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For those who don't know, black crows is a small brand that started out 10 years ago in the birthplace of steepskiing, Chamonix, France. Camille Jaccoux and Bruno Compagnet (along with Julien Regnier, who also shaped the iconic Armada JJ) have done an amazing job designing skis that can handle everything Cham can throw at a skier (which, having skied there many times, is one hell of an array of different conditions). The Anima, new for the 2015-2016 season, is their take on a stiffer, slightly narrower, long radius big mountain charger. Very stiff under the bindings, and very progressive in the tip and tail, this ski has absolutely no speed limit whether its in the pow or on the groomers. The large amount of camber underfoot pairs up with its progressive sidecut, meaning that when the ski is on edge more of it is engaged, giving more traction and really holding a beautiful edge. In pow, the stiff flex enables it to charge big faces or straightline anything. The progressive tip and tail means that it can also butter and play around really well too. For me, I found it difficult to control at medium and slow speeds, and also in tight places. This is not a ski to buy if you enjoy skiing tight trees or narrow couloirs, unless you plan on not turning. It is a big mountain ski that is most at home making long turns, dropping big cliffs, and straightlining through anything you can throw at it. Buy a pair and go full-wingspan!