I had a long chat with Tom the founder of OGSO skis before the season started about ski design and the brand. He said that he would send me some ski’s and I should ski them if I didn’t like then no prob's I could keep them and we would go our separate ways; but if I liked them then I could review and promote them through my site, which I have to say is a very honest way of starting out and makes it easy to give an honest review.
You may not of heard of OGSO they started in 2015 so are a new kid on the block. Tom the founder has a strong background in mountaineering and ski mountaineering including a few 8000m peaks so you know he is the real deal. He wants to make the best skis for touring, mountaineering and back country, and they have a simple yet clever set of options for skis; they essentially make four models of skis, a full rocker in a carbon light and medium light and a more traditional camber in a carbon light and medium light. Once you have your shape and weight you pick the width, for example the schwarztor 100 range starts at 100 underfoot, (the range is scaled so as you increase ski size, so the tip, tail and waist go up in scale as well). This makes it really easy to choose your ski. They name all their skis after classic ski line which is cool,apart from when you get one you really feel you need to go and ski that line.
The Schwarztor is a Carbon light, fully rockered ski; I have the 186cm length which has the following spec’s
Weight – 1.575Kg
Here are the full specs - http://ogso-mountain-essentials.com/skis/schwarztor-100-sr-ul/
I mounted a set of fritschi vipec evo binding to these skis, it’s worth noting that these skis don’t have marker for middle of boot to fix the binding, so make sure you follow the mounting spec’s that can be found on the website.
The weight is very light for the size of ski to give you some examples to compare it with:
1.555kg DPS PAGODA tour 106 (184cm)
1.830Kg Elan Ripstick 106, (181cm)
2.000Kg Rossignol BLACKOPS SENDER 106 (186cm)
2.040Kg DPS Alchemist Wailer 106 C2 (184cm)
Flex – they are quite a soft flex at the tip and tail and then have cross sections of carbon in the middle to give it stiffness over all, for me I would say a medium – soft flex.
What better way than to test a full rocker ski than a powder day. And the first few tours were great powder days, both trips we were the first up so we were breaking trail. My last skis were 95 underfoot and 170g lighter but I didn’t notice the slight increase in weight, even when taking my turn putting the trace in, they feel well balanced.
The down,first thoughts are how easy they are to ski, I know a 106 underfoot with a big early rising shovel should be easy in powder but there not always, with the Schwarztor straight from the first turn these felt so natural and very easy to turn. They also feel super forgiving; I have had these skis for a few weeks but not managed to get out due to an old back injury coming back, but with a powder day in store, sore back or not I was going out. It did however mean that I was skiing quite defensively, so not always on the front of them but as these skis have quite a big sweet spot forward or upright stances both work well and they don’t punish you if you do drop back a bit. When you do drive them they respond well you are never going to bury those tips and the flex feels good they are not floppy but full of energy.
So first impressions are very good, especially when you compare the price to a similar spec ski. I can’t wait to get them out and try them on different snow and terrain, and I will update this review as the season goes on, to build a complete picture.
If you want more details about these skis or others in their range check out their site