As an all-new model for 2022, the Black Crows Serpo blends a bit of the Orb and the Justis into one ski. While Black Crows has traditionally shied away from having a “line” of skis withing their brand, the Serpo is about as close as we’ve seen. Given the success and response from the other skis, the Serpo is well-served in this capacity. At 93 mm underfoot, the Serpo slides right into the thick of the all-mountain category, able to handle a wide variety of speeds, turn styles, conditions, and terrain. Built with a poplar wood core and two sheets of H-Shaped metal, the ski has strength and power underfoot and into the ends of the skis, all while leaving the tips and tails, as well as the central spine of the ski, unencumbered by metal, and therefore a lot more playful and easygoing. With a wide range of opportunities to offer the skier, the Serpo is poised and ready to take on whatever challenges you and the mountain can find. All of our testers skied the 180.
Rocker / Camber / Rocker
All Mountain, Groomers, Powder
Jeff Neagle was one of the earlier skiers to get on the Serpo, as we had a freezing cold media day earlier in the season. He was on the 180 and instantly found a home on the well-rounded Serpo, and notes that it can certainly make some well-rounded turns. He scored the ski 4 out of 5 for playfulness, edge hold, versatility, and overall impression. 3’s for flotation and stability aren’t too surprising, given the non-metallic tips and tails and the overall narrower shape. “Serpo is awesome.” Jeff starts. “Great new ski from Black Crows and I think it's going to have a very broad appeal. It's kind of like the Enforcer 94, but a little more compliant in the tips and tails without sacrificing too much edge grip. It's a really fun ski for manipulating turn shapes on groomers, but then you can take it off trail and it feels agile and fun. Not super smeary, but there's enough tail rocker back there and the ski is light enough that it doesn't feel too demanding when you have to make quick turns.” There is a lot of that type of feedback, that the Serpo does enjoy making a variety of different turn shapes and styles. On the slightly “disagree” side was Matt Testa, who found the Serpo worked a lot better at higher speeds and in longer turns, and that’s fantastic feedback as well. Matt notes that it’s a “Fun ski that wants to go fast and stay on edge. On edge this ski makes stable, fun turns, but I had a hard time making any scrubbed turns at all. Not very forgiving and not easy to make low speed turns. Put this one up to speed though and it is a blast. Would recommend as a frontside carver for advanced skiers looking to go fast. Wish I go to try this ski in firmer snow conditions as I know it would be great in packed pow.”
Another Matt, Matt McAlary, “really enjoyed this ski, but I don't think the conditions necessarily allowed it to shine. Just on feel and look alone, I could make some inferences on how I thought the ski would perform in more typical winter conditions. When I did hit some smooth spots, the ski provided great edge hold and it was very easy to get into a turn. It definitely likes to go fast and wasn't the easiest to smear around but that was to be expected to the generous camber and pretty flat tail. One feature of the ski's flex that really stood out to me was how much support the rear of the ski provided. I skied it down Liftline into Middle National and if I get a bit off balance in some chop or through the bumps, I would feel the ski sort of push me back into my forward stance. I actually really like this trait in a ski especially for support on landings after hitting drops/side hits. What it lacked in playfulness, was highlighted in its overall stability. This ski was a blast to ski at higher speeds but I felt it to be nimble enough to ski through fairly large spring bumps.” Stability is an excellent trait for skis of this caliber for sure. Jeff Siegel echoes those sentiments, noting that the Serpo certainly likes to be in a carved turn. “To me, the Serpo is a pure carving ski. Stiff and stable, I felt like the ski didn’t want me to ski it flat, it wanted to have its edges engaged all the time. Because of the shape and rocker profile, I expected to be able to make some surfy turns, but the ski really won’t let me. But the ski was really happy on edge, and it felt really locked in. Maybe I just hadn’t found the power out of it, but I found the core to be really quiet and damp, just shy of feeling like a solid plank. That gave me a very strong sense of stability and confidence, at the expense of being nimble. I felt like I was making the turns that the ski wanted me to make and didn’t feel like I could easily deviate from that. I would say this ski definitely skews more towards powerful, expert skiers who are looking to carve all the time and prize quiet stability over everything else.”
Like a lot of other low to mid-90's underfoot skis, the Serpo is able to get a bunch of different looks from a variety of skiers. For the most part, the most consistent view on these skis is that they carve really, really well and hold an edge with the best of them. When that’s combined with the maneuverability and quickness of the partial metal laminates, the Serpo is able to take on a bunch of different qualities, and that’s really what you’re looking for in a pure and true all-mountain ski.