Black Crows

Founded eleven years ago by disgruntled freeride competitors from Chamonix, Camille Jaccoux and Bruno Compagnet, Black Crows is making a push to expand its toehold in the American market. The two friends demoed every attempt at a Big Mountain ski then extant, culling ideas that would eventually be embodied in the Corvus, a big (194cm) fat ski that expressed the wide-open spirit of the Mont Blanc massif.

As the center of the international freeride movement, Chamonix was ready for a ski like the Corvus, and soon its distinctive pink and black chevron pattern was popping up all around the Alps. Black Crows fortunes spiked upwards about five years ago when they landed the big-ski shaper Julien Regnier Lafforgue, the mind behind the Armada JJ. Lafforgue’s first model for Black Crows, the Nocta, was an instant hit, the first in a series of ultra-wide twin-tips (“double beak” in Black Crow lingo) made for the big mountain skier. A follow-up to the Nocta, the Atris, is a Realskiers Recommended model for 2017, so we can confirm there’s some real ingenuity in Lafforgue’s juju.

Being French to the core, Black Crows isn’t just a ski company, or even a lifestyle brand; it’s first a philosophy – one that combines design, pleasure, freedom and a toes-in-the-snow passion for skiing – and second, it’s an expression of community, a vehicle for bringing the spirit of mountain life to like-minded souls everywhere.

The foundation of any community lies in family, so Black Crows doesn’t just make Big Mountain skis, but now creates skis that can be enjoyed by any family member. The new Vertis is unmistakably an on-trail ski (85mm waist), but as is usual with Black Crows, it doesn’t ski like the usual fare in its category. It’s light (1675g@175cm) and frisky, with surprising integrity in off-road conditions. The new Daemon brings its own special flavor to the All-Mountain West genre, making a fully decambered ski that somehow holds a clean arc.

In its decade of existence, Black Crows has never lost sight of its origins – the Corvus and the Black Crows distinctive chevrons are still part of the line – yet it has gradually shifted its design focus to embrace all skiers who fit into the fabric of mountain life. Download Catalog