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Black Crows Navis Freebird Touring Skis 2022 – 2023 | Review

4 days ago 13

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Skiing

Black Crows have created a classic touring silhouette with the Navis Freebird by blending a smooth build with a predictable shape to provide an extremely reliable pair of touring skis

Why we chose the Black Crows Navis Freebird: Classic, nimble, powerful 

Lengths (cm): 167, 173, 179 & 185
Sidecut (mm): 136 / 102 / 116
Radius: 19 m
Rocker Profile: Rocker-Camber-Rocker
Weight (per ski): 1,700g
Price: £720

MORE INFO

The fluro-green look of the Navis Freebird has kind of become synonymous with the European touring scene. Spend a bit of time on a classic ski tour in the Alps and you’re almost certain to come across someone lugging a pair of these uphill. And this thanks, in part, to some savvy marketing by Chamonix-based Black Crows, but it’s also thanks to the ski’s ideal blend of versatility and low weight which makes for an extremely confident touring ski, no matter what the conditions or where on the mountain you’re touring.

black crows Navis Freebird Build

The heart of the Navis Freebird is made up from a series of paulownia and poplar strips that have been laminated together to provide lightweight power towards the edges (thanks to paulownia), while a poplar strip in the middle helps to keep weight to a minimum.

Fibreglass laminates then top this core material to provide the power and dampening required to help keep the skis tracking confidently through a range of snow conditions. Carbon stringers sit on top of this fibreglass laminate to provide a snappy energy return, while still keeping the weight to a minimum. The cherry on top of the carbon and fibreglass cake is then a titanal reinforcement under the bindings which not only helps to reduce the chance of screws ripping out (especially when using lightweight touring bindings) while also directing the energy to the edge directly underfoot.

You’ve then got full-spanning ABS sidewalls that really help to smooth the skis out. We’re always keen to see ski brands bring in full sidewalls to touring skis as they really do help to smooth out the ski, while boosting all that power of the carbon and fibreglass construction. This is all done with a very slight weight increase. Speaking of which, the Navis freebird comes in at an impressive weight of 1,700 grams per ski. 

Black Crows Navis Freebird Shaping

Progressive rocker has been pressed into the Navis Freebird. This is essentially a long and gradual rocker in the tips to ensure easy turn initiation, while retaining a long effective edge for when you do find yourself on firmer snow. We’ve long been a fan of Black Crow’s considered use of rocker in this way: it’s a tried and tested method that simply does the job.

Who Is The Black Crows Navis Freebird For?

While perhaps not the most groundbreaking or technologically advanced pair of skis out there, the Navis Freebird is an extremely solid ski that can be relied upon no matter what the snow conditions are. A smooth and damp build provides a predictable and confidence-inspiring ride, while the clever use of progressive rocker keeps these skis noble in tight terrain. We’ve got a feeling we’re going to be seeing yet more of these fluorescent planks on the skin tracks this winter.

What Is The Black Crows Navis Freebird Good At?

Versatility: 9/10
Touring: 8/10
Hard Snow: 8/10

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