Wax on. Wax… Still on? Not Quite Wax, Phantom

Jon Roubik | | Gear ReviewGear Review

Wax on, wax off. And so the process goes… Heat up the iron, drizzle on the wax, spread it, scrape it, vacuum it, shred it, repeat. You may have a few more steps, but even the minimum can eat your time just to leave you at the same place you started days later. Eventually someone got far enough over the tedious process and decided to do something about it.

That someone being DPS Skis, and that something being Phantom.

Ski Wax
2nd Edition. Image: DPS Phantom

Phantom is a permanent, one-time application, waxless base treatment that forever eliminates the need for waxing skis and snowboards.

Phantom’s polymer technology offers ultimate convenience combined with great glide performance that never wanes across all snow temperatures, and for the life of a ski or snowboard’s use.

Ski tuning
Phantom Station Image: DPS Phantom

The treatment cost only $100, which you could end up paying for 3-4 waxes alone. Considering the product last the lifetime of the ski/snowboard, this could be a value to anyone not turning over new equipment each year.

Introduced to the market in late 2017, Phantom was developed by a polymer chemists and materials engineers at the University of Utah. The liquid treatment, forms a chemical bond with the bottom of the ski that won’t dissipate during repeated uses. It soaks into the porous polyethylene plastic base all the way to the core of the ski or board. UV light, when exposed to the sun or light-curing stations, activates the chemical bonding.

Most skis/snowboards consists of polymers, especially the base. Extruded bases are created by super-heating and melting polyethylene granules to a liquid. The result is a base that is a solid piece. Sintered bases are also created using the polyethylene granules, however instead of being melted, they are forced together under super-high pressure. Because the bonding of the granules is done while in a solid state rather than liquid, voids are created making the final product porous.

As Owner/Operator/Designer at Trapper Snowboards, Greg Fortier explains:

“Essentially what this product is doing is converting a sintered base into an extruded one with a slightly more hydrophobic “sealant” [than wax]. In otherwords, convert your performance base into a low performance one. But the perk is the rest of the ski are the same performance components.”

Reduced maintenance and saved time are definitely great perks. If the costs work for your planned use, this new technology maybe as revolutionary to your tuning practices as it claims to be.

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