Black Crows Orb ski review, 2017/2018 men's All-Mountain Front Category, from our equipment experts at powered by Masterfit.

Black Crows considers the Orb a “resort” ski, which it no doubt is for a Chamonix alpinist. But don’t mistake this classification to mean that the ski is built or behaves like classic carving skis. For starters, its gradual sidecut is more typical of Big Mountain skis and unlike the hourglass shape of a carving tool. The Orb’s front rocker and tapered tip are also off-trail adaptations meant to loosen the linkage between the shovel and the snow—traits that serve the sidecountry skier well. Black Crows' Orb earns its cred as an in-bounds ski with two full sheets of Titanal around a poplar core along with a square tail a skier can trust for support at the bottom of a turn. The critical inclusion of metal laminates helps keep the edge calm whether the ski is cutting a mid-radius arc in the groom or banking off wind berms off trail. The Orb’s dual nature—half civilized gent, half wild child—is ideally suited to the terrain that forms the boundary between resort and backcountry. Paul Jacobs of California Ski Company found the Orb to be “Nice and easy turning. Tracks well in both wind crust and softer snow. Probably a great Sierra cement ski,” he surmised.