Black Diamond Kilowatt Ski Review

Posted in Backcountry Skiing, Gear Reviews, Outdoor Gear, Ski Gear by Eric Miller - 03.30.2011

The Black Diamond Kilowatt Ski is my one ski quiver. What used to be one of the fatter skis in the Black Diamond line-up now falls in the middle of their line in terms of widths. It’s a favorite and the go to ski for many and it became my ski this season. I’ve had my eye on the Kilowatts since they first came out. This year I finally decided to lay down the cash and pick some up for myself. I wasn’t disappointed.

Black Diamond Kilowatt Ski Features

  • Length: 155 cm, 165 cm, 175 cm, 185 cm
  • Dimensions: [155 cm] 121 / 95 / 109 mm; [165 cm] 123 / 95 / 111 mm; [175 cm] 125 / 95 / 113 mm; [185 cm] 127 / 95 / 115 mm
  • Turn Radius: (155cm) 18.5 m, (165cm) 20.5 m, (175cm) 22.5 m, (185cm) 24.5 m
  • Construction: Torsion Box Formula One
  • Core: poplar
  • Base: sintered
  • Tail: raised
  • Weight: (Pair – 185cm) 8 lb 6 oz
  • Recommended Use: Backcountry skiing, telemark skiing
  • Manufacturer Warranty: 1 year
  • Retail: $579

Black Diamond Kilowatt Ski Review

The Black Diamond Kilowatt Ski is made to be a backcountry ski. When looking for a ski to buy this season I was looking for one that would excel at touring but it had to also be burly enough to handle variable resort days.

The Kilowatt is a good “all around ski”. It has enough width in the shovel and underfoot to keep you afloat on the powder days. In the powder the ‘watt is a fun ski to ride. It’s responsive, it has good float, and it kept me smiling turn after turn. In touring mode it was nice. My previous skis were an older Atomic twin…in terms of touring, the Kilowatt was a massive upgrade in performance. It was smooth and easy on the feet and legs on the skin track.

The Kilowatt definitely held it’s own at the resort. I pulled a handful of days at the resort skiing everything from tracked powder, to chunder, hardpack, and groomers. It’s stiff enough to keep from tossing your around in the crud and it isn’t noodle. Being wider, to get it on edge on the groomers took a little work, but once it was there, it held at high speeds. It definitely isn’t a ‘carving ski’ but when you have to be there, it can be fun.

I have mine mounted with some Fritschi Freeride Plus bindings. For me with most of my skiing now in the backcountry and some days at the resort, this is an ideal setup, and I can “get away with” a one ski quiver.

The Good

  • Great ski, fun to ride
  • Awesome in the powder but can handle any variable condition
  • Solid construction

The Bad

  • If you plan on being on more handpack than soft stuff, go with something a little more narrow with a little more sidecut

Bottom Line:

The Black Diamond Kilowatt skis had me grinning from ear to ear. This ski is awesome.

Buy Now: Pick up the Black Diamond Kilowatt Ski

One Response to 'Black Diamond Kilowatt Ski Review'

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  1. Adam Buchanan

    I disagree miller. I think the killowatt is a great size for hardpack. Since not all of us can afford 5 skis for the quiver *poking fun at you*. I skied the killowatt a couple years ago when New Mexico got some ice…errr snow, I do like it. Better than the havoc as far as all around. Great review and thanks for letting me poke fun. Not that you had a choice.

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