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All-Mountain Wide Skis

The Best Women’s All-Mountain Wide Skis of 2022: Black Diamond Impulse 104

This ski surprised testers who poo-pooed Black Diamond’s credibility in the resort ski arena.

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Brand: Black Diamond

Model: Impulse 104

Overall Ranking: #10

Overall Score: 3.75 / 5



Specs

Tip / Waist / Tail (mm)

135-104-123

Lengths (cm)

164, 172, 179, 186

Radius (m)

16m (165cm length)

Waist Width (mm)

104

Gender

Women's

Level

Advanced, Expert

Rocker Technology

Yes

Stability at Speed

3.85 / 5

Quickness / Maneuverability

4.00 / 5

Playfulness

3.50 / 5

Forgiveness

3.80 / 5

Hard Snow Performance

3.25 / 5

Crud Performance

4.25 / 5

Balance of Skills

3.85 / 5

Flotation

3.85 / 5

2022 BLACK DIAMOND IMPULSE 104

Now for some of the biggest news in skis this season: Black Diamond is entering the resort ski arena with the new Impulse line, featuring three models of varying all-mountain waist widths.

In the women’s test, the Black Diamond Impulse 104 made the biggest splash, surprising traditional resort skiers who poo-pooed Black Diamond’s credibility in this sphere. These spoon-shaped skis earned rave reviews for how effortlessly they tackle crud. Testers also loved how responsive and nimble the Impulse 104 is—even in the 172cm and 179cm length it will turn on a dime if driven by a powerful skier.

“What a surprise,” notes tester Wendy Crosby. “I was intimidated by these skis on the rack. They look bulky and burly. But what an absolute delight they turned out to be. I felt so confident taking them down the hill—and I mean straight down the fall line, and not just in a power side-slip. They are nimble and can charge, they feel light and yet stable. What a treat.”

Some of the ex-racers in the test crew were disappointed by the Impulse 104’s performance at speed, saying they didn’t feel like they could trust the ski to hold up under serious pressure. With a generous rocker profile, the Black Diamond Impulse 104 is by design best suited to charging soft snow, though traditional camber underfoot does keep skiing groomers within the realm of possibility. But you’d be forcing this rockstar out of the arena in which it shines.

Read on: Understanding rocker vs. camber ski technology

“This would be an awesome ski in the backcountry,” notes tester Courtney Harkins. “It’s light and easy to turn, but with its tip chatter and instability at high speeds, not ideal for frontside ripping.”

Who’s it for, then? Ladies who spend more time skiing soft snow off the groomers than charging down hardpack, and those looking to add a wider waisted ski to their quiver—not replace their quiver with a wide waisted ski.

  • Strengths: Crud Performance (3rd in category), Quickness (3rd)
  • Weaknesses: Hard-Snow Integrity (11th), Playfulness (13th)

Learn More

These are the best women’s All-Mountain Wide skis of the year
See more great Black Diamond skis
Can wider all-mountain skis hack it back East?