If you’ve been to a ski resort at any point in the last couple of years, you’ve probably heard of Black Crows. The Chamonix-based ski manufacturer has exploded in popularity over the past few years, and their colorful, geometric graphics are hard to miss. So why is everyone making the switch? Let’s review Black Crows Skis, some of their best models, and what the company is all about.
Born out of Freeskiing
Founded in 2006, Black Crows is the brainchild of French professional freeskiers Camille Jaccoux and Bruno Compagnet. Camille and Bruno wanted more out of their gear. Specifically, they wanted a big mountain ski that didn’t sacrifice when it came to agility or stability. This inspiration, combined with a keen focus on design, forms the ethos of the Black Crows brand. The skis took the market by storm, growing rapidly across French and other European resorts. More recently, Black Crows have expanded to North America, becoming available in an increasing number of online and retail ski outlets across Canada and the US. And it’s no coincidence! As more and more skiers search for that “One Ski Quiver” – the single pair that can thrive in all conditions – Black Crows offerings are top of the line.
So which skis are right for you? Well, Black Crows has 12 skis in their Mens lineup, 7 skis in their Womens lineup, and 7 unisex skis in their Touring lineup. You’ll find that their skis are tailored towards intermediate and advanced skiers. So if that sounds like you, then your perfect ski is definitely in there somewhere! With that in mind, let’s review some of the best Black Crows skis for Big Mountain, Backcountry Touring, and All Terrain Skiing.
Black Crows Skis Review: Understanding the Nomenclature
“Birdie” denotes the Womens version of each ski model
“Freebird” denotes the Ski Touring version of each ski model
Big Mountain Skis: Black Crows’ Bread & Butter
When most people come to Black Crows, they come for the Big Mountain skis. This is where the company started, developing Big Mountain skis that could handle steep & deep conditions, while still having the agility and turning radius to make quick turns in all conditions. There are five models in the Big Mountain Ski lineup, let’s review two of their most popular.
BLACK CROWS ATRIS
The Atris is the flagship model of Black Crows skis. They are a big mountain ski for all snow types, all kinds of weather, and all kinds of terrain. If you’re looking for an everyday ski for big mountain, West Coast skiing, the Atris is a great option. It gives you the flexibility and curvature needed to make quick, edgy turns and perform at high speeds. At the same time, they have the width under the tip, waist, and tail to keep you afloat in all but the deepest of powder.
I’ve personally used the Atris as my one-ski-quiver for all resort skiing over the past three years. From ripping bluebird groomers in the Swiss Alps to deking through powdery glades in the Canadian Coast Mountains, the Atris has thrived in all situations. I’ve recommended these skis to plenty of friends and they’ve all been extremely happy with them. Count on the Atris as your everyday Big Mountain ski. You can read our full review of the Black Crows Atris and Black Crows Atris Birdie.
BLACK CROWS ANIMA
All Terrain Skis for Kings & Queens of the Resort
BLACK CROWS CAPTIS
The Captis are a super fun inbounds ski. Rockered tip and tail, combined with traditional camber and a tight sidecut make the Captis snappy and energetic. Cruise the groomers, wiggle through the bumps, and pop off all the kickers with these inbound toys.
BLACK CROWS CAMOX
There are no bad days on the Black Crows Camox. At an approachable 97mm underfoot, the Camox are one of Black Crows best-selling skis. And it’s no coincidence! They’re the ski you simply put on and go skiing – no need to overthink it! From the groomers, to the trees, to the powder, to the ice, you’ll be having a blast all over the resort with the Camox under your feet.
Meet the Freebirds, Black Crows Touring Skis
Black Crows Touring skis are denoted by having “Freebird” in the name. They are all Unisex skis, so you won’t see “Freebird Birdie” or any Women’s specific Touring skis. There are seven skis in their touring lineup, ranging from 76mm to 110mm underfoot. For this review, we’ll take a look at three of their most popular Touring models.
The Orb Freebird is a super lightweight touring ski that still gives you enough width to enjoy the descent. This ski gives you the lightweight profile needed to do backcountry laps all day long, while still giving you the confidence that you’ll be able to tackle a variety of snow conditions on the way down. As with all new Black Crows Freebird models, the Orb Freebird has a lightweight titanal plate added to improve screw retention and performance with hybrid bindings.
For those searching for something a bit wider with more versatility, look no further than the Navis Freebird. With the Navis you get exceptional skiability while still giving you a ski that’s light enough to get a couple of laps in. While 102mm might be a bit wide for those concerned about weight, the Navis is great option for those willing to work a little harder for some fresh turns.
If you really want to favor the down and don’t mind the added weight for the climb, the Corvus Freebird are a very popular option. These vibrant pink birds make a statement wherever they go. And they back it up with exceptional downhill performance. This is a big mountain, aggressive touring ski option that would also work well if you’re looking for a total one-ski quiver with a pair of hybrid bindings like the Salomon Shift or Marker Duke PT.
Verdict: Black Crows Skis Review
I hope that this article has helped you gain a better understanding of Black Crows skis. They really do have an extensive lineup, with a pair of Crows for everyone. I’ve talked to plenty of friends and strangers in lift lines with Black Crows and everyone raves about them. Whichever pair you choose, you can be confident in craftsmanship, quality, and pro skier-inspired design that went into them.
Have questions about specific models? Want to rave about your own Black Crows? Hit us up in the comments!
What other gear do you need to get started with backcountry ski touring?
Check out our list of backcountry ski gear essentials.