2011 Blizzard SLR Magnesium IQ Ski
|Lengths||153, 160, 167, 174|
|Turn Radius||13.5m @167cm.|
|Construction||IQ Sandwich Compound Sidewall|
|Binding System||IQ TP 12/14 Black|
|Recommended Use||Frontside groomers|
|Sidecut||121 / 68 / 105|
Blizzard SLR IQ: 68mm underfoot, a bit softer than the GSR IQ, tested in 167cm. Again, the “consumer race” slalom in Blizzard's lineup.
1st day: manmade, hard snow at Winter Park, at the US industry demo. Definitely the skis of choice for these days: most everyone was ripping around on frontside type skis, and I don't think I have ever seen such a high concentration of reallygood skiers (like ex-World or Europa Cup level) in one place. These conditions were made for the skis tested here; a good carver makes a bulletproof day a hell of a lot of fun. Definitely the most fun skis, especially on that kevlar-vest like groomer down to the base area, were the most powerful, pseudo-race skis. We all had big grins on our faces.
2nd day was in mostly softer snow and groomers, at Alpine Meadows. These skis still performed well (4 inches of crud isn't going to slow down a frontside type ski), although it wasn't the pure hard snow of Winter Park.
3rd day was mostly hard snow (rain over snow, then frozen) with some crud thrown in. Pretty good conditions to test out edge hold, although the snow wasn't as predictable as the 1st and 2nd demo. Still worth demoing these skis though, especially on groomers.
About me: 5 foot 9, 155lbs, competent all-mountain skier, and could zipper-line expert-level bumps for the first time in my life by early spring. Probably ski 40-50 days per year. I tend to enjoy big open, high speed bowls, bumps, trees, fast groomers. My skiing speed is fast to full-on.
This ski was a whole lot more forgiving than the GSR IQ. I would say it was on the order of around 10% stiffer than the Supersonic: it demanded more of the skier, but wasn't a gates-only ski. I found that it hooked up early, and when engaged cleanly, really pulled me into the turn. That big tip loves to hook up. It is plenty stiff enough for the rock-hard snow we were on, stability was excellent. I really found it to be a touch more stable than the Supersonic, but mostly, it wanted to be pushed harder and driven more. It was a hell of a carver: even more pop in the tail compared to the Supersonic, but just forgiving enough that I didn't mistake it for a pure race stock machine. Again, no real speed limit, as long as I kept it on edge. It would slide around without enough edge angle: it required early and aggressive edge, as well as enough speed to bend the tip: hit that, and I was golden, running railroad arcs down some pretty firm, steep snow. All 3 of the Blizzard skis felt very similar; they are made for business, and meant for good skiers. That is one thing about this company: they put out good skis, for good skiers, with a minimum of marketing gimmicks or faddy add-ons. There isn't a ski in the lineup that doesn't hit its target.
The SLR IQ is a great ski that would be an excellent frontside machine, with a touch of versatility.