Is Waxing Dead? | DPS Say Their Phantom Treatment Will “Forever Eliminate the Need for Waxing”

Wax on. Wax off. Wax on. Wax off. Well, not anymore... according to DPS

Is waxing dead? Photo: Whitelines

Update: DPS raised above and beyond the $35,000 they were asking for just hours after launching their Kickstarter campaign. Not bad…

Wax is now dead. You will never have to wax a ski or snowboard again. Or so claim DPS – who have just launched a kickstarter for their ‘Phantom’ permanent base glide treatment, “a one-time application base-penetrating formula that forever eliminates the need for waxing”.

The big question on everyone’s lips is, of course, does it actually work?

Well, the short answer is that we don’t quite know. We’ve not had a chance to try the stuff out yet. But here’s what we do know.

DPS are a well-respected ski company based out of the Wasatch Mountains in Salt Lake City, and this isn’t the first time they’ve dropped a product aimed at innovation.

Their website reads: “DPS introduced the world’s first and only Pure prepreg carbon fiber skiing — then built the first rockered ski with sidecut — and unleashed Spoon Technology. The fusion of space-age carbon technology and groundbreaking shaping has resulted in the world’s most advanced quiver of skis.”

Now the company are claiming they’re going to shake things up again with their base glide treatment, a “disruptive solution [which] ushers in a new era for the future of snowsports”.

A bold claim indeed.

What are the problems with wax? Well as any regular skiers or snowboarders will know, you have to keep reapplying it. Which is annoying. But it’s also super bad for the environment.

DPS say they can fix that. So, how does it work? Stephan Drake, founder and CEO of DPS Skis says: “We came across a history of different alternative solutions attempting to solve the wax problem, but nothing was deemed competitive. We then began a developmental relationship with a group of top material scientists to research and attack the problem via an advanced free radical polymerization approach.

“Phantom’s approach is a truly innovative scientific advancement. It’s a recipe that simply works day after day, tune after tune, and forever fundamentally changes our conception and approach to fast-running boards designed for daily use.”

According to DPS, “Phantom’s patent-pending formula creates a hydrophobic environment that offers three undeniable benefits.” They list those three benefits as below:

  • Unlike wax, Phantom is only applied once and permanently alters ski and board bases to make them both faster and harder for the life of the product.
  • Phantom offers consistently fast on-snow gliding performance across a broad range of conditions and temperatures.
  • Phantom is made up of non-reactive chemical functional groups that are both inert to the environment and safe to those applying it – something that traditional waxes have never been able to achieve.

Tests were conducted on the product in every condition – from manmade snow to midwinter groomed snow and fresh powder to warm spring snow. They write that it “never wanes across all snow temperatures, and [works] for the life of a ski or board’s use”.

When it comes to price, Phantom will hit the market at $99 US. So if it did only need applied once, it’d save quite a bit of cash in the process, as that’s about the same as having your skis or snowboard waxed three times.

Traditional ski waxing.

If you are racing competitively, you can still apply temperature-specific waxes over the Phantom base, and when it wears off you’ll still be riding on Phantom. And if you’re a ski tourer or splitboarding, DPS write that “wax is no longer removed by the skins, skin glue is no longer contaminated by the wax, and you always have glide”.

I guess we won’t know for sure whether the product works or not until we’ve had a chance to test it out, though. Time will tell. But it sure sounds good. Do you think this is the end of wax?

Certainly from what DPS says, it would make very little sense to continue using wax if you’re a regular skier or snowboarder if their product does work – not only for convenience, but for the good of the environment as well.

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