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Black Crows Camox Birdies

MissySki

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#1
I was able to locate Black Crows to demo at a couple of Vermont shops after crowdsourcing in an east coast Facebook group, very helpful! There was the option of Sugarbush or Killington with shops locally having them. @lisamamot and I were pretty exited at the idea of trying these skis.. found that the shop near Killington had the demos in both my size and hers, which the Sugarbush option did not, and that Killington had and was still having a crazy amount of fresh snow and decided to do a day trip on Wednesday. @ski diva this was at Forerunner on the access road, they also have the 156 for demo, I think you mentioned that you were interested in trying Black Crows as well.

We ended up with a powder day, and it snowed the whole day while there as well, there wasn't a groomer to be found on the mountain, every trail was powder/tracked powder/bumps, etc., PERFECT conditions to demo these skis because that's exactly what I'm looking for- a ski to replace my east coast powder/bring west skis. These are also the conditions I struggle the most in, I usually get tossed around or in the back seat too much and then my quads tire INCREDIBLY quickly. I was the first person to ride this pair of Camox Birdies as they had just been mounted the night before, I went with the 165 length and I'm 5'4" ~130lbs and consider myself a low advanced skier who uses more finesse than power and can get down most things on any given mountain in the east but certainly has much room for improvement in quite a few areas! :smile:

I've never demoed only one pair of skis all day before, and I'm so glad I did this time because I don't think I would have gotten the full experience if I'd only kept them for a few runs like I would at a typical demo day. This is because I was pretty cautious to start day 2 of the season in these conditions, usually I have more time to build up my stamina! The skis felt swively and fun from the get go, but I was also spending some time figuring out how to get my balance in soft snow again as this threw me off a little bit. However, each run got better in that regard and I kept gaining confidence as I skied them until the point where I really started noticing how much less effort it was taking me to ski deep tracked snow and bumps. My early season ski legs were tired sure, but not like they normally are in these conditions even way into the season. I noticed that I wasn't getting bumped around like my usual "powder" skis do, and therefore I wasn't having to struggle and absorb so much of the terrain with my legs, these skis just effortlessly went through everything we threw at them on the mountain. In fact, on some of the gondla rides other people were commenting on how great the conditions were but that the snow was somewhat heavy so a little hard to turn in early season and @lisamamot and I were like "oh we didn't notice the snow being heavy at all actually.." A big point of emphasis was that the visibility was pretty terrible, so you really couldn't make out any definition in the snow tracks and piles and bump lines, and though it was a little disconcerting at first eventually I just started trusting that the skis were going to get me through and I wasn't going to get tossed about unexpectedly like I'm used to.

Sorry for the long winded thoughts, but it was just such a great experience! The pros of this ski to me are that they are super playful and turny underfoot yet also incredibly stable in these conditions. They also clearly allowed me to ski these conditions much much better than I normally can and grew my confidence as I got more used to them during the day. I'm excited to think that this would continue even more if I owned the ski and had time to grow even more used to them. Unfortunately we didn't get to see how they would do on hard snow, but for my particular purposes that's quite irrelavent because I have plenty of skis for any firm type of conditions. I would have liked to see them on a groomer because obviously if I brought them west not everyday is a powder day, but I don't see them being unmanageable given others reviews and how stable they felt in general. The only con I had was that they did feel a little heavy, not so much when I was skiing, but when my feet were dangling on the lift they were certainly heavier than any other ski I own. That being said a) some weight would be saved without the demo bindings of course, b) my legs didn't tire like they normally do in this stuff with light skis so I guess that is saying something, but we didn't ski the entire day either. c) presumably the weight is where some of that stability I enjoyed so much was coming from so I wouldn't want to compromise that regardless. I have to assume that the lightweight skis I currently use for soft snow are part of the reason I get bounced around so much in those conditions and tire out my legs, they are so light that they get deflected constantly whereas these skis just plow through/go up and over everything, etc. effortlessly.

Honestly, the only reason I didn't purchase them right then and there is because I am doing the Ken Jones demo day next week and want to give the other skis on my list a fair shot. Barring anything that's a complete showstopper though, I do believe these skis will become a part of my quiver very soon!
 
Last edited by a moderator:

lisamamot

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#2
Figured I'd give an update here, but admins feel free to move if inappropriate since we have strayed quite a bit from the original intent of this thread..

I was able to locate Black Crows to demo at a couple of Vermont shops after crowdsourcing in an east coast Facebook group, very helpful! There was the option of Sugarbush or Killington with shops locally having them. @lisamamot and I were pretty exited at the idea of trying these skis.. found that the shop near Killington had the demos in both my size and hers, which the Sugarbush option did not, and that Killington had and was still having a crazy amount of fresh snow and decided to do a day trip on Wednesday. @ski diva this was at Forerunner on the access road, they also have the 156 for demo, I think you mentioned that you were interested in trying Black Crows as well.

We ended up with a powder day, and it snowed the whole day while there as well, there wasn't a groomer to be found on the mountain, every trail was powder/tracked powder/bumps, etc., PERFECT conditions to demo these skis because that's exactly what I'm looking for- a ski to replace my east coast powder/bring west skis. These are also the conditions I struggle the most in, I usually get tossed around or in the back seat too much and then my quads tire INCREDIBLY quickly. I was the first person to ride this pair of Camox Birdies as they had just been mounted the night before, I went with the 165 length and I'm 5'4" ~130lbs and consider myself a low advanced skier who uses more finesse than power and can get down most things on any given mountain in the east but certainly has much room for improvement in quite a few areas! :smile:

I've never demoed only one pair of skis all day before, and I'm so glad I did this time because I don't think I would have gotten the full experience if I'd only kept them for a few runs like I would at a typical demo day. This is because I was pretty cautious to start day 2 of the season in these conditions, usually I have more time to build up my stamina! The skis felt swively and fun from the get go, but I was also spending some time figuring out how to get my balance in soft snow again as this threw me off a little bit. However, each run got better in that regard and I kept gaining confidence as I skied them until the point where I really started noticing how much less effort it was taking me to ski deep tracked snow and bumps. My early season ski legs were tired sure, but not like they normally are in these conditions even way into the season. I noticed that I wasn't getting bumped around like my usual "powder" skis do, and therefore I wasn't having to struggle and absorb so much of the terrain with my legs, these skis just effortlessly went through everything we threw at them on the mountain. In fact, on some of the gondla rides other people were commenting on how great the conditions were but that the snow was somewhat heavy so a little hard to turn in early season and @lisamamot and I were like "oh we didn't notice the snow being heavy at all actually.." A big point of emphasis was that the visibility was pretty terrible, so you really couldn't make out any definition in the snow tracks and piles and bump lines, and though it was a little disconcerting at first eventually I just started trusting that the skis were going to get me through and I wasn't going to get tossed about unexpectedly like I'm used to.

Sorry for the long winded thoughts, but it was just such a great experience! The pros of this ski to me are that they are super playful and turny underfoot yet also incredibly stable in these conditions. They also clearly allowed me to ski these conditions much much better than I normally can and grew my confidence as I got more used to them during the day. I'm excited to think that this would continue even more if I owned the ski and had time to grow even more used to them. Unfortunately we didn't get to see how they would do on hard snow, but for my particular purposes that's quite irrelavent because I have plenty of skis for any firm type of conditions. I would have liked to see them on a groomer because obviously if I brought them west not everyday is a powder day, but I don't see them being unmanageable given others reviews and how stable they felt in general. The only con I had was that they did feel a little heavy, not so much when I was skiing, but when my feet were dangling on the lift they were certainly heavier than any other ski I own. That being said a) some weight would be saved without the demo bindings of course, b) my legs didn't tire like they normally do in this stuff with light skis so I guess that is saying something, but we didn't ski the entire day either. c) presumably the weight is where some of that stability I enjoyed so much was coming from so I wouldn't want to compromise that regardless. I have to assume that the lightweight skis I currently use for soft snow are part of the reason I get bounced around so much in those conditions and tire out my legs, they are so light that they get deflected constantly whereas these skis just plow through/go up and over everything, etc. effortlessly.

Honestly, the only reason I didn't purchase them right then and there is because I am doing the Ken Jones demo day next week and want to give the other skis on my list a fair shot. Barring anything that's a complete showstopper though, I do believe these skis will become a part of my quiver very soon!
What she said! Fantastic ski...my daughter might need them lol
 

Little Lightning

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#4
Thanks for the review. My shop just got both the Camox Birdie and the Captis Birdie in. Their first demo day is this Thurs. I plan to be 1st in line to try the Captis Birdie. I'm looking to replace my Rossi Saffron's. Also plan to demo the Elan Ripstick 94W and the Volkl Secret.

The shop is pretty excited about the Black Crow skis. Not sure how much time I'll get on them since they ask you to take one run. If they're not too busy I'll cheat and take a couple of runs.
 

Little Lightning

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#5
Thanks for the review. My shop just got both the Camox Birdie and the Captis Birdie in. Their first demo day is this Thurs. I plan to be 1st in line to try the Captis Birdie. I'm looking to replace my Rossi Saffron's. Also plan to demo the Elan Ripstick 94W and the Volkl Secret.

The shop is pretty excited about the Black Crow skis. Not sure how much time I'll get on them since they ask you to take one run. If they're not too busy I'll cheat and take a couple of runs.
After reading the Outdoor Divas review looks like the Camox Birdie will be a good replacement for the Saffron's.
 

MissySki

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#10
We saw other Black Crows on the mountain at Killington, including the Camox Birdie from last year (which I prefer the topsheet of, but can't find for sale anywhere but o'well). Now I wonder if it's a case of seeing it when you're looking for it, and I've just never noticed them before because I wasn't really aware of them? Though granted I didn't ski almost at all last season and the previous few seasons were only at Sunday River where I'm not sure they've caught on as much yet.. I'm surprised if I wouldn't have noticed if they had because I like to check out people's skis and chat about them on the lift if it's something interesting..

I'll definitely be keeping an eye out this year!
 

MissySki

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#11
https://outdoordivas.com/blog/black-crows-have-landed-why-we-care/

Funny, I didn't realize the detail of their employing the Rossi ski designer who helped develop the S7. The little sister, S3w is the ski I want to replace with the Camox Birdie! I love the S3w still except that it's quite used up at this point, and is so light that it really tires me out in heavy tracked out snow as I mentioned in my review above. Very interesting though, I can certainly see the connection in some ways!
 

MissySki

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#13
That's how I felt with the 2017 Santa Ana in both a 153 and 161 (maybe a little better)..... ski was so light and so much work in heavy sierra cement.... Saffron's too.
I'm so glad you said that because those have also been on my list from demoing awhile ago, and I almost scooped them up over the summer. I haven't been able to demo them in the right conditions though which bothered me, only on groomers. If I'd gone with that then I'd probably be in pretty much the same boat as I am now with the Rossis.
 
#14
I'm so glad you said that because those have also been on my list from demoing awhile ago, and I almost scooped them up over the summer. I haven't been able to demo them in the right conditions though which bothered me, only on groomers. If I'd gone with that then I'd probably be in pretty much the same boat as I am now with the Rossis.
I do understand the 2018 Santa Ana's had some metal in them... never tried.
For a powder ski in Tahoe (think sierra cement) , I absolutely loved the Sheeva 10's.....
Think the Camox Birdie can easily be skied in most conditions though. I've now skied them on groomers, bumps, powder, trees and in the rain @ mammoth. Well that was a bit of work but would have been with any ski....
 

lisamamot

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#15
I'm so glad you said that because those have also been on my list from demoing awhile ago, and I almost scooped them up over the summer. I haven't been able to demo them in the right conditions though which bothered me, only on groomers. If I'd gone with that then I'd probably be in pretty much the same boat as I am now with the Rossis.
I bought my 2016 Santa Anas after demoing on groomers only. They are a ton of fun, but the Camox Birdie is a very different animal. The level of stability combined with the swivel stick playfulness of the Camox Birdie makes them hard to beat!
 

Pixie Perfect

Certified Ski Diva
#16
That's how I felt with the 2017 Santa Ana in both a 153 and 161 (maybe a little better)..... ski was so light and so much work in heavy sierra cement.... Saffron's too.
I do understand the 2018 Santa Ana's had some metal in them... never tried.
For a powder ski in Tahoe (think sierra cement) , I absolutely loved the Sheeva 10's.....
Think the Camox Birdie can easily be skied in most conditions though. I've now skied them on groomers, bumps, powder, trees and in the rain @ mammoth. Well that was a bit of work but would have been with any ski....
I’m hoping to demo skis to get my first pair this season. Is there a recommended ski width that is particularly good for an all mountain ski for primarily skiing Tahoe & other Sierra resorts? I’m an intermediate skier and I’m thinking I should aim 80s-90s width, does that sound right?
 
#18
I’m hoping to demo skis to get my first pair this season. Is there a recommended ski width that is particularly good for an all mountain ski for primarily skiing Tahoe & other Sierra resorts? I’m an intermediate skier and I’m thinking I should aim 80s-90s width, does that sound right?
It does! Don't know your stats but the Black Pearl 88 comes to mind and you can certainly grow with it...
 

Sparky

Angel Diva
#20
Yes Camox Birdie! But then again, I am in search of a narrower all mountain so maybe the Captis Birdie might be worth a look too??
 

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