^^^^ IMO there's very little agreement about what terms like "damp" and "smooth" mean. I'll operationalize. What I mean by Blizzards being "un-damp" is that they tend to give back a lot of snowfeel, or feedback vibrations from small surface features, and they tend to be "lively," meaning for me that they're stiff enough that they transmit a higher percentage of ski front pertubations to the skier rather than absorbing them. But they're very smooth (see below).
Now keep in mind that many skiers really value snowfeel and liveliness. So not a positive or negative, just a quality. And other skiers I think might also define lively to mean "stored energy," as in a ski that you can load and then feel release, eg, "pop," so may not work for a stiff ski unless you're a big guy. And for some, "damp" means the same as "smooth," eg, absorbing larger, lower frequency perturbations or impacts that can have a resonating frequency rather than transmitting them to the skier. For me, damp is the ability of the ski to keep its edges in contact with the surface. Race skis are damp. Recreational skis, not so much. A lot of recreational skis are smooth. Sometimes to a fault; Zombie Skis. No names...Race skis can be smooth, but not as much as people imagine.
Consider the Supersonic. A very very nice ski as is, decently stiff, great grip, lively middleweight, unusual snowfeel. Turn it into the G-Power, which is the same ski with a Marker WC plate, oil piston at mid-boot. Stiffer yet, but also damper, in the sense that the piston limits and slows a lot of the oscillations. So not as reactive in stiff crud, near-race ski grip, more planted at speed. Not as user friendly in bumps or soft snow. Not as lively. Wouldn't call either "smooth."
The trick that engineers mess with, I think, is how to make a ski a) feel like part of a "brand," that is different than other brands, and b) balance dampness and smoothness with the loss of feedback that vibrations provide.
Edited by beyond - 4/11/13 at 8:23am