I’m definitely not a believer in the one ski quiver. I own a lot of skis – several pairs of skis that are over 120 under-foot (one with lightweight touring bindings and one with beefy alpine bindings), several pairs in the 110-range and one pair in the 100-range for the spring. I don’t know if I should be proud or embarrassed by the amount of skis we have in the garage. Even my 9-year old daughter has a three-ski quiver, and we are contemplating getting her one more pair for the deepest days so we won’t hesitate bringing her along on when it’s really puking.
That being said, if for some reason I was forced to trim my quiver down to one ski I know which one it would be – the DPS Wailer 112. It’s a super versatile ski that is a blast on the deep days and is actually a fun ski for ripping down the groomers. The 112 has been my go-to ski for years but lately I’ve been spending more time on the Lotus 124. We get a lot of snow in the northwest and fatter is often better, both for skiing and trail breaking.
Even though the 124 is my mid-winter go-to ski the 112 is still getting a lot of action. They have turned into my backup skis for my clients. They go on every extended trip and often get thrown in the truck on day trips if I’m skiing with a new client. There have been countless days over the last two winters where getting my client on these skis has saved the day. The ski is so easy to ski that everyone wins. The client has more fun and I get more skiing.
I just got back from a three-week trip to Japan where we picked up a ton of snow. The first trip was over-the-head every day. I spent the week on my 124’s loving every day. On day one we had a guest that was struggling in the deep snow. The skis she was on were plenty wide at 116 under-foot but they just weren’t working for her. On day two we put her on the 112’s and it was a complete transformation. She spent the rest of the trip skiing those skis and having a great time.
On the second week I ended up snapping a binding on my 124’s and couldn’t find a replacement part. I was a little bummed that I wouldn’t be able to ski the 124’s but I was super happy that I had brought a backup pair of skis. I spent the rest of the trip on the 112’s and was reminded how much I loved that ski.
The Wailers and the Lotus come in several different constructions. Personally, I like the Alchemist construction but a bunch of our guides are skiing the Tour1 construction to save on weight. If you are just skiing soft snow the Tour1 does well, but if you like a little more performance out of the ski or ski more variable snow the Alchemist can’t be beat.
While it’s very unlikely that I will have to trim down my quiver anytime soon (thank god) it’s nice to know there is a ski out there that could make me happy.
– Jeff Ward, AMGA Instructor Team Member/ IFMGA Mountain Guide
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