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Review: 2015 Blizzard X-Power 810Ti

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 

 

Review:

The second coming of Blizzard didn’t start with the Flip Core series, it started around 2006 with the introduction of the very good Magnum 8.7 and 8.1 skis. I recall seeing the first of the new Blizzards at a trade show in New Jersey and immediately knew that it was going to be a special design. The Magnums had a slight evolution through the first series by going IQ Max and adding some early rise. The second generation of Magnums were based of of Blizzards (then new) fore mentioned Flip Core chassis. the newer Magnum 8.0 and 8,5 was still cambered but with a bit more early rise in the tip and now in the tail too. The IQ system was now gone and the skis were mostly offered flat. The shape of this newer series was not as hard snow biased but was more versatile in sidecut. Was the new Magnum better? It might have evolved into a more versatile ski, but it was not a better Magnum. Magnums were the sports sedans not the euro centric SUV’s  (Audi S3, M-B GLK) it evolved into...I know you were waiting for the car reference in one of my reviews. Fast forward to next year, the new X-Power 810 is the best of both of these two previous Magnums, strong and powerful and hard snow biased like Gen One and a shape that while tenacious in grip, has the ability to work various turn shapes like the Magnum 8.0/8.5. Size offerings are from the 8.5/8.7 in a 160,167, 174 and 181 yet the width is 81 underfoot, hence the 810 moniker. The IQ system in the original design because it is being shared with the narrower models. Sidecut is a new evolution for Blizzard in that there are multiple radiuses, the fore body and tails are 16M and the mid body is a 20M in the reference size 174cm. 

 

 

 

Initial on snow feel is just what I expected... actually hoped for... from the new X-Power, as soon as I got off the lift, camber, I felt the camber underfoot. I like camber. Camber is contact and connection to the snow. With a ski as stout as the new 810Ti feels when flexed usually makes for a long day, not the case with the 810, that stoutness didn’t immediately transfer to on snow beefiness, hmmm. Starting off with light medium radius turns, the 810 reacted very well but as soon as I started cranking out some higher edges the 810 came into it’s own, there’s the beef. While this new Blizzard won’t take the finesse skiers lunch money and send him home crying to momma, it definitely prefers to hang out with the power/athletic side of the skier spectrum.  The more I pushed the 174cm the more it asked me..”Is that all you got?” Since Northstar is not 100% open and doesn’t really have the huge open terrain to completely let you rip, I replied sheepishly...”Yeah...”. I can only imagine how the 181 will react. 

I have been on a few skis that have varying radius’s in their sidecut some work well, some not so much. The better adaptations of this type of design are transparent, Blizzards execution here is just that, transparent. I felt easy initiation in and out of the turn along with a solid hold through the apex. The 16M in the tip entered the turn beautifully and with the 20M underfoot there was a feel of stability then the 16M in the tail was quick enough to bring smoothly across the hill without throwing you there. Many skis in this category have gone to sidecut profiles that run past the running surface, Blizzard chose to start the tip taper at the end of the traditional contact point and it works well, this concept takes away some of the nervousness that can happen with extended sidecuts. 

 

While I haven’t tested many of the new additions on this category yet but the new 810Ti definitely holds it’s own against the carry over skis in this segment. If you are a stronger skier looking for a power biased frontside ski..this one needs to be on your short list.

 

Product:

Length Tested: 174cm

Dimensions/Turn Radius:  125/81/108 Tip:16M, Mid body: 20M, Tail: 16M

Camber (select one, delete the rest): Early Rise Tip & Tail w/camber (Marketing Rocker)

Binding: Suggested

Mount point: Suggested 

 

 

Other Skis in Class:

*Nordica Fire Arrow 84 EDT

*Rossignol Pursuit 81

*Kastle MX83

*Dynastar Outland 80

 

Environment & Conditions:

Location of Test: Northstar

Number of Runs: 10+

Snow Conditions: Groomer Zoomer

Demo or Own: Demo

 

Tester Info:

Username: Philpug

Age: 50

Height/Weight: 5'11" 190lb

Ski Days/Season: 60+

Years Skiing: 37

Aggressiveness: (select one, delete the rest):  Moderate(Finesse) / Aggressive(Driver) 

Current Quiver:

Skis:
Current Test Fleet:
-Scott The Ski 175cm w/Look Pivot 15
-Blizzard Brahma 180cm w/Look Pivot 14
-Blizzard Bonafide 180cm w/Salomon Sth2 13
-Nordica Vagabond 185cm w/Salomon Sth2 16
-K2 Amp Rictor 90 177cm w/Salomon Sth2 13
-K2 Annex 108 184cm w/Salomon Sth2 13
-various vintage skis

Home Area: Northstar. Squalpine

Preferred Terrain: bumps, off-piste, trees

 

post #2 of 15

Would love to hear a reaction to the 181 length.  In the days of the Mag 8.1 and 8.7, the 181 lengths were a whole lotta Rosie :D

post #3 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by gregmerz View Post
 

Would love to hear a reaction to the 181 length.  In the days of the Mag 8.1 and 8.7, the 181 lengths were a whole lotta Rosie :D

 

Greg,

 

I will be able to get on the 181 at some point but not sure when. I know for a guy your size, it is what you would be looking for. I have a feeling it is going to feel more like the old X-Power than a regular 8.1 or 8.7. 

post #4 of 15
I took a few runs on the 2015 Blizzard X-Power 810Ti in a 174 today at Northstar. I agree with what you said about how it likes to be pushed.
It feels stiffer and lighter than the various generations of Magnum 8.7s I've skied on (BTW I've tried the red ones, my favorite, and own the 2009, 2nd favorite, and the 2012's which have slight rocker.)
The 2015 Blizzard X-Power 810Ti is very stable and has great edge hold. The varying radius’s in their sidecut takes a little getting used to, but once you get dialed in they really rail.
post #5 of 15

I tried it in 181... and still prefer my m-power 8.7... They are nice skis but I prefer my skis with more beef, especially in crud... they were quicker edge to edge ( 81 vs 87 mm) carved nicely and had no problem with the ice underneath the fresh snow...

post #6 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mogsie View Post

I tried it in 181... and still prefer my m-power 8.7... They are nice skis but I prefer my skis with more beef, especially in crud... they were quicker edge to edge ( 81 vs 87 mm) carved nicely and had no problem with the ice underneath the fresh snow...

I can see someone preferring the M-Power 8.7. Remember too, the M-Powers were $1299 skis, this new one is more in line with the old 8.1 at $899, big difference.
post #7 of 15

I would not hesitate to recommand these to an intermediate skier who wants to progress or a lighter skier maybe?

post #8 of 15
Philpug, i know this is a bit off-topic, but I was wondering if you have tested the Blizzard Peacemaker and if so, what were your impressions. I am about your size, 50 years old, a couple of inches shorter and 10 to 15 pounds heavier. I ski 10 to 15 days a year. I mostly stay in bounds, but I try to find powder wherever I can. I would call myself an advanced intermediate.

I am looking for an all Mountain ski that will be easy to ride in all conditions. I understand the new rocker technology does wonders for knees. I would appreciate your insights, thanks!
post #9 of 15

Bringing back the topic, curious if the flipcore is essentially the same curve and rise front and back as the 8.0 Ti, given the new triple radius sidecut and more squared tail. 

post #10 of 15

Getting even further off topic, but I didn't quite know where to put this, I bought an 8.0 TI last year.  Did my usual new ski prep work on the base and edges.  1 degree on the base and 2 degrees on the side.  Skied it and felt that it left a lot to be desired.  Felt boardy, stiff, and generally uninterested in what I wanted it to do.  (I'm 6'0", 185, top level skier, ski is a 179)  I ended up skiing on other skis most of last year and the start of this year, so the 8.0 didn't see any action.  Over the Summer the edges corroded a bit. My son came home at Christmas and wanted to ski, so I went over the 8.0's again doing the same base and edge prep and noticed that when I waxed that the iron was dragging rather than gliding.  Scraped and went over the base edges again and rewaxed.  My son skied on them and said, hey these are pretty nice.  I haven't skied much so far this year and when I did I was on my touring gear because I was doing a week of touring in Switzerland at the end of January and wanted to get some miles on my touring boots and skis.  I got back from Europe with beat up touring skis and beat up feet from my touring boots.  Dropped the touring skis at the shop for a grind and pulled out my alpine boots, grabbed the 8.0's and went skiing.  I'm now in love with the 8.0's.  They must have been edge high out of the wrapper and my first attempts at a base bevel were not serious enough to get them right.  Granted the snow in VT is currently in the hero category, but I've gone from about 0% confidence in the skis to 100%.  I've been at this long enough that I should know better, but when a ski that folks say is great doesn't meet your expectations, spend some time on the base and edge finish.  Odds are that's where the problem lies.

The other variable in the equation is that I softened up my alpine boots and added a Booster strap.  Much improved flex and balance in the boots. 

post #11 of 15

Here's some video of Phil skiing the X-Power:

 

post #12 of 15

i have the same skis and really enjoy them. but as you said, it requires a tune. When i bought them , i had them tuned straight away for more grip. I don't really know much about tuning and would like to get into it. So far the extent of my experience is scraping, waxing and brushing. I don't want to mess up the base. What do you use to tune the base and edges?

post #13 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by AUSTINskiBUM View Post

Philpug, i know this is a bit off-topic, but I was wondering if you have tested the Blizzard Peacemaker and if so, what were your impressions. I am about your size, 50 years old, a couple of inches shorter and 10 to 15 pounds heavier. I ski 10 to 15 days a year. I mostly stay in bounds, but I try to find powder wherever I can. I would call myself an advanced intermediate.

I am looking for an all Mountain ski that will be easy to ride in all conditions. I understand the new rocker technology does wonders for knees. I would appreciate your insights, thanks!

I have skied the Peacemaker, for what you are looking for, it could very well be a viable option. Rocker has little to do with stress on the knees, wide widths IMHO can create more of that. There are some good low 1OS skis with the Peacemaker being one of the better ones. 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by beyond View Post
 

Bringing back the topic, curious if the flipcore is essentially the same curve and rise front and back as the 8.0 Ti, given the new triple radius sidecut and more squared tail. 

A little less rise in the tip and tail than the 8.0/8.5, I think this is a better adaptation for this type of hard snow biased all mountain ski. I will say the triple radius is pretty subtle.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by bwana View Post
 

i have the same skis and really enjoy them. but as you said, it requires a tune. When i bought them , i had them tuned straight away for more grip. I don't really know much about tuning and would like to get into it. So far the extent of my experience is scraping, waxing and brushing. I don't want to mess up the base. What do you use to tune the base and edges?

 

I have these tunes at the Start Haus to a 1*/2* spec. I am not sure where you are but a good race shop can get these dialed in if you aren't set up with the proper tools 

post #14 of 15

For tuning tools, I used a Swix 1 degree base bevel guide with a Swix 2nd cut file (8" I think).  Mark the bottom edge with a magic marker so you can see what you are cutting.  File the base edge (tip to tail or tail to tip -- doesn't matter).  Short, overlapping strokes working from the uncut area into the cut area.  Clean your file frequently with a wire brush. You don't want to grind filings into the base and edge.  Finish the edge with longer strokes.  Work out any hardened spots that the file won't cut by using a diamond stone and refile that section.  I find that the file cuts better on the edge that's farthest from me on the bench, so I do that edge first and then turn the ski around and repeat.  After filing,  I put a diamond stone in the file guide (I use a 600 grit with cutting fluid) and smooth and polish up the edge.  A purist would use a progression of diamond and ceramic stones moving from coarser to finer grits as they go.  Nice if you want to invest the time and money to do that.  Cutting fluid (SVST Secret Sauce or some homemade elixer) is key to a good edge finish and keeping your stones from getting dull and gunked up.

For the side edge, I use the same file with a 2 degree file guide.  I skive off some of the sidewall above the edge with a sidewall step cutting tool.  FiIe the side edge (I cut the first time freehand to help remove a lot of edge quickly) and then use the guide to get the angle right.  Polish with whatever stones (with cutting fluid) you like to use.  I use base tape along the bottom edges when side filing.  It keeps the base from getting messed up by the flat plate of the edge bevel guide.

Feel the edges after you finish.  They should feel smooth and clean with no burrs.  If they feel a little rough, or feel super sharp, run a gummi stone lightly down the edge at a 45 degree angle to polish off any micro burrs.  You can also do a light pass with fibertex.  I use fibertex throughout the process to clean the base as I work and to polish up the edges. 

Then wax and scrape.  It's not scientific, but if I feel the iron dragging on the edges while waxing (you can hear it and/or feel some drag on the iron as you wax), I make a point to go back and refile the bottom edges and take off a bit more metal.  It doesn't change the bevel angle but it does insure that the bottom edge is flush with the base. 

So, that's how I do it.  Others will have their systems that work for them.  To do this, you will need a good work area, a bench with ski vises, and all of the tools mentioned above.  Easily a few hundred dollars.  Worth it if you want to develop your tuning skills and have an interest in doing this kind of work.  Not worth it if you do it once and then decide that you'd rather have someone else do it. 

Or you can take your skis to a good shop that can do a hand tuning job.  Setting the stone grinder at 1 degree on the base and 2 degrees on the side and running the skis through does not make it all better.  The factory can't get it right that way and neither can the shop.   Find a guy in a race oriented shop who has a lot of experience and have him do the work and pay him well for it.  Once the angles are set and the edge is finished you won't have to do much to keep it right.  It will cost you the first time, but the added performance and ease of skiing is well worth it.

post #15 of 15

I'm interested in getting these skis.  At 5'10" about 230lbs, what size would people recommend?  I'm an advance powerful skier that skis on the east coast, I like pop in my ski and a ski that's lively, Like my ski to talk to me.  Also can someone tell me the difference between the new X-Power 810 and the G-Power FS IQ, which ski is stiffer and has more pop?

 

Thanks all.

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