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Blizzard Bonifide or Fischer Watea

post #1 of 28
Thread Starter 

Hello, lets start out with some stats.  I am a 25 year old male, 5'10" 180lbs. I'm from Michigan, but most of my skiing is done out west.  I'm a level 7 skier. I ski about 10 days a year and I've been skiing since I was a kid, although I've had kind of revival in the past 4-5 years. I like to ski just about all terrian, steep groomers, trees, sidecountry, bowls...  moguls are my weakness, and thererfore I find myself avoiding them, but I would like to work on that.  I would say at this point I am more of a high speed big turn guy.  I'm still kind of finding my style and definetly improving each year, so I'm looking for a ski that will do everything on the mountain except the deepest powder, in which case I would just demo a powder ski, and one that I can grow into skill wise.

 

I am able to get Fischer skis at 50% off, so since I have gotten more into skiing 5 or so years ago I have pretty much only skied Fischer Wateas.  I am currently using a 08ish Watea 74 181, but I feel its to narrow of a ski for all mountain out west.  I skied a 2010 Watea 94 for a couple days last year and loved it.  It had better float in soft snow, and I didnt really feel like I gave anything up in terms of responsiveness coming from the 74.  That was before they started implementing the freeride rocker though, so I'm not sure how the current 96 would compare.  From what I have read the current 96 "likes to go strait" and is a "powerful ski for powerful skiers", and I'm not sure that describes me.

 

Then I found the reviews of the Blizzard Bonifide.  Seems like just about everyone really likes it.  This leaves me to two questions. 1) is the Bonifide to much of a ski for me? and 2) assuming its not, is it a better ski for me than the Watea 96?  Will it be a big enough improvement over the Watea to justify paying full price ( '13 Watea would be $425 w/bindings). 

 

If you have any experience with either of these skies, or better yet, with both, please share!  Thank you in advance.


Edited by nickwin - 10/30/12 at 7:42am
post #2 of 28

I have skied both, I feel there is enough difference but I am skiing 60 days a year. The '13 for 425 WITH bindings? are you sure not the '12? 

post #3 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Philpug View Post

I have skied both, I feel there is enough difference but I am skiing 60 days a year. The '13 for 425 WITH bindings? are you sure not the '12? 


Just double checked, $425 is for the '13 WITHOUT bindings.  I thought I remembered my 78s including bindings when I bought them years back, but I could be wrong.  I know my last question about it being worth the extra money is pretty subjective.  Let me just say that I am a college student, so that is a lot of money to me, BUT this will be my one ski quiver and I plan on keeping this ski for 5-10 years (hopefully :), so if there really will be a noticeable improvement to someone of my skill level it would probably be worth it to me.

 

Phil, if you had to summarize the differences between these two skies what would you say?  Did you enjoy them both overall?  Do they seem like reasonable options for my skill level and terrain preferences?


Edited by nickwin - 10/30/12 at 8:57am
post #4 of 28
Both are great skis. Between the two, I prefer the Watea for moguls. If you've got a price like you're quoting, jump on it, even for a 2012 model.
post #5 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by nickwin View Post


Just double checked, $425 is for the '13 WITHOUT bindings.  I thought I remembered my 78s including bindings when I bought them years back, but I could be wrong.  In case your wondering how I get the discount, I'm a tennis pro sponsored by Fischer.  I know my last question about it being worth the extra money is pretty subjective.  Let me just say that I am a college student, so that is a lot of money to me, BUT this will be my one ski quiver and I plan on keeping this ski for 5-10 years (hopefully :), so if there really will be a noticeable improvement to someone of my skill level it would probably be worth it to me.

 

Phil, if you had to summarize the differences between these two skies what would you say?  Did you enjoy them both overall?  Do they seem like reasonable options for my skill level and terrain preferences?

 

First rule about Pro deals is we don't talk about Pro deals. Rules.gif

 

Get the Fischers for the value. 

post #6 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Philpug View Post

 

First rule about Pro deals is we don't talk about Pro deals. Rules.gif

 

What he said.

post #7 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by nickwin View Post

From what I have read the current 96 "likes to go strait" and is a "powerful ski for powerful skiers", and I'm not sure that describes me.

 

 

Wow, are we talking about the new '13 watea 96?  That is absolutely NOT the way I would describe them at a;;.  I demo'ed them last spring and felt they were a very light, lively ski, not powerful at all.  They had a definite speed limit in heavier crud, but were probably the best ski of the day in bumps.  If you liked the watea 94, I would look at the big stix 98 instead.  That had a feel much more like the watea 94, but a little more stable.  I also feel that the fischers discussed here all feel very different from the Bonafide.  The Bone is a stiffer, beefier, more serious ski.  Just a very different feel.

 

Disclaimer: Skied the watea 94 as my daily driver for the last few years, really liked the '13 big stix 98, wouldn't buy the '13 watea 96 for myself, and have skied the bonafide before and didn't care for it, not my style.

post #8 of 28
Thread Starter 

First of all sorry for breaking a forum rule! I edited any mention of pro deal from my posts...  Second, thanks for all the opinions.  I'm realizing I should have probably just left the prices out of this discussion because I think people are focusing on the "deal" I can get on the Wateas.  The truth is the Bonifides sell for roughly $200 more than what I can get the Wateas for.  Spread that $200 over 5-10 years and compare it to what I pay to get out west for a week every year and it starts to seem pretty insignificant in comparison.  I guess my point is that if there really was a big difference in performance I wouldnt mind spending the money.

 

Its kind interesting, the magazine reviews I've read would leave me to believe that the Bonifide is just a far better all mountain ski, but from the feedback I'm getting here it seems they are both great, but different skis.  Neither one is going transform the way I ski. 
 

post #9 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jaobrien6 View Post

 

Wow, are we talking about the new '13 watea 96?  That is absolutely NOT the way I would describe them at a;;.  I demo'ed them last spring and felt they were a very light, lively ski, not powerful at all.  They had a definite speed limit in heavier crud, but were probably the best ski of the day in bumps.  If you liked the watea 94, I would look at the big stix 98 instead.  That had a feel much more like the watea 94, but a little more stable.  I also feel that the fischers discussed here all feel very different from the Bonafide.  The Bone is a stiffer, beefier, more serious ski.  Just a very different feel.

 

Disclaimer: Skied the watea 94 as my daily driver for the last few years, really liked the '13 big stix 98, wouldn't buy the '13 watea 96 for myself, and have skied the bonafide before and didn't care for it, not my style.

 

This is really interesting. Here is an expert from Ski Mags review "It's a powerful ski for strong skiers. It's smooth and predictable in all situations, dishing Cadillac turns on groomed snow and crushing crud with its girthy, rockered forebody. It loves blasting wide-open topography more than maneuvering through technical terrain".  That being said just about everything else I've read is more inline with what you describe.

 

In what ways do you think the big stix 98 is more like the 94 than the 96?  What didnt you like about the '13 96?

 

And as far as the Bonifide being a more serious ski, what does that mean in practical terms?  Is it simply more ski than I need?


Edited by nickwin - 10/30/12 at 10:21am
post #10 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by nickwin View Post

 

This is really interesting. Here is an expert from Ski Mags review "It's a powerful ski for strong skiers. It's smooth and predictable in all situations, dishing Cadillac turns on groomed snow and crushing crud with its girthy, rockered forebody. It loves blasting wide-open topography more than maneuvering through technical terrain".  That being said just about everything else I've read is more inline with what you describe.

 

In what ways do you think the big stix 98 is more like the 94 than the 96?  What didnt you like about the '13 96?

 

And as far as the Bonifide being a more serious ski, what does that mean in practical terms?  Is it simply more ski than I need?

 

Well, take my opinions with a grain of salt.  Never claimed to be an expert reviewer, what I can mostly do best is tell if I like a ski or not.  So, keep that in mind.

 

What I didn't like about the 96 is probably easier if I say what I liked about it first.  Very nimble, light feeling ski.  Very quick edge to edge.  This made it the best ski of the day by far in the bumps (all skis I skied that day were in the 90's).  Probably the best ski in the 90's I've skied in the bumps yet (at least based on my style and skill level).  However everywhere else, that light nimble feeling was a detriment.  When I opened it up in some crud, it was downright scary.  I don't usually ski fast enough to find the speed limit on most skis, but this one I can.  Now, I may be too heavy for the ski (200lb), maybe I ski too fast for it (although as I said that's normally not the case for me), I don't know but it just didn't work for me.

 

The big stix was a much more stable ski.  Reminds me a lot actually of the watea 94, just a touch more stable.  It's hard to describe in more detail than that, but after skiing a bunch on the watea 94 over the last few years, the big stix just felt extremely familiar to me when I got on it.  It's got fairly minimal rocker to it, so that doesn't change the feel a ton compared to the old watea.  Felt like it was a little easier to bring around in tight conditions, which could be the slight rocker and bigger tail, or could just be my imagination based on my expectations.  It's so hard to objectively tell sometimes (IMO).

 

The bonafide is a stiffer, damper, more stable ski.  Very good on firmer conditions, it would be a winner for the big high speed turns you were talking about.  Lots (I mean *lots*) of people on this site absolutely love it, but I found that off trail, it was a little more ski than I like.  It just didn't suit my preferences.  More ski than you need?  Not necessarily, and I'm not sure anyone can answer that for you.

post #11 of 28

I found the Bonafide to be really stable, loves to go fast, but for me not too exciting.   Gets great reviews everywhere, and a really good one-quiver-do-everything-pretty-well ski, but not as much fun for me on the bumps.  The Wateas and Big Stix are lighter, livelier, great in the bumps for a wider ski, and for me at least, still very stable, but not the speed machine the Bonafide can be.

 

Big Stix 98 is pretty much the same ski at last year's Watea 98 (dropped the powder hull).  Last year some Wateas had twin tips (98 for example) and some had flat (or swallow) tails like the 101.  Not sure what tail the 94 had.  

 

This year they are differentiating the Watea's (sidecountry, flat tail, easier to fit skins) from Big Stix (twin tip, soft snow oriented all/mountain, big mountain, whatever that means).  When I talked to a Fischer rep he confirmed the construction is otherwise the same between the two lines.

post #12 of 28

Looks like you like how the Fischer skis work, so get what you know and trust.  Bonafide has lots of metal in it, so it is a much more powerful ski.  Since you are athletic, you can handle it, but I doubt that for the amount of days you ski it will make any serious difference in your skiing experience. Better spend the money you saved on trips and apre-ski booze.    

post #13 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by DesiredUsername View Post

When I talked to a Fischer rep he confirmed the construction is otherwise the same between the two lines.

 

FWIW, the rep I talked to said there was a construction difference between the watea 96 and the big stix 98.  I don't recall what he said it was, and he could have been wrong about that anyway.

post #14 of 28
Thread Starter 

Some really helpful posts there, thank you.  Am I correct in thinking that the Bonifides are less forgiving and requires a more aggressive approach compared to the Wateas or Big Stix?  Honestly at this point I'm almost leaning toward the big stix 98.  I havnt even really looked at it because Fischer markets it as a strait up powder ski, but it seems like a lot of people would actaully consider it a better do-everthing ski than the Watea 94.  Its sounds like the Watea is slightly quicker edge to edge but the 98 more than makes up for it with more stability and soft snow performance?
 

post #15 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by nickwin View Post

Some really helpful posts there, thank you.  Am I correct in thinking that the Bonifides are less forgiving and requires a more aggressive approach compared to the Wateas or Big Stix? 

 



That is how I would characterize it.  I always find the Bonafide on the more aggressive, almost unforgiving side of things (you have 25lbs on me, though) and the Watea is almost too light, lively, easy, but lacking power. Really, they are pretty far apart on the spectrum, for being skis that were developed for similar skiing conditions. I am more of a fan of something in between these 2; combining the Bonafide's grip, power, and stability, with something lighter, more nimble, better in bumps, easier to handle at slower speeds (which is characteristic of the Watea).  I think you could make a case for owning both, they are both good skis.

post #16 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by nickwin View Post

First of all sorry for breaking a forum rule! I edited any mention of pro deal from my posts.

 

This is not just a forum rule, it is the way anyone who gets a pro deal is supposed to handle it.  I'm a certified PSIA instructor and as such I get good deals on some stuff.  If I go into my local ski shop looking at skis and then brag that I can buy the same thing for half price through PSIA, it looks bad and give all of PSIA a black eye.  It could even cause that manufacturer to discontinue their pro offer.  If you get a pro deal, just keep it to yourself.

post #17 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mtcyclist View Post

 

This is not just a forum rule, it is the way anyone who gets a pro deal is supposed to handle it.  I'm a certified PSIA instructor and as such I get good deals on some stuff.  If I go into my local ski shop looking at skis and then brag that I can buy the same thing for half price through PSIA, it looks bad and give all of PSIA a black eye.  It could even cause that manufacturer to discontinue their pro offer.  If you get a pro deal, just keep it to yourself.


I'm not sure what you are getting at sir?  I've been informed of this 3 times already in this thread, once by you!  I edited out any mention of it from my posts as soon as I was told it was agaist the rules, what do you want me to do?  Maybe if you tell me again I can become a moderator of this forum and edit the quotes that's still show those statements in others posts.  If you really read my OP you would understand that I wasnt bragging whatsoever, it was a relevant issue to my question.  And I'm sorry but that statement about going into a ski shop and bragging is nonsense.  This isnt such a sensitive issue in tennis apparently, I've been getting pro deals in the tennis world for 5 years and I've never had a problem like this.  I said I was sorry, I fixed the mistake to the extent that I can and I had nothing but good intentions from the start.  If the thread needs to be deleted that is totally ok.  That being said telling me over and over that I broke the rule isnt benefiting anyone.

 

And thanks to everyone who provided (positive) input to this thread, its a huge help and I appreciate it.


Edited by nickwin - 10/30/12 at 2:11pm
post #18 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by dawgcatching View Post

 



That is how I would characterize it.  I always find the Bonafide on the more aggressive, almost unforgiving side of things (you have 25lbs on me, though) and the Watea is almost too light, lively, easy, but lacking power. Really, they are pretty far apart on the spectrum, for being skis that were developed for similar skiing conditions. I am more of a fan of something in between these 2; combining the Bonafide's grip, power, and stability, with something lighter, more nimble, better in bumps, easier to handle at slower speeds (which is characteristic of the Watea).  I think you could make a case for owning both, they are both good skis.


Great write up dawgcatching that helps put the differences of these two skis in perspective.  Where would you put the big stix 98 on that spectrum?   From what I'm hearing It seems like it would be pretty similar to the Watea 96 but with slightly more stability and power.  Do you think the 98 would be a better all rounder for someone like me than the '13 Watea 96?

post #19 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by nickwin View Post


Great write up dawgcatching that helps put the differences of these two skis in perspective.  Where would you put the big stix 98 on that spectrum?   From what I'm hearing It seems like it would be pretty similar to the Watea 96 but with slightly more stability and power.  Do you think the 98 would be a better all rounder for someone like me than the '13 Watea 96?

 



Sorry, I haven't yet skied the Big Stix 98.  We took a year hiatus from carrying Fischer.  They make great skis, but no money.

post #20 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by dawgcatching View Post

 



Sorry, I haven't yet skied the Big Stix 98.  We took a year hiatus from carrying Fischer.  They make great skis, but no money.


The current Big Stix 98 is suppose to the same ski as last years Watea 98 which I know you liked because I read your review!

post #21 of 28

Quote:
Originally Posted by nickwin View Post

The current Big Stix 98 is suppose to the same ski as last years Watea 98 which I know you liked because I read your review!

 

FWIW, it's definitely not the *exact* same ski because last year's watea 98 had the boat hull tip and the big stix 98 does not.  That doesn't mean the rest of the ski construction isn't the same, I don't know either way if it is, just that it might not be.

post #22 of 28

I'm from the East but try to ski Utah every year. Last year I got a pair of the Bonafides for Utah and for pow, slop or groomer days in the East.

 

For Utah skiing, they are superb, loved em.  I found the rocker even made them work well in the bumps.  I wouldn't say they are too much of a ski - they would take any intermediate level skier up a notch.

 

Sorry, don't know anything about the Fishers.

post #23 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by OutNSpace View Post

 . . . . I wouldn't say they are too much of a ski - they would take any intermediate level skier up a notch.

 

 

How does that work exactly?  In my experience, new, up-leveled equipment will raise your game. . . but only you bring a baseline of requsite skills to the table.  There is no magic-ski for everyone, Bones or otherwise. 

 

I love the Bones, but they are not for everyone and most definitely not an intermediate's "game improvement" tool.

 

OP likes the feel of his Fischers, a ski on the quicker/lighter side of the spectrum.  He is self described blue/black skier who "avoids" bumps - which is the tell.  If you don't ski bumps well on the Watea 94, you aren't going to ski them any better on the Bones, a more damp, more still, less forgiving ski.  More likely, you'll be worse. By all means demo and decide for yourself, but I wouldn't recommend spending an additional $200, sight unseen, based on a bunch of magazine reviews and bluster on the interwebs.

post #24 of 28
Thread Starter 

I just want to clarify that my reason for wanting to upgrade is not to ski bumps better, I just feel like the 78s I'm using now are to narrow underfoot for an all mountain ski.  That being said I'm looking for a ski that can handle bumps relatively well.

post #25 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by dawgcatching View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by nickwin View Post

Some really helpful posts there, thank you.  Am I correct in thinking that the Bonifides are less forgiving and requires a more aggressive approach compared to the Wateas or Big Stix? 

 

That is how I would characterize it.  I always find the Bonafide on the more aggressive, almost unforgiving side of things (you have 25lbs on me, though) and the Watea is almost too light, lively, easy, but lacking power. Really, they are pretty far apart on the spectrum, for being skis that were developed for similar skiing conditions. I am more of a fan of something in between these 2; combining the Bonafide's grip, power, and stability, with something lighter, more nimble, better in bumps, easier to handle at slower speeds (which is characteristic of the Watea).  I think you could make a case for owning both, they are both good skis.

Wait a tick; what is the ski are you describing?  Rock n' Roll?  FX94 (FX104 for Kevin)?  Both get the nod for an afternoon (after untracked?) weapon.  Granted, you are lighter than some, but your athleticism seems to add a stone or two...

post #26 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by FairToMiddlin View Post

Wait a tick; what is the ski are you describing?  Rock n' Roll?  FX94 (FX104 for Kevin)?  Both get the nod for an afternoon (after untracked?) weapon.  Granted, you are lighter than some, but your athleticism seems to add a stone or two...


I would agree - I owned a '09 Watea and love it - but skied the Head Rock N'Roll 94 at a demo last year and found the feel to be very similar to the Watea, only "more"  more stable at speed, a bit more grip, and a fair bit "more" in crud.  Definitely worth a look.  I don't have any time on the new Watea or Big Stix though.

post #27 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by LewyM View Post

 

How does that work exactly?  In my experience, new, up-leveled equipment will raise your game. . . but only you bring a baseline of requsite skills to the table.  There is no magic-ski for everyone, Bones or otherwise. 

 

I love the Bones, but they are not for everyone and most definitely not an intermediate's "game improvement" tool.

 

OP likes the feel of his Fischers, a ski on the quicker/lighter side of the spectrum.  He is self described blue/black skier who "avoids" bumps - which is the tell.  If you don't ski bumps well on the Watea 94, you aren't going to ski them any better on the Bones, a more damp, more still, less forgiving ski.  More likely, you'll be worse. By all means demo and decide for yourself, but I wouldn't recommend spending an additional $200, sight unseen, based on a bunch of magazine reviews and bluster on the interwebs.

 

I actually think the bone would work well for park and ride on the groomers and light crud. They won't help improve your game, but would make it easier for some people to ski "the way they ski".

post #28 of 28
Thread Starter 

Thanks for all the input guys.  Even after all this I think I'm just going to have to demo the Bones and see if they work for me.  Unfortunety it can be hard to really put a ski through its paces here in Michigan, if I can even find that ski.  It sounds like with my experience on the Wateas I should be able to tell pretty quickly if I prefer that style of ski though.  Based on what I've heard, my "gut" tells me that the Bones will be more stable at speeds on the front side, maybe a little more fun to carve with, but that same power and stability might work against it off piste.

 

I wish I could narrow my choices down to two though, can anyone comment on the Watea 96 '13 vs the Big Stix 98 for a one ski quiver, or is it to early to get much feedback on those?


Edited by nickwin - 10/31/12 at 6:43am
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