The all new 2019 Dalbello DS 130 brings back apex predator level performance to the 100 mm spot on the Dalbello roster. Testers liked the strength of the thin shell wall polyurethane Power Cage construction almost as much as the throw-back Grand Prix-esq petrol and lime cosmetics. It's roomier in width (and length) than it should be for a 100 mm last, testers said, but setting that aside, they agree this uber-comfy All-Mountain charger attacks terrain with the best in the category.
Testers unanimously checked the easy entry and exit boxes for the DS 130 and they liked the simplicity of the closure system. They also unanimously say the boot runs long, fit wise, to the point where skiers traditionally somewhat in-between sizes might be able to drop down a size in the DS. The overall fit in both the lower shell and in the upper cuff was anatomical in nature, matching the curves of the foot and leg well, but in an outsized way—testers used a lot of 4's to describe the DS's fit tension, where a 3 would indicate ideal medium fit tension. A couple testers couldn't get over this fact, but the majority simply made the observation that it sits on the roomy side of the category and moved on to enjoy the luxurious feel of the cushioned liner and its stellar downhill skill set.
The DS 130's stance angles allow for a balanced starting position that rewarded good skiing movements, testers said, and lots of "ideal" boxes were checked for flex feel and liner tongue cushioning during flexing movements. Testers had virtually no complaints about edge power and fore-aft support, citing a solid-as-a-rock boot spine and an excess of torsional and lateral rigidity to hammer an edge home on the hardest snow and hold it there. A few testers commented that the extra room in both the length and height of the toebox and throughout the instep meant a loss of foot retention resulting in some forward foot slippage, sending the hips back—a thicker than average foot will do well with this fit, so wide footers shouldn't be scared off by the 100 mm tag.
The Power Cage shell and cuff construction utilizes a framework of thicker, stiffer polyurethane in the boot rail (very bottom) and into the rear spine of the boot to provide power and stability where it's needed while incorporating a thinner, softer polyurethane in less critical areas where better wrapping for improved fit is needed—seemed to work for testers. The DS's single sided upper cuff adjustment is renamed Intuitive Canting—not our favorite terminology—meaning that three words (Neutral, Sport & Race) are used to describe the cuff positions 0.0, +0.5 and +1.0, respectively, achieved via the rotary cam mechanism. The boots come set to the 0.5 "out" Sport position. The Variable Ramp Angle feature is an insert that increases the bootboard ramp angle by 1.0-degree.
“Consistently smooth in shape. Heel is held well for a full volume version of a mid-width. Forward and rearward support is solid—the flex stops at an appropriate point. The so-called Neutral position is a solid freeride stance. The DS has high level sensitivity with sharp ski awareness.” -- Bob Gleason
“Initially very impressive--my foot is loving the fit--I hope it skis as good as it looks and feels. Well, it's quick--slippery smooth from edge to edge. This thing has feel--like reading brail in the snow. Its stored energy isn't released as crazy rebound, but smooth and relaxed—useful power. Love the new look, very sexy. This is a wonderful blend of the DRS and the Viper series. Well done Dalbello.” -- Kevin Gabriel
“Can't be quick if you're not touching/feeling the shell anywhere—frickin' huge in all directions.” -- Jackson Hogen