2023 Black Crows Anima Birdie Review
This tough bird won’t let you down when the pow turns to crud
This article was first published by SkiMag.com.
The Scores (out of 10)
- Overall Score: 7.12
- Rank: #6
- Flotation: 8
- Playfulness: 6.6
- Responsiveness: 6.8
- Quickness: 6
- Crud Performance: 7
- Stability at Speed: 8.2
- Forgiveness: 5.6
- Versatility: 6.8
- Price: $1,000
- Lengths: 176.6, 182.1
- Dimensions: 144–115-134
- Radius: 19
- Level: Advanced, Expert
In a Nutshell
- Pros: Stability at Speed (#2), Flotation (#3)
- Cons: Forgiveness (#7), Quickness (#7)
Black Crows skis were born and bred in Chamonix, France, so it makes sense that big mountain terrain is where the Anima Birdie shines. This powerful freeride ski has been around for a few years now, and the good news is that Black Crows left it unchanged for this season.
At our ski test in Sun Valley, the Anima Birdie scored high marks in Stability at Speed and Flotation thanks to a long sidecut and girthy 115mm waist, impressing testers with its ability to drive through turns and keep its cool when blasting through chop. “Incredibly stable at high speeds,” said tester Lily Krass. “The faster and deeper, the better.” A springy poplar wood core combined with a layup of carbon and fiberglass translates to a stiff and damp ski that thrives while bombing down big mountain terrain. “The Anima Birdie is a heat-seeking missile with the target set on the fall line,” said tester Jordan Garrett. “This is a bombproof tool for skiing fast in big open bowls. It wants to find the fall line and it wants to find it fast.”
Despite its affinity for speed, a double rockered design and progressive flex makes the Anima Birdie maneuverable and willing to pivot in tight trees and narrow chutes, making it a great choice for creative skiers looking for a little air, and speed-hungry rippers who want to open it up in the steeps. “This ski has your back no matter where you have to hunt to find those sweet powder turns,” said tester Erika Northrop. “It’s ideal for ladies who want to grab a beefy ski on a powder day to drop into any terrain with confidence.” When powder turns to chop midday, the Anima Birdie’s big shovel proved to be a solid solution for plowing through crud. Testers called out its performance in variable snow as well as heavy spring slush as a result.
This ski rewards aggressive skiers but can feel punishing on tired legs at the end of the day. Strong skiers may find it maneuverable at high speeds, but it takes skill and willpower to unlock the full potential of this ski. Testers agreed less confident skiers might get taken for a ride and that the Anima Birdie is best suited to powerful and confident skiers who rip long-radius turns down the fall line. “You have to be on at all times with this ski,” warned Garrett. “This is not a ski for the groomer cruiser.” Still, testers agreed that if you can stay off the groomers, this ski is a blast. The Anima Birdie is a ski for limit-pushers.
Lily Krass is a freelance ski journalist based in Jackson, Wyoming with work featured in SKI Magazine, Powder Magazine, Freeskier, Teton Gravity Research, and Ascent Backcountry Snow Journal. She spends winters backcountry skiing in Grand Teton National Park and riding lifts at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, with the occasional trip to the Alps (for the food, obviously). While she’s been in ski boots since she learned to walk, Lily has been professionally writing about skiing, gear, and all things outdoors for the past seven years. In addition to an all-consuming addiction to powder skiing mixed with heavy doses of Type II fun, Lily takes snacking seriously, and when she’s not writing or sliding on snow, she’s likely deep into a baking project in her tiny kitchen. She is the co-author of Beyond Skid: A Cookbook For Ski Bums, a collection of dirtbag-friendly recipes inspired by life in a mountain town.