Ski: 2017-2018 Whitedot Skis Redeemer, 190cm
Available Lengths: 180, 190 cm
Actual Tip-to-Tail Length (straight tape pull): 187.9cm
Stated Dimensions (mm): 138-142/128/132-128
Blister’s Measured Dimensions (traditional): 141.5-127-131 mm
Blister’s Measured Weight per Ski: 2312 & 2316 grams
Stated Sidecut Radius: 27 meters
Core Construction: Poplar/Ash + Carbon/Kevlar Stringers + Fiberglass Laminate
Tip / Tail Splay (ski decambered): ~66mm / ~54mm
Factory Recommended Line: -8.5cm from center; ~83.7cms from tail
Mount Location: Recommended Line
Boots / Bindings: Fischer Vacuum RC4 130 / Marker Jester (DIN-11)
Test Location: Taos Ski Valley
Days Skied: 6[Editor’s Note: Our review was conducted on the 14/15 Redeemer, which returns unchanged for the 15/16, 16/17, and 17/18 seasons.]
Earlier this month, reviewer Paul Forward weighed in on the lighter “Carbonlight 3” version of the 190cm Whitedot Redeemer.
And while Paul’s testing ground was the backcountry terrain and deep snow of Japan, I’ve spent time on the standard version of the Redeemer at Taos Ski Valley, as we picked up 74 inches of snow in about five days.
It’s been deep here, and the perfect opportunity to be reviewing this ~128mm-underfoot, 190cm-long ski, in addition to other fat pow skis.
So while I’m going to compare and contrast this ski to Paul’s experience with the lighter version of the Redeemer, I’ll also evaluate this ski based on Whitedot’s own description of their “flagship powder ski.” Namely…
a) as an “adaptable and dependable ski in the big mountains”
b) as a torsionally stiff ski
c) and as a “fully versatile ski”
Design / Flex Pattern
Paul has already done a good job in his review of speaking to the shape of the Redeemer, so I’ll just point out a couple of key facts here:
Carbonlite 3 Redeemer: 1936 & 1969 grams
standard construction Redeemer: 2312 & 2316 grams
That’s a big weight difference. And one of the things that I think is really smart is that the lighter, Carbonlite 3 version of the Redeemer seems to have a softer flex than the heavier Redeemer that I’ve reviewed.
Paul said of the Carbonlite 3, “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 3 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.”
I would definitely not call the standard Redeemer “soft,” and while Paul was comparing the lighter Redeemer to the 14/15 Blizzard Spur, when comparing the standard Redeemer to the 15/16 Spur, the flex patterns of the two skis are very similar—the Spur has a slightly stiffer tail, and maaaybe a slightly softer tip.
I would describe the standard Redeemer like this:
Tips = Medium/Stiff.
Tails = Medium/Stiff.
Underfoot / Binding Mat Area = Very Stiff.
The tips and tails of the standard Redeemer are very similar. Then the ski ramps up to be very stiff as you move toward the center of the ski from the front oand from the back.
I’ve said before that I’m a big fan of a progressive flex pattern, and one where the shovels and tails are quite similar. The Redeemer exemplifies that, though lighter skiers may find that the flex pattern (and weight) of the standard Redeemer is a bit more than they want or need—in which case, cf. our review of the Carbonlite 3 Redeemer….
Turns out that a 190cm long, ~128mm wide, tip and tail rockered ski actually floats pretty well. (This is the equivalent of announcing that a 75mm-waisted ski with traditional camber and a lot of sidecut is good at carving.)
Paul said that he had no issues with flotation in Japan, and for the most part, neither did I in Taos.
In literally waist-deep, lower angle skiing in Taos’ newly opened Wild West Glade, the Redeemer was too heavy (and perhaps too stiff) to work well in snow that deep, especially where the tighter trees made it difficult to get up to speed in certain sections.
The Redeemer isn’t optimized for slow-speed noodling; it likes some speed. I suspect that the lighter, softer, Carbonlite 3 Redeemer that Paul reviewed would work better at lower angles / slower speeds.
(And while the DPS Lotus 138 isn’t merely some low-angle / low-speed pow tool, there is nothing I can think of on the market that would handle low-angle / low-speed / tight-tree pow skiing better than the Lotus 138.)
Paul also noted in his review that “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.”
That all seems very consistent with my experience on the standard Redeemer, and I’ll add that drifting this ski isn’t as mindless as the 192cm Atomic Bent Chetler.
In fact (and these next comments don’t necessarily belong in this section, but we’ll start the discussion here), my inclination after six days on the Redeemer is to detune the ski pretty aggressively, making it even looser / surfier / more pivot-y. I might find that I want to put a sharper edge back on some of the area underfoot, but (a) given that I’m not looking to carve this ski on groomers (see below), and (b) given that I think the straight, stiff portion of the ski underfoot will still offer good edgehold even with less-than-sharp edges, I think you’d end up with a substantial ski that will still hold up to some straightlining in chopped snow, while also feeling even quicker / looser in tight trees and steep terrain.
In other words, I believe it’s possible to change the personality of this ski a bit to suit your taste & riding style, as well as the terrain.
Caveat: Will Brown, who is lighter than both Paul and me (and who has been spending time on some lighter pow skis like the 188cm Line Magnum Opus, the 185cm Atomic Bent Chetler, and the 186cm Moment Ghost Train), spent some time on the standard Redeemer at Taos, and I think he was left wishing for more playfulness from the standard Redeemer than I was—i.e., I have no doubt that the 190cm Carbonlite 3 Redeemer would be the better fit for Will, while I suspect that I personally would prefer the heavier, standard Redeemer.
Will concluded that the standard Redeemer will certainly move and pivot if and when you ask it to, but the primary reason you can move it is its reduced effective edge, rather than its weight or its flex pattern, etc. Will wanted to access more of the Redeemer’s playful side, but felt that the rest of the ski was a bit too burly to do that without having to work more than he wanted to.
Fair points, though I have a hunch that if I was on the Magnum Opus or 185 Bent Chetler, I would like their playfulness while wishing for more stability and perhaps complaining about their twitchiness….