Dimensions (mm): 163-135-141
Turn Radius: 28 meters
Weight Per Ski: 2610 grams / 5.75 lbs.
Boots / Bindings: Lange RX 130 / Marker Griffon (DIN) 10
Mount Location: Factory Recommended
Test Location: Niseko, Japan.
Days Skied: 3
There were two primary reasons for taking the Gigawatt with us to Hokkaido, Japan:
(1) There is tons of snow here. And if you haven’t figured out that the Gigawatt was built for tons of snow, well, then I hope for your sake that you are at least really good looking.
(2) This past summer in Las Leñas, Argentina, I fell in love with the Black Diamond Megawatt, and it became one of my all-time favorite skis. The Megawatt is so good, I was incredibly curious to see what BD would do—could do—with an even fatter iteration.
But this puts the Gigawatt in sort of a tough spot. Since I think the Megawatt is pretty much perfect, how could the Gigawatt be anything other than a disappointment?
To Black Diamond’s credit, they haven’t simply pushed out the dimensions of the Megawatt and given it a new name. The Gigawatt is a fully rockered ski (well, our pair looks like it has about a 7cm flat section underfoot), and there is a serious amount of tip and tail splay.
The Megawatt has a big shovel. The Gigawatt’s is…Gigantic.
The good news is that, in deep snow, the Gigawatt retains many of the performance characteristics of the Megawatt—a really surprising amount, actually, given that the rocker profiles of the Megawatt and Gigawatt are very, very different. (The Megawatt has traditional camber underfoot, lots of tip rocker, and a modest amount of tail rocker.)
I can’t help but think of the Gigawatt in terms of the Megawatt. But while I believe that is a useful comparison, the Gigawatt deserves to be evaluated first on its own terms. So before I go down that road of the Gigawatt / Megawatt comparison, let’s look at Black Diamond’s own description of the Gigawatt:
At a massive 135 mm underfoot, the Black Diamond Gigawatt is the biggest, baddest ski that Black Diamond makes. By combining an extended running length with a tip-to-tail, fully rockered profile, the Gigawatt achieves longboard-style, powder skiing bliss with enough edge underfoot for confidence on groomers and hard snow. That profile, combined with the weight-saving ribs and channels of our iconic Formula One Technology, allows this supertanker to still be responsive and quick edge-to-edge-critical for a ski this size.
So, does the Gigawatt live up to BD’s marketing material?
Mostly, Yes. And mostly, with a resounding Yes.