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Whitedot Director – how long is too long?

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
After testing tons of skis at the EoSB, my decision was all but made: Whitedot Director CL 171. Easy.

But this weekend's ski test threw a spanner in the works – should I go even longer and upgrade to 181? Whitedot say "of course", but I sometimes wonder if they're just having a laugh! wink My partner, at 6'2", thinks I'm taking the p!ss.

I originally started testing with the 161, more as a head game than a suitable ski length, as the longest I'd ever skied previously were 161 and were a heavy piste/all mountain ski that were quite hard work. The Directors were a totally different animal and as it became apparent that they were too short, I moved up a size to a place where I was very happy, from hardpack in the morning to huge soft mogully afternoons. Job done.

But would I come to regret that in a year or two and outgrow them, wishing I'd bought something longer? It's an expensive ski to have sitting around unused. However, I did find the 181 trickier to ski, as you might expect, and that is what has left me unsure. But it was in a fridge, not on a mountain, and I know that from previous tests I feel most comfortable indoors on something <80mm, and outdoors on something wider. Why didn't I test them out in Val Thorens? I guess the extra 10cm felt like a step too far at the time. I didn't text the Preachers there either as I reckoned I could hide behind one.

I know a fair few of you are owners, so how are you finding the practicalities? Did you wish you'd gone longer yourself? Or did you do so and regret it? Also, @spyderjon made a valid point: that I might struggle to do a kick turn on the 181s, although TBH, I'd probably still fall over trying to do one on snowblades!

About me: 5'4" (162cm), 60-65kg, female
My other (sensible) skis: Atomic Affinity Storm 159, 84mm underfoot
My skiing: I will ski the whole day, whatever the conditions, whatever the weather, often later in the season, so consequently encounter soft snow and slush more often than hardpack and ice. I have been about 80% on piste, but am looking to change that over then next few trips. I'm no expert, but I can ski anything on piste, though if it's mogully and I'm tired, it won't be pretty. My off piste experience is too limited to be sure of what I am capable.

I am specifically looking at the current model of Director, which I understand to be a bit different from previous iterations. My next trip will likely be the Birthday Bash at the end of January, so I have until then to get something sorted.
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Hmmmm, I'm 5'7" 72kg and have always felts most comfortable with ~180cm, with your weight and height I'd have thought 171 would be ideal, next???
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Difficult. You could really go either way...

171 is 10cms over your head which sounds about right, but (sorry!) at 65kg you should definitely be able to handle the longer length too...

Seeing as you're still new to offsite I'd probably lean towards the 171 right now just to keep things easy and not work your legs too much, but I can also definitely see that you might prefer the 181 in a couple of years if you ski a lot!

What sort of turns do you like - big (GS) or short (slalom/pivots)? What sort of terrain do you like best - trees/open/couloirs?

For reference, my gf at probably 160cm and 55(ish)kg just bought some 178 Moment Bellas.
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clarky999 wrote:
Difficult. You could really go either way...

171 is 10cms over your head which sounds about right, but (sorry!) at 65kg you should definitely be able to handle the longer length too...

Seeing as you're still new to offsite I'd probably lean towards the 171 right now just to keep things easy and not work your legs too much, but I can also definitely see that you might prefer the 181 in a couple of years if you ski a lot!

What sort of turns do you like - big (GS) or short (slalom/pivots)? What sort of terrain do you like best - trees/open/couloirs?


It's pure muscle, honest wink Actually, might be at the lower end of that as I've stayed off the pies recently, but I don't own any scales so I'm going off how tight my trousers are (not too bad, currently)!

As I say, I've not really skied enough off-piste to know much about my own likes and dislikes yet. Most that I've done has been fairly open, though I'm happy in the trees, too. I'll have to get back to you on couloirs Toofy Grin
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I'm same height, slightly heavier, and I have the 181s. No regrets. They are a pain to carry, tho!
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Hi,

I'm wondering pretty much the same thing as you after a similar experience this weekend at the ski test in Hemel and talking to the Whitedot crew. Everything about what you've put in terms of experience, skiing preference and outlook strikes a chord with the exceptions being:

Male, 5'6, 75-85kgs
Fischer Motive 168, 86mm underfoot

I only tried the 171 Directors which i absolutely loved and should've really tried the 181's afterwards but they were out at the time with only 25mins to go. This only left the 191's which i didn't fancy trying indoors but in hindsight i should've as i found the 171's so easy to manoeuvre compared to what i'm used to and have tried before. At 171 they were the longest ski that i've ever used but they felt so much shorter than that and were really enjoyable. I would love to try them out on a mountain before committing.

I tried the 169 preachers straight after which with the exception of being 110mm underfoot felt exactly like my Fischers which isn't too surprising given they look kind of similar. I noticed they required more effort to initiate the turn in the first place and then felt like they took longer to come around at the back too.

It's definitely made me seriously consider getting the latest Directors model it's just a case of deciding on the length.

I'm also going to the Birthday Bash so maybe we can convince the lovely Whitedot crew to let us borrow some 181's to share Toofy Grin
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Similar stats to @jkchops, I found the 171 just a bit too short with them being rockered. I'm buying the Ones in a 173 as an everyday ski.
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My answer is probably completely irrelevant, but here goes nothing...

I actually tried the Directors 171cm yesterday at Chill Factore. Definitely a world away from the type of skis I normally use (Atomic Cloud D2 73 167cm). At first whilst negotiating the theme park-style switchback queue for the lift it felt like I had a canoe strapped to each foot and I suspected my descent would be equally unglamorous.

However, on the slope they felt completely manageable, controllable, turnable and even quite fast and smooth, yet short and lightweight. So I think even I would be able to manage the 181s. Not sure I could live with them on a daily basis, I'm definitely a piste monster, and something like that is overkill for someone of my (lack of) calibre. But surprising that something that looks so intimidating can actually be manageable and fun.

P.S. I really didn't want to give the beautiful purple and black Völkl whatever they were back. Not only did they match my clothing, and I'm reliably informed that's not a basis for choosing the right equipment goddamit, but I also really really liked them. I suspect again they are too off-pistey, fat and gnarly for me and I'd probably fall at the first hurdle of trying to fit them in the car, but a girl can dream, right?

P.P.S. I'm also considerably bigger and heavier than everyone else on this thread... Embarassed


Last edited by After all it is free Go on u know u want to! on Mon 12-10-15 22:49; edited 1 time in total
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@Maireadoconnor, you did come up in conversation actually, but it's nice to hear it from the person in question, so thanks. As for carrying them, I'd like to say I have a man for that, but I suspect he'll just point and laugh!

@jkchops, they'll be reading wink
I had a go on the 169 Preachers this time too. Took a bit more getting used to and I was nervous on my initial run when loads of kids suddenly appeared. I had to work hard to make the go where I wanted, but on my final run I just took them down the edge of the slope without really bothering with turns, and that was quite good fun Toofy Grin
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@lampygirl, interesting you say that, it seems you don't have to be much bigger than me to find the 171 too short...

@queen bodecia, you're talking about the same skis, so perfectly relevant. I suspect you may be a bit taller than me if you ride 167 piste skis though. I hear you on the Disneyland queue — a 47 point turn should just about do it!
The Volkls may be the Kenja? I didn't get on with them but I am a fan of their piste skis. I decided I have no use for them though.
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jkchops wrote:
Hi,

I'm wondering pretty much the same thing as you after a similar experience this weekend at the ski test in Hemel and talking to the Whitedot crew. Everything about what you've put in terms of experience, skiing preference and outlook strikes a chord with the exceptions being:

Male, 5'6, 75-85kgs
Fischer Motive 168, 86mm underfoot


100% 181 (or bigger).
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And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
Why do you need extra length? At 60 kilos you are not that heavy to need an extra float. Just because you *can* ski a longer ski doesn't necessarily mean you should get a longer length. 171 sounds about right at this point. If you "outgrow" them, then go longer after it happens. 171 will be easier to ski and more manoeuvrable and this is not a bad thing for a ski especially since you are still new to off-piste. Basically buy skis that will suit you more now than in couple years time.
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I remember testing some 225cm DH skis a long way back, I "could" ski them, but don't think I'd ever "be able to manage them" or "grow into them".......
If you felt right on the 171, then I would say they're the one for you, especially as you would like to improve your off-piste skills, having skis that are a bit too long will hold you back when the conditions are challenging ie crud, narrow chutes and tight trees.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Quote:

I did find the 181 trickier to ski


To me, that's your answer surely? (fridge or no fridge).

You admit you haven't mastered the whole mountain even on piste and are just starting out off piste. Why would you want to make that continuing learning curve harder and therefore slower? (The "challenge" of mastering the longer skis will overcome itself automatically if you're heavy enough once your skills are there).
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I am 5ft 5, 60kg and really like the 171 Directors. I tested them this year and last. I don't think I'd go longer if I were in the market for a pair...which I'm not....no....I'm not.....really...
I had a pair of 177 97mm twin tips for 3 years which I really loved on and off piste, but then I bought my current faves-Liberty Envy Powder 167cm, with 105 under foot (before I tested the Directors). I had tested the Liberty Helix-the longer blokey version in 176 and thought they were fab, but in the end, though I would have liked them to have been nearer 170 in length, I went for the 167s on the basis that I wanted them to be little nippier in tight spots. They are great, though I wish they were just a tad longer-like...about 171!
So, speaking as someone who has had some experience of long fatter skis, I think the 171s would be the ideal length...
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 Poster: A snowHead
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@Scarlet, ha, fame! Very Happy

Bear in mind that the Directors aren't just extremely rockered. They're also completely flat in the middle. So if you're well-centred on your skis you can pivot them very easily. Soft moguls, for example, are much easier than you might expect. I'll grant you that lift queues can be tricky - you need decent hip mobility to hold a braking plough.

181 is right for me because I'm strong for my size and I'm a fairly aggressive skier. I have also done more varied skiing than many on the thread, I think. I can imagine that 171 might be more fun for someone a bit smaller than me. But don't necessarily be intimidated by the bigger ones, especially if you have ambitions to raise your skill level over the next few years.
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"especially if you have ambitions to raise your skill level over the next few years"

But I can't imagine that making life more difficult for your self today is going to help you raise your skill level.

And then you keep them for days when a shorter ski is helpful.

Question, begging the obvious, why is a flat base ski easier to pivot? The amount of force required to take a normally cambered ski to neutral is minimal so I don't see that particular advantage from an engineering p.o.v.
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I think from my point of view, the thing that makes the Director easier to pivot is the generous tail rocker. I use the 181 as a daily driver here in Austria, with the 191 more as a shallow pow ski. I think clarky999 and under_a_new_name have it, why make life difficult at an early stage? The 171 will hold up nicely in the float department as well as being a great all conditions stick when the snow comes down!
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Yeah, @the_doc, that makes complete sense re pivot (and I'd hope you would know!).
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@Scarlet,

I tend to agree with this:

Quote:

Why do you need extra length? At 60 kilos you are not that heavy to need an extra float. Just because you *can* ski a longer ski doesn't necessarily mean you should get a longer length. 171 sounds about right at this point. If you "outgrow" them, then go longer after it happens. 171 will be easier to ski and more manoeuvrable and this is not a bad thing for a ski especially since you are still new to off-piste. Basically buy skis that will suit you more now than in couple years time.



Mainly because you are not that experienced off piste. The 171 will give you plenty of float and you will not have that little nagging voice asking whether the 181 are too much ski for you. I think better be totally confident on the 171 as you build your off piste skills.

I ski WD Ranger CL in 186 and while they are less rockered I am 76kg before I get all my gear on and have been skiing mainly off piste for 20 years. I'm sure I could ski something longer but for all round versatility I don't see the point.
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It's interesting to get some different perspectives. I see that the majority view is to stick with the original 171 plan, and as the arguments for that are good, that's probably what I'll do. I don't want to end up with something that I am unwilling to take out due to them being unmanageable, both on and off my feet.

And if they ever do prove to be too short, I guess that just means new skis Toofy Grin
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I've not skied the Directors so this isn't intended to be useful advice to the OP, more a question for my own curiosity. Quite a lot of the posters here are convinced that the 181 is the right length for someone who is of average weight and height for a woman and about 15kg lighter than the average man. Whitedot make the Director in 5 sizes so in my (simple) mind they make that range to match to the varying weight/height and skills of their customers. If Whitedot know what they're doing and there is a correlation between ski length and skier attributes then the OP would be best suited to a 161 or 171. If the best ski for Scarlet is a 181 then what size of Director is required for a 6'4" 100kg off-piste expert? What size of pixie buys the 151s?

Long rambling way of asking: are skis produced in different sizes to suit different skiers or is it just to meet the market expectations?
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@Scarlet, welcome to the club Very Happy

@Valkyrie, I seem to remember being told that a heavier men would choose the Ranger (I think) rather than the Director, and that the short Directors are ideal for a teenager. Or, memorably, for Dave of the Marmottes as snowblades.
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Personally, I am a big fan of shorter skis. As with one or two others above, I don't see what you gain from more length.

If you need more float, get more width in a ski length you are totally comfortable with. Having had my tails catching on even relatively short skis once legs get tired, the third or fourth tumble starts to get seriously draining and affects enjoyment of off piste.

They look cool in the queue when you rock up with monster skis 2 feet above your head, but I don't see a huge gain that makes it worth pushing the length to the absolute max.

For reference, I am currently debating a Preacher in 179 at 90+kg and 6ft, and I am mildly annoyed they don't come in a half size between the 169 and 179 Very Happy
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@Valkyrie, Yeah, I think you'd just choose something else. There is quite a big selection of even more massive skis... the Preacher, Ragnarok, Redeemer etc. And if you really are a tiny person who needs a 151, then it's good that they are available.

@Maireadoconnor, Hilarious Very Happy
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@Digger the dinosaur, Even on Whitedots of more sensible sizes, people were staring at us in the lift and stopping us to ask "why are your skis so big?" Toofy Grin As one of the first to get out on them at Chill Factore, I had loads of questions and interest from others in the queue. They look cool anyway!

I wouldn't have thought you'd want a 169 though. They were fine for me and I'd only reach your knees.
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@Digger the dinosaur, you gain stability at speed, and ability to drive the tips harder through funky snow without going over the handler bars.

Strong skiers with good technique should find almost no noticeable difference in how 'hard' a longer ski is to turn.

@Valkyrie, ability, terrain and style of skiing also come into play, as well as how stiff the ski is and how much effective edge it has. FWIW at 5 9 and 68kg, 190 is about optimal for me (my current skis range from 184 to 194, but 190 is the sweet spot most of the time). The 6+ foot guys I ski with generally look for 190> skis - a couple on 196s etc.

If you're a 6 foot 4+ 100+kg guy who skis hard and fast (and well) offpiste, then most brands don't have anything to suit you. You're really looking 195+ stiff as Be Nice please! skis, and only Völkl, Blizzard, and a couple of indie brands make skis like that. Which is probably one reason why there are a lot of custom ski makers in the US, to cater for all the tubby dentists on TGR.
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@clarky999, thing is that most of the skiers (even SHs) that I encounter are not strong skiers with good technique. Most are somewhere from early intermediate to largely competent piste skiers looking for tools to make offpiste skiing easier, and lots of reccomendations for really long skis will actually create more problems for them than it fixes. I've seen at least one or two SHs on trips that were really struggling with frankly massive skis based on internet reccomendations, skiing something a bit shorter and dare I say it even narrower would have helped them a lot.

You are probably the exception, in the same way as Lewis Hamilton reccomending a great car needs to temper a lot of his advice with the fact that most of the people listening need something to pootle down to the shops or sit on the M25 in traffic every day Smile
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Digger the dinosaur, I had a couple of runs on the 189 Preacher at the weekend and felt they would be the right length for me, I am 75kg and 6'3" but am a reasonable skier, they have a fair bit of tip and tail rocker so the effective edge length is a lot shorter than the listed size.
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Quote:

most of the skiers (even SHs) that I encounter are not strong skiers with good technique


This.

(Although some of them them, even, I am sure, some SHs, think they are... Twisted Evil )
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@Digger the dinosaur, you're not wrong (hence the general consensus for 171 here), though you do also have to consider that as the effective edge is so much shorter on rockered skis, you also DO want them longer than your normal skis to get grip on harder snow.

Comparing my abilities to Lewis Hamilton is pretty generous though Laughing
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Scarlet wrote:
After testing tons of skis at the EoSB, my decision was all but made: Whitedot Director CL 171. Easy.

But this weekend's ski test threw a spanner in the works – should I go even longer and upgrade to 181? Whitedot say "of course", but I sometimes wonder if they're just having a laugh! wink My partner, at 6'2", thinks I'm taking the p!ss.
This is actually the best case for the 181's.
But apart from winding up Modern Nerd, the 171 is the one.

The key reasons for going longer are: more stability at speed and more float in the deep and fluffy.
As you are just setting out off-piste, you will not be travelling at great speed (if you can help it) and the opportunities for deep and really fluffy will be few.
171 Directors versus your weight will give you adequate float in anything but the lightest powder while being far more manageable as you negotiate, for the first time, the constantly varying conditions that make up 95% of off piste skiing
Think 'breakable crust' - to do that on longer skis takes great skill and confidence - best practice on the shorter ones.
. Give it a couple of seasons (I assume that equates to 6 or 8 weeks on snow?), and if you feel you've outgrown them (which you might not!), put them up in the Buy/Sell and 'extend'. The new directors are proving very popular, I don't expect you'll have trouble moving them on - or alternatively, perhaps Modern Nerd will have grown into them by then Wink
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171 is right for you. Bear in mind I'd only be on the 191,( and would take the CL Director in a heartbeat over a R108, cos I'm rubbish with flat tails in crust).
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@Scarlet, 171 are the ski for you.
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@Dot., I know, I'm just using the Internet to validate my decisions!

@admin, he'll make me suffer for it. He was looking at the 181 himself, so it probably stems from that. I'm not sure his'n'hers skis is a great look though.
I'm trying for 3 weeks this time (BB double, plus EoSB), so might manage six, though I'm already hearing some whinging. Apparently other types of holiday do exist. Who knew?

@Dave of the Marmottes, I thought 151 was perfect for you!
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@Scarlet,
Quote:

Apparently other types of holiday do exist.

So do divorces wink

@Dot.,
The mushette wants some Directors - do you do them in 130 snowHead
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@musher, Erm, not married actually. It sounds simpler this way, but I'm not convinced. Simpler, that is. People seem surprised, but he reckons he can drag it out for another 6 years, a view validated by someone here who I'll not name wink

The Directors start at 151. Unless she's a toddler, they'll probably be fine.
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@Scarlet,
151 is about what her big brother would need - she just likes the colour scheme Toofy Grin
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Scarlet wrote:


@Dave of the Marmottes, I thought 151 was perfect for you!


Well they went well with my jazz hands.
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@Scarlet, at risk of thread diversion, one of my few regrets so far is that I didn't marry Mrs UANN before her father departed. There are also considerable tax benefits...if we're being venal.
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