Frontside Masters: DPS Alchemist Cassiar 95

The new Cassiar A95 from DPS leans moderately more towards softer snow than its little brother, the Cassiar A85. The package is accomplished through a slightly higher tip, an altered flex profile, and an extra centimetre of width underfoot. The Cassiar A95 is the floatiest member of the Cassiar family and an amazing flat-tailed choice for everyday frontside and resort skiing excellence. The 95mm waist is wide enough for all but the ridiculously deep days, while offering good edge-to-edge precision on groomers.

DPS Alchemist Cassiar 95, new for ’17-’18.

Alchemist construction amplifies the versatility factor throughout the Cassiar family.

Alchemist is an important evolutionary step in one of DPS’ main developmental tracks: the perfection of the carbon ski. Ever since DPS introduced the first carbon fiber sandwich ski construction in 2005, they’ve followed up in the promise of this amazing material. Carbon is all about power to weight ratios. Superior torsional stiffness coupled with a lightweight build translates into powerful grip when the ski is engaged as well as agility off-edge. If pure carbon skis have a weakness, it’s been their bio-feedback in rough snow. The lack of mass combined with such a reactive material can at times feel like a stiff sports car-like ride.

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DPS has engineered around this shortcoming before with decent success–SS strips, various damping layers, and related experiments. But none of these engineering adventures are as significant as Alchemist. For 2017-2018, DPS’ refined Alchemist carbon construction offers proprietary dampening elements in the right locations; optimized to tune out the bad vibrations while letting the good ones thrive. The focus is on carbon, but it’s the behind-the-scene actors that allow carbon itself to take center stage. In concert with material changes, DPS has begun to also take steps toward refining flex patterns to the same effect. Flex patterns and the distribution of stiffness have a major impact on how a ski responds to choppy and mixed snow. Which is exactly what we needed this season on resort.

Check the full DPS lineup here.