Expert Review: DPS Pagoda 100 RP Skis · 2023

Published on 02/19/2023 · 6 min readThis review is my honest opinion of the skis, which I tested for one day in February of 2023.
Sammy S., Ski Expert
By Ski Expert Sammy S.

My ski buddy took this in the Jolly Jug Glades! These skis were fun, smooth, and responsive! All photos courtesy of Sammy Simperman

About this Review: This review is my honest opinion of the skis, which I tested for one day in February of 2023.

My take

Experienced riders who are as likely to find themselves off-piste as on-piste will love everything about the DPS Pagoda 100 RP. The ski excels in all types of terrain, including trees, bumps, and hardpack.

Me ducking and throwing a quick turn through some trees after realizing my original line wasn't going to go so well...

About the gear I tested

  • Model: 2023 DPS Pagoda 100 RP
  • Size: 179cm

About me

  • Height: 5’9”
  • Weight: 130lbs
  • Experience: 15 years of snowboarding/skiing

Test conditions

  • When I tested these: February 2023
  • Days tested: 1
  • Mount position: Center
  • Boots: 2021 Atomic Hawx Ultra 100
  • Boot Size: 25.0/25.5
  • Bindings: 2023 Tyrolia Attack 14
  • Where I’ve used it: Eldora, CO
  • Terrain: Trees, moguls, hardpack

How they perform

Durability
5/5
Flotation
5/5
High Speed Stability
5/5
Versatility
5/5
Carving
4/5
Turn Ease
4/5

What I was looking for

I wanted a fairly wide all-mountain ski (somewhere between 100 and 104 underfoot) that would be as comfortable off-piste as on-piste.

Why I chose to test this gear

I had never tried a ski from this brand before. I wanted to see if its performance was really worth the premium before I bought them. It was advertised to do everything I wanted it to do, and its construction and materials entailed things I have enjoyed in the past. After demoing, I would definitely consider buying them.

This run was very skied out and the wind had taken its toll, leaving crusty snow and ice. This ski made the ride easy and controlled!

What I love about them

  • Speed: When I picked it up, it was very light. This made me concerned about its performance on hardpack at high speed. However, I was absolutely blown away. It carves better than the narrower skis I have used and has no chatter. It filled me with confidence and control.
  • Edge hold: This is a big one for me. I like to go very fast, no matter how steep it is. Even on ice, I do not feel like I will slide out. This is likely due to DPS’s use of Waelzholz Edges, which are known for their hardness and superior gliding.
  • Turns: I care about turn radius considerably more than the average skier. It is VERY important to me. I am pleasantly surprised by how easily this ski turns at high and low speeds. This is in part due to its sidecut and in part due to its generous amount of rocker.
  • Groomers: Super fun. I feel cool. I look cool. It does everything I ask it to with ease, from holding an edge at an aggressive angle for short turns to smoothly connecting one GS turn to the next.
  • Powder: I do not get stranded or fall behind. The skis are super light, floaty, and fun. A good explanation for this is a combination of the ski’s early-rising rocker and its super low weight. The width certainly helps, but those first two characteristics seemed to make it feel more like a powder ski than it is.
  • Trees: This ski is a lot of fun in this terrain, which is my favorite. It is responsive and agile. Rocker in the front and back with moderate camber underfoot allows for easy turn initiation (even in fluffier stuff) and a lot of energy. Additionally, despite being on the wider end of all-mountain, I didn’t feel like I was being held back or working harder. I attribute this to the ski’s famously low swingweight.
  • Moguls: The #1 characteristic of a good mogul ski is a small turning radius, which the Pagoda definitely brings at 15m across all lengths. This radius and the controlled flex created by combining carbon and three types of wood made me feel stable and in control. I have a ton of autonomy with this ski. It’s not too bouncy, stiff, or overbearing, making it a Goldielocks for bumps.
  • Backcountry: Though it is definitely not as backcountry-ready as the Pagoda Tour, it is light enough and packs the right rocker profile (45% between the tip and tail, to be precise) to do the occasional tour.
  • Durability: The sidewalls and base seem tough, but I am not super impressed by the topsheet. It seems like it’ll be prone to chips.
  • Weight: Despite being the longest ski I have used and getting close to the wider end of the all-mountain range, it is not heavy. I am very pleasantly surprised by this ski’s weight.
  • Switch riding: No complaints. Easy to flip around, and the tail picks up enough to make it happen. Its weight definitely helps.
  • Stability: I have never tried a ski with such a flawless balance of pop and stiffness. My poppiest ski definitely chatters at high speed, but my stiffest ski isn’t forgiving. The Pagoda 100 RP is PERFECT. I have demoed plenty of skis. None have offered the stability of a stiff ski yet the playfulness of a poppy ski in the way that this ski does.

Issues I’ve encountered

  • Park: I may suggest a park ski for skiing in the park (haha). This is not a park ski. It’s too wide, and the topsheet isn’t tough enough.

Despite being 100mm underfoot, this ski was easy to keep on edge, even at high speed!

Favorite moment with this gear

Trees. I took this ski through the Jolly Jug Glades at Eldora, and I just could not stop smiling. I think I even looked at my buddy and said, “This ski is perfect.” It was so agile yet brought a definite authority and confidence into every quick turn I asked it to do. Whether I was headed into a cruddy thin cover or some fluff, it was ready. (Note: The bases looked untouched despite my dragging them over multiple fallen trees and rocks. Oops.) It was such a blast, and the most I have enjoyed the trees at Eldora.

Value for the money vs. other options

“Is this ski’s performance so much better than other options to justify its price?” This was my biggest question going into trying this ski. It is the most expensive ski I have sold. Why? Is it justified? YES.

I am a penny pincher and would drop the money this ski takes. It carves like a narrow ski. It floats like a powder ski. It is playful and fun without launching me into mogul fields. It is powerful, smooth, and stable, like a really stiff ski. I smiled the entire time I used it. This ski’s performance completely caught me off guard. Though there are other all-mountain skis, none blew me away like the Pagoda 100 RP. Although all-mountain skis can do all-terrain, they generally have one that they favor. Flotation will be sacrificed to enhance carving. The rocker will be increased, but the active edge will get lost. Carving it is great, but the tail profile does not allow for a butter or skiing switch.

However, the Pagoda is the first and only ski I have ever used that legitimately EXCELLED at ALL terrain it is advertised for—bumps, trees, hardpack, etc. It’s got it. So, is its performance so much better than other options to justify its price? Yes. Show me another ski that can do everything the Pagoda 100 RP does but better. One can’t.

Final verdict

Someone needs this ski if they are an experienced skier living out West who loves the trees and bumps just as much as a fast groomer. They will never want to use anything else.

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