The Wailer 106 C2 in the Alchemist construction is a intended to be a versatile all-mountain/freeride ski that you could easily justify skiing every day. The new design has a slightly longer effective edge than their “RP” skis like the Wailer 100 or Wailer 112. The 106 also has less pronounced rocker and early taper, although it’s still fairly noticeable. The 19 m turn radius (in every length) is also longer than the Wailer 112 or 106. Combine these attributes with the performance from Alchemist construction and we’ve got a ski that should hold an edge better, make a longer turn, and be a little more stable than its more-rockered brethren. That typically also comes along with a more demanding feel overall and potentially less maneuverability, especially at slow speeds.
Marcus Shakun skied the 184 cm length in our test, although someone Marcus’ size could justify moving up to the 189 cm length. Still, that didn’t stop Marcus from being impressed with the Wailer 106. “Advanced to expert all-mountain ski,” is how Marcus described it. He quickly noticed the “long turn radius,” and added to his ability-level advice by saying it’s “not a ski for a weaker skier. Skis best when on the feet of an active, aggressive skier.” This shape does require more skier input compared to DPS’ skis with more rocker and taper. For Marcus, however, it still was “forgiving enough in the tighter bumps and in the woods.” If you’re the type of skier that doesn’t mind, or even prefers, actively unweighting the tail and giving a ski a lot of input, you won’t have any trouble in tricky terrain on the Wailer 106 C2.
Connor Gorham also skied the 184 cm length, but he wasn’t psyched on the conditions on which he got to test it. Connor skied it later in the day on one of our warmer test days, and it sounds like the snow was pretty manky. “3:45 runs are always unpredictable. Thick spring mash was not the ultimate diet for these wide-waisted-Wailers, but if it was colder, fresher pow, I could see myself eating plenty of leftovers.”
Parker Herlihy, on the other hand, didn’t have any trouble in the “flat and fast corn” he tested the Wailer 106 in. Parker was also on the 184 cm length and he would definitely fall into that category of someone who doesn’t mind giving a ski a lot of input and unweighting the tail when need be. Just watch him ski moguls and you’ll know what I mean. Parker thought it was a “great ski” with plenty of stability. Stability got the highest score from Parker, a solid 5 out of 5. He did, however, mention that it’s “not easy in and out of turns,” which goes back to that idea of skier input. A lot of skiers prefer this feel over a washier ski with easier turn initiation, you need to give the Wailer 106 some power. “Strong, long turns. Best for fresh snow and good in chop!”
If you like skiing fast and you don’t want snow conditions or different terrain to hold you back, the Wailer 106 C2 in the Alchemist construction needs to be on your radar. This ski is a touch lighter than similar waisted skis with metal, but still absolutely rips. Intermediates and more timid advanced skiers who aren’t comfortable with speed or significant skier input would probably prefer the Wailer 100 or 112. Those who like skiing ultra-tight terrain might also prefer those skis, but if you like to charge, value speed and stability, the Wailer 106 is the ticket and is still a very versatile ski.