Black Diamond Revert Ski 2013-14 Review

Post by blogger | May 6, 2013      

I’ve been eager to get on Black Diamond’s totally revamped construction ski line. The 122/95/109 Revert is a good example of how complete their selection will be for next season (about a dozen models in various weight and width classes).

Black Diamond Revert visits WildSnow Field HQ.

Black Diamond Revert visits WildSnow Field HQ.

Revert is fairly light in weight vs surface area, receiving an average score (83) in our lightweight biased range. In terms of what you’re hauling up the hill, our 180 cm testers weigh 1562 grams (55 ounces) per ski. That’s again in the average range for our selection considering the 95 mm waist width. (Weight charts here.)

To give these a good test I took them out on glaze frozen groom, eventually transitioning to slush. I hounded the soft pockets but couldn’t find any powder to bifurcate.

Revert has quite a bit of tip and tail rocker, so I didn’t expect them to carve the way I’m used to doing. Nonetheless I could hold an arc once the frozen curd softened a bit.

On the glaze, Revert had a disconcerting grabby feeling in the tip. I thought this might have been me, but perhaps the tips needed a de-tune? When I got home, I noticed that the area in front of the binding and up to where the rocker begins has a very slight double camber. Very slight. Nonetheless I’m certain that’s what I was feeling on the frozen. A detune of the contact point where the double camber terminates should take care of the problem and make the Revert smoother on ice. Once the glaze softened I didn’t notice this effect and began to enjoy some semi-carving.

Overall feel of the Revert was snappy and fun, though I wasn’t trying to wring wannabe slalom turns out of these sticks. In terms of safe edgehold, I’d give them an A. They’re survivable at speed but not a laid back limo ride. With a 95 waist, Revert will never slav powder like big rockered yachts, but they’ve got the geometry to still be fun in the soft stuff.

Top indents pick up snow and ice and make us wonder...

Top indents pick up snow and ice and make us wonder if they're really necessary..

As usual, we’d like to see holes in the tip and tail for constructing a rescue sled or clipping skis to an anchor. Indentations in the top of the tip and tail topskin areas catch and hold a goodly amount of ice and snow, which obviates any weight savings from the material this geometry removes. PR story says these indents somehow make the skis perform better. Could be, but I’ll take that one with salt.

Construction details inspire confidence. Edge wraps the tip (adding weight but durable). Tail boasts the nice Black Diamond branded skin notch that’s a machined chunk of alu instead of a notch hacked into the tail protector as is common with other brands. Tip is a slow-rise spoon. Tail is flat.

Revert rocker profiles.

Black Diamond Revert ski, rocker profiles. Click to enlarge.

Conclusion: We’d call these an acceptable to good overall touring and ski mountaineering ski if you like the feel of a platform in the 95mm waist class. They have better hardpack edghold than many of the other testers we’ve been on this winter, perhaps due to sidewall construction and torsional stiffness. Ultimate Quiver Pick? I think BD has some other models that’ll be ahead of Revert for consideration. Nonetheless, good to get a review on the record.


11 Responses to “Black Diamond Revert Ski 2013-14 Review”

  1. Chris May 7th, 2013 1:11 pm

    Would you mind posting pictures of the rocker profile?

  2. Phil May 7th, 2013 4:39 pm

    The 2012/13 Reverts seemed to be extremely soft-flexing. I was considering them as a possible ski, but flexing them in-store convinced me otherwise. The weight sounds similar to last year… do you know if the new lay-up (are these carbon pre-preg?) has led to a stiffer ski? Your somewhat restrained praise on the carving front makes me think they may still be rather soft…

  3. Lou Dawson May 9th, 2013 8:09 am

    Hi Chris, I’ll see if we can get that. I suppose we should start doing that on all ski reviews. Thanks for the reminder. Lou

  4. Lou Dawson May 13th, 2013 10:25 am

    Hey Chris, I just added the rocker profile photo. We’ll try to do that more frequently with our reviews, thanks for the reminder. Lou

  5. Moloch July 5th, 2013 9:05 pm

    Hi Lou,

    What would be your ultimate Quiver Pick be from BD? Looking for something ~100mm underfoot for both touring, approaches and some groomers also.

  6. Lou Dawson July 5th, 2013 9:31 pm

    Moloch, the 2013/14 quiver is in development, fewer skis this year. All shall be revealed and we will be very biased by weight. The hint is in our recent Megawatt review. Lou

  7. Matthias October 8th, 2013 3:48 am

    Hello Lou!

    I am really interested in the new Black Diamond Skis for touring. Right now I am stuck between the Revert 13/14 and the Aspect 13/14. I just switched from Splitboarding back to skiing and now I am looking for a Ski that´s a little bit easier to handle. Which one of these two is your choice?

    Greetings from Austria

  8. Lou Dawson October 8th, 2013 7:39 am

    Hello Matthias, if I had to pick between the two it would be Aspect for sure. Lou

  9. Matthias October 10th, 2013 8:23 am

    Hey Lou!
    I don´t know if this is the right place to ask but I try. After you said the Aspect would be your choice, I started looking for this ski and accidently stumbled on the Dynastar Cham 97 which looks really good on paper and reviews. What´s your opinion compared to the BD Aspect.
    I never owned a rocker ski so I´m not really sure which size suits me best. I am 178cm tall and my weight is 69kg. Do you think 172cm ski length is too small?

    Thanks, Matthias

  10. Lou Dawson October 10th, 2013 8:28 am

    Cham has gotten steller reviews. I’ve been told by many skiers I respect that they are excellent! As for ski length, I think a 172 would work at your height and weight. Lou

  11. Chris October 24th, 2013 4:01 pm

    What do you think, BD Reverts or Voile Vectors?

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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.

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