I looked into DPS a bit and like what I see. They are a Salt Lake City-based ski manufacturer (yes, their actual factory is in SLC, not China or Austria). Founded by Stephan Drake and Peter Turner back in 2005, DPS—which stands for Drake Powder Systems— has always been on the bleeding edge of ski design. They use a lot of carbon in their skis (nice and light!) and were vanguards in the use of rocker and innovative sidecuts. I had heard great things about the ski and was eager to experience the DPS "special sauce."
Other reviewers on Backcountry Skiing Canada have tested DPS planks in years past. If you're curious, take a peek at reviews of: the DPS Wailer 112RP (Pure3 Construction), the DPS Wailer 112RP2 Tour1 ski, or the DPS Lotus 124 Tour1.
Here are they are below, ready to roll and looking good in baby blue. I paired them with Dynafit Speed Radical binders, sans brakes. Makes for a really light set-up. Good for my old bones! Click on the arrow at right in the orange bar below the image for the detailed review.
The Yvette 100s use an RP construction. RP originally stood for "resort powder," which may or may not be applicable to this ski anymore—it's definitely a very capable ski away from the resort as well. Never before have I skied on something that makes skiing so fun; "intuitive and playful" is how they put it in the marketing material. I'm 5' 5" so I went for the shortest option at 153cm. The ski also comes in a 163 and a 171cm model. If I were a more aggressive, hard-charging skier, I would have gone for a bigger ski. I don't go too fast and love the easy uphill on switchbacks that the Dynafit binding and a shorter DPS ski provides.
Here's a little graphic explaining some of the features of the Yvette—particularly the pure prepreg carbon laminate layers of the Alchemist layup. This is what helps the ski stay light while not being floppy (that's something I noticed).
A big part of the RP chassis is the rocker, listed at 45%. Rocker basically means the amount the ski turns up at the front and back. As you can see here, the Yvettes feature a lot of rocker. This is good news for skiing powder because it lifts you up out of the snow and allows you to "plane" on the surface. My previous skis have had little or no rocker so this was new to me and super fun!
Some skis these days don't have any camber underfoot. As we can see in the photo below, the Yvette 100s have some camber, 1/2 to be precise. Having this camber provides a little spring in the ski and helps your skins "get a grip" on the uptrack (or flats).
Another thing that makes the Yvettes special is the 5-point, or "paddle tech," sidecut. This means the ski is tapered, with flatter sections that blend at the contact points to make it turn really easily and perform fantastically in deep snow.
Here are the tails. You can see a little taper on them too. 'love the lion graphic here.
Textured polyamide top sheets withstand frequent ski bang—mine still look good as new. DPS began incorporating the raised mounting platform a couple of seasons back. You can see that feature here (and above on the back ends of the skis). This apparently makes for a really strong boot-to-ski interface.
The Yvette's pronounced rocker and 5-point sidecut was a major evolution from the skis I have ridden in the past. In a good way. I know some people might ski the Yvette's at the resort only and that's ok. I think, though, they may really up their game on powder days in the backcountry.
I've skied them for a couple of months now—about half on- and half off-piste. They've worked really well for me on cruddy days at the hill—solid, easy to turn and confidence building. I would rate them as a 7-out-of 10 on the fun factor at the resort. That number jumps to a 9 when I am ski touring under my own power. Maybe that's an indication that I like touring more than taking the lift. That's probably part of the answer but I loved these skis on tour days, and just liked them a lot at the resort.
Light and solid, fat enough to keep me surfing on the snow and just the right length. Doing kick-turns on tight uptracks was doable for someone like me who appreciates a little ease, and, in a situation where we had to take off our skis and hike a bit (a la bootpack), the Yvettes were light and easy to carry. On the down, these skis simply made for a really fun experience—and that's what it is all about for me. They made me ski better than I ever have. Yeah!
As you can see from the pics, I have matched the Yvette with a pair of Dynafit TLT Speed Radical bindings and Scarpa Gea AT boots. For someone interested in a lightweight, stable and highly functional set-up like me, the Yvettes matched with these boots and bindings may add up to the perfect combo. This kit has helped me progress and will likely continue to deliver as I take on more ambitious objectives—and have more fun!
Price: $1,399CAN / $1,299US
Lengths: 153, 163, 171cm
Weight: 1.490g / 3lb 4oz (per 153cm length)
Turn Radius: 15m (153cm length)
|Powder Performance 2/2
Groomer Performance 1.5/2
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