2017-2018 Whitedot Redeemer

Soft Chop – Deep & Shallow

Paul Forward praised the Carbonlite 3 Redeemer for being light and damp. The standard Redeemer is a lot heavier, but I would also call it a pretty damp ski, and it has to be more damp than the Carbonlite 3 version. And these damping properties of the Redeemer really stood out when Taos’ deep pow turned into a mix of deep pow + soft chop + steep moguls.

Airplane turns to windscoured patches definitely felt better and more stable on the 190 Redeemer than on the narrower (and softer tip-and-tailed) 192cm Bent Chetler. And the Redeemer showed pretty good stability on soft-but-bumpy straight lines out of the bottom of Reforma and West Basin’s Staffenburg, Zdarsky, and St. Bernard.

Having said that, if you get back on the tails of the Redeemer, you can get bucked. I don’t think that has to do so much with the shape / rocker profile of the tails, but rather the significant stiffness of the ski behind your boots, before it softens up a bit toward the tail.

In chop, the Redeemer was most intuitive to ski from a more centered stance, but I could get onto the shovels a bit. When landing jumps or airplane turning, I could always err on the side of being a bit forward rather than landing on those tails, and as long as I was conscious / not lazy about that, these skis rode very solidly and predictably in steep and / or bumped up terrain. (It’s sort of the opposite of the 192 Bent Chetler – you get on those tails, and they are so soft and rockered enough that they won’t support you—you kind of fall through the trap door in steeper bumps (e.g., Taos’ Pollux and Winston).

In low visibility where I couldn’t really see my lines, I had a lot less fun on the Redeemers trying to ski at speed in bumped-up terrain. But as soon as I could see and could set up turns, they became really fun skis.

Gorgeous Wind Buff (aka, The Next Best Thing to Deep Pow)

I used to think that slush bumps were the next best thing to pow, but this past week, I changed my mind. Because all day long, we skied the greatest, purest, creamiest wind buff that I have ever skied.

Taos’ Castor: Holy Best Thing Ever.

Castor was the best run of the day, with the greatest wind buff I’ve ever skied. And the Redeemers were beautiful. While I didn’t need to be skiing that wind buff on a ski this big, the skis sunk into the snow enough to do anything you wanted while enjoying the smoothest ride of your life. Big turns at high speeds, shorter turns at slower speeds, whatever. I’m giving the Redeemer my Awesome Windbuff Seal of Approval.

Taos is a steep enough mountain that piles of snow get pushed around with each turn, and the place gets bumpy. But all the moguls disappeared for about a week under all of the new snow.

So I’ll say this: if you don’t tend to encounter moguls, I’ll absolutely vouch for the Redeemer in deep pow, soft chop, and wind buff. If conditions are soft and not that bumpy, you will almost certainly have a great time on these.

Jonathan Ellsworth reviews the Whitedot Redeemer for Blister Gear Review
Jonathan Ellsworth on the Whitedot Redeemer, Meatball, Taos Ski Valley.

Having said that, these aren’t merely some one-trick pony…

Windscoured Steeps / Windscoured, Narrow Steeps

Whitedot calls the Redeemer a “fully versatile ski,” and I want to tease that statement out.

Often, getting into deep fields of pow requires some billygoating or navigating some hairy entrances, and I have had no issues doing so on the Redeemer (aside from the obvious fact that 190cms is a fairly long ski.)

But billygoating and jump turning on these were not problematic at all given the Redeemer’s relatively low swing weight, thanks to its heavily tapered tips and tails.

Jonathan Ellsworth reviews the Whitedot Redeemer for Blister Gear Review
Jonathan Ellsworth on the Whitedot Redeemer, Stauffenberg, Taos Ski Valley.

The edgehold of the Redeemer proved to be quite good, and the ski provided a stable platform underfoot when negotiating steep entrances into West Basin’s Sauza, High Somewhere, and Stauffenberg. Again, just stay centered and don’t lazily land too far back on the tails and you’re good. These skis have an odd shape, but they were not nerve-racking at all on consequential steeps. For me, and for the reasons I’ve just mentioned, that’s a really big deal.


This ski pivots quite well, so as long as we’re not talking about massive, firm bumps with really deep troughs, I quite like them in bumps.

If you slow things down a bit—especially as the snow firms up—you’ll do just fine here. Just stay centered or forward.

Jumps / Landings

Paul mentioned that these skis encouraged him to ski with a more playful style, and while I wasn’t tempted at all to spin these things, it certainly was fun to treat big powder moguls as pillows—air from one, slash the next, repeat.

Landing airs on these was fun, too. Again, the only rule is to not let yourself land too far back seat, and the substantial, supportive shovels allowed me to simply land centered or err on the side of landing a little too forward without worrying about tip dive. Easy. Stable.


Remember how I was just praising the Redeemer for its solid platform when billygoating around on consequential steeps? Well that is made possible in part by the fact that when you are clicked into the Redeemer, it feels like you are standing on top of a stiff, straight, rectangular platform. That is an excellent, reassuring feeling when negotiating firm steeps, but it makes the ski suck if you are trying to actually bend the ski and carve it.

I do, however, imagine that the more time you spend on this ski, the more comfortable you’ll get, and the more predictable the ski will feel on groomers. But I never got there, and on groomers, I would basically start by running bases flat, then moving to the slightest amount of edge pressure—never becoming willing or comfortable to try to actually get the ski up on edge and set a clean carve, just wanting to minimize any squirreliness on the way back to the lift. The experience moved from “initially-slightly-nervewracking” to “quite boring.”

Will Brown called the Redeemer on groomers “pretty unresponsive,” and pointed out that the bizarro-looking Moment Ghost Train feels more alive and engaged on groomers. So does the Blizzard Spur—if and when you get it up to speed.

So if you insist that your super fat pow ski is also great on groomers, then the Redeemer isn’t your ski.


• 2015-2016 Whitedot Redeemer, 190cm vs. 2015-2016 Blizzard Spur, 189cm

I’ll be posting my review of the Spur soon, but this was the other fat ski that I spent the most time on in this past storm cycle, so a few quick notes:

In deep snow and nice, soft conditions, these skis are both very capable and their differences are minimal—more similar than different, I’d say.

But the standard Redeemer is more damp than the Spur, which becomes apparent when you introduce bumpy terrain into the equation. When A/B-ing the two skis yesterday down a fairly firm and somewhat bumped-up Stauffenberg, I was missing the more damp ride of the Redeemer … though in firm stuff, I appreciated the much flatter tail and reduced tail splay of the Spur.

The result was that in the firm, fairly bumped-up steeps of early West Basin, I felt the need to check my speed quite a bit on both skis.

Still, when good visibility allowed me to really set up my lines in advance, I think I could probably push the Redeemer harder, given its more damp, planted feel.

Oh, and again, the Spur is way more fun on groomers once you bring it up to speed. 

• 2015-2016 Whitedot Redeemer, 190cm vs. 2015-2016 Praxis Protest, 187cm

Without question, the Praxis Protest is the ski that reminds me the most of the Redeemer, though the skis still have their differences. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to A/B these two skis in the last storm cycle, but a “vs.” review is definitely in order here (and would be really fun to conduct). But we’ll have to wait for the next big storm cycle.

Till then, you can A/B the two reviews, and I’ll point out a couple of facts:

1) The Redeemer has less tip and tail taper than the Protest.

2) The standard Redeemer has stiffer tails and much stiffer tips than the Protest we reviewed.

3) With respect to weight, the 187cm Protest falls right between the 190 Carbonlight 3 Redeemer and the 190 standard Redeemer.

Who’s It For? (Whitedot Redeemer vs. Carbonlite 3 Redeemer)

(1) Directional skiers who like the idea of a solid, fairly damp, pretty powerful pow ski that also has a playful side.

(2) If #1 sounds like you, then the heavier you are (say, 180 lbs. and up), the more confident I am that you will like the Redeemer. The lighter you are, the more I suspect that the Carbonlite 3 Redeemer would be the preferable option.

(3) If you are considering the standard construction Redeemer as a heli ski or just for use on bigger lines, you are going to have a very good time.

(4) If you are looking for something to wiggle around on in tight trees at slow speeds in flat terrain, I wouldn’t consider the standard Redeemer, and the Carbonlite 3 would be the better choice.

Bottom Line

Whitedot calls the Redeemer “versatile” and “dependable” in big mountains, and that seems on point. The Redeemer occupies a position between more playful, forward-mounted pow skis (e.g., Atomic Bent Chetler, Moment Ghost Train), and more substantial, more traditionally-shaped skis like the Blizzard Spur or the Kingswood SMB.

So the less interested you are in picking one side over the other, the more interesting I think you’ll find the Whitedot Redeemer.


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6 comments on “2017-2018 Whitedot Redeemer”

  1. 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?

    • 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.

      • 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. 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. 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?

  4. 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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