2011 Blizzard The One IQ Max Ski
|Lengths||156, 163, 170, 177, 184|
|Turn Radius||17.5m @ 170 cm.|
|Construction||Core: Wood Core Base: P-Tex 2000 Edge: 60 CK Steel Topsheet: High Resistant Gloss|
|Binding System||IQ Max slider|
|Recommended Use||Off piste, big lines, and groomers|
Blizzard The One: 170cm and 177cm
New ski for 2011, a bit of camber underfoot, rockered tip and tail, no metal in this ski, 98mm. waist, big sidecut.
- Lengths/sizes Tested: 170 and 177 cm.
- Location of review: Mt. Bachelor
- Runs Taken: 3 to 4 including one bump run
- Demo or Own: Demoed, but own the ski
- Other skis/boots/product tested/own: Pretty much everything out there.
Hardpack, some slushy spring-like corn, no new snow, some firm windpack, cordouroy groomers, one bump run per ski. Plenty of off-piste, challenging snow to deal with, just what a 98mm ski was designed for.
- Age: 33
- Height/Weight: 5 foot 9, 155lbs
- Average days on snow: 30-50 days/year
- Years Skiing: 23
- Aggressiveness: aggressive all-mountain, like to ski fast, enjoy all terrain, especially off-piste skiing and bumps; groomers are fun too.
First off, in 170cm, this ski was completely unlike what I expected. I was looking for an extremely turny ski that I could overpower easily, due to the short running length and short surface. What I got instead was a thrilling power carver that felt like a detuned, wide slalom ski. It ripped on groomers, very energetic, quite powerful tail, aggressive in feel. As predicted, it wasn’t too comfortable being run flat; it seems to search for edge angle and loves being there. This ski has a light, lively feel with plenty of snap and power. When tipping it onto edge, the Slicer progressively engages, whereas The One hooks up immediately and pulls you across the fall line. Stability was on par with the Slicer. It was a great groomer ski, and felt more like a softer Magnum 8.7 than say, an Atlas. Great ski here, totally out of the blue for a short ski. In 177cm, it became still powerful, but less snappy, had less energy, a touch more stability, but mainly, lost the slalom character. It was still above average in terms of energy and power for a 98mm ski (way more energy than say an MX98) but not the full-on fun carver the 170cm was. Still, a lot of fun, compares well to my Magnum 8.1. The Magnum gets the edge in terms of absolute stability, predictability, and edgehold, but they really aren’t that far apart.
Taken into the bumps, The One was not quite as good as the Dynastar 6th Sense Slicer or the Fischer Watea 98. I figured the 170cm would rip the bumps, but the tail and tip were a bit too aggressive here. Granted, these are HORRIBLE bumps: hard, frozen, oddly formed, with postholes down the center (snowboarders boot pack out of there) and skied for test purposes only. They aren’t fun like normal bumps (of which we have none). Anyways, the 170cm was just a little too aggressive, and put me in the backseat more than once. The 177cm was somehow more predictable, as I had more ski to load up and more length to work with; it was more along the lines of the Slicer in the bumps. I guess all that energy that I experienced on the groomers had to go somewhere, and energy isn’t always your friend in bumps. Still workable, only slightly worse than my Blizzard Magnum 8.1 in the bumps.
Off-piste, this ski again was solid. It had great float in soft snow, and when dropping into the Cirque, even the 170cm knew no speed limit in sloppy, wet chunky snow. I had to ski cleaner on the short ski, staying more centered, but it really did rip at speed. On the steeps, it smoothed out the terrain, was really quick, and piloted right around frozen lumps of snow, and down below, really allowed me to open up the throttle. The 177cm was more of the same, but even better here. It had a bit of snap, and required more attention than the Slicer did, but rewarded you with a powerful finish and a high fun factor. Edgehold on the steeps (it was wind-packed and scratchy, and the upper section hits over 40 degrees) was solid and reliable (this is the same pitch where I thought the Gotama had a contract out on my life, when testing it last year). Stability was on par with the 181cm Slicer, but it felt completely different. The Slicer had a very smooth, snow-hugging, damp character, and The One was literally exploding from the snow at the end of each turn. I found The One to be the most demanding of the 3 skis tested, although suitable for any decent intermediate and up. It was a very fun ski. Perfect for those looking for a 50/50 ski with a traditional, high-energy Blizzard feel that is solid everywhere.
Feedback from demo customers had been mixed: some love it, some found it to be too much ski and too aggressive.
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