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The new version of the Nocta from Chamonix based Black Crows is the widest ski we're reviewing from our on-snow ski test in Kuhtai, Austria - question is, could we handle it?
Level
Expert
Terrain
Big Mountain
Best for
Strong, expert freeride skiers hitting big lines in far away places
Price
£610
Season
2016/17
lengths
178,188
Bindings?
No
Smoothness
9
Versatility
7
Energy
8
Value
7
Performance
9
Overall Score
9

A bit of a handful, this ski is not for pottering about on the nursery slope. In fact, forget about trying to keep it on a groomed run for longer than it has to be - it might still turn pretty well considering its 122mm under foot width, but riding it down the groomers is rather like using a fighter jet to transport holiday makers to Benidorm, pointless and rather daft.

Instead, take it where it belongs, possibly starting in its spiritual home of Chamonix and then moving onto British Columbia, Alaska or the slopes of the Himalayas. Yes, this ski loves to travel fast, in deep snow, on big wide open steep faces.

But it's not just a grunt - there's finesse there too and should you be considering a trip to Japan's North Island where the snow is light and the trees are tight, then they will still nip around and respond to your wishes, should you be capable of commanding them to do so.

The new version for the 2016-17 season sees a re-design that includes a twin tip rocker and reverse camber - a first for Black Crows who insist they are keeping their Alpine style heritage whilst introducing a more freestyle element to this ski.

Yes they are demanding but they also reward you in so many ways - fun, surprisingly manoeuvrable and playful, the Nocta deserves to be ridden to its limits.

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