The position of the Black Pearl 78 in our test over the last two seasons has to be the most anomalous in the entire test. The Frontside category is supposed to the province of dedicated carvers, skis with extravagant sidecuts, shock-sucking interfaces and elevated binding systems. How did this flat, plain Jane with a shallow, off-trail shape and double rockered baseline not only end up in this den of carvers, but leading it in Power points? One possible answer is the Black Pearl 78 actually is the best carving tool in the Frontside drawer. Its test scores, which admittedly can be misleading, lead the large field in early turn entry, continuous, accurate carving and short-radius turns. That’s a tough trifecta to simply dismiss as anecdotal. Hell, all scores are anecdotal, but we wouldn’t use them if they didn’t tend to accurately reflect behavior. One stat we don’t capture - because it doesn’t exist – is holding power per ounce, or grip per gram. The 1350g Black Pearl 78 would lap the field. Its relatively tiny, 78mm waist helps it move nimbly edge to edge whether it’s decorating groomers with twin rail tracks or threading through tortuous troughs, the skinniest Pearl in Blizzard’s oyster bed stands out for its ease and accessibility.