I’ve been skiing on Rosignol Mega Bangs for three or four years now. Love the ski. But I’ve put about 250 days on them and they were starting to feel a little dead. The Black Diamond Verdict caught my attention when I saw it in a shop and picked it up. This ski is unbelievably light for such a BIG ski. One reason I kept using the Bangs was that I couldn’t see getting anything wider due to the weight penalties. Because most of my skiing is backcountry, weight is definitely a consideration.
I’ve been skiing on Rosignol Mega Bangs with Dynafit Comforts for three or four years now. Love the ski. Very forgiving and easy to turn and loves powder. But I’ve put about 250 days on them and they were starting to feel a little dead. The Black Diamond Verdict caught my attention when I saw it in a shop and picked it up. This ski is unbelievably light for such a BIG ski. One reason I kept using the Bangs was that I couldn’t see getting anything wider due to the weight penalties. Because most of my skiing is backcountry, weight is definitely a consideration.
Long story short, I was in Yostmark Mountaineering, in Driggs Idaho, and they made me an offer I couldn’t refuse. Now I have the Verdicts.
Here’s some basic info:
Ski length: 180
Binding: Dynafit Comfort
Boot: Garmont Mega Ride
Skier Weight: 165
Testing Area: Teton Pass and vicinity
After four years on the Mega Bangs, the first thing I noticed is that this ski is stiff. It doesn’t feel stiff when you flex it in a shop, but on the snow, it feels stiff. Because I thought it was a powder ski, I was a little thrown by the stiffness. Of course, it could be due to the Mega Bang’s trampoline-like flex. I skied my first day on these big boys at Targhee in 10″ of dust-on-crust. Here are my first impressions from an area day:
- They hold an edge really well, especially for such a big ski
- These boards handle well at high speed.
- They do not like bumps. Whenever I got into bumped areas (and Targhee bumps aren’t that big) I was getting thrown all over the place.
- They make a funny noise when scraping on crust. Hard to explain, but it you have this ski, you’ll know what I’m talking about.
- Slow edge-to-edge on hardpack snow. It requires one hell of a knee angle to get these things on edge. They feel REALLY big directly under my foot if you’re skiing on hardpack, but this is not noticeable in powder.
- They like to do BIG turns at high speed.
After the area day with the Verdicts, I was a little disappointed. I thought maybe this ski was too big or too stiff for my weight or skiing style. But I didn’t really buy them for area skiing so I decided to wait until I had some backcountry powder days under my belt. Lucky for me, the Tetons were in the middle of a three-week snow cycle and there was ample opportunity to find out how they ski powder.
I now have five good days of backcountry powder skiing on the Verdicts and here are my impressions. I skied on slopes between 30-40 degrees:
- They like to go fast in powder, as fast as I dare to go. Very stable at speed.
- They are not easily distracted by old tracks, variable snow conditions, or anything else that might throw a ski tip around. You almost can’t feel it when you ski in and out of tracked snow.
- You can make very tight turns in deep powder. I was a little worried about this, because at the area, I found they were somewhat slow to turn. I think one reason they feel slow to turn on hardpack is due to their moderate side cut. For example, the G3 Rapid Transit is 127/92/116 and the Verdict is 127/98/116. Also, having that much ski underfoot makes for a slower transition from edge to edge. But in powder it wasn’t noticeable.
- Skis very well making big turns too.
- Very easy to walk in and light feeling, but you notice the underfoot width if the track is not flat.
Finally, last weekend, I got to ski the Verdicts on corn snow and slop. I was worried that they’d have the same slowness edge-to-edge on corn, but they don’t. They eat up the corn and all of their good qualities come out on it: big, high-speed turns, stable, and they “hold the course.”