When DPS Skis launched their crowd-funded project on Kickstarter called Phantom, I’ll admit, I was skeptical. As a natural skeptic, I browsed Kickstarter regularly, backing various projects over the years, from self-published books to documentaries. However, DPS caught my attention with their claims of a waxless base-coating that eliminates the need for regular ski waxing. It was a bold statement that made me question their credibility.
The Ski World Rumors
In the tight-knit ski world, word spreads quickly. I heard rumors from a rival ski manufacturer that a similar product was showcased at a European tradeshow and dismissed as a gimmick. Others claimed that the application process for Phantom was sensitive to cloud cover and required a week of sun exposure to cure properly. There were even outrageous claims linking Phantom to the JFK assassination. Skiing industry gossip can be like a high school rumor factory.
Putting Phantom to the Test
Last summer, I received an invitation from Alex Hunt, a fellow Deadhead and DPS’ PR representative, to test Phantom in Portillo, Chile. Initially, my friends and I found it amusing to go on a press trip to test ski wax. But hey, it was a free trip to a luxurious destination with ski buddies. We decided, “Why not?”
The Verdict: Phantom Works
Here’s the bottom line: despite my skepticism, Phantom exceeded my expectations. I skied on it for a week in Portillo and throughout the winter in North Lake Tahoe, experiencing various snow conditions and temperatures. Let me tell you, this stuff works like magic. It’s absolutely incredible, and I’ll likely use it on all my skis. Please note that DPS did not pay me to write this review, and there was no guarantee that I would even mention the press trip.
Introducing Phantom 2.0
DPS recently launched their second formula, Phantom 2.0, which has garnered partnerships with several ski shops nationwide. The application process is quick and painless, and no sun exposure is required. In the time it takes to grab a couple of tacos and a beer, you can have a long-lasting glide for your skis. Well, unless you mistreat your skis, in which case Phantom might not be suitable. DPS claims that the glide lasts the lifetime of your gear.
The Success of Phantom
The initial Phantom Kickstarter campaign was a success, with over 2,000 backers contributing nearly $300,000 to bring the product to market. The second formula, which I personally tested in Portillo, has shown no signs of performance decline. The best part is that you don’t even notice Phantom when skiing, which is the whole point. On flat sections, you can truly appreciate the incredible power it offers.
Conquering Flats with Phantom
For skiers who have spent a few years on the slopes, we all know the frustration of getting stuck on those slow, flat spots that require skating. However, with Phantom, those problems become a thing of the past. It’s a weird sensation at first, effortlessly cruising through the flats. Suddenly, maintaining speed becomes an enjoyable game again.
Tradition versus Progress
Some critics argue that Phantom has ruined the tradition of waxing skis before a big day. Honestly, if that’s your biggest concern with this product, you need to find other traditions. Why not relax with an evening beer and read a copy of our magazine instead? In issue four, you’ll find an excellent story about a Florida Guy we met in Portillo during the press trip. Trust me, it’s worth a read.
A Response to the Haters
As with any product, there will always be skeptics and haters. The skiing community is no exception. However, I am confident in dismissing the naysayers. While they continue to inhale fumes in their tune shed, holding onto tradition, I haven’t had to wax my skis once this season. Phantom has revolutionized my skiing experience, and I believe it will do the same for many others.