On January 5, 2016

Welcome to the test track, the 2016 ski line

By Tony Crespi

Editor’s note: Contributing writer Tony Crespi is a professional ski tester. Each year he demos many skis for many companies and shares his insight about the new lines each company has to offer. This week he features Blizzard. For past features visit mountaintimes.info and search “ Crespi.”

The 2016 Blizzard ski line

Over the past few years Blizzard skis’ solid edge grip and powerful performance have converted countless skiers. A perennial favorite for the testers,  what started as a small niche brand has become a benchmark for excellence. In fact—dare we say this—these skis are so impressive I chose to use Blizzard skis for my personal free runs during testing. Now, with 44 models this line is as deep as, well, a blizzard.

Freeride All Mountain series

Spur. The 125mm waisted Spur is the widest in this series, a flat choice for those seeking a personal binding choice. That 125mm waist is built for powder and off-piste. The turn radius is 28.5 m – for big arcs. What’s your speed limit?

Waist: 125 mm. One Length: 189cm

Bodacious. The 118mm waisted Bodacious has been a popular offering in this series, coming flat. The 118mm waist was once the widest in the series and is also built for powder and off-piste. If I lived in the West it would be in my quiver. The turn radius is 27 m – for big arcs.

Waist:  118mm. Lengths: 177, 185, 193.

Cochise. The 108mm waisted Cochise uses a 27 m radius.  With beautiful blue graphics it seems more versatile then its older siblings while still offering a wide platform for off-piste performance.

Waist: 108mm. Lengths: 171,178,185,192.

Bonafide. The Bonafide has a 98 mm waist and a 21 m radius. It arcs. It holds with amazing grip. Truly this is an extraordinary all-mountain ski. Perfect for the West. Ideal for those who venture off piste East or West.

Waist: 98mm. Lengths: 166, 173, 180, 187.

Brahma.  This ski has been stunning. With that 88 mm waist it demonstrates surprising edge grip. And with a 19 m radius it is surprising versatile. Honestly, it holds beautifully here in the East and will appeal to those seeking this kind of wide all mountain ski.

Waist: 88mm; Lengths: 166, 173, 180, 187

The High Performance Series

This series seems designed for high powered frontside skiers looking for maximum grip and performance on hard snow. With waists ranging from 70mm to 75mm these grip the hardpack like Velcro, turn almost effortlessly, and use an integrated ski/binding interface designed to marry  Marker Bindings with specific design characteristics.  If seeking a front side carver, these merit a test ride.

SRC Racing. The SRC is a classic sandwich construction blending wood and titanium with a 70mm waist for fast edge initiation. With a 13m radius this suggests a strong slalom type heritage for those seeking a fast turning tool. For those seeking race-like performance for front side carving or recreational racing the SRC Racing is a powerful mountain partner.

Waist: 70mm  Lengths: 156, 160, 165, 170, 175

RC Ti .  The RC Ti  boasts a nice 14.5m radius turn inside a wood sandwich construction boasting titanium as well as a compound sidewall. With a 71mm waist this carver seems ideal for front side cruisers seeking a versatile tool capable of a range of turn shapes while offering fabulous edge grip.

G Power FS. The G Power FS will appear as updated ski well known to those seeking a powerful all mountain powerhouse.  Using ICC Technology which integrates carbon fiber in the tip and tail to create additional torsional strength,  uses the IQ System which integrates a rail into the core to truly integrate ski and binding, ands uses a full suspension system to enhance edge grip and reduce vibration. With a 75mm waist and 13.5m radius it carves like a razor. What’s your power quotient? This skied the test track like a race track.

Waist: 75mm, Lengths: 167,174, 181.

All Mountain – Frontside

The All-mountain frontside comprises a large collection of skis for frontside skiers seeking a high band of performance while not necessarily desiring race type performance.

Power S8.  The Power S8 lacks the long arms in the front and rear seen in the G Power FS sibling, something many racers  have requested, but remains a powerful ski. In fact, I found this a fabulous benchmark as it holds like Velcro while turning almost effortlessly.  With IQ, Suspension, a compound sidewall, and an appealing 72mm waist, this is a fabulous day ski for those seeking a high performance cruiser in a more forgiving package.  The smile factor? It was off the scale.

Power X8. The Power X8 uses a 81mm waist with a 16m radius arc. With stunning back and orange graphics this is ideal for those looking for that wider waist balanced with titanium for solid edge grip. It’s strong. Uses the IQ System and has versatility. It’s almost an ideal one ski quiver.

Power X7 Ti .With that 77mm waist and Ti construction this seemed a great blend for Eastern skiers.  Like all Blizzards, it boasts solid edge grip, was well-tuned from the factory, and was versatile. Let’s take another run. It deserves a second test flight.

Power X7.  With a 77mm waist but without titanium to enhance versatility for those seeking less demanding performance,  this was made for intermediates and low key experts seeking a great ski at an amazing price. The 13.5m radius is playful, and the black and green graphics are appealing. It’s fun. Fast. And affordable!

Power X4.  This black and red ski uses a 73mm waist and 13m radius arc in a forgiving frame. The X4 is remarkably versatile and could appeal to emerging intermediates while offering power for those developing new skill sets.

Personal Pick: I like the Power S8 for versatility in a performance package but when I skied the RC Ti? I couldn’t stop grinning with its penchant for high powered action.

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