Helio 105 Ski
Lugging a heavy set of skis up the mountain might not be so miserable when conditions are prime and you start climbing right from the road, but when finding soft turns requires long approaches and killer climbs, a superlight ski like the Black Diamond Helio 105 is a near necessity. Designed for all-day tours and big ski mountaineering missions, the Helio weighs a feathery six-and-a-bit pounds in a 175cm length, and has a versatile 105mm waist width that will make the most out of whatever powder you can sniff out, without being too unwieldy when you need to ski a bit of wind-jacked snow, neve, or low-elevation refreeze.
The Helio gets its lightweight nature from its engineered ultralight balsa and flax core and light-but-stiff carbon fiber layup. Black Diamond redesigned the carbon fiber layup to improve the dampness and stiffness for a smooth feel, while a torsionally stiff sandwich build with beveled ABS sidewalls keeps things stable when you're able to open up the throttle down wide-open bowls and smooth aprons. The Helio isn't all high-speed business, though; the early rise tip and tail keep the ski playful and maneuverable in tight chutes and trees, while plenty of traditional camber underfoot delivers solid edge hold when surface conditions turn firm. ABS tail protectors with a skin clip tab to protect your boards from abrasive metal skin clips and ensure your skins stay securely in place as you set the skinner.
- Ultralight ski for fast ascents and dreamy descents
- 105mm waist handles soft snow with ease
- Early rise tip and tail floats through powder
- Camber underfoot ensures reliable edge grip on firm snow
- Lightweight balsa flax wood core makes the uphill feel easy
- Redesigned carbon fiber layup improves dampness for a smooth feel
- ABS sidewalls ensure torsional stiffness and power transfer
- Integrated skin clip tab secures skins in place
- Item #BLD00UK
- Q & A
I don't like these very much.
Pro: light wight
submarines in the pow. The combination of long, relatively stiff tail and a flimsy low profile shovel has me endoing.
Ironically enough, these skis are not great at breaking trail. The odd tip design does not allow for the tip to rise up over before you stomp. Regressive design. I break al lot of trail and these are not fun for that. And this low profile tip design does not inspire confidence on the down.
Sizing is coarse. I bought a pair for Route 105 in a 175 ( same profile, different materials). I felt like there was nothing in the fore section of the ski to engage a carve or ride over a snowy feature. Very tippy and unsupportive. A little scary.
The 185 Helio 105 are little better in regards to support from the front of the ski, but they are sluggish to initiate turns., even at +1. And again, those tips don’t float very well. They are not versitile in meeting the needs of true backcountry adventures such as trees and variable conditions.
I just read a TGR thread regarding the mountain point on these and the 116s. Apparently, after feeling super-over-the- front-tippy on these, people are liking a -2 to -3 mounting point. Normally, this would seem crazy, but when you look at where bd recommends BC, you see that its much farther forward than other skis. Maybe this is my problem with these. I will try a -3 ish mount. Never though I would do that with any ski.
These skis are a great all around touring ski. I've taken them on a few tours so far and I really appreciate their light weight for the skin up and they can definitely hold their own on the way down. They are definitely happiest in powder and they float very well; even better than I expected for a 105 waist. I mounted them with dynafit FT radical 2.0 and have been happy with the combo. I even took them for a day of inbounds skiing and they handle groomers better than I expected. I was surprised at how well I could lay them on edge. To be honest, I expected much more chatter on the groomers than it gave me for such a light ski. The skis feel most at home with medium to large turns but
given their light weight I was able to make some quick turns when needed. I would recommend these skis to anyone who is looking for a solidly constructed (Made in Austria!) versatile, lightweight touring ski that will save some weight for the uphill suffer fest while still being capable and fun for the ride down.
Great all around touring ski!
- Familiarity: I gave it as a gift but have feedback to share
I bought these as a gift for my husband and here is what he has to say!
I received this ski for as a gift about a month ago and have had a chance to do a few tours as well as a quick resort run with them. These are a dedicated touring ski for me mounted with pin bindings and I am coming from a heavier, more powder specific ski so my review is from that perspective.
Most of my trips involve long approaches so I was focused on getting a lighter ski to free up some weight. This ski is definitely light, and you can certainly feel it on the ups. Where I was surprised is how light and responsive it feels on the downs. The ski just goes where I want it to, no muscling it around.
My first trip out I had the ski in about 18” of light Utah powder and they did really well, although I did feel like had to pay a little more attention to my balance to keep the skis from diving. But it was nothing that I can’t get used to.
Just today I skied out of the backcountry on a groomed resort run just to see how they did. Well, they did how you would expect. They survived and weren’t as chattery as I thought they would be, but this would not be my choice for even a part time resort ski and they do not claim to be that.
Bottom line: skinning up, I don’t see how it could be much better. They are noticeably light and the profile is perfect to maintain good skin contact for slick tracks and steeper approaches. On the downs, this is going to be a great all around ski for variable conditions which is exactly what I was hoping for. The only thing that I think could be improved is just a little more tip rise to help with flotation in the deep stuff and breaking trail. Other than that, I’m very happy with these and plan on getting many seasons out of them.