REVIEWS AND TESTS
Ski Tests & Reviews
Whitedot Skis "The One" 173cm (2017-2018)
119-89-113 r=18m @ 173cm
Whitedot Skis Ltd
91-93 Green Lane,
Leeds, LS16 7EY, United Kingdom
Suggested Retail Price (MSRP):
All-mountain recreational & all-mountain freestyle
Rating (with comments):
(1="get me off these things"->10="I have to own a pair")
9 For all-mountain recreational usage
7-8 For hardpack
8-9 For mixed surface conditions below high speeds
"The One" has been in Whitedot's lineup as their narrowest, fully-cambered all-mountain ski since the beginning back around 2008-2009. We spent some time on that ski in a previous review back in 2009. We revisited "The One" throughout the 2017-2018 season in Vermont, USA to see how it has evolved with modern trends in ski design and performance.
"The One is designed as an all-mountain ski that works equally well all over the mountain as it does in the snow park.
A popular ski in half pipe contests around the globe, the ample side cut and torsional rigidity grips the wall whilst the Carbon Kevlar reinforcement give you the durability and pop to ride any feature that you choose, knowing that you are stable at speed."
- Website - 2018
Technical Ski Data:
Bindings and Boots Used:
Tyrolia PowerRail PRD 12 adjustable bindings
Salomon S-Max 120 boots.
Very nice fit and finish, with a vibrantly colored, glossy topsheet. Handflex bias is slightly on the soft side of the spectrum, with moderate rebound and a damp feel. Torsionally compliant with mild tip and tail rocker profiles, with tail being nearly flat. Squared shovel and tail shaping. Significant traditional camber under most of the ski (see pics below). Feels light and fun.
Eastern corduroy, packed powder and hardpack groomers & boilerplate. Shin deep to knee-deep powder on smooth and bumpy terrain.
Whitedot's "The One" is one of those skis that impresses you more and more as you spend more time with it. While "All-mountain" skis often perform "OK" in various types of terrain and surface conditions, The One really impressed us with its comfortable, friendly ride and spunky, fun personality on groomers, trees, powder, chopped-up mixed surfaces and everything in-between. For a relatively soft-flexing ski with lots of camber, The One can be set into some high-intensity carving situations on packed powder and softer snow surfaces with very little effort, yielding a quiet and energetic ride with lots of fun, yet feels playful in powdery conditions. Compared to many all-mountain skis from other builders, The One feels young and spry instead of mature and dowdy, begging to be put into mischievous freestyle situations instead of ridden passively and conservatively.
The lightweight feel of The One enables skiers to ride it all day, first chair to last chair and feel like they had fun instead of feeling like they had a workout. Edge to edge agility is excellent with a very light swing weight, and the poppy rebound and response is eager and refreshing while being stable and quiet underfoot. Bumpy, uneven terrain and surface conditions are a breeze to ride through, with the only reservation is a bit of loose feel when running flat at high speeds due to the lighweight mass of The One and its somewhat soft flex compared to some more stout skis on the market. Once you put it on-edge, the loose feeling disappears.
Powder skiing is fun and easy, even though The One is relatively narrow at 89mm underfoot, while only the hardest boilerplate might make you wish you had a dedicated carving ski for those conditions. Heavyweight skiers migh find they overpower this ski since it is somewhat soft and torsionally compliant. The One has been refined for nearly 10 years now, and it shows Whitedot is focused on delivering an all-mountain frontside ski with their signature light feel and do-it-all capabilities, and they have done their homework well. This ski became one of my favorites because it worked so well in so many conditions and always felt eager and fun....(plus the dots on the orange background graphic look really cool on-snow).
Hardpack and Boilerplate:
The One is not a surgical carving instrument for rock-hard surfaces, but has perfectly decent grip for 90% of resort snow conditions people will likely encounter throughout the season. The ski's light weight can feel a bit skittery on boilerplate surfaces when running-flat until you set its edge, which is quick and easy. The sidecut shaping and long, significant camber profile allows the skier to get a nice bite along the ski's running edge, which feels a bit shorter than the ski measures due to the rockered tip and tail. We'd rate the edge grip as "recreational" rather than "race-carver", with The One liking a punchier, direct-underfoot style of bite rather than GS-like whole-ski carving technique. We only had minor slippage on the hardest, cue-ball type surfaces in stock tune, with very nice edgehold in dense, squeeky, man-made snow conditions. Modest tuning efforts delivered a much more secure grip along this ski's length, making it a good choice for nearly all packed-surface frontside resort situations. Dampening of high-frequency vibrations is excellent, while keeping energetic pop and energy alive and well underfoot on firm snow.
Mixed Surface & Variable Conditions:
We really liked The One for mixed, cut-up and variable snow, noting it prefers to surf and skim rather than plow through 3D snow, bumps and uneven surfaces. Super-agile and light-feeling, The One is playful, poppy, quick and full of spunk, yet never twitches out of line. The forebody torsional compliance absorbs hits and twists nicely, delivering good control and feedback feel without deflection to the midbody which becomes more torsionally strong and secure, giving you a confident grip under the center of the ski, continuing pressure nicely to the tail. High speeds through choppy conditions can produce a little bit of flap in the tips due to the light weight and rocker profile, but The One stays on-line, only feeling a bit shorter than it measures when the speed increases to high levels in mixed surface conditions. The friendly appeal of The One makes it a really fun ski for a wide variety of skiers ranging from intermediates to park 'n pipe lappers to all-mountain freeride types who like a narrow-ish waist for their antics. "Well rounded" and "Balanced" were the phrases that kept cropping up when describing The One when spending time in old snow, skied-out powder, fresh or skied-out corduroy, crud or wind-buffed conditions. Heavyweight skiers or aggressive experts might feel The One is a bit soft for them at higher speeds, while most other skiers will find it an all-day funhouse with a wide performance envelope for lots of conditions.
Normally, a 89mm-waisted ski would not be a first-choice for powder conditions, but the relatively wide, squared shovel and moderate sidecut of The One, combined with its friendly flex pattern and moderately rockered tip and tail, makes it a breeze to ride in 3D fluff... more than the significant camber profile would lead you to believe. We found The One was perfectly comfortable surfing powder, smearing turns when asked, while delivering a slightly directional and stable feel through freshly fallen fluff without any sinking feeling, submarine-behavior or resistance to directional changes. The compliant forebody contributes to the way The One succeeds in fresh conditions, with a reliable midbody and tail to hold a trajectory across the snow without feeling trapped or submerged. Despite its design and camber, The One gives a really fun ride in powder if you are willng to remember you are tooling around on a ski only 89mm underfoot, adjusting your expectation of flotation accordingly. We were surpised how fun this ski worked in soft snow.
Turn Initiation, Apex & Finish:
Whitedot skis have had a trademark feel to most of the models. They tend to be light-feeling, with a tip initiation behavior typical of rockered skis (meaning compliantly loose up front), leading into a friendly midbody grip and tail finish that's easy to execute and easy to modify mid-turn. The One is the narrowest, most cambered Whitedot model, oriented toward more frontside all-mountain and park action than the rest of the lineup, yet maintains this trademark Whitedot feel without becoming a typical "all-mountain", cambered frontside or park ski. "Frontside Park & Freeride" is a good description of The One. It can initiate a turn in a loose, lazy manner, or you can roll it up and pressure it into a carve on-demand. The rockered tip makes it feel a bit shorter than it measures, so you can get on it quickly, but the full-camber midbody quickly delivers a carvable gripping platform underfoot, letting you roll the ski onto its tail under continual pressure, or pop it onto the heel for a quick zing into the next turn. You can punch it into a turn apex underfoot, or use the length of the ski as the turning platform, making it pretty darn versatile. Heavier skiers or serious muscle-head skiers will find they can overpower and over-turn The One, but relaxing a little bit and reducing pressure will let the sidecut geometry and camber do its thing and deliver a wide variety of turn shapes and mid-arc adjustments with very little effort, which is a nice feature. The One is a unique ski bridging the definitions of rockered freeride and cambered all-mountain frontside turn behaviors, and you quickly find it works in tons of situations really easily and very effectively. Whitedot has created a unique-feeling ski with really effective turn behaviors for nearly all kinds of situations around the resort...which is what they were shooting for.
Analogies: ("This ski is like...")
A favorite pair of shoes or light-hikers with a light, fun feel you can run in, hike in, go to a restaurant in and even show up at work in and be perfectly comfortable with. You might use your Sorel snow boots for heavy storms, and your racing-flats for 10ks, but you spend most days in these favorite do-it-alls unless you need a specialty shoe.
Notable Tester Comments:
Things I Would Change About This Ski:
Not much, other than maybe offer a slightly stiffer layup.
Short Answer When Someone Asks "What Do You Think About This Ski?":
A great choice for all-mountain frontside freeride and park terrain. Surprisingly lightweight feel and swingweight, yet quick and agile with good bite and groomer manners. Surprisingly fun and easy in powder conditions. You can ski it all day, bell-to-bell. Great for lots of different skiers. Nicely balanced feel and behaviors.
What kind of skier is this ski good for and not suitable for?
Intermediates, park 'n pipe enthusiasts and advanced skiers will find The One really fun. Heavyweights, racer-types and muscle-head skiers will find The One a bit too soft and compliant.
Advice To People Considering This Ski:
Buy this ski a size longer than you might normally. If you frequent icy or boilerplate-like surfaces, have a shop put a 0.5 degree base / 2 degree side bevel on it, sharp tip-to-tail, then detune as you like.
Pics: (click for larger versions)
Whitedot "The One" (L) and "Director Carbonlite" (R) showing very different shaping
Whitedot "The One" sidewall detail (after a nearly full season of use)
Whitedot "The One" full-wrap edge at tip
Whitedot "The One" tip profile
Whitedot "The One" tail profile
Whitedot "The One" midbody camber profile
Whitedot "The One" camber profile
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