Skimo Co

Black Diamond Helio 76 Ski


Black Diamond’s roots in alpinism have finally made it to their ski line, and the Helio 76 is a winner. The designers set out to make a mountaineering ski that made no compromises on the descent. Utilizing the same DNA found in the rest of the Helio series skis (prepreg carbon layup, ultralight balsa flax wood core, sidewall construction, mellow but noticeable tip and tail rocker), Black Diamond took a proven construction and implemented it to achieve their goal. While the Helio 76 isn’t the lightest ski in its category, its ability to carve, hold an edge, and manage the toughest snow conditions make this ski a top contender. The still-light-yet-beefy skis is perfect for sketchy descents, long ski traverses in the wild, and working your ski fitness on firm snow or icy groomers. Not surprising that, in our opinion, the 76 is the best Helio yet!

  • Tip notch enables fast and easy transitions, even on techy ridgelines and summits.
  • ABS sidewalls and tail protector prevents damage when using the ski as alpinism tool.
  • Subtle tip/tail rocker and balanced flex help to smooth-out challenging snow surfaces.
  • Further smoothing the ride is the rubber layer integrated above the entire edge-length.
  • Titanal sheets in the binding area means you can worry about other objective hazards.
  • Just like the other Helio skis, only smaller and lighter (read: better).
Lengths (cm) 161, 171
convert to ounces
1145g [161]
1210g [171]
Weight (pair) 2290g [161]
2420g [171]
Sidecut   106-76-96 [161]
107-76-97 [171]
Turn Radius   18m [161]
19m [171]
Skin Fix   Tip notch, flat notched tail
Specs Verified Yes
Profile   Rocker tip, camber, semi-rocker tail
Shape   Round tip, medium radius, squared off tail
Construction   Pre-preg carbon layup with ABS sidewall
Core   Balsa/Flax wood core
Skimo Co Says
Usage Ski mountaineering, endurance touring
Notes Freeride tech in a mountaineering ski
Bottom Line Finally!
Compare to other Low-fat Skis

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Questions & Reviews

Question from John
I'm about 6'3, 190 lbs, and just bought the 161 cm on steep discount for skimo and ski mountaineering. I figure the shorter length is good for casual racing (few races a year) and they're hardy enough for descending PNW volcanos earlier in the season. I have other longer skis for better performance.

Are these too short? I'm worried I made a mistake.
Answer from Gabriel I
Hi John, at your height and weight, a 161cm is a bit short for purposes other than skimo racing or very fast and light touring. That is part of your intended use case, though, so it's not necessarily the wrong length for you. For an all around pure mountaineering ski, I'd probably recommend something at least 170cm for a bit more stability while still being fairly lightweight.
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Question from Jeremy
What bindings have the best compatibility with this ski?
Answer from Will M
Hey Jeremy,

Thanks for the question! I think a binding in the "race" or "lean" category from our binding drop down menu would be appropriate. I'd go for a crowd favorite like the Dynafit Superlite 150.
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Question from John L
It doesn't look like you have the 80mm Voile Superlite skins (recommended above) anymore. Would Dynafit Speed 76 skins fit on these skis?
Answer from Patrick C

Thanks for the question! For the Speed 76 precut skins I worry that the wider shovel of the Speed 76 as compared to the Helio 76 (about 6mm wider) would not make for a good fit. Choosing a 100mm wide skin and cutting to size I think will be the best route for you!
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Question from LILI YU
Hi, will you do the mounting service if I buy a pair of ski and binding
Answer from Teddy Young
Yes, if you ship us your boot or if we have the same model/size boot in stock to do the mount!
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Question from Michael D.
Hi, I want to buy a ski in the high 70s width for upcoming spring corn and summits. I've narrowed my choices down to the Salomon X-Alp (79) or the BD Helio 76. The BD is said to be a really solid ski for its category.Does the X-Alp ski just as strong and stable as the BD? If the BD is stronger is it worth the extra weight? And is the Dynafit Speed 76 also a contender? What do you think? Thanks for you time. M.
Answer from TSB
Hey Michael D., thanks for reaching out! The Helio 76 is definitely a good pick for a strong skier who wants to rail turns, even on a lighter/narrower platform. The main downside is that unless you're skiing in truly heinous, refrozen crud conditions, the added mass (~200 grams) of the Helio 76 over the X-Alp won't be a huge advantage on the down, and it will be a notable disadvantage on the up, especially when you're trying to do a big summit push. The X-Alp is a more playful, easy-skiing design that gets along with just about any conditions you'll encounter (even deep powder!) Unfortunately neither of those skis come in lengths longer than 171cm -- so if you did want to go a little longer, I'd recommend a ski like the Ski Trab Sintesi, which has wood-core construction for extra damping and durability.
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Question from Dennis
Hey SkimoCo!

I'm 6', 180 LBS, skiing in the Eastern Sierras. I'm looking for a spring skiing tool, to be used ideally for 50% corn runs, 50% mountaineering and steep couloirs, with maybe a few long trips also. Corn, slush, sastrugi, windboard, and ice are all in the picture. Is this ski in the 171 length a good choice? Should I go for something a little fatter?

Thanks for your wisdom!
Answer from Jeff
Dennis, All a matter of preference. If you are a Skimo racer, a 76mm may be 'fat' for you. If you tour on a 100+mm ski, this will sound too skinny. Personally I would lean for something wider. If you would like to delve deeper, please contact us at
Answer from jbo
Hi Dennis, in my opinion this ski was made for those conditions! It's very solid in the steeps, ice and super fun in corn. Less so in isothermic snow, but that's an odd condition to optimize for. I think you'd have fun on it.
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Question from Josh
I’m looking at the Helio 76 and wondering about length. I’m 5’10” 175lbs skiing a F1 or Travers carbon. I want this ski to be my fitness touring, maybe a few races per year, and spring mountaineering ski. I’ve never skied anything as short as 161, but like the idea of weight saving. But I want to have this ski “normal” to me outside of racing. What length would you recommend? Also, thoughts on mounting with the Helio 180 vs 200?
Answer from jbo
Hi Josh, I think you'd be happier with the 171 at your size. In fact it would be a sweet spot for you lengthwise for mountaineering. Good enough for a race or two. The Helio 200 has some release adjustability, so if that's important to you, go that route. Otherwise you can shave a bit of weight.
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Question from Ian
Hi there-

Any suggestions for what skins would fit these best, with minimal trimming?
Answer from jbo
Hi Ian, check out the 80mm Voile Superlite Skins. They just need a bit of trimming underfoot. They are made with the BD material even!
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Model: Helio 76

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