Editors' Choice Snow Award 2012: Black Diamond Carbon Megawatt Ski - Backpacker

Editors' Choice Snow Award 2012: Black Diamond Carbon Megawatt Ski

A wide ski that weighs nothing.

[alpine touring ski]

Looks are deceiving: The Megawatt has a shape and dimensions that scream “niche powder ski,” which is why our 5’5”, 135-pound tester avoided it for the first two days of a weeklong ski-touring trip in Washington’s Cascade Mountains. “There was no way I wanted to haul such a massive ski up the average 4,000 vertical feet of climbing we were doing each day,” she says. But the Megawatt is not as it appears—it’s more. A pair weighs just 9 pounds (a pound less than its closest competitor), so they didn’t weigh her down during steep, icy switchbacks. Not surprisingly, they floated “beautifully” on the downhill, through billowing, calf-deep powder.

And when the snow turned from champagne powder to a consistency more like mashed potatoes, the Megawatts continued to skim the surface instead of bogging down and throwing her forward. “They’re forgiving and easy to turn—I skied them in a 178 length, about 10 centimeters longer than my preferred size,” she says. “I worried that I wouldn’t have the strength to turn them in crud or on hardpack,” she says. “But the huge surface area (120mm underfoot for the 178) coupled with a lightweight carbon and wood core made them exceptionally maneuverable in all conditions.”$930; 9 lbs. (178); 178 (147/120/126), 188 (153/125/130); blackdiamondequipment.com

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