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Question: Anyone ski the new Black Crows Vertis Birdie?

Discussion in 'Gear Reviews' started by laine, Jan 2, 2018.

  1. laine

    laine Ski Diva Extraordinaire

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    Hi All- I'm an advanced skier, I ski in Tahoe, and I'm looking to add to my quiver. I'm looking at getting a mid-80s ski for the periods where we just don't have much snow and I'm skiing on-piste, groomed runs that turn into sloppy moguls/crud/ice by the end of the day.

    My daily driver is a 2017 Santa Ana 100, which I love. My rock ski is an older Nordica Nemesis - 98 waist. That's the narrowest ski I have, which has been ok - but not fantastic - in our recent Tahoe conditions (not much snow going on here right now).

    I have a list going of skis to try, and one of the skis I'm curious about is the Black Crows Vertis Birdie:
    https://www.black-crows.com/vertis-birdie-skis

    But I'm having a hard time finding a place to demo it. (We have a couple of Black Crows shops here, but they seem to either only stock wider skis or their backcountry line.)

    Has anyone skied this ski? I'd love some first-hand opinions.

    Thanks!
    laine
     
  2. santacruz skier

    santacruz skier Angel Diva

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    Have you tried the demo shop at Heavenly (on the corner near Gondola)? Last season they had some Black Crows to demo.
    BTW I have the Black Crows Camox Birdie (97 waist) that I demoed in Austria for a week last season in varied terrain and purchased in the spring at evo.com. Skied them last week in Tahoe in not so wonderful conditions. They are my narrowest ski!
    Think @DeweySki has some Black Crows (not sure which ones) and @WaterGirl has some too.
     
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  3. santacruz skier

    santacruz skier Angel Diva

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    @ laine I looked up the skis you are interested in and at 85 waist with 15 turning radius sound like a perfect ski for conditions you are describing. I'm intrigued......
     
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  4. laine

    laine Ski Diva Extraordinaire

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    @santacruz skier - Our ski lease is in Tahoe Donner, and we have Squaw/Alpine passes, so I haven't checked Heavenly yet. But I'd make a drive down there if they have the skis to demo (assuming Emerald Pass is open). I still need to check Northstar and call a few more shops as well.

    I can tell you the other skis I'm researching/seeking out in the category, if you're also looking. I'm about your size - 5'1", 115 lbs. In the list below, I've already demoed the Yumi in both sizes and the Total Joy. I didn't love either Yumi - the 154 was fun, but not so stable at speed. The longer one was just ok. I had fun on the Total Joy, so it's on the consideration list. And at this point, I'm trying to track down places to demo some of the others. I have some identified and am searching for a few others - like the Black Crows Vertis Birdie.

    Volkl Yumi 154, 123-84-104, 14.6m
    Volkl Yumi 161, 123-84-104 15.8m
    Head Total Joy 158, 132-85-112, 12.7m
    Head Super Joy 158, 127-75-107, 11.7m
    Kastle MX74 156, 124-74-105, 11.6m
    Kastle MX84 160, 128-84-112, 13m
    Kastle LX85 160, 126-85-109, 14.5m
    Black Crows Vertis Birdie 159, 122-85-105 ,14m
    DPS Foundation Uschi 158 ,120-82-104 ,14m
    Renoun Z-Line 157 ,136-90-124 ,15.5m
    Blizzard Black Pearl 156, 100-78-115, 15m

    The Black Crow seems to be the toughest one to find - so was hoping someone here has some experience on the ski.
     
  5. Pequenita

    Pequenita Ski Diva Extraordinaire

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    I'm not sure how much this weekend's weather will cooperate, but Black Crow will be at Alpenglow's backcountry demo event at Alpine on Saturday. I called this morning to find out what demo bindings are mounted on the skis - it's vendor by vendor. I'd imagine a prudent vendor would bring out skis with demo alpine bindings to accommodate a wider range of skiers. You may want to look into calling Alpenglow and telling them you specifically want to demo the Vertis Birdie and see whether the length you're interested in is in their or Black Crow's fleet for demoing.

    But, yeah, this weekend's weather is looking dodgy.

    https://www.facebook.com/events/822984787862958/

    https://www.alpenglowsports.com/backcountry-demo-day

    Also, 89 through Emerald Bay has been open. I drove through on Saturday. Do not trust the Googles - check CalTrans instead. :smile:
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2018
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  6. santacruz skier

    santacruz skier Angel Diva

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    Shop at Heavenly is Powder House Boot & Demo Center.... They had Black Crows last season - 530-541-3649. They also had Faction skis for demo which looked interesting . You should give them a call. BTW, Northstar does not have Black Crows that I know of. You could call True North at Northstar and see.

    Yes the Head Total Joy would be my choice for a narrower ski as also demoed the Head Great Joy and loved loved it. But how many skis do I need that are 98 ish waist? I also have the Blizzard Sambas, another fun ski that is 98 waist . Both my skis both have a turning radius of 18. Now the Great Joy was actually a fun carving ski with a turning radius of 13 but waist of 98. Really fun.... I couldn't decide whether to buy the Great Joy or the BC Camox Birdie.

    Let me know what you decide as I've had 5 days at Northstar on thin man made snow skiing my Sambas most of the days. They were fine. I probably wouldn't know how to carve on a narrower ski....
     
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  7. laine

    laine Ski Diva Extraordinaire

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    @Pequenita - Yeah, I saw that Alpenglow demo, but assumed it would be all backcountry skis. But I'll give them a call tomorrow. We weren't sure we were going to head up this weekend given the weather, but if they have the skis, maybe we'll go up for a night.

    @santacruz skier - I'll give Powder House a call. There are a few places in Truckee that have them - they just don't have the narrower models. Apparently, skis under 98 are not trendy. My Santa Anas have a 13.5m radius and my Nemesis have a 15m. (Powder skis are 17m.) I had the Sambas last season, but sold them because I prefer the shorter turning radius. I'm set on the 98+ waist skis. I've had 11 days so far this season, primarily at Squaw, with one day at Alpine and one at Rose. I've mostly been skiing the Nemesis, since they have become my rock skis. I can keep you posted on my demos, if you'd like, if you might be in the market for a mid-80s ski.
     
  8. santacruz skier

    santacruz skier Angel Diva

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    Yes let me know...
     
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  9. WaterGirl

    WaterGirl Ski Diva Extraordinaire

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    @laine have not seen the Vertis Birdie only the Atris, Camox and Captis Birdie.

    Ha! I’ve been on my sambas also - still too low tide for the Camox ... hopefully after the next storm.
     
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  10. echo_NY

    echo_NY Ski Diva Extraordinaire

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    following - i'm interested in the captis birdie. but looking on the east coast. i'm thinking it might be too fat for east coast conditions but it sounds like it's a ski that can do it all. i really want to test it...
     
  11. santacruz skier

    santacruz skier Angel Diva

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    think @vanhoskier has the captis.
     
  12. laine

    laine Ski Diva Extraordinaire

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    Thanks @santacruz skier - I called Powder House and they have the Vertis Birdie in the 159! Now I just have to figure out when to go to South Lake. I did also call Alpenglow to see if they know the inventory that Black Crows will bring to the backcountry on Saturday. They don't yet, but they will get a list in a day or so. But I think this weekend will be sloppy so not that tempted to head up.
     
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  13. santacruz skier

    santacruz skier Angel Diva

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    Please post a review after you try them!
     
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  14. Pequenita

    Pequenita Ski Diva Extraordinaire

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    @laine A friend and I have committed to going up for the day until we are no longer amused with demoing. But, coming from Sacramento, it's a lot easier to do that. If you wind up going and want to meet up, let me know!
     
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  15. santacruz skier

    santacruz skier Angel Diva

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    Did they get any rain/snow? Heard snow at maybe 9k feet?
    Let us know if you ski this weekend...
     
  16. Pequenita

    Pequenita Ski Diva Extraordinaire

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    It's high, wet, and pasty, according to a friend who toured today.
     
  17. santacruz skier

    santacruz skier Angel Diva

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    Hmm sounds a bit miserable.
     
  18. vanhoskier

    vanhoskier Angel Diva

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    @echo_NY I finally got on my Captis for the first time Sunday. Conditions were edgeable groomers with a few icy spots.

    This is a very fun ski. It prefers GS turns, but is soft enough to work into shorter turns. It carves nicely, but is super easy to smear. It has a smooth feeling with a bit of pop out of the turn. On icy spots, it slid out a bit, which was not unexpected, but not too bad to be scary. I did go down a short steep pitch which was very firm bumpy hardpack with no issues at all. The ski absorbed the terrain without throwing me around. I did not get it in crud, but I suspect it has enough guts to do well. Overall, it inspires confidence and puts up with lapses in technique.

    If you want a Black Crows ski that holds on ice better, as a OSQ, try the Orb. It has metal in it. I considered this ski but passed because I have a slalom ski for icy conditions, and a Stockli SR100 with 2 sheets of metal. (Although the Stockli has a unique feel all its own...not your typical metal-constructed ski). I wanted a softer ski as an alternative. If you have a carving ski already, then get the Captis.
     
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  19. vanhoskier

    vanhoskier Angel Diva

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    The other option is a Nordica Navigator 85. Probably pretty easy to find around your parts to demo.
     
  20. laine

    laine Ski Diva Extraordinaire

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    The Navigator is the men's ski and doesn't come short enough for me. I could try the Astral 84, but haven't heard much about them. I'll take a look....
     
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