Review: Black Crows Orb

Model year: 2022-2023
Sidecut: 124-88-110
Size: 179 cm
Radius: 21 m
Technology: wood core, full sidewall, two layers of shaped metal, tip and some tail rocker, lots of camber underfoot  

About this ski

The Orb is – and has been for a long time – Black Crow’s all condition resort ski. They have made an update, introducing their H-shaped metal layers to this ski as well (that was already in skis like the Serpo). H-shaped means full-width under the binding and towards the tips and tails of the ski only metal over the sides, leaving the centre of the ski a bit lighter.

Other than that, it’s a rather classic build with a wood core, ABS sidewalls an a profile with tip rocker an a bit of tail rocker too, aiding in easy smearing of the ski and getting it into a turn gently. It does have a quite long radius, which helps in overall stability.

Tough

Compared to the out-going version, the new Orb is a bit more energetic. The old one felt a bit dull at times. Very stable and dependable, but it lacked some playfulness or responsiveness. This new version is quite the opposite: energy and power is what you get. The ski loves speed and aggressive input from the skier. It rewards it too.

For easy cruising, look elsewhere. This ski is firmly in the tougher end of the spectrum, where the Blizzard Brahma, the K2 Mindbender 89 TI, and Völkl Kendo reside. It feels less punishing and fatiguing than the Brahma though, less twitchy and turny than the Mindbender, and less bouncy and pingy compared to the Kendo. 

Conclusion

An all-condition ski that needs some speed and powerful input. It’s better on hard snow and in crud than it is in the fluffy stuff, thanks to its no-nonsense character.

Characteristics

PlayfulStable
ForgivingPunishing
LivelyDamp
SkiddingCarving
Low speedHigh speed
Short turnLong turn
Soft snowHard snow

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