Ski: 2016-2017 Black Crows Camox Freebird, 178 cm
Available Lengths (cm): 162.8, 171.4, 178.1, 183.2, cm
Actual Length (straight tape pull): 175.9 cm
Stated Weight per Ski: 1600 g — 171 cm model
Blister’s Measured Weight per Ski (178 cm): 1661 & 1664 grams
Stated Dimensions (mm): 128-97-114
Blister’s Measured Dimensions (mm): 126.5-96-113
Stated Sidecut Radius: 18 meters
Tip & Tail Splay (ski decambered): 61 mm / 26 mm
Traditional Camber Underfoot: 5-6 mm
Recommended Mount Point: -8.55 cm from center; 79.4 cm from tail
We’ll be posting our full review of the Corvus Freebird soon (we’ve been on the ski in Chamonix and around New Mexico), and we’re just beginning to get time on the Camox Freebird.
Black Crows’ description of the Camox Freebird is interesting. They call it a “profoundly modernized shape to strike a balance between weight minimization and mountain playfulness.” So let’s consider the Camox Freebird’s Shape, Weight, and Playfulness.
On the face of it, it might not be so obvious what is “profoundly modern” about the shape of the Camox Freebird — its rocker profile looks pretty similar to a lot of tip and tail rockered skis currently on the market. But it is worth talking about the tip and tail shapes of the Camox.
The tip shape is interesting; while it has some taper, it is not heavily tapered at the tip (i.e., it has a decent amount of material at the extremity), which should help the ski resist deflection in choppy snow.
And the tail of the Camox Freebird is also not heavily tapered, so we suspect that this ski will finish turns capably and maintain good edge grip in steep terrain.
Tip and tail taper do help to quicken up a ski, but this ski is already light, so there isn’t much need to remove a bunch of material from the tip and tail to try to quicken the ski up. Cool.
At ~1660 grams in a 178 cm length, the Camox Freebird isn’t going to break any records for low weight. By comparison, the 185 cm Blizzard Zero G 95 comes in at ~1365 g, and the 184 cm Salomon MTN Explore 95 is ~1550 g.
But as we repeatedly point out, additional weight often — not always, but often — translates into greater stability, so we are expecting the Camox Freebird to perform well in less-than-perfect conditions.
It’s hard to see what makes the Camox Freebird particularly “playful,” though it’s relatively short sidecut radius and weight should make this is a pretty easy ski to ski. Anyway, we’ll report back on the Camox Freebird’s playfulness after we get it on snow.
Handflexing the Camox Freebird, we didn’t find anything too surprising, and we’d summarize the flex pattern like this:
Tips: 6 out of 10
The Camox Freebird is a touch less stiff overall than the Zero G 95:
Camox Freebird: 6 – 9 – 7
Zero G 95: 7 – 10 – 8/9
Since the Camox Freebird isn’t vying for any weight weenie awards, we are hoping to find that it delivers intuitive and confidence-inspiring downhill performance. We’re also hoping that its additional weight will translate to good durability. And if both of those things prove to be true, the Camox Freebird could be a very good option for those who are hoping to squeeze some inbounds use out of their “touring” ski.
Testing begins this week.
NEXT: Rocker Profile Pics