By: randosteve|Posted on: January 13, 2009|Posted in: Gear, Gear Reviews | 8 comments

black-diamond-justice-ski-smallI got an email from Black Diamond headquarters yesterday, enlightening me on some of the additions and tweaks to some of the ski gear for next season…so I thought I’d forward it to you all. BD says they have redesigned all of their Power Series skis, but it seems like most of the hype is behind the new Justice.  They also have totally reworked their climbing skin designs by making them lighter, added more versatile tip and tail attachments and more supple combinations of mohair.

I’ve included the official copy from Black Diamond…and thrown in my own comments…as always, feel free to share yours. Granted I haven’t used any of this stuff yet, so take it for what it is. I guess ‘spray’ if you saw yesterdays post.

Black Diamond Justice Ski—At 115 mm underfoot, the Justice rides on BD’s rockered powder specialty design and employs weight saving Formula One Technology, creating a new-school ski that is versatile, damp and predictable. Ideal for deep snow yet featuring a CNC poplar wood core to secure edge hold, the Justice surprises users with its friendliness while taking no prisoners when untracked is in the forecast. Lengths 175, 185. Dimensions 138 – 115 – 123. 9 lb 2 oz.  (Click photo for HUGE image!)

These are sure to be hit as the Megawatt design seems to elicit big smiles in most people I know…including myself.  But still, there are those that aren’t quite ready for a 125mm waisted ski, so the Justice will be the answer to their prayers.   Rumored to be a bit softer than the Megawatt (you can see the difference in torsion box construction), the Justice sounds like it will be a ski for everyone in the soft snow.  And at nearly the same weight as the Verdicts, and being over 10mm bigger underfoot, it sounds like the best of both worlds.  I could see this ski as a fast, big turning ski at the 185 length and as a mid-winter steep couloir ski at the 175cm.  I skied the Sliver on Nez Perce over the weekend, and I was thinking that some shorter Megawatts would have been nice since it was pretty deep/fluffy conditions, but now I think the 175 Justices might have been perfect. –Steve

BD skier, Will Cardamone seeking Justice!

Ascension Skins– New tip loops and tail straps for greater adjustability, making it easier to swap skins between different pairs of skis. Additionally, tail straps will be 20% stronger. Ascension skins will be 10% lighter and more supple, making for easier handling, folding and storage. Ascension Skins will offer a split design with lightweight, durable webbing in the middle for reduced drag and greater packability and on/off.

With all the crazy ski shapes out there these days, new tip and tail loop designs are always in need.  Stronger tail straps are nice.  Obviously,  simplicity, durability and versatility is the focus here, but I think these improvements are more focused on the masses than die hard skiers.   I am very interested in trying this split ski design though and I’ve come close to experimenting with some old skins to with the Megawatts.  The split skin design makes sense with the Ascension skins as opposed to the Glidelites, since you’d want to maximize traction with the skin material.  I’ve wondered how much a PITA folding and packing a  split skin would be, but keeping them connected with something lightweight (yet durable) could be the answer.  –Steve


Black Diamond GlideLite Mohair Mix Skins—Comprised of 65% mohair and 35% nylon, these skins offer greater glide, and shave valuable weight and space over the more durable Ascension skins.

Black Diamond GlideLite Mohair Pure Skins—Popular in Europe, 100% pure mohair skins give uphillers maximum glide and easy adjustment with the new BD tip and tail attachment systems.

For pro skinners or low angle ski tourers, there’s nothing better than having skins that glide.  While they do take a little more mastery of skinning technique to power up steep and icy skin tracks, mohair and mohair blends often provide wonderful glide on the flats.  And even on the ups if you’re an uber fit rando racer. Especially once broken in with use. Popular in Europe, I think these type of skins will slowly gain a strong following here in the US as more intermediate skiers get into backcountry skiing and skis get wider and wider, offering increased surface areas and requiring maybe not quiet as bite in a climbing skin. –Steve