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Blizzard M-Power 8.7 w/ Suspension - Reviews?

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

Hey all. Been reading up on a bunch of skis recently, especially a lot of reviews here. The two I narrowed it down to are the Bonafides and the M-Power 8.7 with the full suspension system. I know they are two different animals but the reason I have it narrowed down to them is that I'm looking at two different perspectives. I've heard great things about the Bonafide's all round capabilities and versatility, they really do sound like an awesome ski. However I don't really know if I need that versatility for what I would be doing mostly.

 

I'm an ex-racer in NE and will most likely be on piste the majority of the time. I still love the feel of really solid edge grip and I know the Bonafides can hold up, but not to the extent of the 8.7. I'm just thinking from a logical stand point from what I would be skiing mostly. There rarely are huge powder days out NE, and I don't think the handful we see out here justifies buying a ski for a minority of types of ski days such as that. Therefore, I'm leaning toward the 8.7s because from what I've heard they are still a solid all mountain ski with limitless top speed that can still bust through crud and whatnot.

 

Here is my question. How much versatility would you REALLY be giving up by deciding to go with the 8.7s over the Bonafides and is that loss REALLY that detrimental based on the actual conditions and days we see out in the North East? Can these 8.7s still bust through crud like I've been told? I'm a good enough skier that I could ski these in the woods even if they are not ideal, but are these something that you really want to stick to the front side? 

post #2 of 11

First off, is there any particular reason that you are thinking about going that wide (since you are staying on piste mostly and from my knowledge looking for a one-ski quiver here)?  The 8.7's are amazing crud busters, but how much crud will you be seeing (is it enough to justify spending that money for a crud buster)?  From what it sounds like, you realistically won't utilize the Bonafides like you would something like the M-Powers, so I would advise you to go that route.  The Bones are great skis, but you shouldn't buy skis just because they are really good, you need to buy a ski that fits you personally, your style, and what you ski.  I would say that if you are going to be on piste a vast majority of the time, go with the M-Powers (or maybe something a little skinnier).  If you plan on hitting up the bumps and trees almost as you do the groomers, then I would advise you to get the Bonafides.

post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by eastskier44 View Post

The Bones are great skis, but you shouldn't buy skis just because they are really good, you need to buy a ski that fits you personally, your style, and what you ski.  I would say that if you are going to be on piste a vast majority of the time, go with the M-Powers (or maybe something a little skinnier).  If you plan on hitting up the bumps and trees almost as you do the groomers, then I would advise you to get the Bonafides.

 

This is why I am probably not going to go with the Bones. I was thinking about it and they just don't make sense for out in NE. I do ski bumps but not enough for me to want to get a ski that is way more oriented to them that gives up that front side ability. Same deal with trees and powder.

 

The reason why I want to go something that wide is because I still have multiple pairs of race skis that I can grab if I ever want something really narrow, and that the 87 will still give pretty solid versatility, more than a race ski by far. I'll still be able to go into the bumps in them, drop into trees, and powder of the likes we would realistically ski in NE. Ideal for powder, no, but they will definitely get the job done and alot better than what I've been on for the last 4 years as an all mountain screw around ski.

post #4 of 11

First, I agree with your thinking that a narrower 87 ish waist is more versatile for eastern skiing.

At the Epic Gathering in Tahoe last year, I followed Philpug all over Northstar when he was using the Blizzard M Power 87's and snow conditions were very similar to typical eastern hardpack / ice conditions. Phil is a high speed GS turn skier and he just laid RR tracks all over the place. The next day, I used the same skis, but, there was no magic in them for me. Phil is a much stronger skier than I, and, as a former racer, you should be ok with them. I would caution any less skilled skier to try them before buying as they are pretty serious boards and if you can't bend them, they are not fun. Another Epic member also demo'd them that day as we have the same boot size. Half way down, he wanted his own skis back. Tune may have been an issue as they need some sidewall filing. Not sure they would be great in trees as they are pretty stiff, but, they should be fine in crud.

post #5 of 11

It would help to know your weight and height. But if what you're after is a true wide power carver, something that can grip better than most skis 15 mm narrower, very high speed limit, crush stiff crud or spring slush, nice and stiff, and you're looking at last season's skis, then I think the Power 8.7 tops all. Perhaps the Kendo, Stockli VXL, and Elan Apex # 2,3,4 on the short list. And I see no useful point in going over 89 mm if you want to preserve carving chops. 

 

But if you add in any bumps, positions might be reversed, Apex first, M-Power last. I say this as someone who owns a G-Power, owned an Apex, and who's demoed a normal 8.7 and Kendo. I have not skied a Bonafide, probably never will just because adulation in adults sketches me out. But from the, ah, ample reviews, and a conversation last year with a L3 who had skied the Bone recently on the same slope we were standing on, I'll suspect that the three I named will outperform a rockered 98 on conditions you'd want a wide carver for back here: scratch punctuated by piles of chop, heavy crud over blue ice, fresh over stiff small bumps or ridges. Spring slush or pure chop, a draw with a wider ski, different styles. Softer snow, obviously I'd guess the Bone wins, although the M Power should just Hulk through fine, and I never had any issues with my Apex or the Kendo in softer. I hit big piles of man made sugar on the regular 8.7's, cut through like butter. Trees, tough call in NE. Sometimes you want wide, sometimes you want nimble. We're facing another mild winter, incidentally. 

 

If you can add in this season's skis, then other alternatives. The new M-Power Blizzard 8.5 Ti would give up a touch of plantedness, since it's flip core, but I'd bet nicer swiveling through crud, still plenty beefy. The new Head REV85 might be worth a looksee too; back to the future Monster 82 with early rise. Also the new Stockli VXL, now early rise and a topsheet that you'll never lose in the snow, should combine old VXL stability with some mild early rise to make crud even easier if that's possible. (IMO Stocklis are the best crud ski made.) I do not include any Kastles because I think that heavy/stiff crud is their one real weakness; that low inertia tip can get more deflected than I enjoy, although the rest of the ski stays happy. 

 

All this depends on whether you're dead accurate about how rarely you ski bumps or trees. I don't think you are, simply because in NE, if you don't ski bumps or trees, you're not skiing expert terrain. And I have a hard time imagining how an ex-racer wouldn't be on expert terrain unless (big qualification obviously) your knees don't like it. Which I can relate to, although I just tell my knees to shut up. 

 

Good luck!

post #6 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by beyond View Post

 

All this depends on whether you're dead accurate about how rarely you ski bumps or trees. I don't think you are, simply because in NE, if you don't ski bumps or trees, you're not skiing expert terrain. And I have a hard time imagining how an ex-racer wouldn't be on expert terrain unless (big qualification obviously) your knees don't like it. Which I can relate to, although I just tell my knees to shut up. 

 

Good luck!

 

Thanks for the comments all. Much appreciated.

 

The main reason why I would not be going into that stuff as much as the last couple years is because of who I will mainly be skiing with. I was up at school in VT where I would be with people my own age who loved doing that stuff, which I do enjoy as well. But now that I'm back in MA I'll be skiing mainly with my father and some of his friends who don't jump in quite as much. I ski them fine but am not an expert in the bumps. Funny you bring up knee problems. After racing and tennis non stop my cartilage is not the best lol. 

 

Here are my specs. I weigh about 155lbs, 5'10", littler longer than average legs. I've always been able to ski something that perhaps might slightly too stiff for me because I'm athletic and (not trying to sound arrogant) a solid skier. The 8.7s I'm looking at are the 174cm length last years model. I'm not really worried about being able to ski them because I've never had a problem skiing race skis, mainly Volkls. 
 

But back to my question before, I know these do not have the versatility of something like the Bones, but are they really that bad in the bumps and trees? Although I would be sticking mainly to the front side due to A) NE conditions, and B) The people I'd be with mostly. I do still jump in them but they are not my primary conditions and we do not see vast powder days out here.

post #7 of 11

IMO they should do fine under a skier of your level. OTOH, as you must realize, they're stiff enough that at low speeds they'll be some work. If you're mainly skiing with folks who are more relaxed skiers, and then sometimes jumping off for a run on your own (relate to this too), dunno. If that run on your own does usually involve trees or bumps, in all honesty I'd think about either this year's Kendo or the 8.5 Ti suspension. Or even the non-suspension 8.7 from last year, which is still a strong ski, still great grip for a mid-fat, but a little livelier and lighter than the M. 


Edited by beyond - 9/17/12 at 10:26am
post #8 of 11
Thread Starter 

Pfff low speeds! Hehe.

 

I've heard that from a few different people. I'm not overly concerned about that as I know what a real GS race ski is. But yes, I'll be keeping these moving fast. Just bought a new pair of last years Lange RS110 boots. I tried on the Tecnica Inferno Blaze and the Demon 110, a pair of Rossignols that I forget what they were called, and these. The Blazes were too narrow and I could tell they would have needed a good amount of work to make them fit properly, the Demons seemed too comfortable and the flex didn't seem strong enough, and the Rossys just didn't feel right. I put my foot into the Langes and after about 15 minutes of them on and walking around I knew they were the right ones hands down. 

post #9 of 11

All good then. BTW, here are some reviews of the width range you're interested in, last years: http://www.epicski.com/t/108443/88mm-skis-blizzard-bushwacker-magnum-8-7-elan-apex-head-peak-90-kastle-mx88-rossi-exp-88-volkl-kendo

post #10 of 11

From what you have stated, I would say that the M-Powers are a really good ski for you.  I also think that this year's 85's would be an awesome ski for you, as they are still for the aggressive hard chargers, but also have the flip core for a little added versatility.  Getting back to your question from before, the 87's are not good in the bumps or trees.... at all.  But, with that being said they are still skiable in those areas, you just have to know that the skiing is going to be a little less fun and a little more difficult in those areas.  I have a pair of Rossi CX80's, which to me are awful in the bumps.  When skiing them I just choose not to go into the bumps (it's definitely not all because of the ski, as I am far from a great bump skier, but they quite simply are a bitch in the bumps).  So, like I said, if you are willing to labor through the bumps and trees for the little amount of time that you are in them, I would say definitely go with the M-Powers as you are not going to find a more stable ski with better edge grip of the skis in that width class.

post #11 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by eastskier44 View Post

From what you have stated, I would say that the M-Powers are a really good ski for you.  I also think that this year's 85's would be an awesome ski for you, as they are still for the aggressive hard chargers, but also have the flip core for a little added versatility.  Getting back to your question from before, the 87's are not good in the bumps or trees.... at all.  But, with that being said they are still skiable in those areas, you just have to know that the skiing is going to be a little less fun and a little more difficult in those areas.  I have a pair of Rossi CX80's, which to me are awful in the bumps.  When skiing them I just choose not to go into the bumps (it's definitely not all because of the ski, as I am far from a great bump skier, but they quite simply are a bitch in the bumps).  So, like I said, if you are willing to labor through the bumps and trees for the little amount of time that you are in them, I would say definitely go with the M-Powers as you are not going to find a more stable ski with better edge grip of the skis in that width class.

 

Thanks for the recommendation. I'll definitely take a look at them. 

 

It's funny, I've been on a pair of beat up Atomic R11 170cm (so old, pre Atomic Metron) while in college for just screwing around on the mountain. Those things were great in their day but they are beaten up, dead, no edge. No matter what I go with, anything will be better than those lol.

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EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › Ski Gear Discussion › Blizzard M-Power 8.7 w/ Suspension - Reviews?