Ski: 2020-2021 Whitedot Altum 104, 187 cm
Available Lengths: 171, 179, 187 cm
Blister’s Measured Tip-to-Tail Length: 185.5 cm
Blister’s Measured Weight per Ski: 2049 & 2053 grams
Stated Dimensions: 135-104-125 mm
Blister’s Measured Dimensions: 134.3-104.4-124.4 mm
Stated Sidecut Radius (187 cm): 22 meters
Measured Tip & Tail Splay (ski decambered): 67 mm / 55 mm
Measured Traditional Camber Underfoot: 3.5 mm
Core: poplar/ash + carbon / kevlar stringers + fiberglass laminate
Base: 1.2 mm sintered ISO 7200
Factory Recommended Mount Point: -5.95 cm from center; 86.8 cm from tail
Test Location: Crested Butte, CO
Days Skied: 9
[Note: Our review was conducted on the 19/20 Altum 104, which returns unchanged for 20/21.]
The Altum series is Whitedot’s line of playful, twin-tipped, all-mountain skis that ranges from the Altum 94 to the Altum 114 (First Look coming soon), and at the center of the series is the ski we’re reviewing here, the Altum 104.
Ever since Will Brown reviewed the Whitedot Director back in 2015, I was really interested in that ski. And the Altum series is, essentially, based on that Director, which made me even more excited. So here are my thoughts on the ski that somewhat functions as a replacement for the Director.
What Whitedot says about the Altum 104
“The Altum 104 is your daily go-to for skiing the resort, this is the one ski we would have to hand when we do not know what to expect on the mountain. Powder, piste and natural features, the Altum 104 is your companion through the busiest of pistes or widest open bowls. The tip and tail push more width into the forefront of the skis, this allows for a forward position to make turn initiation easier without sacrificing float and balance. A resort friendly 3mm of camber and hard carving provides the stability, power and agility to give you this adaptable ski.”
In short, the Altum 104 is supposed to do what most brands say about their ~104mm-wide skis: everything.
And so, I’ve gone ahead and used it for just about everything.
Shape / Rocker Profile
The Altum 104 has a nearly symmetrical shape, with a 10 mm difference between the width of the tips and tails. Its shovels are not drastically more tapered than most skis this wide. Compared to more directional options like the Volkl Mantra 102 and Nordica Enforcer 104 Free, the Altum 104 has slightly more tapered tails, but it’s still a bit less tapered overall than some other freestyle skis like the Faction Prodigy 3.0 and Dynastar M-Free 108. Overall, the Altum 104’s shape looks pretty similar to the Moment PB&J and Moment Wildcat 108.
The Altum 104 has very deep tip and tail rocker lines. That said, those rocker lines are pretty subtle and low-slung; rather than its tips and tails rising abruptly at the contact points, they stay fairly low until you get nearer to the ends of the ski.
Here’s how we’d characterize the flex pattern of the Altum 104:
In Front of Toe Piece: 9.5
Behind the Heel Piece: 9.5-9
This is one area where the Altum 104 stands out from many other all-mountain-freestyle skis: it is not soft. Even at the very ends, the Altum 104 is notably stiffer than most of its playful counterparts, and its flex pattern is not too far off from some of the stronger freestyle skis like the Prodigy 3.0, Moment PB&J, ON3P Jeffrey 108, and ON3P Woodsman 108.
Our pair of the Altum 104 has a mount point right around -6 cm from true center. As we’ve explained in many other reviews, many of us at Blister tend to get along quite well with skis with mount points around -6. They tend to let you ski with either a forward or centered stance, and I’d say that definitely holds true with the Altum 104 (keep reading).
The Altum 104 is a fairly light ski, but by today’s standards, it’s definitely not crazy light. At an average weight of just over 2050 grams per ski for the 187 cm version, the Altum 104 is notably lighter than skis like the ON3P Jeffrey 108, ON3P Woodsman 108, Nordica Enforcer 104 Free, and Dynastar M-Free 108, but not quite as light as skis like the Moment PB&J, Moment Wildcat 108, Fauna Pioneer, and K2 Reckoner 102.
For reference, here are our measured weights for some notable skis. Keep in mind the length differences to keep things apples to apples.
1787 & 1793 Fauna Pioneer, 184 cm (19/20)
1806 & 1862 Armada Tracer 108, 180 cm (19/20–20/21)
1848 & 1903 Line Sick Day 104, 186 cm (17/18–20/21)
1849 & 1922 Elan Ripstick 106, 188 cm (17/18–19/20)
1896 & 1942 K2 Reckoner 102, 184 cm (20/21)
1903 & 1912 Moment PB&J, 188 cm (19/20)
2005 & 2035 Liberty Origin 106, 187 cm (19/20–20/21)
2006 & 2065 Head Kore 105, 189 cm (19/20–20/21)
2011 & 2028 Moment Wildcat 108, 184 cm (19/20)
2027 & 2052 K2 Reckoner 112, 184 cm (20/21)
2030 & 2039 Rossignol Soul 7 HD, 188 cm (17/18–19/20)
2049 & 2053 Whitedot Altum 104, 187 cm (19/20–20/21)
2079 & 2105 Kastle FX106 HP, 184 cm (19/20–20/21)
2097 & 2113 DPS Alchemist Wailer 106 C2, 189 cm (19/20–20/21)
2101 & 2104 Fischer Ranger 102 FR, 184 cm (18/19–20/21)
2110 & 2119 Moment Wildcat 108, 190 cm (19/20)
2112 & 2125 4FRNT MSP 107, 187 cm (18/19–19/20)
2120 & 2134 Blizzard Rustler 10, 188 cm (19/20–20/21)
2143 & 2194 ON3P Wrenegade 108, 184 cm (18/19–19/20)
2153 & 2184 Rossignol BLACKOPS Sender Ti, 187 cm (20/21)
2165 & 2211 K2 Mindbender 108Ti, 186 cm (19/20–20/21)
2165 & 2219 Icelantic Nomad 105, 191 cm (19/20–20/21)
2170 & 2180 Dynastar M-Free 108, 182 cm (20/21)
2177 & 2180 Moment Commander 108, 188 cm (19/20)
2182 & 2218 Nordica Enforcer 110 Free, 185 cm (17/18–20/21)
2188 & 2190 Prior Northwest 110, 190 cm (19/20–20/21)
2190 & 2268 Armada ARV 106Ti LTD, 188 cm (18/19–19/20)
2202 & 2209 Shaggy’s Ahmeek 105, 186 cm (19/20)
2218 & 2244 Volkl Mantra 102, 184 cm (19/20–20/21)
2232 & 2244 ON3P Woodsman 108, 187 cm (19/20)
2233 & 2255 Nordica Enforcer 104 Free, 186 cm (19/20–20/21)
2250 & 2307 Argent Badger, 184 cm (19/20)
2283 & 2290 ON3P Wrenegade 108, 189 cm (18/19–19/20)
2312 & 2386 Prior Husume, 188 cm (17/18–20/21)
2318 & 2341 J Skis The Metal, 186 cm (16/17–19/20)
2321 & 2335 Fischer Ranger 107 Ti, 189 cm (19/20–20/21)
2325 & 2352 Folsom Blister Pro 104, 186 cm (19/20)
2376 & 2393 Blizzard Cochise, 185 cm (15/16–19/20)
At this point, I’ve put about 10 days on the Altum 104 in a very broad range of conditions. I’ve skied it in some deep snow, some very not-deep snow, and just about everything in between. I became a big fan of this ski from my first turns, and here’s why:
To me, the Altum 104 is, in my mind, is just what I’d want from a 104mm-wide ski in powder. While it doesn’t necessarily stand out in really deep snow, it definitely doesn’t suck.
From a fairly centered stance, I almost never experienced any tip dive on the Altum 104 in snow up to ~1.5 feet deep. Its fairly wide tips planed predictably, and the ski was easy to throw sideways in tight, pow-filled trees.
I could get a bit of tip dive if I really laid into the shovels of the Altum 104, but this was nothing out of the ordinary for a ski with a -6 cm mount point. In most conditions and terrain, the Altum 104 is accepting of both a forward, driving stance and a centered / neutral stance, but I’d say deep snow is the one area where it tends to lean more toward that centered stance.
But if I stay centered, and the Altum 104 felt comfortable on all but the super deep days (keep in mind I’m 5’8”, 155 lbs), and it offered a lively, playful feel that encourages plenty of sideways slashing and slarving. At the same time, it’s happy laying down GS or Super G turns through pow, but when you need to get that sick face shot captured on your selfie stick, the Altum 104 will happily go sideways and spray a whole bunch of snow in your face. This is not the absolute surfiest ski in the category, but it brings more versatility to the table than those ultra-surfy skis, and I’ve come away with zero complaints after skiing the Altum 104 in fresh snow.
This is where the Altum 104 gets really fun.
In soft, low-density chop, the ski is stiff enough to blast through patches of snow, yet it’s light enough to flick around in the air easily. It (unsurprisingly) doesn’t offer the monster-truck / bulldozer feel of a much heavier ski, but in soft chop, I didn’t feel like the Altum 104 was getting deflected enough to where I had to drastically dial back my speed and ski more conservatively.
For boosting off natural features and straight-lining through soft chop, the Altum 104 is extremely fun. And unlike the heavier skis out there that stay more composed at ludicrous speeds, the Altum 104 is totally content skiing at moderate speeds, throwing quick tricks off small hits, and remaining very easy to shut down when you need to shed speed. Soft chop is where I think any ~104mm-wide freestyle ski should excel, and I’d say that’s definitely true of the Altum 104.
Firm Chop / Crud
Like all the skis I’ve used that are this light, the Altum 104’s lower weight starts to become more obvious when the conditions lean more toward the “nasty” or “should I even be skiing today?” end of the spectrum.
While its strong flex pattern does a good job of blasting through soft chop, the Altum 104 gets knocked around much more when the snow is both firm and rough. The good thing with the Altum 104 is that, while it’s not a glued-to-the-snow charger, it’s still very predictable in rough snow.
I can ski pretty fast pretty comfortably on the Altum 104 in crud and firm chop, I just don’t feel inclined to really nuke through the rough snow. I was initially worried that the combination of the Altum 104’s low-ish weight and fairly stiff flex pattern would make it feel harsh and punishing in rough, firm conditions, but that has not been the case. Its stiffer flex pattern still feels surprisingly compliant in rough snow, and I thought it did a good job of absorbing harsh impacts, especially for its weight.
So, in summary: if you’re looking for a ski that just blasts through and over nasty conditions, you should get something much heavier than the Altum 104. But if you tend to ski a bit slower in those sort of conditions anyways and want a playful ski that’s happy to take things slower and pop off little side hits to make crappy conditions more fun, the Altum 104 should definitely be on your radar.
Given how deep its rocker lines are, I didn’t have high hopes for the Altum 104’s performance on groomers. But … I was pleasantly surprised by how well this ski carved.
It’s not that fun on low-angle groomers (where it’s inclined to just slide around), but once I got it up above ~25 mph, the Altum 104 came alive on piste. It initiates turns pretty readily / quickly for how much taper and rocker it has, it held an edge quite well for its width, and it gave back plenty of rebound / energy when I really pushed it. I found myself linking everything from GS to Super G turns on the Altum 104, and it felt equally comfortable doing both (though rocketing out of a tight GS turn on this ski was the most exhilarating).
Something I’ve noticed after trying hundreds of skis is that I tend to get along really well with skis that have rocker profiles similar to the Altum 104: deep, but subtle rocker lines that equate to a surfy feel when skied bases-flat, but a lot of edge contact when you really lay them over. As evidenced by skis like the Line Sir Francis Bacon, Line Vision 108, K2 Mindbender 108Ti, new Liberty Origin 106, and now, the Altum 104.
The Altum 104 is happy to just slide around on groomers, but once you get some speed going, it’s also happy to really get high on edge (note to self: I need to make a “high on edge” sticker). There are some more directional, less rockered skis in this width that are better carvers on really firm snow, but I’d say the Altum 104 is one of the best carvers I’ve used in the all-mountain-freestyle category.
Moguls, Trees, & Tight Terrain
As I touched on above, the Altum 104 feels pretty loose when not putting a ton of pressure on its edges and really driving it, but it does a good job of digging into the snow when you really push it. Combined with its round flex pattern, that made me really like it in tight terrain.
The Altum 104 definitely isn’t the absolute loosest or most forgiving ski in this category — those skis tend to be more rockered, more tapered, and softer. But for intermediates to experts, I think the Altum 104 will feel quite manageable and fairly easy in tight terrain.
If I stayed somewhat forward on the Altum 104, I had no trouble at all sliding around its tails, and they didn’t feel punishing at all. It felt easy to pivot, supportive-yet-forgiving, and overall, I just really liked it.
As my stance moved more toward the back of the ski, I started noticing the Altum 104’s tails a bit more. My note about being able to dig in the edges applies here: if you get backseat and put pressure on the Altum 104’s tails, those tails will engage and you might find yourself briefly out of control. This has only happened to me a few times, but if you’re prone to end up in the backseat when skiing tight spots, I think you’d be better off on a softer ski. That said, if you like to load up the tails of your skis to boost from mogul to mogul, it’s incredibly fun to do so on the Altum 104 (that is, until / unless you explode dramatically…).
But for those with decent technique, the Altum 104 offers a fun blend of easy pivotability, a nice blend of support and accessibility, and a pretty big sweet spot. Stay forward or centered on this ski, and it’s happy to both slarve and carve its way through tight terrain.
The Altum 104 is a very playful ski. It feels light and balanced in the air, it skis switch very well, it’s quite poppy, it’s easy to slash around, and it’s awesome on landings.
One thing the Altum 104 isn’t amazing at is low-speed butters and presses. Its tips and tails aren’t super easy to bend compared to most other freestyle skis, so I’d look to softer options if you love to imitate The Bunch.
But if that’s not a dealbreaker and you prioritize stability and support over a soft, buttery flex pattern, the Altum 104 is an excellent, very playful ski.
Who’s It For?
Intermediate to expert skiers who want a playful, fairly light, but still strong ski that can handle just about any condition.
The Altum 104 is not for people who primarily want something that’s super damp and super stable in all conditions. In case it wasn’t already clear, this is not a directional charger. It’s stable for its weight and you can ski it very hard in soft conditions, but people who want their skis to do a lot of the work for them in terms of smoothing out more difficult conditions should look to much heavier options (see the “All-Mountain Chargers” section of our Winter Buyer’s Guide).
And if you’re a freestyle-minded skier who loves to mess around at slower speeds, or you just prefer a very soft ski that’s super easy to butter, you’ve got better options (see the “All-Mountain Freestyle” section of our Winter Buyer’s Guide).
But if you want a playful ski that encourages you to ski hard in good snow, the Altum 104 should be on your list. I’m someone who falls into that category, and I immediately got along with the Altum 104. It’s easy to slash around, it’s balanced in the air, it’s poppy when carving and also on takeoffs, but its strong flex pattern and minimal taper let me ski hard with a directional style when I want to. On top of that, it’s comfortable in most conditions, which makes it an excellent option as a 1-ski quiver or the wider ski in a quiver for lower-snow areas.
The Whitedot Altum 104 is a very versatile ski, not only in regard to terrain and conditions, but also in terms of skiing style. Ski it with a directional style, and it’s a lightweight, poppy, and maneuverable all-mountain ski. Ski it with a more balanced, freestyle-oriented approach, and it provides plenty of stability and support for aggressive skiing in forgiving conditions, while also being surfy and easy to flick around in the air. If you want a fairly light, playful ski that doesn’t fall apart when you really push it, the Altum 104 should definitely be on your list.
Deep Dive Comparisons
Become a Blister Member or Deep Dive subscriber to check out our Deep Dive comparisons of the Altum 104 to see how it compares to the Moment PB&J, Dynastar M-Free 108, Fischer Ranger 102 FR, K2 Reckoner 112, Prior Northwest 110, Faction Prodigy 3.0, Icelantic Nomad 105, Shaggy’s Ahmeek 105, Moment Deathwish, Blizzard Rustler 10, ON3P Woodsman 108, Line Sir Francis Bacon, Sego Big Horn 106, Moment Wildcat 108, K2 Mindbender 108Ti, Nordica Enforcer 104 Free, Armada ARV 106Ti, Liberty Origin 106, Rossignol Soul 7 HD, Line Sick Day 104, and J Skis Metal.