DPS Phantom 2.0 Permanent Base Glide System // Ski Technology
Waxing skis. It takes time, it costs money, it’s not exactly good for the environment, yet it’s pretty important to ski performance. If you’ve ever skied on a warm, wet day with dry, un-waxed bases, you know how challenging it can be when your skis are sticking to the snow surface. Last season, DPS announced their new Phantom Permanent Waxless Glide. This patent-pending technology is a permanent solution to waxing your skis. Think about that for a second. You apply this stuff once and you never have to think about it again over the lifetime of your skis. That’s pretty crazy. No more worrying if you got the wax right, no more burning yourself on the iron (maybe it’s just me that does that a lot), no more trips to the local ski shop for a last-minute wax. DPS Phantom is applied once, works in all conditions, and you never have to even think about waxing if you don’t want to.
After an additional year of R&D, DPS has presented us with Phantom 2.0. This marks improvements over the original version both in the application process and in its performance on snow. We’re lucky to be on of the first e-commerce businesses to be able to offer Phantom 2.0, and it’s more than just the ability to buy it from us. We are now fully setup as an official Phantom 2.0 curing station and can apply Phantom to your new skis before it ships to your door!
Recently, DPS took some time to walk us through the application process. If you’re interested in seeing the full process, watch the video that’s embedded on this article, but let’s touch on the key aspects of Phantom 2.0 and how it’s applied. Think about a typical ski wax. It’s mostly a topical application. Yes, the wax is getting absorbed into the pores of your ski, but it’s still relatively easy for that wax to wear off. You’ve probably seen your bases start to get a little bit white in spots, usually along the edges. This happens as your wax wears off, and your bases become dehydrated. Phantom 2.0 is a completely different concept. It uses a specifically-engineered, timed polymerization process that permanently penetrates the entire base of your skis through a chemical bonding process. Sounds pretty technical, huh? That’s because it is. This is a highly scientific process.
The application process for Phantom 2.0 is split into Part A and Part B, which both require a soak-in period and a cure period. The curing process, under UV light, is what’s triggering the chemical bonding process that makes it a permanent application to your skis. First, you must make sure you’re working with a super-clean ski base. There should be no existing wax on your skis. The ideal method here is roto-brushing your skis clean. You can use a base-cleaner solvent, but it’s not ideal as the cleaner can remain on the ski and should not be mixed with Phantom 2.0. Starting with a clean base you apply .5 mL of Part A to each ski. After spreading Part A over the running length of your skis, you start a 15 minute soak-in process. It doesn’t matter if the Part A is on for longer than 15 minutes, but it needs to be at least 15 minutes. After this soak-in period, you remove any excess liquid from the base of the ski and then you’re ready for 20 minutes of curing. After curing, it’s time to roto-brush again to remove the remaining material from the ski, which should have dried into a white-ish material. After another round of roto-brushing, you apply part B in the same method as part A. Another round of soak-in, another round of curing, another round of roto-brushing, and you’re good to go! Your skis will never need to be waxed ever again.
Now, this process can be done at home if you’re the DIY type of person. It does, however, need full, consistent sunlight, as well as relatively warm weather to achieve the best results. So, winter isn’t the best time to be doing it because the temperatures are too low and the sun isn’t at its highest. If you’re at all on the fence about whether or not you should do it yourself, we highly recommend having SkiEssentials.com apply your Phantom 2.0 before shipping. We are fully trained and set up with all the right tools, an official DPS curing station, and are more than happy to take care of your skis.
So that’s the theory behind DPS Phantom 2.0 and how its applied, but what about actual performance? Luckily we’ve had a relatively cold October here in Vermont, and we’ve already had the chance to test DPS Phantom 2.0 on snow down at Killington. In fact, we took the same pair of skis that you can see us curing in the video on this article. Being able to see the full application process, slap some demo bindings on the skis, and get them on snow all within about 48 hours was a really fun, rewarding process. Also, we’re happy to report that this stuff really works. Yeah, we know, you’re a bit skeptical. We would be lying if we said we weren’t initially a little skeptical too. After about a year of hearing about it, and then getting to put it to the test ourselves, we’ve fully convinced. The best thing about testing DPS Phantom 2.0 in early season conditions is we got to test it on a lot of different types of snow. We had some fresh man-made snow, some re-frozen crud, some icy spots, and some fresh snow falling from the sky that was on the wet side. This really provided a good testing arena for Phantom 2.0, and we were pretty blown away. DPS claims that Phantom 2.0 works in all different types of snow conditions and temperatures, which is quite the claim. Traditionally high-end wax is focused on a specific snow temperature. Phantom worked perfectly in all the conditions we tested it in. We had heard rumors that it can feel sticky at slower speeds, like when you’re shuffling through the lift line, but we didn’t actually feel that at all. We also got to compare it against a brand new ski with factory wax on it, and the Phantom 2.0 ski definitely had superior glide.
High tier athletes, especially ski racers, may still choose to use a traditional high fluorocarbon wax on top of the Phantom 2.0. That’s perfectly acceptable, and a high-end wax treatment like that will still add a little bit of extra glide for someone in a race course, but for most skiers, including all of our staff, the Phantom 2.0 is all you really need. If you are one of those top-tier ski racers, you’ll be happy to know that Phantom 2.0 actually retains additional wax treatments 30% longer than a non-treated base. It’s impressive stuff to say the least. Say you’re racing on a particularly wet, warm day. Throw on some high-temp HF wax and it’s going to last a few extra gates in a race course. That can go a long way.
Let’s talk about the environment. As we touched on before, waxing skis isn’t exactly good for the environment. As the wax wears off your skis, it stays on the snow. As the snow melts, your wax goes with it into streams, rivers, lakes, the ocean, etc. We hypothesized the other day that Lake Champlain must be coated with ski wax. While that sounds silly, there’s some amount of truth to it. Because DPS Phantom 2.0 is saturated into the actual base of the ski and chemically bonded to it, there is no wearing off. While it’s still using fluorocarbon functional groups, the application method renders them inert and harmless to biologically life. We like that a lot, and you should to. After all, we only have one earth. While skiing fast is a lot of fun, it’s probably not worth putting a bunch of harmful fluorocarbons into our water supply.
We’ll continue to test Phantom 2.0 throughout the season. If anything changes, you’ll be the first to know. For now, we’ll leave you with the fact that we’re so impressed with it, the vast majority of our staff will be treating our skis with Phantom 2.0 this season. Heck, I’m going to do four different pairs. Am I bummed that my waxing iron will be spending most of the season in the closet? You know… not really…