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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Ft. Collins, CO
    Posts
    263

    Review: 11/12 Black Diamond Zealot

    Been a while since I've done a ski review. But after skiing on these things for quite a bit now, I feel that they deserve a review.

    My stats:
    Height: 6'0
    Weight:183-ish
    Style: More technical than slarvy, though I can smear around if I want/need. Like to go fast, jump off of features (mostly cliffs, I'll throw some stuff off of some kickers every now and again too), and overall prefer steep terrain best.
    Skis I have skied and enjoyed: Dynastar Prorider 105, 10/11 Volkl Gotama, Nordica Zero, Nordica Radict, Atomic Coax, Kastle MX108, Kastle BMX 108, Moment Garbones, Rossignol Sickle, Nordica Patron, Ski Logik Bomb Squad.
    Skis I have skied and did NOT enjoy: Liberty Helix, Rossignol SC97, Armada JJ, Salomon Shogun (the JJ may belong in the category below this, can't make up my mind...).
    Skis that I thought were alright: Rossignol Super 7, Atomic Blog, Atomic Bent Chetler, Dynastar XXL, Nordica Blower, Nordica Enforcer, Volkl Mantra, Salomon Czar.

    My skis:
    I've skied both the 182cm and the 192cm length and I currently own the 192cm version. They're mounted 1cm forward of the recommended boot center mark with Atomic FFG 16s (same as the Salomon STH 16). 192 version's true length is about 193cm with a measuring tape from the tip to tail. I haven't measured the running length of the actual surface of the ski. I keep a .5 side and base bevel on my edges and detune about 1-2cm back from the widest point of the tip and about 2-3cm up from the widest point of the tail.

    Black Diamond Zealot

    If I were to compare this ski to others' I'd say that the tip is closest to the tip on the RC112 (although I've never skied it, the profile looks the same), while the body and tail are closer to the prorider 105. What I've been most surprised on for the Zealot is how manipulable the ski is. Most metal and wood sandwiched skis I get on I hit a stress point in the metal and then the skis really like to stay in one turn radius. I found that with the Zealot I can modify my turn radius in the middle of a turn quite easily. The tip in the ski really makes a big difference for me as I like to use the tip of my skis as a feeler for what I'm about to go over. Skis that have a very stiff tip I find jolty/jerky, while the softer tip on the Zealot I find transitions over chowder and uneven terrain very well. I have yet to really find a speed limit on the Zealots either. Stiff underfoot and in the tail, the Zealot doesn't get very shaky with a lot of speed. I put the fastest wax I had on and straightlined underneath peak 10 in Breckenridge and still couldn't find the speed limit. Underfoot specifically, there's plenty of camber and a lot of 'umph!' (metal and wood) underneath that it rails through most terrain including skipping across the tops of moguls without missing a beat. I also especially like the tail of the Zealot, with camber almost to the very end of the tail, shutting down speed in a very short amount of space is pretty easy. The stiff and somewhat narrow tail in the back also serves as a nice landing pad for cliffs. Additionally, the somewhat narrow tail in the back pivots around in tight terrain or trees quite easily as long as you're driving your tips. The rocker in the tip doesn't resemble a clown shoe and transitions to the cambered part of the skis smoothly, and the rocker in the tail resembles more of a semi-twin tip than an actual rocker. The rocker in the tip and tail with the addition of the tip's contact point moved back also allows the Zealot to smear around if you want it to, while the rest of the skis shape and camber allow the Zealot to be precise if you need. Something I've noticed on the Zealot is the way that they track vs. the 5 dimensional skis like the JJ or S7. The Zealots will make trenches when tracking across the fall line and will pretty much take you wherever you need to go. whereas when I'm on something like the S7 whenever I try to track to the sides I sometimes find myself unwillingly slarving down the mountain, especially in particularly steep areas.

    Overall, The best way I can describe the Zealot is 'manipulable,' as long as the user possesses the power and skill behind the ski, the Zealot can be manipulated to best suit the user's needs.
    Last edited by MC Slayer; 01-30-2012 at 08:57 PM. Reason: More info and spelling.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Front Range, CO
    Posts
    592
    this word, manipulative, I do not think it means what you think it means...perhaps "manipulable"?

    But good review, sounds like a fun ride.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Lake Tapps
    Posts
    45
    Thanks for a good review.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Location
    Le Lavancher pour le weekend
    Posts
    3,339
    Yeah been interested in this ski as a 'friendlier' RC112. Any extra thoughts on the 182?

    A bit of Zealot porn, love this run, don't know how he didn't win....baby Anthamatten

    Last edited by ulty_guy; 02-02-2012 at 02:33 AM.
    'waxman is correct, and so far with 40+ days of tasting them there is no way my tongue can tell the difference between wood, and plastic made to taste like wood...but i'm a weirdo and lick my gear...' -kidwoo

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