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Blizzard Bushwacker 2012 Review

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 


Length Tested: 166cm

Dimensions/Turn Radius:  123 88 108 TR: 18M

Camber (select one, delete the rest): Flipcore rocker, rocker tip and tail, camber underfoot.

Binding: Salomon STH 12 Oversize

Mount point: Suggested, on the line. (With the large amount of tip rocker I see no point in moving the binding further forward).


Environment & Conditions:

Location of Test: Fernie

Number of Runs: 40ish over the course of 2 days.

Snow Conditions: Hardpack, ice, soft groomers, powder, moguls, trees, chop.

Demo or Own: Own


Tester Info:

Username: tsk94

Age: 17

Height/Weight: 5'5" 110lbs

Ski Days/Season: 15-20

Years Skiing: 3rd this season

Aggressiveness: Aggressive

Current Quiver: Bushwackers

Home Area: Fernie

Preferred Terrain: off-piste






After literally months of deliberation I finally decided to pull the trigger on a pair of Bushwackers as basically a one-quiver ski. There is a lot of debate about having only 1 ski is a drawback, in some ways I agree, and in some I don't agree. I prefer to get used to a ski and that way become proficient with it in almost all conditions. Also being a student money is obviously limited so I don't have the liberty of having 2-3 pairs of skis.


Back to the review: Took place in Fernie BC, one hardpacked day, the next was 2 days after a big storm cycle, so a lot of powder was still too be found. Realistically I think Blizzard managed to create one of the most well rounded skis for a lighter weight skier, such as myself. Initiation very quick considering the large amount of rocker in the tip, very quick edge to edge for ~90mm ski. Edge grip on some of the hardest snow I've will ever ski in my area is really impressive, even on ice, applying the right amount of pressure and angulation and these can crave as well as any other ski I've ever used. On soft groomers these ski are really fun and quite playful, you can do basically any turn shape you like and that ski will respond accordingly.


One things I really like about these ski's is how Blizzard managed to create a ski with a decently large sweet spot, but maintaining a lot of response and aggressiveness through the feel of the ski. Even though they are fairly easy to use they definitely reward good technique and form. Not the most forgiving ski if you get in the back seat however. That being said I think Blizzard managed to make really great rocker design in the form of the Flipcore. Despite the large amount of tip rocker (for an 88mm ski) these are surprisingly stable, even when running flat on high speed run outs, this most likely is a result of the smooth rocker bend. 


One thing that made me really decide to go with these ski's was from Skiing magazines review of the Bushwacker (the same mag that rated the Cochise ski of the year). They tested the Bushwacker in the All-mountain, or narrow freeride ski's category. Skiing Magazine gave the Bushwacker top score in maneuverability and energy/liveliness in that category. Those along with 2nd best hard snow performance rating and the highest versatility again for that category swayed me to look for at these ski. I then went too about 3 local shops and talked to some a lot of people and after that finally decide to go with the 166 length in the BW.



At first I wasn't sure if I wanted to go with something that was in the 88mm category, but after some talking with local ski reps and shop owners I realized that for my weight I really wouldn't benefit from anything wider, being only 110lbs I don't need a very wide ski to still get good flotation in soft snow. And the narrower waist was a plus for moguls, and tights trees and little chutes that you always find yourself in off-piste at Fernie, so that being said I'm glad I went with the 88mm waist ski.


From great experience I had with these of groomers, and literally ice, or the closest thing to ice I will ever ski up here in BC, I was really excited to see how these would work in soft snow and off piste terrain. Getting off the prepared trail I went off piste and was able to find all sorts of different snow to test the skis in. Ranging from 20+cm of soft powder, chopped up powder, and windblown snow that was rock hard on top but once you broke through really soft (I don't know exactly what you call that, but it sure is tricky to ski). Getting the Bushwackers into some soft snow first thing you really notice is the flipcore rocker really working it's magic in the conditions it was made for. The low, but long rise really keeps your tips on top of fresh snow, even if you're still on aggressive and on the front of your boots, however this was in some shallower snow (5-10cm). Getting into deeper snow the sensation is similar the tips want to stay onto of the snow, but you have to ski more centered. The turn initiation in soft snow is quick and smooth, similar to the hardpack performance, and the slight rocker in the tail does help with turn exit. One thing I did notice was that in heavy snow, or that really hardpack soft underneath powder, the tail was a bit stubborn to release from the turn, I'm not sure if this is the flat tail rocker design, or the snow conditions. My guess is more the snow conditions, because in almost all others conditions turn release seemed very smooth, but a twin tip might be even easy, I'm not sure. I love how Blizzard was able to incorperate some powder ski feel, in a really take it anywhere freeride ski. The ability to transition from a craved to smeared/skidded turn or visa versa is just awesome and open up for turn opens, however it does take some getting used to. In trees and tight spots this ski is amazing maneuverability and quick once you find the sweet spot (which is fairly aggressive on the tips and driving the ski around, at least I found). Transitions are quick and smooth, easy to release, and shut down speed if needed. In moguls they work very nicely, the medium flex in the tip, then stiffer underfoot and in the tail allow to make quick smooth bushed turns in deeper bumps, and in smaller bumps they are really playful and fun. Off of a few airs I took they are light and easy to use while in the air, on hardpack landings the camber and slight rockered tail work well to provide a supported landing, in softer snow the flat rockered tail provides a lot of stability to land on.


I've probably forgotten to mention some things but after all this I can't really think of anything else :P, if you guys got any question feel free to ask.




Conclusion: playful, light, quick and nimble freeride ski that works well everywhere on the mountain, even on the hardest of hardpack.


Pros: nimble and quick in tight trees, feels light and playful in all snow conditions. Really surprising and good edge hold, 1 quiver ski. Rocker tip and tail (small in tail), flat tail.




Cons: I can see heavy people overpowering this ski easier then I could, not so much off piste, but possibly on hardpacked. Flat tail (both a pro and con).



Can't think of anything else at the moment, hope you guys learned something and enjoyed it. If you got any questions, ask away!






post #2 of 13
Thread Starter 



Had a chance last weekend to ski these in waist deep powder. About 50cm, up to 80cm in a few spots, or about 24-36inches of pow!


The long gradual tip rocker worked incredible in these conditions, sometimes in 25+ inches the tips wouldn't even be under the snow. They are so easy to maneuver in these conditions, much easier then they are in heavy crud. However you have to keep a more neutral stance, but that's expected in this much snow.


All in all a very versatile ski that works great in almost every condition I've encountered this season so far.

post #3 of 13
Did you have a chance to demo or even considered other skis? I'm about your height 5'5/6" but heavier 150lbs. The bushwacker is on my lis as well as the bonafide and also de new kabookie which is a 98 underfoot but more flexible than the bonafide as far as I know about it. I'm also wondering if I should go to 173cm instead of 166cm which was my first option but got a lot of folks here saying I probably should go longer... anyway, let me know what you were considering before making the call for the bushwacker. I ski mostly in Idaho
post #4 of 13

Not to start a new thread decided to ask my question here.


Here is a little bit about me: http://www.epicski.com/t/113401/ultimate-plan-for-learning-how-to-ski-powder


Male, 5'10'' 180 lbs, 26yo. Looking for an all-mountain ski and have a deal on the Bushwacker. My question is which size should i go with - 173 or 180?

post #5 of 13

It skis short. I'm 165, 6', liked the 180 for all-purpose duties, trees. BWPA (and it was his ski) prefers the 173 for bumps. Which I can see. May come down to your style and preferred terrain. But if you're thinking mostly open powder (which your other thread suggests), then IMO the 180 for sure. 

post #6 of 13

beyond, thanks for the answer. This ain't gonna be my powder ski )) I will be using it for softer cut up groomers, a few inches of powder off-piste and all in all it will be my everyday resort ski  - everything from mole hills to bigger slopes in Alps - but definitely not a dedicated powder ski.

post #7 of 13

I would go 180, this is supposed to be very easy skis to ski and soft, 180 would be good for you I guess

post #8 of 13

Thanks, you confirmed my thoughts - at least from reading the reviews they seem to be really user friendly.

post #9 of 13
Thread Starter 

They do ski short, but not as short as you'd think. The rocker in the tip is quite long, but is very low in height. So once you get the ski on edge, most of the rockered section is already on the snow.

post #10 of 13

With your weight and the regions you ski in, you may be better with a wider ski (Bonafide, Kabookie). For the BW- go 180 for sure. +1 on them skiing not as short as a true rocker ski. 

post #11 of 13
Hi guys, Greats reviews on the blizzard bushwacker!

I am also interested on buying the BW, problem is that I can't decide on the length ....

I'm 170cm height and 80kg weight, I ski 80/20 (groomers, crud, mix snow / off piste, pow ), adv. intermediate skill.

What length do you advise? 166? Or 173cm?

Thanks for any help...
post #12 of 13
Originally Posted by Manuel Carvalho View Post

Hi guys, Greats reviews on the blizzard bushwacker!

I am also interested on buying the BW, problem is that I can't decide on the length ....
I'm 170cm height and 80kg weight, I ski 80/20 (groomers, crud, mix snow / off piste, pow ), adv. intermediate skill.
What length do you advise? 166? Or 173cm?
Thanks for any help...

I believe you should go 173cm

post #13 of 13
Ok, thanks for the help. Are you happy with the 180 you got?
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