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Black Diamond Helio 95 Ski

Brand: Black Diamond
Model: Helio 95
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Availability: In Stock & Ships Today
Price: $849.95 $594.97
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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).

Lengths (cm) 163, 173, 183
-> ounces
1315g [163]
1380g [173]
1495g [183]
Weight (pair) 2630g [163]
2760g [173]
2990g [183]
Dimensions 122-95-112 [163]
123-95-113 [173]
125-95-114 [183]
Turn Radius 18m [163]
19m [173]
20m [183]
Skin Fix Round tip, reinforced flat-notch tail
Specs Verified Yes
Profile 303-340mm rockered tip, traditional camber w/ 221-245mm "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 All-day objectives
Notes Rubber in the sidewall behind heel for dampness
Bottom Line Go anywhere, do anything, all day
Question from Kari

I was wondering what size you would recommend for me in the Helio 95. I am 5'7'' 139 lbs. I have been using Black Diamond Reverts 164 cm length and this seemed to work well but I know 163 is shorter. I am unsure if 163 cm or 173 would be better for me in the Helios. What do you recommend? I use them for resort skiing and a lot of touring, both ski mountaineering and easy tours. Thanks!
Answer from Jeff
Kari, as you see below, that is a big question. For resort skiing and BC powder, the longer length will be great. I looked up the specs of the Revert, even though they both have a 95mm waist, they will be different. For the longer 173 Helio, you are half a pound each ski lighter, quicker swing weight, and a tighter turn radius. So even though they are longer, they will turn easier. Does that help make up your mind?
Answer from Kari V
So what you mean is that the 2013-2014 Black Diamond Revert skis at 164 cm long are actually lighter than the Helio 95's at 173 cm long? Are you sure? And also, that the Helio 95 173 cm long has a tighter turn radius and a quicker turn transition than the Reverts 164cm? I couldn't find specs on the swing weight for the Revert or the Helio 95 at 173 cm long- what data are you using? Just want to be sure I am understanding correctly. Thanks for your help!
Answer from jbo
Hi Kari, Jeff was saying the Helios are lighter and thus easier to swing around. Coupled with the shorter radius, it wouldn't be unmanageable for you at that length. But shorter would be better in a lot of situations too, with easier jump turns, kick turns, pack carry, etc.
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Question from Lucas
I'm looking for an all-round 100% backcountry ski for use most of the time in Colorado front range. I'm 6'0" and about 165 (plus 5-30 lbs in the pack). Use will range from casual winter low angle tours to spring tours to ski mountaineering. It seems like 95 underfoot is a good sweet spot? I know I'm tall, so it seems like the 183 length would be the natural choice, but is there any chance I could get away with the 173? A lot better on the pack and I'm guessing a tad more maneuverable.

I'm coming from Fischer Transalp 82s and ski/climb in the Alien RS and would prefer not to get another boot.
Answer from Patrick C

Great to hear from you! The Helio 95 is a great all around ski, but given your objectives and your Alien RS boot choice (a definite staff favorite) I would suggest the Helio 88 as an option. The thinner profile will be happier in spring conditions and won't overpower your boots. For length, if you stick with the 95 I would go for the 173cm. It will still have plenty of float, but be easier to handle in trees, or tight chutes. For the Helio 88 I would suggest the 178cm option to keep you floating mid-winter and happy on the skin track at your height. Feel free to email us at help@skimo.co if you have any further questions. All the best!

Patrick // Skimo Co
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Question from Jake
Hello, are there any changes for 2019/2020?
Answer from Jeff
Jake, according to BD the one change made was to the pre preg carbon layup. Changed to improve dampness and flex.
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Question from May
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?
Answer from TSB
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.
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Question from Allison
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!
Answer from Patrick C

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!
Answer from Allison R
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.
Answer from Patrick C
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!
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by Nat (downright abused product)
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.
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Question from Patrick
6'0", 170-175. Looking to replace my 180cm Voile Vectors with these for PNW volcanoes, ski mountaineering, multi-day traverses, dawn patrol tree skiing...is it stupid to consider 173?
Answer from jbo
Hi Patrick, that is definitely not stupid! I'm 6'1", 165 and really like the 173 for multipurpose usage. It's the sweet spot for me in everything but blower powder.
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Question from mike
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?
Answer from Jeff
Mike, Helios are a good choice for the Alps. Considering what you have been skiing, I would say the Helio 88 in a 178 cm would be a good choice.
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Question from Phil H
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.
Answer from Trace Leches
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.
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Question from Gordon
I just ordered BD Helio 95s in 163cm. What color are they? On your website I see both gray and red variants. I prefer red.

Order id: 67555.

Answer from Trace Leches
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.
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Question from Kie
What size do you recommend for 115lb 5’7”? Thanks.
Answer from Trace Leches
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.
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Question from Tony
Leaning toward 183cm version. 185lbs 5'10" . 60% backcountry 40% side country. East coast / VT primarily. Never skied Helio . Any thoughts on 173 vs 183 ?

Thanks ,

Answer from Nate
Hi Tony, I think I've answered your question below. Give us a shout if you have more questions.
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Question from Tony
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.
Answer from Nate
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.
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Question from Simon
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,
Answer from jbo
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.
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Question from Jerry
How are you sizing these? 5.7, 150 lbs
Answer from jbo
Hi Jerry, ideal length depends on planned usage. At your size I'd go with the 173 for all-around skiing, though you could get away with the shorter version for mountaineering.
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