Black Crows, a ski brand made in Haute-Savoie
Black Crows is a French ski brand born inChamonix Mont-Blanc. Founded in 2006 by professional skiers Camille Jaccoux and Bruno Compagnet and industrialist Christophe Villemin, Black Crows was born from the desire to combine aesthetics and efficiency in a pair of skis. Black Crows creates objects whose elegance contrasts with their performance and seeks sensory pleasure through freedom and adventure.
Black Crows believes in the power of its wooden boards, which is why it asked its iconic and charismatic ambassadors to talk about their relationship with their favorite ski.
The choice of the size of their skis depends on their expectations, a ski that will take them through all their alpine missions or that will give them total control in the most difficult conditions, then they personalize the setting of their bindings either by moving them forward so as not to have tips that are too long, or by moving them backwards to have a softer landing, but once again it depends on your expectations
Like any skier, everyone has his own little secret techniques...
When hiking Bruno Compagnet wraps his skins under his knees around his calf when he has to strip them and then put them back on. Indeed it is an easily accessible area that does not interfere. On the other side of the world, at the gateway to Yellowstone National Park, Beau Fredlund does exactly the same thing.
Mark Abma, traps his pants gaiter with his boot strap to prevent it from accidentally riding up, thus preventing snow from getting in.
Liv Sansoz always closes her bindings in the up position to preserve the power of the spring.
The Black Crows brand up close
The brand has developed around skis that are playful, efficient and reliable. Skis with original designs that quickly conquered the international market thanks to a clever mix of performance and elegance. Awarded multiple times by numerous specialized magazines, the brand has also distinguished itself in terms of communication with innovative advertising campaigns, musical events in the city and in the mountains, and original partnerships with brands and concept stores.
If one had to sum up the spirit of Back Crows, it would be a great openness to the outside world, uncompromising performance, and inflexible independence. Today, with 83 models produced since 2006, the small Chamonix-based brand has grown and is now internationally oriented.
Black Crows launched its very first ski clothing collection in collaboration with Gore-Tex in the fall of 2015... Yorgo Tloupas and his design office Yorgo&co are still the masterminds behind the clothing while pro-skier Julien Regnier Lafforgue has come to bring his science to the design of the skis. Bruno Compagnet and Camille Jaccoux are still on the skis and more than ever involved in the development of the products and the brand.
Julien Regnier, an idealistic designer, explains how he gave more dynamism to models already appreciated by countless skiers, men and women, around the world.
The new design of Camoxskis
Why did you want to modernize such respected skis as the Camox ?
These are all-terrain skis that needed to be rebalanced, as they had several flaws in the trail. They were a little stiff underfoot, not very easy to enter turns and with sidecutting that was too powder-oriented. So I tried to make them easier and more playful, but with a better holding edge. The goal was for them to perform as well off-piste without having characteristics that were too restrictive for the trails.
How did you achieve this goal?
I widened the toe and heel to give the tips more support. These new toe lines were combined with a softer flex underfoot. This way, the skis flex well. They have a better turn entry and they are even more playful.
Who would you recommend this model to?
A male or female skier who wants to ski all terrain, but isn't too stressed about powder conditions. With these skis, you know you have an all-terrain weapon. A not too heavy ski that fits underfoot, floats and is very playful. These are skis adapted to the different conditions that can be found in ski areas.
Why skis like these in the new collection?
These are skis designed for powder that give a taste of double tip to the touring range. Wide and "bidirectional" to go skiing in powder, they hold the edges much better. They are much more efficient on hard ground even if they remain a powder ski.
Its design was born from a technical research. We worked on it in 3D to take into account all the constraints of effort on the edges. The skis are profiled to remove weight while maintaining energy transmission. With this three-dimensional carbon construction, they gain stiffness without affecting their flexibility. The result is a well-balanced ski that is very playful but solid underfoot.
They are modern and playful skis. Easy to handle, they naturally become everyday skis, because they know how to do everything and are a real treat in powder or on spring snow.
The Solis ski, dedicated to steep slopes
In a world where versatility is omnipotent, releasing a ski dedicated to steep slopes could be considered a pretentious risk. Nevertheless, the elegance of its line and its robust look arouse the curiosity and envy of many skiers who do not specialize in jumping turns in the air.
Why make a ski specifically for steep slopes?
The idea was to make a robust and true-to-size product for mountain use with very little weight restrictions. We wanted a ski for mountain skiers whose primary objective is not the summit, but the descent.
A mountain ski without weight constraints, it seems contradictory...
We know that the weight will be too important a constraint to create a ski that works well. That said, we still had an acceptable objective because we know that in the mountains, lightness is an advantage. But we also wanted a ski that would hold its edges well, that would be robust and pleasant to ski.
And this square tip, for what use?
There are a lot of constraints when you make a ski, so you have to understand them and try to harmonize them. The tip is the only space of freedom you have to bring a personal touch. It allows you to have an object that is unique, indeed it is very elegant and many people notice it.
How was the manufacturing process?
The development was quite long with a lot of tests, but it is the classic procedure to get what you want. The ski was too heavy, which was not acceptable for its use but we came up with a good compromise between skiability and weight. But yes, it took a while because we really wanted to make a good ski. There was a lot of innovation in the combination of small details and we had to test, to understand what was not working, and then test again.
What advice would you give to the lucky owners of solis ?
It's really a pretty powerful ski, so you really need to put a good kit on it so it can express all its qualities. So, if you attach too soft bindings at the back, the boot will tend to want to let go and finally, will not ski well because the binding is always moving. This ski transmits a lot of energy so it is useless to use it with floating bindings.