The Helio construction is Black Diamond’s next step in carbon-fiber evolution. Noticeably more damp than BD’s prior carbon skis, the Helios have a layer of rubber in the sidewall near your heel to reduce vibration. The torsional stiffness and progressive flex come from a carbon fiber wrap around a balsa flax core, protected by a full ABS sidewall. As importantly, the Helios are easy to ski with a modern shape and rockered tip. BD designed the skis to have technical chops but not be too demanding. The result is a ski you can trust to ski big lines in variable conditions. Of course, with a generous underfoot width, the 95mm version is pretty fun in powder too.
Sidewall Dampening System integrates rubber behind the contact point to reduce chatter.
Pre-preg carbon fiber around a balsa flax wood core is torsionally stiff with a progressive flex.
5mm thick ABS sidewalls are beveled to increase edge hold while protecting from edge damage.
Titanal mounting plate makes for reliable mounts, remounts, and possibly mounts after that.
Rounded tips and integrated skin-clip tab in the tail make it easy to fit skins to the skis.
Update 2018/19: Along with a graphics update the ski had its layup tweaked for a bit more dampening. Weight went up a couple ounces per ski (new weights listed on Specs tab).
303-340mm rockered tip, traditional camber w/ 221-245mm "Semi Rocker" tail
Rounded tip, medium radius, flat tail
Flat sandwich with pre-preg carbon layup
Balsa flax wood core
Skimo Co Says
Rubber in the sidewall behind heel for dampness
Go anywhere, do anything, all day
I'm looking into getting a pair of Helio 95s. I'm 5'6", 145 lbs. I'm currently skiing a pair of 160cm K2 102 Superbrights, a shorter and heavier ski, but love them (had them since 2016). I'm struggling to decide between 163cm and 173cm skis now. I'm afraid the 13cm jump may be a bit much even though I'm looking for a longer ski. I ski primarily in-bounds but am starting to ski more backcountry. What length would you recommend?
Hi May! Welcome to the world of the backcountry, you'll like it here! The Helio 95 is a great do-it-all off-piste ski; I'd recommend you look at the 173cm length only if you want to ski it exclusively in deep, unconsolidated midwinter snow. For longer tours and consolidated spring snow, the shorter 163cm length is the way to go! You'll also find it a bit more maneuverable for wiggling turns through the trees.
Lightweight (5'8" 120lb), lady skier looking for a BC quiver of one ski - versatility, maneuverability, and decently fun in powder are important qualities to me. I ski mostly the Cascades in Washington and Wallowas of Oregon, potentially looking ahead to some ski mountaineering (which ultimately could require another setup). Currently choosing among BD Helio 95 Carbon, Armada Trace 98, and G3 SeekR 100 Elle, but would also consider other options. Any thoughts? Thanks!
Looking into the Helio ski build from Black Diamond is a great choice. If you want a "do everything" ski, then I would suggest going no wider than the Helio 95. Given your stature and desire to have a ski that will perform well in the Maritime snowpack of the Northwest it is worth considering the Helio 88 as well. The skinnier profile means weight savings in the ski, the skins and less surface area for snow build up on the top sheet. You won't shave pounds and pounds with the Helio 88, but it will be lighter and more maneuverable. Bottom line, the Helio 95 or Helio 88 are both great options for what you are looking to get in to!
Thanks so much, Patrick! Good idea considering the Helio 88. It seems like that might be the better choice for me after all. Would you recommend the 168cm length in that ski for me? I'm concerned it's a touch longer than I'd like, but the 158 would be too short. I'm an advanced skier but want something maneuverable in the trees.
I agree with your thoughts, I would suggest the 168cm. The reason to consider a shorter ski is for maneuverability, especially with kick turns in a skin track, but I feel that you will have no problem with the 168cm at your height, and will have the extra surface area and effective edge to help with a higher performing ski in variable conditions. Awesome choice!
I have a few seasons of touring on Helio 95's and what I notice most is that more and more I reach for them in my quiver of skis! I spent more days than ever before (and amidst an epic snow year) skiing a 95mm ski on DEEP pow days. I find the Helio 95's easy and predictable. They are light and surprisingly durable. I ski places where I find lots of rocks and they are holding up well. I also find them very versatile. I reach for them on soft snow days just as much as for big, steep, and firm skiing days. They're a strong contender for the Quiver of One in my opinion.
***A huge bonus with this size/weight ski is that I can also drive them well with a lighter boot (Scarpa Alien RS) which becomes a game changer for faster/bigger days.
Hello, I'm trying to decide between BD helio 88 and 95, I'm 5'8 "tall and I weigh 185 pounds (trying to lose weight ...), I'm a good skier and I'm from a couple of light and traditional old 1985 Kastle Tour Randonee !! I have a pair of Arc'terix Procline Boots. I'm skiing mainly in the Alps, what do you suggest?
This website is awesome. Thanks for all the advice here.
I'm looking to to get a pair of helios. Not sure as I've never skied carbon before. It would replace and be my only set of BC skis. 100% BC in Truckee, CA area with a few trips to CO or WY every year. 5'11", 165lbs.
I'd love a quick recommendation on ski size and why carbon is the way to go.
Hey Phil! Carbon is an incredibly light way to make skis stiff. That being said, there's not as much carbon in them as you'd think and they definitely don't have the typical "carbon" feel. If you plan on skiing as much in May as you do in January or just have a light set of boots, the 173cm ski would be awesome for that usage. If you have a burlier set of boots, prefer long skis, or just want to use it as a solid powder ski, the 183cm is the better option for sure.
Hey Gordon! The pictures align with the item selected in the drop-down menu, and the order I am seeing shows that you ordered the 17/18 version, which is the ski with the black tail, red mid-foot, and white tips.
Hey Kie! Kinda depends on what you're using it for. If you have burly boots and enjoy skiing powder primarily then the 173cm would be my first choice, but it'll be long for steep skiing. If it's primarily going to be a spring ski for steep skiing, you are a beginner skier, or just like skiing in lighter boots then the 163cm makes a lot more sense.
Looking to pull trigger on the Helio 95 to slot into my quiver between my 88cm set up and my 115cm set up. would be using 60% backcountry and 40% side country with occasional laps at resort. Leaning toward the 183cm length. I am 5'10" 180lbs. Ive never had a chamce to ski the Helio so just trying to get some additional insight on how they ski relative to length. I predominantly ski east coast / VT.
Hi Tony, at your size and for the specific use, I think I'd suggest you go with the 183cm length. It will give you a little more stability and edge on the firmer East Coast conditions you will eventually find.
Hi there, I'm really liking the look of the Black Diamond Helio 95 skis but would really appreciate some advice before making a decision. I'm short (163 cm) and light (64kg) and I'm thinking the 163 size would be perfect for mostly Euro touring and general use. I ski well but not fast or aggressively. Due to my light weight I don't want a really stiff ski. Do you think they would be a good choice? I also was wondering about the Cho Oyu which sound great but I think the 158 is a bit short and the 166 a bit long for kick turns on the steeps! Any advice would be great, Many thanks, Simon
Hi Simon, that would certainly be a good size for you. While the Helio can handle relatively fast speeds, it's not overly stiff or demanding so I wouldn't be too concerned about being able to handle it.