Ski Industry News

DPS–Never Wax Again?

by Greg Colquitt | November 30, 2017

Is DPS about to kill waxing forever?

Not entirely, but if you look at their Kickstarter, the future isn’t bright for wax makers. Over 1,800 backers have pledged well over the desired $35,000, like $271,000 and beyond kind of well over. Do people want a good one-time wax on their skis? Yes. The answer is yes.

It’s permanent.

In short, Salt Lake City-based DPS put together a team of chemists and materials scientist to come up with a one-time “base glide treatment” that behaves like that oil change you wish existed–the one-time kind that runs forever. Unlike traditional waxes, which are a thin layer of chemicals applied to the base of your ski or board, Phantom permanently penetrates the base of your stick(s) and makes it, well, not stick. There are a plethora of benefits to this. We’ll start with the most important ones.

Environment first.

Traditional waxes become less waxy because the snow surface (and rocks, God forbid) rubs off little bits your shiny new wax. I know, mind blown. Then you have to get a wax job about every few days to maintain peak performance–wax that is made of hefty amounts of toxic chemicals that studies have shown appear in significant quantities in ski tech’s bloodstreams. Sorry wax jobbers. So really, when you look at the snow surface of your local hill, you’re looking at more than just snow–you’re looking at a motley slurry of materials ranging from a natural snow flake to flakes of perfluorochemicals or PFCs. Mm, sexy.
All flakes considered, a change in this trend is great news for the downstream. When the spring and summer sun starts beating down on your goggle tan and your hill’s snowpack, guess where all of those PFCs end up? Yep, really makes you think about getting a new wax, doesn’t it?


Consistent performance.

Will this flick-of-wrist base treatment hold up to the performance of a fresh wax? Well, no, but are you a racer or are you an avid skier or snowboarder that cares about consistent performance without constant upkeep? The average mountain slayer or weekend warrior doesn’t spend much of their waking hours thinking about waxing unless that’s your job and it’s literally in your blood.

If you’re looking to glide perfectly on mid-winter snow and have the money and time to wax your skis every three days, then a high-performance wax is going to be the best bet as shown in the above graph. If, however, you’re an environmentally conscious recreationalist (I know, not a word) looking to have performance without thinking about it, then Phantom will be your best friend.
Freeskier had the chance to test the product out and had this to say about the performance.

Our testing showed that at slow speeds, Phantom does not offer the same “slippery” feel that traditional wax offers. Once up to speed, however, Phantom is noticeably slick, providing rockin’ speed, run after run, day after day. Additionally, a skier may experience a slight drag in the first run or two following the application of Phantom; once the original stickiness subsides, however, no such drag will be felt ever again.

What next?

We love the prospects of this product and are very curious to see how the market responds. Will skis and boards in the future come stock-equipped with a DPS Phantom base? We at least know your next set of DPS skis will come equipped already, adding even more cred to the company that made great skis to begin with.

And finally, get on it! The final day of Kickstarter is now. Yes, they’re way over their goal, but you can still fight the good fight and even get a cool beanie out of it. Mush!

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