2017-2018 Whitedot Redeemer CarbonLite

Paul Forward reviews the Whitedot CarbonLite Redeemer, Blister Gear Review

Whitedot Redeemer CarbonLite

Ski: 2017-2018 Whitedot Redeemer CarbonLite 3, 190cm

Actual Tip-to-Tail Length (straight tape pull): 187.9cm

Stated Dimensions (mm): 138-142/128/132-128

Blister’s Measured Weight per Ski: 1936 & 1969 g

Stated Sidecut Radius: 27 meters

Core Construction: Poplar/Ash + Carbon/Kevlar Stringers + Carbon, Flax, & Fiberglass Laminate

Tip & Tail Splay (ski decambered): 65 / 48 mm

Traditional Camber Underfoot: 3 mm

Mount Location: “Freeride” Line

Boots: Dynafit Vulcan with elastic booster strap & Intuition Powerwrap Plug liner

Bindings: Dynafit Beast 14

 

Test Locations: Japan Backcountry

Days skied 7

[Editor’s Note: we have been testing the 190cm Whitedot Redeemer in two different constructions, the standard, heavier construction (currently being reviewed by Jonathan Ellsworth in Taos), and the CarbonLite version, reviewed here by Paul Forward. Both skis come back unchanged for the 15/16, 16/17, and 17/18 seasons, apart from graphics.]

The CarbonLite version of the Whitedot Redeemer, Whitedot’s “flagship powder ski,” arrived just in time for my departure for a couple of weeks of powder skiing in Japan.

Whitedot describes the CarbonLite Redeemer as “one of the most natural and fluid turning rides you will experience in deep snow.”

Whitedot updated their CarbonLite construction this year, and it incorporates carbon fiber, flax, carbon-kevlar stringers, rubber foil dampening tape, and a special retention plate.

Initial Impressions

The finish on the skis is nice. The topsheets have a clean bevel, the bases are flat, and the skis have symmetrical rocker and shape. Overall they are relatively thin in appearance (reminding me of some early DPS skis) but when I mounted them with the screws that came with the Dynafit Beast 14s, I had no issues with base dimpling.

Flex Pattern

The CarbonLite Redeemers have a “medium” flex, with slightly softer tips and tails. As a point of reference, I found the flex to be similar to the Volkl Two and Salomon Rocker 2 122, both of which I had on hand when I flexed the Redeemers.

The CarbonLite Redeemers are noticeably softer than some other powder skis I have recently skied, including the Blizzard Spur, DPS Lotus 120 Spoon, and the Kingswood SMB.

Powder Skiing

At 128mm underfoot, the Redeemer is Whitedot’s most powder-specific ski. While it’s certainly a dedicated powder board, it seemed a like a reasonable complement to my favorite, 148mm-underfoot DPS Spoon as a ski to use on days of lift-served & sidecountry skiing, or when I might just want a little smaller ski.

My first runs on the CarbonLite Redeemer were my first runs in Japan, and consisted of some sidecountry laps of untracked snow that fell during a warming event that happened right as I arrived. It was relatively dense maritime-like snow, similar to the storms that we often have in Alaska.

The Redeemers easily surfed on top for some high speed tree slaloming. These runs also involved some very steep sections that made for some super fun, high-speed rollover drifted turns, which are some of my favorite sensations ever.

I had no issues keeping the shovels up, and the skis felt light and quick under my feet when I needed to negotiate some tight and steep sections.

In the somewhat heavier snow, the skis held a clean edge when I wanted to carve a hard turn, and provided plenty of rebound into the next turn.

The next day, the first of many big, cold snowstorms of the trip came into our area, and provided some deep skiing in which the Redeemers provided a great mix of stability and float when skiing fast down the line, while the flex felt even and firm enough that they didn’t fold up when hitting compressions.

Breaking into drifts was easy and fun, but not quite as mindless as the Rocker 2 122. Conversely, the CarbonLite Redeemers were much more intuitively drifty than stiffer, more directional skis like the SMB or the Lotus 120 Spoon.

Paul Forward reviews the Whitedot Redeemer CarbonLite for Blister Gear Review

Paul Forward on the Whitedot Redeemer CarbonLite 3, Japan. (photo by Cam McLeod)

Fat Ski vs. Very Fat Ski…

Throughout the trip I switched back and forth between the DPS Spoon and the Redeemers, typically grabbing the Whitedots on the days when I might have to ski some tracked snow or some groomers, and opting for the Spoons on most of the days when we were exclusively touring and skiing untracked snow.

I’ve written a lot about the Spoons, and I maintain that there are few things in the world that I enjoy more than skiing untracked pow on the Spoons. They are my absolute favorite pure powder ski (with the Lotus 138 just behind them), and nothing else is close to how fun they are in untracked snow.

The Redeemer falls well short of the float and driftiness of the Spoon but that’s not unexpected given that it’s 20 millimeters narrower underfoot, and lacks the long, smooth rocker and convex shovels of the Spoon.

Two of my deepest days of the whole trip, however, were on the Redeemers, on pillowed, featured tree skiing that I felt pushed my limits for depth of light, fresh snow in steep, tight terrain—throughout the day, I was continuously dealing with heavy slough raging through tight trees and very steep pillowed sections.

On a couple of runs, due to the tight terrain, I could only ski safely by making a few turns or an air, then quickly stopping to let the snow move by. This required some quick, tight turns in very deep snow. Based on my extensive time with reverse-sidecut skis like the Praxis Powderboards, the DPS Lotus 138’s and the Spoons, I probably would have preferred one of those types of shapes in these conditions, but I did not feel like I had to make significant compromises in how I skied in these conditions. The low swing weight of the Redeemers certainly made it a bit easier.

Even on some 120+ millimeter powder skis I’ve used in the past, I have noticed significant tip dive when skiing hard in deep snow. The Kingswood SMB, and to a lesser degree, the Rocker 2 122 both suffered from this to some degree.

In contrast, the Redeemer offered great flotation with no tip dive issues for me even at my total weight of over 215lbs—with boots, clothes, and light pack.

Paul Forward reviews the Whitedot Redeemer CarbonLite, Blister Gear Review.

Paul Forward on the Whitedot Redeemer CarbonLite 3, Japan.

On several occasions, I skied relatively long sections of deep, soft chop. I felt like the Redeemer performed well overall, and held a line relatively well.

It may have been partly due to the increased elasticity of the Dynafit Beast 14 I had on the Redeemer (compared to the other tech bindings on which I have spent most of my season thus far), but I think that the CarbonLite Redeemer is the most damp lightweight carbon-constructed ski I’ve ridden—including multiple versions of DPS Pure skis with a variety of tech and alpine bindings.

I was actually pretty surprised on my first few runs by how well these skis smoothed out soft, choppy snow. I don’t know if it’s the flax and rubber foil in the construction (as Whitedot claims), but I was immediately impressed, and I think that Whitedot has done a nice job of combining a light ski with some good damping characteristics.

3 Comments

  1. Fernando March 10, 2015 Reply

    Hi Paul:
    Are you going to test the Whitedot Ragnarok?, I’m really interested in that ski. Curious to see also the comparison between the Carbonlite and the Jonathan’s standard version. I guess that will similar in the Ragnarok model.

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