DPS Wailer 112 Tour 1 Review
The DPS Wailer 112 has been a consistent crowd pleaser since its introduction. The 112mm waist hits a sweet spot for powder touring width and DPS has fine-tuned the profile over the years to create a refined but always energetic ski. This season they added a new edition – the Wailer 112 Tour1. The Tour1 edition represents a lightweight backcountry construction that takes the ski’s proven design to a new level of lightness by using Balsa wood and prepreg carbon/glass laminates in the core as well as cap construction.
The Tour1 drops a substantial pound per pair off the already reasonably weighted Pure3 edition. The result is a 3kg weight for the pair. Our 178cm test ski weighed in at 4 lb 5 oz (1.9 kg) per ski mounted with a Dynafit Radical binding; a very respectable number for the ski’s dimensions.
The best part is that the Tour1 still offers the playful, lively ride of the Pure3 construction, especially in soft snow conditions where it bounds down the slope with the same energy and zest for turning as its sibling. The Tour1’s light weight is a noticeable pleasure on the uptrack, where the ski encourages ranging far and wide or simply making yet another lap.
After a couple weeks of hut-based touring on the DPS Wailer 112 Tour1, I’m hard pressed to find fault in the ski. The tip responds to input with predictable grace in a wide range of soft snow conditions. The ski bounds through steep trees with finesse equal to how it handles wide-open terrain. Throw on the brakes and slarve or let it run and enjoy the ride; the Tour1 edition of the Wailer 112RP2 is an ideal ski touring board for varied styles. It rises to the occasion with the same energy that has made the Wailer 112 so popular. The Tour1 edition does not show its limitations until the snow conditions get funky enough to test your turning skills. The Tour1 construction is understandably not as forgiving as the Pure3 model in mixed conditions. The added dampness and mass of the Pure3 helps the 112 take on firm and funky snow with more confidence, but the trade-off is obvious on the skin track, where the Tour1 walks uphill with noticeable ease. And, really, the Tour1 handles funky snow pretty well, just not as smoothly as the other constructions.
For those looking to make the choice between the Pure3 and Tour1 versions of the Wailer 112RP2, we see it like this: the Tour1 is our pick for a dedicated touring ski. Think human powered access and soft snow consumption in all terrain. However, if you’re on the hunt for one ski to cross the line between inbounds and backcountry, you’ll be better served by the damper ride of the Pure3 or Hybrid construction models.