Why we chose the Black Crows Mentis Freebird: Lightweight, smooth, confident
Lengths (cm): 157, 164, 171, 178
Sidecut (mm): 111 / 80 / 101 (178 cm)
Radius: 19m (178 cm)
Rocker Profile: Rocker-Camber
Weight (per ski): 1,075g
Black Crows, broadly speaking, have tended to shy away from producing light-as-a-feather ski mountaineering skis. Yes, they’ve produced some impressively light skis – with incredibly high performance – but, it’s fair to say, lycra isn’t really their forte. The Mentis Freebird is the brand’s take on the ski mountaineering ski category and, we’re glad to report, it’s got all the Black Crows magic built into it.
“It’s got all the Black Crows magic built into it”
Coming in at a shockingly low weight of 1,057 grams per ski, it’s the lightest ski in the Crow’s lineup of backcountry-specific skis. Combine this low weight with a sporty flex and efficient skin clips on the tips and tails, and you’ve got yourself a pair of planks that’ve been designed to get you to the tops in a speedy and effortless style. What’s more, you’ve got yourself a pair of skis that won’t perform like soggy cardboard on the downhill.
Mentis Freebird Build
Starting with the build, Black Crows have managed to keep the weight low thanks to, you guessed it, the use of carbon fibre. This carbon construction features a layer of carbon that’s been mixed in with a fibreglass weave. It works as blend, both in terms of snappy responsiveness and smooth flex. These laminates have been backed up by a lightweight, yet poppy, Paulownia wood core.
This results in a reasonably stiff flex throughout the entire length of the ski, one that Black Crows rate as 75 out of 100 on their scale. We’d agree with this rating. This Mentis Freebird doesn’t feel too soft, or too stiff (as can often be the case with ultra-lightweight ski mountaineering skis).