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DPS Phantom base treatment, how to avoid waxing recreational skis - Notes 2020

marzNC

Angel Diva
#1
For recreational skiing, Phantom from DPS Skis is an alternative to waxing skis. I was an early adopter after Phantom became available during the 2018-19 season and am very happy with the performance on snow. I have the basics to wax my skis at home, but it’s a chore I’m happy to avoid. I used to wax my skis 3-4 times a season when I was skiing 15-25 days, half in the southeast on manmade snow.

Keep reading if you are a recreational or backcountry skier and would consider investing in a base treatment that means not spending time and money on waxing for as long as you keep a pair of skis. Can be useful for racers too but my impression is that most racers prefer to wax their own skis. Although treating with Phantom as a foundation for race skis has proved to be useful. Works for snowboards too.

If you have Phantom-treated skis, did you go DIY or have a shop do the treatment? What do you think about the performance? Do you plan to treat other skis in the future? Be helpful to know what region you ski in the most.
 

marzNC

Angel Diva
#2
Phantom can be applied at home (DIY, no tools needed, sunlight required) in a few hours or can be done by a ski shop with a specially designed UV light box. The price for a kit is $99, which is good for a pair of any size skis (or one snowboard). The charge for treating a pair of skis using a DPS Cure Station, including a stone grind, is around $150 at a ski shop.

The marketing description is that Phantom is a "permanent, one-time application, waxless base treatment” that provides "great glide performance that never wanes across all snow temperatures.” Performance is comparable to a skis waxed using a universal temperature wax. For more details and videos about Phantom, check out Posts #1-6 in the earlier thread started Nov 2018.

Want to Avoid Waxing Your Skis? Consider DPS Phantom 2.0 If Keeping Skis 3+ Years

Keeping skis gliding well means waxing at home, or paying a ski shop for a hot wax every so often during the season. How often depends a bit on the region. DPS Phantom is base treatment that eliminates the need to wax. For someone who just bought their first pair of skis, that means no need to consider buying the tools and supplies needed for DIY waxing.
 

marzNC

Angel Diva
#3
My positive experience with DPS Phantom started with treating my Head Absolut Joys in January 2018 at home (in the southeast) with Phantom 1.0 (Kickstarter pledge). I’ve skied the AJs for 35+ days since then, mostly in the mid-Atlantic or northeast on manmade snow. They were as good in late Feb at Massanutten (northern VA) as they were two years ago. The ski days skiing on Phantom bases is really fun is during late season. The glide is far more consistent all day long than any wax when temps climb into the 40s or even 50s.

Before the 2019-20 season I treated two other pairs of skis at home with Phantom 2.0. One pair is my daughter’s and the other are old Black Pearls (2011) that I’m keeping as rock skis. The BPs were wonderful at Alta last April on warm days. Just had a stone grind done on my Stöckli Stormrider 85 skis. I only use them out west and I will treat them at home soon before my usual late season trip to Alta. While a stone grind isn’t required, it’s the easiest way to prep bases. The Stormriders were due for a stone grind any way.

For comments from a few northeast Divas:
Phantom Wax (finally near Boston)
 

mustski

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#4
Question: When a ski has to get new structure does the eliminate the effectiveness of the Phantom treatment? I find that with skiing so much man made snow, my skis need structure added at least once a season.
 

marzNC

Angel Diva
#5
Question: When a ski has to get new structure does the eliminate the effectiveness of the Phantom treatment? I find that with skiing so much man made snow, my skis need structure added at least once a season.
No. Phantom changes the nature of the base itself. So even a stone grind only exposes a new layer of fully treated base. I had my old BPs stone ground after doing DIY Phantom for last season. Worked great this season.
 

marzNC

Angel Diva
#6
Aspen Ski Co. started experimenting with Phantom during the 2018-19 season. All 350 pairs of demo skis were treated. A few staff members were using Phantom, including some ski patrollers. Everyone was quite happy with performance all season long. So for 2019-20, all rental skis were treated with Phantom. That saves a lot of labor time over the course of a season.

Nov. 11, 2019, Aspen Times
Aspen Skiing Co. among those saying goodbye to ski wax, hello to Phantom
". . .
This fall, Skico tune manager John “Norm” Norman and his crew at the tune shop at Aspen Highlands are treating about 2,300 pairs of skis from Skico’s rental fleet.

“It’s not a very hard sell if you have any knowledge of skiing,” Norman said.

He is a guy who is so particular in his need for speed that he likens having a couple of burrs on his edges to “dragging a metal rake behind you.” He likes his boards to be fast and responsive. Phantom helps fit the bill, he said.

It’s different than wax because it absorbs deep into the base of skis and snowboards rather than simply coats the base. Exposure to UV light creates a chemical bond between Phantom and the board. It creates a strong and faster base, according to DPS.

Anyone who wants to geek out on details of the product and the application process can go to DPS’s website at https://www.dpsskis.com/phantom-glide.

Norman rode his Phantom-treated snowboard 80 times in the low-snow season two winters ago and 120 times last season. He would typically reapply wax every three times out. He never felt the need to enhance the one Phantom application.

“I pretty much went all-in,” he said.

He also enlisted about 10 ski patrollers to try it out. They are up early when temperatures are cold and the ski surface is hard and they’re out late in the afternoon on the sunbaked surface.

“They’re a pretty good test, in my opinion,” Norman said. The patrollers who have tried it have given it a thumbs up, he said.

Skico senior staff also served as Guinea pigs. President and CEO Mike Kaplan, Senior Vice President of Mountain Operations Katie Ertl and Senior Vice President of Strategy and Business Rich Burkley have tried Phantom on at least some of their skis.

“I would say that the Phantom surface was similar to a very good tune and wax,” Burkley said.

He had it applied to the skis he uses exclusively at Highlands. He rode them about 30 times last season, mostly in powder conditions. There wasn’t much spring skiing on wet snow and ice, but Burkley said he senses the Phantom-treated skis would shed water well, like a warm wax.

“Toward the end of the season the surface was still feeling like a fresh wax,” he said.
. . ."
 

Scribble

Certified Ski Diva
#7
I bought new skis and was planning to have Phantom applied, but the shop that mounted the bindings waxed them so I just skied them as is. When I was stir crazy last month I bought a wax and tune kit that I can keep playing around with for now.
I'll probably get a base grind done on them before next season so I can get the phantom...according to my new tuning stuff and a couple of youtube videos, the bases aren't quite flat on them so I feel like I can justify the expense.
 
#8
I have one pair DIY and one pair professionally done. Both performed very well all season through all kinds of conditions and I could not tell the difference between DIY and shop-applied. I especially like how easily they glide on flatish sections. Even at a snail’s pace, they just don’t stop.
 

Soujan

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#9
I've done DIY treatment to four pairs of skis with the Phantom 2.0. The first pair I did, I used one box for one pair of skis. There was a lot of excess. I know some people have used one box to treat two pairs of skis. Even though DH and me are both pretty short and thus have short skis, I was still worried one box would not be enough for two pairs. So instead I used two boxes for three pairs of skis. Definitely enough coverage. I primarily ski in VT and NH. Definitely nice not to have to re-wax my skis and I don't lose any glide as the day or week progresses (depending on conditions). DH feel a fresh wax has better glide but overall appreciates no loss of glide with the Phantom.
 
#11
I think 2020 is my year to apply this. It feels weird to not reapply yearly. This is truly a once and done deal?
I treated my carvers in Jan 2018, DIY with 1.0 from the Kickstarter. Have at least 30 days use in the last three seasons, mostly on manmade snow in the mid-Atlantic or northeast. No difference in performance. Got a stone grind in Jan 2020.
 

UtahDesert

Certified Ski Diva
#13
I got just one day (at Alta) on my new Rossi 88s with the Phantom 2.0 treatment. I felt that I could tell the difference--at least in comparison with my not recently waxed old skis. Better glide on the flats, and speed that I'm going to have to learn to control or come to terms with when I'm making good turns elsewhere. (That second one is largely a function of the new skis, I'm sure.) But what I think I noticed and I'm really happy about is a more consistent glide through slush. All of this could be in my head, however.
 
#14
I got just one day (at Alta) on my new Rossi 88s with the Phantom 2.0 treatment. I felt that I could tell the difference--at least in comparison with my not recently waxed old skis. Better glide on the flats, and speed that I'm going to have to learn to control or come to terms with when I'm making good turns elsewhere. (That second one is largely a function of the new skis, I'm sure.) But what I think I noticed and I'm really happy about is a more consistent glide through slush. All of this could be in my head, however.
When it comes to gliding in warm temps, it's not in your head that Phantom-treated skis do better. I did a direct test last spring. Had Phantom on old Black Pearls (2011, 88mm) and regular wax on Stormrider 88s. On warm days I had far more fun on the BPs. When temps were over 45º at the base of Alta after lunch, I stayed out an hour or more longer than others who were staying at Alta Lodge. In May 2018 I ended up skiing AJs, 78mm, more than the BPs because the AJs had Phantom. They were too narrow for the soft snow, but I trusted them far more when snow was getting sticky by lunchtime at Mt. Hood Meadows or Mammoth.
 
#15
I primarily ski in VT and NH. Definitely nice not to have to re-wax my skis and I don't lose any glide as the day or week progresses (depending on conditions). DH feel a fresh wax has better glide but overall appreciates no loss of glide with the Phantom.
Also a New England skier. I treated my skis last year and agree. I like the consistent glide and the spring conditions performance. I'm getting my new skis done too.
 
#19
I wonder, do you think a shop apply after a base grind at a reduced rate if you supply your own Phantom supplies??
Can always ask.

I think @alison wong found a shop that was willing to use her kit. Or maybe a Diva out west?

Note that ski shops aren't using the same formula as the Phantom 2.0 DIY kits any more. Pretty sure there is a single pass formula designed for use with a Phantom Cure Station. The DIY kit has an A and a B packet. Each needs to be applied and cured in sunlight for an hour. Outcome in terms of performance is the same from what I have read.
 
#20
I'm definitely ordering now, but did someone say one kit covers two sets of skis? I have four sets to treat.
As I said in the sale thread, depends on the size (width, length) of the skis. A kit is designed for one snowboard or one pair of skis. But definitely more than enough for two skis that aren't long powder skis.

I treated my first pair of skis with Phantom 1.0 in Jan 2018, which were narrow, short skis. So had in mind to stretch a kit in order to finish up the skis in the house when I bought 2.0 DIY kits. I did three pairs of all-mountain skis around 160cm with two Phantom 2.0 kits in Nov 2018. Carefully did the first pair with the minimum amount of stuff. Then did two pairs at the same time a few days later.

Curing skis in the sun, Nov 2018
Phantom 2 pairs - 1.jpg
 

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