Featured Image: Rock Menzyk
A new addition to the Foundation line, the Koala 103 will challenge any preconceived notions you might have about DPS. Known for engineering advanced tools made to slay deep snow in the White Room, this ski adds a level of freestyle-focused versatility not yet seen out of the Salt Lake City manufacturer. To make it come to life, DPS heeded the call of its team riders and built the Koala 103 with a freeride chassis that is just as comfortable in the park as it is in the pow.
“The drive was to make more of an all-mountain, hard-charging ski that could also enter the park,” says Dash Longe, who was added to the DPS athlete roster just a couple years ago and was heavily involved with the production of this ski. “Team riders have always been involved at DPS and we wanted something that could be the perfect Wildcat-type ski for Alta or similar resorts that have the same kind of playful terrain.”
Taking inspiration from the beefier Koala 119, the DPS team adjusted the flex profile and made the new Koala 103 more playful in the tip and tail. The result: ample opportunities for buttering and popping while the ski’s 60 percent effective edge and stiff midsection holds a turn for those that really want to lean into it.
“The goal was to make an aggressive ski for an aggressive skier but we also wanted it to be approachable,” says Longe. “The challenge was making something for someone that drives their turn but also works for someone that skis more upright and has more of a center-weighted style.” Balancing the more centered, upright
DPS’ Foundation skis are focused on performance without a concern for weight savings. Here, the bamboo and poplar wood core is wrapped in a triaxial fiberglass providing a combination of power and dampness. A unidirectional carbon stringer from tip to tail through the middle of the ski keeps it poppy and snappy but also balanced underfoot. This construction produces a ski that can rail from edge-to-edge on a groomer but also stands up in chopped powder, bumps and in the park.
“I usually ski a fat ski every single day, but I wound up skiing the Koala 103 all winter and I love it,” Longe says. “I don’t think I realized how much I pulled this thing out—even on pow days it really charged hard. I was able to stomp sizable cliffs, which is my way of indicating how something performs in pow. If I don’t have enough tip or tail width or float then it’s really easy to dig and tomahawk. This ski really impressed me with its stomp-ability in pow.”