Black Diamond Convert Ski
Historic Range: $419.97-$799.95
Reviewers Paid: $350.00
Go anywhere, do anything ski comfortable in the backcountry as well as on the groomers. A one quiver ski that is capable of taking you anywhere within your ability level.
- Great floatation
- Moderate width comfortable in powder and on ice
- Chatter during high speed turns on hard surfaces
The Black Diamond Convert skis are the Jeep of touring skis. They are comfortable anywhere in any conditions. I have ridden them on fresh powder, breakable crust, icy New England resort trails, and freshly groomed corduroy runs and enjoyed every turn.
Their performance in the front country, on groomed resort trails, is adequate but you need to be a confident skier to feel comfortable taking these down steep high speed runs. The rocker tip and tail, which are helpful in the powder, cause the ski to chatter on hard packed snow and decrease turning and stopping abilities. If you are not paying attention to the turn it can be very easy to have the ski get away from you and cause a fall. There is minimal curve to the ski but even so they are responsive and snap easily between turns.
While this ski can handle resort skiing, it really comes to life in the backcountry. The 172 cm length skis are 105 mm underfoot and weigh only 7 pounds a pair. This weight and width combination makes climbing less of a chore because the width provides the ability to have a wider skin allowing for better grip while the weight does not pull you back down the hill with each step. I have comfortably broken trail in fresh powder as well as followed skin tracks at angles over 30 degrees, a task which was much harder on an older, thinner, pair of skis.
Their width also makes breaking trail much easier because I am not sinking deep into the snow with each step.
As an added bonus Black Diamond has included a stainless steel skin tab on the back tip of each ski which prevents damage to the top sheet of the ski. This is a nice added feature if you are one who puts on and takes off skins frequently during a trip.
They are a dream on the downhill in fresh powder. The rocker keeps the tips floating on the powder which makes for effortless skiing and increases the enjoyment factor ten-fold.
While powder turns are the pinnacle of enjoyment while skiing, those of us in New England rarely see those conditions. This is one of the reasons I am so impressed by the Convert. No ski can make breakable crust any fun but the design of the Convert helps keep the skis on top of crust long enough to enable the skier to turn. Also, the edges bite into ice preventing uncontrolled slides.
The Convert's I ski are 172 cm in length and weigh 7 pounds (3.1 kg). This is on the shorter side for my height and ability but I prefer a shorter ski because the backcountry of New England tends to be tight, narrow glades and slides.
The 172 cm ski the tip-waist-tail dimensions are 132-105-116 (all in mm). This provides for an advertised 22m turning radius which I would say is fairly accurate.
They have a full rocker design which means the ski begins to rise almost a foot from the front tip. This is what provides the float on powder but also can be one of the causes of the chatter on hard packed snow.
Their hybrid design combines the rocker tip and tail with a moderate amount of camber which aids in gripping the mountain during downhill runs.
As an advanced Northeast skier with over 25 years of experience, I have fallen pretty hard for these skis. In my opinion they are a one quiver ski that is capable of taking you anywhere within your ability level. I would highly recommend them for anyone interested in alpine touring.
Source: bought via a "pro deal"
Price Paid: $350