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2013 Blizzard Cochise video review

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 

Well, after skiing this for several days in good snow conditions over the past 2 weeks, I felt it was time to give an updated view of this ski:

 

Ski: 2013 Blizzard Cochise 185cm, mounted on the line with Marker Griffon demo bindings

 

Skiers: Kevin (blue jacket): 6 foot 1, 200lbs; Scott (orange jacket): 5 foot 9, 155lbs

 

Conditions: everything from heavy crud, to light crud to blower snow, to skied-out bumps that were setting up late in the day. Video review is mostly very good light snow and crud

 

About the skiers: watch the video.  Probably tells you a lot more about us than skier descriptions (which are highly subjective). 

Skis I like: Elan Olympus 1010, Kastle BMX series, Kastle FX94, Elan 888/Apex, Head Inferno and Rock n' Roll, Salomon Sentinel, Kastle MX78 and MX83, among others.  Skis Kevin owns: Head Peak 84 in 184cm, Kastle MX98 in 195cm, Kastle BMX98 in 195cm.  Both of us like to ski, but neither get to ski as often as we would like.  I probably have only about 100 hours on the hill this year.  

 

About the skis: significant tip and tail rocker, 2 sheet of metal, light on the snow feel, fairly underdamped as far as skis go.

 

This review is more of a shared viewpoint; when Kevin's diverges, it will be noted. 

 

Crud: this ski is a very stable ski in lighter crud.  It has quite a bit of rocker, and therefore wants to be in the snow a bit to have full contact length.  Tracks fairly well, but is quite soft, and can get bounced a bit at speed.  Really easy to ski.  Not super playful when skied in the longer length (for me, that is 10cm over head height).  Kevin found it to be very playful, but he was skiing it at head height (he is 185cm tall). You can see him in the video popping right off the tail. If I had skied the 177cm, it would have likely been much more playful, as I would have been able to engage the tail easily as well. As it was, on the longer length, I had to pay attention.  Be active with the feet if you ski the longer length, it is very necessary in crud and soft bumps, as it isn't forgiving of back seat driving. The 177cm would be more tolerant of mistakes, but less stable. It really likes softer snow that it can blow through crud piles on.  On more set-up crud, it wasn't as good; too stiff, and tended to rebound and bounce a lot. I could ski it there, but really had to ski it well; no mistakes, and stay away from getting rotated with the torso.  Ski it powerfully and it comes alive, which makes it very rewarding. I nailed some cruddy turns on this ski, some of the best turns I have made all year, but it took me a good 10 runs to really get on top of the ski.  

 

Trees: again, great ski in the trees if the snow is right.  In the video, it is quite surfy, easy to turn, and playful.  Needs soft snow to come alive.  Very quick as well.  If the trees are skied out, and I was on the longer length, it became a bit of a handful. Definitely a soft-snow day ski.  If trees are really tight, I would want to ski something a bit softer: for wide open trees like in the video, this ski works well. Again, wants to be skied well. Not a ski for technical lightweights.  

 

Open terrain: This ski likes bigger turns at speed.  It seems to want to accelerate.  Feels more like a big-mountain ski (as it has quite a bit of metal in it) vs. a small mountain ski.  Rips at speed, very confident.  I would put stability in around average, or slightly above, for a ski of this type.  Comfortable in moderate drops, probably fine in big ones too (although I wouldn't know, skiing at Flatchelor). 

 

Float: pretty good, but could be better.  108mm underfoot is fine, but the tip feels narrow for some reason, and isn't surfy like some skis around 110mm.  I think that is where Blizzard is going with their new Gunsmoke, which is much floatier. This ski is plenty adequate for most conditions, but if it is really deep or heavy, you might want to rent some 130mm underfoot reverse camber monster. This is more of an everyday new snow ski, not a pow specific ski. 

 

Groomers:  Not really much of a chance to ski groomers on this ski. They were all crud.  I have done it on the 2012, and it was OK for a big ski. It gets you back to the lift. 

 

Bumps: Cochise really isn't made for bumps, at least on my weight.  Kevin had a decent time of it on the shorter "for him" length, which is also relatively soft. I struggled: the tips were kind of doing their own thing out there, and I was really having to work hard to keep it tracking well.  He found it OK, manageable, but not a good bump ski.  These weren't big bumps, but more of the small crud-bumps that form in the afternoon.  If the skier is looking to just cruise, then it is likely OK. For aggressive fall-line bumping, it will be a disappointment.  The Bonafide was better, but what really rocked is the 8.5ti.  That ski is great in the bumps. Personally, I would run back the car and get that ski for PM skiing when it is skied out and bumping up.  

 

Summary: a very powerful, capable ski.  Fairly forgiving if skied head-height.  Much more ski if skied one size up, but more float and stability is the reward.  Quick, capable in any soft snow conditions.  A little stiff for skied-out snow and bumps: the tip won't bend much, so you need to be on top of it and know how the ski will handle.  Great once you get used to the flex pattern. It is a ski I would own in 185cm.  It is a size-dependent ski: in 177cm, it is playful and much better in smaller spaces (for a guy my size) as well as bumps.  The 185cm is the big-mountain feel. 

 

 

 

 

 


Edited by dawgcatching - 3/22/12 at 2:45pm
post #2 of 22
Great review......I'd like to have your opinion on DPS ..wailer112..

Thanks



Saguenay
post #3 of 22
post #4 of 22






post #5 of 22

search, its there

post #6 of 22

Scott, great video and I could see you working a bit more in the trees.  For my size and level, I also found it a bit much for tighter trees although  I found it very stable on the groomed with surprisingly good edge hold on hard stuff.  I also liked it very much on steeper lines with chalky snow and it really shined in open areas in moderate crud.  I am not a great bump skier and found it a bit more to handle in the bumps but I think its more of a matter of adjustment. Great job! 

post #7 of 22

Scott, what would be your pick for a ski that handles the 'set-up' crud, maybe a little more forgiving, and doesn't require a longer (190+?) length to plow through stuff like a honey badger?  Is this what you mean by reaching for the 8.5 in the PM?

post #8 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by FairToMiddlin View Post

Scott, what would be your pick for a ski that handles the 'set-up' crud, maybe a little more forgiving, and doesn't require a longer (190+?) length to plow through stuff like a honey badger?  Is this what you mean by reaching for the 8.5 in the PM?



Depends on the crud.  If it is nimble skiing, and the crud is not too thick, the 8.5 is money.  The BMX98 is more nimble and absorbs terrain better, as is the Elan Spire. The Cochise can feel a little "clangy" hitting set up snow at speed.  Probably either of those 2 would make the cut in set-up snow where I need a ski to be nimble.  Head Rock n' Roll also does that really well for me.  I tend not to like skis that are too stiffish for set-up snow, as I am not a big guy.  I like alot of the same skis that Josh likes for East Coast trees: something with low-rise tip rocker (tail rocker is OK too, or at least a softer tail), not too stiff.  Armada TST was really fun for me as well.  Dynastar Cham 107 was not too stiff, seemed to absorb terrain pretty well, but had a funky tail. Experience 98 was a little too stiff for me in 180cm, needs a bigger guy for that size.  Same with the Bonafide, a little too stiff, too aggressive for my weight in set up snow.  Outland 87 was a great ski.  Kevin likes all of those bigger skis though, we are pretty similar in ability, so it might be more of a weight thing. 

post #9 of 22

You said it's quite soft and then too stiff in the same review... typo?

post #10 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by JayT View Post

You said it's quite soft and then too stiff in the same review... typo?



Sorry, needs a clarification: more that it feels soft in the tail for new snow skiing (playful and poppy, you can see how Kevin is popping out of the snow) but quite stiff when absorbing bumps somehow, or heavy crud; (most big-mountain skis feel like this for me; the Legend Pro 105 is the same).  The tip feels soft, but when you do absorb a bump underfoot, it feels stout, so it is more of a flex pattern difference than anything.  I noticed this ski seems to have quite a different flex pattern than most, due to the rocker being pre-formed. It doesn't flex that much, but feels softer than many in the tail and tip, due to the rocker being pre-formed.  It is stiff though, I wasn't flexing it all that much at my weight.  

 

This ski is extremely size-dependent.  177cm is way more manageable in crud and bumps for me, but 185cm is the size for faster skiing in deeper snow. 


Edited by dawgcatching - 3/22/12 at 2:44pm
post #11 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by dawgcatching View Post

 

 

Bumps: Cochise really isn't made for bumps, at least on my weight.  Kevin had a decent time of it on the shorter "for him" length, which is also relatively soft. I struggled: the tips were kind of doing their own thing out there, and I was really having to work hard to keep it tracking well.  He found it OK, manageable, but not a good bump ski.  These weren't big bumps, but more of the small crud-bumps that form in the afternoon.  If the skier is looking to just cruise, then it is likely OK. For aggressive fall-line bumping, it will be a disappointment.  The Bonafide was better, but what really rocked is the 8.5ti.  That ski is great in the bumps. Personally, I would run back the car and get that ski for PM skiing when it is skied out and bumping up.  

 

 


What changed between this years ski and next years version?  2012 was a "great bump ski"

 

http://www.epicski.com/t/106987/dawgcatchings-2012-reviews-pt-1-102-112mm-waist-skis

 

was going to get a new pair.

post #12 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by givethepigeye View Post


What changed between this years ski and next years version?  2012 was a "great bump ski"

 

http://www.epicski.com/t/106987/dawgcatchings-2012-reviews-pt-1-102-112mm-waist-skis

 

was going to get a new pair.



Probably the bumps?  I skied it mostly in bigger, soft, slow speed bumps in Utah. This pair, was skied in short, crappy sharp carved out (snowboarders go in there), zero transition bumps.  Sorry, should have clarified!  It does pretty well when I have time to work the bump into the transition.  If they are coming at me rapid-fire with more of a bobsled carved out feel and no transition, I feel overwhelmed.  I might just not be a very good bump skier, either. 

post #13 of 22

^no worries - just wanted to make sure that nothing had changed on the ski ie. construction, that would want to make me not get a new pair.

post #14 of 22
The Cochise is reputed to be very stable at high speeds. However, the tips looked like they were chattering in the Crud Cold Temp section at the beginning of the video. Also the skis looked like they bounced out of control and ahead of the skier on a number of occasions (e.g., 0:58). Did you experience chatter and bouncing? I'm 5'8" 150lbs, considering 177 Cochise for European Alps, looking for speed and stability in off-piste.
Edited by woofcyn - 5/6/14 at 9:33am
post #15 of 22

^^ Don't worry, they're solid and at 150 pounds you are not going to come close to overpowering them.  Here they are in Europe, actually...

 

post #16 of 22

120+ days on my Cochises. Trust me - they will not chatter or bounce. Remember - 2 1/2 sheets of metal. Think very agile rhinoceros (or their namesake professional bull riding bull named 'Cochise'). If you check the rocker you will find the tip is subtle and the tail is very, very subtle so the ski engages on edge from tip to tail. This means they do not ski short as you are using the entire ski. Expect to have a bit of a learning curve as they aren't plug and play. For quick turns stay centered and pivot from the knees down. Otherwise just roll'm and rip'm. I'm 6'2"/185 lbs and ski the 185 but 177 is the perfect length for you as the 185 would be no fun at all in tight spaces at your weight/height.

Quote:
Originally Posted by woofcyn View Post

looking for speed and stability in off-piste.

Exactly right for this. Unless you are a 99.9 percentile skier you will never overpower them.

post #17 of 22
Thank you for your replies. After re-reading the original review I noticed my question was already addressed. I'm afraid that at my weight, I will not be able to control the ski from bouncing in chopped snow or crud especially when skiing fast. I had that problem with the 2008 Volkl Kuro. I'll consider another ski. Thanks again for everyone's assistance!
post #18 of 22

I'm driving myself crazy deciding on which size to go for. I'm a little under 5'11 and 167lbs. I'm not as experienced in deep powder growing up on the east coast, and my Salomon Shoguns are my primary ski for all conditions. I want the Cochise more for the truly epic snow days. Is it 185 all the way or can I go with 177s? Full disclosure I'm getting a great deal on the 177s so if its indifferent or pretty close I'd rather save the money.

 

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

post #19 of 22

Good question. If you are an expert skier now skiing out west on a big mountain with lots of space then the 185 is correct. If you are still in the east with limited powder skills then go 177 especially if you can get a good deal. FWIW  If I were looking for a ski for 'truly epic snow days' then I would be looking for a dedicated powder ski - something wider and definitely softer in a 185ish. Don't get me wrong - the Cochise is a great ski in powder but that isn't it's main virtue. It is very very versatile and rips through chopped powder, crud, wind affect, and does high speed carves like crazy. It would probably replace your Shogun and do everything better in the process.

There are lots of more appropriate 'epic snow days' skis out there. For example for someone learning powder skills it's hard to beat the now discontinued Rossi 7 series skis. They weren't perfect by any means but they were a lot of fun. Bearing your budget  in mind a quick search turned up these: 

 

http://www.levelninesports.com/Rossignol-Super-7-Skis  $319 in a 188.  

 

188 isn't too long because these skis have big rocker front and back and, unlike the Cochise, will ski much shorter.

 

Just my opinion - really depends on what you want the ski to do.

 

 

post #20 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by catch6229 View Post

I'm driving myself crazy deciding on which size to go for. I'm a little under 5'11 and 167lbs. I'm not as experienced in deep powder growing up on the east coast, and my Salomon Shoguns are my primary ski for all conditions. I want the Cochise more for the truly epic snow days. Is it 185 all the way or can I go with 177s? Full disclosure I'm getting a great deal on the 177s so if its indifferent or pretty close I'd rather save the money.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.


177.
post #21 of 22

I'm virtually your size (6', 165), owned the 185's. Lot of ski. For your self-description, and given the deal, 177's. 

post #22 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by catch6229 View Post

I'm driving myself crazy deciding on which size to go for. I'm a little under 5'11 and 167lbs. I'm not as experienced in deep powder growing up on the east coast, and my Salomon Shoguns are my primary ski for all conditions. I want the Cochise more for the truly epic snow days. Is it 185 all the way or can I go with 177s? Full disclosure I'm getting a great deal on the 177s so if its indifferent or pretty close I'd rather save the money.



 



Any help would be greatly appreciated.


 



IMHO - the Cochise (in any length) might not be what you are looking for given these two statements from above "not as experienced in deep powder" and "truly epic snow days" - it isnt a "powder ski", in the purest sense. YMMV
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