Expert Review: DPS Pagoda Tour 112 RP Skis · 2022Published on 08/08/2022 · 5 min readThis review is my honest opinion of the skis, which I purchased with my own money in December of 2021.
Pagoda Tours fresh out of the box. All photos courtesy of Carl Beach
About this review: This review is my honest opinion of the skis, which I purchased with my own money in December of 2021.
The DPS Pagoda Tour 112 RP is hands down one of the best touring powder skis I have skied. Light and quick, the ski fits my surfy, pivot style of skiing perfectly and allows me to turn big ascents into fun, agile turning descents when snow conditions are deep while keeping my legs fresh.
About the gear
- Model: 2022 DPS Pagoda Tour 112 RP
- Size: 184 cm
- Height: 6’
- Weight: 175 lbs
- Experience: 43 years skiing
- When I bought these: December 2021
- Days tested: 25+
- Mount position: DPS recommended mount point
- Boots: Scarpa TX Pro
- Boot Size: 26.5
- Bindings: 22 Designs Lynx
- Where I’ve used it: Backcountry (mainly Rockies, but also Tatras in Poland); Val Senales, Italy; Schilthorn, Switzerland; Hochkar, Austria; Černá Hora, Czech Republic; Jasna, Slovakia.
- Terrain: Groomers, Steeps, Powder, Backcountry touring, Moguls.
How they perform
What I was looking for
Most of my quiver has transitioned to touring skis. After finally breaking my Icelantics (big, heavy powder boards), I wanted a light but versatile powder ski that would offer me great float without killing my legs on the way up.
Why I chose this gear
When DPS first came out, I was lucky to get some free demos in the Salt Lake City area and loved how they skied. I felt how they skied fit me: quick, playful, short turns were a breeze and allowed me to jump off into the trees, the moguls, and the steeps on a wider platform than I was currently skiing. And when a few inches of powder fell, I felt I was floating on air. Since then, I have wanted a pair but struggled to justify the DPS price tag. When the Pagoda Tours were offered to me at a discount, I jumped at the chance.
As touring ski tech has allowed skis to be more damp, stable, and capable across the mountain, and most of my days are spent off-piste, I wanted a light, powder-oriented ski that would not sacrifice too much edge-hold or stability.
What I love about it
- Float: I swear these tips are impossible to bury. The generous tip and tail rocker keep these skis well above the deepest stashes. Even at slow to moderate speeds, the skis float well or better than some wider skis I have retired.
- Quickness: With only 50% effective edge, minimal camber, and a very short 15 m turn radius, these skis are all about surfing and slashing. I can easily disengage out of a turn and be right into the next one effortlessly.
- Moguls: Granted, I love wide skis, and despite some obvious drawbacks, I am more than happy to send them down a soft mogul field. And the Pagodas, despite their generous 112 waist, worked well for me when I kept to a more “ride over the mogul” rather than a knee-piston trough style.
- Soft Groomers: Europeans love to groom, and after some generous snow storms this past season, I could lay some beautiful arcs on soft corduroy early in the morning while seeking out some side hits and leftover stashes with the Pagoda 112RPs. Putting the Pagodas on edge is not really GS style by any means, but they certainly feel nice on any softer snow surface.
- Trees, couloirs, and chutes: Like moguls, the quickness of the Pagodas provided great turning ability in tight spaces despite the width. With good snow conditions, these types of situations are where these skis really shine.
- Durability: I was impressed with DPS's build quality straight out of the box. Instantly, the craftsmanship is apparent, and the robust, high-tech materials make the ski not only ski well but is very durable. After one season, I have minimal base and topsheet damage (even after blazing over some rocks in Italy).
- Weight: I would be hard pressed to find a ski that performs this well and is this wide for under 1,600 grams per ski. For powder laps in the backcountry, this is the perfect ski.
Issues I’ve encountered
- Speed and Carving: This is not a carving ski, nor is it suited for big fast lines down wide-open steeps. Skiiers will likely encounter too much tip chatter and some wiggling. But for most of us, the speed limit on these is enough for their intended purpose.
- Hardpack/Ice: Although I contend that the build quality of these skis allows more capability on harder snow than many wide, powder-oriented touring skis out there, they are still not going to deliver on ice or hardpack. I found on this type of snow, I would have to dial it back a bit.
Favorite moment with this gear
Of course, it would seem any big powder day would be where I’d peg my favorite moment, but in truth, I had one of my best days late in the season in Hochkar, Austria, with the Pagodas! Spring corn in the morning, slushing moguls in the afternoon, and some off-piste hiking throughout the day. I loved the surfiness of these skis (combined with the Phantom permanent wax keeping me going over slow, water-logged snow) as they floated over these conditions with ease. That said, I cannot deny the “over the boot” powder runs throughout the season were not memorable.
Value for the money vs. other options
Price is where the Pagodas (and any DPS ski) may not be for everyone. DPS skis are not cheap (typically over $1000 per pair), but the quality of the skis is undeniable. Combined with the fact DPS has moved their ski production locally to SLC, consumers support a small company that builds everything in-house, using some of the best and most expensive materials. Comparable skis are the Moment Deathwish Tour, the Voile Hyper Drifter, or the Armada Locator 112.
Every time I get on these skis, I think they are the best skis I have been on. Although maybe an exaggeration, they are certainly one of the best powder touring skis I have ridden. Anyone looking for a high-quality, lightweight, quick turning, agile backcountry powder ski that can hold its own on variable snow conditions will find it with the Pagoda Tours 112RP.