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Black Diamond Helio 88 Ski

Brand: Black Diamond
Model: Helio 88
Shipping: FREE*
Availability: In Stock
Price: $799.95 $699.95
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As the lightest and skinniest member of the Helio family, the 88 is the fastest to the top and the quickest to turn. It’s the ideal choice for long-distance or high-altitude winter tours, plus spring mountaineering season. It shares the Sidewall Dampening System of the other Helio skis which is what makes them feel like a beefier ski. The full length ABS sidewalls improve the impact resistance and offer and secure edge hold. Those are important features when you’re high on a mountain with just one way down. The Helio 88 skis are versatile, easy-to-handle, and just plain fun.

  • Rubber integrated into the sidewall behind the heel reduces vibration on hard snow.
  • Balsa flax wood core is wrapped by carbon-fiber to make a reliable ski with a balanced flex.
  • Beveled 5mm ABS sidewalls help with edge hold and add some rock impact resistance.
  • Binding area is reinforced with Titanal sheets that will make pull-out a near impossibility.
  • Rockered tip and medium sidecut make for a good all-round ski that won’t get hung up.
Lengths (cm) 158, 168, 178
-> ounces
1135g [158]
1225g [168]
1315g [178]
Weight (pair) 2270g [158]
2450g [168]
2630g [178]
Dimensions 119-88-110 [158]
121-88-111 [168]
123-88-112 [178]
Turn Radius 17m [158]
18m [168]
19m [178]
Skin Fix Round tip, reinforced flat-notch tail
Specs Verified Yes
Profile 240-270mm rockered tip, traditional camber w/ 129-143mm "Semi Rocker" tail
Shape Rounded tip, medium radius, flat tail
Construction Flat sandwich with pre-preg carbon layup
Core Balsa flax wood core
Skimo Co Says
Usage Long distance touring
Notes Full sidewall construction has great edge hold
Bottom Line All around mountaineering ski for high altitude adventures
Question from Michael
The specs say that they are not recommended for telemark bindings. Does anyone know why?
Answer from jbo
Hi Michael, typically that is because there isn't enough reinforcement in the toe binding area to handle the forces applied when dropping a knee.
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Question from Christine
Thanks jbo. Follow up questions to the one posted below! I am debating between the Helio 88s and the 95s. I just realized they are quite different dimensions. The 88s @ 168cm are 121-88-112 and 95s @163 cm are almost the same tip and tale but wider under foot. (122-95-112). So the 95's actually have less side cut - which I think would be an advantage skinning up on ice?

I am 5'6, 150 lbs and a intermediate+ skier with many years of touring. I think the 163's might be a little short for me, so maybe that solves it and I should buy the 88s.?

Thanks for any thoughts!
Answer from jbo
Hi Christine, yes the 95s are 1 meter longer in radius. It's not a big enough difference to be noticeable when skinning.
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Question from Christine
I am considering the 88's for a spring tour in the alps. I currently have the BD converts but want something lighter. I also hate how insecure the converts (and any wide and shaped ski I have used in the past) feel when skiing up icy snow. Do you think the 88s will hold an edge better when skiing up? Thanks!
Answer from jbo
Yes Christine, the skinnier skis are easier to skin up, with better edging on the up and down. The Helio 88s are reliable in spring icy conditions, and they are still fun in powder too :)
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by dauwhe (used product a few times)
I now have four days on these, in wildly varying conditions. So far, they are exactly what I hoped for—maneuverable, turny, easy. On skied-out end-of-the-day manmade, there were no unpleasant surprises. On sticky, soggy sidecountry mush, I was somewhat surprised to be able to turn at all. On pristine pre-first-chair corduroy, they were swoopy and fun. Today, on really brutal skied-out semi-refrozen dust on crust, they were really quick across the fall line in tight spaces, and I could steer them through the ruts and piles while staying upright. I was amazed to survive that snow at all. They're light enough that I never noticed weight on the up. I'm skiing these with a Dynafit classic toe, Speed Superlite 1.0 heel, and TLT6Ms. I'm so looking forward to more skiing with these!

Comment on this review:

Question from Frederique
I'm debating between the helio 88 or 95 for my lightweight touring setup. Mostly skiing on the west coast on both steeps
and heavier powder. I don't weigh much (120lbs) so I thought I could get away with a skinnier ski that would still be able to
perform in crud and heavier west coast snow. What do you guys reckon?

Thanks in advance,

Answer from Trace Leches
Hey Frederique, I'd go with the 88, hands down. You mentioned you are trying to get a "lightweight setup"...so get a lightweight setup. The 88 will perform better on steep, icy terrain due to the lighter weight and narrower build, the light rocker will help you float on top of crud rather than get bounced around, and it's a LOT of ski for the weight/waist width so don't be afraid to let it loose every once in a while.
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