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Harvesting the corn.
Black Crows shaped the Ova with a lot of camber underfoot to pop in and out of each turn and enhance edging when you're working down the line's tricky crux. There's a bit of rocker in the tip to ease turning when harvesting is nice and deep, and the tail rises early to really make this ski quite comfortable to ride in difficult terrain. Black Crows made it out of a poppy paulownia wood core with fiberglass and carbon stringers that amplify the ski's stiffness without weighing you down.
- Backcountry ski specified for harvesting springtime corn
- 85mm waist rides firm snow best and allows tighter turns
- Classic camber under foot pops in and out of each turn
- Rockered tip and early rise tail ease turning in deeper corn
- Poppy wood core with carbon and fiberglass for moderate stiffness
- Cap construction keeps this ski at an ultralight weight of two pounds each
- Item #BKC002F
- Q & A
- Familiarity: I've used it several times
I bought the Ova Freebird 175 to fill a niche as a travel ski for traverses, think Haute Route. I like a travel ski that is light, and has an all mountain performance, traditional camber with an early rise tip. I mounted the ATK Evo binding to it and mated it with the Scarpa Alien RS. After 10 days of skiing corn, hard steep crusts (Naked Lady near Molas Pass and the north coulior from Three Needles by Red Mountain Pass), and over the hips pow on Taos steeps, I'm convinced this ski hits the mark. It has a large sweet spot, is easy to ski. It engages turns with little effort and isn't as hooky as similar skis in variable conditions. I think this ski will please skiers who prefer tight, technical turns (not so much for high-speed GS style), corn skiers, skiers looking for a single all-mountain bc ski, both men and women, skiers who want good edge hold on steep and icy, skiers who don't mind working a little more making powder turns in order to have a light fast uphill ski.
I chose the 175 cm ski. I'm 6'0", 165-lbs. I think the 170 would have been more suitable for my Spring climbing objectives, but I'll appreciate the 175 in pow with a multi-day pack.
I found the bases to be true as I unwrapped them. I put a stone grind on them before the first ski. I'll continue the Black Crows 2-deg sidewall, 1-deg base edges during my tunes. The bases hold wax well; 4 days in dirty spring conditions without feeling a need for fresh wax.
Other skis currently in my quiver, and forming context for this review:
Kaestle TX-107 (smaller sweet spot, requires better form to ski well; better powder ski; heavier)
Trab Mistico (better powder ski; little bigger; requires little more effort to engage turns; edges are smaller but don't hold that against Trab as they're very durable...I hope I like the Ova bases as much as I like Trabs. Thinking the Ova bases could use a stone grind before first ski...not likely to compare as well in long run. But Ova costs half as much as a Trab Hi-box constructed ski.)
Various 64 under foot skimo race skis (not near as fun or capable in pow as the Ova; not as much support on punchy spring snow; not as much progressive flex on frozen rough spring crud; lighter & smaller)
Dynafit 7Summits, vintage 2011 tan/white (gave them away after I skied the Ova Freebird; heavier; don't handle variable conditions or pow as well).
In the pic you can see that I notched the tips with a dremel to connect my preferred method of skin attachment, a simple bungee and no tails. I did not see a need to epoxy the notches, which still appear well sealed.