 99 Hybrid to be really fun in 2-8 inches of fresh snow, but beyond that you’d probably want something a little wider underfoot. This is not surprising, and those that are looking for a <100mm waist width, the Wailer 99 Hybrid won’t disappoint. Hybrid T2 – The DPS Wailer 99 Hybrid T2 is a bit more rigid than the Hybrid, and with two layers of titanal it feels a bit beefier. I wouldn’t say that this was extremely noticeable in powder though, and we didn’t find it any better, or worse, than the Hybrid in deeper snow.
Turn Initiation and Carving: Although it’s not quite as light as the Pure 3, the hybrid has a pretty low swing weight. We found it to be easy to pivot and turn at any speed, and with DPS’ Paddle Tech, the edges are quite easy to engage. Paddle Tech provides a smooth transition that also provides the ability to easily change your turn shape. At slower speeds I found myself skidding more turns than carving, but it was still super easy to maneuver. Once you pick up a little speed the DPS Wailer 99 Hybrid was ready to carve. It was easy to get the ski on edge with a bit of speed, and the ski flexed into the turn really well. When skiing short to medium radius turns it felt snappy, and lively. The light-weight also makes the Wailer 99 Hybrid feel quick from edge to edge, and it was easy to pivot and swing the ski at any moment. At longer radius the turns felt fluid and smooth, and although I felt the medium radius turns where right in the Wailers wheelhouse, it was fun to open things up and let these run. T2 Hybrid –I didn’t find a huge difference in the swing weight and maneuverability of the two skis, but there was a noticeable difference in energy and quickness from edge to edge. We found the Hybrid to be snappier and livelier than the T2, and much quicker from edge to edge. That being said, we found the T2 to be slightly more powerful, and with the two sheet of titanal it felt a bit more stable.
Speed: With a bases flat approach the DPS Wailer 99 Hybrid can feel a bit loose and playful (which also makes it easy to skid turns), not ideal when bombing down the mountain. But in the soft snow we were able to get the ski up on an edge with ease and really open things up. The Bamboo core helps to keep the ski damp, and the low profile rocker keeps things from getting too chattery. The carbon and fiberglass also offer good rigidity and help keep things stable when the speeds increase. I wouldn’t put this ski on the same level of dampness as the Bonafide, or ON3P Wrenegade, but it was much better than the Pure 3, and right on par with any other light-weight 100mm skis. T2 Hybrid – The Hybrid and Hybrid T2 are identical except for the core profiles. With two sheets of titanal the Hybrid T2 feels quite a bit more damp and stable at speed. The T2 was better than the Hybrid here, and it was more fun to just let them run.
Uneven Terrain: In the soft crud, the DPS Wailer 99 Hybrid performed pretty well. The paddle shape and low profile rocker helps to keep you above the snow, and when skiing at low edge angles or flat, the Wailer would eat up the terrain pretty well. In these same conditions, the stiffness of the Wailer was great when on edge, cutting through the crud without any tip deflection. However, the Wailer is a light ski, and although it does a nice job cutting through the soft crud, the light weight just made the deeper and harder snow more difficult to blast through. When encountering these conditions I found myself riding a bit more flat, and taking a more light-weight approach. This allowed the ski to plane on top of the crud more so than blast through, and although I felt stable, I found myself slowing down a bit more often. Here the skis won’t do all the work for you, you need to stay on top of your game and help the skis absorb the terrain. Hybrid T2 – I wouldn’t say there was a huge difference in performance in the chop and crud, but the Hybrid T2 is noticeably more damp and stable. I didn’t necessarily find it to be a super crud buster like a wider and heavier ski like the Cochise, but it was more capable of blasting through the crud and chop than the Hybrid.
Moguls: In the steep narrow chutes it was easy to make quick jump turns and with such a light swing weight bumps were really fun. The ski’s light-weight allows you to maneuver them with ease. Only downside I here is that the ski isn’t super forgiving, so you need to stay on top of your game. Hybrid T2 – The Hybrid was much quicker from edge to edge than the Hybrid T2. We also found the T2 to be a bit more work to turn than the Hybrid, but I wouldn’t say that it was overly difficult.
Edge Hold: The carbon and fiberglass offer a good amount of torsional rigidity, helping to increase edge hold on the firm or hard snow. At 99mm underfoot, it’s much more suited to these conditions than the Wailer 112RP, and although I sometimes felt I wanted a bit more weight, but I never felt unsupported by the ski. The DPS Wailer 99 Hybrid does have a bit of camber underfoot, but with a good amount of rocker in the tip and tail it can feel a bit washy at lower edge angles. The Paddle shape helps this, and when on a high edge angle, much of the skis edge is in contact with the snow, making for a better edge hold when carving hard snow. And even though I always felt the tail was there for support, it was pretty easy to disengage and scrub speed when necessary. Hybrid T2 – The Hybrid T2 has decent edge hold as well. Both skis are torsionally stiff, and when on edge they feel quite solid and stable.
Flex: The DPS Wailer 99 Hybrid has a medium/stiff to stiff construction. When combined with a low profile rocker it makes the Wailer more stable and less playful than softer skis in this category. You will really appreciate the stiff flex when you need the edge hold, or when jump turning in the steeps.
Switch: The DPS Wailer 99 Hybrid has a directional shape with a slightly raised tail. It was possible to ride switch, but the low profile tail isn’t conducive to spending a ton of time there.
Jumps and Park: The DPS Wailer 99 Hybrid is super light in the air. It’s not the most poppy ski out there, but it was so light that anytime it was in the air I could barely tell they were there. Swing weight is super low, and once you got used to the weight it was easy to spin these. I would use them as a park ski (they lack some pop), but it was fun launching them off of rollers and bumps.
The DPS Wailer 99 Hybrid is a great ski, and anyone looking for a super versatile all mountain ski should give consider looking into this ski. Its light weight also means you can set it up as a backcountry tool, but if you’re willing to spend the extra money, the DPS Wailer 99 Pure 3 is an even better choice for the backcountry. Its light weight also makes this ski super easy to swing around, making it great for narrow chutes, moguls, or trees. Powder performance is good for a 99mm waist, but if you’re planning on riding powder a lot, I would look into the 112RP. It’s not as damp, or stable as a heavier metal ski, but can still be pushed fast on groomers and soft chop. Edge hold is good, but it was also easy to release and skid turns when necessary. Those looking for a super versatile all mountain ski for a variety of conditions, should look into the DPS Wailer 99 Hybrid. DPS Wailer 99 Hybrid T2 – The two biggest differences in these skis is in maneuverability and dampness. We found the Hybrid to be quite a bit easier to swing and pivot. It has a very low swing weight and doesn’t feel like you have to work to turn. The Hybrid was also livelier and quite a bit quicker from edge to edge. The Hybrid T2, however, was more stable at speed and better in the chop and crud. Both skis are very well rounded and would make a great daily driver for certain skiers. I think you just need to ask yourself if you’d rather have a quick and lively ski that wants to make tighter turns, or a less energetic ski that likes longer turns and more speed.