Here’s the thing with SKI’s annual Gear Guide: Although we test nearly 200 pairs of skis each year, only a fraction of them appear in our magazine. Why? For one, we’re limited by the space we have available in our print pages, which means we’re forced to select only the cream of the crop to feature in the Gear Guide. Secondly, if we don’t have anything nice to say about a ski, we don’t say anything at all by leaving it out of the Guide.
Related: The 10 ‘Best in Test’ skis of 2022
This brings me to the Black Crows Mirus Cor. This neon orange, swallow-tailed ski didn’t make the cut for our 2022 Gear Guide after ranking towards the bottom of the results in the men’s and women’s Carving categories. But despite its lackluster result on paper, I still have plenty of nice things to say about it.
Review of the 2022 Black Crows Mirus Cor
I first skied the unisex Mirus Cor in December 2021 in Vail, Colo., with a Black Crows rep who introduced it as “a rad-dad ski.” After skiing a few laps on the groomers of Vail, I understood why.
The Mirus Cor, with its over-shaped shovel, generous tip rocker, traditional camber underfoot, and rockered split-tail, makes cruising around on groomers effortless and fun. Thanks to its shape, sidecut, and short turning radius (13m in 178cm length), this ski virtually pulls you into a turn and easily lets you off the hook at the end of it. I’m not a dad (or a mom), but if I were skiing behind a tyke on a leash, this is the ski I’d want to be on because it’s so user-friendly, quick, and agile.
That said, this is not just a cruiser ski for people who may have left their glory days behind them, or put them on hold until their little shredders can keep up with them. During SKI’s 2022 SKI Test in Solitude, Utah, I cranked on these skis to see whether they could hack it in the Carving category. The answer is a qualified yes.
By design, the Mirus Cor wants to get on edge. But compared to more traditional carving skis, the Mirus Cor has more rocker and therefore a shorter effective edge. It also features a semi-cap construction rather than the sandwich sidewall often found in carving-specific skis. Lastly, unlike true carvers, which tend to feature at least one full sheet of metal in the core, the Mirus Cor includes a shorter Titanal plate in the middle of the ski with a poplar/fiberglass core.
All of these differences make the Mirus Cor poppier, more playful, forgiving, and versatile than a true carving ski. But it also means that this ski doesn’t have the same stability at speed, torsional stiffness, or hard-snow integrity as a traditional carver.
And therein lies the rub. The Mirus Cor was entered into the Carving category of SKI’s 2022 gear test, meaning it had to go toe to toe with the likes of the Stöckli Laser MX and the Nordica Spitfire RB 80. Compared to these skis, does the Mirus Cor perform as well as a dedicated carving or groomer ski? Definitely not. Aggressive skiers with serious carving chops are likely to overdrive this ski and discover its speed limit real quick.
But if the Mirus Cor had been entered into the Frontside category of our SKI Test—where I believe it belongs—I think it would have impressed testers much more with its versatility, playfulness, and quickness. While Black Crows describes the Mirus Cor as a carving ski with a “Black Crows approach,” it’s really a narrow all-mountain or frontside ski that does exactly what Black Crows advertises: “To achieve an alliance between two worlds—freestyle and the most angular curves of today.”
What type of skier is the Black Crows Mirus Cor for?
Because I enjoyed the Mirus Cor so much and couldn’t understand why I seemed to be in the minority after our gear test—and to test my hypothesis about it not making the cut because it was miscategorized as a carving ski—I had the ski retested this season, outside of the parameters of our SKI Test. The testers: my husband, my brother, and my dad.
Each skied the Mirus Cor for multiple days throughout this season, primarily at Colorado’s Crested Butte and Eldora Mountain. My husband (32, 175 pounds, advanced skier) and dad (72, 190 pounds, expert skier) loved the Mirus Cor so much, they’re ready to buy it and make it their daily-driver next season.
Both raved about how easy the ski is to flex and get on edge on soft groomers, and both appreciated its agility and forgiveness in moguls and everywhere else where short turns are required. Their ultimate take: Thanks to its 87mm waist, rocker profile, and softer flex, the Mirus Cor would make a great do-it-all ski for intermediates and advanced skiers who ski the whole mountain and split their time equally between groomers and ungroomed terrain. It’s also best suited to skiers who gravitate toward a poppy, energetic, and playful ski versus a damp and sturdy ski.
The Mirus Cor’s one obvious shortcoming: hard snow. Because of its construction and design, it doesn’t offer the kind of stability or dependability most skiers look for to tackle the snow you’re likely to encounter east of the Rockies.
My brother (35, 185 pounds) is an expert skier with a racing background who has a tendency to break skis within their first season because he rides them so hard in Crested Butte. He had fun on the Mirus Cor, but found them too soft and forgiving. With the generous rocker profile, the Mirus Cor has a much shorter effective edge, and this doesn’t bode well for strong, expert skiers who drive a ski from the front and expect precise energy transfer. The ski’s split-tail, while it makes pivoting and smearing turns in bumps and chalky snow a blast, feels almost nonexistent to skiers like my brother who rely on having as much ski behind them as in front of them to have a sturdier platform to work with.
Long story short: the Mirus Cor is not a carving ski, and it’s not a ski for strong, expert skiers looking to slice up groomers at speed or shred the gnar in the extremes. It’s a versatile frontside or narrow all-mountain ski for intermediate to expert skiers who get to ski soft snow more often than not, and value a playful, versatile, agile, and energetic ski.
In other words, it’s a daily driver for skiers like me: a 34-year-old with a racing background who is slowly beginning to realize that skiing doesn’t have to be a workout—it can be fun and effortless.
2022 Black Crows Mirus Cor Specifications
Black Crows describes the Mirus Cor as a carving ski with a “Black Crows approach.” Our take: It’s really a narrow all-mountain or frontside ski that does exactly what Black Crows advertises: “To achieve an alliance between two worlds—freestyle and the most angular curves of today.”
- Dimensions: 134-87-123 (178cm length)
- Available lengths: 168, 173.2, 178, 184.2
- Turn radius: 13m
- Core material: Poplar/fiberglass with Titanal plate underfoot
- Rocker profile: Tip and tail rocker with classic camber underfoot
- Weight: 3,600g/pair (178cm length)
- Price: $840