Squeeze into the packed tram clutching the Black Diamond Women’s Element Ski in one hand and your ski poles in another. This slarvy big-mountain plank dwarfs the selection of skis around you and gets more than a few curious stares, but you don’t mind as all you can think about is steep and deep lines ahead. Black Diamond gave this women-specific ski a generous amount of rocker in its tip and tail, slight camber underfoot, and a 115mm waist so you can really shine on big-mountain lines, through steep trees, and, of course, in powder. Brought to you by the same twisted minds who crafted its brother in crime, the Men’s AMPerage, the Element features a reworked, women-specific flex pattern for more responsive turn initiation. If you’re worried about simply getting a dumbed-down version of the AMPerage model, you’ll be pleasantly surprised to learn that Black Diamond doesn’t believe in such nonsense. As a result the torsional stiffness of the Element is the same for the AMPerage–the available power doesn’t change, just the expected applied longitudinal force. Designed with Formula One 3D sandwich technology, the Element is built to handle higher torsional loads with ease for high-performance freeride results. Its 8mm ABS sidewalls provide durability and protection against mechanical damage or regular skier abuse. Made with a poplar 3D CNC wood core, the Element offers a good balance of pop (i. e., energy return) with a classic, smooth feel. To reduce weight while retaining strength, precision, and consistency in the Element, Black Diamond uses Pre-peg composite construction. Used primarily by the aerospace industry, pre-peg allows BD to control the exact amount of epoxy resin used in the Element and to maximize the fiber’s contribution to strength and stiffness. Oh, and this beauty of a powder ski features Power edges for superb freeride durability.