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Gear Review



Page Type: Gear Review

Object Title: Zealot

Manufacturer: Black Diamond

Your Opinion: 
 - 2 Votes


Page By: alpine climber

Created/Edited: Oct 22, 2007 / Sep 15, 2008

Object ID: 4153

Hits: 4454 



From Black Diamond:
"A really fat ski with plenty of snap, the Zealot is ideal for big-mountain steeps and high-performance resort laps. As the stiffest ski in the BD line, the Zealot is a favorite of hard-charging all-mountain freeride skiers because of its balanced and smooth longitudinal flex that excels in soft snow, plus it’s torsionally charged for excellent edge hold and responsive carving on hardpack. The crud-busting 110 mm waist and solid 3D CNC wood core encourages a forceful, energetic ride, and the Formula One Technology and integrated damping create a solid, substantial feel."



Powder Magazine's 2008 Skier's Choice Award

- Formula One Technology with integrated 3D dampening
- CNC-machined solid wood core wrapped in torsion box construction
- The widest ski in the line, built for powder but comfortable on the hardpack

Length, Dimensions, Turn Radius, Weight (per pair)

182 cm, 136-110-126 mm, 30.0 m, 4.2kg
192 cm, 138-110-127 mm, 33.0 m, 4.4kg

retails for $699.99


Skiing Magazine:
"Black Diamond redesigned its entire 2008 ski lineup. Full wood cores throughout provide exceptional snap and dampness. The Zealot know one speed: hell-bent. Gripes: Unwieldy at low speeds and anything tighter-than-super-G turns. Props: An AK-style charger. Give this monster lots of space and gradient. Tester's Take: 'BD has found a perfect ski construction for the ripping skier.'"

Powder Magazine:
"By far the biggest ski ever from Black Diamond, the new, all-wood-core Zealot is designed to match the muscle of the best skiers, and even outdo them. Whereas some fat skis are soft in order to reduce the feel of riding a big stick, the Zealot makes no apologies for being stiff and rigid. The 192 is simply a badass."

Backcountry Magazine:
"BD's fattest-ever ski, in a 'user-friendly 182cm' and a limited edition 192cm aimed to 'express our relevance in ski culture,' according to BD. Translated: a statement ski for big lines and forces. But as nearly all west coast testers noted, the big, hard-charging ride comes at the price of easy turn initiation. Said one: 'Lots of mass [and] feels heavy. Flows in pow like napping in a La-Z boy. Tough to make quick turns.' Said another: 'Like standing on an aircraft carrier. Smooth at speed but slow to turn. Plows through everything.' Eastern skiers mostly thought that there had better be an alert body in the pilothouse. 'Not a quick turner - you've got to stay on top of them,' said one. 'All -terrain surfboards,' a veteran commented, 'they prefer wide-open spaces."



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Ed FLove These Skis

Voted 5/5

These monsters aren't for the faint of heart (or thigh), but they have set the standard for super-fat touring skis. They feel like riding on two oak doors. Since they're 110mm underfoot, they of course won't turn that easily, but that's probably not what you're looking for when you buy a ski this big. I use these as my deep powder backcountry ski. I wouldn't purchase these as an "only" pair of touring skis.

They are very difficult to put on edge in sketchy conditions, and they're damn near impossible to ski on a groomer. If you look at the turning radius, you'll see that these skis aren't the best choice for cutting tight turns in trees. Bottom line: these are made for charging open lines in neck deep powder.

For pure bottomless Utah coldsmoke, you can't do any better. These skis almost make powder skiing too easy and fun, and you'll quickly forget the hell you endured skinning with these fatties.
Posted Jan 25, 2008 4:17 pm

jackstraw0083Too heavy and non-versatile for extended and variable snow tours

Voted 3/5

I have them in the 192cm length and I used to take them in the Utah backcountry on a regular basis. They are very heavy, and after a long day of touring you can feel it. They're amazing skis in deep powder, but aren't a very good one-ski backcountry quiver, as they're difficult to maneuver in thick trees and on crust. I've recently switched to the Head Monster 95 OB, and am much happier, as it's more versaitle and can still handle the deep pow
Posted Oct 22, 2008 6:31 pm

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