Gear Guide Ski Review – Black Crows Atris

August 22nd, 2018
  

 

Coen Bennie-Faull hooking into Buller’s powder on his Atris on August 19. Photo: Tony Harrington

Mountainwatch | Ski review

BLACK CROWS ATRIS

Dimension:138-108-120

Lengths: 178, 184, 189

Turn radius: 20m

 

The shape is inspired by freestyle backcountry and freeride skiing.

Black Crows is an independent French ski brand from Chamonix that was founded in 2006 by pro skiers Camille Jaccoux and Bruno Compagnet. This season is the first year they have had an Australian distributor, although the Australian connection has been around for a while with Australian skier Chris Booth a long-time member of the Black Crows pro team. Boothy now lives in Chamonix and work for Black Crows as the commercial director of the company.

 

Part of Black Crows big mountain line, the Atris is 108mm underfoot, plenty of width for powder days, and has progressive camber – i.e. camber underfoot, rocker in the tip and tail. The rockered tip profile means it floats through fresh snow while the ski is stable and fast on hard-packed snow thanks to the camber under-foot. The poplar wood core makes the ski light and surprisingly quick edge to edge for a wider ski, while the fibreglass laminate adds strength and makes the ski tortionally rigid and it holds an edge at speed on groomed and hard-packed snow. All of this adds up to a versatile ski that at 108mm under foot is wide enough for deeper, soft snow, is nimble for quicker turns through bumps or trees and is stable at speed on groomed runs.

Rise in the tip and the tail and camber under-foot

“The shape is inspired by freestyle backcountry and freeride skiing,” said designer Julien Regnier. “The result is a great mix of playfulness and drive. It is an all-round powder ski. Besides being wide, it skis very well on the hard pack thanks to its nice grip and quick edge to edge transition. It is the most versatile of our big mountain skis.”

 

Chris Booth getting a feel for the Atris in Chamonix last March.

If you like a wider ski and spend a lot of time off piste and ski in all conditions, the Atris works well as a one-ski quiver. It is also the perfect travel ski, particularly for places like the New Zealand, North America or Europe where you may encounter everything from deep powder to perfect corduroy to slush or chopped-up crud.

The details:

  • nice width: 108 mm waist.
  • double rocker= immediate pivot.
  • medium classic camber= classic camber underfoot with moderate ski/snow contact, giving a good balance between stability and manoeuvrability.
  • slightly extended side-cut (20 metre radius): more stability at high speed, balance between firmness and manoeuvrability.
  • progressive tip rise: good consistency during the turn and easy float.
  • stiff and consistent flex: a very stable ski.

The Atris Birdie, designed for women but has the same attributes as the men’s version.