|Black Diamond Megawatt 178/188 (153-125-130)|
This review, however, is legit.
Regarding #1: I don’t have any sponsors. I got my hands on a pair of 188cm BD Megawatts in December 2009 when a buddy moved from the Teton Range to Missouri: his lady got into Medical School there. If he holds on to her, the decision should start to pay off in about seven years. His decision to leave the Megawatts here, however, started paying off (for me) immediately…
Regarding #2: Over the last few months, I’ve logged 180,000 feet of backcountry vert on the Megawatt. My buddy mounted them with a pair of Dynafit FT12 bindings and bent the 110mm brakes to accommodate the sultry 125mm waist of the Megawatt. He also included a pair of BD Ascension Skins. Factor in my old pair of Dynafit Zzero boots, and as if by karmic magic I had a new rig that has proven the funnest, most versatile backcountry ski setup I’ve ever ridden.
The skis are amazingly light for their size and coupled with the Dynafit binding, they’re perfect for long tours in any conditions. They climb steep, slick skin tracks noticeably better than skinnier skis thanks to mucho surface area underfoot and in the tail. The rocker tip and zero camber assure contact directly underfoot when you need all the traction you can get. Additionally, the rocker tip and plentiful surface area keep you atop the pow when setting a skin track. On more traditional touring skis, you’re often slogging, stomping, stumbling, and swearing your way through the sugar. The Megawatts make blazing your own trail much more enjoyable… and more energy efficient.
The real fun comes during the descent. The tips are almost impossible to sink so you can ski them well in even the deepest, lightest blower. You don’t have to carry much speed to stay afloat, but if you feel so inclined, they can handle straightlines and super G turns far beyond my comfort zone. Since they never submarine, they feel very stable and more predictable in pow. For example, otherwise awkward pillow lines and landings become a breeze on these: you pretty much just have to stand there.
I also found that skiing powder on the 188cm Megawatt stresses my joints less than my 181cm K2 Coomba (103mm underfoot). I have a crummy knee and ankle combo that has hindered my skiing for a few years. With these, I don’t feel it at all. There’s a lot to be said for staying on top and making effortless turns.
I’ve ridden groomers, bumps, breakable death crust, and steep ice on them. They do as well as or better than conventional (100-110mm underfoot) powder skis. I’ve ridden them in soupy, knee deep, ACL-popping corn snow, and they stayed on top offering safety and fun skiing when buddies were practically swimming down. I’ve skied icy, fall-die couloirs on them, and they were solid. Jump turns? No problem.
A few years back I swore I’d never want a touring ski fatter than my 88mm underfoot skis. I was wrong. Though slightly heavier, skis like the Megawatt climb better and ski better. They’re way more fun to ski and are also safer. They decrease stress on your joints because they stay up top. They decrease fatigue because they ski effortlessly. They decrease your odds of falling because they are easier to ski. They decrease your odds of striking objects under the snow. And they are much easier to POINT if you need to, say, outrun an avalanche.
If you aren’t touring on fatties like the Megawatt, you’re missing out on a lot of fun and safety.
|Megawatts atop Wyoming's Grand Teton|