The 87 waist ski is a standard for ski mountaineering. They’re light, work well on the steeps, are fun on piste, and while not a powder panacea an “87” can be a fun stick for big days. They cut deeper, possibly upping face shot percentage or at least invoking a bit more pleasing neurological attention than just tilting your knees from left to right. But mostly, 87s are pure efficiency for human powered work.
With their 118/86/106 20 meter radius profile, Current goes where you point. No chatter, no tips that quiver like they’re a dog rousting a grouse. In a word, predictable. Weight of my 175 testers gentled the scale at 50.7 ounces (1436 grams) per ski, giving them a weight/surface score of 84 that places them in our “average” category. For a ski that performs well, 84 is a good number as our scores are biased to the lighter weight end of things. Current scores an 8.14 in our weight/length calculations, which is below average. In other words, Current provides a reasonable on-the-foot weight. That said, know that this mass is somewhat off the one kilo per ski weight metric that we predict will become the new standard for skis in this width class — but if a 1,436 gram ski does well on the down and the price is right, we still give it a thumbs up. (Or, we do now. We’ll see what happens in a year or so when more of the one-kilo skis come down the road.)
This is a rockered ski, but not too rockered. In my opinion Current has just enough rocker to ease your way in difficult snow and add fun for powder, but performance on hardpack feels pretty much like a non-rockered plank. I liked the 20 meter radius and moderate widths of the tip and tail. Heavily profiled skis continue to perplex me. I like just the right amount of sidecut for the job — instead of seeing light under my feet when I stand on steep hard snow.
What’s more, nice to not feel the ramshackle over-steer that too much sidecut or too much tip can so easily induce. Again, stable, mellow; did someone feed these skis a Xanax? Yeah, if there is one con to inject here it’s that these are not the most excitement inducing planks I’ve ever been on. But hey, in an 87 for ski mountaineering, I’d rather have a transcendental calm, not a barbaric leg thrutch inducing trampoline. Yeah, Current, transcend the twitch. They work.
Conclusion: Current is a definite contender if you’re looking for a ski in the 87 waist class. It is rockered, light and versatile. In my view, a perfect spring mountaineering ski or year-around plank if you’re a fan of this width profile.
Available this coming fall. This is the new sidewall construction. Shop for the Black Diamond Current here, make sure it’s the new model.
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.