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The brand new Daemon from the team at Black Crows looks dark, slick and mean, but how did they perform for us during our 2017 on-snow ski test in Kuhtai? They certainly divided opinion.
Level
Expert
Terrain
All Mountain
Best for
Hard charging freeriders with a bent for jibbing
Price
£560
Season
2017/18
lengths
170,177,183
Bindings?
No
Float
9
Playfulness
9
Value
7
Edge hold
7
Stability
7
Turn initiation
8
Overall Score
9
+
So much fun, especially in the powder
Performance on harder snow - not true all mountain skis

Black Crows categorise their new Daemon in the all mountain bracket, but we would rather think of them as freeride skis - yes they're capable of hitting any kind of terrain you throw at them across the mountain and yes they're versatile and relatively easy to turn, considering their high-performance credentials, but they're a freeride ski, almost in the purest sense of the word.

The reverse camber is probably the first thing to consider - if you're a bit of jibber then you get it, if you're expecting smooth carved arcs slicing across the hardpack then it's not for you, get an Orb instead. What you do get is quick fire response, playful and fun skis you can throw around in the powder - powering through most of the other stuff that might get in your way.

Back on the piste, the late set edge inherently brought on because of the reverse camber makes them pivot well, but unlike many of the Black Crows all mountain and freeride models, they're far less 'Alpine' in feel because of that. Whilst this suits some skiers, it's not everyone's cup of tea and if you prefer a more traditional ski then it's best you stay clear.

But for strong freeride skiers that can channel their inner jibber and like to play in all kinds of terrain, then you can't find a better example of the perfect freeride skis. In Phillip Pullmans series of books (His Dark Materials) a Daemon is an external physical manifestation of a person's inner self. Who this particular creature feels more comfortable with and who it doesn't will be very much down to the user's inner self to decide.

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