Oskar Enander sits down with Stephan Drake

Oskar Enander sits down with Stephan Drake

DPS has been in the shadows the last couple of seasons. What’s the story?

Well Mr. Enander, as you know, a few years ago we set off to create a revolutionary ski construction that would be lighter, more powerful, and rip harder than anything that has ever been built before- the world’s first sandwich construction prepreg carbon fiber ski. Carbon fiber is very difficult to work with in a ski: it’s expensive, very fickle, and requires total precision. There are stories in the ski industry of the big ski brands having tried this project, but they gave up. It has taken us a few years of hard work to mature the process and technology. While the brand had really good buzz a few years ago, we simply didn’t have the skis to sell, so we decided to lay low, concentrate on the technology, and operate at a low volume until the skis were fully ready and in stock.

It’s been awhile, and we are doing this chat now. Does that mean that DPS is starting to roar?

Yes, we realized that from a business perspective we missed the opportunity of really striking hard a few years ago, but we stubbornly said, “We are going to stick it out, and build this dream carbon ski even if it destroys us.” We refused to give in. We fought and struggled and fought to tame carbon and make it work toward a perfect ski. We had a lot of manufacturing problems with the new technology, but have come out the other end of the birth canal with most complete quiver of any manufacturer on the planet, the most advanced technology, and the most advanced shaping.

More importantly, every model, flex and size is currently in stock and can be shipped anywhere on the planet in a few days. They are truly unique, exotic skis, and they are a reality, so it’s time to start talking again.

These big Lotus models you guys have been working on have been creating a lot of buzz. What’s the deal on those beasts?

Yeah, the 202cm Lotus 138, and 200cm Lotus 120, are big, floaty, and refined.

They came into existence together as a result of core DPS customers, and five years of experience shaping progressive powder skis. Take the 202cm, Lotus 138. It’s a patent-pending design that has three years of rocker refinements and shaping. It’s a shape that has evolved over multiple seasons of Alaskan testing and been mated with the DPS carbon sandwich build. It’s 138mm underfoot, over 2 meters long, has more torsional stiffness than a world cup race ski, has a practically infinite flex life, and weighs less than a 175cm Pocket Rocket- pretty futuristic stuff. These kind of numbers run all the way through the line. Take the 178cm Wailer 105, it skis beautifully, rips, and and only weighs only 1560g.

That’s rad… Can’t wait to ride mine. Seems like everywhere I travel to around the world, the core pow resorts, at the helicopter ops- a lot of the best guys are riding DPS, and I spent a lot time shooting guys involved with DPS in some way. What’s going on?

Yeah, it’s a tribe- this group of people from engineers, to customers, designers, reps, photographers, that all share a deep passion for high performance skiing and especially powder. When you’ve experienced that special state that happens when you are planing weightlessly in deep snow, it’s very easy to communicate that vibe intuitively to others who have also been through the gate. It goes without saying that once you create a life that is built around chasing storms and delving deeper into the powder experience, you seek out a special ski that’s going to match the way you approach the mountains. When those skis are found, they become a bit more than just skis- they become a craftsman’s tools and take on their own unique energy.

These skis are an attempt to reflect the perfection that we feel out there in the big mountains while riding powder. We’ll never reach that purity, but the closer we can get to reflecting it with our tools, the happier we are. If the ski is in tune with the rider, then the experience out there just gets better and more fun. That’s what DPS is about. It’s only because of the interaction and a relative high level of shared understanding of what skis should be between the customer, designer, skier, engineer, that they turn out as they do.

Alaska. Less than three months Away. Are you excited?

Oh man, can’t wait! From a ski design standpoint, you can often learn more about a ski in one run in Alaska than you can in a whole season at resorts, so it’s super valuable to keep progressing shapes. From a life and skiing standpoint, after working hard, it’s the place to really get an intense shot of big mountains- the reason why we work in the first place. Looking forward to getting back to the travel roots on the Powder Road; it’s a good time with good friends. We will be updating the DPS blog for posts and showcase amazing photography by you and Mark Smith. People will also get photos, updates and stories from the deep if they are on the mailing list at www.dpsskis.com.

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