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Video Review: 2014 Blizzard Brahma

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

Ski review: 2014 Blizzard Brahma

 

 

Length Skied: 180cm.  Skiers; 5 foot 9, 155lbs; 6 foot 1, 195lbs (ideal length is 187 on this ski)

Conditions: firm bumps, crusty off-piste snow, some grippy groomers

Skier levels: see video

 

The Blizzard Brahma is new for 2013/2014.  It features 2 sheets of metal and a Flipcore profile that is similar to that of the Bushwacker.  Whereas the Bushwacker has no metal and is really geared toward tighter terrain and slower skiing, the Brahma is a bit more high-power ski that is more stable at speed and has more juice.  You can think of it as a narrower version of the Bonafide: the Bonafide also has 2 sheets of metal and a similar layup to the Brahma.  

 

Overall feel of the ski: to distill it down, it is what one would expect from a narrower Bonafide.  Very powerful tail, tons of edge hold, solid at any speed.  For lighter skiers, it tends to favor big turn GS and big-mountain style skiing, although on hardpack, it is very quick, as you are essentially skiing something closer to low 170's in length, due to the long tip rise.  It really excels in big, powerful turns, especially in choppy snow, and is a great tool for big-mountain skiing.  Bigger skiers will especially like it, as it is pretty stout in flex; the tip stands up to speed under a big guy.  It is damp, powerful, muscular: typical Blizzard metal laminate feel. 

 

Turn shape: the turn initiation on this ski isn't as aggressively tipping-oriented, as say the Magnum 8.5ti is, likely due to the longer profile of the rise at the tip.  It tends to feel vague at the tip, which is a good thing in choppy snow, as it won't be overly aggressive and hooky: in fact, it tracks very well in a straight line, and also is why it is so good in big GS turns.  The flip-side is that it tends to have a less responsive feel than the 8.5ti, which is quicker to engage and more powerful at the top of the turn.  Skiing style and terrain will dictate which ski would be preferable for your application. 

 

Performance in various terrain types:

 

Groomers: very quick, almost slalom like.  Punchy tail, plenty of grip, skis very short, hence the slalom quickness feel. 

 

GS turns in off-piste conditions: this ski tracks through junk well: it is smooth and damp, and easy to turn and release.  Very good in weird snow, as long as you can open it up.

 

Bumps: bigger skiers will like it here, the tip is stiff and direct.  I found it to push me around in bumps, probably because it is pretty stout for my weight. 

 

Trees: very quick in trees, doesn't like as much fore and aft movement as it likes edge to edge lateral movements.  

 

Hard snow: tons of grip for any sort of icy or firm conditions.  2 sheets of metal; definitely the edge hold isn't going to let anyone down.  

 

Comparison to the 8.5ti: these are pretty close in terms of width and stiffness. There is a large difference in profile, however.  More camber on the 8.5ti, much less length of early rise on the tip, and virtually no early rise in the tail, make the 8.5ti a more responsive and aggressive feeling ski.  The 8.5ti actually is a very powerful carver, it is the one with a race pedigree that really skis like a power carver on hard snow, yet handles bumps exceptionally well. The tip is much more prominent on this ski: it demands to be told what to do, otherwise it may do it's own thing.  Energy on this ski is really off the charts: it almost feels like they took the outstanding S-Power and gave it some all-mountain abilities.   The Brahma is more mellow, the tip less engaged, it skis lower energy than the 8.5ti, and really is a different feel overall.  I wouldn't say it is more or less suited to groomers or off-piste skiing: rather, it is just a completely different ski that likes a different skiing style than the 8.5ti. When using car analogies, the 8.5ti is the AWD Sport Sedan, the Brahma is the crossover SUV.  Skiing junky snow on the Brahma, it was blasting through the crud, tip not looking to engage until I wanted it to, super stable, tracked straight. On the 8.5ti, you are blasting out of each turn with a lot of energy, and you need to keep them on edge more, or they will do it for you. More exciting, and more work.    If you want a more mellow, solid but non aggressive feel (like on the Bonafide), more GS-oriented vs. the carver feel of the 8.5ti, then check out the Brahma.  If you like energetic and powerful, looking for a versatile responsive ski, the 8.5ti will be your first choice. 

 

www.dawgcatching.com

541-593-2453

Full selection of 2014 skis available right now from Dawgcatching.com.  PM for current deals and discount codes: save up to 25% on mid-season deals. 

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post #2 of 14

Dawg:

 

As always, excellent review.  Wish I was as articulate in describing ski characteristics.  We are seperated by several inches and about 80#, but my take on the Brahma is just about identical.  Thanks for clearly differentiating between the Mag 8.5 Ti and the Brahma.  That is going to be a bit confusing for a lot of folks.  Again, Kudos.

post #3 of 14

I'm looking for maybe a new east-coast all-around ski... 6 feet; 215 pounds; advanced...terrain: bumps, tight trees and groomed...

 

Dawg, wich one would you recommand me between the Brahma with the fx 84 and 94?

post #4 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mogsie View Post
 

I'm looking for maybe a new east-coast all-around ski... 6 feet; 215 pounds; advanced...terrain: bumps, tight trees and groomed...

 

Dawg, wich one would you recommand me between the Brahma with the fx 84 and 94?

Hi,

 

Great question.  I think this may be a difference that relates more to technique and skiing style over "which is the best ski".  For me, the FX series, no doubt.  The tip on the Brahma is more vague than I like, with too stiff of an underbody, so it tends to push me backward.  I am a lightweight though. I found the flex of the FX to be more suited to me; felt like I had to be more centered on the Brahma, whereas I could really drive the tip on the FX, so it suited me better.  I think in soft snow, the difference is minimized, but on hard snow, it was magnified. I tend to like Blizzard's non metal skis, especially in soft snow (the Kabookie is nearly an unbeatable soft snow tree ski, the Scout is wickedly stable yet easy to ski, and I skied the 8.0CA all last spring) but the full metal laminate versions tend to push me around and can make me work too hard in bumps.  If they made a Bushwacker in 187cm, it would be a money ski for me, I could go longer for soft snow, but have an effectively shorter ski for hard snow and not too stiff.  The FX is a more traditional feel, more what I am used to on my other skis, and works very well for my weight and skiing style.  Obviously, Chris Davenport is not a huge guy, whereas it seems some of the Blizzards were designed for bigger guys in mind. Probably, with anything, I would say try before you buy, unless, for example, you know you like the old FX or MX series (therefore you will love the new FX) or you like the Bonafide/Cochise (you would love the Brahma). 

Full selection of 2014 skis available right now from Dawgcatching.com.  PM for current deals and discount codes: save up to 25% on mid-season deals. 

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post #5 of 14

Will definitly try before the Brahma. Is there a big difference between the fx 84 and 94 except flotation?

post #6 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mogsie View Post
 

Will definitly try before the Brahma. Is there a big difference between the fx 84 and 94 except flotation?

 

Hi,

 

Not that I found, but the FX84 was tough to find in a demo, and even the 94 was limited. I will ski them more this winter and follow up.  FX84 was more precise in bumps, and if I skied mostly off-piste but firmer snow, I would get it.  94 is better out west, it doesn't give up much edgehold, and just has more top end than the old model.  It is the premier road-trip ski that I can think of. 

Full selection of 2014 skis available right now from Dawgcatching.com.  PM for current deals and discount codes: save up to 25% on mid-season deals. 

Reply
post #7 of 14

I am not an expert bump skier but I found the 8.5ti (in 181) was more than a handful in the bumps. It's a very stiff ski and on firm bumps it is less than compliant. Otherwise I agree with Dawgs assessment. its a fun rippin' ski that is uber stable and under-appreciated. 

post #8 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Finndog View Post
 

I am not an expert bump skier but I found the 8.5ti (in 181) was more than a handful in the bumps. It's a very stiff ski and on firm bumps it is less than compliant. Otherwise I agree with Dawgs assessment. its a fun rippin' ski that is uber stable and under-appreciated. 

 

 

I am lighter and smaller than you but though the 181 8.5 ti was a handfull as well. My 180cm brahma by comparision are much easier. I pretty much alway feel in balance on the Brahmas but the 181cm 8.5 and 174 8.5cm tis I owned felt weird in rolly polly situations one was to long and one was too short.

post #9 of 14

Dawg,

Point of clarification: you often refer to "light" or "big" guys.  Can you provide some specific parameters?  I'm 170 nekkid: am I light, heavy, or average?  What are the ranges you think of?  ( I know that technique also plays into it here, but just looking for some ballpark).

post #10 of 14

Dawg,

 

How does the Brahma compare with the Head Rn R-which seem to have similar reviews? 

post #11 of 14

Is there a comparable women's model or should I just plan on demoing the Brahma?  I liked the BP but it tosses me around too much in crud.

post #12 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by mustski View Post
 

Is there a comparable women's model or should I just plan on demoing the Brahma?  I liked the BP but it tosses me around too much in crud.

 

 

no women's blizzard flip core 88mm skis with metal. try these out.

post #13 of 14

I will. Thanks.

post #14 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by dawgcatching View Post

I found the flex of the FX to be more suited to me; felt like I had to be more centered on the Brahma, whereas I could really drive the tip on the FX, so it suited me better

Interesting. I wonder how much of it has to do with a hinge-like flex - you reference a vagueness too. If they just slapped more material onto the Bushwacker that makes sense. The Bushwacker flex actually feels really good until you get into the tip, where it just kind of folds up - somewhere in the forebody. Watching you ski the Brahmas reminds me of what I don't like about the Bushes in the bumps (where everyone says they excel) - you can't push on the tips and ski the full body of the ski. The flex doesn't blend well. In bumps I like to force the tip into the next mogul to control speed. It seems to just throw up its hands and say I give up, without providing any sort of speed control. Instead you have to just rely more on micro speed checks underfoot. I see a lot of that in your video, but maybe thats just your style - hard to tell because I do see you using your tips in that fashion sometimes with the fx94, but sometimes not.

What throws me off though is that the text in your review says otherwise, which makes me think I'm just off in my extrapolations to the Brahma?
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