Product: White Dot Freeride Director
Length/size Tested: 188cm
Environment of Conditions:
*Location of review: Stowe, VT
*Runs Taken: Can't count them
*Snow Conditions: Powder (shin-to-knee-deep), cut-up powder, packed powder, trees, bumps and hardpack surfaces, cold, dry snow.
*Demo or Purchase: Demo
Summary (inc. Strengths & Weaknesses):
A solid example of a rockered, tapered tip & tail freeride ski with excellent build quality and components. Favors 3D snow over groomed or firm surfaces. Most suitable for midweight-to-heavier skiers. Damp, planted feel rather than snappy ride. This pair was pre-production evaluation. The manufacturer stated updates to the flex rebound willl occur before final production for 2011-2012 delivery.r
Very stable, predictable and confidence-inspiring cutting across crud and variable surface conditions without deflecting. Quiet and planted feel at nearly all speeds. Well built and sturdy. Torsionally strong. Excellent color.
Slightly unexciting at the end of turns. (White Dot is changing the final production layup to provide more snappy response.). Slightly heavy feel. Needs less than 2 degree base bevel to grip hardpack securely. Slightly expensive due to Euro-Dollar exchange rate when compared to other skis available in the U.S.A. market.
Height/Weight: 5'11" 178 lbs.
Average days on snow: 0-10, 11-25, 30+ (pick one)
Years Skiing: 0-5, 6-15, 15-30, 30+ (pick one)
Aggressiveness: Conservative / Moderate / Aggressive / Competitor (pick one)
White Dot Freeride Director - Preproduction Candidate
117-121/107/111-107mm, r=27m @188cm
Whitedot Skis Ltd
91-93 Green Lane
Phone: +44 (0) 7971 471306
United States Distribution:
White Dot Freeride
12665 Minuteman Drive Suite 1
Draper, UT 84020
Suggested Retail Price (MSRP):
All terrain rockered freeride
Your Rating (with comments): (1="get me off these things"->10="I have to own a pair")
8 for off-piste. 4 for groomed surface carving.
This was a pre-production pair. White Dot confirmed they are alerting the construction slightly to put more rebound snap into the final production version of this ski to liven it up.
A solid example of a rockered, tapered tip & tail freeride ski with excellent build quality and components. Favors 3D snow over groomed or firm surfaces. Most suitable for midweight-to-heavier skiers. Damp, planted feel rather than snappy ride. This pair was pre-production evaluation. The manufacturer stated updates to the flex rebound willl occur before final production for 2011-2012 delivery.
Positioned between White Dot's fully-cambered fat ski ("Preacher" 155-112-133 19m radius@189cm) and their fully-rockered powder ski ("Redeemer"138-142/128/132-128 27m radius) as an "Everyday Rockered Ski", the Director is intended for people who want a 107mm waisted rockered ski for all terrain. Same relative proportions as the Redeemer, scaled down.
Technical Ski Data:
Topsheet screen printed & lacquered (3x layers)
Dry-weave binding retention plate
800g p/Sq.m Bi-Axle Fibreglass
800g p/Sq.m Tri-Axle Fibreglass
Carbon fibre Kevlar stringers
Poplar/Ash Core vertically laminated with Ash strategically placed for extra binding retention
ABS sidewalls (10°)
800g p/Sq.m Tri-Axle Fibreglass
Carbon fibre Kevlar stringers
Rubber foil dampening tape
1.8mm, 360 hardened Steel edge
1.2mm ISO 7200 sintered, die-cut base
100cm effective edge @ 188cm
Solid construction with very good finish, damp, solid and progressive hand flex. Not a significantly snappy rebound, but smooth response. Torsionally strong. Really nice pinkish-lavender color (White Dot threatens to darken it, but everyone who has seen it says to leave it alone)
Powder (shin-to-knee-deep), cut-up powder, packed powder, trees, bumps and hardpack surfaces, cold, dry snow.
Ideal testing conditions after two feet of new snow on a wide variety of terrain ranging from light powder in the trees to windbuffed chalky powder, packed groomers and cue-ball windblown crests had me pysched to put the Director through its paces. My first impression was the Director had a very damp, controlled feel cutting across crud, cut-up powder and powdery bumps. You can set the Director on a path and it stays put, never deflecting across varied surfaces, which inspires confidence. It transitions across surface types predictably and without effort, making it a good choice for freeride terrain. Fairly quick edge-to-edge, with a hint of "solid" feel (not "heavy", but stable feel). The Director likes a slightly foward, agressive stance to get the best performance - it likes to be driven instead of ridden passively, but is easy to drift and slide on demand. Once you drive it into a turn, it likes to have its trajectory maintained by the skier. It is not a ski that pulls itself into the transitions once initiated, but rewards the skier who holds it on-line by being stable, strong and consistent. The Director is not a "snappy" ski with a punch at the end of its turns, but finishes quietly and firmly. I found the turn finish to be slightly unexciting, but stable and predictable (which is a good thing in crud). I would describe the Director as not so much "sporty" as "utilitarian". My personal preference is to have a ski deliver a little "zing" at the end of the turn when requested, while the Director delivers a stable, progressive pressure. Handling in powder was stable and predictable, with quicker response available the faster you went. I think the Director likes faster terrain (think European or Western US terrain rather than Eastern US trees and narrow trails) since it came alive at higher speeds. When skiing the cueball-icy hardpack blown clean of fresh snow, the Directors felt slippery, even at higher edge angles. I quickly looked and saw the base tune appeared to be about 2 degrees. I think the Director's good torsional strength could be brought to bear on harder surfaces by tuning the base at 0.5 or 1 degree (at most) since it showed all the behavior of an over-beveled base in the state of tune I experienced. Having an Eastern-US bias for ski tuning,I have to say the issue may be irrelevant for those who are exposed to nothing but softer snow surfaces. Nevertheless, the Directors were slick in the state of tune they had. Overall, the Director is a good crud-busting, multi-terrain freeride ski with a fairly forgiving, if "reserved" nature. Strong and stable, but lacking a bit of spunk and zing at the end of turns. To be honest, the people at White Dot mentioned they are considering a slight color change (please, don't do it) and stiffening the tip and tail a bit. This could increase the snappiness of the ski's rebound and make it a higher-performance version of the pre-production model I tested, but make it a ski to definitely demo first to make sure it handles the way you like. The price is somewhat higher than some U.S.-made skis in the same category, but it is a ski that should last several seasons of hard use and is very distinctive.
Analogies: (this ski is like...)
A small-series Audi 6 or BMW 525 station wagon that is stable and predictable, can drive nearly anywhere and would always do the job no matter what the weather, but not overly exciting. Needs a little tuning to get it to handle tightly on hard surfaces.
Things You Would Change About This Ski:
Improve hard-surface grip with less base bevel tuning, reduce tail dampening slightly or increase fiberglass content in tail section for stronger, more snappy response at end of turns.
Short Answer When Someone Asks "What Do You Think About This Ski?":
Stable, damp and capable rockered 107-waisted ski with strong feel.
Advice To People Considering This Ski:
Demo the ski to see if you might want a more snappy rebound.
Self-Description of Skiing Style, Ability, Experience, Preferences:
5' 11", 180 lbs. Expert groomed-surface carver, "old-style" race inspired, "foot steerer" with fairly sensitive edging feel. Loves to hold long arcs with lots of pressure on the downhill ski (you know the type), but also loves the feel of both skis on-edge leaving tiny railroad track edge tracks. Loves powder when it's not tracked out. 10 year coach for youth race team in New England (bulletproof is the norm).
Edited by ExoticSkis - 3/10/11 at 7:22pm