Almost 2 years ago, Salt Lake City based DPS Skis made waves through the ski community. They had made a permanent alternative to ski wax. So, what was the big deal? Well, this base treatment was nothing like ordinary ski wax. DPS PHANTOM, as it was called, could be applied once. That’s it. You put the base treatment on once and it works for the lifetime of the ski.
So how does it work? PHANTOM is a chemical formula that, when applied to the underside of a ski, permeates into the base and permanently cures using UV light. It becomes chemically ingrained into the base, so it will never wear off like traditional waxes. This permanent base application technology is revolutionary; DPS is the first company to do this.
PHANTOM is now easily applied in one part. You squeeze the solution out of the provided pack onto the base of the ski, then use the provided foam pad to evenly distribute it along the entire base of the ski. After letting that soak for 15-20 minutes, you wipe off the excess and then cure the solution. It only takes 1 hour in direct sunlight or just 20 minutes in one of DPS’ PHANTOM cure stations, which can be found at many ski shops around the country. Next, simply buff out the base with a nylon hand brush or roto brush, and it’s ready to rip! Considering it lasts for the lifetime of the ski, it’s pretty incredible that it only takes about 1.5 hours to apply.
Personally, my first impression was that it was too good to be true. This spring, DPS sent me the brand new Foundation 106 C2 ski to review. With it, they sent PHANTOM pre-applied onto the ski for me to test, as well. I finally got to test it and see if it would live up to the hype.
The first day I used it was in early March. The snow was pretty weird. Up high, the snow was cold and wintery. Down low, the sun had transformed the snow into a slushy, slow mess. It was a perfect day to test PHANTOM.
I rode the lift all the way up to the top, at 12,500’. The air was nippy, and the snow was cold. As I descended, I reveled in the perfect glide. So far, so good. But the real test would come as I descended to the bottom, and the snow got slushier. As I descended. I could feel the snow changing from dry winter snow to wet spring snow. Towards the bottom, I had to traverse some long, flat cat tracks to get back to the base. Other skiers were struggling in the slow, sticky snow. I just kept cruising; I could hardly tell the difference from the snow at the summit. Holy crap, I thought to myself. PHANTOM works.
Over the next few weeks, I experienced PHANTOM’s performance in every snow condition imaginable. And I can confidently say that it works. I’m truly blown away. Whereas traditional waxes would wear off completely after a few days, PHANTOM kept its superb performance day after day, week after week. I never observed any degrading of its performance.
I would say a freshly waxed ski with specific temperature wax performs very slightly superior to PHANTOM. However, traditional wax wears off in even a few hours, whereas PHANTOM remains on the base for the lifetime of the ski. Since the treatment permeates through the base of the ski, you can also get a tune and base grind without impacting the performance of PHANTOM. Along that same thread, if you wanted to, you could apply wax on top of the PHANTOM, as well.
PHANTOM also ushers in a new era of convenience for skiers and snowboarders everywhere. Rather than dealing with the hassle of waxing your skis or taking them into a shop to get waxed, you can grab your skis off the wall and go skiing. In the past, if I had a nickel for every time I forgot to wax my skis and got screwed by sticky snow up on the hill, I’d be rich. Now, PHANTOM is making me file for bankruptcy! PHANTOM allows you to be completely prepared to have optimal glide on every type of snow, which is hugely advantageous for spring skiing, where you can have a variety of snow conditions throughout the day.
As the cherry on top, DPS PHANTOM is great for the environment. Traditional ski waxes get rubbed off of the base of the ski and pollute water sources with dangerous and non-eco friendly chemicals. Cured PHANTOM doesn’t rub off and is inert to the environment. This means it doesn’t chemically react with the environment, leading to less pollution and eliminating watershed contamination.
Overall, I’m extremely impressed with DPS PHANTOM permanent wax. So much so, in fact, that I purchased another kit for another pair of my skis! I can’t wait to enjoy many wax-free days to come!