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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
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    A Texan Playground
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    190

    Review: Black Diamond Justice 185

    Me: 5'8", 195#, Aggressive skier. (To see a description of what an aggressive skier is, please click [ame="https://www.tetongravity.com/forums/showthread.php?p=2649396#post2649396"]I guess everyone is an aggressive skier - Teton Gravity Research Forums[/ame] or you can PM Rontele)
    Today: Everything in the books. Groomers, chop, wind-blown powder, shin deep powder, chest deep powder, bumps.
    Location: Wolf Creek, Colorado
    Temp: Fucking really cold.

    First, I should note that my wax today was not the right wax for the conditions. I was definetly grabby on the way down the groomers.

    Started off on some wind blown powder/chop at Wolfie today. At first, I was amazed at how easily these things turned. Coming from EHPs and VCTs, I had to put much less effort into the turn. This caught me way off guard the first run, as my turn arcs tightened way faster than I thought they would. The Justice seemed stable at speed when I would open it up in this windblown, drifted goodness. Really easy to turn, really easy to jump around on...in the soft snow.
    Got them to the groomers and that fuzzy feeling disappeared. They were really laggy getting them edge to edge and felt really unstable and unresponsive when I opened them up down groomers. Given, this is NOT a groomer ski, but the lack of stability and responsiveness at speed really amazed me.
    Alberta opened, and I was off to deep powder. Dropped into the Waterfall, and had mid-thigh deep powder untracked. This is where these skis really shined and the did whatever I asked. They loved an agressive stance and I opened them up and could make quick turns, slow turns, no turns. Go figure, I got there (the lift) later than the rest of the Front Range, but I was able to locate chest deep stashes in the steeps off of Alberta. Again, this ski performed and performed well. Down the numbers, I was able to jump turn from powder pillow to powder pillow at decent speed. I did notice (as my legs got smoked) that this is NOT a ski that you want to get in the backseat of. It will open up and take you in whatever direction you are aimed. They were a blast in everything soft.
    Interesting to note that I was able to open them up so much in the powder that I ejected twice today into full tomahawk due to the fact that I was just charging full bore and hit a powder hole I was not properly positioned for. I dont normally open up that much, but this ski just made me so confident in soft snow at any speed. The red color makes them easier to find in chest deep snow too. I definetly was able to engage the shovel and initiate turns even in the deepest snow. This ski likes a really aggressive stance in the powder and soft snow.
    Then, off to Bonanza for some tree shots (this following a long lunch). Of course, the Front Range had been here as well, and it was chopped up mank and pretty well packed down even between the tightest trees. I was pumped though, and it would test the skis to the max. Opened them up, hit areas of packed through the trees to areas of semi-soft snow. Again, I noticed that these are soft snow performers, and did not like the pack as much. They had that unstable feeling again. Tried to push them and make some sharp turns, and again, a little unstable for my liking, at least compared to my EHPs and my VCTs, on anything that resembles firm.
    That was a wrap, and I was off (2 pm.)

    Overall, I was really impressed with these skis in the soft snow. On groomers and the pack, they are not as stable at speed and feel squirrely as hell. I could not open up to mach speeds with much confidence on anything firm. I will also add that they were mounted with Dukes and were being drove with Factors.

    Will be driving them again before I make a solid decision, but, anyone who knows the Wolf knows that groomers are a way of life to get between stashes.
    Last edited by Campo; 12-10-2009 at 10:04 AM.
    Quote Originally Posted by alto View Post
    I'm not comfortable at all with this concept of responsibility for one's self.
    Call forth the name of Ullr, and rejoice, for he hath brought forth that which you seek, that which calls to your soul, and thus, completes your existence in this world.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    PNW
    Posts
    110
    Thanks for the review. Haven't skied them but kinda confirmed what I suspected, pretty one dimensional. I want something light for bc powder but always want smoething a little more versatile. The search is on...
    "The light at the end of the tunnel is a train." Justin Trosper

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    A Texan Playground
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    190
    ^^^

    Yeah, when I was mounting them I was thinking, "Damn, these things are floppy and flexy as hell!" When I got them on the snow, that thought was confirmed by performance, or lack thereof, in hard snow.

    Don't get me wrong, they are kick-ass in the powder and soft snow, but that is about it. When I am touring, I could end up in bowl A or bowl B. Might ski powder, might end up having to go down something more firm. It just wasn't what I was expecting. I guess I should look at the Zealot, which has the early rise this year and is a little stiffer and would, I suppose, be more of a all mountain ski with powder performance? Either way, the Justice's will get one more day before I make the decision to fold or hold. Right now, I am leaning towards fold.

    Edit: I should note I hit a few rollers and smaller drops and these things landed well, even when I didn't, FWIW.
    Quote Originally Posted by alto View Post
    I'm not comfortable at all with this concept of responsibility for one's self.
    Call forth the name of Ullr, and rejoice, for he hath brought forth that which you seek, that which calls to your soul, and thus, completes your existence in this world.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Northern San Juans
    Posts
    1,034
    I have 4 days on my Justice. They are mounted with dynafits. Conditions where blower too soft groomer. I agree with the sediment that these are not charging skis(never thought they would be). They are very easy to ski in soft snow. Tips will not sink. I think they will make a good bc ski. How they will handle 45 degree frozen slope is to be determined but I do think they will hold a edge. They are soft in the tips but a lot stiffer under the foot and tail. Im pretty satisfied with the skis so far but with lhasas and 120's to be delivered in the next few weeks we shall see if they make the cut.
    deeppo

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Eagle, CO
    Posts
    2,247

    Thumbs up

    ^^^
    Ha! That is great! Please post up a sweet side-by-side-by-side comparison of those three skis, with focus on breakable crust and the 45 degree firm.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    967
    BD lied to me and you when they said the justice was "powder-specialty geometry in an all-mountain package"... All mountain package if you only ski fresh untracked powder, otherwise the word all mountain is a marketing lie. When I first read Campo's review a month ago, I was hoping his findings wouldn't relate to mine. But sadly, they did and the word that sticks out most to me in his review is SQUIRRELY (which can have a positive in pow where I would change squirrely to surfy).

    me: 5'11" 160ish w/o gear... with pack and everything I would say around 190ish
    mounted with dynafit F12 binders on the line for a bsl of 313
    Boots were Skookum's with the soft tongue.

    A positive is that this set up toured great (also had the mix glidlite skis), best as of yet. I have used dukes and FFR+ in the past and the dynafits were far superior to the others on the up and solid for what they are for the down...

    So more positives of this ski are that it handles beautifully in pow. Pivots, slashes, tip doesn't sink, surfy feel, just a nice ride. In the soft chop, meaning a few tracks, the ski still handled nicely. The only thing is that the ec has been experiencing freakishly light snow (for us), so anything heavy with higher water content and I'm not sure how this ski would react.

    Overall positives were light touring, good in soft mostly untracked snow.

    On to the bashing... This ski constantly disappointed me and I was always looking for more. I have two tours on these (small ones) and after each one, I kept asking myself, was it me or the ski. What I was looking for in a ski was a light AT set up that was more geared towards powder but could handle (not excel, handle) everything else you encounter in the bc, especially here on the ec. I think being light with a soft tip is what causes the squirrely feeling, because if you hit anything that isn't fresh the ski gets knocked around. The ski doesn't handle groomers or softer hard pack for shit. The tip is flapping and you have no confidence. I wasn't looking for a charger, but all mountain means some versatility and you don't have a feeling of impending doom when skiing anything but powder.

    The reason I am so disappointed is because I thought this would fit all of my criteria, and their description led me to believe this. I also want to point out that I am not always a fan of softer skis, I have enjoyed some in the past, put overall I shy away. I feel these skis ski softer than they flex. Hand flex leads me to believe the tip is soft to medium soft, meaning not a noodle and the rest of the skis is medium(ish). Real science being used in the hand flex.

    If bd stiffened up the whole ski (medium in the tip, medium stiff in the mid-body and medium to medium stiff in the tail) I believe it would preform better in all conditions. Again, not looking for a beast, just a ski that doesn't get knocked around by the wind and won't wash out with the slightest input in variable conditions.
    Last edited by emr; 01-11-2010 at 01:10 PM.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Droppin' in ten!
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    1,121
    ^^^

    Good review.
    Quote Originally Posted by splat View Post
    It's the same argument for prostitution. There's a lot of people in this world who won't be getting laid unless they pay big bucks or fuck an artificial life form. No amount of consolation, pity or comiserating is going to change that reality.
    Slaughter is the best medicine.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Yukon
    Posts
    623
    That was a good review..thanks. I'm wondering now how the Justice stacks up against the 181 Coomback...hoping that much of what disappointed you in its inability to perform in anything but soft snow conditions won't be the case with the K2 ski. Likely I will answer my own question tomorrow when I take my Coomback/FT12/Titan setup for its maiden voyage..

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    northern BC
    Posts
    17,959
    i think BD dummied down a number of their skis for the masses,specificly the kilowatt justice and the verdict ...if you want performance go zealot

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Goldentown
    Posts
    54
    my 2cents on the justices.
    185's
    dukes
    factors
    me:6' 190 after 15 years of tele, I fixed the problem. Why did I wait so long???
    So, I've got 5 days on the justices, 1 huge new year pow day on monarch pass, and 4 hard pack days at the resort. I concur with everyone above that it handles superbly in pow, and that is what I was after. I was amazed how much better this skied than my sickbirds in deep snow. They carry speed amazingly again compared to the SB's. And I am not sure if its the fixed heel and factory edge but after yesterday I finally like these on hard pack, especially making huge gs turns. I even banged them through some bumps with respectable results.
    I do wish they had a little more dampening or weight, if you get in the backseat the tips flap. They can get thrown around in crud, the little I've skied lately.
    they toured very well.
    overall, I am pleased on the hardpack and extremely happy in pow, after a few days I think I finally learned how to alpine again and got these to work on hardpack, definately their weakness, but they'll be my daily driver.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    967
    Just wanted to bump this because I got another day on the Justice. This was mostly all soft snow to untouched powder... For all the negatives that I listed above, this ski does kick ass in soft snow. I'm still disappointed in their performance in other categories, but today almost makes up for their lack luster "all mountain" performance.

    To me this ski is solely a powder ski that likes short turns and lower speeds. It pivots well and the tip doesn't sink. Like I said earlier, the FT12's and Justice tour nicely. I took these into some tighter areas today and the ski responded well. When I got into more open areas the skis did pick up speed but I just feel uncomfortable letting these roll (probably my gaping gash, but the soft tip, overall lightness and supreme pivotablitily doesn't spell speed to me).

    I'm not sure what I'm going to do with these. Today, these were awesome in the fluff, but I might need a more versatile bc ski... we will see.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    SL.UT (CWH, bra)
    Posts
    434
    emr, or anyone else who's skied the justice... have you skied the megawatt? I'm wondering how you compare the MW's "squireliness" to the justice (I have the megawatt, and it handles crud and everything well enough for me to ski just about anything except steep ice, but I also don't mind a soft ski)
    but I know we can't all stay here forever, so I wanna write my words on the face of today...

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
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    9,277
    Can anyone compare this to the lhasa for versatility?
    .....I hope you know that this will go down on your permanent record

    http://procatinator.com/?cat=80

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    967
    Quote Originally Posted by awake1563 View Post
    emr, or anyone else who's skied the justice... have you skied the megawatt? I'm wondering how you compare the MW's "squireliness" to the justice (I have the megawatt, and it handles crud and everything well enough for me to ski just about anything except steep ice, but I also don't mind a soft ski)
    Sorry never tried the megawatts...

    Quote Originally Posted by ml242 View Post
    Can anyone compare this to the lhasa for versatility?
    I picked up the 2010 carbon lhasa pows to replace my justice and the pows where everything I was hoping the justice would be. I was only able to put a handful of days on the lhasa before shattering my pelvis, but the few times I got on them still make me smile. They float just as well as the justice, skin the same but felt lighter (and I think are), are much more stable in chop or windblown and can hold an edge so much better... just a more solid, confident feel over all. The flex on the lhasa pows is stiffer than the justice. Hope that helps, I can rack my brain for more info, but its foggy right now from the little pain pills.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Shames Mountain
    Posts
    5

    squirrels are rodents.

    Reading through these reviews, I can't help but think that my 2013 Justice are quite a different ski. Of all the adjectives I can think of using to describe the ski, squirrelly is not one of them.

    If anything, they are stable, and predictable. I had no problem being in control at all times. YMMV.

    I believe they work as advertised, at a reasonable price. And yeah, they may not be for you. But I say again that they weren't squirrelly under my boots.........

    Here is a vid of me using them:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4gTkewvFKN4

    I wouldn't take them down that with a squirrelly ski. Please note that I'm not disagreeing with other peoples opinions, only describing my own.

    IMHO, its a mid-fat, lightweight tour ski (skin notch on tail) that can hold its own on the frontside, at a lower price point than the more "hip/cool" brands.

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