By: randosteve|Posted on: July 24, 2009|Posted in: Gear, Gear Reviews | 28 comments

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?

black diamond verdict