As the ski season gets closer and closer, I find myself getting to know my gear better and better. For the past two winters I’ve been riding a pair of 183 Havocs (circa 05/06) that I have found to be extremely versatile. They’ve been around the block so to speak, and this winter I am replacing them with some 185 Black Diamond Voodoos, thought my Havocs will continue to fill the niche of ‘rock-ski’ for the time being. Click here for full specs.
I chose the Voodoo over the stiffer Havoc in the new Black Diamond ski line because weight is a little bit more of a concern in this type for ski for me and I figure this softer version of the Havoc will ski more like the foam core of skis of BD’s past. The Voodoo will generally be my ski mountaineering ski this season and I’ll use them for skiing lines like Ellingwood Couloir and The Sliver, as well as peaks like Buck Mountain and the Grand Teton…in a variety of snow conditions. I’m thinking about getting one more set up for this season…a real short ski (a 170-something) to fit through tight spots and lighter, for when the turns-per-tour ratio leans more towards the tour…but only time will tell.
The tip flex this year’s Voodoo feels a little stiffer than the Havoc of yesterday, but the tail felt a bit softer. Because of this, it seems the Voodoo’s have a more rounded flex, making them more predictable. The Dual Torsion Bow construction is more refined and spread out over a longer section of the ski, adding to the more rounded feel as well. The overall dimensions of the 185cm Voodoo are 124-88-115, so quite a bit more girth up front than the old Havoc, compared to the minimal 2 cm increase in length.
Speaking of length…if my calculations are correct, it looks like the contact length is actually shorter in the 185 Voodoo than the 183’s. Most of the difference seems to be in the tail, so releasing from the turn should be a breeze. Like many of today’s skis, both the tip and tails of the Voodoo showed significant ‘snubbing-effect’, which adds surface area for flotation without adding overall length to the ski. These combined characteristics will make these skis more maneuverable, while giving them a nice floaty feel in the powder.
The tips and tails of the Voodoo are much wider than my
old Havocs…or at least what’s left of them.
I think this is a great ski for those looking to shave weight and still ride a ‘mid-fat’ ski. I like the flex of the Voodoo and I think it will be better in the powder and late season mush than my old Havocs, as well as hold an edge well on steep ice terrain. The wood core feels to add a bit more beef to the package, allowing it to perform better at higher speeds. The spell has been cast and I’m ready to succumb to the Voodoo!