Expert Review: DPS Pagoda Tour 112 RP Skis · 2023
This review is my honest opinion of the skis, which I tested for 15 days of skiing in December of 2022.
About this Review: This review is my honest opinion of the skis, which I tested for 15 days of skiing in December of 2022.
The DPS Pagoda Tour 112 RP is a great, stiff ski that’s light enough to make the uphills fun, but stable enough to maintain stability and control on the ride down. For a backcountry only skier who gets into a lot of deeper powder, and is trying to be fast on the uphill, this is an awesome choice.
About the skis I tested
- Model: DPS Pagoda Tour 112 2022
- Size: 171cm
- Height: 5’3”
- Weight:110 lbs
- Experience: 25 years of skiing
- When I tested these: December 2022
- Days tested: 15
- Mount position: Factory recommended
- Boots: Scarpa Gea
- Boot Size: 22.5
- Bindings: DPS R10 AT
- Where I’ve used it: Utah
- Terrain: Backcountry
How they perform
What I was looking for
I demoed the Pagoda 112s because I had been considering getting a new backcountry ski. I currently have the DPS Zelda Alchemist 106s, and I love them, but I have had them for a while and never really tried any other skis prior to purchasing them.
Why I chose this gear
I chose these for a few reasons. First, it can be hard to find demo backcountry skis—as many places only offer resort rentals for liability reasons. DPS is located in Salt Lake, where I live, so it was convenient to rent from them. Second, I had a friend doing some photo work for them and needed someone to ski on these anyways, so it seemed like the perfect combination.
What I love about them
- Speed: Lightweight skis tend to have issues at speed because the design is so minimalist, they get chattery and feel loose when one goes too fast. Though I didn’t take these on any really steep lines or go too terribly fast, I thought they did a great job still feeling stable and supportive at speeds.
- Edge hold: This particular pair was a bit long for me, so it was a bit difficult to turn, as I'll speak more about below. I also took them only on powder days, and didn't end up riding them on any hardpack, which makes it hard to determine if they hold an edge well. That being said, there were two days I was skiing on some slightly hard snow (not quite hardpack, still pretty soft, but carvable at least) when I got close to the bottom of my run and I was able to carve a little bit; during this time, they felt really stable and solid. At a shorter size, I think they would have felt great on edge.
- Powder: These skis are on the very wide end of the spectrum at a 112mm waist width. They are powder skis and do really well in powder. They float easily thanks to the low weight and the width.
- Backcountry: As a backcountry-oriented ski, these are awesome. They are less than six pounds combined and feel like a breeze walking uphill. Skiing down they are awesome, too, and perfect for Utah—which doesn’t have a ton of tight trees, and a lot of options for more open bowls.
- Durability: Though I can’t speak to the long-term durability due to the fact that I was just demoing them, they seemed super sturdy and were in great shape after 15ish days of me skiing them and countless other people demoing them before me. I have another pair of DPS skis that have held up really well even after four years on them.
- Weight: The combined weight of these skis is less than six pounds. They are some of the lightest touring skis on the market, and I can barely feel them on my feet when walking uphill.
- Stability: It’s hard to speak to stability since I didn’t really test them on any days that weren’t new snow days, but overall I didn’t feel any stability issues when riding these.
Issues I’ve encountered
- Turns: The skis I demoed were 171cm length when I normally ski a 162cm length at most. I am 5’3” and 110 pounds, but have been skiing for a long time, so thought I would try this length since it was the only option available to me. They felt very long, and when paired with the fact that their construction is primarily carbon (very stiff), I really struggled to turn these in all but the most perfect conditions (open areas with some fresh, light snow). Though I think this was mostly an issue of me having the wrong size, they are also a ski that requires a bit more energy from the rider than a ski with more wood in the construction would (wood makes a ski feel a bit more soft and maneuverable).
- Trees: Given the length issues mentioned above and the stiffness, I was not comfortable navigating these in the trees. They also have a wider turn radius, so I do not think they would be an ideal tree ski even for a heavier skier on more appropriately sized skis.
- Moguls: Being that these are not resort-oriented skis, I didn’t take them on any moguls, but they are also not designed for moguls and a little too lightweight that they would likely feel very bumpy.
- Park: This is not a park ski or a resort ski; it is too lightweight and not meant for that type of skiing.
Favorite moment with this gear
My favorite moment on these skis was my first day out on them after it had snowed eight inches overnight. It was a terrible and cold day but having been used to my old skis, which were about two pounds heavier, I felt really fast walking uphill. The way down felt almost like I was surfing because there was so much fresh snow and these skis were so wide and light. I had taken my pup and her pup friend up this day, and they both had a blast running through the snow—which made the day all that much better.
Value for the money vs. other options
In my opinion, there isn’t another ski that is so light, and has such good downhill performance. DPS really pulled out all the tricks for this ski since usually skis that perform well downhill are heavy—and skis that are light don’t perform well on the downhill. The only other ski that I can personally speak to that’s similar is the Atomic Backland 107, which is a touring ski that weighs closer to 7.5 pounds (pair). I skied these at a resort, and while I am sure they are great on the uphill (since they are not very heavy), they felt chattery and loose on the downhill, and are not something I would purchase. DPS has more expensive skis, no doubt, but it’s definitely for a reason: they know what they are doing when it comes to making a backcountry ski that checks all the boxes.
For hard-chargers looking to get to the top of the hill as quickly as a cheetah as to not miss any fresh powder, these are a great ski. They are so light I could barely notice I had them on my feet, and they perform really well on the downhill in new snow. Though a bit on the pricier side, they are totally worth it for the right user, and will last for a long time.