Black Diamond 2011 Ski Line

Black Diamond ski testing at Snowbird in December.

Not only is Black Diamond now the title sponsor (along with Subaru, click here to read more) of the Freeskiing World Tour, it is stepping up it’s Power Series ski line-up for Fall of 2011 to meet the needs of hardcore skiers as well. With traditional sandwich construction skis (Zealot, Verdict, Warrant, Ember) almost reverse camber  (Gigawatt) and tip-and-tail rocker (Amp, Element ) additions to the lineup, as well as a reduced weight carbon Justice (I’ve been skiing this one for a couple months now) Black Diamond will have a really well rounded selection of skis to choose from…no matter where and how you ski.

The biggest addition to the Black Diamond skis of the past is the sandwich construction to a few of the new/revamped models, specifically the popular Zealot and Verdict ski, as well as the replacement for the Kilowatt, called the Warrant. The Warrant will also be offered in a women’s version called the Ember. The Zealot and Verdict will also be made with 3-D metal to increase stabilityblack-diamond-2011-zealot-verdict-warrent-and-ember at speed and dampen the ride, while the Kilowatt/Ember will not have metal, in order to keep the weight down and offer a bit more forgiving ski. I skied both the Zealot and Verdict at Snowbird about a month ago and can attest to the power and edge hold these skis now have. Not that they didn’t have juice before, but the new skis are smoother and are a little less nervous than past versions.

192cm (136-110-125) 10lb 13oz
182cm (135-110-123) 10lb 2oz

190cm (136-102-123) 10lb 2oz
180cm (134-102-121) 9lb 8oz
170cm (132-102-120) 9lb 1oz

188cm (132-95-119) 9lb 1oz
178cm (130-95-118) 8lb 10oz
168cm (128-95-116) 7lb 8oz

Ember (W)
168cm (128-95-116) 7lb 8oz
158cm (126-95-115) 7lb 1oz

LOTS of metal in these 2011 Black Diamond Verdicts.

When I tested these new skis, there was about a 14” of new powder, but I didn’t get on the new Gigawatt, full rocker offering until late in the day. This was the first full-rocker ski I have ever been on, and I came back with a smile. Yeah, they were a little weird on the black-diamond-megawatt-and-gigawattharder snow, but they performed like a hover craft and turned on a dime in the softer cut-up stuff. I don’t really see myself ski touring on the 135mm waisted Gigawatt, but if I were to go heli-skiing or something, it would definitely be the first ski I would reach for. The popular Megawatt gets retooled in flex and an increased running surface, but it also gets more side-cut. Most of these changes come from feedback from some of the athletes who are skiing the Megawatt a lot.

195cm (163-135-141) 12lb 9oz
185cm (163-135-141) 11lb 11oz

188cm (151-125-131) 11lb 4oz
178cm (145-120-126) 9lb 11oz

black-diamond-amp-and-elementDuring the test, I had the most fun skiing the new Amp (Element for the ladies). A full tip-and-tail rocker ski that replaces the Justice in the Power Series line. Offered in three sizes (185,175,165) the Amp should be a great choice for someone looking for a surfy slarver (slash/carver). This was also the first time I’ve skied a tail rocker ski and I was a little worried about how it would feel, but the Amp had enough stiffness built into the tail that it turned and carved quite well. It was a really fun and playful ski.

185cm (142-115-124) 10lb 2oz
175cm (141-115-123) 9lb 8oz
165cm (139-115-123) 9lb 1oz

Element (W)
175cm (141-115-123) 9lb
165cm (139-115-123) 8lb 6oz

black-diamond-carbon-justiceThe biggest news and most relevant to myself, is the placement of the Justice in the Efficiency line (alongside the Drift and Aspect). With addition of some carbon-fiber and a paulownia wood core, BD has managed to reduce the weight of the Justice by a full pound per pair. I’ve been skiing the 175cm carbon Justice (138-111-123) and it comes in at only 8lbs, which is the part I have really liked. I’ve also been surprised at how well the 175cm length holds up to fast and aggressive type skiing (and I weight more than you think), compared to the 185 red Justices of this year. Great performance, at a reduced weight? I’m sold!!!

185cm (140-115-125) 8lb 6oz
175cm (138-111-123) 8lb

The graphics? I’d say you love them, or hate them. The Justice graphic has grown on me over time, though I was originally ho-hum about it, and I like the look of the Zealot and Amp the best out of the rest. To each, his own I guess.


74 Responses to “Black Diamond 2011 Ski Line”

  1. 1 Mike Jan 20th, 2011 at 7:37 am

    Do you have any more info on the Warrant? It looks like they added a touch of sidecut, 3cm of length, and a few ounces of weight. My KWs are starting to show their age, should I be scrounging for a replacement now or is the Warrant going to be worth the weight? Any rocker on it?

  2. 2 josh Jan 20th, 2011 at 8:51 am

    Jeez. Those top sheets suck big time. Is that really what the skis are going to look like next year or are those some sort of proto top sheet?

    I am hoping that maybe BD has found a descent color palette for their boot line next year. The current offering of retina-burn yellow & green, mucus green and light brown leave much to be desired.

  3. 3 Starky Jan 20th, 2011 at 9:00 am

    I didn’t want to say anything, but I have to agree with josh. Those are the worst top sheet’s hands down I have ever seen on ski’s. Also any idea what Black Diamond is paying their workers an hour over in China? I’ve been asking around and know one can give me a straight answer.

  4. 4 Scott Fennell Jan 20th, 2011 at 9:06 am

    I’ve been really glad to see BD’s increased presence in the ski and boot market in recent years. The competition and innovation is good for skiers. That said … yeah, the color schemes have been pretty hard to reconcile lately. I guess maybe some people must love it!

  5. 5 gillesleskieur Jan 20th, 2011 at 9:27 am

    2012 ski line i guess ;-)

  6. 6 Scott Fennell Jan 20th, 2011 at 9:55 am

    (I’m laughing picturing a BD engineer smashing his head against his drafting table. 3-d metal in the ski, carbon layers, all different kinds of camber … and all we can talk about is the f’ing color scheme)

  7. 7 Newman Jan 20th, 2011 at 10:05 am

    In (slight) defense of those topsheets, I ski a pair of Voile Insanes – the mustard yellow design with the kooky chicken. Trust me, BD’s could be worse.

  8. 8 Bugge Jan 20th, 2011 at 3:20 pm

    I _love_ the graphics! There. I’ve said it. But I hope they ski well too…

  9. 9 randosteve Jan 20th, 2011 at 4:13 pm

    Starky…i.don’t think i’d tell you how much i get paid either. Yeah…the graphics might ne geared to a little.younger audience…but the feedback here at the show has been positive.

  10. 10 randosteve Jan 20th, 2011 at 4:20 pm

    Yeah scott. bd is setting thier sights on the big boys with the sandwich constuction.

  11. 11 Jordo Jan 20th, 2011 at 4:30 pm

    Is this the death of the Havoc? RIP.

  12. 12 randosteve Jan 20th, 2011 at 4:41 pm

    Jordo…that is a big 10-4.

  13. 13 randosteve Jan 20th, 2011 at 4:44 pm

    Mike…i think the 2011 warrent is a little heavier than this years kilowatt…but it is a bit longer. the warrent doesn’t have a rockered tip…but the verdict and zealot do.

  14. 14 Wu Jan 20th, 2011 at 6:07 pm


    Are you comparing your plight as a worker for BD to the plight of a chinese worker in a BD factory?

    It would be an interesting article if BD wants to profile the chinese bros/sisbrahs that are making these skis. What is their quality of life like? Are they skiers? Does BD compensate them at a reasonable rate? Chinese manufacturing is likely helping to line someone’s pockets, so just how does that go?
    It seems like a worthwhile endeavour. Lou D. does a nice job of covering europe, so maybe he could do a lap thru china as well…or maybe tetonsteve?
    If the employees are treated decently then it seems BD won’t mind….right?


  15. 15 Luigi Jan 20th, 2011 at 7:04 pm

    Any changes in the efficient series?

  16. 16 randosteve Jan 20th, 2011 at 7:33 pm

    luigi…not much change to the efficient series next year…besides the addition of the carbon justice to it. which is nice.

  17. 17 randosteve Jan 20th, 2011 at 7:37 pm

    and wu…i’m not comparing my life to those in china. (btw…i’m not a bd employee.)

    it does drive me nuts though how one day people might complain about gear being too expensive, yet in the next breath they cry and moan about employees getting paid more. it’s a vicious circle.

  18. 18 Josh A Jan 20th, 2011 at 8:32 pm

    Wu… I’ve been wondering the same thing (wages/quality of life of employees). I have no idea where to start, but considering the information offered in the second post on TT’s…

    It sounds like BD is now well controlled by fatcats looking to squeeze it for cash. Product quality seems to be holding up, but it is definitely getting more and more of that cheap chinese crap feel (thinking of their packs specifically).

    Would be interesting to see them acknowledge how they make it profitable.

    Not to mention, I read a post from their climbing blog not too long ago where a few BD employees went to Tibet (I think) with a bunch of trad gear, AND a bolt gun. The bolt gun failed (they fried it w/ 220) and instead of using their massive racks to climb all the untouched trad, they spent the better part of their trip burning gas and time trying to get their bolt gun working. Really? beautiful new country that you could set a clean precedent in, and all they could think about doing was bolting the $h!t out of it… poor form BD employees.

    And yet, I just bought a harness from them, so who am I to talk.

  19. 19 randosteve Jan 20th, 2011 at 11:17 pm

    Josh…i know many of those that work for bd in high places…and they are not fatcats. They are people that love skiing, climbing and the mountains. BD has one of the best customer service departments in the industry and should be commended for it. Like all businesses, BD strives to be successful and profitable as a company and in that regard, i don’t see them doing anything different than any other company in the industry. Besides making some kick ass products that they fully stand behind, while supporting others in doing what they love. My guess is that BD designed many of the products that you use when you are in the mountains, yet all you can do is slam them? Weak sauce, man.

    I think it is lame that you criticize them because of this bolt fest that didn’t even happen. Most likely they were passionate climbers who were trying to overcome adversities on a trip halfway around the world and probably spent years planning for.

  20. 20 gringo Jan 21st, 2011 at 1:00 am

    To Wu, Josh and all the other chinese worker / low wage consipracy theorists. You should probably start this conversation by removing your rose colored glasses and looking at the items in your own house…for example the computer you are typing on, to see the country of origin before you start to getting all Holier than thou about chinese manufacturing and who may or may not be making a successful business of it.

    Have you ever been in a chinese factory?
    Have you ever been in an american factory?

    I have spent time in both, they both made the same product and I would choose the chinese product any day. The workers were …wait for it…. actually WORKING! In the american factory, they were shuffling lazily around, leaving their station for 10 minute pee breaks, etc…

    By saving a ‘bit’ on hourly wages in China you can employ more workers, and that can mean more hands on the product and in turn a more complete quality control …and ….a better product than what can be produced in a similar american factory.

    there, I said it.

  21. 21 Ryan Jan 21st, 2011 at 1:30 am

    Wow there is some lame chatter here.

    Topsheets never seem to please everyone. I’ve seen them all in person and I thought they looked pretty cool. Some people obviously won’t.

    Get over the China thing! The factories aren’t universally poor quality with poorly paid workers. China made crappy product because that’s what US consumers and companies continually demanded and spec’d. There are lots of products in the outdoor industry that are better quality because they’re made in China where the best machines and the best workers are. Sure there’s good products made domestically but not on the scale to meet the demands of outdoor consumers. Sure if no one else ever starts climbing or skiing or whatever from here on out we can get our gear domestically but you can also kiss any innovation goodbye because you’re not worth it.

    BD is not the “Evil Empire”. As a rep in this industry and competitor to BD in some categories I’ve had nothing but quality interactions with BD staff at every level. Why people consider a relatively tiny company to be “the Man” I do not understand.

  22. 22 John W Jan 21st, 2011 at 6:36 am

    Where would you place the new Justice flex, stiff / soft ?

  23. 23 randosteve Jan 21st, 2011 at 7:09 am

    john w…i think the new carbon justice is kind of medium flexing. not too stiff where it would plow and dive, but forgiving enough to offer a relaxed ride and stay on top of the powder.

  24. 24 ty Jan 21st, 2011 at 8:30 am

    a quick glance at BD’s website shows that they own and manage their asia plant, they don’t outsource their products…that means they can control quality and worker conditions, which I appreciate when I am dangling from their cams and harnesses. Another plus is that they support the same organizations as me!… they donate to the access fund, the american alpine club and local avalanche services. props to BD.

  25. 25 Starky Jan 21st, 2011 at 8:46 am

    Steve didn’t mean to get everyone excited over the chinese labor comment, just wanted to make sure BD was making an effort, which i am sure they are. Thanks for the great blog. Tell the boys at BD you pretty much sold me on the new justices, they should put you on the pay roll :)

  26. 26 randosteve Jan 21st, 2011 at 8:52 am

    Thanks starky. Are you listening bd? ;)

  27. 27 Steve O Jan 21st, 2011 at 9:06 am

    In the back ground I see a few new boots, when is the profile on those coming out. I hear the method is dead and we will be getting two revamped factors instead?

  28. 28 Josh A Jan 21st, 2011 at 7:36 pm

    Steve, the fatcats I was referring to are not the people that work for BD, but those that apparently own it, aka “control it”, namely, Warren Kanders (Clarus…). You can accuse me of passing judgement on him, but his track record doesn’t really jive with the BD image. I am only one person with so much time to research though.

    I do agree their customer service is great, products are usually well made, and they do appear to give back in many ways. I do appreciate that, and those are the reasons I continue to buy, but why does this mean that I can’t critique and criticize? I think it requires a lot of discussions like this, and people voicing their opinions in other ways to communicate and show corporations what the will of their customers is. Why is this lame?

    As far as this bolt fest that “didn’t happen”…

    they succeeded in getting it working and proceeded to “drill baby drill”

    Also, although that single comment was purely negative, I do much more than just criticize BD gear, whether it be buying it myself, or recommending it to others (even in your shop ;) ).

    @gringo… Long discussion to be had there, I’m sure you have a lot of interesting insight, I’m just wondering how low the quality of life of other people has to be to give us all these affordable goods.

  29. 29 randosteve Jan 22nd, 2011 at 8:37 am

    joshua…those climbs look like an unprotectable chossey mess. get over it.

    i’m sure those chinese workers have a good life. it’s not the 60′s anymore man. get the facts…then criticize.

  30. 30 Bjorn Naylor Jan 22nd, 2011 at 2:51 pm

    on a funnier note besides all the high falutin corporate bashing (yawn), the term slarve seems to be getting traction on many ski forums… look it up in the slightly different meaning then slash/carve mixto eh??!!

  31. 31 Omr Jan 22nd, 2011 at 3:17 pm

    Wow. Lots of folks worried about fashion statements and cheap labor. That’s capitalism and Americans. After 4 pairs of BD skis I’ve never been disappointed. Who cares if they don’t match my fuscia body suit.

    As for cheap labor, it’s similar to those that whine about coal mines lopping off mountaintops, yet can’t turn off the A/C. Talk is cheap. Don’t complain unless your lifestyle reflects your moral judgements.

  32. 32 Oreo Jan 22nd, 2011 at 8:07 pm

    Amen Omr, AMEN! This blog rocks Rando – thanks for all your great insight.

  33. 33 Wu Jan 22nd, 2011 at 8:11 pm

    Good solid argument there Omr. Well set up and delivered.

    I like Steve’s approach best, kind of the awwwfuckit they have it good lets not worry about it man.

    Also Ryan says “get over the China thing man.” Super helpful there dude. That is really closing out the discussion well, no argument left. I shouldn’t even respond because you set it so straight.

    and Gringo. Your comments helped a lot as well…an excellent contribution. We all know that everything is made in China, even our skis, that is the fucking point.

    Go back and read what I said about chinese construction and use of chinese labor to build skis. I don’t think that the product is substandard. I am curious what these places look like. How the employees are treated, how they are paid, if they are skiers. Why wouldn’t BD want to show something they are proud of?

    BD makes more money having these skis built in China. BD is publicly traded? If they are then they are at the will of non skier power. By the way Gringo, BD skis were never made in America exposing yet another hole in your argument.

    I think that pressure to do the right thing can’t hurt. China does have problems and sure we can stick our heads in the sand and say ya brah that china talk is boring man lets talk about our sick skis and how badass we are on them..

    Come on. Does no one else have curiosity about this?

    PS Good day of skiing out there today too. Lots of skiers on the hill blowin shit up.

  34. 34 tatachica Jan 22nd, 2011 at 9:48 pm

    I have to ask what the difference is between the Amp and the Element that makes the Amp 1/2 lb heavier (in the 175 length specifically). Seeing as they have the same dimensions, I’m assuming there’s something going on inside the ski that makes it lighter for us weak, slow women. I have never owned a pair of women specific skis– mostly due to the fact that they’re usually foam core and often don’t come longer than a 167– but why not shave off a half pound if there is no difference? Or is there?
    Thanks, and see you at the top.

  35. 35 gringo Jan 23rd, 2011 at 3:24 am

    Hey Wu,

    Last time I was in a Chinese Factory, my 30 something year old (low middle management)contact there, who lived with his parents in a borderline slum area was driving me around in his 2009 BWW 535.
    As in the US, he makes his choices where and how to spend his money, I therefore spend precious little of my time ‘worring’ about whether he is doing OK. If he had different priorities, he could ditch the big German engine and afford a decent appartment.
    People there have choices, just like here. What you read on the internets about China is only half the story.
    Capitalism is alive and well, and many factories now suffer from worker shortages because there is just sooo much commerce and sooo many opportunities to earn.

    the skis look rad.

  36. 36 randosteve Jan 23rd, 2011 at 6:55 am

    tatachica…in the literature i have, the weights of the element are estimated, so not totally finalized yet. both the amp and the element have similar construction, formula one tech, torsion bow cap, poplar/birch core and power edge, and ollie bar (which is the stiffener element in the tail). most of the time, woman’s skis are slightly softened overall, but have a stiffer tail to compensate for a women’s center of gravity. my guess this is what makes them a bit lighter.

    fun skis!

  37. 37 Wu Jan 23rd, 2011 at 11:43 am

    Thanks Gringo. I like that you have actual knowledge of what it is like there. This is partly why I ask about what it is like. I really am coming more from the curiosity side of this. I am not trying to make a judgement about what is going on rather inquiring about what is going on.

    I still wonder…how many of them ski? Building all of those skis must make them curious right? Perhaps skiing is less important and driving nice fuckin cars is more important.

  38. 38 tom Jan 23rd, 2011 at 3:16 pm

    Let me get this straight, the next gen verdict has metal AND a rockered tip?

  39. 39 Scott Fennell Jan 23rd, 2011 at 3:21 pm


    I don’t think anyone here would turn down the perfect ski at a competitive price because of the topsheets. But it’s okay to acknowledge whether or not something looks decent. These are all probably great boards, but it really looks like BD went out of their way to make them remarkably hard to look at. It’s annoying that they would do that and as consumers, we’re supposed to complain when products are annoying. It’s that capitalism thing you were talking about.

  40. 40 Scott Fennell Jan 23rd, 2011 at 3:22 pm

    Humorous that this is the most hotly debated issue I’ve seen on TAT in a long time.

  41. 41 randosteve Jan 23rd, 2011 at 6:32 pm

    tom…i’d call it more early rise…than rocker. bd calls it semi-rocker.

  42. 42 Ryan Jan 23rd, 2011 at 7:20 pm

    Wu, you’re absolutely right that just telling people to “get over the China thing” isn’t best. I just see so many misinformed rants about China that I guess it’s a reflex. I think you have some good points for sure and it is always worth considering the big picture of our toys from “cradle to grave”.

  43. 43 X-Reed Jan 23rd, 2011 at 8:46 pm

    This has been an excellent thread because of our current economic relationship with China. Yeah, the average ski purchaser doesn’t care if a Chinese worker drives a BMW 535 or rolls on a bicycle…. he/she just wants a great ski. For BD it’s obviously more “efficient” (maybe there’s a story behind that name?) to produce in China. Who cares if the guy pressing the ski or putting on the top sheet skis– as long as he is getting an adequate wage.
    From a production standpoint it’s the information being put forth in this thread that needs to get to the ski manufacturers in China so that we can have as close to perfect a ski as can be built. If BD R&D is “on it” I am sure they incorporate this kind of info. to their counterparts in China. Maybe they can host their Chinese bro’s to a few Dawn Patrols!
    However, from a human rights standpoint it IS important to know that conditions in many Chinese plants are not up to accepted standards and maybe the worker is not treated well. I agree with WU that this could be an excellent story to follow — so we know where our money is going.

  44. 44 Josh A Jan 23rd, 2011 at 10:15 pm


    1)”those climbs look like an unprotectable chossey mess. get over it” If you really believe that, I think you should share that “get over it” line with the David Lama detractors… Oh wait, you seem to be one of them…

    While I agree that it looks unprotectable, this debate has taken place before, and after the clean climbing movement, there seems to be lot of “sack up and do it clean, or don’t do it at all” sentiment, which I would agree with. Especially in someone else’s country.

    2)”i’m sure those chinese workers have a good life. it’s not the 60’s anymore man. get the facts…then criticize”

    Amazing how the “get the facts” line comes almost immediately after the “i’m sure those chinese workers have a good life.” assumption. I like those facts you’re working with, they seem to corroborate your conclusion.

    I am no Chinese historian, but if chinese labor is all hunky dory and has been legit since the 60′s as you seem to suggest, then why are there still so many problems (disproportionate to the rest of the world)…
    “They could purchase about what an American worker could buy with take-home pay of almost $3 an hour.”

    As for “get the facts”, that was my original question, to you as a BD rep, or anyone else in BD. Give us the facts…

    “I’ve been wondering the same thing (wages/quality of life of employees). I have no idea where to start… Would be interesting to see them acknowledge how they make it profitable.”

    All this discussion, and we haven’t even gotten into environmental protections (or the complete lack of) in China. I’d like to see reports on the byproducts of BD factories as well. (If they even keep track of it)

    Brush this stuff aside as much as you want, but the short story is that no one would be building things in one half of the world to send to the other half if there wasn’t a significant financial advantage. Because of the lax labor and environmental protections, it is cheaper to produce over there, even if you have to pay to ship it halfway across the world. This is unfortunate in a lot of ways, but with free trade and globalization in full swing, there’s not much we can do besides ask questions like these and buy with our dollars, while we listen to that sucking sound that is the US economy going down the drain. Hopefully US workers will learn to work harder, but hopefully we won’t have to lower our labor and environmental standards to their levels. With the GOP asking corporations which regulations they would like to get rid of though, it looks like it’s a race to the bottom.

    Anyways, the skiing has been awesome the past few days, hope you’ve had a chance to get out.

  45. 45 J freeze Jan 23rd, 2011 at 10:43 pm

    buy igneous skiis, they are made in merica, the owners are ski bums, and they will last twice as long as any bd ski, hands down. the last ski I weighed of similar dimensions was almost exactly as light as the bd model of similar size because ig uses less glue, more wood. Sorry Rom, but you would be skiing igs too if you were a trust funder(which I’m not but I appreciate quality american products and will take my working mans salary and pay for them) Also, a cherry wood venier looks better than the late nineties light show on the new bd skiis but I guess some graphic designer needs a paycheck, i guess.

  46. 46 Jim Jan 23rd, 2011 at 11:32 pm

    Steve – If you have ANY input …please please tell them to get a better design. I see so many skis that have great grafix but these look icky . Yeah yeah I would be considered shallow by many on here ….Not talking about the poor Chinese and their pitiful wages blah blah blah ………Uggg.

    Hey – I am a big fatcat american I could care less how much $ Ming might be making in China — Ming has a job now doesn’t he ?? Unless you walk the walk and talk the talk , which I am sure is hardly the case go F%*K yourselves. Typical BS from the bro – bras …. Yawn. I am sure that NOone in here can say they purchase nothing that is made in China, do you drive a car ? All of those little plastic pieces are made in China. Why are so many of you little bitches so whiney and always wanting to talk trash on everyone and politics of all things on a ski site ?????? I mean damn with all of your trust funds you could actually do a little to save the world, but ACTUALLY doing something would be to difficult now wouldn’t it. It’s better to spend it on new fake dreds or some good kind bud “Bra”. Geeesh ….
    I am going to go eat some shark meat now and wash it down with some essence of endangered Tiger Brains :+} with a shitload of MSG to make it taste better, while sitting on my Baby Seal Skin chair.

    All the while being pissed that BD would make such good skis with such lame ass designs. After all how many “Mary Kay Pink” Lamborginis do you see around?

  47. 47 randosteve Jan 24th, 2011 at 6:33 am

    yawn. now joshua…don’t you think there is a difference between one of the most popular, historic and debated climbs in patagonia, and a pile of rubble in the middle of nowhere mongolia? if not…then i suggest you take your soapbox to every bolted crag in the states.

  48. 48 randosteve Jan 24th, 2011 at 6:35 am

    j freeze…the last time i tried igneous skis was in the mid nineties. i think it was one of their first skis ever made. it was a 2X4 with very low profile tip and quite a beast.

    i’m sure they make great skis now…just like BD.

  49. 49 randosteve Jan 24th, 2011 at 7:54 am

    jim…i do have a LITTLE input and i think i voted on some of these ski graphics about 2-3 years ago. (it’s amazing how far out, time-wise, this stuff needs to be planned.) i don’t remember what i liked/disliked, but the options are usually different color schemes of generally the same pattern.

  50. 50 Wu Jan 24th, 2011 at 8:22 am

    I think everyone is making good use of the term “yawn”.

  51. 51 JoshP Jan 24th, 2011 at 12:46 pm

    I dig the new BD graphics, and can’t stand wood topsheets (like the ones on my Voile Drifters for example), which remind me of hippies, which is something else of distaste to me. To each his own, eh.

    Surpisingly, the hideous wood topsheet graphics on the Voile’s don’t affect the way they ski. It is crazy.

  52. 52 Josh A Jan 24th, 2011 at 4:38 pm

    “yawn” … the sum of america right there… when faced with facts about how things really are, choose apathy, because it takes too much effort to do anything else.

    “pile of rubble in the middle of nowhere mongolia” I’m sure that’s how the Mongols feel about it too.

    “then i suggest you take your soapbox to every bolted crag in the states.” My whole point in regards to that revolved around the fact that it was in someone else’s country.

    Keep throwing out the belittling two liners if it makes you feel better. I can go on for days. Meanwhile, the facts will go away if you ignore them long enough, right?

  53. 53 randosteve Jan 24th, 2011 at 4:40 pm

    josh man…i’m not being apathetic…i just heard you the first time. and you haven’t really given me any facts regarding black diamond and asia…or did i miss something. don’t tell me your dynafit binding broke too. oh sorry…that’s some other guy.

    and i will have some information for you real soon that will hopefully get you to regain your trust in black diamond…even though they employ people in foreign lands. in the mean time…try to get some sleep.

    and btw, the delete button makes you go away real quickly…but i typically don’t play that game.

    and btw again…i’m pretty sure some people would call the grand teton a “pile of rubble”…when talking about rock quality as well. Maybe you’ve never heard them called the “Scree-tons” before?

  54. 54 Josh A Jan 24th, 2011 at 5:39 pm

    “and you haven’t really given me any facts regarding black diamond and asia…or did i miss something”

    That’s because there are no facts regarding BD and asia, other than a picture of a bunch of workers posed in a climbing gym. That was the central question here, what are the wages/ quality of life of their workers there, and while we’re talking about it, do they take care of the land & environment around their factory in China as well as they take care of lands in the US?

    I appreciate you being willing to ask BD for information and am interested to see it. I haven’t “lost faith” in BD, and i’ve never said or had anything against products made in foreign lands by foreign people. The question is of the labor and environmental practices there. Shipping things thousands of miles seems to be an inefficient, not to mention “environmentally unfriendly” way to do business.

    Hah, the delete threat… for what? I have used no profane language, no threats, nothing other than a respectful disagreement. Hope you had a great day in the hills

  55. 55 Bjorn Naylor Jan 25th, 2011 at 8:18 am

    Yikes…! and Yawn.

  56. 56 randosteve Jan 26th, 2011 at 8:31 am

    be sure to read this post if you want to know more about black diamond’s commitment to it’s asian employees. thanks.

  57. 57 Sarah Mar 17th, 2011 at 7:22 am

    With the Havoc out of the lineup, any word on an 88 in the efficient series? Or something in between a Stigma and Aspect?

  58. 58 randosteve Mar 17th, 2011 at 8:05 am

    sarah…i haven’t heard of anything, but i’m not always in “the know”. BUT, since the aspect is 90mm, i’m not sure i see them making something at 88mm. what i would like to see however is an aspect with a little less sidecut, more around 22m (like the havoc/voodoo), instead of the 17-20m range it is now.

  59. 59 Bob Jun 16th, 2011 at 6:32 pm

    woah just reading this now… that Josh guy is a tool. Get with it man, this is 2011. Other countries build stuff – and by the way, China is on its way to being wealthier than the US very soon, don’t feel too sorry for them.

    WRT the actual skis, i’m very nervous about the changes to the MWs. Not sure why more sidecut was needed but the increase in stiffness will be welcome. One of my all time favorite skis. HUGEEEE props on the introduction of sandwich sidewalls – BD really needs to be commended for continuing to improve and innovate.

  60. 60 adam Aug 23rd, 2011 at 9:14 am

    I am looking at the 2012 Justice and was wondering if you were able to test it out in the 185? Only 6oz more I’m leaning towards the longer length but kick turns will be more challenging…. any advice?

  61. 61 randosteve Aug 23rd, 2011 at 11:48 am

    adam…i think some of it depends on the boot you will use. i’m about 165lbs and 5’9″ and have been enjoying the 175cm justice with my tlt5p boots. the combo works great for most of the pow skiing i do, but it can be overpowered. That being said, i did enjoy the 175 length when i came to weight, kick turns and ease of turning in general. thinking about getting some 178cm megawatts this year because i liked the 175cm length in the justice so much.

    BUT, if you are a bigger guy, with bigger boots and want to go all out all the time…you may want the 185s.

  62. 62 sfotex Oct 6th, 2011 at 2:41 pm

    Do you have any pics of the rocker profile on the Justices? I can’t find any info anywhere.

  63. 63 randosteve Oct 6th, 2011 at 2:59 pm

    sfotex…since you asked nicely. ;)

    the 185cm has 300mm of tip rocker.
    the 175cm has 284mm of tip rocker.

    this photo is the 175cm.

  64. 64 sfotex Oct 7th, 2011 at 7:43 am

    Thanks Steve!

  65. 65 Mav Nov 10th, 2011 at 11:52 am

    New justice looks sweet, but I’m torn on the size. I’m 5’7” 150-155 lbs. and my boots are garmont radiums. BD recommends 175s but I’ve never skied something that short, especially with rocker. My regular camber happy place is 180, though I do run a pair of old 186 legend pros at the resort from time to time but they do feel bit lengthy. I already have a light weight touring setup so the extra half pound in the 185 isn’t the end of the world. I just want a fun pass and park powder ski. Have you been on the 185s? Any other input?

    ps. Lot of politics on a ski blog…

  66. 66 randosteve Nov 10th, 2011 at 4:09 pm

    mav dude…i guess i’d lean towards the 175, as they will be lighter, easier doing kick-turns and more versatile for powder filled couloirs. i had some of the red 185s and liked them, but i’ve been liking the 175s more, especially since i’m skiing them with dynafit TLT5s. i’ve got 10-15 lbs and 2″ on you…FWIW.

    BUT, if you want a ski to go really, really fast in wide open bowls with…you may shoot for the 185s. :)

  67. 67 Mav Nov 11th, 2011 at 10:54 am

    Thanks neighbor.

  68. 68 DG Nov 23rd, 2011 at 11:07 pm

    I’ve lately become intrigued by the new carbon Justice, but can’t find them locally. Is there tail rocker as well? The diagrams on the BD site kind of all look the same.

  69. 69 randosteve Nov 24th, 2011 at 6:28 am

    dg…the justice has 114mmm(175cm) and 120mm(185) of what BD calls “semi tail rocker”. I don’t see it as tail rocker though and more of just as a turned up tail.

  70. 70 Chris Feb 1st, 2012 at 9:43 pm

    Chinese made product (compared to Euro made) will always be of lesser quality. They have centuries of instinct to simply follow the leader. Invention, innovation and QA/QC will never be a priority in there culture. They just don’t give a $hit. I have been to Beijing – Apartment buildings condemned after 5 years, only to build the same piece of crap right next door. The same goes for tools, precision instruments and sporting goods. As for the comment on lazy american workers – perhaps. Still, seek out the better product, support local economies and quit following the sheep who thrive in a disposable economy.

  71. 71 randosteve Feb 2nd, 2012 at 7:30 am

    chris…i’m not sure a blanket statement like that is warranted.

    for the record, i’ve heard that a certain company is building their very own ski manufacturing factory in china (reported as the biggest and most high-tech outside of austria) so they can have better quality control on the product they are selling.

  72. 72 Gary Feb 25th, 2012 at 8:27 am

    Steve…..I have the red 185 Justices and love them, but have been thinking about some Megawatts for really deep days (3-4′+).

    Would I really feel that much difference between the two or just go larger (Pon2oon,etc.)?

    Thanks, Gary

  73. 73 randosteve Feb 25th, 2012 at 12:53 pm

    gary…there is definitely a difference between the justice and megawatt as far as float goes. way more with the megawatt and it is nearly impossible to bury the tip. the justice is a bit more of an all-arounder.

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