Jan 02 2012

Review: Black Diamond Aspect Ski

For the turn happy skier Black Diamond’s Aspect ski makes an easy first impression. There’s a lot of shape compared to many of today’s moderately curved skis as evidenced by a wide 126 mm at the shovel, but only 90mm at the waist.

Black Diamond Aspect - Won't weigh you down or knock you up.

Whether it’s delicious powder, velvety corn, even soft chunder and day-old funk the Aspect likes to make short, rounded turns. It does okay with medium radius turns as well, and can be made to run straight but it prefers to keep turning. That same 126mm early rise tip that makes for quick turn engagement also makes it act like a much wider ski than you would expect.

Considering its overall surface area it is surprisingly, noticeably light. This makes it a delight on the skin track where the slight early rise tip helps with breaking trail, perhaps even more obvious than how it helps the ski rise above the junk in cut up conditions.

Although the Aspect can hold a decent edge on hardpack if you just need to hold on, at speed it gets a bit chattery. I guess there are simply some limitations that can’t be overcome in a light ski, but may be acceptable compared to a relentless weight penalty.

As a sub-100mm waisted ski the Aspect isn’t getting a whole lot of attention from the larger ski world. If you recognize the value of a not too wide ski for earning turns, you’ll appreciate what the Aspect provides. And, a word to the wise, if that appeals to you, get ‘em while you can.
Black Diamond Equipment
MSRP: $629
Dimensions: 126-90-114 mm
Lengths available: 156, 166, 176, 184 cm
Weight: 2.47 kg, 5 lb 7 oz (156 cm)
2.69 kg, 5 lb 15 oz (166 cm)
3.00 kg, 6 lb 10 oz (176 cm)
3.23 kg, 7 lb 2 oz (186 cm)

© 2012