My family and I spent the MLK weekend in Sun Valley. As Snowbasin season ticket holders, being able to ski a few days in Sun Valley every year has been our favorite side benefit of owning our passes. The town and hills were pretty empty and we experienced much better skiing up there than we had in Utah prior to the recent storms. Sun Valley and Snowbasin apparently share the same technology in their snowmaking systems but in Sun Valley they generally only need to cover grass and bushes on a lot of the runs whereas Snowbasin is quite rocky. Accordingly, most of the mountain was open in Sun Valley and we were not confined to a few open areas as we had been at Snowbasin. It was easily the best skiing we had experienced to that point of the year. I also got a chance to do a half day demo (for free) of both the Blizzard Bonafide (187) and the Head iPeak 84 Pro (184). For reference I am approximately 6’ 4”, weigh about 215lbs, and usually gravitate to skis that are heavier, race derived skis (an old pair of white Gotamas are my most playful skis). The conditions were primarily firm manmade snow with a little loose snow in places where the snowguns were blowing. Both skis looked and felt like they were tuned well but I did not closely examine the edges. Long story short, I thought they were both excellent and would happily own either. The Bonafide is enough different than the other skis I own that I have decided to pick up a pair (addiction rather than need). At this point I guess it is no longer a “free” demo.
I first tried the Head iPeak 84. I own the Monster 78 and 82 and still ski on the Monster 78 fairly regularly so I both like and have a good point of reference for Head skis. It felt very familiar and was a strong competent ski like the Heads I own. I would also say it is net improvement over the Monsters in that it is much easier to ski but still a powerful, versatile ski. The flow ride tip (I think that is what it is called) really made it ski easier in the small moguls we found in a few places. I suspect it would be (again like the Monsters) a really nice ski in a lot of conditions but could not really test it in crud or powder. While I would love to have a pair (that doesn’t sound right), I decided not to pursue them simply because I have similar skis. If I had, I would try to ski it side by side with the Peak 90 and Rock ‘n Roll to see which would best suit my needs (see Dawgcatching’s reviews of all three). By the way, it is a good looking ski to my taste (my kids thought so also).
I took the Blizzard Bonafide out in the afternoon. I wanted to try a flipcore ski based on all the buzz I have read about them and I also wanted to see if a mildly rockered ski could really be a good carving ski. Turns out, it could—really well in fact. The Heads were still more suitable for the conditions but I was really surprised how well the Bonafides carved. They are also very quick for a 98 mm ski and liked to make any of a wide variety of turns. The turning radius feels a lot shorter than the over 21m the 187 specs out to. I wonder if the calculated radius takes into account the fact that the skis are already somewhat pre-bent? I thought they were a blast to ski and would make a great travel ski (which is the only time I would really need to think about a 1 or 2 ski quiver). I also liked them enough that I decided to buy a pair (still doesn't sound right) which I guess is the ultimate endorsement. I am making an educated guess that they will be good in crud (more important) and powder (less important since I would likely pick another ski on a pure powder day). All in all, a fun day.