EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › Member Gear Reviews › Preview/Review: 2013 Blizzard Gunsmoke from Philpug & Dawg
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Preview/Review: 2013 Blizzard Gunsmoke from Philpug & Dawg

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 

 

Preview:

POWDER! Blizzard has expanded its flip core technology past it's Bullicious line to a more powder specific model, the Gunsmoke. When you look at the GS on paper, you would think that it is an overlap model to it's brothers The Cochise and Bodacious but the only similarities to these skis is that they are made by Blizzard and are designed on their flip core technology. The feel of the Gunsmoke is totally different than the Cochise or Bodacious, the Gunsmoke uses carbon for spring and pop where the other two use metal to dampen for smoothness. It is just a matter of what flavor you are looking for. Personally, I prefer a ski with more pop and playfulness in THIS category. I was looking for a resort powder ski that in playful in the trees, like pillow drops, and long smeary turns on the beach (A-Basin's beach) to a ski that wants to charge all the time. 

 

 

Review:

Well, after a few weeks of marginal Tahoe snow, I finally had a chance to ski the new Gonsmoke in it's INTENDED conditions...POWDER!  It was funny, I was listening to my iPod and just as I was getting off the lift a very appropriate song came on, Ghost Rider in the Sky sung by the man in black, Johnny Cash. I headed over to the backside of Northstars Monument Glades. Being the fifth or sixth person down I had pretty much untracked lines with rollers and and some nice consistent pitch. These conditions were perfect for the 'Smoke, it handled them fantastic with a pop and playfulness but never wimpy or overpowering. I really enjoyed the balance of the Gunsmoke, I never got that "going over the bars" or "wheeling" feeling I would get from other skis with early rise tip and tail, I do think the flip core makes the difference in diminishing that feeling in the ski. 

 

I took the Gunsmoke in a variety of conditions and terrain from the previously mentioned powder cruisers to big powder bumps, wind scorn bumps, tight trees and the obligatory groomers back to the lifts. I will say the Gunsmoke handled everything just as i would expect it to, with ease.  The Gunsmoke feels and skis like a big Bonafide and is the perfect complement to it as a powder ski. Switching to the Gunsmoke from the Bone was effortless and seamless. 

 

Product:

Length Tested: 186

Dimensions/Turn Radius:  140/113/130 23m

Camber (select one, delete the rest):  Early Rise, Tip & Tail w/camber

Binding: Look Pivot 18

Mount point: Suggested (boot center)

Demo or Own: Own

 

Environment & Conditions:

Location of Test: Northstar

Number of Runs: 15

Snow Conditions: 8" of powder over 6" of packed over base

 

 

Tester Info:

Username: Philpug

Age: 48

Height/Weight: 5'10" 190lb

Ski Days/Season: 60+

Years Skiing: 40

Aggressiveness: Moderate(Finesse) 

Current Quiver:

Hard Snow Ski: TBD

Daily Driver: 2013 Blizzard Bonafide w/ Pivot1 8

Powder Ski: 2013 Blizzard Gunsmoke w/ Pivot 18

Vintage: The Ski w/ Spademans S4

Vintage: Rossignol 4S w/ Marker MRR

Home Area: Northstar, Squalpine

Preferred Terrain :  bumps, off-piste, trees

 

 


Edited by Philpug - 2/20/12 at 1:09pm
post #2 of 23

Phil: How would you compare these to the DPS 112 (Hybrid) or Armada JJ/BChet? Burlier, longer turning? 

 

I'm not looking to buy anything new right now, but I am trying to keep my eyes open for a more powder/trees oriented ski to complement the Bones (which I've loved), maybe with a setup to let me skin (short distances) to get fresh a few days longer after it snows. Realistically, they'd be used in lift-served/short-skin territory. Being able to do a short day-tour would be nice, but not a priority, and not something I'd be likely to do many times a season. 

 

Whatever I get would be for the 10% to 20% when there's great snow, or deep snow in the trees. At real speed, or in steep crud, I don't actually think I need anything other than the Bones. I'm light, and for me, I can charge and float over just about anything on 'em. 

 

So if I add something-- the start of a quiver-- I'd want a ski that's a little more playful in tight spaces, smearier, happier making quick, more perpendicular-to-the-fall line turns than the Bones (at my weight), and happy to do it in deep powder at less than mach schnell speeds. Bonus points if I could still use them to charge over crud with big, full-speed, down-the-fall-line turns... but that wouldn't be my priority because I think the Bones have me 100% covered in that respect. 

 

 

post #3 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by justruss View Post

Phil: How would you compare these to the DPS 112 (Hybrid) or Armada JJ/BChet? Burlier, longer turning? 

 


I found them to be a bit more like a "traditional ski" than the DPS112's. While the DPS with it's upper teens TR was able to carve a real short turn considering it's 190cm length and was great if off piste deep snow, in between is where the DPS felt unsure but that was minimal. Compared to the BChet, I was not a fan of the BC at all. The BC with it's acute tip & tail rocker felt more on/off than the Gunsmoke which is my progressive in it's rise design, very well due to the flip core construction. I haven't skied a JJ in a few years so I all not compare there. 

post #4 of 23
Thread Starter 

I had an e-mail asking how the Gunsmoke compared to the Patron. These two skis are very similar in feel with the Gunsmoke being a little more direct on the snow and the Patron being a bit more jib-ish. Both are great and fun skis is mixed conditions. 

post #5 of 23
 
 
 

Yep, here's some jibbing on the Patron wink.gif

 

Noodler on Patrons.JPG

 

 

I really want to get a test ride on the new Nordica Helldorado.  That ski looks like it was custom made for me.  I really like the Patron, probably will like the Gunsmoke, but I have the feeling I will love the Helldorado.

 
post #6 of 23

2013 Blizzard Gunsmoke video review (in all-mountain conditions)

 


2013 Blizzard Gunsmoke Video Review: 186cm

 

Ski Tested: the new 2013 Blizzard Gunsmoke, 186cm, mounted with Griffon Demo bindings

114 at the waist, tall rocker tip and tail, no metal underfoot, has a longer camber section

 

Tested more as an all-mountain ski, due to lack of substantial new snow.

 

 

Skier info: 5 foot 9, 155lbs, 34 y/o, ski 25-50 days a year (orange jacket); 6 foot 1, 195lbs, 29 y/o, ski 30-50 days/year (blue jacket)

Skill level: solid, can ski most anything on the mountain relatively well. Prefer off-piste terrain: bumps, steeps, trees, good snow (orange jacket). Same for blue jacket guy, although better in bumps, grew up on East Coast

Time used: 3 runs, 6500 vertical feet

About this ski: 186cm, 114 at the waist, tall rocker tip and tail, no metal underfoot, has a longer camber section, than some skis. Stiffer than, say, a JJ. Not a 5-point design like the Cham, although pretty similar in application.

Conditions: a bit of everything. Not much fresh, but there was lightly skied out 3-4” of good snow on top of set up hardpack. Groomers were firm, borderline icy, as it has been warm the day before. Crud was in good shape. Bumps were soft to icy. Found some fresh in 1 run on the backside, but it was only a few inches deep.

 

Finally got a few turns in on the Gunsmoke. According to the rep, this ski isn't designed as an every-day ski: it is a pow ski, for fresh turns. If you want a typical big-mountain ski that is more versatile for bumps, groomers, and packed out soft snow, look at the Cochise. There is no metal in this ski, but it is pretty stiff. Think “Nordica Hell n' Back” and you get the idea of how it flexes and feels.

 

This is a dual review: I am speaking for the both of us here. Where our opinions differ, I will note in the review. Mostly, we had similar opinions of this ski.

 

Review conditions consist more of everyday, little of everything conditions, rather than deep snow, which is what this ski was designed for. Our comments reflect that. I will update when I get them in a good storm.

 

Similar skis tried recently: Dynastar Cham 107, Rossignol Squad

 

Gunsmoke Video:

 

Comparison skis video:

 

 

 

Review:

 

Off-piste crud, trees, and skied out hardpack: This was first run. The ski was workable here, not optimal. It was lacking a bit of edge grip on the skied out firm snow underneath, and more sliding rather than biting, as either of us would have preferred. Still, it got the job done, and was predictalbe once we got used to the slow engagement onto edge. It was easy to get it absorbing the bumps on the backside of snow piles, and getting it released in the opposite direction. I would describe it as more work than a narrower, more responsive ski would have been, but certainly skiable. No edge loading pop release at the bottom of the turn. You can ski Kevin skiing less aggressively than I was on the narrower skis (Kastle FX94) in the comparison clip; release isn't as down the hill, and skiing is more tentative. Not really a slam against this ski; it wasn't designed as an all-mountain, do everything ski. FWIW, we found the best skis in these conditions to be in the 80-100mm range, with more edge running surface.

 

Off-piste crud in big, open turns: the ski was more predictable here. Not quite as stable as the beefier, narrower skis were were skiing with metal in them (Kastle MX88 comes to mind), but solid. It did have a bit of an aggressive edge: I found myself getting taken for a ride when I caught an edge more than once. I just had to ski it nice and relaxed, and let the ski absorb the terrain and do the work. Not too active with the feet: just sit in the middle, relax at the end of the turn, and tip it over. The ski does the rest. Not a super high speed limit, as the Gunsmoke did not absorb chop all that well: the video shows we are skiing the same pitch at a slower speed than in the comparison clip (FX104) It doesn't have a super long functional running length in this width. A ski with metal is usually better suited to absorb choppy snow, as a rule. The Gunsmoke also felt “clangy” in bumps: it just doesn't suck them up, as you can see in that bump section on the film. Not a real supple ski. Again, not really a big deal. The Cochise is designed much more for that type of skied out terrain and is much better with respect to absorbing bumps.

 

Groomers: I don't know why I am listing groomer performance here. It must be because everyone asks me “how is it on groomers”? My answer is “who cares?” I have no idea why anyone would buy a wide ski with tons of rocker for groomers, as it won't hold a candle to a ski more designed for hard snow. With that said, it was a pleasant surprise here. I would rather ski it on groomers than either the Cham 107 or Squad; it felt a little more solid, predictable when it broke loose. Edge hookup was easy and solid, and it held well through out the turn. Turn finish was also predicable, and it didn't have the weird on/off feel that many big rockered skis have. Not a ski I would want to really lay over on edge for hard snow at speed, and it had no energy, nor much ability to be worked tip to tail, but it was serviceable, and definitely above average for a wide ski. In the video, you can see how conservatively I am skiing it. With time, I may have felt more comfortable on it for groomers. With that said, I am sliding more than carving: it doesn't give you confidence to really hook it up. You can see in the video that we are skiing it without too many issues; the snow was a little soft over bulletproof, so it did hold quite well. No worries if you have to ski a groomer to get back to the lift, and if it is a soft snow day, you might even find it is pretty decent.

 

New snow: this is where the ski comes into it's own. Even though we only had a few inches, it showed it's potential. I wouldn't say it was better than the other skis we tried (just not enough snow to make a difference, as 4” of new over hardpack isn't going to challenge a ski of any width) but you could tell how surfy it was, and easy to ski once the tip and tail got engaged into the deeper snow. It was very, very quick, floaty, and easy to smear around trees. Just stay in the middle of the ski, and you can do anything you want. I could see it being a great tree ski, especially in tight trees, provided you have a good amount of new snow to work with. It has just enough stiffness and punch to be a very fun ski. In comparison to a JJ, it is undoubtedly more ski; a little heavier on the snow, more stable, less loose and smeary feeling. I got backseat a couple of times (due to the stiffness of the ski) and it wasn't all that forgiving. It feels more direct, as one would expect from an Austrian designed ski, and will be a great ski for a good skier. For those just looking for an easygoing powder ski, super chill feel; this may not be the best choice, as does have a bit of an attitude about it. It was more ski than the ON3P Vicik in the same length I skied recently, although the feel of the ski, and damping was similar. Gunsmoke was definitely stiffer. The Blizzard wants to be skied with at least a fair amount of driver input. Again, I don't think this is the best ski for a skier who gets stuck in the backseat: it will be pretty punishing compared to a softer ski, but also more rewarding. I could load it up and get slung out of the turn, or I could stay centered and let the ski do the work. Either method of skiing is OK. What it didn't like was getting countered, and trying to shove the ski around. It is fairly forgiving, for what it is, but certainly leans toward good skiers.

 

Conclusion: I am really looking forward to getting a pair of these myself. This might be my new snow day ski going forward, although I am not sure how much I will use it. A Cochise is more versatile, and although this is a surfier ski than the Cochise, I am not sure sure the float trade-off would be worth having to work quite a bit harder in crud once things get tracked up. Definitely, if money weren't an issue, I would own a pair, even though I might only ski them a few days a year (or zero days a year, such as this year. I don't think I have skied more than 8” of new snow all year). If the snow is heavy or funky, then this will be a superior tool. Also quick in the trees; even quicker than the Cochise, as quick as any wide ski (provided you have new snow to use it with). It will also be a lot of fun in spring corn. If you were looking at Blizzard, you could easily make the case that a Magnum 8.5ti, Bonafide, and Gunsmoke wouuld be the perfect 3-ski quiver. If you were only looking at 2 skis, the Magnum 8.5ti and Cochise might be the better bet. Keeping it in perspective as far as a new snow ski goes, this is as good (and as versatile) as anything I have skied. Really looking for a proper test in some deeper snow this spring.

 

Comparisons to Cham 107 and Squad:

 

Groomers; as I mentioned above, the Gunsmoke is a little more predictable, and has a bit longer running length in terms of feel. The Cham has a more aggressive slalom carver feel, without the energy. It is fun when you are on it, but leaves little room for error at speed, and can a be a bit demanding. Squad is stiffer, somewhere in between; with metal, but very mellow and loose on groomers.

 

Crud: The Cham is probably best here. It has metal and sucks up terrain and bumps better. Squad isn't bad, but sure is a bit loose in bumps, and quite a bit of work. The Gunsmoke skis more like a lighter, snappier version of the Squad here.

 

Tighter trees: again, the Cham would my pick. It has metal, bites, and is more confident exiting the old turn, so I could keep it more in the fall line. The Gunsmoke would be 2nd, followed by the Squad, which just didn't seem to like shorter turns. It wanted to run, and is a fair amount of ski.

 

New snow: The Squad and Gunsmoke will have more float, and a bit bigger, more straight ahead feel than the Cham. Cham is super forgiving, has a softer tail, and is easy to ski in tight spaces. The other 2 are easy enough, but like a bit more space to play, and are a touch more demanding. The Cham is more like a wide all-mountain ski in this regard, with the Gunsmoke and Squad being big-mountain, go pretty fast boards for good skiers.  

post #7 of 23

got any profile pics?, would love to see them if you do

post #8 of 23

No, not yet. I will post a pic next week when I get a loaner from the rep. 

post #9 of 23
I'll post some profile pics a little later...

Blister guys actually got to ski them in a ton of powder so this review might give people a little more info on pow performance.

http://blistergearreview.com/gear-reviews/2012-2013-blizzard-gun-smoke
post #10 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by wasatchback View Post

I'll post some profile pics a little later...
Blister guys actually got to ski them in a ton of powder so this review might give people a little more info on pow performance.
http://blistergearreview.com/gear-reviews/2012-2013-blizzard-gun-smoke


Haven't seen that much snow all year here.  Would be a great year to get over to Japan. 

 

 

post #11 of 23

Please consider these novice questions. The question is about flipcore ski in general. I demoed several Blizzard flipcore skis, mainly GunSmoke because it was a Powder day. I notice all the flipcore skis are near center mount. The reason I notice it because I feel the tips are stiff while the tails are playful and very forgiving. I like to be forward and I have to sit back a little to not feel the stiffness. Fro reference, I like the Wailer 112RP feel that I can be forward and tip easily just like on carving skis and that type of feel are missing on all the flipcore I tried. I am wondering if I will like Soulrider, MX98 or the Head Rev series better.

post #12 of 23

Comparison to S7?   Difference in feel/intent to Cochise?

 

Thanks!

post #13 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mike_m View Post

Comparison to S7?   Difference in feel/intent to Cochise?

 

Thanks!



I find it a little more balanced than the S7 and as compared to the Cochise, the Cochise is much more of a charging ski and the Gunsmoke is more playful and a finesse ski. See my review in my sig.

post #14 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by hellside View Post

Please consider these novice questions. The question is about flipcore ski in general. I demoed several Blizzard flipcore skis, mainly GunSmoke because it was a Powder day. I notice all the flipcore skis are near center mount. The reason I notice it because I feel the tips are stiff while the tails are playful and very forgiving. I like to be forward and I have to sit back a little to not feel the stiffness. Fro reference, I like the Wailer 112RP feel that I can be forward and tip easily just like on carving skis and that type of feel are missing on all the flipcore I tried. I am wondering if I will like Soulrider, MX98 or the Head Rev series better.


The Gun Smoke is more of a centered mount but is far from actual center.  The other Flipcore skis all have much more of a traditional mounting point, very very far from a center mount. 

 

post #15 of 23
post #16 of 23

The first skis I tried was Bonafide I did not measure it but it looks like near center to me. I just saw this from the Gear Swap post. It looks to me near center mount too.

 

9f7ffef5_97nn84.jpeg
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by wasatchback View Post


The Gun Smoke is more of a centered mount but is far from actual center.  The other Flipcore skis all have much more of a traditional mounting point, very very far from a center mount. 

 



 

post #17 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by hellside View Post

The first skis I tried was Bonafide I did not measure it but it looks like near center to me. I just saw this from the Gear Swap post. It looks to me near center mount too.

 



 



 

I just measured my 180 bones w/ griffons (tape measure, straight pull)-- and the mid-point of the bindings (as mine are mounted) are a little over 100cm and change from the tips, and a little over 75cm and change from the tails. Measurement taken imprecisely, but you can be assured that it's within 5cm. 

 

Definitely not centered. 

post #18 of 23

I said it looked and felt "near" center mount. I did not say it is center mount. It is just a novice(me) asking question. I believe your measurement but that does not change what I see. If you look at the picture from Gear Swap, the vertical pixel locations of tip and tail are 17 and 632, and the mid point is about 307.5 based on what I see in the Painting program. The numbers appear "near" center mount to me.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by justruss View Post



 

I just measured my 180 bones w/ griffons (tape measure, straight pull)-- and the mid-point of the bindings (as mine are mounted) are a little over 100cm and change from the tips, and a little over 75cm and change from the tails. Measurement taken imprecisely, but you can be assured that it's within 5cm. 

 

Definitely not centered. 



 

post #19 of 23

Hellside, I think the graphics and the angle that the ski is leaning can be deceiving.  

Here is a picture of a variety of flip Core skis side by side. 

FWIW, since this picture, Phil has changed the mount point on the Gunsmokes. 

430086_10150737512806138_540901137_11986934_656805505_n.jpg

post #20 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by hellside View Post

I said it looked and felt "near" center mount. I did not say it is center mount. It is just a novice(me) asking question. I believe your measurement but that does not change what I see. If you look at the picture from Gear Swap, the vertical pixel locations of tip and tail are 17 and 632, and the mid point is about 307.5 based on what I see in the Painting program. The numbers appear "near" center mount to me.
 



 


 

I'm sorry if I said something that upset you (or misinterpreted your subsequent response as defensive if that's wrong...)-- but you never said anything about "felt," and you did say "looked" twice, and you then went back and you're arguing about pixel locations of a photo with the skis potentially at a skewed angle.

 

My apologies for getting off my lazy ass, measuring my skis, and reporting back to help provide a data point. 

 

 

post #21 of 23

It is nice of you to apologize. It was my fault if you read it that way. I respond to your post without thinking. I appreciate and thank your for the effort and sorry for taking it for granted.. Yes, you are right. I did not say "felt". What I was trying to say is that the tips felt stiff and I am wondering if that has to do with mounting position. If you look at the Gear Swap picture, would you say the binding in the picture is mounted close to center even it is not?
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by justruss View Post


 

I'm sorry if I said something that upset you (or misinterpreted your subsequent response as defensive if that's wrong...)-- but you never said anything about "felt," and you did say "looked" twice, and you then went back and you're arguing about pixel locations of a photo with the skis potentially at a skewed angle.

 

My apologies for getting off my lazy ass, measuring my skis, and reporting back to help provide a data point. 

 

 



 

post #22 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trekchick View Post

Hellside, I think the graphics and the angle that the ski is leaning can be deceiving.  

Here is a picture of a variety of flip Core skis side by side. 

FWIW, since this picture, Phil has changed the mount point on the Gunsmokes. 

430086_10150737512806138_540901137_11986934_656805505_n.jpg

That picture is at the manufacturer suggested mount point. While the tail felt OK, I felt the tip was a little "turnie". Since that picture, I moved the binding 2cm back, as much as I could w/o worrying about the overlap of holes. I do find the mount at this point to be better and the ski more balanced.
 

 

post #23 of 23

TC, Phil, Thank you! I probably will give it another try in the future.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Philpug View Post

That picture is at the manufacturer suggested mount point. While the tail felt OK, I felt the tip was a little "turnie". Since that picture, I moved the binding 2cm back, as much as I could w/o worrying about the overlap of holes. I do find the mount at this point to be better and the ski more balanced.
 

 



 

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Member Gear Reviews
EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › Member Gear Reviews › Preview/Review: 2013 Blizzard Gunsmoke from Philpug & Dawg