Black Crows Daemon Deep Dive Deep Dive Comparison Jonathan Ellsworth Luke Koppa Skis Travel

Sample Deep Dive: Black Crows Daemon | Blister Gear Review

Sample Deep Dive: Black Crows Daemon | Blister Gear Review

[Note: This is a sample of one of our Deep Dive comparisons, which are exclusive to our Blister Members and Deep Dive subscribers. Our Deep Dives go beyond our free, online reviews with even more focused, in-depth discussions and direct, detailed comparisons of many of the products we review. Learn more about our Deep Dive subscription and the Blister Membership]


For those who haven’t already, take a look at our full assessment of the Daemon the place we go over the way it performs in a reasonably wide selection of circumstances. Right here, we’ll examine it on to a number of different all-mountain skis on this class.

Black Crows Daemon, 183.6 cm (17/18, 18/19)
Measured Dimensions: 132-99-119.5 mm
Said Radius: 20 m
Measured Weight per Ski: 1894 & 1980 g
Measured Tip-to-Tail Profile:~49 mm / zero mm / 14 mm
Measured Size: 182.2 cm
Measured Mount Level: -7.9 cm / 83.2 cm from tail
Obtainable Lengths: 170.2, 177.Four, 183.6, 188.7 cm
Core Development: Poplar + 120 cm titanal layer + fiberglass laminate

Volkl Mantra, 184 cm (17/18)
Measured Dimensions: 131.5-99.5-117.Eight mm
Said Radius: 25.Four m
Measured Weight per Ski: 2145 & 2165 g
Measured Tip-to-Tail Profile: 59 mm / zero mm / ~14 mm
Measured Size: 182.Eight cm
Measured Mount Level: -9.2 cm / 82.2 cm from tail
Obtainable Lengths: 170, 177, 184, 191 cm

Jonathan Ellsworth (5’10”, ~175 lbs): Our First Look and Full Review of the Daemon ought to have (hopefully) made this beautiful clear by now, however I primarily view the Daemon because the Black Crows’ tackle the reverse-camber Mantra. So the Daemon is far lighter, has a lighter swingweight, a softer flex sample, and a barely extra ahead mount. Really, I feel the story goes: should you all the time thought the Mantra was too heavy and uninteresting and sort of a lead sled, then it is best to take a look at the Daemon. And I undoubtedly assume that the fitting solution to examine these skis is to match size X within the Daemon towards the one-size-down size within the Mantra. (I.e., probably the most apples-to-apples comparability is the 183.6 cm Daemon towards the 177 cm Mantra.)

Volkl Mantra M5, 177 cm (18/19)
Measured Dimensions: 133.9-95.9-116.Eight mm
Said Radius: 19.Eight m
Measured Weight per Ski: 2049 & 2065 g
Measured Tip-to-Tail Profile: 55 / ~Three mm / 18 mm
Measured Size: 178.2 cm
Measured Mount Level: -11.5 cm / 77.6 cm from tail
Obtainable Lengths: 170, 177, 184, 191 cm
Core Development: Poplar + beech underfoot + Titanal + Carbon Ideas + Fiberglass Laminate

Jonathan: So, Daemon vs. the brand new, non-reverse-camber M5 Mantra? It’s not that the M5 and the Daemon at the moment are radically totally different skis, it’s simply that the Daemon by no means got here to thoughts when snowboarding the brand new M5. Be happy to ask extra particular questions within the Feedback Part, however I feel our evaluations of every of those skis ought to go a great distance in explaining my assertion right here.

Blizzard Bonafide, 180 cm (17/18, 18/19)
Measured Dimensions: 135-97.5-119 mm
Said Radius: 18 m
Measured Weight per Ski: 2124 & 2137 g
Measured Tip-to-Tail Profile: 65 / 2-2.5 mm / 7 mm
Measured Size: 177.65 cm
Measured Mount Level: -11.03 / ~77.Eight from tail
Out there Lengths: 166, 173, 180, 187 cm
Core Development: Poplar/Beech + Titanal (2-layer) + Carbon Ideas/Tails + Fiberglass Laminate

Jonathan: My ideas listed here are largely the identical as what I stated above concerning the reverse-camber (17/18) Mantra. With the qualifier is that I feel the present Bonafide and the Daemon truly really feel a bit extra comparable than the reverse-camber Mantra & Daemon do. And I feel a part of that is that the information / shovels of the Mantra really feel stronger than the ideas / shovels of the Bonafide and Daemon.

However when it comes to whether or not to go together with the Bonafide or Daemon, I’d say weight. If you would like a lighter Bonafide, take a look at the Daemon. Or in case you just like the sound of touring on a reverse-camber Mantra or the Bonafide — however don’t need to drag that a lot weight uphill — I might see mounting the Daemon with a Fritschi Tecton or Marker Kingpin or Atomic / Salomon SHIFT binding. You’d save weight in comparison with the Mantra & Bonafide, however you’d be sacrificing firm-snow and variable-snow stability. However you’d lose little-to-no soft-snow / deep-snow efficiency.

Fischer Ranger 102 FR, 184 cm (18/19)
Measured Dimensions: 137.Eight-102.Four-127.7
Said Radius: 19 m
Measured Weight per Ski: 2101 & 2104 g
Measured Tip-to-Tail Profile: 65 / Four-5 mm / 35 mm
Measured Size: 183.Eight cm
Measured Mount Level: -9.9 cm / 82 cm from tail
Out there Lengths: 170, 177, 184 cm
Core Development: Beech/Poplar + Titanal + Carbon Fiber Tip + Fiberglass Laminate

Luke Koppa (5’Eight”, 155 lbs): The extra you care about dynamic carving efficiency, the extra you need to take a look at the Ranger 102 FR. Whereas the Daemon’s edgehold is sort of good, the Ranger 102 FR supplies simply nearly as good (if not higher) edgehold and rather more power out of a flip (so long as you will have the power / velocity to bend it — it’s a reasonably stout ski).

The Daemon is certainly a lot looser and extra pivoty at sluggish speeds. However at greater speeds, that distinction is much less noticeable since, as quickly as you set the Daemon barely on edge, it feels pretty locked in. Nevertheless, the Daemon is certainly simpler in bumps in comparison with the Ranger 102 FR, which requires you to remain on the entrance of the ski to keep away from getting bucked by its tails.

Whereas the Ranger 102 FR has a reasonably stout flex sample (and is stiffer general in comparison with the Daemon), its flex sample can also be fairly spherical, so it feels extra conducive to popping off issues (it simply requires robust skier enter to take action). The Daemon is playful due to its low weight and unfastened really feel when operating bases flat. The Ranger 102 FR is playful due to its poppier flex sample and extra beneficiant rocker profile (in comparison with extra conventional skis right here just like the Bonafide and Mantra M5).

When it comes to stability, the Ranger 102 FR wins in all circumstances. It’s a bit of over 100 grams heavier per ski, and that additional weight works very nicely with its stiffer flex sample to make for a ski that feels fairly robust when snowboarding by way of variable snow.

If you need a ski that rewards a tough carve with a lot of power, is extra playful than the extra conventional choices right here, and is sort of robust and secure, then take a look at the Ranger 102 FR. For those who’re wanting extra for a lighter, extra forgiving ski that feels fairly damp and clean for its weight and aren’t as involved with actually energetic carving or a poppy really feel, then go Daemon.

Jonathan: Yeah, I can’t think about that, having skied each of those skis, an individual can be actually torn about which to go together with. I assumed the Ranger 102 FR was a a lot stronger ski than the Daemon. I stored saying that the Ranger 102 FR would work rather well as a modern-day comp ski (i.e., not almost as heavy as “comp skis” of the previous, however a reasonably game-on ski that is able to have you ever go actual quick and supply good stability on landings). At no level did I ever discover myself considering that the Daemon might be an fascinating comp ski.

Atomic Bent Chetler 100, 188 cm (18/19)
Measured Dimensions: 130.1-99.5-120.5 mm
Said Radius: 21 m
Measured Weight per Ski: 1807 & 1840 g
Measured Tip-to-Tail Profile: 55 / 5-6 mm / 34 mm
Measured Size: cm
Measured Mount Level: -7.Eight cm / 85.7 cm from tail
Out there Lengths: 164, 172, 180, 188 cm
Core Development: Poplar + Fiberglass Laminate

Luke: The Bent Chetler 100 and Daemon don’t actually really feel comparable in any respect. You possibly can sort of consider the Bent Chetler 100 as a lighter, extra playful, and extra forgiving Ranger 102 FR, so lots of my notes above re: the Ranger 102 FR can be related right here. The Bent Chetler 100 is far poppier, extra playful, and a bit much less secure than the Daemon. In case you’re trying to ski change or throw tips of any sort, the Bent Chetler 100 is the apparent selection. The Daemon is round 150 grams heavier per ski, and it undoubtedly feels damper than the Bent Chetler 100. Should you like a extra planted, conventional really feel, then the Daemon is a more sensible choice. However if you need a light-weight ski that gives fairly good stability for its weight and could be very poppy and playful, then take a look at the Bent Chetler 100.

Nordica Enforcer 100, 185 cm (17/18, 18/19)
Measured Dimensions: 133.5-99-121 mm
Said Radius: 18.5 m
Measured Weight per Ski: 2131 & 2189 g
Measured Tip-to-Tail Profile: 59 / ~Three mm / 13 mm
Measured Size: 184.2 cm
Measured Mount Level: -Eight.2 / ~83.9 cm from tail
Out there Lengths: 165, 177, 185, 193 cm
Core Development: Poplar/Beech + Titanal (2-Layer) + Fiberglass Laminate

Luke: The Enforcer 100 is round 150 grams heavier than the Daemon, and I felt that I might push it more durable than the Daemon with out the ski getting knocked round as a lot. And whereas the Enforcer 100 is extra secure than the Daemon, it’s nonetheless not far more demanding (if in any respect). In the event you’re on the lookout for a ski that has a very nice mix of stability and forgiveness and need the extra conventional really feel of a rocker / camber / rocker ski, the Enforcer 100 is a superb selection. I feel the Daemon is sensible when you’re extra involved with having a lighter ski, or one which’s simpler to pivot round at slower speeds.

Jonathan: Yep. If you wish to go lighter, assume the Enforcer 100 is extra ski than you need, and have extra of a finesse type (even when snowboarding arduous and quick), then the Daemon will make sense.

J Skis Masterblaster, 181 cm (17/18, 18/19)
Measured Dimensions: 129-95-114.5 mm
Said Radius: 17 m
Measured Weight per Ski: 2115 & 2149 g
Measured Tip-to-Tail Profile: 65 mm / ~Three mm / 36 mm
Measured Size: 178.Eight cm
Measured Mount Level: -7.85 cm / 81.5 cm from tail
Obtainable Lengths: 168, 175, 181, 187 cm
Core Development: Maple + Titanal (2-layer) + Fiberglass Laminate

Luke: Whereas it won’t look like it based mostly on their specs, I discovered that the Masterblaster felt considerably extra playful general in comparison with the Daemon. The Daemon undoubtedly has a lighter swing weight, however the Masterblaster felt poppier and equally unfastened at excessive speeds (the Daemon is certainly simpler to slip round at sluggish speeds).

On the similar time, the Masterblaster is considerably extra secure in tough, off-piste snow. So for those who’re not all that involved with high-speed stability or getting a ski with numerous power, the Daemon may work higher for you. However should you like the thought of a ski that has a lot of the steadiness of extra conventional choices right here (e.g., Bonafide and Mantra M5), however need one thing that’s extra playful, then the Masterblaster is value an extended look.

Jonathan: Yep, I agree with Luke. And in case you are questioning whether or not to go together with the Masterblaster or the Daemon, I feel the perfect purpose to go Daemon is that the Masterblaster sounds too heavy for what you’re in search of, and also you don’t actually care concerning the Masterblaster’s larger stability at excessive speeds or in variable snow. I.e., if you’d like a lighter ski and also you need it to shine in constant circumstances (clean groomers or deeper pow), then the Daemon might make good sense.

Blizzard Rustler 10, 188 cm (17/18, 18/19)
Measured Dimensions: 135.2-103.5-125.Four mm
Said Radius: 19 m
Measured Weight per Ski: 1950 & 1977 g
Measured Tip-to-Tail Profile: 72 mm / Three-Four mm / 40 mm
Measured Size: 186.Three cm
Measured Mount Level: -7.25 cm / 85.9 cm from tail
Obtainable Lengths: 164, 172, 180, 188 cm
Core Development: poplar/balsa/beech/paulownia/ISO (artificial) + partial titanal layer + carbon ideas/tails + fiberglass laminate

Luke: Each of those skis really feel fairly clean for his or her weight, however that’s the place the similarities finish. The Rustler 10 could be very energetic and playful (it has fairly deep tip and tail rocker strains in comparison with most different skis right here). The Rustler 10 additionally feels greatest when carving small to medium turns, whereas the Daemon does nicely with a wider (and longer) number of flip shapes. Just like the Bent Chetler 100, if you’d like a very energetic carver, the Rustler 10 is the clear selection. The Daemon is a little more secure and undoubtedly feels damper and extra planted. I actually doubt that somebody who loves one in every of these skis is basically going to like the opposite — they’re fairly totally different on snow.

Armada Invictus 99 Ti, 187 cm (17/18, 18/19)
Measured Dimensions: 134.6-98.5-124.Four
Said Radius: 21.5 m
Measured Weight per Ski: 2007 & 2029 g
Measured Tip-to-Tail Profile: 60 / ~Three mm / 20 mm
Measured Size: 185.9 cm
Measured Mount Level: -7.Four cm / 85.5 cm from tail
Out there Lengths: 171, 179, 187 cm
Core Development: Poplar/Ash + Titanal (2-layer) + Innegra/Carbon Laminate

Jonathan: The 187 cm Invictus 99 seems like a a lot greater ski than the 183.6 Daemon. The truth is, when Luke Koppa and I have been discussing which skis to incorporate on this Deep Dive, I virtually skipped the Invictus 99. However provided that their lengths, widths, and weights are pretty shut, it’s value a phrase right here.

I’d say that the Daemon is definitely extra maneuverable at low speeds, whereas the Invictus 99 is extra secure at excessive speeds. I’d be okay with placing an intermediate skier on the Daemon, however I might reserve the 187 cm Invictus 99 for bodily stronger skiers with superior / professional method. The Daemon doesn’t want velocity to return alive. The Invictus 99 wants some. And for the sake of comparability, the Invictus 99 isn’t as demanding as, say, the 188 cm Atomic Vantage 97, however I’d say the Invictus 99 sits a bit nearer to Vantage 97 and the Rossi Expertise 94 than it does to the Daemon.

HEAD Kore 99, 189 cm (18/19)
Measured Dimensions: 136.7-100.Eight-122.1 mm
Said Radius: 19.1 m
Measured Weight per Ski: 1921 & 1968 g
Measured Tip-to-Tail Profile: 58 / ~Three mm / 16 mm
Measured Size: 188.2 cm
Measured Mount Level: -11.6 cm / 82.5 cm from tail
Out there Lengths: 162, 171, 180, 189 cm
Core Development: Karuba + Graphene + Koroyd Inserts

The 189 cm Kore 99 principally has nothing in widespread with the 184 cm Daemon. They really feel nothing alike. If you actually need to have a selected query answered, be happy to ask within the feedback part.