Black Diamond specialise in off-piste and backcountry equipment and the Helio range has become well-known for its solid performance and finely balanced ride on a variety of terrain across the whole mountain.
The Helio Carbon 95 is perhaps the most accessible ski in the range and offers a high level of performance in deep snow and hardpack alike.
For ski tourers wanting a freeride ski for longer tours than merely the sort of lift-access, quick terrain grab scrambles, then it’s definitely worth considering.
The Helio’s Paulownia woodcore is light and strong and the skis have a carbon layer running through, keeping the weight down whilst ensuring a certain amount of rigidity and stableness. There’s a small titanal layer underneath the binding area to help strengthen things up under foot and keep the bindings solidly fixed.
Edge grip is super solid and the full sidewalls play a part here and the low-rise semi rocker is just enough to help turn initiation and powder floatation in deeper snow whilst keeping the feel directional and fairly traditional in its set up.
Where the Helio Carbon 95 seems to excel is in its ability to cross over into all kinds of terrain and perform really well. It’s maybe not the best 95mm powder ski out there, or the best 95mm on piste carver, but it does both of those things very well indeed.
The attraction of this combined with a construction and build quality that is right up there with the best, makes it a sensible option for freeride tourers looking for that one ski does it all solution.
Yes, it’s a little pricier than some in this category, but for sheer versatility and reliability, the costs seems fairly justifiable, in our opinion.