Expert Review: 2023 Black Crows Captis Birdie Skis [with Video]Published on 08/29/2023 · 6 min readSki Experts Jessica Whittam and Sara Beeken tested the 2023 Black Crows Captis Birdie skis on carving, freestyle, and freeride at Powder Mountain in Utah.
Curated Ski Experts Jessica Whittam and Sara Beeken tested the 2023 Black Crows Captis Birdie skis at Powder Mountain in Utah this past spring. Check out how they performed in the carving, freestyle, and freeride categories, but don’t forget, every skier is different and what works for one may not work for all. If you have any questions on the Captis Birdie or would like recommendations on what skis would be ideal for your needs, reach out to a Ski Expert here on Curated.
A quick note that we're not sponsored by any brands, so all of these reviews are completely unbiased.
What is your overall impression? [Jessica] My first impression of these skis is that they're really good on the groomers. I could definitely hold a solid edge. These are partial twin, which I'm a little confused about still because these are ranked as a beginner-intermediate ski. I don't know. I could ski switch with no problem on them because they are a twin. So that was pretty fun. I was able to take them a little bit off track, and they held up pretty well. A little bit chattery, but these are pretty narrow underfoot. They're 90mm underfoot. I would say these are great on the groomers, and I definitely had a good time carving on them. Black Crow made a very small change this year. They just increased the effective edge of the ski. I definitely felt that on the groomers. It held up really, really great at speed. This is, again, this ski has a poplar core, which means it's very, very soft. This ski is a noodle. I could press it very, very easily.
[Sara] My first impression is that these were really easy to ski. They're definitely going to be a really good beginner-intermediate ski. They do have a twin shape, which I thought was interesting and unusual for a beginner-intermediate ski, but it made them pretty versatile and easy to turn, and I enjoyed skiing on them. I think maybe Black Crows saw a hole in the market for a kind of more beginner twin-shaped ski, and they executed on that idea by creating this ski. I was impressed that it held up really well on groomers. I did some really nice carves on it. It is definitely a soft ski, but I didn't have a problem holding an edge.
What is the profile of the ski? [Jessica] These have a camber rocker profile. They are twin-tip skis. I'm not sure why they're a twin-tip ski because this is not a park ski. It's a very, very beginner ski. So, I'm not sure why they would make it a twin tip. Usually, beginners look for a more directional, easily maneuverable ski.
What is its flex? [Jessica] I can't over-emphasize how soft these skis are. So, I weigh like 110 pounds. If you weigh a little bit more than that, you might snap them if you're trying to do that. So, just be cautious of that. You can maneuver them way easier if they're softer and more responsive like that.
How is it to turn? [Sara] I was able to carve some really fast turns on them and didn't really have them flopping around too much. They were super easy to turn, so definitely good for beginners in that respect. Intermediates, though, for sure, would enjoy these.
Any chatter in the ski? [Jessica] If a beginner found themselves on powder or uneven terrain with these skis, they might be a little bit chattery and a little bit uncomfortable. They're 90mm underfoot, so they will hold up a little bit in the powder. And because they are a twin tip, they do have some rise in the tips and the tails so that can get you through a little bit of powder, but again, these are going to be mostly a groomer ski.
How is it at speed? [Sara] You can tell that it gets a little bit noodly at super high speeds and a little floppy, but I think it would be a great ski for an intermediate looking for a versatile all-mountain ski.
Could you speak about playfulness and pop? [Jessica] These skis are super poppy and super playful. Like I said, I could nose butter and press these all day long. But again, they are super, super soft.
[Sara] As you can see, there's a good bit of camber here underfoot. That gave me a lot of good pop across the hill. I think that's probably why I enjoyed it a lot on the groomers. You can also pop off jumps. You could ski switch. Because it is a twin shape, you've got a lot of options as far as freestyle.
How would this ski be in powder? [Sara] These aren't going to do great in powder. They are only about 90mm underfoot, so I wouldn't recommend it as a powder ski.
How is this ski on uneven terrain? [Sara] Uneven terrain can be a little iffy, but I felt like it held up pretty well for a beginner-intermediate ski in chop and chunder and variable conditions. They didn't do great in the chunky snow. It was chattering a little bit in there. Not super stable. But if you're not really skiing that stuff and you're just skiing groomers or maybe a little bit of trees and softer snow, I think they'd be great.
How is the maneuverability in the trees? [Sara] Definitely very maneuverable in trees because of the twin shape and the rocker and the tail and the tips. They're really easy to turn.
What terrain is the ski ideal for? [Jessica] They are 90mm underfoot, so they will be the best on the groomers. I took them in some slight powder, and they held up a little bit, but they were a little bit chattery on the crud.
[Sara] These skis performed much better on the groomers than I thought they would since they are more of a beginner ski.
Who would you recommend this ski to? [Jessica] These are really easy and maneuverable, so that's why I would recommend these to the beginner and intermediate skier who's looking to get used to a freestyle rockered ski.
[Sara] If you really like Black Crows, or you're looking for specifically a twin tip, or if you want to ski backward, or you want to learn a little bit more about the terrain park, as well as maybe some trees, moguls, this is a good ski to consider. It's just really versatile, and I think that this would be a great option for a lot of beginner-intermediate women.
Who would you not recommend this ski to, there are other better options out there? [Jessica] These skis are not ideal for anyone skiing any harder terrain or who wants a stiffer ski. I can't over-emphasize how noodle-y these are. So, if you're looking for a powder ski, you will not want these. This is going to be a beginner groomer ski.
[Sara] I would not recommend this ski to somebody who's looking for a stiffer carving ski. This will not be the best ski for advanced expert skiers, and if you're looking for powder, this is probably not the right ski for you.
Skis work differently for different types of skiers. If you want help finding the right skis for you, reach out to Jessica, Sara, or any other Ski Expert here on Curated for free, personalized recommendations. Note that the 2024 version of the Black Crows Captis Birdie is linked below - same tech, just different graphic: