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.
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)
Mount point: Suggested
Other Skis in Class:
*Nordica Fire Arrow 84 EDT
*Rossignol Pursuit 81
*Dynastar Outland 80
Environment & Conditions:
Location of Test: Northstar
Number of Runs: 10+
Snow Conditions: Groomer Zoomer
Demo or Own: Demo
Height/Weight: 5'11" 190lb
Ski Days/Season: 60+
Years Skiing: 37
Aggressiveness: (select one, delete the rest): Moderate(Finesse) / Aggressive(Driver)
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