Black Crows Camox Freebird Ski — Review First Look


Post by WildSnow.com blogger | January 2, 2018      
BlackCrowssmiles

Nothing but fun and smiles and Black Crows on a beautiful blue bird October day.

Vibrant crows waiting for a white backdrop.

Vibrant crows waiting for a white backdrop.

Who enjoyed winter stoke early season? Not us here in the soggy PNW, since all we got was rain and…more rain. Yes, we should definitely have been in Colorado for blower pow instead. Uhhh, they had not been getting dumped on either, oh no.

While waiting for the next storm, I channelled my excitement into sharing this first look of the Black Crows Camox Freebird. A few years ago I saw Black Crows, and was eager to learn more about the bright skis.

After researching, and chatting with friends, I decided I had to try the brand.

I have to give a shout out to the simple, yet very eye-catching graphics and colors. I love the touch of the funny quotes on the skis. “If you can read this, you’re not skiing.” Giggles guaranteed! Nicely done, Black Crows.

The dream quiver would be to have all the hues to complete the ski rainbow — but for now I’ll take just one color.

I settled on Black Crows Camox Freebird — a touring specific 97mm shredding bird. Black Crows feature both men’s and women’s skis, but their touring line is unisex.

BlackCrowsearlyOct

Skiing up the Muir snowfields in early October.

I’ve had the chance to get out on Mt. Rainier and ski the Camox Freebird twice on early season snow. I skied Camp Muir in the beginning of October and Interglacier in mid October. Since then, the snowpack has grown tremendously so I’ve been opting for a wider ski.

The Camox Freebird performed well in early season variable conditions. Both outings featured a bit of everything:

  • low coverage sticky snow
  • creamy soft snow
  • heinous breakable crust
  • windblown variable pow
  • Gotta love early season glacier skiing!

    Gotta love early season glacier skiing!

    Tip rocker profileBC

    Tip rocker profile.

    Camox Freebirds’ have a progressive front rocker and light rear rocker which was very helpful with battling snow variability on my early season noodle legs. I found that the ski floated well in just about any snow I encountered. I want to highlight the slightly raised tail; it offers softness I easily noticed at the end of a turn, as well as holding skin tail clips well.

    Compared to my usual 1900 gm ski, the new setup was noticeably lighter. With that said, Camox Freebirds’ are not the lightest touring skis of their size, measuring ~1510gm per ski for 171.4cm long ski. However, they perform well in variable conditions which is generally where light skis struggle. They have just the right amount of stiffness to be both secure and playful.

    Another thing to highlight is the skis have a relatively small turning radius, which I find to be a game changer for a backcountry ski; I expect it to perform well in tight trees and couloirs.

    Freebird profile.

    Camox Freebird profile.

    PNW mid-winter snow is much more fun to handle on a wider ski so I wouldn’t deem Freebirds as a good all around ski for the Pacific Northwest. However, for a place like Utah or Colorado, it would be different story.

    Overall, so far the ski lived up to all of my expectations. Being a bit spoiled with a wide ski quiver, I most likely won’t use it in the depth of winter due to its svelte waist. I am looking forward to crushing it this spring or on those more variable mid winter days.

    Specs for my set up:

    Ski: Black Crows Camox Freebird, 171.4 cm
    Weight per ski (171 cm): 1520 g
    Dimensions: 125 / 97 / 112 mm
    Turning radius: 18m
    Available lengths: 162.8, 171.4, 178.1, 183.2 cm
    Mount location: recommended line
    Boots: Scarpa Gea RS
    Bindings: G3 Ion LT
    Ski tester: female, height 5’9″, weight 140 lbs

    (Here at WildSnow.com, we have a business partnership with Cripple Creek Backcountry. They sponsor a number of blog posts. Our goal with this is to reduce the banner advertising load on Wildsnow.com, to enhance your reading experience while sustaining our business financially. The editors and writers at WildSnow.com retain 100% editorial control over sponsored posts. We strive to be objective and authentic — just as we do when we write blog posts while supported by our banner advertising.)

    Shop Cripple Creek Backcountry for touring skis.



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    Comments

    10 Responses to “Black Crows Camox Freebird Ski — Review First Look”

    1. D January 2nd, 2018 8:24 pm

      I’m on my second full season using the Camox freebirds 180s in coastal BC. Really like them, made for tight spaces, and their performance in even fairly deep heavy snow conditions is surprisingly good. Seriously bomber topsheets too. I skied heavily all year on them and they look brand new still!

    2. rod georgiu January 3rd, 2018 9:13 am

      How are they on ice?

    3. Alessandro January 6th, 2018 11:03 am

      I’m spending the second year with the Navis Freebirds. I never had such an amazing pair of ski.
      I mounted wih ATK FR14 bibding and the 1.9 kg combo i fantastic in any condition.
      I’m pretty curious to try the new Orb

    4. Julia January 8th, 2018 3:42 pm

      D and Alessandro – Thanks for your comments! I am stoked to get out on them more – so far I like them a lot!

      Rod –

      I haven’t had too much time on ice on these yet, but have skied them in generally hard pack conditions. They certainly don’t perform as well as a GS ski, but they have minimal shatter and good stability from what I experienced so far.

    5. Kjetil January 9th, 2018 7:28 am

      I have the exact same setup, except my skis being 178. I find these skis to be super allround and that they can handle everything I throw at them. Very easy to ski with a medium and very even flex. Short turn radius make them easy and fun in tight trees and in other tight places; colouirs and techy spots. They also handle speed well, but the short radius dictates more fast GS turns rather than huge DH turns.

      I did 100 days last year ski touring and 85 % with these skis in all kinds of snow, terrain and long/short days – and the only days I didn’t ski them were the days with knee deep pow where fatter and longer sticks are better.

    6. charlie January 16th, 2018 3:04 pm

      Thanks for the thoughtful review. I am interested in Black Crows Camox Freebird as a new touring skis. Formers touring skis, old euro school.

      About me, male, 5’10”, ~150 lbs, Boots, Atomic Hawx ul XTD. What are your thoughts on length 171 or 178 cm. Other skis, I have considered, Rossi Soul 7. I am not an aggressive skier anymore and like have a choice of ski turns depending on conditions (tight spaces). I live in the Pac NW and tour locally and in Idaho (”Sawtooth).

    7. charlie January 16th, 2018 3:05 pm

      subscribed

    8. D January 16th, 2018 7:50 pm

      Hey Charlie – I especially like the Camox freebirds because they remind me of a sensible ‘Euro’ style touring ski – at their core they’re solid tools for traveling in the mountains, nothing crazy in terms of shape, but still fun and playful enough when conditions allow it. I am 6ft and ski the 178s – and they’re plenty nimble in tight spaces. I guess you could size down if you’re looking to save more weight or want them for hard snow / fast light days. The turning radius is quick.

      Rodd- no complaints in icy conditions after one season, although if you’re always skiing east coast conditions – you could go narrower in the Freebird range!

    9. Charlie Rubin January 16th, 2018 9:44 pm

      Thanks for the comment. All my previous ski are old style euro touring skis. The widest ski was 88 underfoot. At least in Europe, skinning up steep hard/iced slopes, narrower ski seemed better to me. As an aging skier, I rather use a softer and easier ski that is still quick. On a side note, have you used the Corvus Freebird ski. It’s way wider underfoot, but might be nice following a storm cycle.

    10. Robert Mowris January 29th, 2018 12:42 am

      I have skied past two seasons on Black Crows 183 Corvus Freebird with Meidjo 2.0 bindings and Scarpa TX Comp boot. This equipment works well for all snow conditions without any issues to report. Very light for touring and excellent for downhill skiing using either the telemark or alpine methods.





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