Another of our favorite skis at the SIA on snow demo at Copper Mountain – the 2016 Black Diamond Boundary 115 ski. Black Diamond sent us up the chair with their PR head, Sam Coffey of Backbone Media, to try out the Boundary series mounted with Fritschi’s Vipec binding (which we run on our own skis – our long term review). Check out the video below and then scroll down for technical information and our thoughts.
2016 Black Diamond Boundary 115 Ski
Black Diamond is completely revamping its ski lineup for 2016. The Carbon Series remains at the top of the lineup, but everything below is being replaced by the Boundary Series and their also-new Link Series of skis. BD designed the Boundary to be a sort of crossover ski, perfect for riding both sides of the ski area boundary. (Get it?)
It will come in three widths – 100mm, 107mm, and 115mm – and lengths ranging from 160cm to 195cm depending on the model. Here are the specs for each width:
Each ski in the Boundary series utilizes Black Diamond’s 3D CNC, poplar wood cores. BD uses a CNC router to remove extraneous core material to save weight without changing the flex characteristics of the ski. All of the Boundary skis have a rockered tip and tail with camber underfoot and include a skin notch on the tail for uphill duty.
The Boundary skis also use Black Diamond’s new Sidewall Damping System. The rubber layer we mention in the video is added to the sidewall of the ski, slightly aft of the front contact point. BD says it allows them to eliminate the traditional metal layer found in freeride ski construction, saving weight while maintaining an extremely damp feel. We found it to be effective in dampening the chatter on hard, uneven snow.
Our test ski, the Boundary 115 in a 175 length, has dimensions of 141/115/123 and a 21m radius sidecut and weighs 9lb, 8oz for the pair. (We were pretty darn close to guessing the radius when we skied it!) Unlike some other manufacturers, Black Diamond changes the dimensions of each ski to match the length. So, a 185cm ski will be wider than a 175cm ski and will have a longer sidecut radius.
The Boundary skis don’t have some of the fancy carbon fiber layers that some other skis use to reduce weight and it shows in the overall weight of the ski. But, the Boundary is not meant to be a super-light touring ski. It’s meant to be an all-around ski that can tour. In that aspect, BD has hit the mark. The Boundary 115 weighs in about the same as similar skis, but BD’s CNC 3D Core system and layup makes sure it can rail an edge with the best carbon skis while remaining light, damp, and most of all, more affordable. We don’t have retail pricing info, but expect these to have an MSRP between $700-$800.
How does it ski? We found the Boundary 115 to be laterally stiff – perfect for holding an edge on hard snow – and to flex well, allowing us to rail some great groomer turns. In the sparse fresh snow that we could find, the Boundary 115’s rockered tip kept us floating above the snow. The Boundary series accomplishes what Black Diamond aimed for – a do-it-all ski that works well on both sides of the ski area boundary. We can’t wait to get more time on it for a long term review.
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