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The Kaizen Series is a new collection from DPS for 2024 and encompasses the Freeride/All-Mountain genre for the brand. Meant for all types of terrains and conditions, the Kaizen 105 is the benchmark directional freeride ski in the series. Replacing the previous Pagoda 106 C2, the Kaizen 105 has a lot of similarities which are accompanied by some subtle differences. Taking attributes from both the Pagoda 106 C2 and Pagoda Tour 100 RP, the Kaizen 105 is quite the ski that dips into the freeride and all-mountain categories. The use of high-quality materials and construction methods translate into a ski that truly feels unique when on snow. A newly refined shape makes it stand out from the rest of the DPS catalog because although it has a direction shape, it certainly feels like a freeride ski due to the rocker profile and sidecut. Welcome to the market Kaizen, we are excited to see you and release you onto the masses!

With the introduction of a brand-new ski, we also get a brand-new construction for the Kaizen 105. High quality materials and new construction techniques are used to create the Kaizen series which really does deliver on snow and in the price tag. DPS’ new Split Core technique uses both poplar and ash to make up the wood aspect of the core. Poplar and ash are quite dense woods, which leads to the Kaizen being very robust and stable, yet very responsive and energetic. Sandwiching the split core are two laminates of carbon fiber, which are aerospace grade. Aerospace grade carbon fiber really comes through in terms of durability and consistency. DPS often says that their skis should feel the same on day one or day 500 so their choice of construction materials is a huge part of that idea. The two carbon fiber laminates add even more energy to the ski while also making them torsionally stiff for when trying to grab onto firm snow. Rounding out the construction, the Kaizen 105 also gets titanal binding reinforcements for binding retention. This is a trend we are seeing more and more with freeride skis and we are stoked to see it becoming the norm since it just makes sense given the ski’s freeride application. The combined weight of a 171cm length pair is 3400 grams, which is surprisingly light given the choice of materials. The Kaizen is certainly light enough for light-weight tech bindings, but we feel that a hybrid or alpine binding is the most likely pairing for this ski.

155, 163, 171, 179, 184, 189 cm18 m at 179 cm134/105/118 mm

Preferred Terrain
Crud and Chop
Split Core-Poplar over Ash
Dual Carbon Laminate
Binding Reinforcement

The Kaizen 105 takes its shape inspiration from both the previous C2 and RP characteristics in order to make it as versatile as possible. As a reminder, C2 or Chassis 2 was a label for DPS’, directional, carving-oriented models in terms of sidecut and camber profile. RP or Resort Powder was a label for DPS’ freeride oriented rocker profile and sidecut. So, what do these attributed culminate into? We found the Kaizen 105 to be a ski that likes to be skied in the center instead of one that likes its tips to be driven, which is a big indicator of its soft snow preferences. Its preference for soft snow most certainly is shown in its sidecut with a forebody width of 133mm, a waist width of 105mm, and a tail width of 117mm which generates a turning radius of 18 meters. Obviously, there’s a lot of float here and what we found to be interesting was that the Kaizen is a soft-snow ski that liked to be on edge in the powder. A lot of skis in this category prefer to slash and slarve through the powder, but not so much with the Kaizen 105. This is an interesting feeling and definitely takes some getting used to, but we can see how that would be helpful in wide open powder fields or openly spaced trees. In terms of profile, there is about 25% tip rocker, 60% camber, and 15% tail rocker. This shape makes way for an energetic, soft snow ski that likes to be precise.

In 2024, DPS brings their take on the freeride directional skis to the table with the Kaizen series, which take inspiration from their previous models’ shape, construction, and profile. In this case, it’s the Kaizen 105 which is a strong, sturdy, and precise soft snow ski that has a high degree of performance and construction quality. However, it is hard to not bring up the price tag, at $1,549 per pair. These skis cost a pretty penny, but you do get some things that you don’t get with other manufacturers. They are handmade in the U.S.A. and use aerospace grade materials, which for some people are a really big thing. There are a multitude of ways to justify it but ultimately, it comes down to you and your own thought process. These things do translate to performance however, so if you are looking and searching for a reason to get a pair of Kaizen 105’s, they will deliver for you. They are long-lasting, stable, precise, and versatile, but you do have to pay to play.