2020 Black Crows Captis Birdie

The Black Crows Captis Birdie is a no-frills all-mountain ski that’s bound to put a smile on your face. While not on our original list of skis we “needed” to test, Sam Purnell grabbed a pair of these and decided to take some test runs, and we’re glad she did. The men’s Captis earned some high praise from our testers, and we were happy to round that out with a female perspective as well. The Captis Birdie has a 90 mm waist width and simply uses a poplar wood core for its construction. In a world of skis packed full of innovative technology, sometimes it’s refreshing to be on a ski with a simpler build. The Captis Birdie also uses tip and tail rocker with camber underfoot. There’s not much early taper in the ski, which gives it a nice connection to the snow with its long edge contact. This women’s version is built with a thinner core profile, giving it a slightly softer flex than the “men’s” or rather unisex Captis. Skis with a 90 mm waist width and tip and tail rocker just scream “all-mountain versatility.” Sam is a skier who you find all over the mountain in all sorts of different terrain and conditions, so she was the perfect person to test it.

5 out of 5 scores from Sam for flotation, quickness/maneuverability, playfulness, versatility, and overall impression. Even if we just left it there, that’s darn impressive. Sam, however, had a lot to say about the ski too. She tested the 164 cm length, technically 164.2 in the Black Crows catalog, and found that length to be good for her, but she did add that she would’ve liked to at least try the 171.1 cm Captis Birdie. Length choices aside, Sam had a blast on it. “Demoed on fast groomers and icy moguls. Playful ski, great in the bumps. Hardly even noticed the ice. Great carver on groomers too.” I can personally attest to Sam’s feedback because I was following her on one of her test runs with a camera in my hand and I don’t think the wide smile ever left her face. Hopping back and forth between firm groomers and the moguls that form on the side of Hayride at Stowe, she clearly was having a blast. “I would have loved a longer ski for me, more weight to ski more aggressively, but overall it responded well to speed, bumps, and skier input. Easily maneuverable. Lots of fun for a 90 mm all-mountain ski!”

We would’ve loved to have more testers get on the Captis Birdie, but we also really appreciate Sam’s feedback on the ski. It’s clearly a fun, versatile all-mountain ski. It might not be the heaviest, stiffest, or most powerful, but we’d venture a guess that most skiers will find plenty of performance in the Captis Birdie, even for fast carves on firm snow. Whether you’re an eastern or western skier, you can take it anywhere on the mountain and you won’t be disappointed.


Sam Purnell

Age: 26Height: 5'5"Weight: 130 lbs.

Ski Style: Strong and athletic with an adventurous spirit

4 Comments on the “2020 Black Crows Captis Birdie”

  1. SAM – what length did you like in the 2020 BLACK CROWS CAPTIS BIRDIE? I am 5’5″ 135-140 advanced + plus skier. Ilvoe black corws and demo’d a pair last year but am cont sure which size i like best.

    1. Hi Alison!
      Looks like Sam was on the 164 in that ski, and based on her stats, we’d say that’s just about right for her. If they made a 168, I bet she’d have preferred that. Hope that helps!

  2. Hi there!
    I really want the Black Crows Captis Birdie skis but I’m so torn on what size I should get. I’m 5’2, 113lbs. I’m an intermediate to advanced skier, I like to go fast but also make quick turns through trees and what-not. I want to buy skis that can help me perfect my skills and be a better skier. My only fear is having skis too long/heavy that makes it impossible to turn. What size would you recommend?

    1. Hi Erin!
      I’d say it’s between the 149 and the 157. If you fear the skis being too long, then I’d gravitate to the 149. However, if you know you prefer longer skis and the resulting stability at speed, I don’t think the 157 is too long, but certainly on the long side. Have fun!

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