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Whitedot Ragnorok ASM 190cm (2019-220)

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
147-122-134 r=30m @ 190cm








Manufacturer Info:
Whitedot Skis Ltd
91-93 Green Lane,
Leeds, LS16 7EY, United Kingdom
https://www.WhiteDotSkis.com



Suggested Retail Price (MSRP):

698 €

Usage Class:

Big mountain

Rating (with comments):
(1="get me off these things"->10="I have to own a pair")

8+ Hardpack for its size and low camber if you keep edges sharp
9+ - Mixed surface conditions, chop
9+ - Powder

Background:

Whitedot Skis began to really get skis out of prototype mode and sold to the public in 2009. (We tested some of their first production candidate models back in 2009 in France.) The collaborative effort of several enthusiasts who wanted to build unique and effective skis in small batches using designs developed with pro freeriders at Chamonix and Verbier testing grounds. The guys at Whitedot believe in constantly evolving their designs and exploring the effectiveness of different materials, so their models often behave differently from year to year. Whitedot Skis are very popular in Europe for a reason...they seem to work for the conditions found in the Alpes of France, Italy, Switzerland and Austria.

Manufacturer's Description:

"A statement in innovation and progress.

Skiing off-piste you are rarely carving a perfect turn, instead, you use drifting, speed checking, carving and combinations of these to control your line.

The ASYM’s signature design is off-set taper, making a left and right foot specific ski. While the sidecut radius remains a constant 30m on both edges, the tip and tail of the outside edge taper earlier than the inside creating an inside ski with a shorter effective edge that is easier to control.

This balances the different forces working on each ski as you go through the turn, making for an intuitive and two-footed ride.

The ASYM is built for deep days on the mountain and to deal with the changeable conditions you face. We selected our Traditional fibre-glass construction for this new ski because not only is it our dampest construction but it also adds mass to the ski, making for a stable and confidence-inspiring ride all over the mountain.."

- Website March 2020


Technical Ski Data:

Measured weight: 2200g and 2203g
Flex=8/10
1.2mm ISO7200 sintered die cut base
147/122/134 sidecut
190cm length
525mm low profile tip rocker
420mm low profile tai rocker
30m radius
1mm camber
1580/1500mm effective edge
1.9mm steel, 360 degree edges
ABS sidewalls
Polar/Ash laminate core, bi & tri-axle fibreglass, dry weave binding retention plate, carbon fibre stringer, rubber foil dampening tape
Screen printed ISO foil topsheet with 2 layers of lacquer

Bindings and Boots Used:

Tyrolia Attack 12 bindings
Salomon S-Max 130 Carbon boots.





Pre-Skiing Impression:


The first thing that strikes anyone seeing the ASYM for the first time are the asymmetric tip geometries. Old timers will immediately remember when the first Blizzard Spur models with similar tip shaping appeard on the market several years ago. Flex is somewhat softish at the tip, with a nicely solid underfoot flex. The tail is stiffer than the tips and has a more rounded flex and less taper than the deeply rockered forebody. Fit and finish are very nice, with a glossy, handsome topsheet you just know looks great now, but may show some scars later after some crashes and liftline antics. The Rag ASYM feels fairly light in hand for its 122mm width underfoot and looks playful and floaty. The quality of the construction and clean graphic gives the impression of a really nice ski for a relatively lower-than-expected price point for such a large surface-area ski, especially when Whitedot announces their inventory clearance pricing at the end of each season where prices could be expected to be a little over 500 €. The tips are torsionally compliant, but not wimpy and feel naturally progressive in their torsional flex along their length. You don't get the idea the Ragnorok ASYM is a hard-charger, but a more surfy deep snow tool with some unexpected agility on tap with the tip and tail profiles. It makes you think of deep powder days just looking at it...a specialized tool for special days.

Test Conditions:

Shin-deep dry powder, packed powder, wind-pack, corduroy groomers, eastern hardpack and cut-up fresh powder, some small bumps.

Summary:

Our season in Vermont came to abrupt, rainy end in February and limited our powder testing to a few shin-deep days with light powder and slightly windblown powder. We then sent the skis to Colorado with one of or testers (Jeff Tolbert) for deep snow evaluations when the Coronavirus pandemic shut everything down...so we never got seriously deep snow testing completed with the ASYMs. We did get a bunch of packed powder, tracked-out powder and some corduroy groomer testing days, so we got a good idea of how the Ragnorok ASYM behaves.

First things first. The longer-looking ski edge goes on the INSIDE or downill ski edge. If you've never piloted a ski with asymmetric rockered tips in 3-dimensional snow, the first thing to understand is the skis behave asymmetrically and you'll need to feel how the ski wants to change direction differently than a traditional design when you execute a banking or carving maneuver in the snow and adapt your technique a little. When you get into snow and start to execute your change of direction, the tips of the ASYMs will behave asymmetrically and your uphill ski may feel like it gets into the turn earlier than the downhill ski and want to change direction before the downhill ski which may feel like it wants to continue in a longer arc. This feature may surprise you at first and fool you into thinking you're going to do the splits with your uphill ski pulling across the hill while the downhill ski goes down the fall line until you realize this behavior creates a big ski with unusual agility if you drive it accordingly. Whitedot claims the same relatively large 30 meter radius on both edges of each ski, but a shorter effective edge on the uphill edge of the uphill ski.

The Ragnorok ASYMs are surprisingly easy to handle and definitely playful, despite their large surface area. Their light weight helps them feel more nimble than you expect, and they can change direction quickly with a drift, slarve or actual on-edge carving motion. Their superb flotation is nicely balanced and grows on you the more you ski them. Once you learn to adjust your expectations about your uphill and downill ski behaviors when you initiate a turn in 3-D snow, you begin to step them into a new weighted direction quickly with very little effort. The ride is spunky and stable with a light feel totaly devoid of any planky or heavy feel and zero hangups front or rear when throwing them sideways at speed or in tight trees.
The Ragnorok ASYM zips confidently with a sporty zest for life across variable surface conditions without a thought to the density of snow or its cut-up nature. You can get the ASYM to carve on groomers better than you expect in nearly all conditions except boilerplate where a ski this size requires the pilot to precisely set the edge angle for the wide chassis in the midbody away from the rockered sections rather than along its entire length. There is a hint of tip flap at very high speeds, and the ski can feel a bit light at warp 9, but the tradeoff is superb agility all over the mountain and excellent flotation and super-high fun factor. The metal and carbon-infused Blizzard Spur has a more stout, damp and higher-density substance to its chassis and may be the perfect heavier-charger type of ski compared the the Ragnorok ASYM, and that means people have a choice in this class of ski. The ASYM can appeal to a very wide audience of folks who crave powder tools...plus...the ASYM looks really cool. This is a fun ski and probably the first ski a powderhound will reach for if given a choice in their quiver.

Hardpack and Boilerplate:

Despite being 122mm underfoot with just a smidge of camber, the Ragnorok ASYM can set an edge into packed powder surfaces really well and execute a really smooth arc with a natural entry and exit. You can release and elongate, or pressure and tighten your radius mid-arc without any issues and with very little input effort. The ASYM has a surprising amount of spunk out of the turns when carving, making it fun to play with when heading back to the lifts on the groomers. They stay quiet and stable when running flat or on-edge. The only weakness is a bit of instabilty on rock-hard boilerplate surfaces where the real carving only happens in the short-ish effective edge portion of the midbody of the ski since it is significantly rockered with long taper up front. If you sharpen the edges a bit with a diamond stone, you can spruce up the hard surface grip significantly. The factory tune out of the box is pretty darn good for most groomers a person buying this ski might encounter, and a quick pass with a tuning stone can get you more grip than you expect, which is fun. If we brought the base bevel down to .025, we think the big Ragnorok might carve like a champ on harder surfaces without losing drifting abilities. Vibration control on packed powder groomers is excellent, with a bit of buzz underfoot only on the hardest icy surfaces. Whitedot's "traditional" construction (ash-poplar core with triaxial fiberglass and carbon stringers instead of the lighter flax and carbon used in the carbonlite series) produces a nicely balanced mix of dampening and energy for their largest ski in their lineup.

Mixed Surface & Variable Conditions:

There are few sensations more fun than slaying a trashed-out cruddy surface with a long, wide ski like the Ragnorok ASYM. The sheer surface area of the ASYM means you are supported on top of a two-piece platform capable of covering the ground and absorbing whatever its surface texture or consistency. The agility and light feel of the ASYM is really fun, letting you almost dart around at will in mixed conditions, yet retain a confident and stable ride all over the place. The long taper of the asymmetrical tips absorbs pretty much anything without deflection, yet lets you knife through soft snow without getting hooked too suddenly to the right or left as you press through the conditions. You can generate a bit of tip flap at high speeds in roughed-out surfaces, but the Rag ASYM is always on-track with its 30 meter radius and able to scrub sideways or lay down an on-edge arc on-demand through a trashed-out landfill of cut-up snow without beating up the pilot. You can passively surf or drive the ASYM through mixed conditions depending on your mood, and that makes us happy.

Powder Conditions:

While we were dreaming of deep, deep fluffy powder days with the Ragnorok ASYMs, we only got shin-deep powder in a couple of flavors (light and windpacked) during our testing until the rain and Coronavirus ended our powder skiing season early. In powder (fluff or wind-affected), the ASYMs are smooth, smooth, smooth and super fun with a great natural ability to float, smear, drift, bank and porpoise in powder. These skis feel like they were the result of several seasons of design prototypes in powder conditions with some fun loving testers. While there are many suberbly floaty, drifty powder skis on the market today, what sets Whitedot's Ragnorok ASYM apart is the agility of directional change and style on-tap. The ASYMs have a wide repertoire of powder skiing techniques available to the powderhound. You can slash them, rail them under power, pounce-turn them, pivot, drift or do pretty much anything as long as you learn how that uphill ski wants to help you get onto it for the upcoming weight transfer and transition to a new direction. Whitedot has a progressive shaping and geometry to show off what a modern powder ski can do.

Turn Initiation, Apex & Finish:

The Ragnorok ASYM takes very little effort to initiate a turn on any surface, despite its large surface area and length. The softish forebody and generous rocker line depth mean the effective edge is short enough to concentrate turning power into a shortish segment of the ski and allow it to dive deeply into its arc with a minimal amount of pressure. The slightly stronger and less radically shaped tail is a solid, reliable platform to rely upon for a confident finish without hangups or washouts. The ASYMs like to be pressed into their apex and you can sprint out of the turn or hold it along a long transition if you want, meaning you get a lot of different turn shapes on-hand to play with. We like this behavior in a big ski, and it will appeal to a wide audience from aspiring intermediates dipping their toes in the powder ski universe for the first time to the hard core powderhound looking for an all-terrain powder ski with chops to make an enthusiast really happy under rowdy conditions.

Manufacturer's Mounting Position:


We played with the mounting position fore and aft of the center mark, and found 1-2cm back from center helped create higher-speed turns with smoother transitions, while on-the-factory-mark was best in mixed snow conditions. Whitedot have the Ragnorok ASYM a slightly forward, not-quite-freestyle mounting position, but definitely progressive and pretty well balanced on-the-mark.

Analogies: ("This ski is like...")

A fine wine you uncork on special occasions with friends.

Quick Comments:

  • Remarkably light feel underfoot. No hint of planky behavior
  • Quicker turn transitions than expected.
  • Spunky, mischievous feel, yet solidly smooth and stable.




Things I Would Change About This Ski:

Nothing, other than offering a pro model with a sheet of Titanal for dampening the chassis at higher speeds on firmer surfaces.

Short Answer When Someone Asks "What Do You Think About This Ski?":


Excellent example of a modern powder shape with huge skiablity envelope for many types of powderhounds.

What kind of skier is this ski good for and not suitable for?


Hard-charging competition-addicted skiers may overpower the ASYM and want a beefier platform. Smallish, shorter skiers may want a shorter size than 190cm, but that's the only size you can get for 2020.

Advice To People Considering This Ski:

Call in sick to work when you have any powder days if you have a pair of these in your quiver. You won't regret it.

Other Reviews:

BlisterGearReview (excellent technical and interpretive ski reviews):
https://blisterreview.com/gear-reviews/ski-reviews/2019-2020-whitedot-ragnarok-asym

Pics: (click for larger versions)






1










Whitedot Ragnorok ASYM (Left) and Ronde 96 (Right)
Note the default boot centermark locations for these different geometries



Whitedot Ragnorok ASYM (Left) and Ronde 96 (Right)






Whitedot Ragnorok ASYM (Left) and Ronde 96 (Right)



Whitedot Ragnorok ASYM (Top) and Ronde 96 (Bottom)
Note the tip geometry of the ASYM of inside and outside ski edges.







Whitedot Ragnorok ASYM Tip Profile



Whitedot Ragnorok ASYM tail profile




Whitedot Ragnorok ASYM midbody camber profile
(2-3 mm more than the 1mm spec sheet value)
Please ignore the wax drippings... wink






























From Left-To-Right: Whitedot Ronde 96, Altum 94, Altum 114, Ragnorok ASYM
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
“These skis feel like they were the result of several seasons of design prototypes in powder conditions with some fun loving testers” Ha, for sure, such an interesting design meant we went through several prototype phases to get the flex and asymmetric profile working in harmony.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Oh for any Blister members out there, they posted a first look on this

https://blisterreview.com/gear-reviews/ski-reviews/2019-2020-whitedot-ragnarok-asym
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Looks ace snowHead
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Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
BobinCH wrote:
Looks ace snowHead

I've a got a pair in my shop with your name pencilled on, just waiting for the Duke PT's to arrive wink
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You'll need to Register first of course.
Smile Smile Smile What are the pros and cons of this vs the Carbonlite? A bit heavier, but not much. Better in crud I guess? Powder/hard pack performance? Ease of use in low angle crust/tight couloirs?
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
BobinCH... I believe the ASYM is only available in the traditional layup (no Carbonlite version), but having skied several Whitedot models in both traditional and Carbonlite versions, you'll find the traditional layup is more quiet on snow, enables a higher speed limit before feeling skittery, grips hardpack with more authority, takes high-pressure situations with more fortitude and is slightly heavier. The Carbonlites are super light-feeling underfoot, easier to manage, more tour-friendly, have a lower speed limit, more suited to lighter-weight skiers and generally more effortless in dry, champagne powder. If you frequently ski heavier snow conditions, are more prone to high-speed GS-like runs or are more muscle-oriented or heavier than average...the traditional layups are the ticket. For more tour-like freedom from weight and a lighter, more agile feel, the Carbonlites do the trick.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
@BobinCH, I'ld echo everything @exoticskis said above. Eric has had his hands on plenty of Whitedots over the years and knows his stuff.

The Asym is currently only available in trad, we softened it a little** from the flex profile of the classic Ragnarok (gen2) to compliment the more 'fresh snow' focussed tool nature of the width and profile.

If you do take a pair of demo Asym out for a spin for a few days in Verbier then I could lend you pair of early proto CL's too. BUT, be warned, the lay-up/core was spec'd too stiff and they took some unwanted camber in press (which also dropped the rocker) so they may break you! If/when we get a CL version to market it will be a bit less wild.

We do the classic shape Ragnarok Gen2 in CL, try a pair of those too.

**should sound good, to a DPS fan wink
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You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
@BobinCH, +1 re Eric's comments.

I've had the Rag CL's for years and they're the best ski of their type I ever tried and are my favourite ski of any type. After skiing the pre-production ASYM's I sold my CL's and got a pair of ASYM's primarily to try asymmetrical tip/running length design. I've only had 7/8 days on the ASYM's but that was all firm stuff in the morning and spring corn in the afternoon plus a couple of days of boot to knee depth powder.

The flex of the ASYM is very similar to the CL but there's more pop/rebound in the CL version, with the ASYM being noticeably damper. Add in the extra weight (about 335g per ski) and width of the ASYM then for me it takes a lot more handling and whilst they're super stable with absolutely no speed limited I prefer the characteristics of the CL as my punter technique is more technical than chargey. In powder I didn't notice any benefit of the ASYM tip shape/running length difference compared the CL but the differences Eric describes are very noticeable.

So I've now sold my ASYM's and switched back to the CL's as I prefer the more nimble ski. To properly measure the benefit of the ASYM tip etc I'm going to have to get the_doc & midgetbiker to knock me up a pair Rag (118) CL's but with the ASYM tip so I can do some proper back to back testing with the tip shape being the only difference between the two skis.

And the downside of the ASYM design is that you're stuck with left'n'right footed skis.

Knowing your liking for the Utah dentists skis and having watched (and thoroughly enjoyed) your videos skiing the Verbier steeps, including quite a few on jump turn terrain, then I'd recommend the narrower/lighter/nimbler CL over the ASYM.
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@BobinCH, Ive not skied the ASYM but the CL is a fantastic ski, I’ve got 2 pairs, my older ones just keep on giving and the new pair that Jon set up for me on the basis that my older ones were retiring 2 years ago are sat waiting their debut, the old ones still keeping me very happy.

They are not at all flappy, they are light underfoot, no front end dive and are very responsive in the turn. Never skied them in crud, I avoid it, but in powder and fresh to 3 days they are fantastic and jump on/ off into the slack no problems, very nimble to manoeuvre. 10/10 ski imv.
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Being a bigger lad I much preferred the trad reg Rag over the CL, just damper and a bit stiffer feeling and a lot like the best aspects of my Shiros. But in the Director I ski the CL as a day to day ski and it is well chuckable despite the previous 3 lives worth of wear n tear it enjoyed courtesy of midgetbiker.

The Asym dumped me a couple of times - don't think I ever got properly centred on it - but then it was very funky conditions the day I was skiing it like full on isothermic rot.
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