Power without weight.
The holy grail of backcountry boards is a ski that weighs next to nothing on the ascent, but has the power of a five pound ski on the descent. This may seem like an impossible compromise, but thanks to some mad engineering skills and a penchant for carbon fiber, Whitedot has produced a ski that's both light and powerful, so you can throw it on your back when you're hiking into remote mountain ranges to summit dormant volcanoes, then ski with confidence from the summit, without feeling like you just strapped a couple of noodles to your boots.
Built on the Ranger.98 platform, this Carbonlite version of Whitedot's versatile mid-fat ski sheds weight thanks to carbon laminates, which bring the ski's weight down to just 3.5lb per ski in a 176cm length. Apart from the carbon laminates, the Ranger.98 Carbonlite remains virtually identical to its non-carbon comrade, giving this lightweight option the same powerful and versatile feel. The core of the ski is composed of poplar in the tip and tail with ash underfoot for increased power and better binding retention. The addition of carbon, kevlar stringers adds torsional rigidity, without weighing the ski down with a heavy metal laminate, so you get stability without adding a bunch of unnecessary weight to your setup. The Carbonlite version of the Ranger.98 utilizes the same sandwich construction that you'll find on all of Whitedot's skis, giving this ski a surprisingly stable and powerful feel for its class.
- Backcountry Exclusive
- Early rise tip, camber underfoot (2mm)
- Sandwich construction (ABS sidewall)
- Poplar and ash core
- Carbon fiber laminate
- Carbon, Kevlar stringers
- 98mm waist width
- Item #WTD0006
- Q & A
Earn Those Turns
- Familiarity: I've used it several times
I was finally able to take my Ranger.98 Carbonlites out in a variety of conditions and they definitely exceeded my expectations.
As expected, the Ranger.98 crushes when you're pointed uphill. It's lightweight and the generous camber with a flat tail provides plenty of grip on everything from spring-like corn to icy hardback and untracked powder. I took these out in 9-12" of Utah powder and was impressed with how well they broke trail for their width.
I've skied these downhill on groomers, sun-baked punch crust, ice, corn and some pretty deep powder and couldn't be happier with them. The long effective edge and generous camber obviously held a strong edge on the harder stuff, but what really surprised me was the R.98's stability at speeds, even over chunder. The Rangers definitely held their own with very little chatter or deflection, and even felt powerful for a ski so light. I honestly had very little hope that they would be so stable prior to getting them on snow, and was shocked that they wanted to be driven fast and aggressively.
I was also really impressed with how they performed in a foot of powder. The relatively low amount of early rise in the tip takes more work to keep afloat than a fat ski with considerable tip rocker, but these felt great with their relatively wide shovel and still had me wahoo-ing the whole way down.
I don't know how Whitedot did it, but they managed to make a sub-4-pound ski that tours like a lightweight and skis downhill with impressive power and stability. Make no mistake though, the R.98's aren't a replacement for your stiff, grip it and rip it down the fall line ski. I haven't been able to get the Rangers out on any couloirs or serious steeps yet but I'm confident that they'll hold their own.
Has anyone skied these to know how they handle in the backcountry. Thinking of purchasing a pair and would like to know how they ride.
I'll be posting a review as soon as the backcountry is safe enough to put them through the wringer. Stay tuned!