Talk to any downhill racer, powder hound, or ski bum and you’ll get more opinions on ski shapes, edge tuning degrees, and ski binding mounting than you’ll ever be able to keep track of. The one thing every skier agrees on, though? Wax. Until now, every skier knows to wax often and your ski bases will slide faster, no matter if it’s on New England ice or Utah powder. However, DPS Skis’ new Phantom treatment is poised to forever alter ski technology, potentially making the act of waxing obsolete.
DPS has been innovating in the ski industry since 2005. It introduced the very first pure carbon core ski to great applause and followed that up with pioneering designs for rockering and sidecut (giving skis different flex patterns and making them more surf-like). Its development of Phantom firmly plants DPS as the preeminent ski technology developers of this generation.
Normal ski wax works by varying the coefficient of friction between your ski bases and the snow. Skiers use different waxes based on snow types — such as icy race courses of granular groomed runs. Not only that but the density of the snow, temperature, and humidity of the air affect wax performance. It’s not uncommon to see professional ski racers toting a dozen pairs of skis on a trip all waxed to different environmental conditions.
DPS’ approach is completely different. Working with a team of chemists and materials scientists, it created a hydrophobic compound that penetrates deep into the base material of the ski. Unlike typical wax, Phantom needs to only be applied once — it permanently alters your ski or board base, making it both faster and harder for life.
Phantom is also more consistent than current waxes. Most waxes have an optimal temperature range or environment. In contrast, Phantom works across a wider range of temperatures so a ski’s speed stays consistent no matter the snow conditions. Finally, Phantom is environmentally friendly, safer to apply, and doesn’t contain the harmful and reactive fluoride based chemicals found in some racing waxes.
DPS tested more than 50 prototype compounds from its home mountains in Utah to exotic locales and snow conditions in Chile and New Zealand. Though there isn’t much known regarding how it works in the field, it’s safe to say that Phantom will completely redefine the ski wax market. DPS’ achievement here can’t be understated — if you want to ski fast in all conditions, you won’t be waxing your skis much longer.
DPS just launched a Kickstarter campaign for Phantom, featuring early pricing and the product intends to hit stores later this season.
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