2020 Black Crows Corvus

The Corvus is one of the skis that started it all for Black Crows, and for 2020 we get the latest makeover. This ski features a 107 mm waist width with a reverse camber shape that has a flat spot underfoot. That’s right, no camber, but it’s also not exactly full rocker considering that flat section. You also get a poplar wood core that’s sandwiched between two 120 cm length sheets of Titanal and the sidecut provides a 21 mm turn radius; not short, but also not crazy-long. The Corvus is designed to be strong, powerful, and confidence-inspiring even in the gnarliest of terrain. This newest version has better performance in soft snow than ever before according to Black Crows, and we were eager to get our testers to click in and put it to the test.

Mike Thomas tested the 183.4 cm length in the Corvus and was impressed by its power. Mike did admit that “it took a few turns to come to terms with this ski,” and that’s not that surprising. Simply put, there just aren’t many skis that use a reverse camber shape and that flat section underfoot like the Corvus. A short adjustment period is to be expected. “Lack of camber and metal feels odd at first, but it made sense after half a run. Steer into the turn then let them rail, or just let them rail.” According to Mike, it’s a little easier to skid and steer this ski than a similarly heavy, powerful ski with camber. You can slarve, smear, skid them, then lock them into a turn. Or, if you’re up for it, you can just lock them into that turn right away and go for a ride. Either way, Mike “really enjoyed these,” which was reflected in his scores: 5 out of 5 for flotation, stability, torsional stiffness/edge grip, and overall impression.

Connor Gorham also tested the 183.4 cm length. Connor is quite a bit smaller than Mike and it was interesting to look at how their feedback differed due to their size differences. High scores from Connor too, with versatility being the only characteristic dropping below 4 out of 5. “This hog is a whole lot of ski. THICC waist was tough to get side to side, but when they rolled at higher speeds, they cut ruts 2,000 leagues under the sea.” Hey, great reference, Connor. We know what he’s saying, too. When you have them on edge and you’re riding a carving turn, the Corvus will leave trenches in the snow. “I think a bigger dude (like Mike) could move these well, but I’d be hesitant to take these between the trees. It’s got length and strength, but not build for everyday use.” Really it would only be a daily driver for someone who skis fast, hard, and aggressively and is often skiing off-piste, demanding terrain.

Marcus Shakun also tested that 183.4 cm length. We’re guessing someone Marcus’ size could move up to a longer length, although he did say the 183.4 cm length felt good, which is a testament to their stability. “Big mountain slayer. If you need a ski to charge through the slop, power, and chunder at any speed, this is it. If you can get this monster on edge, it will hold.” Marcus did mention he was “able to wiggle through the tight woods and slushy bumps,” which confirmed Connor’s thoughts about bigger testers, but Marcus also added that it’s an “expert-only ski.”

The Corvus is a big, powerful, super-stable ski. If your idea of a good time is mimicking the skiing you see on the Freeride World Tour and/or you like to test your speed limits through un-groomed, off-piste terrain, you’ll love it. Less aggressive skiers will likely be better off on some of Black Crows’ lighter skis without metal. Beginners and intermediates need not apply. Advanced skiers should be wary. Aggressive experts can rejoice, your ski is here.


Connor Gorham

Age: 29Height: 6'0"Weight: 150 lbs.

Ski Style: Creative and inviting and always with a smile

Marcus Shakun

Age: 39Height: 6'5"Weight: 225 lbs.

Ski Style: Powerful, but playful with the terrain

Mike Thomas

Age: 50Height: 6'3"Weight: 215 lbs.

Ski Style: Upright, fluid, nimble, and powerful

6 Comments on the “2020 Black Crows Corvus”

  1. How do these compare to the Mantra? I currently ski on 177 Mantras and I love them. But I’d like to try something a bit wider for powder days, that also can ski fast and aggressive and on groomed runs.

    1. Hi Cornel!
      They are more similar to the previous full-rocker Mantra versions than the current M5 version. Not quite the carvers of the Mantra, but likely a stronger soft-snow performer. It’s all about compromise! Have fun!

  2. How do these compare to Gotamas? I’m on the last model year of the Gotama and generally really like them. My only preference would be a ski that’s a little bit easier to control in bumps as well as low speed. I tried the Head Kore 105 and quite like them. Same for the Black Crows Atris. I found the Atris a tiny bit too soft. For reference, I’m 6’2 and around 200lbs. Level iii skier. Lastly, if you had to rank these, the Gotama, Atris and Kore from most to least rigid and difficult to control in bumps and speed to least I’d really appreciate it.

    1. HI Raffi!
      From most rigid, I’d go Corvus, Kore, Gotama, Atris. In comparison to the Gotama, the Corvus has the same reverse camber shape, but has those partial sheets of metal that really stiffen them up. I was pretty surprised when I picked them up earlier this year at how heavy they felt, but that heft is certainly going to give you a ton of stability at speed. Not quite as supple or subtle in the bumps and trees–more built for wider spaces and higher speeds. Have fun!

  3. How playful are the Corvus? Are they something that you can charge in and be aggressive while also hitting a couple 360s and cliffs along the way? Or are they more strictly high speeds big turns?

    1. Hi Caleb!
      They’re not intrinsically playful, as the flat tail and metal laminate make them stiffer and more directional, but aggressive skiers with strong skills can make a toy out of any ski. But per the numbers and the build/shape, they’re definitely designed for more speedy big turns. Have fun!

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