Oh no! Another religion post?
Nope, just a guest blog we’ve been meaning to put up for a while, this one from Jason Caudill.
Last winter I got out on a bunch of backcountry skis. Clear faves were the K2 Baker SL, Black Diamond Voodoo, and Dynafit Manaslu. In summary: Baker is the most versatile of the lot; Manaslu best when the snow isn’t perfect but of any softer variety; Voodoo the most solid of the quiver, meaning it responds well to aggressive skiing in most conditions.
Problem with all this is I simply don’t like twin-tip tails, and I’m thus not the right guy to review the Voodoo, and even have to watch myself with what I say about the Manaslu as it has somewhat of a rise in the rear. Thus, I made a point of getting our frequent backcountry compadre and 18-year-old mountain boy Jason Caudill out on the Voodoos, for a twin friendly take:
My Take on the Voodoo
by Jason Caudill
I usually backcountry ski on a fairly soft pair of older K2s that are pretty good in the powder, but don’t really bring it at speed on variable or hardpack. Compared, the Black Diamond Voodoo ski is a completely new feel for me.
My review pair were mounted with Dynafits, and I’m pretty stoked about how they turned out. Because the ski is lighter than my previous, and the binding a feather compared to my Fritschi set, the Voodoo rig seems like it cut my drag weight in half — which is awesome for the climb. The skis are really stiff compared to most I’ve been on; my first impression was that I was skiing on a pair of 2x4s. But that’s a function of habits I’d gained from being on noodle planks. Once I put in the time and learned the moves for a “real” ski, I loved them. They are super responsive, have enough width but don’t feel like kayaks on my feet during the climb, and unlike old Lou the twintip tails are essential for me.
Last winter and spring I had these out for everything from powder to ice to corn snow, and I felt solid on it all.
The key to these skis is to be aggressive in your technique, and they will do everything you want them to. I was on the 165cm and I am over 6 feet so they could be considered a little short. The 175 would probably be a bit more appropriate when I want to ski hard, but the shorter ski is nice when it’s on my pack or dragging from my feet during a long climb with the WildSnow crew.
Conclusion: A fast stiff ski that takes a little getting used to if you’ve been on noodles, light weight considering they’re strong and solid. Once you get to know them, you’re in for one fine ride.
Anyone on this ski, got a blog comment for us?
Black Diamond Voodoo 07/08, 165 cm 1624 gr, 57.2 oz per ski, (124/88/115, same dimensions as BD Havoc)
WildSnow.com publisher emeritus and founder Lou (Louis Dawson) has a 50+ years career in climbing, backcountry skiing and ski mountaineering. He was the first person in history to ski down all 54 Colorado 14,000-foot peaks, has authored numerous books about about backcountry skiing, and has skied from the summit of Denali in Alaska, North America’s highest mountain.