Results 1 to 14 of 14
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Eug, Or
    Posts
    188

    Black Crows Ova Freebird review

    Wasnít able to find a real review of these skis so Iíll put this here. Theyíre on sale at STP for $299 and with a 25% off code from the thread on that subject, you can get them down to $225. As of this post, it looks like all sizes are still in stock.

    I bought 175 Ova Freebirds to replace my beloved and beaten blizzard 0G 85s in 171. Iím 178lbs, 5í8, and historically liked stiff directional skis. Over the past few years Iíve been learning to ski from the middle instead of driving the tips, and I like both styles depending on the ski and the conditions.

    Iíve been skiing the Ova with Scarpa F1s and a dynafit superlite toe/plum 150 heel. Skied a few resort groomers and PNW dense fresh snow (~6in)

    The Ova is definitely a ski to be skied from the middle. Theyíre not super stiff tip to tail, so pushing the tips hard doesnít work too well. However, if you find the sweet spot in the middle of the ski, they hold an edge very nicely in all but the iciest of conditions. I canít measure it but the torsional rigidity seems fairly stiff.

    In softer snow, they plane well on the surface, have a nice bounce, and are very intuitive. Again, a neutral stance is important. This wouldnít be my choice of ski if there were more than 6-8 inches of fresh.

    Compared to my old 0Gs, they are similar in weight (approx 1100g per ski in 175) i.e. awesomely light. However, due to the weight both skis have speed limits, especially in hard or irregular snow. The OG felt more directional and powerful in a carve, but skittery if you didnít commit to the turn. The Ova is much more forgiving.

    This will primary be a corn snow and long traverse ski, so top end speed is less important than weight, for me.

    Basically, if youíre looking for a solid volcano ski or big day in variable snow touring ski, Iíd recommend it. Especially at $225.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Aspen
    Posts
    1,173
    Sweet, I grabbed some 180 length from STP this fall. I waned to replace my 178 ZG108s with something that would fit my near-future, dad life a bit more - resort skinning, mellow hut trips, occasional spring tour. Iím very happy with them, nice and capable but pretty easy to ski.


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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2017
    Posts
    18
    Thanks for the solid review. I also took advantage of Ova Freebird deal at STP. If anyone wants a review from me, send me a PM (preferably after April 2020, when I have had a chance to test them out in Spring conditions).

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Posts
    235
    I just picked up a pair. I'm looking for mount point advice.

    The skis I bought are about 10cm shorter than my daily drivers, and Black Crows recommended I pick up the 175s... but STP only had 170s left. So I got those.

    The mount point looks very centered. But given how short these skis are, I think I'd appreciate a little more nose on these skis out in front of me. And given how narrow they are, a shorter tail might help me get the tips up when skiing deeper snow. BL - I'm considering mounting these things 1-2 cm back from center.

    Any thoughts? I don't want to totally screw up the way these are supposed to ski.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Aspen
    Posts
    1,173
    I mounted my 180cm at rec. I feel like they have plenty of tip out front. For the mass of the ski the tails feel a bit more substantial then the tips and can handle load. Hard call as youíre on the 170s though.

    Still very impressed with the ski capability. Iíve ripped groomer laps with them at the resort and they have great edge hold. I skied June corn this summer and they were solid. Iíve also skied 8-10Ē days and they were manageable.

    Clearly this is all through the lens of a 85mm 1200g ski, but Iím very happy to have these as my light and long ski.


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  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2020
    Posts
    371

    Black Crows Ova Freebird review

    I have a set of skins for a Ova 175 for sale. New in package. Black crows branded. Make me a offer.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2020
    Location
    Edmonton
    Posts
    9
    Anyone been on both the Ova and Orb Freebird for comparison? Looking to pull the trigger on one of these for a spring ski mountaineering set-up, and maybe skiing some steeps.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2020
    Posts
    371
    Quote Originally Posted by OrangeCSkier View Post
    Anyone been on both the Ova and Orb Freebird for comparison? Looking to pull the trigger on one of these for a spring ski mountaineering set-up, and maybe skiing some steeps.
    I didnít ski the Ova because the snow wasnít there for it, but the orb is softer then the Ova. I was choosing the Ova for harder snow and steeps and sneaking around in tight trees. The orb is a right in the middle do it all touring ski that will still float a little fresh. Iíd be leaning towards the Ova especially with sierras pricing

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2020
    Location
    Edmonton
    Posts
    9
    Quote Originally Posted by SoVT Joey View Post
    I didn’t ski the Ova because the snow wasn’t there for it, but the orb is softer then the Ova. I was choosing the Ova for harder snow and steeps and sneaking around in tight trees. The orb is a right in the middle do it all touring ski that will still float a little fresh. I’d be leaning towards the Ova especially with sierras pricing
    Thanks for that - a little surprising to know the Ova is stiffer than the Orb. Unfortunately, STP won't ship to Canada, eh.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Aspen
    Posts
    1,173
    Quote Originally Posted by OrangeCSkier View Post
    Thanks for that - a little surprising to know the Ova is stiffer than the Orb. Unfortunately, STP won't ship to Canada, eh.
    Actually the Orb is a bit more stiff than the Ova and they increased it stiffness a little in the new generation, while losing 300g. The stiffness and performance capability was more distinct between the older generations of the Ova and Orb.

    Orb has a little more ski performance, longer radius, better edge hold, little more front rocker. If you want to ski steeps and have more capability, go with the Orb. Julien answers the Ova vs Orb question here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4XQFVjrtkvI#t=103s


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  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2020
    Posts
    371
    Thatís surprising. My orb is soft. The Ova flexed harder for sure by hand.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2020
    Location
    Edmonton
    Posts
    9
    Quote Originally Posted by alpinevibes View Post
    Orb has a little more ski performance, longer radius, better edge hold, little more front rocker. If you want to ski steeps and have more capability, go with the Orb. Julien answers the Ova vs Orb question here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4XQFVjrtkvI#t=103s
    Yeah I saw that, wish he was a little more clear on the use case. I've been hesitant to pull the trigger on a mid 80s waisted ski and Julien made it sound like a bit of a noodle.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Aspen
    Posts
    1,173

    Black Crows Ova Freebird review

    I donít find it to be a noodle (and I was touring on a ZG108 previously), but ultimately the Ova is compromised for lower weight. Ova leans more skimo in its performance capability. Orb closely aligns to the MTN95/ZG95 characteristics and capability.

    Julien assigned flex ratings to the skis this year. Across the Freebird range, thereís not a dramatic difference:

    Corvus FB: 75/100
    Navis FB: 79/100
    Camox FB: 76/100
    Orb FB: 72/100
    Ova FB: 68:100


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  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Posts
    235
    Just took my Ovas out for their first laps today. I loved them, even at the shorter than recommended length. Granted it was a spring-like groomer kind of day. Jury's still out on natural snow.

    They were nice and soft. And turny. With the short length and radius, my turns:vertical ratio went way up, which was fun for these in bounds "tours." That said, I managed to open up and do some fast, large radius turns.

    So far, I would recommend them.

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