Let’s be honest: waxing skis is important maintenance, but also a total pain in the ass, so most of us don’t do it. That might change, however, thanks to a new technology just announced by DPS.
DPS defines the tech, called Phantom, as a “permanent base glide treatment.” It's a one-time treatment you apply to your skis that supposedly forever eliminates the need for wax. There’s a patent pending, so DPS wouldn’t tell us exactly what's in Phantom, but they did say it was developed in collaboration with a team of chemists and engineers from the University of Utah.
The trick is in the application: instead of just coating the skis' bases, Phantom actually gets absorbed into the Ptex. It's a multi-step process where you clean the ski, then apply two different liquids to the base, allowing each liquid to cure in the sun (UV rays activate the compound), and voilà—DPS says your skis will be slippery for life.
It sounds like hocus pocus and we'll have to see how the claim stands up over time (stay tuned for a real review). But my first impressions were positive. Last month, I flew up to Loveland Ski Area and strapped on Phantom-cured skis to shred the area’s one open run. Lap after lap, over early-morning ice and through late-afternoon slush, the skis were ultra-smooth and consistent. Granted, it was just one day of skiing, but I left feeling impressed with the suff—even just as a great wax. Whether it will last the lifetime of the skis, well, we'll see.