Black Diamond Kilowatts: Fat but frisky
Aspen Times Weekly
It had been about five years since I’d bought a new pair of alpine touring skis, and those skis were second-hand from a friend.
My old Black Diamond Crossbows, with their Fritschi Freeride bindings, served me well for several years of skinning up our local mountains, touring to backcountry huts and various other adventures. But the foam-core Crossbows had grown a little tired, and I wanted a stiffer, heftier AT ski that would serve me well in both backcountry powder and spring crud in Highland Bowl.
I did some Internet research, talked to some friends, demoed some skis and finally settled on the Black Diamond Kilowatt, a stout, wood-core ski that, for me, was fairly fat (95 mm in the waist, 126 in the tip). I’m accustomed to more sidecut in a ski, so I’ve had to adjust to these surfboards, but I can say from several days of skiing in powder and packed-powder conditions that they glide effortlessly through fluff and they absolutely haul ass on corduroy ” smooth and certain as a high-speed train, but surprisingly nimble as well.
They even ripped through the bumps on Sam’s Knob at Snowmass last week.
It’s important to ski the Kilowatts on your toes, and not in the back seat, but as long as you’re squarely on top of them and maximizing the edges, they carve flawlessly and powerfully.
These aren’t ultra-light skis, nor are the updated Fritschi bindings I put on them, but I’m OK with the weight because these skis will handle anything an amateur like me can throw at them. I’ve seen several smiling telemarkers on Kilowatts too.
I haven’t skied Highland Bowl yet this season, but I can’t wait to point the Kilowatts down through the G Zones and feel them slice through the snow. As I mentioned to a skiing buddy the other day, the Bowl should be ideal Kilowatt habitat.
Of course, it’s already clear to me that these skis thrive in all kinds of snow. I’m happy with my choice.
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Mountain Rescue Aspen is expanding its education efforts to try to keep people safe in the backcountry during winters and summers. It will host a workshop on Dec. 8 titled, “How to Plan a Backcountry Tour.”