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Black Crows Orb Freebird Militairi Review: (with a Touring binding set up)

by Caroline Williams in reviews
Black Crows Orb Freebird Militairi Review: (with a Touring binding set up)

The Militairi ski is a great Intermediate/advanced touring ski. Within the Touring
category it is an ‘all-rounder’; at 91mm underfoot it is light and manoeuvrable both up
and downhill and the surface area gives enough float in soft snow. At 179cm long it
is a good compromise of manoeuvrability and speed. With a turn radius of 18m it is
turns quicker than your average stiffer ski.

The main differences (other than the colour) between the Militairi and standard Orb
Freebird is the full titanial plate and thicker edges. The full-length plate makes the ski
5% stiffer which gives it more strength and helps military users who are carrying
more weight on their backs; it should prevent bindings being ripped out of the ski. It
also helps the ski punch through in changeable snow conditions. The thicker edges
make the ski tougher preventing less edges being popped and gives the ski more
edge tuning and longevity.

When skied the Militairi ski has slightly more grunt than the civilian Orb Freebird, it
needs to be pushed to get the most out of it; passenger skiers should treat with care.
The stiffer titanial plate on the Militairi gives it more torsional rigidity which allows it to
perform well when carved on piste and gives it more pop in fresh snow. The stiffer
tails should be respected, back seated skiers may find that the ski propels them
forward, which can be a positive for advanced skiers but not so much for nervous
beginners. The stiffer plate does make the ski more responsive on short terms and
there is no chatter at high speeds like on the standard Orb Freebird.
In summary, a ski that will please a lot of people as it punches well above its weight
category in terms of downhill performance and yet is light and nimble on the uphill.

Reviewed by Ben Shephard – BASI ski instructor and ex Army Alpine Ski Racer.


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