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Is there anyone out there that this Zealot can't convert?

Without getting too preachy, it's hard not to tout the improvements that Black Diamond has made to its Zealot Ski over the past two seasons. Last year saw the addition of a rockered tip (kudos, BD), and thanks to its new metal laminate and sidewall construction, the 2011/12 model promises to deliver even more performance. Whether you decide to ski it alpine or tele, in bounds or out, you'll appreciate the Zealot's unmatched stability and enhanced durability as you embark on your mission to slay those big, intimidating lines.
  • 3D Metal sandwich construction combines a tapered ABS sidewall with two Titanal metal sheets for improved durability and greater stability at high speeds
  • Rockered tip, wide underfoot, and a semi-rockered tail deliver a supremely versatile freeride ski that gets up on edge just as well as it charges
  • Paulownia wood core maintains strength and pop while helping to keep overall weight to a minimum
  • Formula One tech features three internal ribs for performance on hard snow and improved turn initiation
  • 2011 Editor's Choice Winner from Backcountry Magazine

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Black Diamond Zealot Ski

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Here's what others have to say...

I'm 6ft and 160lbs, aggressive skier but...

I'm 6ft and 160lbs, aggressive skier but ski a ton of trees. 182 or 192?

Responded on

With these skis I'd put you more at a 182 than a 192. Especially if you're an aggressive skier I feel the 192s would be too large for you. Currently we are out of stock on the 182s at the moment, but if you need other ski recommendations feel free to chat or call in!

Would you suggest the Zealots or the Armada...

Would you suggest the Zealots or the Armada JJ's. I have heard Great Things about both. I am 6' and 150lbs. And thinking about a possible touring ski that also skis well on a groomer if i need to. Weight is not an issue.

Best Answer Responded on

Try not to take this the wrong way...
Weight should usually be an issue with a touring ski. What makes a touring ski unique is its mobility and stability combination.
The Zealot is a great ski. It does well in the BC.
The JJ is also a great ski. It also does well in the BC.
The main difference you will find here is the JJ's radical rocker profile as well as its unique flex pattern. It holds well on groomers, but it's definitely not your everyday wish. The Zealot does not have a great radius (high 20's) for groomer skiing if that's your gig. However, the Zealot will slap the crud.
I suggest each ski to different skier types. Some prefer this, some prefer that.
Have fun shopping!

4 5

Stoked to shred the gnar!

  • Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions

I just picked up a pair of these is the 192 length and can't wait to get some good touring in on them. They're not as light as some of the options out there, but they still don't weigh much at all!
I like the dimensions of this ski as well, and can only imagine how fun these will be on the way down.
The notches in the back of the ski will be really nice when it comes to putting on my skins.
Wish I had some days on these skis to write about, but so far just first impressions.

6'0", 195 lbs - 182 or 192? Leaning towards...

6'0", 195 lbs - 182 or 192? Leaning towards 192.

Responded on

192! That will be a much better ski for you, a lot more fun over the entire mountain. I am 6'3", 190 and really want this ski in the 192 as well.

Responded on

Ended up getting the 182 AMPerage. Bring on the snow in CO!!!

hey there, I'm tossing up between the...

hey there, I'm tossing up between the 174/181 K2 sidestash and the 182 Zealot. After a powder ski that can do tight trees/lines if necessary. Not overly concerned about on-piste performance, however being able to handle variable snow/crud is important. I'm 5'8", 165lbs compact/muscular build, and like to charge, but occasionally hit up some chilled tree skiing. Any advice on which one you think would be more suitable would be great. Thanks

Best Answer Responded on

The BD ski is a bit heavier than the Sidestash, so it will be more stable at speed and crudbusting, both skis will be great in variable conditions. They do have pretty beefy turn radii, so these won't be particularly nimble skis.
The BD has rocker in both the tips and tails, so you will see a bit better flotation with these skis. The K2 has a slightly smaller turn radius, so it's going to be a bit better in tighter trees than the Zealot.

Responded on

thanks, that pretty much made up my mind, the zealot it is.

5 5

Love em

When the snow is good, these skis are wonderful. When the snow is ok, these are great. When the snow sucks, these skis are still fun.

Hey I am deciding on whether to get the...

Hey I am deciding on whether to get the Black Diamond Zealots or Amperage for a one ski quiver. I like to ski trees, drop cliffs and like to go fast on groomers. I am 5'9" and 140lbs which ski should I get? Any other suggestions or thoughts?

Responded on

What about the Zealot would make you suggest them for trees and my size? Also what is SAC?

Responded on

Based on what I read in the Zealot would be better for your weight and for trees. But I have not skied either one yet. Just ordered the 182 Zealots myself from SAC. I'm 5'10", 160 Lbs.

I'm debating between the Verdict and the...

I'm debating between the Verdict and the Zealot for a one quiver ski, I like the idea of more width under foot with the Zealot for powder, but don't know if it is too wide to be the one go to ski. Any help?

Best Answer Responded on

Hey Tyler - did you read the Blister review above? I think they really hit the nail on the head in describing the new Zealot as super versatile. Depending on where you ski, I think the Zealot is a far superior daily-driver to the Verdict out west as it does handle crud and pow with ease. The Verdict would be the better choice for spring touring and hard snow use due to its camber profile (just a touch of rocker in the tip) and narrower wasit, but the Zealot can hold it own on a groomer too! As noted by Blister, the new Zealot is not the crazy-stiff plank of yesteryear - it's a very approachable ski that can charge moderately hard or be mellow if you back off of it. I'd go this route if you're out west, and probably choose the Verdict for East Coast use. If this is going to be a touring-only ski, I'd do neither and grab something lighter with some rocker or early-rise in the tip.

Responded on

I'd go with the Verdict for sure; that's sort of what it's designed for. I've skied both in all kinds of conditions, and while it's true that the Zealot is a better ski for powder, it's pretty big to handle through crud and harder snow, and setting an edge on groomers is pretty tricky with a turn radius that big.

It really boils down to where you'll be using it. If you're hardly ever on groomers or choppy snow, go with the Zealot. But if you're skiing a pretty even mix of conditions, the Verdict is a more versatile ski.

Would these skis work well with the Marker...

Would these skis work well with the Marker Griffon bindings? Maybe the Jester? Other suggestions?

Responded on

Yes those are both good options, just be sure to get them in a variant that is around or greater than a 110mm brake width.

4 5

Black Diamond Zealot - Moist

I picked up a pair of these to compliment my BD Megawatts. I have a the bd megawatts for BIG pow days (megawatt) and needed one to use on non BIG pow days. The Zealot is a great all around ski. They are wicked stable and easy to control. Not a great back country ski due to being a bit heavy. If you are looking for something to use for resort condition skiing (hardpack, bumps and crud) consider the zealot. I will say, the graphics are not my favorite.

5 5

no relation to the original

  • Gender: Male
  • Familiarity: I've used it several times

Having had the experience of trying to wrestle the original brown version down the mountain, this new iteration is proof that things do get better. No longer do you feel like you're trying to pilot a 2x4 that wants to kill you at every turn. I have these setup with the Guardian binding and run the 192 length. The tail is nice and stiff and resists washing out on hard turns. Some tip chatter on hard chop at speed, but manageable. Tried the shorter version and felt it to be a bit soft for my liking, probably due to the different tail design. This ski has replaced my Line Motherships as my go to all mountain ski. After being on them for a while I wish i had mounted them about +1-1.5 forward of boot center to suit my style a little better

I'm on the fence between the 182 and 192....

I'm on the fence between the 182 and 192. I'm still living the 1-quiver-ski dream. Does the 182 ski short or long? And does the 192 ski short or long? Me: 195lbs, 6'0", racing/bumps background. I like to ski fast and get my skis off the ground regularly. I also like steep skiing in often variable conditions. I'm looking for 1 ski to toss in the travel bag to end up in AK, Canadia, WY, UT, or Cham. Want it for 65% chairlifts and 25% sidecountry and 10% climbing from the bottom (ugh). I ski 193 ehps and love them. If anyone has an opinion on this ski in a 182 or 192 OR this ski versus the 185 Amperage, I'm all ears. Thanks in advance for your time and consideration.

Just got the older green version of the...

Just got the older green version of the BD Zealots. They are mounted with Fritschi Freerides on the line and frankly I can't figure them out. I'm 6'3", 195 and a strong skier with a racing background, ski mostly in Bend, OR at Mt. Bachelor. I was looking for an all around ski for b/c skiing and soft resort days. I've detuned the tips and tails at the contact points but nothing else so far. Carve a turn? No. Hold an edge? Nada. Anyone else out there had this experience? Anyone have any ideas?

Responded on

were they used when you bought them? if so, the edges of the ski were dull enough when you bought them...go to the shop and have them put a tune on them ( or do this yourself)

Responded on

Scott - any update on your issue? I just got a pair of the older green ones, too. Mounted them with some AXLs for my all around resort and backcountry setup. I look forward to getting on them later this year. I am 5'10" and 172 lbs. I bought size 182.

Responded on

Let me get this straight, you detuned the edges at the contact points and now your complaining that you can't carve a turn or hold an edge?

5 5

Pocket Knife

These literally do everything!

For context:
I'm 6'1", 180lbs. I got the 192s and mounted them with DynaDuke swap plates right on the line and have skied them with Dynafit FT12s and Marker Dukes. For boots I've used BD Factor 130s with a World Cup Booster Strap. I left the factory tune (whatever it is) - its decent, but i might put a 1 degree base / 2 degree side edge next year.

They totally dominate east coast hardpack. They don't really pop out of a turn as much as a race ski, but they have excellent edge hold. You can really get some good angles and hold an edge through huge fast turns. The 192 sometimes feels a bit unwieldy in east coast woods, but it's definitely manageable. I'v found I can ski pretty much all but the hardest of bumps with these skis. The large radius really lets you get after it in the steeps. This is the longest turning ski I've ridden and I'm totally sold on this shape. They're burly enough to plow through wet, heavy snow and bust through rain and sun crusts and damp enough to just blast straight over crud and chop. I have not skied any real blower powder on these yet. I did ski some high density fresh and they did really well. I'm really thinking that these will be my go-to skis for basically everything except deep powder days and early season / pre-season. Basically if you ski them with confidence, they'll do whatever you want.

5 5

This is the ski!

The Zealot is an awesome all round ski. Its playful but can also charge. Its width and dimensions are perfect for almost all conditions. This is my ski of choice in Alaska and on the resort in Colorado. The early rise tip helps it float while the camber still lets it carve and charge. Highly recommended!!

This is the ski!
Black Diamond Zealot

Black Diamond Zealot

Get it! this ski is a blast and you'll be having so much more fun than your friends on their old non rockered rock beaters. YOU CAN RIP GROOMERS WITH THESE.

5 5

So happy I bought these

I originally wanted the AMPerage but decided on the Zealots as I am a big guy and was looking for a stiffer ski. The Zealots where a great choice for big days on the mountain. I primarily ski at vail and have these mounted up with Fritschi Freeride Pro AT bindings. The skis are light but stay very smooth through tight turns and let you bring them from edge to edge with much stability. Because of the rockered tip they have some chatter at speed on hardpack but nothing to disturbing. I ski fast and don't like to dilly dally.Buy these as your one ski "quiver" and get out on some soft snow 70% of the time and you'll be stoked. BD really aced this board.

Write your question here...
I currently...

Write your question here...
I currently ski the Dynaster XXL Pro in 187 and i'm looking for something with rocker, with a little more width and little tigher radius. The main thing I like about the XXL is that it's pretty much a fat race ski. I like the relatively low wieght and poppy feel and long turn stability but hate the super turned up short nose.
Any Ideas as to how the Zealot would compare?

Best Answer Responded on

the zealot could be a good option to fill the gap youre describing. this has more of a race ski construction than previous years for sure. however, even the new zealot will not be as stiff as your current set up and therefore, it will be less stable in all conditions except powder.

my suggestion would be to take a look at the new blizzard bodacious. it is built like a fat race ski and has a very very very subtle rocker profile running throughout the ski. this allows it to rip on variable/crud/hardpack conditions with ease while having a poppy, playful feel in powder when you need it.