2019 DPS Wailer 99 Alchemist Ski Image 2019 DPS Wailer 99 Alchemist Ski Image 2

2019 DPS Wailer 99 Alchemist Skis

The Alchemist construction of the Wailer 99 gives the ski all the lightweight stiffness it needs to take all-mountain and freeride skiers to the next level. We’ve seen a lot of properly constructed skis come through our space over the years, and DPS has consistently had some of the best looking and supremely constructed skis. The Wailer 99 is no exception. The camber underfoot and rockered tips and tails make the ski perform equally as well on-trail as it does off. While other skis use laminates of different material, DPS simply wraps an Aspen wood core with high-tech carbon fiber. It’s simple, yet it works, and the Wailer 99 is the ultimate example of a pair of skis that can literally do anything. Our testers were pretty unanimous with the fact that the Wailer 99 is extremely quick edge to edge for a wider ski, and were also all pretty consensual as to the versatile nature of the skis.

Starting off on that note, Jeff Siegel’s first comment was that the skis are “super playful and versatile.” He felt that the 184 cm that he skied felt a bit short, and that is mirrored by his score of 5 in the quickness and maneuverability category. He also scores the ski 5 out of 5 for playfulness: “This ski is my jam. You want to make 5 completely different turns back to back? This ski will do that.” The playful nature of the ski allows the pilot to create and perform different styles and types of turns at his or her whim. As far as the versatility is concerned, Jeff says to just “lay it over and you can rip carves and pop from turn to turn.” He continues by stating that he thinks “it works for a wide range of skiers.” As if that weren’t enough, Jeff notes that if you “prize maneuverability and playfulness, this is one of the most fun skis out there.” Sounds good to us!

Skiing the 176 cm length, David Raybould also found the skis to feel short. His top marks for the skis were in forgiveness and versatility. He had a fair overall impression of the skis, but the chameleon-esque nature of the skis really stood out for him. The general feeling from his review was that, for him, the skis performed quite well at everything, but did not stand out in any single category. This speaks to the versatile nature of the ski, and at 99 mm underfoot, the skis are meant to do everything.

Steve Sulin hopped on the 184 cm length for a few runs and scored the skis high for flotation, quickness, and maneuverability. He also had a very good overall impression of the skis, and found them to “love short turns.” DPS says that their skis have a variable turn radius (around 16-19 meters for the 184), and as such, can be coaxed into that shorter turn quite easily. Steve also notes that the Wailer 99 felt “surfy, and loves the manky slush. It’s more powerful than the 106, and easier to carve a turn.” We certainly did have some manky slush that day, and those who were testing skis in this category ranger were quite pleased with the performance in those conditions.

Mike Thomas was pleasantly surprised by the performance of the Wailer 99 Alchemist. He also skied the 184 and gave top marks for flotation, quickness, forgiveness, and edge hold. Mike is our fourth tester to remark that the skis felt short, so take that into consideration when you are testing or purchasing. Mike’s target audience for these skis is “best for an adventurous skier who doesn’t want to ski groomers but wants a mid-width ski.” He goes on to call it a “nice freeride ski, excellent in corn snow. Good float for the width.” DPS does use a more spoon-like tip, so that’s what Mike is correctly referring to.

Good for DPS, making a strong, quick, and versatile ski in the ever-present and competitive ~100 mm freeride/all-mountain ski category. Our testers were certainly impressed with the versatility and performance of the skis, and we’re willing to bet that you will be too.

Testers

Jeffery Siegel SkiEssentials Ski Test Headshot

Jeffrey Siegel

Age: 38Height: 6'1"Weight: 175 lbs.

Ski Style: Smooth, refined, analytical, with a ski instructing background

Dave Raybould SkiEssentials Ski Test Headshot

David Raybould

Age: 30Height: 5'8"Weight: 130 lbs.

Ski Style: Fluid and strong with a technical background

Steve Sulin SkiEssentials Ski Test Headshot

Steve Sulin

Age: 43Height: 6'"Weight: 230 lbs.

Ski Style: Smooth, precise GS turns

Mike Thomas SkiEssentials Ski Test Headshot

Mike Thomas

Age: 49Height: 6'3"Weight: 220 lbs.

Ski Style: Upright, fluid, nimble, and powerful

8 Comments on the “2019 DPS Wailer 99 Alchemist Skis”

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  1. I own 2 sizes of these skis….the 176 and 184, (for different snow depths), both from Ski Essentials, and they are so fun and versatile! Lots of pop out of each turn and enough stability for crud. I had the opportunity to demo lots of DPS skis, and these came out on top for versatility. These are my go-to soft snow skis…..from sun-softened groomers to a fresh dump to bumped up leftovers.

    1. Thanks so much for sharing Wendy! The Wailer 99 is a blast to ski in just about any snow conditions!!

      Have a great season,

      SE

  2. I found my Wailers to wander a little on groomers unless they are on an edge. I moved my boots forward 2 cm. The wandering stopped. They also seemed a trace hookier 2 cm forward. I am generally off piste but thought someone might find this useful. These are my favorite skis, and seem very well made. Despite a lot of use, they look new. If I need new skis in the future they will probably be DPS.

  3. How do these compare to the Fischer Ranger 94? On paper, both seem like energetic all mountain skis.

    1. Hi Eric!
      There’s a lot of energetic all-mountain skis out there! I’d say the Ranger has more of a carving prowess and is a bit more well-rounded. If you like the carbon build of the DPS, there’s certainly something to that, and the shorter radius of the DPS puts it in a different category in terms of how the ski feels. For what it’s worth, I’m a huge fan of the Ranger 94 (and 102 for that matter). Have fun!
      SE

  4. Strong intermediate/advanced at 5”11 ,155lbs. Not a charger or overly aggressive. I currently ski a Stockli Laser AX 168 as my groomer/resort ski and I’m looking to add a second ski as an all mountain/soft snow ski. I mostly ski in Tahoe. This ski looks really interesting but I wonder if I am between sizes? I was thinking about the 176cm but would it be too short for me? It seems to ski very short?

    1. Hi Robert!
      I think the Wailer series generally skis short, but I wouldn’t bump to the 184. They’ll perform very similarly, but you get the added benefit of less weight with the shorter ski. They’re designed to ski all very much the same in terms of dampness and stability, just with quickness being the x-factor. I think if you’re on the 168 in the Laser, the 176 is a good choice for DPS. Have fun!
      SE