Over the summer of 2019, I purchased a new pair of Black Crows Orb at a ski store going out of business for the ridiculous price of $200. Since I had a new pair of skis I began toying with the idea of applying DPS Phantom to the bases, so I never have to wax again or be the last one poling across the flats. But, even though I only paid $200 for the skis I wanted to do some research on the magic elixir to see if the hype of the product was true. Before I get to my findings here are the benefits of DPS Phantom that I found on their webpage.
Summary of Benefits
Apply the formula once at any point in your ski or snowboard’s life cycle
Can be applied to new or used skis and boards
Permeates the base of the ski so when the ski goes into a shop for stone grindings, the next fresh layer of PHANTOM is exposed.
Reliable and predictable glide across the wide spectrum of snow conditions
PHANTOM is measurably faster than all-temperature wax in warm snow temperatures, and provides similar levels of glide in colder snow temperature ranges
PHANTOM also permanently alters the shore hardness of the base material itself, bolstering durability and resilience in the case of an unforeseen rock impact occurs.
Cured PHANTOM doesn’t cause biological damage, and doesn’t present any long-term environmental risks.
Danger Will Robinson!
Phantom is highly flammable, so don’t smok’em if you got’em or you’ll end up performing an unintended self-immolation. The package also says not to eat or smoke the product - I know people do all kinds of crazy stuff, but come on.
Supplies Needed Prior to the Application of Phantom
DPS Phantom 2.0
1 pair of new or used skis OR 1 snowboard (if used skis a stone grind is recommended, stone grinding new skis is a controversial topic)
If you choose not to stone grind a wax removing base cleaner, such as Swix I84 Glide Wax Cleaner
Hand Brush (e.g., STAGE Brass Brush White Nylon Ring) or Rotobrush (e.g., Toko Red Creek Roto Brush Cork Roller)
Dropcloth (this stuff sticks to everything)
Workstation 1: Prep station that should be well ventilated, non-sunlight area
Workstation 2: Curing station that should be in direct sunlight
A perfect day! You need at a minimum 2.5 - 3 hours of direct sunlight (this is a change from DPS Phantom 1.0 which took 6 hours of sunlight), when the temperature is above 32 degree Farhenheit. The manual specifically states that any type of cloud cover is unacceptable.
DPS Phantom Application Instructions
Start the application process at first working station, away from direct sunlight. Thoroughly clean the base of your skis or snowboard before starting. By using a wax removing base cleaner, bee sure to allow the base cleaner to full evaporate after wiping down.
For skis you will use up to 1 packet of A and one packet of B per ski base. Snowboards will use both packets of A and B on the base.
Prior to opening the packets knead each packet to mix the contents before application. If you feel any harder crystals in the packet continue to mix!
Open packet A, Drip Packet A only between the contact point of skis or snowboard. Phantom poured onto the tips or tail will quickly run off!) Using applicator pad spread Phantom evenly on entire base (including tips and tails) using light pressure at first, and circular motions then gradually increasing pressure to achieve even distribution.
Bring Skis or Snowboard to outside curing location and allow part A to cure under direct sunlight for a minimum of 1 hour. After Phantom absorbs into the base for 15 minutes, wipe down excess topical liquid with a dry paper towel until the base still remains wet, but excess liquid is gone. Wipe off any excess that was spilled over on to the topsheet, and clean off edges. A full cure has been achieved when the consistency of the Phantom is dry or has a slightly gummy feel. If the weather changes after 30 minutes or you fail to achieve a full cure, bring inside to your warmest well ventilated room for 24 hours.
After full cure aggressively hand brush or roto-brush to thoroughly clean out the base structure. Wipe down with a wet cloth and let dry. After completing part A application and brush, repeat application steps for part B.
What My Online Investigation Found
Consistent performance across snow temperatures (other than really warm)
Never had to use a scraper to knock off ice or chunks of accumulating snow from my ski bases while touring
Can wax over the Phantom to really dial in the glide
If you never wax it is better than nothing
Glide performance appears to degrade when temps are very warm (60F)
Takes a couple days of resort skiing to integrate the product into the bases. The first couple days can be slow and grippy.
Not meant to replace wax for racing
Longevity is still an open question, as most folks have used for less than 20 days
No evidence anecdotal or otherwise that it hardens the bases, where scratching would be minimized
Multiple users reported their bases becoming grey.
Works better in cold powder than in cold packed (I”m an East Coast skier, so it is a con)
After researching I have decided NOT to go forward with DPS Phantom 2.0. Quite frankly, I don’t see the point, my racing days are over, so I’m not looking to squeeze every ounce of speed out of my skis and I don’t recall too many incidents where I wasn’t able to get enough glide in the flats. While I don’t wax as often as I should, I don’t mind it, so the benefit of never having to wax my skis is not a selling point for me. Additionally, it seems expensive at $99 plus stone grind and supplies (if you don’t have them). Just for the price of the DPS Phantom you could buy over 5lbs of Demon Hyper X Wax - All Temperature Wax, which would probably last you the lifetime of your skis. Lastly, if DPS Phantom is the end all be all of ski wax why doesn’t DPS just apply Phantom to all their skis at the factory? Also, why wouldn’t other ski manufacturers license the product and do the same? It makes me think that more research and testing is still needed on the product.