These new slightly powder-driven, all-terrain masterpieces from Black Crows are versatile, edge really well, and come at a great price to sweeten the deal.
Imagine tearing through brown packing paper to unwrap a shiny new pink-and-white, candy-cane-striped pair of skis. Well, a couple of months ago, I experienced this feeling as I unboxed a demo pair of Black Crows.
As my first time trying skis from this brand, I wasn’t sure how I’d like them (or how I’d review them). But I knew that to get an answer, I’d have to ski the heck out of the Birdies before they’d be beckoned back into the Black Crows demo fold.
In short: Behold, a crisp new model of women’s all-mountain skis that are versatile, able to tackle both hardpack and powder. And for all the fun you’ll have on them, they come at a fantastic price.
Black Crows Camox Birdie Skis: On-Snow Review
Black Crows describes the Camox Birdie as a “mid-fat all-terrain ski,” reputed for tolerance and playfulness. After skiing on these for about a month, I take that to mean stable at speed but also fun and playful when that’s your jam.
Or, as Black Crows put it, “creativity for everybody on all types of terrain.” Good on powder? Yes. Groomers? Sure. Fun and easy to maneuver through trees? That too.
The fact that these skis have a 97mm waist width (in the standard range for all-mountain skis), plus a twin tip shape and rocker at the tip and tail, means that they are suited for a range of terrain. These babies have a full poplar core with fiberglass laminates. And for this season, Black Crows improved them with slightly more rocker at both ends.
My initial take on the Camox Birdies? These skis are both stable and lighter than the all-mountain skis I’m on most of the season (at about 3,000 g for the pair). But they’re heavier than my rock skis, which I skied on most of October (yes, October). That said, I don’t weigh a lot but could still turn and maneuver them pretty well. On groomers at speed, they deliver a smooth and easy ride.
If you’ve been skiing for a while, you know the feeling it takes when adjusting to a new ski: getting your footing, literally, and getting used to any changes in weight, shape, ease of maneuverability.
My first day on these skis, maneuverability was just OK; they took some getting used to. But after just 2-3 days of taking them on different terrain and conditions, I was more at ease. I was able to ski long and fast on groomers but also quickly navigate moguls and trees pretty well. The Birdies were growing on me — and fast.
Yes, I love this ski as an all-mountain charger. But that does mean it has some limitations (jack-of-all-trades, master of none). While it skis well on groomers and hard snow, it won’t carve like a dedicated front-side ski. And while fun in deep powder, the 97mm waist certainly won’t float you like a big, fat, dedicated powder ski. And sure, you could definitely mount it with backcountry bindings, and it will do fine. But it will still be a bit heavy compared to other models, even from Black Crows itself.
So who should consider it? Well, the all-mountain category is extremely popular for good reason. Intermediate-to-advanced skiers who want to tackle variable terrain, particularly in the West, will love this ski. While not the best at any one thing, it really can handle anything the mountain will throw at it. Essentially, the Camox Birdies lived up to their status as a rockstar all-mountain ski.
While we really enjoyed this ski, it still doesn’t beat out our current best all-mountain ski, the Salomon Stance.
Black Crows Camox Birdie Specs
- Lengths (cm): 156, 162, 168, 174
- Waist width: 97 mm
- Radius: 18-19 m
- Weight (without bindings): 3,005 g
- Price: $720
Note: I tested the 168 length, which has a 19m radius.
Final Notes on the Camox Birdies
Want to treat yourself? Got a bit of cash in the budget? Or maybe it’s time to upgrade your all-mountain ski? Add the Black Crows Camox Birdies ($720) to your shortlist.
If you’re an intermediate-to-advanced skier and want a ski that will perform well across the mountain — and put a smile on your face in the process — these are it.