Black Crows Navis Freebird
Why we chose the Black Crows Navis Freebird: Classic, nimble, powerful
Lengths (cm): 167, 173, 179 & 185
Sidecut (mm): 136 / 102 / 116
Radius: 19 m
The fluro-green look of the Navis Freebird has kind of become synonymous with the European touring scene. Spend a bit of time on a classic ski tour in the Alps and you’re almost certain to come across someone lugging a pair of these uphill. And this thanks, in part, to some savvy marketing by Chamonix-based Black Crows, but it’s also thanks to the ski’s ideal blend of versatility and low weight which makes for an extremely confident touring ski, no matter what the conditions or where on the mountain you’re touring.
Who Is The Black Crows Navis Freebird For?
While perhaps not the most groundbreaking or technologically advanced pair of skis out there, the Navis Freebird is an extremely solid ski that can be relied upon no matter what the snow conditions are. A smooth and damp build provides a predictable and confidence-inspiring ride, while the clever use of progressive rocker keeps these skis noble in tight terrain. We’ve got a feeling we’re going to be seeing yet more of these fluorescent planks on the skin tracks this winter.
Selected for the 22/23 Mpora Ski 100. Check out our full Black Crows Navis Freebird Review here
Elan Ripstick 96
Why we chose the Elan Ripstick 96: Versatile, light, powerful
Lengths (cm): 164, 172, 180 & 188
Sidecut (mm): 136 / 96 / 110 (180 cm)
Radius: 18m (180cm)
The Elan Ripstick 96 has not only established itself as one of the most popular all-mountain skis, since an essential redesign last season, but it also became a firm favourite between the Mpora test team during the test circuit last season. This is all thanks to a mix of technologies and materials that blend together to produce an extremely predictable ski with that all-mountain sweet-spot waist width of 96 mm.
Not only is this an extremely capable all-mountain ski but, thanks to the 1,650 gram per ski weight, it’s also entirely possible to drill a ski touring binding to the Ripstick 96 and you’re left with an extremely high performing pair of skis that can also explore backcountry and off-piste terrain with poise and confidence.
Selected for the 22/23 Mpora Ski 100. Check out our full Elan Ripstick 96 Review here
Line Blade Optic 104
Why we chose the Line Blade Optic 104: Powerful, versatile, fun
Lengths (cm): 171, 178, 185, 190
Sidecut (mm): 132 / 104 / 123
There are four skis in the Blade Optic Collection coming in at widths of 92, 96, 104, and 114mm. All of them have their uses but this 104 covers the all-mountain freeride category. I’ve witnessed, through my very own eyes, talented Line Team member and New Zealander, Ben Richards go to town on these bad boys (day in, day out). Claiming the title as the most versatile ski in the range, the 104 covers all corners, crevasses and couloirs of the mountain. It’s the business.
So, who should ride the 104 Blade Optic? Well it would be easier to answer who shouldn’t quite frankly. From park rats to Mr. Slalom, these skis cater to a wide range of skiers on the mountain. The Blade is made for people who want to rip the whole resort and don’t want to be slowed down by their skis. A great ski covering a great deal of skiing. Line’s really done something special here.
Selected for the 22/23 Mpora Ski 100. Check out our full Line Blade Optic 104 Review here
You May Also like
Best Ski Jackets
Best Ski Mitts For Winter
The Ski 100 | Our Pick Of The Best Ski Gear For This Winter