Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Gear Review: Black Diamond Voodoo

My love affair with Black Diamond skis continues.  I purchased a pair of BD Machine skis from the Outdoor Gear Exchange in Burlington last year, and this year it was time to add to my quiver by getting a wider snow specific ski. 

Again, it was OGE to the rescue, who hooked me up with a great deal. 

Matched with the Radium boot, I've ridden the Voodoos on several recent in-bounds ski days.

The Voodoo has a wider shovel, and less pronounced sidecut than the Machine.  I purchased a shorter length (175cm) than the Machine for easier turns in the woods and moguls.

As indicated on "The Ski Chart", the relaxed sidecut translates to a larger sidecut radius, but don't let that fool you.  The front shovel is designed for easier turn initiation.  While it lacks sidecut, it still turns easily.

The real magic, however, is made when there's fresh powder.  Folks: these are powder skis.  If you like jumping around on pillows then you'll love these skis.  I had one fresh powder day at Bretton Woods and another at Whiteface where they shined as I floated around on the groomers and in the glades.  But I found Nirvana on truly epic day at Killington during the recent Nor’easter.  I rode these magic carpets around the mountain: from blues to the black diamonds to the double blacks.

Their kryptonite, however, is exactly what you would guess for a relatively light ski: steep ice.  I discovered this as they rubber-bandded while traversing some wind scoured crust at Whiteface.  This is somewhat moderated by the modest sidecut, which keeps more of the ski in contact with the slope.  But alas, they won’t stick to lens glass groomers like Spiderman.  But you should bring your big guns when the hardpack calls anyway.
Gered modeling the Voodoos at the top of Killington.

The verdict: these are great skis.  But don’t take my word for it.  My tele-skiing buddy Gered thought that mine looked so cool he had to go out and get a pair for himself.

That’s right, I got mine first.  And now that its on the internets, it must be true.

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