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The Black Crows Orb's are all mountain frontside skis that have cemented themselves as one of our all-time favourites - but how do they stand up against some of the new kids on the block during our 2018 on snow ski test in Galtür?
Level
Expert
Terrain
All Mountain
Best for
Expert skiers with an Alpine heritage who want to blast all over the mountain
Price
£550
Season
2018/19
lengths
166,172,178,183
Bindings?
No
Float
9
Playfulness
7
Value
7
Edge hold
9
Stability
9
Turn initiation
8
Overall Score
8
+
The power, precision and versatility that gives more than it takes
Can be unforgiving - they are not skis for pottering about on

Chamonix based Black Crows Skis continue to innovate and impress with their super-slick combination of freeride ski-bum come mountain goat style ski collection and edgy looks.

The Orb's sit right in the middle of this veritable selection of gnarly-line producing tools, with a 91mm width that in theory, should make them an all-round freeride, on and off-piste power pack that gets the job done time and time again.

And for us, that just about sums them up.

But take a warning from us; despite the fact they give more than they take when it comes to performance, the input required does require the skier to have a high level of technical prowess and a good level of physical strength - which in other words means you need to be an accomplished skier to get the most out of them or at least be a little on the heavy side where you can power through anything in your way.

On-piste, they slice through groomed corduroy like it's going out of fashion - which as we know, it tends to do. So then take them away from the bright lights and into the unknown and they don't flinch one bit. They power through crud, fly over moguls and zip through the powder - all the while showing the kind of attributes expected from a full-blown Alpine race ski, just an all mountain version of it. Skiers who have grown up with the kind of technical skills honed from years of Alpine ski racing or high-level ski teaching will certainly appreciate the finesse, power and precision of the turns underneath their feet.

The Orb's are a serious ski that produce some serious fun, providing they are treated in the right way. Get that wrong and the day could be a struggle, get it right and the day will be heavenly. It's a fine line, but one worth treading.

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