2017-2018 Black Crows Anima

Cy Whitling reviews the Black Crows Anima for Blister Gear Review
Black Crows Anima

Ski: 2017-2018 Black Crows Anima, 188.4 cm

Available Lengths: 176.8, 182.1, 188.4, 194.3 cm

Blister’s Measured Tip-to-Tail Length: 185.8 cm

Stated Weight per Ski (182.1 cm): 2150 grams

Blister’s Measured Weight per Ski: 2183 & 2190 grams

Stated Dimensions: 143-115-128 mm

Blister’s Measured Dimensions: 142-116.5-129

Stated Sidecut Radius: 21 meters

Tip & Tail Splay (ski decambered): 79 mm / 64 mm

Traditional Camber Underfoot: ~1 mm

Core Construction: Poplar, carbon, & kevlar strips

Factory Recommended Mount Point: -6 cm from center; 87.0 cm from tail

Boots / Bindings: Nordica Strider Pro 130 / Tyrolia AAAttack² 13 AT

Days Skied: 5

Test Location: Mt Bachelor, Oregon


While we’ve reviewed several Black Crows skis this season (the Camox Freebird, the Corvus Freebird, the Atris, and a comparison of the Atris vs the Corvus), we’re going to be weighing in now on the Anima, Black Crow’s wider, big-mountain ski.

Black Crows calls the Anima, “a very stable ski and extremely stable at high speed. It will embrace a skier’s creativity (big lines, jumps, quick pivot) and keep him on his feet.”

On paper, the Anima looks remarkably similar to skis like the Armada ARV 116, ON3P Kartel 116, and Moment Blister Pro. And Black Crow’s description of the Anima makes it clear that it is not just meant to be a jib noodle, it’s also supposed to be capable and stable.

Reviewer Paul Forward also put some time in the Anima, and we’ve now added his impressions and comparisons to this review, too.

We’ve also now posted our Deep Dive Comparisons of the Anima to a host of other playful powder skis, so become a Blister member or Deep Dive subscriber to check out our comparisons.

Flex Pattern

I’d sum up the Anima’s flex pattern like this:

Tips: 7
Shovels: 8
Underfoot: 9.5
Behind the Heels: 8
Tails: 6-7

The Anima has a very smooth flex pattern that ramps up gradually, with no hinge points. It’s stiffer throughout than the Armada ARV 116 JJ, and feels very similar to the ON3P Kartel 116. Black Crows uses the word “stable” twice in their description of the Anima, and this flex pattern should contribute to this ski’s stability — it’s on the stiffer end of the spectrum for playful skis of this width.

Shape and Rocker Profile

The Anima falls right in line with the current crop of playful but versatile skis of this width. It’s not drastically tapered, and its 21-meter sidecut radius is pretty standard. Here again, it looks very similar to the ON3P Kartel 116, and Armada ARV 116, which seems like a good thing given that both of those skis do a good job being quick and playful without giving up too much variable-snow performance.

The same can be said about the rocker profile. The rocker lines don’t run too deep, and there’s a fairly long cambered portion underfoot. But the camber underfoot isn’t too pronounced, so that should help the ski grip in variable snow without making it too hooky to slash and butter.

Overall, nothing really stands out as particularly unusual about the Anima, other than its odd, angular tips. Personally, I don’t really notice or care how they look, and I really don’t think they’ll have any effect on how they feel on snow.

Mount Point

For this class of skis, the Anima has a fairly normal mount point of -6 cm from center. That’s a little further back than the ON3P Kartel 116 (which has a -4 mount point), but should contribute to the stability and versatility that Black Crows touts, and it’s right in line with the Moment Blister Pro, which has a similar shape and intended purpose. We’ll experiment a bit with the Anima’s mount point, starting at the recommended -6 cm, then moving closer to center.

A Few Questions

(1) Where on the Stable vs. Playful spectrum does the Anima fall? Is it more of a very playful all-mountain ride like the Line Mordecai and J Skis Friend, or is it a more capable ski with a bit of a playful side, like the Moment Blister Pro or ON3P Kartel 116?

(2) How does the Anima perform mounted closer to center? Does it feel remarkably more maneuverable? Less stable? About the same?

(3) Finally, a big related question that I’m very curious about: Black Crows makes the “Freebird” version of the Anima, with a lighter layup and the same shape. If the Anima lives up to its similarities with the regular Moment Bibby / Blister Pro, then how does the Anima Freebird compare to the Bibby Tour? There aren’t too many skis that directly compete with the Bibby Tour, so it will be very interesting to see if the Anima Freebird has the potential to do that.

Bottom Line (For Now)

On paper, the Anima looks like it has the potential to be a very versatile but playful all-mountain ski. I’ll be weighing in shortly on how it performed at Mt Bachelor, and how it compares to skis like the Armada ARV 116 JJ, ON3P Kartel 116, etc.

NEXT: The Review

12 thoughts on “2017-2018 Black Crows Anima

  1. You guys going to review the Blizzard Rustler 11 this spring? So many skis in the ~115 play/charge category these days, it’s going to be hard to choose…

    • The 194 is better on piste than a 190 Bibby, it offers more grip on hard snow and/or ice. It doesn’t float in deep snow as well as a 190 Bibby (both mounted @ -6cm). The Anima isn’t as stiff as a Bibby, and thus doesn’t plow through cut up snow as well as the Bibby, but weighs less. I see the 188 Anima as a touring ski with some resort days and the 194 more so as a hike and resort ski. I find the 194 Anima to be a great all-round ski and not just a pure pow ski, there are other skis that perform better in deep snow. If you think the Bibby is a great one ski quiver, but too short, then the 194 Anima should be on your radar depending on where you live and what you like to ski.

  2. Hey,

    im wondering why you you wrote that the Factory Recommended Mount Point is -6 cm from center?
    When was in contact with Black Crows they recommended true center als a mounting point for the Anima.

    Thanks for your answer

    • I think you might have misunderstood the difference between true center and the recommended mount point. True center is the half way point of the ski and usually only park skis are mounted in that location. So when the recommended mount point says -6 cm, that means -6 cm from true center. The ski was actually designed around that -6 cm mount point.

  3. Hey, Thanks for the review! I am looking for dedicated powder skis for the alps und could get my hands on a pair of Animas in the 182 length. However, I’m 6“1 and I think the 182cm will be to short for me. Also because they seem to measure short according to your review. Do you see me getting away with the 182? I would describe ‘s level as medium to advanced.

  4. Hi Cy, thanks for the Anima review. In the market for a new pow-touring ski, & am super interested in the possibility of an Anima Freebird vs. Bibby Tour comparison test you hint at here. Any chance of a first look along those lines anytime soon?
    Sniffing around Black Crow’s website, I noticed they’ve taken a page from the Moment playbook & significantly decreased the amount of camber in the Freebird, touring version of the Anima. Since I primarily tour in relatively dense coastal snowpack here in the Sierras, I’ve learned that camber height can be just as critical as side cut to the way touring skis perform in deeper, inconsistent backcountry snow.
    This leads to the camber measurement of ~1mm that Blister has published at the top of this review of the regular Anima. Scrolling up to the base profile pics just above, there looks to be a good half-inch of daylight between ski bases. This would put the camber height for the “resort” Anima at ~6mm. Typo perhaps?
    For the sake of a future Anima/Anima Freebird to Blister Pro / Bibby Tour comparo, it would be awesome to see Blister revisit the camber numbers for both parings. I’ve skied both of the Moments, and neither of the Black Crows, so that would be a useful cross reference.

    • I agree w your Camber comments on Anima ….have you learned anything more since you posted comment ? I am looking at these as welll. I have the Daemon and really like those too

  5. Yes on Camber from Matt above ??? Looks like way more than 1mm that Black Crows states.

    Please clarify professors at Blister when ya can.

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