Light, Playful Powder Touring Machine – The Pagoda Tour 112 RP
In the words of DPS, “The best untracked snow is worth walking for.” And that’s the motivation behind the new DPS Pagoda Tour skis, including the Pagoda Tour 112 RP. Following in the playful powder tracks of their lightweight Tour 1 skis, the design wizards at DPS bring us their next generation of ultralight touring skis — the Pagoda Tour. Made in their Utah factory, they take the well-earned reputation of the Tour 1 design and raise the bar. Pagoda Tour isn’t any lighter than the Tour 1 (the weights are virtually the same). But it feels more balanced, damp and capable than its predecessor, which is saying something because the Tour 1 skis made their way into many dedicated backcountry ski quivers.
The most visible change on the Pagoda Tour construction is the addition of full sidewalls from the cap construction of the Tour 1 design. Sidewall construction has a reputation for offering more powerful edge control. I also think it adds to an overall more damp or smooth feel in a ski. You might also notice a more square tail profile with a reinforced skin tail zone, which is a nice touch. But there’s more going on inside the ski, too. The Pagoda Tour uses a blend of core materials including aerospace grade foam, paulownia wood and carbon weave to keep the skis light. You can read more about the new Pagoda Tour construction and see a core cross section in our overview article about the DPS Pagoda Tour.
The widest of the Pagoda Tour models is the 112 RP. It’s a direct descendant of the venerable Wailer 112. The ski’s tapered tip and healthy rocker profile are unmistakable, as is its always-ready-to-play demeanor. The first run on the Pagoda Tour 112 RP felt very familiar having spent a couple seasons on various generations of the Wailer 112. It’s a ski that encourages turns without feeling short or like it needs to turn. In fact, it happily hangs onto turns, but never complains when you want to break it free, scrub speed or throw in a few quick turns.
A New Level of Confidence
The combination of the new core and full sidewall construction give the DPS Pagoda Tour 112 RP a fresh silky smooth feel and subtle stability that carry it through variable conditions. It’s the weight — or lack there of — that strikes me every time step in to break trail or head up the hill. Of course, there are other light boards out there. The important distinction here is that the Pagoda Tour is light underfoot without sacrificing the fun on descent. I never felt the Tour 1 sacrificed the fun either, but the new build adds a level of confidence to the ski when the snow is less than perfect pow. Basically, it’s downhill performance defies it’s lightweight feel.
Pagoda Tour = Powder Touring Machine
The Pagoda Tour 112 walks like a light skimo board and skis like a hedonistic powder board. It’s a great combo if you have the luxury of owning a dedicated powder touring ski. Mind you, it’s made for backcountry touring not sending it at the ski hill. It’ll charge in the pow just fine, but it’s no Lotus 124 when it comes to reckless air and sending every feature in the fall line. It’s a powder touring machine designed for laying down arcs through soft snow of any depth. It turns on a dime, encourages speed and just goes with whatever flow suits your mood. The word playful is a bit overused these days, but the 112 RP is the definition of the term in a ski.
Pair the Pagoda Tour with a Lightweight Binding
If you’re eyeing the Pagoda Tour for your quiver (you should be), do yourself a favor and get a binding to match. In other words, go light. It would be a shame to put a heavy touring binding on this ski. Something like the DPS R10, a Marker Alpinist or a Dynafit Superlite complements the Pagoda Tour well. There’s no sense in spoiling the experience by weighing it down unnecessarily. While you’re at it, don’t be afraid to go long on length, either. You won’t regret it.
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