Next time you see some crazy guy skiing on a pair of DPS 112 RP Pures with Plum Guide Bindings at Killington, Vermont and you ask yourself, WTF if that guy thinking? Well, I'm that guy and here is what I'm thinking.
The ski industry has been lying to you. Not intentionally. No one crafted this lie. It wasn't masterminded by the illuminati of the ski world or anything crazy like that. The biggest lie ever told in the ski industry is this: You need different skis for different conditions.
I've had a theory for several years now that you can use a pair of fat skis to ski in ANY CONDITION. Bulletproof ice? fat skis. Corn snow? fat skis. Rock hard moguls? Fat skis. I came up with this idea in 2004 when I skied at Sugarbush with two of the best skiers I've ever seen in person. I had just skied out in Jackson Hole for a week on a new pair of Seth Pistols, but when I came back to the east coast I pulled out my narrow Rossi Bandits. Better for the conditions right? WRONG! The two Vermonters that I skied with were both on 100mm+ waist skis and they ripped the mountain like nothing I had ever seen before. No matter what condition were thrown at them they just floated over it with a gracefulness that I had never seen before. Were they amazing skiers? Yes. But they had also pierced the veil of the biggest lie in the ski industry. For the next three years I skied on my Seth Pistols every single day whether I was skiing bulletproof snow at Hunter Mountain or waist deep in Jackson Hole. And guess what? The skis ripped it up in everything.
Fast forward to 2014 and we now have technology that is a rocker, fat ski combo. So I thought to myself, how far can this theory really be extended? Could I actually ski a DPS Wailer 112 at a place like Killington? And would it not just be tolerable. Could it take my skiing to the next level like the Seth Pistols had all those years ago? Let's find out:
Equipment Setup: DPS 112 RP Pure. Plum Guide Binding. Scarpa Maestrale RS.
Conditions: 8 inches of new heavy snow with a rain crust on top. The wind had blown most of the snow off the hill. Temps for the day started at 32 degrees and fell to the single digits only the way they can in Vermont.
Bulletproof Ice: Let's be honest. Nothing can really turn on bulletproof ice. Maybe a highly tuned race ski for a run or two. The Wailers performed just like my Mantras would.
Hardpack: To say I was pleasantly surprised at the hardpack performance of this ski would be an understatement. Once I got the feel for the ski on a mellow cruiser and I really started to open it up, HOLY CRAP. I could carve into anything that was thrown my way. Short Turns. Long Turns. You name it, it can be done on hardpack
Packed Powder: If I was impressed with the skis hardpack performance, this is where the ski started to KILL IT. With just the smallest amount of soft snow on the slope I was able to carve turns in a way I've never experienced before. It felt as if my upper body was perfectly still and my skis were just making perfect circular arcs in the snow bouncing back and forth from turn to turn. I think the lightness of the entire setup also contributed to this incredible turn that I have never experienced before.
Bumps, hard and soft: Why turn in the bumps when you can just float over them?
AND FINALLY, UNTOUCHED POWDER: Yes Ladies and gentlemen we do get that from time to time on the east coast. I was lucky enough to score untouched pow at 3PM. The wind had redeposited about two feet of fluff onto a closed trail. A little duck of the rope and I was about to find out what these skis are really all about: Otherworldly...
YOU ONLY NEED ONE PAIR OF SKIS AND THEY SHOULD BE FAT (100mm+ underfoot). The ski industry is still lying to you by telling you you need more than one. You know why? Profits ladies and gentlemen. By separating everything into such minute sub-categories it's easier to sell more skis. Do not fall into the trap of consumerism. More skis will not make you happier. They will not make you enjoy your ski day any more than you currently do. The only way to do that is to look inside. To search for that part of yourself that brought you to skiing in the first place. The soul within you that enjoys staring out at a mountain peak much more than staring at a photo of new skis in a ski magazine. So get your one pair of skis, get out there and live your life!!