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Ultimate 2-ski Quiver from Blizzard

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 

Not really a review per se, but more of a discussion starter. 

 

After skiing nothing but Blizzards the past couple of weeks, I have come to the conclusion, that, for me, makes by far the most sense. The 2 skis to own from Blizzard (if you are going to purchase 2 skis) for western conditions, are the new 2013 8.5ti, and the Cochise (in my case, the 2013).  Skiing everything from scratchy snow to deep 16" of fresh, and in between, heavy crud, bumps, and groomers, these 2 easily covered the sweet spots in ways that few skis do.  

 

Here is what I was experiencing: on the Cochise, this ski just was money in deeper snow conditions, and good snow in the trees.  Very stable in rough snow, excellent float in the 185cm length, easy to ski, provided the snow was somewhat new.  Really fun overall, as long as there was room for it to work, and quite playful.  Once things got heavy and tracked out, starting to bump up, it was time to switch skis. Enter the 8.5ti:

 

Skiing it in 174cm, moving the binding back 5mm over the recommended mount spot (it skis short, with not much tip).  Just a revelation, even in heavy, but somewhat skied-out crud.  That tip gets out of the snow in a hurry, and when small bumps start to enter the picture, this ski is among the best.  Really a far better ski than the Cochise in heavy kicked-around crud, and skied out snow.  Once things were bumping up more, I was really ripping on this ski: easy to "ski well" on it, staying fall line, and countered, letting the skis do the work in the terrain.  Encouraged good skiing at speed, and was forgiving enough for the occasional back-seat bobble.  Absolutely ripped in soft, end of day bumps and skied out trees.  Also an acceptable (but average) groomer ski for this width.

 

So, why these 2 skis, over something else? Why not buy something different?  Well, what it came down to was that these were the perfect compliment to each other. Once I found the snow to be starting to get challenging for the Cochise (small bumps forming, rough crud that was kicking around the big rocker on the Cochise), the 8.5ti swept in and ruled those conditions (I found the 174cm 8.5ti to be quite a bit more stable in the beat-up snow at speed than the longer 185cm). There really was no in-between where I was wishing for something different.  The next day, when the snow started to get pretty deep for the 8.5ti, I jumped back on the Cochise and was ripping around in the deep snow again.  These are 2 great skis!  

 

Other skis I tried, but would leave them out of my 2-ski discussion:

 

-8.0ti: felt like too much of a carver in 172cm, and a bit long and stiffish in the 179cm

-Bushwacker: somewhat similar to the 8.5ti, but not close to the same level of performance in fast bumps and crud at speed. 

-Bonafide: more of a tweener ski, not comparable in soft-snow float to the Cochise, nowhere near the fun bump ski of the 8.5, not really a good groomer ski.  A good do-everything ski, but best left out of the 2-ski discussion if you are looking for a wide range and not much overlap.  It is the triathlete of the ski world: decent at a bunch of things. 

-Gunsmoke: more of a pow ski, not as powerful or snappy as the Cochise. 

 

Thoughts?  I can get a ton of range out of this 2-ski quiver. I might want a wider ski for truly deep days (the Cochise doesn't feel that big) or a narrower hard snow ski for groomer days (not really my preference unless it is the only skiable terrain). 

post #2 of 21
How about 8.0 ti and Bonafide for 2-ski eastern usa quiver?
post #3 of 21

Why do you think that you found the shorter ski more stable in the beat up snow?  That's interesting to me as it's counterintuitive to my way of thinking.  I haven't often skied the same ski in different lengths though.

post #4 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarcusBrody View Post

Why do you think that you found the shorter ski more stable in the beat up snow?  That's interesting to me as it's counterintuitive to my way of thinking.  I haven't often skied the same ski in different lengths though.



Hard to say; my gut says softer tip and tail, more rocker.  I have video of me skiing that (not yet uploaded to Vimeo, working on it) that shows the tip and tail of the Cochise getting rocked all over the place in soft snow.  The 8.5 was tracking better, no doubt, much more glued and planted.  There are a lot of people out there that say the best crud skis are the stiffer, minimally rockered skis, like the Stockli Scott Schmidt pro model. The narrower 8.5 was "in the snow" more, but powered through much better, and also skimmed the crud with more contact. Here is an example of the outside ski somewhat going floppy (although it is easier to see in the video).  

 

Cochise 0141.jpg

post #5 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vitamin Ski View Post

How about 8.0 ti and Bonafide for 2-ski eastern usa quiver?


change out the bonafide for "the one" and you would be right.  

post #6 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vitamin Ski View Post

How about 8.0 ti and Bonafide for 2-ski eastern usa quiver?


Sure, that makes more sense than the 8.5ti/Cochise.  You probably don't need that kind of float, and the 8.5 isn't great on pretty firm snow.  Having that bit of rocker definitely is noticeable on real ice. I skied it on hardening end-of-day "in the shade" snow last week and was having trouble getting it to bite: I had to angulate even more than usual to really have it hook up.  Probably good for my skiing, but not what I am used to.  W/O the bigger angulation, I was just not loading it properly and bending it up enough to get the rockered tip fully to bite. That is OK, because countering well is my real weakness. When I remain countered, I ski 10X better than when I get stuck and rotated. 

 

post #7 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Josh Matta View Post



change out the bonafide for "the one" and you would be right.  


Didnt they stop making that?
post #8 of 21
Well, you are making the argument that I am contemplating....which is skipping the 98's in a 2 ski quiver.

What is the comparable Kastle lineup? MX83/88 and BMX 108? Does that leave a gap where the Blizz do not?
post #9 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by NayBreak View Post

Well, you are making the argument that I am contemplating....which is skipping the 98's in a 2 ski quiver.
What is the comparable Kastle lineup? MX83/88 and BMX 108? Does that leave a gap where the Blizz do not?


Yes, that sounds right.  The MX88 is more capable in crud than the 8.5, maybe the 8.5 has the edge in bumps, but both are sweet. The MX83 is a bit more powerful, bit more hard snow oriented, vice-like grip for a ski of this width, great in bumps and crud as well.   Most companies probably make an equivalent "narrower all-mountain" and "wider big-mountain" 2-ski quiver these days, it is just that I was skiing Blizzard, and after skiing everything in the lineup (more or less); those are the 2 standouts in my mind for a 2-ski quiver.  Same goes for Kastle: I would get an MX83/BMX108 or MX88/BMX108 if I could only have 2 skis. Pretty much covers any condition a western skier is likely to ski on any day.  I ski 98mm skis alot, but that is more because that is what I happen to have available to grab as a shop demo, and they tend to work fairly well in lots of conditions.  If I were buying, I would probably look at getting the 2 skis on either side of a typical 98mm ski; the fun factor goes up when I have the nearly perfect too for the job, not the "works fairly well" tool.  

post #10 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarcusBrody View Post

Why do you think that you found the shorter ski more stable in the beat up snow?  That's interesting to me as it's counterintuitive to my way of thinking.  I haven't often skied the same ski in different lengths though.


To be clear, Scott didn't say he skied the same ski in different lengths...just that the 8.5 was more stable than the longer, wider Conchise.

Dawg, How maneuverable is the Conchise? I find that I grab my Atua/Misfits over my wider P4s on many a powder day if I expect to be in tight spaces.
post #11 of 21

I would like versatile  soft snow (which I mainly seek) ski like the Cochise  on softer days;   but , what would be a good alternative inexpensive (used) groomer/hard/bump/crud buster ski ?

post #12 of 21

Dawg, I don't ski them, but the Head Titan/Inferno combo seems pretty nice. We're lucky. There are a ton of excellent skis out there. Finding a combo of two that'll get it done all season long is much easier than it used to be. 

post #13 of 21

Hmmm, my two ski quiver from...

 

Blizzard: 8.5Ti & Gunsmoke

Nordica: FireArrow EDT84 & Helldorado

Kastle: MX83 & XX West

Dyanstar: Course Ti & Cham 107

Head: PEak 84 & Rev105

Rossignol: Experience 88 & Squad 7

 

post #14 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vitamin Ski View Post


Didnt they stop making that?


not till next year. and when they do it does not change the fact its is still blizzard best tree ski. Which it is pointless to own a powderish type ski in the East unless it does pretty well in the woods.

 

post #15 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by dawgcatching View Post
 (I found the 174cm 8.5ti to be quite a bit more stable in the beat-up snow at speed than the longer 185cm).

 

 

Quote
Originally Posted by MEfree30 View Post

To be clear, Scott didn't say he skied the same ski in different lengths...just that the 8.5 was more stable than the longer, wider Conchise.
 


Oooooh.  Yeah that makes more sense to me now.  I had totally misread his post and thought that he meant he'd tried the 8.5ti in multiple lengths.

 

post #16 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vitamin Ski View Post


Didnt they stop making that?

Yep. And good luck finding any around. Am trying to find out if the Kaboke (sp?) will fill that slot. Supposedly a wider slightly stiffer Bushwacker, same construction. IMO what made the One special, though was the carbon beams; had a lot of spring and life that's nice in tight places or trees. Thinking something like the Moment PB&J might be the closer replacement. 

 

Oh yea, two ski quiver. I live in the east, so it'd be a RX12 for hard days and a BMX98 for soft days. If I lived out west, substitute the MX83 or 88 and the BMX118 when they make it in a male length...Or, OK, since we were on Blizzards at the start, two I already own: a G-Power and a One. (Both of which will not be made next year, which is why I suggested Kastles.)

 

Seriously, though, an argument for a true frontside carver for regions that don't always have 6" of fresh or chop: When you have a winter like this one, you appreciate a ski that can deal with ice or scratch punctuated by piles of man made blech. Yes, a wider frontside ski will do just fine, but there's nothing as nice as a 68-72 mm absolutely refusing to skid, complain, or get twitchy, just digging in because that's its reason for existing and bringing you around. And if it has a reasonably supple front, you can either slice the piles of blech or cut between/over/around them. My .02...

 


Edited by beyond - 3/19/12 at 8:47pm
post #17 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MEfree30 View Post

  •  
  •  
  •  
To be clear, Scott didn't say he skied the same ski in different lengths...just that the 8.5 was more stable than the longer, wider Conchise.
Dawg, How maneuverable is the Conchise? I find that I grab my Atua/Misfits over my wider P4s on many a powder day if I expect to be in tight spaces.


don't forget that I had to mount back a bit to get that stability out of the 8.5ti. It skis short "on the line".  Move it back, and it feels close to the same length as the Cochise, but more running length in effect in chop. I had more tip engagement.  Fun ski. 

 

post #18 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by beyond View Post

Yep. And good luck finding any around. Am trying to find out if the Kaboke (sp?) will fill that slot. Supposedly a wider slightly stiffer Bushwacker, same construction. IMO what made the One special, though was the carbon beams; had a lot of spring and life that's nice in tight places or trees. Thinking something like the Moment PB&J might be the closer replacement. 

 

Oh yea, two ski quiver. I live in the east, so it'd be a RX12 for hard days and a BMX98 for soft days. If I lived out west, substitute the MX83 or 88 and the BMX118 when they make it in a male length...Or, OK, since we were on Blizzards at the start, two I already own: a G-Power and a One. (Both of which will not be made next year, which is why I suggested Kastles.)

 

Seriously, though, an argument for a true frontside carver for regions that don't always have 6" of fresh or chop: When you have a winter like this one, you appreciate a ski that can deal with ice or scratch punctuated by piles of man made blech. Yes, a wider frontside ski will do just fine, but there's nothing as nice as a 68-72 mm absolutely refusing to skid, complain, or get twitchy, just digging in because that's its reason for existing and bringing you around. And if it has a reasonably supple front, you can either slice the piles of blech or cut between/over/around them. My .02...

 


be careful what you wish for...you Ok with PINK??? If So, call with your CC number. 

 

post #19 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by beyond View Post

 

Seriously, though, an argument for a true frontside carver for regions that don't always have 6" of fresh or chop: When you have a winter like this one, you appreciate a ski that can deal with ice or scratch punctuated by piles of man made blech. Yes, a wider frontside ski will do just fine, but there's nothing as nice as a 68-72 mm absolutely refusing to skid, complain, or get twitchy, just digging in because that's its reason for existing and bringing you around. And if it has a reasonably supple front, you can either slice the piles of blech or cut between/over/around them. My .02...

 


 

Yeah, I like having a hard snow ski, too. If I only had 2 skis though, for out here, a real carver wouldn't make the cut.  If we were talking 3 skis, then yes.  Even with the scratchy snow we had for much of the year, I only ended up using carvers for about 4 days.  It has either been good snow (mostly blower) or spring corn the past 6 weeks.

 

You knew that the BMX118 is coming in a 183cm next year, right?  Perfect for guys our sizesmile.gif  I plan on that being my soft snow ski, given how well I bonded with the BMX98 and 108, but always wanted a bit shorter 108. Now I will have it, just in a slightly wider version.

post #20 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Philpug View Post


be careful what you wish for...you Ok with PINK??? If So, call with your CC number. 

 


Dang.....we just talked about this. And here I thought no guy would be into buying a PINK ski and then Beyond goes and proves me wrong.

 

Just shows to go ya what I know. (ummmmmm.........be sure to get that CC# from Beyond before I revamp the Kastle order).....................biggrin.gif

 

SJ

 

post #21 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by SierraJim View Post


Dang.....we just talked about this. And here I thought no guy would be into buying a PINK ski and then Beyond goes and proves me wrong.

 

Just shows to go ya what I know. (ummmmmm.........be sure to get that CC# from Beyond before I revamp the Kastle order).....................biggrin.gif

 

SJ

 



I think we still have it on file...we can just get the ski drop shipped. yahoo.gif

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