We spare no amount of effort or innovation in utilizing the latest technologies and materials to produce our equipment, be it hydroforming ice tools, carbon fiber shafts in trekking poles or double-faceted reflectors in our lanterns. The result is gear far superior in design and performance to anything else out there. Want to learn more about all the technology that goes into our products? You’ve come to the right place. Jump right in.
WHY STAINLESS STEEL
- Huge weight savings — up to 226 g (8 oz) lighter per pair
- Better wear — more durable material ensures the points stay sharper, longer
- No rust or flaking paint — crampons always look new and fresh
- Endures harsh conditions without environmentally toxic coatings that wear off in the mountains
- Less snow balling — smoother surface sheds snow better
3D FORMING OF RAILS
The rails of our stainless steel crampons utilize the most sophisticated forming on the market. While other companies merely bend the rails, Black Diamond has perfected a manufacturing process where the stainless steel is “wrapped” to form a smooth, wrinkle-free 3D rail (think of it as though we are bending over a sphere). Rounding the rails in simultaneous, multiple directions increases both stiffness and performance. Lots of companies use the term “3D forming” but BD is the only company with the technical know-how to truly bend the material in three dimensions.
KINETIC CORE CONSTRUCTION™
Employing a tri-laminate of Vectran™ polymer, Kinetic Core Construction is not the next step in harness design—it’s a quantum leap forward. Almost all harnesses use one or two strands of narrow structural webbing, resulting in thin lines of tension that require thick foam padding to alleviate pressure points. Kinetic Core Construction eliminates this requirement by distributing the load evenly throughout the harness’s entire structure, a design idea not far in principle from our original Alpine Bod harness. The result is the Ozone, Aura, Chaos, and Xenos: harnesses that are dramatically sleeker, lighter and more comfortable than any other harness ever made.
SoftEdge Construction uses an internally-seamed top edge to soften the main load distribution down to the central and the lower edge webbing. By reducing the line of tension along the top edge, we’ve constructed a lightweight harness that allows more freedom of movement and more comfort (e.g., it won’t dig into your love handles).
DUAL CORE CONSTRUCTION™
Dual Core Construction consists of two bands of webbing that split around the waistbelt, allowing for maximum breathability and weight reduction without pressure points. We use a supportive, ventilated EVA foam insert in conjunction with an abrasion-resistant mesh and nylon outer shell to maintain excellent comfort and durability-paramount for such a lightweight design.
DUAL CORE XP CONSTRUCTION™
Dual Core XP Construction combines the supportive-yet-lightweight design of our Dual Core Construction with the ultra-comfortable load-distribution philosophy of our Kinetic Core Construction. Dual Core XP consists of two separate components: the first is an OpenAir waistbelt using two separate bands of webbing around the outside of the frame and a supportive insert in the center to allow for maximum breathability without pressure points. The second is leg loops constructed from a single strand of full-width, high-tensile nylon for total support and comfort when hanging from the harness.
Quick, secure and easy to use, trakFIT is an innovative leg loop adjustment system that uses a slide adjuster to quickly tighten or loosen the harness leg loops and provide a wide range of fit. trakFIT also eliminates dangling webbing and any chance of misthreading buckles.
Technical Ice Tools
Hydroforming allows the incorporation of a 3D shape to the shaft’s cross-section, which produces a high clearance lightweight tool with incredible stiffness for hooking on small edges and thin ice.
ENERGY ABSORPTION SYSTEM (EAS)
There are two common designs of Energy Absorption Systems: rope with a sticht plate and internal-sewn webbing system. Our EAS is
constructed using an internal-sewn webbing system because of the design’s:
- ease of use
- performance in wet conditions
- visual simplicity
- minimalist nature
The EAS uses specially designed, industrial webbing to absorb the energy of a fall. The patent-pending sew construction of our EAS greatly increases the security of the system when misused in certain scenarios. Additionally, the two lanyards have a length differential of two inches in order to decrease the likelihood of injury during a fall. Injury could result from any body part being caught between the lanyards—having different lanyard lengths decreases the pinch potential.
If you’re buried in an avalanche, can your buddies dig you out in 15 minutes? Without an AvaLung, that’s typically all the fresh air you’ll have to breathe. After 15 minutes, your chances for survival are slim to none. Equipped with an AvaLung, however, you can significantly extend your fresh air supply. Here’s how an AvaLung can save your life:
- AvaLung mouthpiece delivers fresh air from intake box and expels CO2 to the exhaust port
- Fresh air is pulled from the snowpack through a bi-valve intake box located in the shoulder strap
- Exhaled CO2 is directed away from your body through an integrated exhaust port
The unique, fully adjustable Boa closure takes the benefit of laces to a whole new level, without the hassle of laces. The most noticeable advantage the Boa closure provides is immediate power transmission between your shin and your cuff by minimizing any gap. Boa also allows complete and controllable foot retainment independent of your shell buckles, so you can run the buckles wide open if you want (e.g., when you’re touring or skinning uphill) and never get heel lift. For repair and spare parts information, see your shop’s BOA instruction manual or log on to www.boatechnology.com.
STROBEL LASTED CONSTRUCTION
Our liners are truly lasted construction, which means they are stitched around a last to get the proper 3D shape, instead of flat pieces of foam that take the shape of the boot or are post-heat treated to form into a specific shape. Lasted construction also means there is a solid non-compressible base that is Strobel stitched to the upper, which further creates that performance-stable platform for which all movements are reacted upon (rather than standing on foam, which is like driving a sports car in sand.) All of our liners are designed to accommodate custom footbeds and orthotics.
Boot boards create a flat foundation from which all your performance starts and depends on. They allow for a structural posted footbed to plant on and retain the shape for which it was originally designed for whether it’s a custom form or engineered fit. Furthermore, boot boards allow for corrective fits, such as changing ramp angle and internal canting, if the situation arises. And being removable themselves, you can swap out a W’s (steeper ramp angle of 4° instead of the M's 3º, which on a size 27 boot is equivalent to a 7 mm lift–20 mm on the M's to 27 mm on the W's) to potentially minimize instep pain if you’re high arched in the M’s design, or just add a heel wedge to do the same. And vice versa from W’s to M’s.
Our stock footbeds have an engineered shape that fits the majority of feet and minimizes problem areas. BD boots are also designed to work with custom footbeds and orthotics.
The liner can be easily thermoformed to make more room in the heel pocket, tighten up the toe box by forming without toe caps, or accommodate high insteps or sixth toes.
The women’s-specific fit features include: lower and more voluminous cuffs with a calf-sculpted liner, a thinner and sculpted adjustable calf spoiler, increased ramp boot boards, thicker foam over the toes, thinner heel and Achilles' section. For example, to get a more voluminous cuff, the cross-section area of both the liner upper and the spoiler is reduced to create more room for the more generous calf proportions of an average woman.
BD’s lasts are designed for a performance-style fit, one that provides the boot with a snug heel and forefoot yet leaves room for the toes. The worst thing to have in a boot fit is significant heel lift, and most lasts fall short here. Our very positive heel cup and Achilles' sections maintain an overall snugness without scrunching your toes (because your toes need room to spread out some during a stride). Our women-specific liners are built off of women-specific lasts. These women-specific lasts have the same overall width at the metatarsal heads and the flat portion under the heel as the men’s lasts, but the Achilles' is slightly narrower, the instep is slightly higher, and there’s more insulation around the toes and more space around the lower calves.
You may not realize you need this critical adjustment until experiencing the lateral precision of our Triax Frame construction and feeling that you no longer just smoosh into a comfortable flex axis. Once you have the cuff alignment set correctly, it makes a world of a difference in being able to run a flat ski naturally and allows quicker edge activation from a neutral platform. Unique to BD boots is that the forward lean adjustment “floats” to accommodate an adjusted cuff alignment.
FORWARD LEAN ADJUSTMENT
Forward lean is another underutilized and misunderstood adjustment. Our boots adjust between 14-22º of shinbone angle to a flat floor. However, forward lean has much to do with dorsiflexion as well (i.e., the degree of forward flexibility you have in your ankle before it lifts your heel off the ground.)
Various calf shapes require various volume (i.e., spoiler) adjustments for proper fit. The adjustable spoiler can also be used to micro-adjust forward lean preferences. There are men’s- and women’s-specific spoilers, with the W’s having a more sculpted top cut out and an overall thinner wedge shape to accommodate lower calves.
The triple-injection, multi-density construction of our three Triax Frames creates non-mechanical, progressive flexes that are independent of tongues, resulting in smooth fore/aft power transfer and maximum lateral stiffness. Additionally, the construction provides a new level of touring comfort and efficiency.
This is a stiffness comparison that gives relative information within a boot line, and most often is inconsistent between brands. Mostly it’s a summary of feel, because stiffness is not only forward flex but also lateral and rearward. In general terms, it’s universally understood that Flex 150 is World Cup racing, Flex 130 is high performance freeride up to general race, Flex 110 is on the softer end of a performance freeride boot, and under 90 is for more recreational to beginner use.
Overlap construction is what makes our AT boots not ski or feel like traditional AT boots (a good thing), and in tele it allows our flex to be more or less independent of tongue stiffness. In both cases, it’s not only a forward leap in performance, but also enables a new level of touring efficiency by not relying on a stiff tongue to deliver power.
PIVOTING CUFF TECHNOLOGY
Patent-pending resistance-free cuff design, Pivoting Cuff Technology provides ultimate touring efficiency by allowing an unrivaled 40° range of motion in our Touring Series boots.
Pebax offers a lighter weight (20% less) with equivalent stiffness of more common, urethane-based materials. Pebax is also much more thermally stable, which provides a more consistent flex over a wider range of temperatures. Pebax is used on the lowers of all of our boots, as well as the uppers on the Factor, Method, Shiva, Custom and Stiletto.
The standard shell material for most ski boots, polyurethane provides a damper feel than Pebax without sacrificing stiffness. Polyurethane is used on the cuffs of the Push, Seeker, Trance and Axis.
A standard feature on tele boots, the ski/walk mode is also on our AT boots and is the primary component that separates our boots from performance alpine boots.
INTERCHANGEABLE SOLE BLOCKS
AT Sole Blocks: These blocks come stock on the Method and Shiva, are interchangeable on our AT Power Series boots and are Dynafit binding compatible.
Alpine Sole Blocks: These blocks come stock on the Factor and are interchangeable on our AT Power Series boots.
The Efficient Series tele boots (Seeker, Trance and Axis) are compatible with three-pin bindings. The Power Series tele boots (Custom, Stiletto and Push) are not compatible with three-pin bindings.
FORMULA ONE TECHNOLOGY™
F1 Tech is used for skis larger than 90 mm underfoot. This technology requires three major ribs. Some models, for added hard snow performance, utilize a sway bar at the nose to lock into high G-force turns.
DUAL TORSION BOW™
This construction is used for skis under 90 mm underfoot, which require only two major ribs for geometric advantage to distribute the loads.
3D CNC WOOD CORES
Poplar: A good balance of pop (i.e., energy return) with a classic, smooth feel.
Poplar Hybrid: Poplar with foam stringers for lighter swing-weight and an overall softer flexing core on our women's models.
Internal Wall Core: Poplar with birch sidewalls produces more pop and increased edge hold.
Used on all of ours skis, Torsion Box construction creates the classic race-like core wrap where our +/- 45-degree fiberglass orientation wraps the core like a burrito, thereby providing the majority of the torsional power and energy pop.
A classic sandwich and ABS tapered sidewall design. With a lighter on-snow feel, our 3D sandwich skis without metal are livelier and quicker edge-to-edge.
3D METAL SANDWICH
By machining sheets of Titanal® into the 3D ribs of our CNC wood cores, we are able to achieve the damp, terrain-absorbing effects of metal sandwich construction without gaining excess weight.
2000-Series sintered bases offer the best balance of durability, glide and maintenance. Our quality cross-hatch stone grind is appropriate for an average winter condition and is far more difficult to obtain than a faint linear structure or no structure, which can look good on the shop floor but does nothing for you on the slopes. This is especially important on wider skis where the increased surface area and potential for more feathering of the ski edge may take place and a linear factory tune will fight against you.
P78: Power Series skis use a fatter P78 profile edge.
P124: Efficient Series skis use a skinnier P124 profile edge which saves about 80 grams per pair.
MONOMERS AND POLYMERS
Lots of rubber here and there, with a ton under foot and some over the edges. The result? A damp, smooth, less chattery ski.
Freeride Series: Freeirde Series construction delivers more torsional power via more overall layers of fiberglass and a higher percentage of which are in the +/- 45-degree orientation.
Touring Series: Touring Series construction still has a +/- 45-degree Torsion Box construction for solid torsional control, but has overall less material than the Power Series. This layup design provides a lighter-weight construction without compromising the relative breaking strength.
Rocker is what makes a ski like our Megawatt, Justice or Zealot excel in powder. There are a lot of geometry freak-show skis these days, but most of them compromise versatility for soft-snow performance. In comparison, each of our skis with rocker has a fairly traditional sidecut underfoot, giving them the versatility to tackle hard snow conditions when needed.
A basic characteristic of a woman’s skier profile is that she commonly has a lower center of gravity and overall lower mass than a man. Keeping in mind that the applied energy on a ski is subject to force over distance, the combination of a woman’s force being lower and the mass being lighter means that on average a woman needs a softer ski. But that lightness shouldn’t also mean less energy or quickness from turn to turn. Our philosophy is that a woman’s ski should be high performance, not just a dumbed-down version of the male-specific model. Therefore, the torsional stiffness is the same for equivalent length male- or female-specific skis—the available power doesn’t change, just the expected applied longitudinal force.
WEATHER PROTECTION TECHNOLOGY AND FABRICS
Gore-Tex with XCR Product Technology® insert: A glove with a Gore-Tex with XCR Product Technology insert has been specifically designed and tested to have superior 100% waterproof and breathability ratings.
BDry™ insert: A membrane insert that creates a waterproof, breathable barrier between the exterior of the glove and the insulating materials. This is ideal for keeping hands warm and dry in cold conditions.
Gore WindStopper®: A three-layer fabric that is windproof, breathable, and snow and water-resistant.
Polartec® Power Shield®: A soft-shell fabric that protects against the worst weather conditions and delivers extended breathability and abrasion resistance. This fabric combines a smooth, tightly woven face for abrasion resistance with a polyester velour back that traps air and provides a high warmth-to-weight ratio. Power Shield fabric blocks 98% of wind to prevent wind chill, but allows enough air to circulate to keep you from overheating. Water repellent surface sheds rain and snow.
Polartec Wind Pro®: A wind-resistant fleece that is extremely breathable yet provides four times more wind resistance than traditional fleece. The durable water repellent outer surface sheds rain and show. More breathable than laminate fabrics.
PrimaLoft® Kodenshi: This top-of-the-line insulation combines all the benefits of PrimaLoft with the heat reflecting properties of ceramic fibers. Silicates in the fibers absorb and hold heat, then release it back to the wearer.
PrimaLoft® One: This is the highest performing synthetic insulation available and utilizes microfiber technology to create warmth without weight, superior water resistance and unmatched comfort. It is fast drying, wind resistant, breathable and compressible. PrimaLoft recently re-engineered their insulation to give it 15% more loft for greater warmth and performance.
133 g needlepunch: A compressed version of PrimaLoft One that allows for comparable warmth with increased dexterity for palms and fingers.
Thinsulate®: Soft and compressible, Thinsulate is one of the warmest clothing insulations on the market, while still being thin enough to allow for freedom of movement and superior dexterity.
Thermolite®: A lofted fiber insulation offering a balanced combination of softness, warmth and lightweight. It's thin enough to maintain dexterity yet warm enough to protect against extreme cold, and is extremely durable.
eks fiber quickly absorbs and then releases perspiration to the outside, generating heat within the fabric and returning that warmth to the wearer.
Polartec® Thermal Pro High Loft®: This insulation maximizes warmth without weight and allows for superior compressibility and breathability. Lofted fibers trap air, retaining body heat, while at the same time remaining highly breathable and quick-drying to provide comfort in all activities.
Polartec Thermal Pro Eco-Engineering Renewable Wool: A recycled polyester/wool blendthat promotes warmth, wicking and fast drying. Naturally odor-resistant, wool is one of nature's best defenders against cold, heat and moisture.
Boiled Wool: Naturally odor-resistant, wool is one of nature's best defenders against cold, heat and moisture.
Polartec Classic: The original standard in fleece, this polyester fabric provides outstanding warmth with minimal weight, dries quickly and is highly breathable.
Polartec® Power Stretch®: A body-hugging four-way stretch fabric that provides unrestricted freedom of movement. The outer surface is wind and abrasion resistant, and the soft inner layer pulls moisture away from your skin, keeping you dry, warm and comfortable.
EVA foam padding: the industry standard in impact protection.
Pittards® leather: Pittards Armortan® offers increased abrasion resistance by up to 25%, thus improving the leather’s durability against wear. Pittards also treats their leather to retain its performance characteristics of water and perspiration resistance, breathability, grip, and feel.
Pittards® Oil Tac: A uniquely tacky leather that incorporates polymers into its structure to improve grip, feel and moisture resistance from both perspiration and external sources.
Kevlar® thread: Threads made of Kevlar are used in high abrasion areas on the palms of Black Diamond gloves to resist melting and breaking apart under repeated friction and abrasion.
8-15 lumens: Require very little power and provide excellent proximity light for peripheral vision and camp activities such as reading or cooking.
16-50 lumens: Mid-range LEDs with efficient burn times that are great for backup lighting and trail illumination. They are selected and paired with an electronic bucking circuit that properly controls the power to the LED.
51-200 lumens: Powerful LEDs that offer a great balance of consumption and lumens-per-watt efficiency, as well as a custom shaped double-faceted reflector for exceptional long-distance viewing in a small package. Higher-power models include a heat sink design and electronic regulation.
201-300 lumens: Providing brilliant, unmatched power, these multi-chip LEDs emit the highest lumen density per mm2. They are used in lanterns to broadly illuminate large campsites or as focused, high-intensity headlamp search beams.
CONTROL SHOCK TECHNOLOGY
Control Shock Technology offers damp and progressive 4-stage shock absorption that handles hard compressions without bottoming out, while controlling rebound for a smooth and comfortable trail feel. Control Shock Technology is visible technology: dampeners beneath the grip indicate progressive spring rates for comfort and control—from light strikes to heavy downhill plants. Rebound control is located within the grip and prevents ineffective and annoying pogo-ing. Control Shock Technology’s patent-pending external design maximizes pole collapsibility, optimizes swing weight and is stealthy quiet.
Secure, fast, and easy-to-use, there is no better pole-locking mechanism on the market than FlickLock. It eliminates the uncertainty associated with common twist-lock mechanisms, and provides visual security that you can trust the pole in critical situations.