The DPS Foundation construction is a more traditional technique than their super-advanced Alchemist construction. It utilizes a bamboo and poplar wood core, triaxial fiberglass, and uni-directional carbon strips running down the center of the ski. It hits a lower price point than the Alchemist construction, but is still packed full of performance and has a great feel. We only had one tester on the Uschi F87 C2, and we didn’t test a tremendous amount of Foundation skis overall, but we’re glad Ariel Aidala grabbed a pair to try. The Uschi skis overall are more focused on carving performance and firm snow than most DPS skis. They use less pronounced rocker and less early taper, and are also narrower than we’ve traditionally seen from the innovative manufacturer.
Ariel Aidala was on the 165 cm length and found that it retained the same smooth feel as the Alchemist construction version. It did, however, lose a little bit of the energy and responsiveness found in that ski. On the bright side, Ariel actually thought the Foundation version felt damper, which is valuable feedback. She scored it 5 out of 5 for stability, quickness/maneuverability, torsional stiffness/edge grip, and overall impression. Her scores for the Foundation version were actually quite similar to her Alchemist scores, suggesting that a lot of the performance of this ski is coming from the shape. The quickness and maneuverability most certainly are, as the slight rocker and early taper DPS has left in this ski makes it nice and easy to pivot the ski and make quick movements on it. It’s not quite as lightweight as the Alchemist version, but it’s also not heavy. It will be a touch more fatiguing over a long day of skiing, but not a significant difference.
Maybe you’ve been eyeing DPS designs for a while, but the price point makes it hard for you to pull the trigger. This Foundation construction is great for anyone in that position as it does retain much of what we love about those Alchemist skis, but at a cheaper price point. Overall, it’s a great resort all-mountain ski. It can hold an edge through an aggressive carving turn, it has good stability at speed, and it can also maneuver through tricky terrain like moguls without feeling like the ski is fighting you or that it’s too heavy to toss around.