You know winter is on it’s way when you go to the post office to pick up an unexpected package…and it turns out to be new skis for the upcoming season. This sort of thing is bound to perk up anyone’s day and there was no way I was going to let the fact that I was on my motorcycle keep me from transporting the new rides to TetonAT headquarters. Luckily it’s only a short ride and I’ve already mastered the airplane technique.
2009/10 Black Diamond Megawatt (188cm), Justice (185cm) and Verdict (180cm).
I first want to thank Black Diamond for getting me these new skis to me early, as it’s so much fun to fondle new gear in anticipation of ripping the pow. I honestly didn’t really expect the new quiver to arrive for another couple months…so it really was a surprise when the postwomen rolled out three big boxes. Only one pair of the skis I requested didn’t show up yet, but this year I’m going to be riding the Megawatt 188cm, Justice (185cm), Zealot (182cm) and Verdict (180cm). The one ski I was most excited to put my hands on was the Zealot, but I guess the wait will only make the reward that much better. Here are some initial thoughts after receiving these skis.
2010 Megawatt……………………………………………………2009 Megawatt.
Megawatt 188cm– It’s always crazy how light the Megawatt feels for it’s size and there are new graphics across the whole BD line. The word is that this year’s Megawatt has been beefed up and comparing it to last year’s version, it looks to be true. Holding the two version’s side by side, the difference in camber is evident, though I’m sure this year’s pair will relax a bit after a few runs. They feel stiffer when hand flexing them, but obviously that isn’t very scientific. This will be my go to ski for powder days.
Justice 185cm– A totally new ski this year, the 115cm waisted Justice is actually lighter than it’s little brother the Zealot with 110cm underfoot. It’s tip is more of an “early rise” and not nearly as much of a rocker-tip as the Megawatt, which should make it more versatile in firmer conditions. I’ll most likely be using these skis for longer powder tours, big vertical days and even mid winter, powder ski-mountaineering.
Verdict 180cm– The Verdict might be least changed ski out of the Black Diamond lineup…and for good reason. Though it is supposed to be a bit softer and de-tuned for the masses this year, this change should make the ski a little more floaty and allow the skier to relax a bit more. This year’s blue version tended to really be catered towards aggressive skiers. I used this year’s version of the Verdict for most of my ski mountaineering this year and rumors of a lighter, reshaped and revamped Verdict down the pipe are beginning to surface. Stoke meter…start your engines!
2009/10 Black Diamond Glidelite Mix and Ascension Split Skins.
Not only did some skis arrive, but a few sets of climbing skins also came. I’m going to give the Ascension Split-Skins a try on the Megawatts and Justices, and I’m going to try the new Glidelite Mix skins with the Zealots and Justices. I’m very interested to try the split-skins and have talked to a few people who say the weight savings is great, but a little change in technique, focusing more weight on the edges, might be needed when things get a bit too firm. The Glidelite Mix skins are very supple and should be nice and soft for good glide, and easy folding for compact packing. I’m not too worried about any lose of grip due to the mohair, since skis these days have so much surface area and I tend to cut my skins wall-to-wall for maximum grip anyhow.
AnyWHO, just wanted to share the new ski stoke that I know you all get. It all of a sudden feels like Christmas around here, now all we need is snow!!! I figure winter is less than three months away…but who’s counting?
Im hitting NZ in a week, I would be equally moist to receive such a package in the mail!
Sadly will just lug my Zealots and Legends with glidelite mix skins. No Kilowattsin the quiver selection? Once you go super fat you never go back i guess.
Perhaps BD will chuck you a cheap airline ticket (perhaps its taped inside the box;-) to get down under and give them a beating rather than sitting through that summer….
New goods already! I had convinced myself to get the Mega’s this year, but now the Justice poses and interesting possibility for those longer days. Hmmm, which to chose??
Consider me green with envy 😉
Guess I need to make up my mind which ONE of Mega, Zealot or Justice I’ll be able to afford. Hopefully I can keep myself from butchering the piggybank until either of them shows up on ebay 😀
I know what you guys mean about trying to decide. Not that I’m complaining…but when you own all these skis…you have to make that decision everyday when you go out skiing. It never ends!
Dustin…considering that I know your quiver…I think the Megawatt is the better choice. If you skied the area more or weren’t as good of a skier as you are, I think the Justice might be more appealing. And I know you saw the smile on my face last winter when skiing the Megas, so…
I ski on Volkl Mantras, both resort and backcountry. My favorite skiing is steep, 45-55 degrees, some in the winter snow, some in corn (in the Eastern Sierra). I am an expert skier, even though I have a lot more to learn.
The winter snow I ski is rarely powder, in the sense that being steep, snow sloghs off and you end up skking on firmish snow, even though booting up you sink almost to the knee. A lot of times the snow feels pretty firm, so good edge hold is essential.
I am considering a lighter ski, like the BD Verdict. How do you think it will ski compared to the Mantras? I can demo them, and I will, but it’s pretty hard to judge a ski on the basis of just one day of skiing.
I noticed that the Verdict has a narrower tip than the Mantra (126 vs 130) for the same 95 waist. When I switched from Explosives (126 tip) to the Mantras, I noticed immediately much easier short turn initiation, which I attributed to more sidecut in the front of the ski.
I should add that because of the steepness and narrow width of the couloirs I tend to ski (and my skill level- not high enough to carve turns at high speed), most of my turns are pretty short radius with a soft finish (ie slide the end of a turn a bit).
Steve, this is a long post, but I long admired your skiing and the terrain you ski, and I would really appreciate your help.
check out my 07 mountain climbing trip around the world at sacredmountains.blogspot.com
Thanks for visiting TetonAT Rob! I think you might be getting the Verdict confused with the Kilowatt…no? The Verdict is 131-100-118, while the Kilowatt is 127-95-115.
As far as your question is concerned, I think the Kilowatt would be a great ski for you. I love mine in the steep and firm snow and they come around easily. Though they aren’t a slalom ski, they like to be turned as opposed to going Mach 5 and straight-lining. This year’s version has been updated as per some peoples recommendations to make it more versatile.
Here in the cold weather of Wyoming, we tend to have lots of powder, and the more I ski, the more I find myself going for bigger lines when there is fresh or softer snow. For that reason, I tend to like a fatter ski for most descents…unless I know for sure that it is going to be very firm.
Hiked at a ski resort today but was thinking about skiing after seeing these new skis today!
I should have caught you earlier but next time you drive by on I-80 stop in for a cold one!
What? No KVC Comps? Omesofts? Oh, wait, that is soooo 3 decades ago. . . If you want a good laugh, and something sure to bring an appreciation for ski evolution, go watch “Blizzard of Aaaahs” (if you can find a VHS that still works). Even greats like Schmidt and Plake can’t stay upright on those skinny skis and rear entry boots.
Dude… all I have to say is I envy the ever living crap out of you right now.
Glad you all are feeling the stoke! I just cut one pair of the split skins to fit the Justices. A little more involved than past skin cutting, due to the fancy new adjustable tip loops.
Steve, how big are you in terms of weight and height? I am wondering how you are sizing your skis……..
Those split skins are a great idea taken from some core b/c skiers. Good stuff. New skis are wider than old ones, just cut your skis up the middle to fit. Works out great!
Tony, I’m 5′ 8.9″ and go at about 160lbs.
Jason, as you can see, the BD split skins are attached together with a piece of nylon. This helps them to not become a tangled mess when folding, as well as make them a bit more bomber and resistant to snow creeping underneath the skins.
Rocker/camber profile shot of the new Zealots por favor!
Would if I could Andy…but the Zealots didn’t arrive with this shipment. Hopefully they will come some time down the road.
I worked on a tanker running to Alaska a number of years ago. I worked with a young
engineer from Jacksonhole. He would tell me of his skiing in the mountains around there and his hopes of climbing MT Everest. His name is Dustin Lemke. Is this the
Dustin Lemke i see in these teton pictures? I will assume so. And if it is tell
him that roland mallett from the Bt Alaska says Hi and I run into one of his ski
instructors from Jacksonhole each year at the Boston Ski Show.
Hi Roland! It is the Dustin Lemke you speak of. He is good friend. I believe he is at sea right now, but I will be sure to let him know you said hi. Thanks for visiting.
I do a little skiing myself although not of you peoples skills.
Thanks again. roland mallett
Can you post a rocker shot of the Mega’s and Justice’s so we can see the difference in the tip rocker? How does the flex of the Justice compare to the new Mega’s? Thanks for the info.
I will get it to you tonight. I have to get to work right now.
Here’s that photo comparing the Megawatt and the Justice tips. As you can see…way more on the Megawatt than on the Justice.
Rode the megawatts(I think they were production not prototypes) for 6 weeks last year and thought they were certainly easy and fast but almost 2 dimensional in the feel.You can ski the hobacks in 8 turns @ mach with a heart rate of 60 at the bottom but I preferred the justice for juicing the snow and enjoying the full blower sensation.Hard to bitch about the mega’s but hiking up anything with sidestepping up was a CHORE with 5lbs of snow on the topsheet with each step.The justice was much quicker edge to edge and nearly as stable when “pointing em deep”(to quote John Gute).Way easier to navigate uphill and fun on firm unlike the mega.
You make some go points about the Megawatt. It truly does have a split personality. It goes warp speed like a Caddy…yet can turn on a dime with ease if you need it to…all while making feel like you are riding a Lazy-Boy. Such a cush ride.
Yeah…there are some downsides…like the snow piling on top, but you’ve got take the good with the bad. Really looking forward to getting some time on the Justices this year.
Can you let me know if there are any changes to this years Havocs from previous years models.
Black Diamond says it’s been softened up a little. Which will probably make it ski a bit better in softer snow.
Thanks Steve, just deciding whether it`s worth spending the extra on new model as opposed to last years which is a LOT cheaper.
I like my Voodoos…which are the lighter/softer version of the Havoc.
Hmm, I hadn`t really considered the Voodoo but I want the width of the Havoc and flex of Verdict so maybe thats the baby.