Why we chose the Black Diamond Impulse 98: Versatile, playful, Austrian construction
Lengths (cm): 161, 168, 175, 182, 189
Sidecut (mm): 131 / 98 / 119 (175 cm)
Radius: 16m (175 cm)
Rocker Profile: Rocker-Camber-Rocker
Weight (per ski): 1,760g
Price: £600 / €600 / $700
The new Impulse range from Black Diamond has been brought in to replace the old and, quite frankly, dated Boundary range. For those of you who may have spent time on the Boundary will know that those things were pretty stiff which, with their large turning radius, meant they were a pretty demanding ski for the everyday punter.
“Making a ski that’s a little more forgiving gets double thumbs up from us”
This is where the Impulse range comes in. It’s one of those hybrid resort/backcountry ranges that have been designed to perform well across the entire mountain, with the 98 and 104 versions slotting into the ever competitive mid waisted all-mountain category. You’ll also find a 112 mm waisted Impulse 112 sitting at the wider spectrum.
While the Boundary range was unforgiving to say the least, Black Diamond have looked to dial back the stiffness levels a touch, and tighten up the turn radius a little. We’re really big fans of this approach from Black Diamond as many ski brands are so quick to make the best ski possible for their athletes without much thought for us, the everyday buyer, so making a ski that’s a little more forgiving gets double thumbs up from us.
Black Diamond Impulse 98 Build
Looking at the all-mountain shaped Impulse 98, you certainly see this approach when you’re flexing these skis. It’s definitely no Jeremie Heitz Pro Model, but it’s also not a wet noodle either. It’s the kind of flex that makes you want to get out and engage that energetic flex pattern into some snappy turns. The tips felt a touch on the soft side, but that’s to be expected from a ski that’s designed to make the backcountry more accessible.