Black Diamond Helio Carbon 104 Touring Ski 2022 – 2023 | Review

The Black Diamond Helio Carbon offers a high level of performance at a phenomenal weight

Why we chose the Black Diamond Helio Carbon 104: Lightweight, smooth, versatile 

Lengths (cm): 160, 166, 172, 178 & 184
Sidecut (mm): 131 / 104 / 118 (172 cm)
Radius: 21m (172 cm)
Rocker Profile: Rocker-Camber-Rocker
Weight (per ski): 1,450g
Price: £700

More Info

The Helio range of backcountry skis from Black Diamond have quickly become a mainstay in BD’s backcountry-specific ski offering. By combining a highly-tuned prepreg carbon fibre laminate with a full-perimeter ABS sidewall, the brand have created a ski that impressed our testers with its nice balance of low weight and smooth handling.

These, the Helio Carbon 104, bring this low weight and high performance to a mid-fat touring package to create a ski that’s versatile enough to be thrown around in soft snow. It’s also more than capable of taking on variable conditions with poise, especially considering their impressively low weight.

Helio Carbon 104 Build

The Helio Carbon 104 has been built with a prepreg carbon construction at its heart. This carbon has, as the name suggests, been pre-impreginated with just the right amount of toughened epoxy to ensure a precise weight and consistent quality is achieved. It’s the kind of stuff they use in fighter jets, which may seem overkill, but we’re a big fan of the boost in performance these layups manage to bring.

As expected from a ski touring ski, Black Diamond has made use of a Paulownia wood core as the go-to material to be fused with this carbon layup. Paulownia has been chosen thanks to its slightly softer longitudinal stiffness, which allows for the use of a stiff carbon (without making the ski overly-demanding as a result)

To help fight off the usually classic ‘tinny’ feeling that carbon creates, Black Diamond has built in elastomeric materials to help improve damping and edge control. These rubber layers have been tuned to both absorb high-frequency vibrations while also allowing movement between the internal layers. This has been done in an effort to prolong the life of the skis.

Final notes on the build include a word on that titanal mounting plate. This ensures you’ve got solid screw retention (particularly when you’re using narrow screw pattern touring bindings), while also adding a touch of extra torsional stiffness directly underfoot. You’ve also got full-spanning ABS sidewalls for an extra bump in performance, and ABS tail protectors with a handy skin notch cut out.

Following suit with the impressive Impulse 98, the Helio range also features an all new way of printing topsheets onto the skis. It’s pretty simple stuff, but basically means the brand can get some really detailed designs printed onto their skis. We’re very much into it.

Black Diamond Helio Carbon 104 Shaping

Black Diamond has opted for a 104 mm waist width to give the ski a good dose of versatility. It also means the skis can stay relatively precise and powerful if you do find yourself tracking over the hard stuff. The tips feature early rise, with just a touch in the tails. The cambered section runs deep into the ski, giving you a long effective edge for further grip and power transfer through firm snow.

Who Is The Black Diamond Helio Carbon 104 For?

As has been the trend for many modern touring skis, the Black Diamond Helio Carbon 104 brings a high level of performance at a low weight. If you’re after a surfier, looser, ski than many of the more traditional ski touring skis then the Helio range is definitely worth checking out.

What Is The Black Diamond Helio Carbon 104 Good At?

Versatility: 8/10
Carving: 7/10
Soft Snow: 7/10

Newsletter Terms & Conditions

Please enter your email so we can keep you updated with news, features and the latest offers. If you are not interested you can unsubscribe at any time. We will never sell your data and you'll only get messages from us and our partners whose products and services we think you'll enjoy.

Read our full Privacy Policy as well as Terms & Conditions.