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Black Crows' all mountain offering, the Daemon, reviewed at the Pila ski test; could we tame the beast?
Level
Expert
Terrain
All Mountain
Best for
Skiers looking for a 70/30 split between powder and piste
Price
£600
Season
2019/20
Bindings?
No
Float
10
Playfulness
9
Value
7
Edge hold
7
Stability
9
Turn initiation
6
Overall Score
8
+
Bias towards soft snow
A lack of versatility for the all mountain category

Black Crows call their all mountain range 'all terrain' and the Daemon stands out within the crowded - and often bland - all mountain market. The Daemon certainly appears devilish.....

Full reverse camber might appear like two horns to some of the more traditional all mountain skis, and a width of 99mm underfoot surely pushes them to the limit of this category? Indeed, at first glance the Daemon looks like it should be solidly under the freeride banner.

There is titanal underfoot for around a third of the length, which allows the tip and tail the flex to take full advantage of the rocker. A stated 20m turn radius feels a touch longer as you need to lean to engage the edge.

That said, they're better on piste than their spec would suggest. It's not all that difficult to get on an edge, but you wouldn't want to be making that effort all day. They pivot well - the camber isn't as hard to deal with as it should be, and the raised tip and tail make it easy to spin and cruise over bumpy slush.

For £600 you would want the Daemon to really perform as an all mountain ski should - with a large dollop of versatility - but they have at least one foot, and perhaps even a bit more, in the freeride camp, making them a questionable buy if you're looking for performance everywhere. In soft snow though they float like they're on air and strangely ski wider than they actually are in some respects.

The Daemon is kind of an enigma, and while they're clearly at the off piste end of 'all mountain' a smattering of groomer capability justifies that categorisation. Just.

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