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08-27-2012, 07:49 AM #1
2012-2013 DPS Wailer 112RPC, 192 cm
Hey guys, currently down in Las Leñas getting time on 13 skis, including the new RPC.
After 4 days on the RPC, here is wtbthree's take on it.
Heading back out now, but we'll be online in the mornings and late afternoons / evenings.www.blistergearreview.com
"Jib the Death Grinder and your name will live forever." - splat
08-27-2012, 08:38 AM #2
Nice, cheers for the prompt review, what's your approximate weight/ height? the hookiness mentioned early in the review was prior to detuning? Did you settle on +1.5cm after sliding around a bit? what pushed you forward?
08-27-2012, 08:55 AM #3Registered User
Aggressive in my own mind
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- Nov 2003
08-27-2012, 09:09 AM #4
Excellent review, but I too am wondering how you chose to mount them +1.5 cm, which would probably account for some of the hookieness?Gravity Junkie
08-27-2012, 09:13 AM #5
08-27-2012, 09:47 AM #6
Thanks SiSt, I missed that on my first read. The tester moved the bindings forward to try and correct the fact that "the RPC doesn’t do very well with quick turns in steep variable terrain, or any situation in which a lot of edge pressure is required in inconsistent conditions," whichs seems like a significant fault. Overall they sounded like they performed pretty well, but if they faulter when the going gets steep and variable that is where you need them to be the most dependable, especially in a place with terrain like Las Lenas.Gravity Junkie
08-27-2012, 09:59 AM #7I did notice that the RPCs remained most predictable in these softer conditions when I skied in a fairly upright position, allowing the ski’s sidecut to help dictate the shape of each smeared turn. If I assumed a more forward and aggressive stance, the fat, tapered shovels (now pressured more) were likely to hook up / catch abruptly as soon I ran through any unexpected crud or hit more dense, variable snow.If I slid the shovels into the heavier debris or crust with the ski thrown sideways, the sidecut through the shovel would catch and hook, but the tail would often continue to smear. The only real option was to take things much slower than I would have liked, in order to maneuver the tips as I wanted while being able to maintain balance through the tails.
While you'll get a similar feeling on hardpack, it's a LOT easier to manage, since there isn't a crust or density variation for the shovel to catch. You just have to manage the tail and pay attention to how it's smearing out on you. Once you learn how to pull the tail back into line by adjusting your balance, hardpack is a LOT easier with this sort of ski. The problem with crust and density variation, is that it allows the shovel to catch so quickly, that the tail will smear out a lot faster and you have to be on your game in order to re-adjust. Once you spend a lot more time on these sorts of skis, you'll be able to keep it tracking a lot better at high speeds in this kind of snow. I can now rip down an untracked windbuffed face on Peak 7 at Breck as fast as the skis will let me without having the tails smear out on me. I do pay more attention to keeping the trail tracking, more-so than other skis I've been on. It's still do-able, with just as much confidence, but it does require more mental effort.
I feel that this sort of snow (untracked) is where a full R/R ski, and to a lesser extent, a traditional-shaped reverse camber ski (like the Renegade/Katana), shines. Though a traditional charger with tip rocker can do really well here, you can't maintain your speed AND smear out the tails in quick directional changes. If you try to smear out the tails for a quick direction change, you're very likely to dump a lot of speed. This sucks in tighter terrain, as you'll have to throw the skis around instead of smear them, otherwise you'll never be keep your speed, especially as the snow gets deeper.
When it comes down to it, you pick this shape of ski if you're spending enough time in the trees for it's one specific drawback to not be a big deal, and for it's ease of smearing to be a HUGE benefit. A full R/R ski has the same benefit without the drawback, but you have to put up with R/R wierdness on hardpack at the resort (including traverse wierdness), so it's a better choice, at least for me, on only the really deep days or in the backcountry.
In more open alpine terrain with windbuff and crusted snow, I'll grab a traditional ski with tip rocker if I don't want to think about managing the tail on a pintail style ski.
What’s more, where the RPC’s rigidity helps it in untracked, consistent conditions, I’ve found it to be pretty bothersome in crud. The ski is just so light and stiff, that any sizeable jolt in the shovel rattles the ski through the tail. Little impacts seem to get transmitted through the whole ski, rather than absorbed or dampened at all.
Last edited by Lindahl; 08-27-2012 at 11:41 AM.
08-27-2012, 10:29 AM #8Registered User
- Join Date
- Sep 2010
^^ That post was more helpful than the review.
It seemed like every drawback in the ski the reviewer point out was something pretty obvious to anyone who has ever skied a pintail or a light/stiff ski. But there's a pros to each of those characteristics too. If the RPC skis backcountry trees like nobody's business with minimal tip flap when conditions are less than idea, that would be awesome. Sure, a sub 9# ski won't charge the shit out of mank like a M'ship. No shit. But does it charger harder than the L120? Or the PM Gear 191 Fat? Or...Praxis BC? (There aren't too many stiff, light skis.) What about other fun-shaped skis like the JJ, the S7, the Squad 7, the BillyGoat (particularly the Tour), etc. It seems like they heard "charger" and then got this idea that it would perform like a heavy, damp, FWT competition ski, rather than an 8.8# ski with a 20-23m radius.
Everything is a trade off, and I felt like the review failed to specify how that ski performs within its class. All in all, the review actually convinced me that I should get on them, whereas before I was pretty sure they weren't going to be stiff enough for my taste.
Edit: But regarding the mount point, I don't think you can read too much into it. Given that the reviewer is 21 years old, he's probably used to a more center-mounted ski. While most people like their 112RPs mounted on the line, some people (kyber.pass, IIRC) mount the W112 at 1.5 and the L120s at +3. I've skied the L120 at about +3 and really like it there. I think it speaks more towards my preferences as a skier than any flaw in the ski.
Last edited by auvgeek; 08-27-2012 at 11:12 AM."Alpine rock and steep, deep powder are what I seek, and I will always find solace there." - Bean Bowers
shroom put it best: "Man, you're one biased motherfucker."
08-27-2012, 10:40 AM #9
Lindahl, to the extent of my limited experience I agree completely with your analysis. Based on what I have experienced and read it seems that pintails are not what you want on a "charging ski", and the reviewer started by stating that the "C" was for charging, but then found them inadequate in a lot of situations when doing that.
It is certainly a matter of personal preference, but is seems to me if your skis require a lot of fore/aft attention to stay balanced it defeats one of the main benefits of rocker. It reminds me of seeing my buddy GSing some crud at high speed on his S7s. He was doing fine but I could see him actually rocking back and forth slightly the whole time, whereas I want a ski that feels as rock solid as possible when you stand on it in those conditions. From what I can tell no pintail and just a small amount early tip and tail rise works best for charging in almost all conditions. Big rocker gives you smearabilty, but comes at the price of increased squirreliness when the going gets rough.Gravity Junkie
08-27-2012, 11:37 AM #10
I rephrased my initial response, as it doesn't have a lot to do with balance, it more has to do with actively managing the tail to track at the same radius as the shovel. Once you get the hang of that, hardpack is no longer a problem, and windbuff/crust becomes a easier. It's a gradiation of learning though. It's not so much an 'AH-HAH!' moment as it is a continual learning experience.
I think XavierD said it in the Billygoat thread, but I agree with him, that the old Billygoat isn't bad on hardpack at all, despite everyone's complaints of the original super pintailed design. My guess is if those same people that complained about it's behavior on hardpack had spent an entire season on the ski, they'd find it to do just fine in those conditions (as long as they're competent skiers). You just have to be aware that the tail will smear out on you, and know how to handle it when it does start to happen - get more forward on the ski, and ride the front middle of the ski. Sometimes lifting the ski just barely off the snow and resetting it back on it's edge will do it as well. Once the tail starts smearing out, if you lean back and get your weight back on the tails in an 'oh shit - I'm scared' reaction, you're fucked. You need to get onto the forebody of the ski more on hardpack to get the tail to track and keep it from smearing.
However, it's qutie a bit different in uncut windbuff/crust. The tail won't smear out on you, since the density of the windbuff/crust (and even blower) will resist that motion. Instead, you have to watch out for the shovel hooking up, because the tail won't hook up in the same manner. You need to maintain a more centered stance to keep the shovel from hooking up. To tighten the turn radius, you don't lean on the shovel like you would on a traditional ski. Instead, you feather the tail out and let it smear around into a tighter radius. If you try to bend/flex the ski into a tighter turn, the shovel will throw you hard into an unbalanced turn. You need to surf the snow in this condition, rather than drive the ski.
I think that since you use two different techniques to tighten the turn radius - drive forward and bend the shovel on hardpack, and stay centered and smear the tail around in windbuff/crust, it makes this style of ski a bit more difficult for newcomers to figure out. You can also stay centered and smear the tail around on hardpack, but then you lose edge grip, so you need to know when you can get away with it (i.e. spring corn hardpack).
Basically, surf the ski like an R/R in all manners of soft snow, and on hardpack, ski it like a traditional ski that has a dull tail edge, and ride the forebody edge instead.
Note, that if you have a soft shovel on this style of ski, driving forward and bending the shovel on hardpack can result in the same effect that you'd get on windbuff/crust. The shovel will hook up very quick and throw the tail around in the same manner. Therefore, a stiffer shovel on this style of ski is helpful, in my opinion (the Billygoat does a great job of this - it feels quite stiff throughout the entire ski).
EDIT: One other observation, as with most things, the faster you're going, the more you'll feel the negative effects of the pintail style. In other words, the faster you go, the faster the shovel will hook up or tail will smear away from you. I feel that these style of skis, while AMAZING tools in a competant skier's hands (in terms of acting like an R/R but with decent hardpack performance), can be trouble for skiers who want to charge but don't quite have the solid fundamentals to do so, nor the time to learn how to do so on said skis. To charge on them in uncut dense snow or on hardpack, you really do have to be an expert with some time on them, otherwise they can feel squirrly.
Last edited by Lindahl; 08-28-2012 at 06:01 AM.
08-27-2012, 11:43 AM #11
wtbthree, thanks for the review.
a couple quick questions:
-i see you were skiing a boot that is up for review from the trip. is this your normal boot or no? according to your bio and previous reviews, you are in a salomon falcon normally? I am wondering if you had fit issues or heel lift, or anything that might have been present that may have lead to lack of power or precision? a wandering fore-foot in a shell almost always translates to a hooky shovel on a stiff ski with a little sidecut, and a bit more heel lift can often translate to needing to ski more neutral, and therefore not drive the shovel. just curious.
-can you link shovel wander/hook in any way to your self-described inability to bend the ski, and therefore skiing it more passively? they certainly are very stiff, especially in the shovel.
-i am sort of surprised that the review focusing on comparing the skiing behavior to long running length skis (katana, et al) instead of similar "charge-y" short running length skis such as a squad 7 or whatever. i feel these are 2 radically different skiing classes.
-i sent them full-sharp tip to tail... any more insight on how the ski felt once detuned? I am sorry i did not detune the shovels and tails before dropping them off, i think that would have helped, given what you are reporting.
either way i look forward to a longer term review state-side.
Last edited by marshalolson; 08-27-2012 at 11:58 AM.
08-27-2012, 01:40 PM #12
Detuning was something I greatly underestimated on the 112rp, and L120. You have to take them down to a 45* with a panzer from contact points out. IMHO No more was this apparent to me than on the Wootest, it took me 3 tries to really take almost all of the hookiness out of them.
The edges come from the factory so dam sharp that they just grab everything buy blower. Not sure what bevel they some with but its not enough and you have to seriously detune a scary (to me at first as a ex shop rat 12 years ago) amount of edge off.Drink to remember not to forget!
08-27-2012, 03:30 PM #13
Lindahl pretty much nails it, but omits a couple of important factors IMO:
Sidecut radius: A shorter radius will tend to engage into a carve waaaay more than a long radius.
Camber: A cambered section underfoot, corresponding roughly to the sidecut lenght will tend to aggravate the problems further as this leads to more pressure at the offending parts of the ski, especially in correspondence with taper. A flat or reverse cambered section underfoot will concentrate more pressure on the underfoot area closer to the boot, thereby reducing the twisting moment on the skier.
Taper: A sharply tapered tip/tail will have a point at which the pressure on the snow is higher than it would otherwise be, resulting in less predictable behaviour in funky snow, as this point will tend to be either in the snow (hook) or off the snow (loose). Making the taper more gradual will tend to spread these forces out over a larger section of the ski and smooth out inconsistencies in the snow.
If you want to make a really horrible 5-pointish pintail shape, do a heavily cambered abrupt transition in the tip and soft transition in the tail, really short sidecut radius in the tip and super long in the tail, drastically tapered tip and straight tailed ski which is really soft underfoot. Also make the camber, sidecut and taper meet in a single point and do a huge and abrupt rocker that starts at this point as well.
As others have noted, detune the living shit out of anything not sidecut on your five-point skis. Having sharp edges on the reverse sections can do you no good at all, as the last thing you want is for them to engage into a reverse carve.
08-27-2012, 09:06 PM #14
Hey guys, thanks for reading. Just a few comments above I'd like to jump in on:
We do usually try and draw comparisons between skis, so you’re right to wonder about how the RPC compares to other similarly shaped skis. I wanted to limit comparisons to the Wailer 112RP for brevity and clarity in this First Look. In general, this Las Leñas trip provides us with just enough time to write initial reviews of the skis we've brought, and you may find less comparisons in these reviews than what we post during the regular season. We haven’t skied the Praxis BC or BG Tour (yet), but will be sure to draw comparisons between those and some other skis in the Update of the RPC.
I mentioned skis like the Katana in making the point that the word “charger” is used all over the place in the industry, and it might mean something different to two different people. DPS made clear that the RPC is a charger relative to the Wailer 112RP, but I wanted to confirm this. In doing so it seemed helpful to note that the RPC is not a Katana or Belafonte, despite having "charger" in its name.
With respect to mount location (and my age): I grew up racing in Taos, and generally prefer skis with more traditional mount points. I’ve always skied with a forward, aggressive stance, though I’m capable of dialing things back and skiing with a more upright posture when needed. As you've mentioned, many people ski their 112s or 99s a little forward of the factory line. I may move the mount point back after a heavier de-tune on the shovels, but for now I'm liking +1.5.
I am currently skiing the Nordica Firearrow F1 which, as you've noted, is not the boot I've used for past reviews. In testing the RPC, I was very careful to pay attention to what I might have been be feeling as a result of the new boot rather than the ski. I had the boot fitted prior to the trip, and was careful to use to my Falcon as a reference. I have not noticed issues with heel lift in the Firearrow (or in my Falcons) and have a solid fit around the fore-foot. Nonetheless, I'l be putting more time on the RPC in both boots before writing the Update.
Without having a softer, similarly shaped ski to compare to right now, I can't say with confidence that my difficulty bending the ski affects the hookiness in the shovel. We'll definitely be posting a 2nd look of this ski this season from a different reviewer.
There are certainly a lot of skis worth comparing to the RPC. I'm putting time on the Down Skis Countdown 3 and Salomon Rocker 2 115 in the next few days, so those might offer the most immediate, fresh comparisons (it's been a while since I've been on the Squad 7) As I've mentioned above, more comparisons will be made in the Update, after more time on the RPC and similar skis in the US.
No worries about the tune. I think it's good to jump on a ski with a full tune first, ski it, decide what should be done to the ski from there, and move on in formulating the review (people buy skis with factory edges, they'll want some advice on how to detune them - I'm game to try and find out). De-tuing the shovels past the contact point did help balance the ski some, though I don't imagine I'll be able to eliminate the "hooky" characteristic entirely - it may just be a matter of adjusting to it. Regardless, I'll be addressing de-tuning again with more time put on the ski in the US. As xtrmjoe mentioned, it's a factor of the Wailer's performance that can be under-appreciated, so it may play a big role in learning more about this ski going forward. Thanks for the note.
Again, this is a First Look review, not the final word.
Thanks for the comments. Let me know if you have any other questions and I'll try to address them as best I can.
08-27-2012, 09:13 PM #15
Bibby pro comparison would be great too.
08-27-2012, 11:44 PM #16
wtb3, thanks for the solid response. nice job on the review and all follow ups.
blister reviews are the best around.
man o man do DPS threads get bountiful amounts of word and attention around here.
08-29-2012, 04:26 AM #17Life is not lift served.
Weather data for Hakuba, Japan
08-29-2012, 04:36 AM #18
08-29-2012, 05:26 AM #19
I guess something like... sharp edges which 'track' but not carve on an arc.
Tracking on a line <> carving on an arc, so I get what you are saying.
Last edited by neck beard; 08-29-2012 at 06:07 PM.Life is not lift served.
Weather data for Hakuba, Japan
08-29-2012, 10:29 AM #20
08-29-2012, 10:29 AM #21
09-11-2012, 04:38 PM #22
Rocker Profile pics are now up:
"Jib the Death Grinder and your name will live forever." - splat
09-11-2012, 04:53 PM #23Registered User
- Join Date
- Sep 2010
Ooooh...that looks much more subtle than the 112RP. Would certainly like to get on a pair."Alpine rock and steep, deep powder are what I seek, and I will always find solace there." - Bean Bowers
shroom put it best: "Man, you're one biased motherfucker."
09-11-2012, 06:01 PM #24
agreed - really like the profile of those sticks!
09-12-2012, 02:20 PM #25
Mine arrived this morning! Damn fine looking ski. Obviously, I don't have an opinion of performance but I can weigh in in that if you think these are just a stiffer version of the 112RP, you are mistaken. I put the two side by side and flexed both everyday I could. Honestly, unless it's a marketing plan, I cannot figure out why the name is what it is. from my first look and feel I'd say it might sell better with a completely different name. Seems like a different animal all together to me. Regardless, I can't wait to get on them.
Buy some if they are still available!