Ski review: Whitedot Preacher

Whitedot Preacher

Whitedot Preacher

The annual SIGB Ski Test gives UK retailers and snowsports media the opportunity to test kit from a huge range of brands, however the boom in recent years of independent or ’boutique’ ski manufacturers means that it’s impossible to cover every make and model out there. With the improved availability of many smaller brands online, the discerning skier has a huge number of options when it comes to purchasing new kit. Some smaller brands have built up a cult following too, especially in the freeride market, through creative ski design, innovative shapes and alternative materials.

Austrian freeskier Eva Walkner

Austrian freeskier Eva Walkner

One of those brands is Whitedot. With simple but very distinctive top sheet designs and boundary-pushing shapes, their skis are increasingly seen in UK shops (such as Ellis Brigham), online stores, on the slopes of resorts throughout Europe and deep in the backcountry. Their skis have also been on the podium at Freeride World Tour stops – thanks to athletes Eva Walkner and Dennis Risvoll.

A spring trip to Chamonix – which is where a lot of the R&D and prototype testing is done by team riders – gave me the chance to try out one of the ‘workhorses’ of the Whitedot line-up…. the much-loved Preacher.

Key stats:
Length tested: 179cm
Dimensions: 155 – 112 – 133
Sidecut (@ 179cm): 16.5
Weight (per ski): 2375g

The Preacher has been around for a few seasons now, popular with holiday powderhounds as well as Freeride World Tour competitors. It’s remains a full camber ski – if you’re looking for aggressively rockered powder skis to slash and smear then look elsewhere – but that doesn’t mean it lacks a ton of float in the deep. A girthy 155mm wide  shovel and 112mm underfoot, the flex pattern allows the super wide tip to stay on top of cruddy and fresh snow, but there’s enough torsional stiffness to make the ski stable and speed and give it tenacious edge hold.

The wide tip gives the Preacher a lot of sidecut for what would widely be considered a ‘powder’ ski, but that sidecut means that the Preacher is surprisingly nimble and fun on piste. Yes – it’s still 112mm underfoot so this is no race ski, but the Preacher is more versatile than appearances might suggest.

This is part of what has made the Preacher such a popular model for Whitedot, though that doesn’t mean it’ll be to absolutely everyone’s liking. The width of the shovel combined with the full positive camber does mean the ski feels a bit catchy when trying to smear turns and scrub speed, but then again that’s not what this ski is designed for.

In deeper snow the ski responded best to smoother and more rhythmical turns – where you can really feel the positive camber of the ski give plenty of lift and rebound. Ultimately, the Preacher, for many skiers, could be the long sought-after ‘one quiver’ ski. An oversized all-mountain ski that’s a ton of fun ripping around on the pistes, but is not going to hold you back when it’s waist deep. Perhaps it’s no surprise then that the Preacher is Whitedot’s best-selling model!

Echo Base in Chamonix have a full range of Whitedot skis available for demo and rental.

Chris Taine

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