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Blizzard Viva 7.6 vs 8.1 and other women advanced skis

post #1 of 28
Thread Starter 

Demo day at Mt Snow today - WOO HOO!!  And it's time for new skis for MBC.

 

I've done a lot of homework this summer and decided it's time to move from a race type setup to more of an all mountain ski.  We ski mostly in New England with the semi regular annual trip out west.

 

My current ski: 2004 Fischer RX8 115/66/98 R12 I loved this ski in its day but I'm older, they are heavy and have no "pop" left that I fell in love with years ago.  Also I've heard so many good things about the state of women's skis I decided to try them.  I'm thinking I want to go a little wider underfoot without losing my tight turns on the groomers and maybe a little more stability in the powder.

 

I went to demo day wanting to try the Blizzard Viva 8.1 121/81/106 R15 (amongst others) but they did not have it.  So I tried the following skis arranged in favorite order:

 

Blizzard 7.6 122/76/106 R13

Nordica Cinnamon Girl 124/74/107 R13.5

Dynastar Eden 85 126/85/110 R16

Nordica Infinite 127/80/110 R12

 

And the only one I did not like the Line Celebrity 90 125/90/113 R14.2

 

So now I can try the 8.1s but I'll have to wait a few weeks (various reasons).  The 7.6s are rated as "intermediate" and the 8.1s are rated as "expert."  So on paper, what is it about the 8.1 that makes it a more advanced ski?  I get that its a little stiffer and the sweet spot is probably smaller but is that it?

 

I've run the numbers so much I've confused myself LOL.

 

Oh and I'm also open to other demo suggestions :)

 

Thanks.

post #2 of 28

Often times it is the marketing dept. that decides what is an intermediate or expert ski.  I have skied the mens version of the Viva 76, the 7.6 Mag and both have the same IQ binding system.  It is also marketed as an intermediate ski but honestly I liked it better than the 8.1.  It was a very fun ski.  I couldn't out ski it as I have other "intermediate skis".  If no one had told me it was an intermediate ski, I would have thought it was an advanced to low expert ski.   The women we have sold this ski to in our shop tell us the same.  I think it could be a perfect eastern ski for a strong female skier who likes to rip groomers and it is just wide enough to handle some mixed conditions while exploring some mild off piste trails.

 

You have already skied it and loved it so forget the marketing dept and go with your gut, or feet as the case may be.

 

Good luck,

 

Rick G

post #3 of 28

The flex and dimensions for the Viva 8.1 are designed for varied terrain, which is presumably something that an advanced/expert skier will be apt to ski.

The great news is that it skis great on groomers, but also loves to rock the trees, bumps and crud.

Enjoy!

post #4 of 28
Thread Starter 

You guys both confirmed what my gut was telling me - the 7.6 was so much fun - but my curiosity will kill me if I buy them without at least trying the 8.1!

 

Rick any thoughts on the Ultrasonic which (for marketing) sits right between those two?

 

THANKS!


Edited by MtnBikerChk - 12/18/11 at 3:02am
post #5 of 28

I just spent the past two days on the Viva 8.1 and couldn't stop smiling!

Since I've been skiing the Blizzard Black Pearl as my daily driver and have pretty much stuck to it no matter the conditions, I'd forgotten just how much fun the Viva 8.1 can be.  No worries.........two turns into the run and it reminded me. biggrin.gif

post #6 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trekchick View Post

I just spent the past two days on the Viva 8.1 and couldn't stop smiling!

Since I've been skiing the Blizzard Black Pearl as my daily driver and have pretty much stuck to it no matter the conditions, I'd forgotten just how much fun the Viva 8.1 can be.  No worries.........two turns into the run and it reminded me. biggrin.gif



I gotta trust someone named Treckchick though don't I? :)

 

Madone family right here!

post #7 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by MtnBikerChk View Post

You guys both confirmed what my gut was telling me - the 7.6 was so much fun - but my curiosity will kill me if I buy them without at least trying the 8.1!

 

Rick any thoughts on the Ultrasonic which (for marketing) sits right between those two?

 

THANKS!


Where the 7.6 and 8.1's are closer to your mountain bike in feel, the SuperSonic is like your road bike, smooth, fast and efficient. The Supersonic has the suspension system from Blizzards GS skis and their men's "-Power" skis. If you are building a quiver the Supersonic would be a great addition as a hard snow biased ski but if you are looking more for a one ski to mo more, the 7.6 and 8/1 have bigger sweet spots. The Viva 8.1 is the stronger of the two skis here discussed and will reward the more powerful skier and technically proficient skier. I do think the addition of the early rise has not so much taken the claws out of the Viva 8.1 (some did feel it was overly powerful in years past) but more so gave it a manicure.  

 

post #8 of 28

Trek Mt bikes here, currently the Fuel8.

Haven't been on it since July though because I had a teensy weensy crash and had to heal up for ski season.

 

post #9 of 28

Viva 8.1 IQ vs the Viva 7.6 IQ    The 8.1 has a multiple layers of wood, the 7.6 has 2 wood stringers.  The side walls of the 8.1 are wood and compound sidewall while the 7.6 has a compound sidewall without wood.   The 8.1 has an added layer of metal along with a IQ Max binding toe piece.

 

I ski the Magnum 8.1 and had a G force supersonic.  I personally love the Magnum 8.1, for the grip, ease of turning with the Max binding.  

post #10 of 28
Thread Starter 

OH man - now I'm so itchin to try the 8.1s!!  I'll keep you posted - thanks for the help - and Trek chick glad you healed up!!

post #11 of 28

MBC, I have skied both the 7.6 and 8.1 in the men's version. If you are a lighter finesse skier you will enjoy the 7.6, if you are a more powerful skier, perhaps the 8.1. I own the men's 7.6, just found it a little more playful and less demanding. Demo the 8.1 and it will help you figure it out first hand, I guarantee you that you will be happy with either however.   Dave

post #12 of 28

Just skied my new 8.1's for the 1st time yesterday at Killington. Great conditions, by the way, they have done a fanastic job up there. I have been to a couple of demos this year, and were impressed with the Blizzard line so much that I ended up buying a pair. Also tried the Bonafides and the Magnum 8.7's, which I also liked a lot. But the 8.1's were my best choice for my everyday eastern ski. And they kept a smile on my face all day in very condition. It was cold up there, in the single digits, so the groomed runs were hard packed but edgeable snow. They had also made a ton of snow that was very light and fluffy because it was so cold, and had left some trails ungroomed, which were a lot of fun. And on some trails that the guns were still running on, there were lots of big powder bumps forming, so it really was a blast to ski. The 8.1's have fantastic edge grip, and are fairly powerful, but yet they have a light feel to them and are easy to ski, if that makes any sense. And I was impressed by the fact that after skiing in very variable conditions for the better part of the day, my legs were still fresh. Some high performance skis can wear you down in conditions like that, but not these. I talked with a few women at the demos I went to that had tried the ladies version, and they all had very positive things to say, I never heard anyone, male or female that didn't like them. I also see that the 8.1 was one of the highest rated woman's skis over on Peter Keelty's site (realskiers.com). It's just a fun ski. If you're any kind of a decent skier, I really don't see how you can go wrong with them.

post #13 of 28
Thread Starter 

ok now I'm sorry I started this thread because it's Monday morning and I'm jumping out of my skin itching to GO SKIING and try them out!!

 

:)

post #14 of 28

How often do you ski ?

 

Are you  a high level skier, 7, 8 or 9 ?

 

You should also try the Volkl Kenja. Most of us high end guy's are on 82-88 waist ski's here in the east. A buddy's wife, all 5ft 105lbs of her likes her Burn'in Lov's but for most day's she's on her Tough Lov's because they handle the variable conditions better. She keeps up with up or leads us through the bumps.

 

If your fit and confident, go wider. If you need take a lesson and learn proper skills. These new 82-88 waist skis are great.

 

I guess you have checked out this site ?

 

http://www.theskidiva.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=1

 

 

 

post #15 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Max Capacity View Post

How often do you ski ?

 

Are you  a high level skier, 7, 8 or 9 ?

 

You should also try the Volkl Kenja. Most of us high end guy's are on 82-88 waist ski's here in the east. A buddy's wife, all 5ft 105lbs of her likes her Burn'in Lov's but for most day's she's on her Tough Lov's because they handle the variable conditions better. She keeps up with up or leads us through the bumps.

 

If your fit and confident, go wider. If you need take a lesson and learn proper skills. These new 82-88 waist skis are great.

 

I guess you have checked out this site ?

 

http://www.theskidiva.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=1

 

 

 


Days skied a year - varies year to year - at least 25

 

I've been skiing for 30 years - I think I'm ok at it.

 

Why do I have to take a lesson to fit into skis?  Can't I find skis that fit the way I ski?  I feel like I have.

 

post #16 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Max Capacity View Post

How often do you ski ?

 

Are you  a high level skier, 7, 8 or 9 ?

 

You should also try the Volkl Kenja. Most of us high end guy's are on 82-88 waist ski's here in the east. A buddy's wife, all 5ft 105lbs of her likes her Burn'in Lov's but for most day's she's on her Tough Lov's because they handle the variable conditions better. She keeps up with up or leads us through the bumps.

 

If your fit and confident, go wider. If you need take a lesson and learn proper skills. These new 82-88 waist skis are great.

 

I guess you have checked out this site ?

 

http://www.theskidiva.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=1

 

 

 



To say that in order to be a high end skier you have to be on a wider ski is pretty silly. That's like saying that there are no expert skiers that ski at Okemo just because of the lack of expert terrain. While it's true that a good skier can ski on any ski, it's equally true that a high percentage of the skiing population would be better off skiing on a ski that is better suited to the type of terrain they normally ski on. I personally don't see why someone that skis at Okemo needs to be on an 88mm ski. But that's just my opinion. I demoed both the Blizzard Magnum 8.7 and 8.1, and loved them both. I chose the 8.1 because it's better suited to my skiing style, type of terrain I normally ski on, and personal preference. And that's what MtnBikerChk's decision should be based on.  It has nothing to do with fitness, confidence, or the need to take a lesson. And it certainly shouldn't have anything to do with someone else's perceived notion of what it takes to be a "high end guy."

 

post #17 of 28

I've skied the 7.6 men's version for a few years now and absolutely love it.  When I started on them I was probably more of a level 5 and now I'm more of a level 7-8 skier and quite a bit more in shape.  I historically been leveling up my skies every couple years as I've gotten better, however, I haven't felt that need with the 7.6.  The 7.6 is fun, quick, and stable at speed on east cost hard pack.  I personally think it's stiff enough for a good recreational skier.  

 

On the other hand, I don't take my 7.6 out west where I usually ski more off piste bumps and ungroomed.  I have done once and they really just weren't my favorite for quickness in bumps and flotation.  I ended up renting most of the time on that trip.  I just prefer a softer wider ski in those conditions but probably a better skier would be fine with the 7.6.  

 

 

post #18 of 28
Thread Starter 

I ended up taking the leap of faith and I ordered the 8.1s.  With any luck I'll have them for this weekend - if there is any snow left here after the rain :(

I'll let you know my impressions!!

post #19 of 28
Thread Starter 

Well here it is - my first impression:

 

Let me start by saying conditions SUCK in New England and I picked arguably the WORST day to try to new skis.  It rained Saturday so we bagged skiing all together.  Took them out Sunday and it was so thin I actually put them back in my locker and took out my new rock skis at lunch (formerly my only skis and to which all other skis are compared - my Fischer rx8s).

 

1. It doesn't feel like a 81mm underfoot - which is exactly what I wanted - something that will turn fast but still have some width for powder skiing!

2. It turns quickly although not quiet as snappy as the 7.4 which I expected

3. I get chatter on the icy groomers when driving hard which I was not expecting and so far this is my only disappointment

 

Like I've probably mentioned before the reason I've stayed away from women's skis until now is they've always lacked a feeling of stability and have been wishy washy if that makes sense - probably a function of weight savings.

 

Bottom line it feels as though I got exactly what I wanted on paper.  Now I need some FRIGGIN SNOW to see if the things I sacrificed were worth the payoff for really good conditions.

 

We are headed to Utah in a few weeks and it figures they don't have much snow either.  Isn't it like the year you buy a snowblower it never snows?  Must be the same with skis.

post #20 of 28

I'm a little surprised that you found it to be chattery, but then you may have the binding set on a different mount point. 

That particular system ski has two holes to set the system bindings at, one is a cm fwd.

 

I've been skiing the 8.1 as a teaching ski and feel like I'm getting what I need to out of it, even at a size shorter than I'd usually get.

I'm skiing it as my hard snow ski, and my Black Pearls as my daily driver/off piste ski - not that I've had a chance to go off piste this season.frown.gif

 

As for the snappy nature of the 7.6, I'm not surprised.  I'd still say that is one of the most underrated skis in any of the women's skis out there.

 

 

post #21 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trekchick View Post

I'm a little surprised that you found it to be chattery, but then you may have the binding set on a different mount point. 

That particular system ski has two holes to set the system bindings at, one is a cm fwd.

 

I've been skiing the 8.1 as a teaching ski and feel like I'm getting what I need to out of it, even at a size shorter than I'd usually get.

I'm skiing it as my hard snow ski, and my Black Pearls as my daily driver/off piste ski - not that I've had a chance to go off piste this season.frown.gif

 

As for the snappy nature of the 7.6, I'm not surprised.  I'd still say that is one of the most underrated skis in any of the women's skis out there.

 

 


can I tell by looking at it which mount the bindings are using?  1cm sounds so slight I'd miss it!

 

post #22 of 28

You can't really tell when you look at the ski visually, unless you can see where the center mark is on the ski.

You can ask the guy who set up the demo and have him check.  Its an easy switch to make on that particular ski.

 

post #23 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trekchick View Post

You can't really tell when you look at the ski visually, unless you can see where the center mark is on the ski.

You can ask the guy who set up the demo and have him check.  Its an easy switch to make on that particular ski.

 



it's not a demo - I own them!

post #24 of 28

I run Head iM78s with bindings on a Railflex system.  On hard days I move the bindings to the 1.5cm forward option, which quickens up turn initiation and makes turns feel a little tighter.  When things soften up, or after some new snow, I move the bindings back to centre.  I've not tried them at 1.5cm back from centre.  Worth a try with your IQ bindings. 

 

Have fun.

post #25 of 28

I really enjoy the Kenja's, so far skied on them 3 days, all groomer stuff though, haven't had any snow yet to test them on actual powder, but I'm loving them on groomers and crud so far! They don't even scare me at all in ice, I can keep control very easily and they really carve well. 
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Max Capacity View Post

 

 

You should also try the Volkl Kenja. Most of us high end guy's are on 82-88 waist ski's here in the east. A buddy's wife, all 5ft 105lbs of her likes her Burn'in Lov's but for most day's she's on her Tough Lov's because they handle the variable conditions better. She keeps up with up or leads us through the bumps.

 



 

post #26 of 28

 

I recently purchased the Blizzard Viva 7.6 ski. I love them!

(Our demo center didn't have the 8.1 either)

I tried Salomon, K2, Atomic, and Rossi's, but came come back

to the Blizzard.  I'm female, in my 50's and ski mostly groomed

trails. (Upstate NY) They are so much fun, and so much livelier

than my old Volants, I can't believe the difference.  They are

much lighter, but seem so stable and solid....easy to turn and

they edge beautifully.  I'm athletic, but not super aggressive,

stilling learning some technical aspects.  I pick my skis by feel

alone and they feel great!!!  I smile every time I go down the hill.

 

post #27 of 28

Welcome to EpicSki! 

So glad to hear that you found a sweet spot for the Viva's

 

post #28 of 28

7.7 Ti vs. 7.6 Viva vs. 8.1?  I've had the 7.6 since 2010; feel like I might be beginning to overpower them.  If I had to choose 7.7 ti or 8.1, what would you advise?  These would be for teaching, primarily, and groomer skiing.  I have the Black Pearls and love them for other things.

 

JaneB

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