Black Diamond Helio Recon 95

Best stability

Specs

Weight 7 lbs, 6 oz

 

Our take “This is my can’t-fall ski,” proclaimed one tester of the new Helio Recon. A bit on the heavier side (compared to other skis here), it has a poplar wood core and no carbon. Instead, it uses fiberglass, more like a conventional resort ski. The recipe makes the Helio Recon extremely predictable, stable, and affordable. “It’s the ski I want when I’m faced with a tight situation, on cruddy snow, or stuck on ice,” our tester says.

The details Black Diamond adds its usual special sauce to the core: a rubber layer. For basically no additional weight, the rubber absorbs a lot of the vibration at higher speeds. We appreciated the damper ride on tours in Rocky Mountain National Park and the Banff backcountry, where sun- and wind-affected snow were the norm. Reality check: If long tours and mountaineering missions are your thing, find a lighter ski.

Trail cred “I got myself into a couloir that required about 50 feet of downclimbing and sloughing before it opened up and I was glad to have the Helio Recons,” one tester says. “I never over-flexed them and was able to easily stay centered before I got to open the throttle a bit.”

7 lbs. 6 oz. (183); three lengths