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.