The Zelda 106 has been updated for 2020 with DPS’ C2 Chassis and the newest version of Alchemist construction. This C2 design has a longer effective edge than the DPS “RP” skis like the Yvette 100 and Yvette 112. The Zelda 106 also uses less rocker and less early taper than those skis, although there is still a pretty substantial amount on the Zelda design. A longer turn radius rounds out the design concept of this ski. All of those design elements suggest a ski that’s going to be more stable on edge than the more-rockered skis in the line, and that longer turn radius should be a lot of fun for skiers who like to make big, arcing turns. Alchemist construction has been proven to provide excellent responsiveness, energy, and stability and vibration damping that can rival metal at a fraction of the weight.
Caroline Kessler skied the 171 cm length in the Zelda 106 and her first comment was that it felt “stiff.” That’s likely a combination of the Alchemist construction and the longer turn radius. Shape design elements can play into the perception of stiffness in a ski. Caroline’s highest scores were for flotation and stability, so if you like charging through softer and choppy snow conditions, you should be paying attention. Caroline’s recommendation was that the Zelda 106 would be “a good backcountry ski or all-mountain ski for someone who wants really good groomer ability too.” With its longer effective edge, reduced rocker and taper, and the torsional stiffness provided by the Alchemist construction, the Zelda 106 will lay down some powerful turns on groomers. The 106 mm waist width and the fact that there still is some of that rocker and taper gives it excellent performance in un-groomed terrain. It’s even a good candidate for a touring binding like the Salomon (Atomic) Shift that can cross over between touring and railing turns at the resort.
Jascha Herlihy has a similar reaction to the Zelda 106. She too skied that 171 cm length, although she noted that it felt a touch short for her. 171 cm is the longest available length in the Zelda 106, so if you’re a woman like Jacha, you could consider moving to the “men’s” Wailer 106, which offers longer lengths. All 4s and 5s out of 5 from Jascha, which is always eye-catching and impressive to see. Stability, versatility, and overall impression all rose to 5 out of 5. Sweet! “This ski is down to hang. It’s with you no matter what. It’s playful, but relaxed at the same time. For someone who likes to rip groomers and ski versatile terrain, this would be a good ski for them. I’d compare this ski to my Subaru. It takes me where I need to go, but isn’t a Ferrari. Conditions from ice to slush, it held the entire time with ease.” We don’t know what kind of Subaru Jascha drives, but we like that analogy. She might not think it’s a Ferrari, but the Zelda 106 is pretty darn sporty and loves speeds, so maybe she drives a WRX STI. Or maybe it’s a Forester XT, or one of those Legacy GTs. The Zelda will crush a skid test with impressive lateral acceleration, but can also go off-roading. Sorry, this writer likes cars.
The Zelda 106 is a great choice for advanced to expert level ladies who value speed, stability, and versatility. The Alchemist construction keeps it lighter than skis with metal, but you still benefit from good vibration damping and a confidence-inspiring, smooth feel. You can lay trenches in groomers, rip through some trees, and even float nicely on a full-on powder day. Not the quickest edge to edge, but that’s a reasonable sacrifice for any skiers with a preference for soft snow.