Black Diamond Route 95 Skis

Skis on Test: Black Diamond Route 95 Skis – 173cm – Long Term Review

Rating: ****' (4.5 stars)

Recommended Retail Price: £525.00 from Black Diamond

We tested the new Black Diamond Route 95 skis over the course of the 2017/2018 season. These are a mid-weight, mid-width backcountry touring ski. They don’t particularly excel in one area, but do everything admirably well, if there ever was a ‘quiver of one’ ski, we think this would be it!

Construction and climbing: The BD Route 95’s have a plastic skin-clip area at the back of the tail. This also protects the skis from damage when stood up on their tails. Construction feels very solid, we think these skis will last. At 3.1Kg per pair in 173cm lengths, they are an acceptable mid-weight touring ski.

Soft snow; pretty much any ski does well on soft snow, the BD routes are no exception. This reviewer found them to float surprisingly well for their width and length. They compared well with some longer 100mm+ skis that we have tested in the past.

Hard snow: On hard snow, the BD Route 95 does surprisingly well for its width, they dampen out vibrations very well for a 3kg ski-pair. We found they tended to grab at the foot and slide out at the tail when pushed too hard on hard snow. The ski does better when driven smoothly in a more centred (less aggressive) stance. They do surprisingly well on piste for a light ski.

Difficult snow: We found the BD Route 95’s excel here, progressive rocker, coupled with a fairly early side-cut means turn initiation is possible even in the worse conditions. The edges came pre-tuned, something we appreciate from BD, as often new skis have razor-sharp edges, right up to the tip making the skis quite ‘grabby’ until edges are rounded (tuned) at the ends (the point from where turns are initiated).

Spring conditions and steep skiing: The BD Route 95 performed well in these conditions although they might lack some of the ‘pop’ and reactiveness of some more spring-oriented planks on the market. The camber underfoot helps here, this reviewer tested them couloir-skiing in the spring up to 45° quite happily.

Overall, these are an excellent mid-weight, mid-width ‘do-it-all’ ski, they don’t excel in one particular area, but do everything well. They don’t do well when skied aggressively, although we found they still hold their own at speed. The only real flaw that came up was the low tips, these tend to get caught with sudden terrain changes, on one particular occasion the reviewer managed to plant both tips at once!

Skier Data: 65Kg for 174cm, experienced skier.

Things we like: Surprisingly dampening for their weight, easy turn initiation in all snows, very accessible while still capable at speed.

Things we don’t like: Tips are too low, they occasionally catch on bumps.

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