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REVIEW: 2014 Blizzard Brahma

post #1 of 88
Thread Starter 

Review:

With the extreme popularity of the Bull/Rodeo theme, it is not surprising that Blizzard is expanding the collection for 2014. The Bull that is being reviewed here is the 88mm wide Brahma. It was Bugs Bunny who said 'Wait a cotton picking minute" to the bull in Warner Brothers classic 1952 cartoon, "Bully for Bugs", but doesn't Blizzard already have an 88mm wide ski in this series? Yes, they do, my astute readers, they have the Bushwacker, which has the SAME EXACT dimensions. So why the Brahma? Well, the Brahma adds something that the Bushwacker doesn't have…metal!. Well, doesn't the incredibly good Magnum 8.5Ti, also a flip core ski, have metal? And on paper, it sounds pretty much like the Brahma, why again? Well grasshopper, you are right again…but since we DON'T ski on paper, we now have the Brahma. 

 

For those who like the Bonafide, but don't want a 98mm wide ski, there is the Brahma. For those who like the Magnum 8.5Ti want a little more off piste versatility, there is the Brahma. For those who like the Bushwacker but want a bit more stability and control on hard snow, there is the Brahma. The Brahma IS the east coast Bonafide…but with a bit more power, it is the Bonafide that went to pilate class and slimmed down and tighter up it's ass, yes, the Brahma has a stronger tail than the Bonafide.  So, if the Brahma is the east coast Bonafide, how does it fit in out west and in Tahoe in particular? Well, with having the Bonafide as my daily driver, I am adding the Brahma for the days (and weeks) that we have no fresh. The days when groomers and bumps are the only thing on the menu. This is where the Brahma will excel, it has the big sweet spot of the Bonafide and the strength of the Magnum 8.5Ti. While the Brahma seems to look like it will be crowding he herd of Blizzards but with the Bushwacker moving to the side country collection with the Kabookie and upcoming Scout, the Brahma is fitting in nicely with the Bonafide, Cochise and Bodacious. Like I said above, it is a narrow Bonafide or for my car analogy loving followers, it is an Allroads version of an Audi A6 Avant. 

 

Other Skis in Class:

Rossignol Experience 88

Volkl Kendo

Kastle BMX88

Nordica Steadfast

K2 Sideshow

 

Product:

Length Tested: 180cm

Dimensions/Turn Radius: 125/88/110 19M

Camber: Early Rise Tip & Tail w/camber

Binding: Look Pivot14

Mount point: Suggested 

 

Environment & Conditions:

Location of Test: Northstar

Number of Runs: Half day

Snow Conditions: Week old packed and groomed

Demo or Own: Own

 

Tester Info:

Username: Philpug

Age: 49

Height/Weight: 5'10" 185lb

Ski Days/Season: 60+

Years Skiing: 35

Aggressiveness: Moderate (Finesse) 

Current Quiver: 10 Kastle MX78, 14 Blizzard Brahma, 13 Blizzard Bonafide, 13 Blizzard Gunsmoke, plus various vintage skis

Home Area: Squaw & Northstar

Preferred Terrain: bumps, off-piste, trees

 

 

AppleMark

Yeah, the green pivots look good on them

post #2 of 88

Philpug,

The Brahma sounds similar in construction and dimensions to the Magnum 8.7. I wonder if it has a similar feel. Your thoughts?

post #3 of 88

No it doesn't feel like the 8.7, it is damper and has a much less 'locked-in' feel on edge. It feels much more versatile, can make multiple turn shapes and is fun in moguls... not a Mag 8.7, not a carving ski at all. It's a 'not very wide' freeride ski.

post #4 of 88

I really don't get the point of this ski...  I demo'ed the Blizzard 8.5 up at Stowe a few weeks ago.  I took that thing everywhere.  Now Stowe was buried in hero snow at the time, but I couldn't find something that ski didn't do well.  It floats way better than a ski of that size should, it skis bumps well, it rails groomers...

 

And I have a pair of Bushwackers, which I think are the greatest bump ski I've ever been on.  I ski them short (173cm), and they're soft, so deep glop isn't exactly their forte, but they ski groomers remarkably well, they're an awesome bump ski, they handle Stowe's trees pretty well, etc.

 

Maybe for people heavier then my 170lbs who still want to ski it short for bumping magic?

post #5 of 88

Hey Kevin how long was that Blizzard 8.5 you demoed at Stowe? I go there a lot and we weight the same.

Quote:
Originally Posted by KevinF View Post

I really don't get the point of this ski...  I demo'ed the Blizzard 8.5 up at Stowe a few weeks ago.  I took that thing everywhere.  Now Stowe was buried in hero snow at the time, but I couldn't find something that ski didn't do well.  It floats way better than a ski of that size should, it skis bumps well, it rails groomers...

 

And I have a pair of Bushwackers, which I think are the greatest bump ski I've ever been on.  I ski them short (173cm), and they're soft, so deep glop isn't exactly their forte, but they ski groomers remarkably well, they're an awesome bump ski, they handle Stowe's trees pretty well, etc.

 

Maybe for people heavier then my 170lbs who still want to ski it short for bumping magic?

post #6 of 88

Phil - can I demo this sometime over the next few weeks?  Seems like perfect timing (unfortunately).

 

Also, how would you say it compares to some other skis in that same range, like the Kastle MX88 and Volkl Kendo?

post #7 of 88

On the one hand, this sounds like (another) really nice soft snow ski that can handle firm groomers and bumps, thus maybe closer to an 888 or VMX than a Kendo or MX88 (which I regard as the opposite, firm groomer skis that can handle soft snow and bumps). So the symmetry is obvious (Cochise/Scout; Bonafide/Kabookie; Brahma/Bushwacker) but yeah, unclear if the 8.5 has been relegated to the corporate office with no windows. And Blizzard's strategy is sounding like it caught Kastle's let's-have-all-these-models-compete-with-each-other disease. Not to mention the sheer number of models from other brands now competing for the same 5 mm. I guess we're the winners, curious if a company gains share doing this or just reapportions the same share among more models...th_dunno-1[1].gif

post #8 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pastuch View Post

Hey Kevin how long was that Blizzard 8.5 you demoed at Stowe? I go there a lot and we weight the same.

 

I demo'ed the 174cm length.  SkierShop has them.

post #9 of 88
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by JayT View Post

Phil - can I demo this sometime over the next few weeks?  Seems like perfect timing (unfortunately).

 

Also, how would you say it compares to some other skis in that same range, like the Kastle MX88 and Volkl Kendo?

I have these set up to work with a boot up to 303 or so..damn Look Pivots, I was hoping to have some of the new Salomon Sth2 13's to put on them, but they didn't arrive in time. For where you ski an what you like, it could be a viable option for you. 

post #10 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by Philpug View Post

I have these set up to work with a boot up to 303 or so..damn Look Pivots, I was hoping to have some of the new Salomon Sth2 13's to put on them, but they didn't arrive in time. For where you ski an what you like, it could be a viable option for you. 

 

So then my 300 BSL should be okay?  Anyway, I'll probably drop by sometime next Friday or Saturday for the previously discussed boot adjustments.  I'll let you know later next week.  My kendo's are fine but are starting to leave me wanting something a little different (and a bit longer than 177).

post #11 of 88

Quite possibly the worst name for a ski, ever, in history.

 

But, at the same time, what Blizzard should have had from the start of Flip-Core.

post #12 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by AlpineA View Post

Quite possibly the worst name for a ski, ever, in history.

You have not been paying attention, have you?

post #13 of 88

I just can't get past the graphics. I'm too old I guess.

post #14 of 88

F = ma.  Skiers come in all sizes and shapes.  Heavier skiers have more mass, and thus generate more force at slower speeds.  True, we have rotational forces, but you get the point.

post #15 of 88

OK, I'm usually one of those people who states that the top sheet of a ski doesn't mater because we buy them for what's inside, etc.  But in this rare instance, allow me to comment that this is about the ugliest top sheet I've ever seen.  The good news is that Blizzard was nice enough to keep employing a graphic artist who was a hell of a nice person in spite of their abject lack of talent.    It's not like they hired Paul Rand or something.

 

I mean this seriously Blizzard.  WTF are you guys thinking over there?  And for the record, I own two pairs of your skis now (2013 Gunsmokes and Kabookies).  I am your demo.

 

If anyone from Blizzard reads this, feel free to PM me for some references to talented and award-winning graphic designers.  You need help.  And awareness is the first step to recovery.

post #16 of 88

THey look better in person, if that helps....

post #17 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by segbrown View Post

THey look better in person, if that helps....
And, the Blizzards definitely ski better in person.biggrin.gif
post #18 of 88

I've met a bunch of Epicski members over the years... don't go throwing stones when it comes to aesthetics, we are not an attractive bunch.

post #19 of 88
I don't know why people obsess about the top sheets. If you're skiing em as intended, 99% of the time you're not going to be able to see them under all that snow and ice.
post #20 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by JRO92009 View Post

OK, I'm usually one of those people who states that the top sheet of a ski doesn't mater because we buy them for what's inside, etc.  But in this rare instance, allow me to comment that this is about the ugliest top sheet I've ever seen.  The good news is that Blizzard was nice enough to keep employing a graphic artist who was a hell of a nice person in spite of their abject lack of talent.    It's not like they hired Paul Rand or something.

 

I mean this seriously Blizzard.  WTF are you guys thinking over there?  And for the record, I own two pairs of your skis now (2013 Gunsmokes and Kabookies).  I am your demo.

 

If anyone from Blizzard reads this, feel free to PM me for some references to talented and award-winning graphic designers.  You need help.  And awareness is the first step to recovery.

 

I can't decide how I would feel about the top sheet if I didn't know that it was paying homage to Arne Backstrom. That makes me like the bull theme. I've never had a problem with it, I don't know.

 

Phil, I'll be interested in comparing these to my BWs when I come demo . . . er, I mean visit. biggrin.gif

 

May the F=ma be with you.

post #21 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by beyond View Post

On the one hand, this sounds like (another) really nice soft snow ski that can handle firm groomers and bumps, thus maybe closer to an 888 or VMX than a Kendo or MX88 (which I regard as the opposite, firm groomer skis that can handle soft snow and bumps). So the symmetry is obvious (Cochise/Scout; Bonafide/Kabookie; Brahma/Bushwacker) but yeah, unclear if the 8.5 has been relegated to the corporate office with no windows. And Blizzard's strategy is sounding like it caught Kastle's let's-have-all-these-models-compete-with-each-other disease. Not to mention the sheer number of models from other brands now competing for the same 5 mm. I guess we're the winners, curious if a company gains share doing this or just reapportions the same share among more models...th_dunno-1[1].gif

 

There wasn't much in terms of direct comparison in the thread other than saying that the brahma is more like a skinny bonifide. Still sounds like the 8.5 is more front side oriented. 

post #22 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by DSloan View Post

 

I can't decide how I would feel about the top sheet if I didn't know that it was paying homage to Arne Backstrom. That makes me like the bull theme. I've never had a problem with it, I don't know.

 

Phil, I'll be interested in comparing these to my BWs when I come demo . . . er, I mean visit. biggrin.gif

 

May the F=ma be with you.

 

I still dislike the cow imagery. 

post #23 of 88

I get your point but they are Brahma Bulls in the graphic.  They are very powerful and if you are around one that is pissed off you need to be somewhere else.

post #24 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by tromano View Post

 

I still dislike the cow imagery. 

 

Could be worse... they could've based the artwork on a late '70s British heavy metal band that nobody's cared about in decades.

 

I agree that the bull designs look better in person. Compared to what's on a lot of skis in this segment I think the Blizzard line looks pretty good. Not everyone can be DPS.


Edited by kauffee - 1/20/13 at 1:01pm
post #25 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by beyond View Post

On the one hand, this sounds like (another) really nice soft snow ski that can handle firm groomers and bumps, thus maybe closer to an 888 or VMX than a Kendo or MX88 (which I regard as the opposite, firm groomer skis that can handle soft snow and bumps). So the symmetry is obvious (Cochise/Scout; Bonafide/Kabookie; Brahma/Bushwacker) but yeah, unclear if the 8.5 has been relegated to the corporate office with no windows. And Blizzard's strategy is sounding like it caught Kastle's let's-have-all-these-models-compete-with-each-other disease. Not to mention the sheer number of models from other brands now competing for the same 5 mm. I guess we're the winners, curious if a company gains share doing this or just reapportions the same share among more models...th_dunno-1[1].gif

 

Orrrr.... Brahma for the "race skis are dorky" demographic, and 8.5 for the "that bull is ugly" demographic

post #26 of 88
For the record, my comments about the top sheets are less about the bull and more about the design elements. The font is sophomoric. The visual balance is atrocious, and the colors appalling on first glance.

But I'm really looking forward to skiing them. After all, the top sheets can be covered with something else. And gaffer tape may be an improvement.

It's just a shame that Blizzard can't find graphic designers on par with the people designing their skis.
post #27 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by AlpineA View Post

Quite possibly the worst name for a ski, ever, in history.

 

But, at the same time, what Blizzard should have had from the start of Flip-Core.

Named for the Hindu god of creation? A nod, perhaps, to how many new models Blizzard has introduced recently ;)

post #28 of 88

What is the benefit of tail rocker in a ski this narrow?  I get it for real powder skis, but how does it help an 88mm waisted ski that is on the stiffer side?  I would think you would only want tip rocker on a ski like this.

 

STE

post #29 of 88
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ski the East View Post

What is the benefit of tail rocker in a ski this narrow?  I get it for real powder skis, but how does it help an 88mm waisted ski that is on the stiffer side?  I would think you would only want tip rocker on a ski like this.

STE
The tail rocker creates a bit of versatility in soft snow, trees and bumps with out much sacrifice in hard snow performance, the pluses out weigh the minuses here with this ski.
post #30 of 88
Phil can u expand/ expound about why u say the brahma is more " off piste" oriented? The two seem so similar. Other than the rad graphics appealing to younger skiers is the rocker profile different flex pattern etc? Seems a little misplaced as I will go right for my 8.5 for the dry spells.
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