DPS Phantom Review – Will it really replace ski waxing?
Be honest, do you wax your skis as often as you should? We know we’re not the only ones who have found ourselves trailing behind our buddies on a cat track after promising ourselves the last time that we’d wax our skis as soon as we got home… before being distracted by après.
Enter DPS Phantom permanent base glide treatment. This innovative new product from DPS has been receiving a lot of attention and rightfully so. The promise that you’ll never have to wax your skis again sounds pretty appealing!
What is Phantom?
Phantom is a permanent base coating that is applied once and lasts the lifetime of your skis or board. It can be applied to old and new skis or boards and completely eliminates the need for waxing.
Waxing skis and boards is time consuming, inconvenient and is also a health risk to wildlife and to those applying the wax. Phantom is affordable, does not wear off and offers consistent glide and speed in varying terrain and snow temperatures.
Sounds great! But does it work?
During the winter, we treated the skis of two local backcountry aficionados, Felix Jauvin and Matt Gunn. Here’s what they had to say about Phantom:
Despite having worked in a ski shop for many years, I’m actually quite a lazy ski tech. As the saying goes, the ski tech always has the driest bases. The fact is, I simply can’t be bothered to keep up with the task of constantly waxing all my pairs of skis on a weekly basis, so I end up just leaving them dehydrated and quite frankly, in a sad state of affairs. So, when James approached be about this new type of waxing… err, curing treatment that means that I never have to wax my skis again and they’ll always slide on snow as if I had waxed them the night before, I was pretty excited.
Just as the season was beginning to transition from winter to spring, I was able to pick up my skis after having been professionally cured by the good people at Escape Route. Understandably, expectations were high, and I was giddy at the prospect of never having to get ski wax smeared into my shoes and clothing ever again! Despite my high expectations, the Phantom Treatment managed to leave me stoked and my bases gliding with ease. A few of the main points I noticed are as follows:
I see this as being more of a passive benefit than an active one. By that I mean don’t expect for your first day out after the treatment to feel all that different from a generic waxing treatment. It unfortunately won’t make you a better skier overnight and won’t necessarily make you speed past every skier on a cat track. The Phantom treatment is in it for the long game and the more days you rack up on the skis after the treatment, the more you’ll notice just how paradigm shifting this sort of treatment is.
I really started to notice the potential of this system after about 10 days on the skis. By this time, traditional ski wax performance would have tapered off significantly but with the Phantom Treatment I was still at the same level of glide that I was at on day #1.
This is where Phantom really shines. Don’t go into the treatment expecting an overnight change in your life but rather respect that as you rack up more days and you stay at that same level of glide, you’ll be thanking your lucky stars you managed to get your hands on this treatment.
The Phantom Treatment is so great for wet sloppy snow like we often get here on the Coast Mountains of BC, especially when things begin warming up.
Overall, I’m pretty sold that there is something pretty special here and I can’t wait to slowly get every ski that I own treated!
Like most folks dedicated to ski touring I’ve got a passion for sliding on snow. On a given day of touring I put a lot of effort into earning the handful of runs I’ll get so I want to make sure I get the most out of those runs. It’s hard to beat the feeling of a fresh wax so I start each season with the best of intentions regarding regular waxing, but the inescapable truth is that my life is pretty hectic and the Friday night gear packing session is usually too rushed to include a waxing. I’m pretty sure there have been a couple seasons where an early season wax job was the only one my skis received. This is why the Phantom treatment first caught my attention. Last winter I had Phantom applied to a touring setup and got to try it out from winter into late spring.
So how’d it work out? After the initial treatment I didn’t wax again. However, instead of encountering the frustrating feeling of a sluggish pace on descent as the weeks went on, the skis performed as I’d expect them to after a fresh wax. Not only did they hold excellent glide in the cold winter snow pack, they maintained the glide through the spring season, a time when daytime heating turns the snow pack form ice to corn through the course of the day. Across a broad range of conditions Phantom provided a consistent glide on par with my expectations from a waxed ski.
Ultimately for me, the beauty of Phantom is that my hectic schedule is no longer going to result in poor glide over the course of the season. It’s hard not to appreciate that.
I’m sold! How do I get my hands on this miracle treatment?
Here at Escape Route, we’re excited to be one of the few locations in BC able to apply DPS Phantom to skis and snowboards. Phantom requires bright sun in order to set and bind to ski/board bases. Since we don’t see much of the sun during a typical BC winter, we’ve got a curing station to ensure your Phantom treatment works as well as it possibly can. DPS Phantom is available to purchase from us for $159 (including curing treatment).