Black Diamond Carbon Whippet 2018-2019 Unboxing Teardown and Modding

Post by blogger | February 19, 2018      

(This post sponsored by our publishing partner Cripple Creek Backcountry.)

Alex did a good first-look at the new Whippet, thought I’d piggy back as well as embarking on the trail of the mod.

It's not really a box, but everything is tied together so the retail process stays pristine.

It’s not really a box, but everything is bundled with zip ties so the retail process stays as pristine as the crisp white powder you will probably experience once you have this ski pole in your glove nestled hand.

Tip safety protector and socket filler come nicely packaged.

Tip safety protector and socket filler come nicely packaged.

Socket filler, protects  inside of pole when pick is not installed.

Socket filler plug, protects inside of pole when pick is not installed.

Socket filler installed, it's somewhat difficult to remove.

Socket filler plug installed, it’s somewhat difficult to remove. If you use this often it might be worth installing a loop of string to help with removal.

After breaking a fingernail getting the socket filler plug out, I modded with a pull string.

After breaking a fingernail getting the socket filler out, I modded with a pull string. This might exceed the threshold for reasonable hardware hacking. Hints, bore holes with heated steel such as reversed drill bit, make hole in top as well as another hole in the hidden part of the plug and knot through that, otherwise your stopper knot will just pull through the soft plastic.

Tip protector has a clever little elasticized clip. Elegant.

Whippet tip protector has a clever little elasticized clip. Elegant, yet perhaps a bit redundant considering how easy it is to remove the Whippet. In any case, if all you do is snow work with this tool, no reason for it to be razor sharp. Ease off the edges and the point a bit with file and sandpaper. The teeth under the pick are especially shark like — clearly more shelf-appeal item than of any practical value — they’ll serve nicely to wear out your gloves, ease ’em.

For quickly easing points and edges, sanding disk in rotary grinder, then finish with hand sanding.

For quickly easing points and edges, sanding disk in rotary grinder, then finish with hand sanding.



Whippet attaches with a simple, solid system. A 5 mm rod simply rotates into a threaded socket.

Whippet attaches with a simple, solid system. A 5 mm rod simply rotates into a threaded socket.

Another view.

Another view.

This is where I mention weight. Because this is Sadly, due to the large sized steel anchor bung welded to the pick, one Whippet removed from pole weighs 5.3 ounces, 150 grams. They’re rather hefty. My non-adjustable carbon ski poles only weigh 7 ounces! Weight of the Whippet Carbon adjustable pole, without whippet pick installed, 10.6 ounces, 300 grams.

In the name of science, the grip was removed so you can see how the pick attaches to threaded insert at top of pole.

In the name of science, the grip was removed so you can see how the pick attaches to threaded insert at top of pole. The fitting appears to be pressed in, perhaps with some adhesive. Grip was removed with ANSI certified boiling water methodology. Do NOT try at home!

Just to be clear on how the Whippet fits together.

Just to be clear on how the Whippet fits together.

All leading one to think, how about a few accessories?

All leading one to think, how about a few accessories? Most obvious, make a monopod camera adapter. Got some 1/4-20 all-thread rod, a plastic “universal” knob with a 1/4″ bore, and a nylon plastic 1/2 inch cylindrical spacer. Back to the maker space for the build.

Drill out the knob.

Drill out the knob to 7/32″ and tap to 1/4-20 so the rod threads in nice and solid.

Allthread in the knob. Next, cut to length.

Allthread in the knob. Next, cut to length matching factory unit, tap about an inch on the end to the 5 mm thread required by the factory female fitting inside the Whippet ski pole.

Thread end to 5 millimeter.

Thread end to 5 millimeter, matching factory unit.

Measuring length for cutting.

Measuring length for cutting.

Assembled adapter uses 1/2 inch diameter nylon spacer, has to be eased down to fit pole socket 12 millimeters.

Assembled adapter uses 1/2 inch diameter nylon spacer, has to be eased about a millimeter down to fit 12 millimeter pole socket. Easily done with sanding disk on rotary grinder.

Finished product.

Finished product, assembled with plentiful J-Bweld epoxy.

Bipod mount in use, nice for video work.

Bipod mount in use, nice for video work.


Bonus shot.

Bonus shot. The Carbon Whippet comes with an aluminum ring on the upper shaft, intended for lower grip while climbing. I somewhat like the idea, but not for certain. In the name of science I removed. Turns out the ring is tightly press fit with some adhesive underneath. What’s odd is the shaft has a join under the ring. Research is ongoing.

The new BD Whippet…that’s right, no mistake, this is the 2018 Whippet

The mystery ring in OEM condition is visible in this photo from Alex’s review.

Okay, you got this far. One more thing. I have a lot of experience with Whippets, not only due to my own use, but my son’s life being saved by them, as well as knowing how Andrew McLean (the guy who originally designed them) utilizes. One for each hand. That is all.


Please Enjoy A Few Suggested WildSnow Posts


20 Responses to “Black Diamond Carbon Whippet 2018-2019 Unboxing Teardown and Modding”

  1. Eric Steig February 19th, 2018 8:39 am

    Are these things *heavier* than the last-generation Whippets? I’m guessing yes.

  2. Lou Dawson 2 February 19th, 2018 11:04 am

    Eric, probably a bit heavier, hard to weight last gen as they were fixed to the pole. Lou

  3. James February 19th, 2018 2:02 pm

    I feel lazy for asking, but anyone willing to make an aftermarket monopod adapter for this same application so I don’t have to source the pieces?

  4. Lou Dawson 2 February 19th, 2018 2:15 pm

    As Fritz Barthel says, laziness leads to great things. We shall see. I wouldn’t be surprised to see a monopod adapter and a saw holder come from BD. My rig is lacking in that it doesn’t snug down into the slot on top of the pole grip, to prevent rotation. If something OEM was designed it would probably have that feature. MTN

  5. etto February 20th, 2018 6:49 am

    With tools like the Camp Corsa (205g) and Petzl Ride (240g) available I see a very limited market for these.

  6. Jason February 20th, 2018 9:37 am

    @etto, I tour with a whippet because my splitboard has wire heel lifters (Phantom) and they are easiest to lift using the tang on the side of the pick on the whippet.

    I have also had a very scary slide arrested with a whippet when I fell mid kickturn on steep, hard-frozen corn. After the slide I switched to boot crampons and front pointed directly up the slope while another person in our party continued on with ski crampons and a standard ice axe in hand. It was painfully slow skinning with an ice axe. A standard axe has it’s place but sometimes I don’t want to be forced to choose between a pole and an axe.

    i just wish whippets came with normal powder baskets or even the stiffer Helio powder basket instead of the half-basket.

  7. aaron February 20th, 2018 9:39 am

    I would like to buy carbon whippet poles with no whippet and make my own t-grip/ less aggressive self arrest grip.

  8. Lou Dawson 2 February 20th, 2018 10:42 am

    Good idea Aaron, another excellent aftermarket item would be an aluminum Whippet or titanium. I don’t weld aluminum, but I’ve always intended to learn how, perhaps a summer project. My MIG welder would do it. Fun. Lou

  9. Aaron Trowbridge February 20th, 2018 8:46 pm

    Here is a photo of my 25 yr old leki poles with one leki self arrest grip and one homemade one (after the leki broke). Cut from 1/2 aluminum plate with solid tang into tje grip. This would be easier with the whippet compatible pole.

  10. Pablo February 21st, 2018 4:39 am

    Yeah Lou, an aluminium Whippet would be fantastic.
    For that use steel is not necessary and Aluminium would save several grams…
    I think is an opportunity to B&D or other aftermarket producers… Specially knowing that there will be other Whippet ready poles….

  11. Lou Dawson 2 February 21st, 2018 10:25 am

    Aaron, beautiful job on that!

  12. Mark W February 21st, 2018 10:30 am

    The directional half-basket returns. That’s unfortunate.

  13. Mark W February 21st, 2018 10:30 am

    Glad you brought back the monopod mod. I’ve done that. Works nicely.

  14. Lou Dawson 2 February 21st, 2018 11:22 am

    Yeah, I’m not a fan of the half basket either… am assuming regular baskets will rotate-pop install. Lou

  15. etto February 22nd, 2018 2:27 am

    @Jason you lost me at splitboard 😉 I suppose ski crampons aren’t the hottest thing around for split boards? Personally, if the up is that sketchy I don’t want to be on my skis, whippet or no whippet.

  16. Jason February 22nd, 2018 10:50 am

    @etto. I was on ski crampons when I fell and AT boots with Dynafit toes. There was a skin track from a previous day that was ok but also frozen hard, one of the kickturn corners was blown out so I tried to go a few more steps out into the frozen corn and realized my mistake. In the end I was much happier and faster on my boot crampons and it was a bad choice on my part to push so far on skis in those conditions.

    Most of my learning in the mountains is related to recognizing situations and making changes before they get dangerous, this was a part of my learning process. 😀

    In the end, you’re correct though, splitboarding is a small market and within the splitboarding market the whippet is only used by a small portion.

  17. zippy the pinhead February 22nd, 2018 5:09 pm

    Half basket = less swing weight.

    I’d have expected you to be on board with that, Lou.

  18. Lou 2 February 22nd, 2018 5:30 pm

    The speed holes I drill in my baskets take care of the problem. Smile. Lou

  19. Wookie1974 March 19th, 2018 7:29 am

    So – I guess I’m asking the question with an obvious answer: Has anyone here actually self-arrested on one of these? I mean full-on, slide-for-life type stuff? I’ve had one accident like that, and the idea of these is attractive, but I’ve practiced self-arrests many many times, and I just can’t see these stopping much more than the smallest of falls from my experiences with a “real” one.
    Everything has its limit – but can anybody here give info on what the limits are for these things? I can’t even find them in Europe – and I’d hate to buy and be disappointed.

  20. Lou Dawson 2 March 19th, 2018 8:12 am

    Wookie, they are definitly very limited but have saved lives. How effective has somewhat to do with style of skiing. If you tend to jump into things at full speed, self arresting a fall using a Whippet or even an ice axe is nearly impossible, but if you ski steeps slowly in control, the Whippet can help. Also, they can help if you’re caught in an avalanche, as in some types of slides you can stab down into the bed surface as you get taken away, and thus stop yourself as the slide continues down the mountain. Again, in limited situations. Overall, I regard Whippet as more of a climbing aid than a self arrest device. Another mode Whippets are very useful for is when boot hiking in icy terrain, in case of a slip or awkward moment. MTN

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