Black Crows Mentis Freebird Ski Touring Ski 2022 – 2023 | Review

The Black Crows Mentis Freebird is a ski mountaineering ski that manages to retain an impressive level of downhill performance

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
Price: £690


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).

You’ve also got a handy titanal binding reinforcement plate sat underfoot which helps to boost binding retention, particularly when you’re drilling a pair of lightweight ski touring bindings with a narrow drill pattern (you wouldn’t want to put anything bigger than these on the Mentis, to be fair).

Black Crows Mentis Freebird Shaping

An 80 mm waist has been shaped into the Mentis Freebird, resulting in a good balance of soft snow performance and edge grip all while keeping the weight hovering around that 1,000 gram number.

This shaping results in a long (for its class) turn radius of 19 metres in an effort to give the ski stability. Both the tips and tails are fairly traditional (aside from the blunt squared-off nose) to keep the skis pretty consistent and predictable in firm snow. A flat tail helps keep the skis locked into turns, while also providing as little material as possible which could potentially get in the way during any dicey kick turns on steep slopes.

The Mentis also features a touch of rocker, with a long classic camber stretching out underfoot. This results in a longer effective edge to give the ski fantastic edge grip and bite when you’re skiing, or skinning on steeper slopes.

Who Is The Black Crows Mentis Freebird For?

The Mentis Freebirds are a fantastic pair of ski mountaineering tools that feature all the signature Crows design that we’ve come to know and love from the company. Although they’re coming in at an impressively low weight, they manage to retain an impressively smooth flex to keep them as smooth and predictable as you’d wish for a ski mountaineering ski in this weight class.

What Is The Black Crows Mentis Freebird Good At?

Weight: 9/10
Hard Snow: 8/10
Soft Snow: 5/10

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