A Fortnight of Planks #4 – Black Diamond Havoc

Post by WildSnow.com blogger | April 11, 2006      

Black Diamond Havoc backcountry ski
Black Diamond’s twin tip offering has been a popular ski this winter. Justifiably so. Combining soft flex with moderate width (88 waist), the Havoc yields a winning combo for soft snow skiing. Add the feel of a rear tip to the mix, and you’ve got a ski that’s a bonafide “all mountain all terrain” plank. I’ll not go into an extensive review here as we’ve already covered this ski, but I’ll say the Havoc is an excellent choice for a backcountry twintip.

A rear tip can be nice for ski mountaineering (among other things, it makes a falling-leaf sideslip easier). Conversely, the rear tip does have issues. It’s tough to jam in the snow tail-first when using skis as an anchor, problematic for skin attachment, adds weight, and has handling characteristics that my not be of liking to all skiers. Keep those factors in mind — but if you like twintips, by all means consider the Havoc. (And yes, those are Freeride bindings and Dynafit Freeride Aero boots — hey — we’re gear testers!).

We tested the 173 cm Havoc. Weight is 56.4 oz (1600 g) per ski.


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2 Responses to “A Fortnight of Planks #4 – Black Diamond Havoc”

  1. Mark April 12th, 2006 6:52 am

    Hey Louie,
    Nice testing remarks lately. I have to say I’m lucky enough to have skied the Havoc recently as well as several other BD skis, Dynafits, and a host of others. The Havocs are just plain decent–if not spectacular. If the rear tips were only slightly upturned, I’d prefer it. Try waxing twins and then leaning them up on the wall to cool. It’s sketchy at best. Have you skied the Verdict? Nice plank indeed. Don’t know if I could haul them in the bc, but might.


  2. Matt Kinney April 13th, 2006 7:42 am

    I just retired my Havocs after 300 days thrashing them. Great ski that took my skiing to higher, yet much funner and stable level. Great ski for old foggies as the stability is amazing. Ditto about the falling leaf thing, which was very noticeable and useful in steep terrain. No snagging the tail when backslipping in hairball conditions. Excellent for telemark skiing and drove them all over the place in t-3’s with Riva Z’s for a super light set up, considering the fatness of the Havoc

    I replaced them with Verdicts last month, which are real, real sweet…and I thinks better the Havocs, though a bit heavier.

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