Phantom Glide....Does it Really Work?
In 2017, DPS Skis and its mad scientists introduced the ski world to the Phantom Waxless Glide. Developed by a team of chemists and material engineers at the University of Utah and DPS, Phantom is a liquid compound that permeates your ski bases. This patent-pending, non-reactive chemical formula has been lab-tested, and it tested better over time than traditional ski wax across all temperatures and conditions. Activated by UV Light, Phantom is inert to the environment and safe to those applying it, plus it makes ski bases harder and less likely to scratch. I'll get even nerdier about explaining how it works; with your traditional hydrocarbon or fluorocarbon wax, the molecules within the wax that actually infuse your base are large and barely permeate the ski and its sintered or extruded bases. With the Phantom, the molecules are microscopic enough to easily weasel their way through your bases down to the core. After a 20 minute flash in a UV lamp filled "hotbox", the Phantom is now sealed into the base as well as hardening your bases at the same time.
Now I feel there are two types of skiers in this world, those that dork out about waxing their skis religiously and those that absolutely don't and their bases often resemble the color of the foam of your favorite overpriced cappuccino. We definitely see both coming into Outbound Mountain Gear! After Phantom, the latter will definitely benefit from their "set it and forget it" mentality, but so will the former. Even with Phantom you can definitely wax over it and now you can get really mad scientist with your overlays and corking in of magic pixie dust that will shave tenths of seconds of your Strava time! But all joking aside, what the Phantom treatment does is give you a much higher baseline of performance that your skis or board will never dip below. And for you backcountry guys like myself, Phantom helps dramatically with the problem of skin glue transfer to your skis or split.
Back to the original question...does it work? In short yes, very much yes. Now you do still need to maintain your equipment, base grinds or repairs as needed. They do include a small buff pad that will help you take the small hairs out and rejuvenate the Phantom, but if you have a roto brush in your wax arsenal, even better. Mike here at the shop taught AIARE courses all last winter...with a lot of transitions, applying skins, ripping off of skins and the base on his Orca still glided easily in a variety of snow conditions. We also take an extra step here at Outbound Mountain Gear with our Phantom treatment of stone grinding or ceramic belting the skis or board after the 20 minutes in the UV box to help reduce the known "break in time" of the Phantom product where the skis or board tend to feel sticky.
So as a 24-year veteran of tuning skis, I will say I was a bit skeptical of the Phantom Glide treatment when it was first released, but now that I have it on all my equipment, I won't ever go back to just waxing.
We hope to see you here at Outbound Mountain Gear with any more questions about Phantom!
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