Some days, when the snow report is talking about feet instead of inches and it just won't stop nuking, you've got to be brave, put the lycra and 65mm skis away, and shred some pow. On days like that, if you have to go fat, go fat. With a waist clocking in at 116mm, the Black Diamond Helio 116 is just about the widest ski to cross the threshold of our shop. This ski is meant to surf, float, and bounce its way down the mountain, with the early rise tip and tail rocker being suited perfectly for deep and soft snow. With a full 5mm sidewall and traditional camber underfoot, the Helio 116 holds an edge well for a ski of its size, but really shines in soft snow, no matter how you ski it. The woodcore with some overlayed carbon is surprisingly stiff underfoot and through the tail, with a progressively softer feel the closer you get to the tip. Don't worry, the race skis aren't going anywhere-- but it's OK to float once in a while.
- Very friendly flex pattern stays stiff from the tail to underfoot, and progressively gets softer towards the tip, ideal for surfy skiing in soft snow.
- Redesigned carbon overlay, which was redone in order to create a simpler and consistent flex pattern, as well as to increase the dampness of the ski.
- Traditional camber underfoot and full 5mm beveled sidewall construction give this ski an edge that will hold up to that icy couloir on the way to the untracked pow fields below.
- If you're notoriously hard on your skis, good news! The tail is covered by an ABS protector that extends to any surfaces the tail clip may touch, perfect for chronic gear abusers.
- With a ski this wide and a tip this rockered, you'll be the one in the crew best suited to break trail on those deep, deep days. Yes, we put this last hoping you wouldn't see it. Good luck!
|Lengths (cm)||166, 176, 186|
|Weight (pair)||3040g 
||Round tip, tail clip notch|
||339-380mm rockered tip, 241-270mm "Semi Rocker" tail|
||Long radius with tapered tail|
||Pre-preg carbon layup|
|Skimo Co Says|
|Usage||Deep, Steep powder|
|Notes||Big floaty ski for high speed powder runs|
|Bottom Line||What to take to Alaska|
|Compare to other Excess-fat Skis|
Questions & Reviews
Congrats on the new boards! We have mounted up a few pairs and have always gone with the recommended mounting placement.
- It skis "short" so don't be afraid to go longer since they are so light.
- Float vs weight is awesome!
- DO look at the TGR "ANY BETA ON BD HELIO 116" thread about mounting points.
- 160lbs (w/o gear) 5'11" on a 186cm length mounted -2.5
This ski blows doors for a true powder touring ski. The surface area to weight is unreal. You can basically consider it an extension of the amazing Tecnica Zero G line (since it's made by them and has some of the same tech). And just like the Zero G series it has a more traditional flatter tail which inspires confidence when you hit that wind blasted firm section. Don't think you can mob around the resort in the afternoon with these as well. Once the snow starts getting cut up the lack of weight definitely shows up. But if you're just looking to smash and grab before lines get chopped up you can get away with it. They do also have a speed limit with how light they so they definitely aren't super high speed powder slayers.
Because it has such a long tip rocker line the ski definitely skis short. I'm 160ish without gear and I've ski'd both the 176 and 186 length (and use to own a 175 Amperage) and definitely glad went with the 186. With my old Amperages and the 176's I demo'd I couldn't really pressure the tips how I like. And landing drops would occasional feel them "fold over". The feeling short issue imo is on most BD powder skis and their choice of mount points, which transitions me to my next point.
One of things you really want to think on about this ski is the mount point. The boot center line is WAY forward of the narrowest part of the ski and there is a lot of good discussion on the TGR forums about this. Most people are mounting at least -2. I've been skiing it around -2.5 with Vipecs (Depending on the boot) and I really like it there. I could probably even go further back, but don't regret the mount. I would NOT recommend the Blister idea of mounting them forward.
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