2016-2017 Black Crows Corvus Freebird

Jonathan Ellsworth reviews the Black Crows Corvus Freebird for Blister Gear Review.
2016-2017 Black Crows Corvus Freebird

Ski: 2016-2017 Black Crows Corvus Freebird, 183.3 cm

Available Lengths (cm): 175.1, 183.3

Actual Tip-to-Tail Length (straight tape pull): 181.5 cm

Stated Dimensions (183.3 cm): 139-109-122 mm

Blister’s Measured Dimensions: 138-108-121 mm

Stated Weight per Ski (175 cm model): ~1800 g

Blister’s Measured Weight per Ski (183 cm model): 1825 & 1904 grams

Stated Sidecut Radius (183.3 cm): 21 meters

Tip / Tail Spay (ski decambered): 63 mm / 23 mm

Traditional Camber Underfoot: ~6 mm

Core Construction: Paulownia/Poplar + Carbon Fiber & Fiberglass Laminate

Factory Recommended Line: -10.55 from center; 80.2 cm from tail

Mount Location: Recommended Line

Our friend, Alex Mueller, had put a good number of days on the regular Black Crows Corvus, and has used it as a touring ski (mounted with a Marker Kingpin 13) and as his dedicated inbounds setup (mounted with Look Pivots).

So when it came time to review this very, very, very pink ski, as badly as I wanted to get on it to check it out, I was even more interested in having Alex weigh in on it and compare the performance of the lighter Corvus Freebird to the heavier, standard Corvus.

Alex has had a good number of days on both skis now, and we’ll be posting his review and comparisons of these two skis soon.

Here’s what Black Crows has to say about the standard Corvus:

“With a full poplar wood core and fibre glass underfoot reinforcement, the all-new 2016 version remains the sentry who guides our vision of skiing: a reliable ally in all conditions and on all types of terrain. the Corvus is designed for the big mountain skier who likes to charge in any conditions and wants a ski they can stand on with confidence. Just make sure you give it plenty of open space.”

And here is what Black Crows says about the Corvus Freebird:

The Corvus Freebird is for the skier seeking an experience without compromise. They are prepared to put in work to get the turns that nobody else is getting, and to make the most of every sweat-fuelled vertical meter gained. The Corvus Freebird has much of the same qualities as the regular Corvus. You still get the classic camber underfoot, an indented side-cut, front rocker, and minimally rockered tail, but with the Freebird you get it in a lighter frame.”

Instead of the poplar core of the Corvus, the Freebird version moves to a paulownia and poplar wood core.

Both skis have a pretty deep tip rocker line, a ton of traditional camber underfoot, and a pretty deep tail rocker line — though there is not a ton of tail splay (~23 mm).

Flex Pattern

Off a hand flex of the Corvus Freebird, I would say that the transitions in the flex pattern are very smooth — there are no hinge points or abrupt transitions. And I would break the ski down like this:

Tips: 7

Underfoot: 10

Tails: 8-9

So there are stiffer skis out there, but this is certainly a substantial, directional ski, that as you can see from our measured weights, isn’t trying to play the crazy light game.

And so for us, there are a couple of thoughts and questions:

(1) This “touring” ski better go downhill really well, or else you might as well just go with a lighter ski.

(2) As noted above, how similar / different is the performance and feel of the Corvus Freebird to the regular Corvus?

(3) Does Alex recommend the Corvus Freebird as a good “50/50” option, or does he feel that the Freebird gives up too much inbounds performance to the Corvus to recommend it as a “50/50” for people who ski (a) How and (b) Where the regular Corvus was designed to shine?

(4) In addition to the weight savings of 300-400 grams per ski (the stated weight of the regular Corvus is 2200 grams), how much—and exactly what, in terms of performance—do you Gain and Give Up by going with the Freebird over the regular Corvus?

Full Review

You can now check out our full review of the Corvus Freebird

NEXT: Rocker Profile Pics

3 comments on “2016-2017 Black Crows Corvus Freebird”

  1. Very happy to see you guys getting the Black Crows reviews on the site. Curious to see how you feel the Corvus Freebird matches against the slightly lighter Zero G 108. Those seem like the raved-about skis in that range for steep, committed skiing.

  2. Hi Jonathon,
    Im looking at replacing my line influence 115 183cm from 2012 with something a little lighter for the occasional touring. I see you reviewed them back in the their day… how would they compare to the regular 2016 corvus please?

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