DPS Foundation Cassiar 95 Review
Cons: Not great in the crud, not super playful
Manufacturer: DPS Skis
Our Analysis and Test Results
DPS, which stands for Drakes PowderworkS, is a company that is relatively new to the scene (2005), but has already garnered a huge following, especially in their home mountains of the Wasatch. They claim to design "the world's most advanced skis", and got most of their early recognition by creating super light powder skis by using combinations of carbon fiber, rocker and sidecut, and pintails.
Now, DPS has taken what they've learned from creating top-notch touring skis and created a full line up of skis that do everything from slaying the deepest of pow to railing frontside groomers.
The most recognizable skis from DPS are probably their Wailer line. Outdoor Gear Lab has several reviews on that line of skis, so we wanted to switch it up and give their new Cassiar skis a shot. We chose the DPS Foundation Cassiar 95 in a 185cm length. Its dimensions (131mm in the tip, 95 in the waist, and 116 in the tail) along with an 18m turn radius give the impression of a ski that was designed to do it all. While it proved to be a decent all mountain ski, our testers found it to be more fun on-piste than off.
Stability at Speed
The Cassiar 95 actually surprised our testers when pushing the ski to high speeds. They expected to find tip chatter equivalent to the Rossignol Soul 7 HD or the Line Sick Day 95 but were excited to find the big shovel upfront stayed relatively solid. The Cassiar 95 actually performed more like the Enforcer 93 at speed, and had a similar damp feel overall. The bamboo and poplar found in the core of the ski help with dampening any vibrations you might expect to feel as you're Maching back to the lift.
This is definitely where the Cassiar 95 shined the brightest. The aggressive sidecut leads to a fun 18m turn radius, and the ski handles both long arcing turns and short quick carves well. The camber underfoot adds a powerful and energetic feel to your turns.
It was a bit slower edge to edge than the Nordica Enforcer 93, but our testers found the DPS Foundation Cassiar 95 to have supreme edge hold that rivaled even our most favorite skis in this category, like the Black Crows Daemon and Volkl Mantra.
Although the Cassiar 95 had a solid and damp feel when cranking up the speed on-piste, as soon as the snow conditions turned unfavorable, this ski's performance suffered. Our testers thought it could have benefitted from having a metal layer, like the Mantra. The large tips of the Cassiar 95 tended to be deflected by any firm or uneven snow. This may not be the ski if your mountain has seen long cycles of high pressure or melt freeze conditions.
The DPS Foundation Cassiar 95 came in in the middle of the pack in our powder category and scored a 7 out 10. Despite being 95mm underfoot, the wide shovel upfront combined with a bit of rocker allows the ski to float well, although slightly less than the similarly shaped Dynastar Legend X 96.
The Cassiar 95 was outperformed in this category by skis like the Soul 7 HD and the Rustler 10 because it lacked that surfy feel and sank more when the snow got deep. Overall, this ski will do well on most powder days.
This is another category where the DPS Foundation Cassiar 95 fell behind most of the other skis. The dampness of the ski that helped with stability has a downside…it loses some of its pop. Unlike the Moment PB&J, the Cassiar 95 lacked quite a bit of liveliness.
The Cassiar 95 did make up for its lack of pop by providing soft landings and being reasonably lightweight. That gave our testers some confidence in dropping small rocks and swinging the skis around while in the air. Don't be off-put by this skis low rating in this category; you can still have fun on them!
The Cassiar 95 is pretty forgiving and has a soft and consistent flex, which leads to ski that can handle it's own in the bumps. Our testers were pleased with the maneuverability between moguls despite being 185cm long and compared them to the Icelantic Pioneer 96. The DPS Foundation Cassiar 95 lost a few points in this category because of its tendency to get bucked around by firm moguls, but overall the ski performed better than expected on our favorite bump line.
The DPS Foundation Cassiar 95 are best when deployed in soft and consistent snow conditions. Whether that is a long wide open groomer first thing in the morning or your favorite pow stash that is consistently refilled all day long, this ski will be plenty of fun.
DPS is known for making very high-quality skis in their factory that sits at the base of the Wasatch mountains and with that quality comes a steep price. You could easily spend over $1,200 on a pair of DPS, but thankfully, the Cassiar 95 is only $799.
DPS has recently branched out and began making skis that are a bit more front-side oriented, and the DPS Foundation Cassiar 95 are a great example of just that. If the conditions are firm or variable, this ski may not be your first choice. BUT if you're a picky skier, or just like to have a big quiver of skis, the Cassiar 95 can be quite fun if the snow is soft and predictable. They may be a little pricey, but there is something to be said of the excellent craftsmanship and durability of this ski.
— Andrew Pierce