Saturday, 21 February 2015

Whitedot Director Carbonlite review

This winter I have been spending a lot of time on a pair of Whitedot Director Carbonlite skis:

Having skied and toured the Ranger Carbonlite last year (and this winter...) and been very impressed with it I was after a ski to replace my long-loved Gotamas as a go-anywhere off-piste charger with a lift-served slant.

Me: Height 6'2" (~190cm), weight 80Kg, skiing style - reasonably aggressive, 20 years as a professional ski coach. Favourite skis of recent years - Volkl Gotama, Whitedot Ranger Carbonlite, Volkl Mantra.

The ski:
Length: 191cm, Dimensions: 136-107-126, Radius: 25m
Profile: Traditional camber for approx 110cm of the ski, with progressively more pronounced rocker to tip and tail. (note: this is my 'eyeball' version - the official stats may vary.
Mounting: Marker Baron EPF binding mounted at -60mm from ski centre mark (note: recommended mounting point is -50mm)

Taking the Director Carbonlites for a spin in some deep Courchevel powder:

I have now skied the skis on good piste, icy piste & off piste, chopped up crud, good powder, even better powder, spring snow.
First impressions of this ski were of an easy playful ski with plenty of guts and this is still my feeling some weeks later. On firm snow at speed they are stable and solid underfoot, in short turns on firm snow they are surprisingly manoeuvrable and very easy to work in a tighter carved arc (I think the reduced weight of the Carbonlite construction helps a lot here as it reduces the 'swing weight' of the ski for tighter turns). In soft snow these skis are just so much fun - plenty of float and easy to smear for tight tree lines. In heavier snow the pronounced rocker helps to stay afloat and riding the top layers and the 25m sidecut allows for easy charging through chopped up snow.

From a visual aspect these skis have the distinctive Whitedot graphics (black on white) and squared off tip and tail - very pleasing on the eye...

Taking the Director Carbonlites for a walk above Serre Chevalier:

Having had a day on a pair of the regular Directors last winter which were too centrally mounted for my taste (I spent the day hanging off my heels to try and work the middle of the ski...) I was slightly apprehensive regarding mounting point, but in my opinion somewhere around the -60mm mark is bang on if you want to be able to ski 'properly' and work the full length of the skis with the middle of your foot over the sweet spot...
Compared to the Gotamas the skis are much lighter which makes a huge difference whether it is skinning, carrying the skis, or (as above) in shorter turns. For a carbon-based construction the damping is excellent, the skis never feel too twitchy or nervous as some lightweight constructions can.
The squared off tip is a bit of a pain for skin mounting as extra large tip loops are needed (apparently G3 tip clips work well but I am currently a die-hard BD STS mix fan), and as with any rockered ski contact length for skinning on steep firm snow is reduced.

I have only skied the skis for about 6 weeks so far so longevity remains to be seen, however the skis have survived rocky conditions on the La Grave return traverses and a tree-root-tastic descent in Italy with barely a scratch, so the bases & edges certainly seem to be made of stern stuff. Top sheets and sidewalls currently holding up really well too...

As a do-anything, playful but powerful double-rockered ski the Director Carbonlite is hard to beat. Light enough for uphilling, wide enough for deep snow fun and carvy and stiff enough for hard snow ripping this really is a ski for all conditions.


  1. so , I am wondering, should I choose the ranger or the director??

    1. Hi Iulia, depends what you want to do... For a touring-oriented ski the Ranger (R.108 this winter) is a fantastic one-ski-does-it-all machine, for lift-served and some uphill the Director is hard to beat as a playful, fun but hard-charging ski!