BD Carbon Megawatt 2013-14 — Quiver Arrow of the Week

Post by blogger | July 3, 2013      
Myself on the Carbon Megas 188. It is surprising Lou's camera had a fast enough shutter speed.

Joe on the Carbon Megas 188, last winter in Colorado near WildSnow Field HQ. It is surprising my camera had a fast enough shutter speed.

Another example of the new trend in skis, Carbon Mega scores a 77 on our weight/surface chart. It is our 9th lightest plank by surface area out of our more than 40 sampled ski models. If you want a big ski that still tours, fire up a pair of BD Split Skins on these power tools and enjoy. (That said, any 120 mm wide ski is going to be heavy compared to classic touring skis, so don’t expect these to uphill in the feather class. They’re a specialized tool and appear to be one of the best in their class, if not World Champion.)

Black Diamond Carbon Megwatt has new construction for 2013/14: super light.

Black Diamond Carbon Megwatt has new construction for 2013/14: super light.

WildSnow production assistant Joe gave the Carbon “Em” a go last winter:

“When these slicers of raw primeval powder were thrown my way mid-March I wasn’t quite sure that having another ski 120+ underfoot made sense considering we were experiencing temperatures in the mid-60’s with slush on all angles, with muscle T’s coming back into style. Thankfully April came in like a big fat blue tuna and out came the sashimi sticks — also known as Carbon Megawatts.

Having mounted but not skied the current year’s offering it is 100% clear this is ski is in a whole other breed. See Louie’s review. Colors have changed to dark blacks and blue, gone are the beefed up top sheets in favor of flat textured surface, and the weight has dropped even more (see the intro above).

Paired with BD’s Ascension skins, bikini cut to shave a few grams, these skis became my go-to almost every day of the month. Longer tours didn’t bother the big sticks one bit (188’s were our test size). In the soft stuff they shined with large arcs and the tachometer of a Ferrari built in by the boys from Zhuhai (the site of BD’s new 43,000 sq. ft ski manufacturing facility in China). Euro glisse turny-turns are not this plank’s forte but if necessary you can crank out tight semi-arcs and bury the tips when pressured — highly pressured. The skis have a very neutral mount point further aiding in maneuverability under any given surface.

Few shortcomings were observed: the usual poundage of snow piling on top (somewhat addressed by an application of fluoro wax) and obviously the disadvantage of having to widen or simply make my own skin track everywhere I went. The way they ski down was worth both hassles on the up.”

2013-14 Carbon Megawatt rocker profiles. We noticed a bit of double camber in our test samples; presumably the production skis on the market next fall will close perfectly.

2013-14 Carbon Megawatt rocker profiles. Big ski with plenty of slarv. We noticed a bit of double camber in the tail area of our test samples; presumably the production skis on the market next fall will be near perfect.

A definite pick for the WildSnow sashimi tool set, otherwise known as Ultimate Quiver.

Dimensions & Weight: 188 cm, sidecut 147/120/127 radius 28 meters, 64.4 ounces, 1824 grams

Available fall of 2013.


Please Enjoy A Few Suggested WildSnow Posts


31 Responses to “BD Carbon Megawatt 2013-14 — Quiver Arrow of the Week”

  1. Brian July 3rd, 2013 9:36 am

    I guess they didn’t get Louis’ memo about white topsheets preventing sticky snow buildup!

  2. Lou Dawson July 3rd, 2013 9:40 am

    Yeah, darker topskin as well as indents in the top of the ski as well as width = real problems while breaking trail in sticky snow that piles up on top of skis. Ski designers industry-wide don’t seem to give a rip about this issue, but it’s very real for the human powered contingent. I’m kind of tired of harping on it, but will continue to do so.

    After all, if Craig Dostie’s rants back in the day can end up pushing the industry to produce and sell free-pivot telemark bindings, then perhaps our rants can at least get the industry to make skis that are somewhat resistant to snow buildup (grin).

  3. Ben P July 4th, 2013 10:40 am

    Sorry to link off site but I’ve been thinking about uses for this stuff. Actually might try it out on a kiteboarding kite leading edge to keep it from water logging and becoming a lazy worthless a-hole.

    Anyway I also hate topsheet snow. This might be worth a look eh Lou?

  4. Lou Dawson July 4th, 2013 10:53 am

    Ben, the off-site links are ok when they’re not excessive nor obvious efforts to glean traffic. That kind of link is perfect, apologies if I seem to uptight about links, I just get tired of people dropping in simply for the purpose of promoting their own websites. Our comment threads exist for a reason — to have a substantive and informative comment thread . That’s the mission. Thanks, Lou

  5. Besniwod July 4th, 2013 10:45 pm

    They aren’t amazingly light, but you can choose a custom topsheet graphic for Praxis skis at no extra cost when you choose your custom-made ski. One of the options is for a white topsheet. Should help reduce snow sticking to the topsheet.

  6. Besniwod July 5th, 2013 2:27 am

    Actually, I just checked and the 187 Praxis Protest skis with carbon layup would weigh 9 lbs. I think the 2012-13 188 Carbon Megawatts are 9 pounds 5 ounces. Protest dimensions are 139/128/132 with a 30m turn radius. Not bad. Next season’s Carbon Megawatts will be a whole pound lighter than the Protests though. Impressive. Are they as stiff as last year’s or softer?

  7. Big C August 7th, 2013 9:42 am

    Great review. I live in the RF valley and am getting the itch to buy new skis. Would love the carbon megawatts but it’s not in the budget. I can get a good deal on the older megawatts and gigawatts 11/12 and 12/13s. I have all mountain skis and am looking for a fatty to ski on deep days. Just have to deal with weight going up. What do you suggest for a 200 lb telemark skier that likes to charge? megawatt or gigawatt?

  8. Lou Dawson August 7th, 2013 12:26 pm

    Big, I’m partial to the Mega, but it depends, like most tele skiers are you just riding the lifts? Or is this ski for human powered uphill? Lou

  9. Big C August 7th, 2013 1:12 pm

    I have another set ill use to skin. This will be lift or hike powered turns (ie highland bowl/silverton mtn) like the idea if the gigawatt, but afraid it’s too unwieldy in anything but untracked freshies. Leaning hard to mega, any other skis I should look at?

  10. Matt Kinney August 7th, 2013 5:50 pm

    “like most tele skiers are you just riding the lifts?”
    That’s a good one lou! You anti-duckbill side is showing

    “like most folks with AT gear, are you just riding helis?”
    Summer….gotta love it. 🙂

    Why is AT always capitalized and telemark not?

    Mega’s seems to much ski for a one ski quiver. Good for really big people IMHO.

  11. SiSt August 8th, 2013 3:22 am

    Except for the color-issue, what is the best topsheet in order to reduce snow buildup in your experience? What material, texture, finish etc?

    Consider this an attempt to rectify the issues.

  12. Lou Dawson August 8th, 2013 7:52 am

    He he, Matt, you would be the one to catch that little snipe (grin). Bummer is that it’s probably true, but also a “who cares” in all honesty. More, yeah, with the popularity of AT bindings as style accessories, most are probably being used at resorts as well. Things have sure changed!

    Personally, yeah, Mega would be too big for me as a one-ski quiver, but guys who like wider skis sometimes do pretty well with just one choice such as that.

    SIS, Ptex, aka HDP, is used for ski bases for a reason. Lot’s of skis use the same stuff to cover the top. I’m not sure there is anything else on the planet that’s reasonably priced that will do just as good or better job of not sticking to ice or snow. Once a ski has the HDP topskin, an anti moisture treatment can help as well, but in my experience needs to be applied nearly every trip and the improvement is minimal (me, I just rub the top with ski wax). Shape of the ski top is critical as well; dished shapes are ridiculous for a human powered ski and immediately pick up weight unless in ideal conditions. A slightly raised curve, highest at the center, is best at shedding snow while you walk yet still allowing a ski that’s not too thick. And if the ski is white, amazing how much less it will pick up ice.

    When touring with skis more than 100mm wide at the waist, how they shed snow is hyper critical. Nice when narrower skis do good with this as well, but not as big a deal.

    A ski pole with a plastic scraper on the grip can be used to clean heavily junked skis without needing to take them off or bend over at the waist.


  13. SiSt August 9th, 2013 8:48 am

    Thanks Lou, I´ll keepy our comments in mind.

  14. Michael Finger September 27th, 2013 8:50 pm

    Production weights are slightly heavier then published:
    178: 7lbs 14oz
    188:8lbs 7oz

  15. June November 4th, 2013 8:19 pm

    Hello Lou,

    I own a pair of Dynafit Huascarans 167 and love them….. but have the option for a pair of Carbon Megawatts at such a ridiculous price that I’m thinking of getting them. I’m purely a backcountry skier and not the sickest skier in the bunch… do you think 177 Carbon Megawatts would be too much for me to handle? 5.3, 130 lbs (capital) Teleskier. Thanks for your help, cheers, June.

  16. Peter Sturges November 9th, 2013 8:08 pm

    Lou and Louie – Great stuff as always! I am buying a pair of BD 2014 carbon Mega’s and I wanted to comment on top sheet snow loading. I ski here in NW California and we get massive dumps – sometimes not so dry. Snow loading is a huge concern and as someone commented the lightest ski (especially a wide one) is no advantage if you have to kick off a heap on every step. I was more than intrigued by someone’s link to a product ( “Never Wet” ) that just may be the answer for this. I checked the site in question and while I thought most of their “tests” were ridiculous I think this concept could have tremendous merit and might be just the thing for us. As I live in Forks of Salmon CA I won’t be racing out to Home Depot to purchase any time soon but… Surely there is a product that would cause snow to slide off. Best to you guys and loved the visit at MK’s! peter

  17. Lou Dawson November 9th, 2013 8:17 pm

    Hi Peter, in my experience there is no product that has any lasting effect on snow build-up. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news. You can get a short-term effect from such products, depending on the type of snow. Skis with indents in the top surface just exacerbate the problem — you can end up with pools of ice. Take care on what you buy, and know that ultra-width is not always necessary. Lou

  18. Peter Sturges November 10th, 2013 10:26 am

    Lou – No question the Mega is a quiver ski for most. I have purchased these for the deep days when “fall line only” dictates and we have to go better than 35 just to get down the hill. Even my carbon Justices aren’t wide enough on those days and we find ourselves skiing angles that are a bad idea after a massive dump. So I am hopeful these will keep me in the 20’s AND they are almost a pound lighter than the Justices. Will mount Radicals on these and went with the new “split skins, as well”. So, as I have told my wife, this purchase is all about safety. Right? Also, I will purchase afore mentioned product and give you a report. If this stuff can sit under water for a year, as they say, and still work… and it supposedly keeps ice away!

  19. Filip N. February 11th, 2014 9:57 am

    Seems that modern polish (labeled as nano-tech) used for gliders helps and last at least for 5 days (not having chance to ski them more…). There is also noticeable difference between glossy and matt areas of the top sheet clearly proving that high gloss surface is the best to repell any kind of dirt (unfortunatelly the designer wished to combine glossy and matt areas, matt black is worst combination…).

    One note – I was very positively surprised that the ski fitted all euro-tracks during skinning up. The not-so-wide rockered tip and the widest point in almost flat area down the ski completely avoid tip collisions while skinning within tracks.

    The tip is may be bit too soft for aggressive riding in heavier snow.

  20. James March 5th, 2014 5:55 pm

    Hi Lou,

    With spring right around the corner here in Colorado I am looking for some new sticks that will handle high alpine conditions, hardpack and wind blown snow. Any suggestions for a ski that has minimal chatter in the tips and stable at high speeds.

    cheers to a sweet season so far!!

  21. Gary March 11th, 2014 8:03 pm

    Seriously considering the Carbon Megawatt. I have AMPs now with about 100 days on them. Can anyone tell me if the Carbon has any camber under foot or is it flat?

  22. George April 1st, 2014 4:24 pm

    5-6 mm total camber underfoot, maybe a bit more, not flat

  23. glenn brady January 2nd, 2015 9:55 pm

    Just got my megawatts mounted with g3 ions..tip is super duuper soft..much softer than s7’s..and way softer than g3 empire. Will work them out tomorrow and report back

  24. Gary January 3rd, 2015 8:28 am

    Have skied the carbon Megawatt in all conditions. Great powder ski, but for hard pack and ice I don’t use them. Was hoping for a one ski fits all, but that still eludes me. The Carbons are not damped enough to track on hard rough conditions. If you’re touring in powder they’re great though.

  25. Ryan March 15th, 2015 4:51 pm

    Glenn, what size did you end up going with after debating 178 and 188? I’m wondering how short these things really ski with all that rocker.

  26. Gary March 16th, 2015 7:10 am

    Just a follow up to my previous post. I have skied the megawatts for over a 100 days tele skiing in all conditions. One point to be aware of is durability. I have a 9 inch delamination under foot on one ski. Black Diamond has opened a warrenty claim and they are on their way to SLC. Thanks BD! Overall I love these skis. They plane on deep snow, turn predictively, and they are surprisingly good in irregular, bumpy terrain. The shovel is soft and long, making it forgiving entering bumps. The tail is stiffer than most twin tip skis, but I like having more tail, especially wearing a pack. I’m on 178s. I wouldn’t go longer in the east. Tree skiing requires quicker turns than open bowls. Their light weight is a joy in the back country! I notice it most when I have to boot pack and carry them on my back! I hope BD will repair or replace my broken ski… looking forward to another good season with the Carbon MW!

  27. Gary March 16th, 2015 7:14 am

    They don’t hold on ice. Hard groomers yes, but real ice… forget no way!

  28. glenn brady March 17th, 2015 10:06 pm

    ryan-i got the 188 and am pleased. I like a shorter ski, but the 188 skis like a 175 so I am happy. I skied the SKY chutes in breck/copper/ten mile several times and they performed well. Check out this video (sorry) but showcases the ski in variable conditions, cruising at up to 35MPH. If you like JERAMIAH JOHnSON, you will love this movie This ski seems to levitate at high speeds, see this video and you will agree that you must be very carefull with this at high speeds..

  29. Xavier December 14th, 2015 12:41 pm

    Hi guys,

    I’m looking for a backcountry / powder ski. It’ll be my only pair to ski off the tracks.
    I have the possibility to buy the 2013/14 Carbon Megawatt for 270$.

    Should I go for it?

    I do not really care how it performs on the tracks as I am used to skiing slalom skis, so no matter what powder-ski I choose, it will be horribly bad compared to slalom skis.
    If the snow off the tracks is icy, I rarely ski off the tracks and take my slalom skis instead on those days. I usually prefer short turns, but I love it when the ski is stable at high speed during long turns. I love skiing below the treeline and do not do very much touring. I am far from being a pro-skier, but I do ski pretty well.

    I’d be glad if you could provide me with any information helping me decide if this ski would fulfill my needs.

    thanks in advance

  30. Gary December 14th, 2015 2:03 pm

    Follow up on the Carbon Megawatts. I skied the 13/14 model year ( blue) for 100 days and they delaminated under foot. BD sent me a new pair of 14/15 model year (white) as a replacement under warranty. I have adapted to the lack of dampness on ice and free very comfortable in all conditions. These are my skinny skis. I also have DPS Lotus 138 Pure Carbon skis for deep days, but I prefer the BD on most tours for their lighter weight. This is my second pair. I would probably get them again unless something much better comes along ( but it always seems too). $270 for a used pair in good condition is fair. If they are brand new, let me know, and I’ll try to buy them!

  31. Xavier December 15th, 2015 6:31 am

    Thanks for your opinion Gary. Yeah they’re brand new. I think I’ll get them

  Your Comments

  Recent Posts

Facebook Twitter Email Instagram Youtube


  • Blogroll & Links

  • Welcome to Louis (Lou) Dawson's backcountry skiing information & opinion website. Lou's passion for the past 50 years has been alpinism, climbing, mountaineering and skiing -- along with all manner of outdoor recreation. He has authored numerous books and articles about ski touring and is well known as the first person to ski down all 54 of Colorado's 14,000-foot peaks, otherwise known as the Fourteeners! Books and free ski touring news and information here.

    All material on this website is copyrighted, the name WildSnow is trademarked, permission required for reproduction (electronic or otherwise) and display on other websites. PLEASE SEE OUR COPYRIGHT and TRADEMARK INFORMATION.

    We include "affiliate sales" links with most of our blog posts. This means we receive a percentage of a sale if you click over from our site (at no cost to you). None of our affiliate commission links are direct relationships with specific gear companies or shopping carts, instead we remain removed by using a third party who manages all our affiliate sales and relationships. We also sell display "banner" advertising, in this case our relationships are closer to the companies who advertise, but our display advertising income is carefully separated financially and editorially from our blog content, over which we always maintain 100% editorial control -- we make this clear during every advertising deal we work out. Please also notice we do the occasional "sponsored" post, these are under similar financial arrangements as our banner advertising, only the banner or other type of reference to a company are included in the blog post, simply to show they provided financial support to and provide them with advertising in return. Unlike most other "sponsored content" you find on the internet, our sponsored posts are entirely under our editorial control and created by WildSnow specific writers.See our full disclosures here.

    Backcountry skiing is dangerous. You may be killed or severely injured if you do any form of ski mountaineering, skimo randonnee and randonnée skiing. The information and news on this website is intended only as general information. Due to human error and passing time, the information, text and images contained within this website may be inaccurate, false, or out-of-date. By using, reading or viewing the information provided on this website, you agree to absolve the owners of Wild Snow as well as content contributors of any liability for injuries or losses incurred while using such information. Furthermore, you agree to use any of this website's information, maps, photos, or binding mounting instructions templates at your own risk, and waive Wild Snow owners and contributors of liability for use of said items for ski touring or any other use.

    Switch To Mobile Version