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Should I buy a Blizzard Flipcore ski without a demo?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
I'm really tempted to buy the Bonafide or Kabookie without a demo. Am I nuts?

Currently skiing on Volkl AC30 177cm (80cm underfoot). Male, 6ft (182cm), 195 Lbs (90kg), 49 decimal years old (31 hex).
Live in Maryland; ski in mostly in the East but on real mountains when I can. Have trips planned in 2013 for Wolf Creek, Killington and Chamonix.
My goal is to get better in moguls and 3D snow (powder, crud, etc), so I think something wider and softer than my current ski would be good.
Bonafide or Kabookie seem (on paper) like they would be about right. Maybe the Bushwacker, but perhaps it is too close in width to my current ski.
Probably the 180cm length in any case.

I fear that I won't be able to find a Blizzard ski to demo, and that even if I do I won't find any for sale. Perhaps I'm getting sucked into the Flipcore Reality Distortion Field...
post #2 of 12

Blizzard is sold out at the factory level. The longer you wait, the less chance to find them. While no ski is perfect and will achieve 100% satisfaction from EVERYONE, if you read the reviews of the Bonafide they are about as positive as any. 

post #3 of 12

I'll throw my $.02 out there.  Disclaimer: I'm not a huge fan of the flipcores (have demo'd the bonafide and bushwacker), they don't fit my style.  That said, tons of people like them a lot.  However, you say you are looking for softer, better in moguls/3D.  To me, that doesn't sound like a Bonafide.  There are a lot of skis in the high 90's that are better than the Bonafide in moguls and soft snow, IMO.

 

So, should you buy a blizzard without demo'ing?  Possibly, it's not necessarily a bad idea.  But I'm not sure, from what you've said, I'm not sure that it's what you're looking for.

post #4 of 12

Although you don't say how you feel about the AC30, pro or con, Phil is spot on that the reviews for the Bone have been almost universally strong. If there's any caveat at all, it's an occasional comment that the tail can feel a bit smeary on firm if you're used to a traditional one, and that the ski feels a bit wide or stiff for bumps or trees. OTOH, at your size, suspect that would be a non-issue.

 

Finally, while the factory may be finished with its run, in fact probably was a while ago, I notice plenty of Bonafides around, all for the same price, so the "the longer you wait..." sounds a bit, ah, enthusiastic. There will be Bonafides around in a month. In 180. And unless The Fever is worse than last season, which I doubt, also in two months...so take a deep breath and exhale. Excellent. You can wait a few weeks if you want to demo. Or not. The world will keep spinning either way. 

 

What is more of an issue IMO is the 3D snow comment. Lessons will help more than a new ski to improve in bumps. But soft snow, another story...At your weight, I'd be thinking more about a 105-115 for any kind of float, and looking for something that would be designed to handle larger bumps. Have you thought about keeping the AC30, which is a perfectly reasonable all-mountain, pretty good in tight bumps actually, that will fetch almost nothing as a used ski, and simply add a soft snow ski? If you like the Blizzard feel, then the Cochise would be a viable option at 108 mm, same flipcore design, same 2.5 sheets of metal, apparently similar feel with bit less carving energy. Or some other beefy skis in that range that would work on both sides of the country or overseas would include the Stockli TT, the Elan 1010, the Line 105 Influence, the Cham 107, and the Nordica Patron. 

 

If you're strictly a one-ski guy, then I'd take a hard look at the Rossi Experience 98, Nordica Hell n' Back, or Line Prophet 98 in addition to the Bonafide. 

post #5 of 12

First: it's not that hard to get a ski that's better for what you are asking than what you have. Width is not the only factor and in fact, it's not the most important factor......flex is.

 

Second: you don't say whether you will keep your AC-30 and have a second pair of tskis (if so, then a 98mm ski might be great answer) OR are you going to replace your AC-30, in which case an 88mm ski with a better flex might be the way to go.

 

Third: If you normally would buy without demoing then you should be fine. Don't fret about demoing first just b/c of the flipcore thing. FTMP, the Blizzards are not polarizing skis.

 

SJ

post #6 of 12

Which is it, Bone or Kabookie?

 

Never skied the bookie, but regarding the bone, I would say you should be OK to buy now, if only because you should be able to turn around and sell at a minimal loss (you would probabbly need to throw-in the bindings and mount costs but recoup 90% on the skis) IF they don't work out. Given your stated goals (get better in moguls and 3D snow (powder, crud, etc)), I think they are a half good choice. Great for 3D snow, but not what I would pick for learning moguls. 

 

I would not feel pressured to buy this one ski, they are good, but over rated on this board and there are plenty of other options out there just as good. I would suggest demoing and finding what you like rather than buying now and trying to justify the purchase later. $.02

post #7 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by jeff2010 View Post

I'm really tempted to buy the Bonafide or Kabookie without a demo. Am I nuts?

 


Currently skiing on Volkl AC30 177cm (80cm underfoot). Male, 6ft (182cm), 195 Lbs (90kg), 49 decimal years old (31 hex).
Live in Maryland; ski in mostly in the East but on real mountains when I can. Have trips planned in 2013 for Wolf Creek, Killington and Chamonix.
My goal is to get better in moguls and 3D snow (powder, crud, etc), so I think something wider and softer than my current ski would be good.
Bonafide or Kabookie seem (on paper) like they would be about right. Maybe the Bushwacker, but perhaps it is too close in width to my current ski.
Probably the 180cm length in any case.
I fear that I won't be able to find a Blizzard ski to demo, and that even if I do I won't find any for sale. Perhaps I'm getting sucked into the Flipcore Reality Distortion Field...

 

 

The Blizzards ski well, no doubt.  With regards to Flipcore; what it is: a rockered tip and tail with camber underfoot.  Sure, it is made differently, but the end result isn't much different than other similarly cambered skis.  I don't get on a Flipcore ski and say "whoa, Flipcore!".  If ski B has a similar flex, similar amount of rocker and camber, chances are it feels pretty similar.    The Flipcore series has pretty unique profiles for that type of ski, which is what makes them ski differently (not better, not worse, just different).  For example, the 8.5ti, having more rocker tip and tail than most 85mm skis, has a very playful feel on soft snow, better in bumps than most skis this width, and lots of energy on soft groomers, due to the tail just having that bit of give that you can work upon release.  Throw it on hard groomers and ski it aggressively, and it feels dead and locked in compared to the Mag 8.1 from last year, which was a superb carver.  Is this "flipcore" at work?  No, much more likely the extra rocker tip and tail, and the bigger turn radius (almost 20m vs. 16m), which makes the tip surfier and easier to flex, the tail spongier and fun, and lacking power and pull into and out of the turn on hard snow.  Anyone could look at the camber profile and pretty much predict it would lean more toward soft snow and off-piste conditions, and less toward carving, Flipcore or not. The Bushwacker also has Flipcore, similar dimensions, but different layups, and couldn't ski more differently than the 8.5ti. They don't feel like they are even made by the same company.

 

I agree with Beyond: wait and demo if you can.  No reason not to.  You are spending close to $1000 on a pair of skis and bindings, why not spend $60 plus a ticket to try them out first?  The forums are great at helping you narrow your list down, but only you can decide what skis best. 

post #8 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by tromano View Post

I would not feel pressured to buy this one ski, they are good, but over rated on this board and there are plenty of other options out there just as good. I would suggest demoing and finding what you like rather than buying now and trying to justify the purchase later. $.02

What is amazing is just how many good skis are out there, from every single brand.  Just in that ~98mm category, I can think of at least 5 or 6 skis I would happily own.  Honestly, if I had to pick a "best" ski in that group, I don't think I could.  They are all so similar in performance.  Agree that getting hung up on a particular ski is silly, unless you have demoed it and found a winner. 

post #9 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by dawgcatching View Post

 

The Blizzards ski well, no doubt.  With regards to Flipcore; what it is: a rockered tip and tail with camber underfoot.  Sure, it is made differently, but the end result isn't much different than other similarly cambered skis.  I don't get on a Flipcore ski and say "whoa, Flipcore!".  If ski B has a similar flex, similar amount of rocker and camber, chances are it feels pretty similar.    The Flipcore series has pretty unique profiles for that type of ski, which is what makes them ski differently (not better, not worse, just different).  For example, the 8.5ti, having more rocker tip and tail than most 85mm skis, has a very playful feel on soft snow, better in bumps than most skis this width, and lots of energy on soft groomers, due to the tail just having that bit of give that you can work upon release.  Throw it on hard groomers and ski it aggressively, and it feels dead and locked in compared to the Mag 8.1 from last year, which was a superb carver.  Is this "flipcore" at work?  No, much more likely the extra rocker tip and tail, and the bigger turn radius (almost 20m vs. 16m), which makes the tip surfier and easier to flex, the tail spongier and fun, and lacking power and pull into and out of the turn on hard snow.  Anyone could look at the camber profile and pretty much predict it would lean more toward soft snow and off-piste conditions, and less toward carving, Flipcore or not. The Bushwacker also has Flipcore, similar dimensions, but different layups, and couldn't ski more differently than the 8.5ti. They don't feel like they are even made by the same company.

 

I agree with Beyond: wait and demo if you can.  No reason not to.  You are spending close to $1000 on a pair of skis and bindings, why not spend $60 plus a ticket to try them out first?  The forums are great at helping you narrow your list down, but only you can decide what skis best. 

Refreshing to see a retailer on here selling just a good ski for what it is, and not some snake oil.

post #10 of 12
Thread Starter 

OK, many thanks for your various inputs and for talking me back from the edge. I will try to do some demos this season.

 

My plan is to keep the AC30 in addition to any wider ski I buy. However, if my Chamonix trip works out I plan to bring only one pair on the plane, and based on my experience last year would prefer that the ski be wider. I'd also like to have some time in advance to get accustomed to a wider ski in various conditions, given the variability of the Alps.

 

Perhaps I should consider the Cochise or the Cham 107 or others in the 100+ range as Beyond suggested, though even the 98mm Bonafide seems wide to me as an old guy who learned on skinny skis.

post #11 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by jeff2010 View Post

OK, many thanks for your various inputs and for talking me back from the edge. I will try to do some demos this season.

 

My plan is to keep the AC30 in addition to any wider ski I buy. However, if my Chamonix trip works out I plan to bring only one pair on the plane, and based on my experience last year would prefer that the ski be wider. I'd also like to have some time in advance to get accustomed to a wider ski in various conditions, given the variability of the Alps.

 

Perhaps I should consider the Cochise or the Cham 107 or others in the 100+ range as Beyond suggested, though even the 98mm Bonafide seems wide to me as an old guy who learned on skinny skis.

I'm an old guy who learned on skinny skis and I find 108 (Sidestashes) to be a nice width for just about anything, except tight bumps and sneaking through crowded lift lines.  A ski on edge doesn't care how wide it is. (Some say your knees will care but I've haven't noticed that, and in crud and heavy snow the extra float makes up for that many times over in terms of effort and strain.)

post #12 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by dawgcatching View Post

What is amazing is just how many good skis are out there, from every single brand.  Just in that ~98mm category, I can think of at least 5 or 6 skis I would happily own.  Honestly, if I had to pick a "best" ski in that group, I don't think I could.  They are all so similar in performance.  Agree that getting hung up on a particular ski is silly, unless you have demoed it and found a winner. 

Quoted for truth. I think the weirdest thing about a place like Epic is we that pay lip service to this ^^^^ but then go haring after the latest and greatest and "best." Kinda peculiar in that we're supposed to be too sophisticated/jaded to buy into "best" discourses, we're supposed to be all about evaluating what one ski does differently than another. th_dunno-1[1].gif IME the biggest difference between most modern skis is their feel. Maybe followed by their target mission; what and who they're aimed at. Length, SJ said long ago, had more impact on how a ski handled than its brand. Hard to disagree with that either. 

 

OP, you'll find that modern 105-110's handle about as easily as something 20 mm narrower from back a ways. Ditto for 98 mm. Skis have improved that much. Trust it. 

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