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Black Diamond Impulse 98 All-Mountain Ski 2021 – 2022 | Review

Black Diamond set their sights on the resort market with the new Impulse 98 all-mountain ski

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

BUY HERE

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.

Black Diamond Impulse 98 Shaping

It’s looking like they’re using a fair bit of tapering in the tips for that loose feeling, while there’s a touch less tapering in the tails. This isn’t anything surprising really given the fresh approach from Black Diamond. Onto the rocker, there’s also a standard touch of rocker in both the tips and tails of all the skis.

Black Diamond claim that they’ve developed a new way to digitally print their topsheets onto the skis, and you can certainly tell the difference comparing this new technique to an older pair of skis. It gives the skis a matte and glossy type finish. All we know is that they look sick.

You’ve also got a tail clip for your skins, a welcome addition for all using these skis for a bit of  ski touring. All of this comes in at a weight  of around 1,760 grams per ski.

Who Is The Black Diamond Impulse 98 For?

So who are these skis going to be for? Well, they’re going to  appeal to a range of people thanks to the lively flex, loose nature and not too heavy build. Slap a hybrid touring binding like the Shift or Duke PT 16 and it looks like you’ve got a setup that can handle both the resort and the backcountry.

What Is The Black Diamond Impulse 98 Good At?

Versatility: 9/10
Carving: 7/10
Playfulness: 7/10

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