Black Diamond continues to pull out all the stops in their push to promote the love of the down. Their ski line has grown from skinny skis to burly and fat in a few short years. The result? BD skis are some of the most popular not only in the backcountry, but also in the frontcountry.
The Black Diamond Megawatt rockered skis were introduced a year ago and were completely sold out very early this season. That ski returns with a few tweaks and a new topsheet for Fall 2009. But, that’s just the beginning of the story as BD introduces a new ski and refines the entire lineup. Here’s the skinny on some of the new skis and gear from Black Diamond coming your way this Fall.
2009 Black Diamond Justice Skis
With the wild success of the Megawatt, BD saw an opportunity to deliver another rockered ski for the masses. With a friendlier demeanor and a more versatile 115mm waist, this rockered ski should be your first foray into the world of rockered skis (believe me, they rule in pow and crud). The core is CNC machined poplar torsion box construction and the result is a friendlier, “everyman” rockered all-mountain slayer. MSRP is $729 and will be available in 175 cm (138/115/123) and 185 cm (140/115/125) lengths. Estimated weight for the 185 is 9 lb. 2 oz.
2009 Black Diamond Zealot Skis
I rode the Zealots last year and liked them overall, but they weren’t for everyone. High-speed pow was their specialty due to the sheer heft and straight sidecut. Enter the 2009 Zealot… word is that adding a rockered tip has changed the entire behavior of this ski. In fact, this ski is now livlier and friendlier with even better powder and crud skiing capabilities. Rockered tips are flat-out amazing! MSRP is $699 and will be available in 182 cm (136/10/36) and 192 cm (138/110/137) lengths. Estimated weight for the 182cm is 9 lb. 5 oz.
2009 Black Diamond Ascension and GlideLite Climbing Skins
One of the coolest little innovations at the entire show was also one of the most welcome advancements in climbing skin technology. The top loop is always a pain in the butt to get right and is a waste of skin length (added weight, 6-inches of lost stickyness, etc.). So, BD went back to the drawing board and created an entirely-new tip loop. Simply cut to length, slip the clamp on, screw it down and you’re done. No more excess skin length wit the ability to adjust skin length if needed. Very, very cool. Oh yeah, the tail straps are now stronger. Looks like a skin upgrade is in your future.
2009 Black Diamond Agent Avalung Ski Pack
A little larger than the Bandit Avalung pack, the new Agent can actually carry enough gear for a day tour. It’s built light and streamlined with a hidden avalanche tools sleeve and a diagonal ski carrying system. One of the coolest features (I think) is the built-in helmet carrying sling. I’m one of the growing minority who totes a lid in the backcountry, so that’s awesome. It comes in 18 and 20 liter sizes (depends on torso length) and rounds out the package with an Avalung on the left shoulder and an insulated hydration sleeve on the right. It’s also available sans Avalung, but why? MSRP is $199 with and $99 without Avalung.
Buy Now: Find Black Diamond Gear at REI