While BD is good at innovation and making products that work, work better, I think the biggest change for the better I see coming for next year is their skis. With sandwich construction and new models, news is that things are really happening with these guys! Anton and I got to ski most of the new BD Power Series line during a hard charging demo day in Aspen, and to be honest I didn’t ride one plank I didn’t like. Big changes in the line for this year, all of them for the better as far as I can tell. Every plank we were on skis better and more consistently than before. Below is a breakdown ski by ski. (Note, you may accuse us of drinking 6 liters of BD laced Koolaid after reading this, but please be assured, since past experience with the vast selection of BD skis has always yielded mixed impressions, we went into this with what I feel is an adequately objective view. As always, if possible demo before you buy any ski sight unseen.)
The Verdict was without a doubt one of our favorites in the ski test. While I was on a shorter version of the ski than I would purchase, it wasn’t hard to tell that the new skis were of vast improvement over the previous Verdicts (I own the old blue ones). The new ones provide superior edgehold with the new sandwich construction; they simply provide a bit more power transfer. The early rise tip is also a great improvement. The day we got to ski the skis started out blower in the morning and turned to mashed potatoes later in the day. These skis charged through it all. I plan on adding these to my quiver next year.
I think the Zealot is the sweet spot for next years skis with respect to the traditionally shaped skis. One thing that we both noticed is that they float through pow, power through crud, and arc turns like a GS ski. It employs the same sandwich construction as the Verdict and allows for a very responsive ski. Just writing this sentence makes me excited about skiing these next season on a daily basis.
I know that you, dear reader, are probably already tired of me telling you that each ski was my favorite, but alas, I’m going to do it again. My only complaint on the Amperage is that it should come in a bit longer length. Aside from that it is one of the most fun and playful skis I have ever clicked into. This is the introductory year for the Amperage, and I think BD has a winner with it as well. Turns in pow are effortless, and you really can’t be afraid to lay it over on the hardpack as well. Watching Anton send a 25 footer and stomp it on these was pretty amusing. Between the ski and the skier it looked smooth and easy. Another ski I’d like to see in my garage…if only I had a garage. (Click here for another Amperage review.)
Can’t say much about this one, other than it is supposed to be the ladies version of the Amperage.
The Megawatt returns as a hard charging ski that is made for charging pow and crud. While I found it reasonable to ski hardpack on it, it is truly at home in the soft. Mega’ really makes skiing easy with the 125mm underfoot and the wide shovel to float you over anything in your way. Great for charging hard, stomping booters, and slaying the pow lines. Skiing made easy.
Gigawatt is without a doubt the slayer of the whole line. You might wonder what the heck you could ever need a ski this big for, but the truth is these planks really are fun. Last few runs of the day Anton and I both found ourselves on these skis. Booters, cliffs, pow, moguls, crud, and groomers, this ski will do it all. It takes a bit of planning to get something this big up on edge, but it will certainly make it happen. We skied the 185 version, but I can’t wait to try the 195 version. The ski is fully rockered, and this makes it incredibly nimble considering it’s 163 shovel combined with the 135 under foot. A must have as far as I’m concerned. No backcountry or inbounds condition it can’t handle, but like the Megawatt it loves the pow!
Though not a part of our ski test, the Justice makes the jump over to the efficient series. They changed the tail to accept skins better with their Skinlock tail tab. Also added is a Carbon-fiber reinforced construction that I am looking forward to testing ASAP.
The Warrant is the one ski that I haven’t had the pleasure of skiing on. Kilowatt disappears next year and as close as I can tell this is the closest thing to it in the new line. I’m looking forward to this ski, as it includes the new sandwich construction that produces more of a vertical sidewall. It looks to be as though it will be a ski you can lay down the edge on and have it be slightly less chattery than the Kilowatt. I can’t wait to hop on the 188 version as a spring ski.
Here is the Woman’s version:
Every time we got back on the lift after testing a new ski the comment was basically “I want this ski too.” Looks like we may have a BD infested house next year, and I will be more than happy to welcome every one of them.
Jordan White is a strong alpinist who finished skiing all 54 Colorado 14,000 foot peaks in 2009. He guides, tends bar, and lives the all-around perfect life in Aspen.