2017-2018 Whitedot Redeemer

Jonathan Ellsworth reviews the Whitedot Redeemer for Blister Gear Review

Whitedot Redeemer

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.

Jonathan Ellsworth reviews the Whitedot Redeemer for Blister Gear Review

Jonathan Ellsworth on the Whitedot Redeemer, Thunderbird Trees, Taos Ski Valley.

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….

Deep Pow

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.

Jonathan Ellsworth reviews the Whitedot Redeemer for Blister Gear Review

Jonathan Ellsworth on the Whitedot Redeemer, West Blitz, Taos. (photo by Kurt Schmidt)

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….

6 Comments

  1. Blister Member
    Dave March 15, 2015 Reply

    Jonathan, thanks for the continued great reviews that you and everyone else provide on the site. I have been very close to pulling the trigger on a new pair of protests for quite some time now and had actually wondered if you guys are ever able to get back on some of the older model skis (or maybe just older in relation to when the review was written). Now that some time has passed, do you still feel the same about the protest or do you think some of the newer offerings have surpassed it in terms of powder and soft chop performance? Is it safe to say from comparing this review and the protest review that the protest might be slightly more pivoty and better for tighter trees (relatively speaking) while still maintaining the ability to ski bigger, steeper lines? Lastly, if you were picking a powder specific ski for 12″+ days that could be comfortably used up on the ridges in Taos but then also feel just as comfortable in some lower angle trees like you would find in a place like Steamboat is the Protest on that short list or would you look elsewhere?

    • Author

      Thank you, Dave.

      I think we are one of the few review sites where Newer doesn’t automatically equal Better. (Nor does Older automatically = Better.)

      And yes, as often as possible, we try to keep the skis that we review around so that we can A/B against the the new stuff that’s coming out. And we do still have our Protests, but I’m afraid that I don’t have them with me here in Taos, so didn’t get to A/B them against the Redeemer. Our Protests are lighter than the Redeemer, with less tail rocker, and the Redeemer has much stiffer shovels than our Protests. (Of course, you can order your Protests with a stiffer flex if you wish.)

      I still really like that Protest design, and I prefer the Protest on groomers. And for lower speeds / tighter trees, yes, I think the Protest would be the better tool, while I can’t say at the moment how it will compare to the Redeemer in chop / deep chop. But I would be happy to ski either ski on steep, big lines. I think the Redeemer (regular construction) really shines in deep snow at speed rather than low speeds & low angles. You can certainly make them work in low / low, it’s just not the Redeemer’s specialty.

      As for 12″ and up, yes, I’d still happily ski the Protest on the Taos ridge or low angle Trees.

      Anyway, a “Vs.” review between the Protest & the Redeemer should happen, but unfortunately it may have to wait till next season… Hopefully our reviews, however, will help you figure out which ski sounds like the best fit for you.

      • Blister Member
        Dave March 23, 2015 Reply

        Jonathan,
        Thanks for taking the time to reply to my questions, I greatly appreciate it. Two last questions if you don’t mind. Are the protests you reviewed the standard flex or were they custom? And have you ever found yourself wishing the protests were either more or less stiff or is the stock flex pretty dialed in your opinion? Thanks again and I hope Taos keeps getting snow so you can keep reviewing the pow skis!

  2. felix July 3, 2015 Reply

    hi there.
    i ride the non-carbonlite redeemer 190cm with dynafit radical fr setup since 2 seasons in the swiss alps. i’m 1.85cm and weight 95kg. the ski is an ultimate deep soft pow slayer, stable at high speed and a lot of float. i first mounted the bindings at the freeride-line and remounted it after one season 1-2cm behind the bbj-line to improve the turn initiation ability. i love riding the ski in tight trees, due its playfullness. i was really suprised, the the ski motivates you to jump arround do and do tricks. The flex is mid-stiff which allows you to charge it hard and still ist forgiving enough.

    i ride the ski if there is at least 40cm of freshy all over the mountain, else i prefere the downsized director or the salomon q-115 for touring and variable snow condition.

    compared to my previous deepsnow-ski the k2 po2oon, salomon rocker 122 the ski is much more a playful charger than a week “noodle”. you easly can tour in soft snow and splitboard-tracks are exactly the width of the redeemer

    bottom line: the ski is always in my car-trunk if a powderstorm hits the alps. its not a beginner ski but you will definitely love it :D

  3. mark s September 16, 2016 Reply

    Jonathan,
    Your colleagues had to do a bit of detuning on the whitedot director. I am curious if that was needed as well on the redeemer?
    Thanks

  4. Jonathan January 13, 2017 Reply

    I’ve been on this ski for three seasons. I’m 150lbs, 6′ and have the 181 length, mounted with the dynafit beast 14 halfway between the bcjib and freeride marks. I would attest that in tight trees, especially at the end of a full day, this ski is a lot to handle. It loves speed and handles cliff drops extremely well. I find it to be very jibby and rather playful-especially at high speeds. This ski loves to be played with at high speeds and in deep pow. It skis switch just fine as well.

    I’m a big fan.

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