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East Coast: Blizzard Brahma vs. Bonafide

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 

Hey Guys,

 

Looking to buy my first pair of skis.  I would say I'm an expert skier that looks to ski aggressive and challenging lines/terrain.  Love to ski moguls as well.

 

Do most of my skiing on the east coast and get 1, maybe 2 trips out west a year.

 

I went into 2 local shops and asked about both skis.  In one shop the one guy, who seemed to be very knowledgeable and having skied/owned many of the offerings, said that the Bonafide would be fine on the east coast hard pack and in the moguls.

 

However, the guy in the second store said the Bonafide wouldn't be too much fun in the moguls and I should therefore go for the Brahmas.

 

I wouldn't mind having the extra width for the times I do get good snow here and for my trips out west.  However, if it wouldn't be as fun to ski out east (hard pack and moguls) then I would get the Brahmas.

 

What do you guys think?

post #2 of 18

Get the 80% ski, the one that suits 80% of your needs, that would be the Brahma. 

post #3 of 18
It's hard to believe that you are an "expert" skier and just now buying you first pair of skis. What have you been using for skis to develop your expert skills?
post #4 of 18

Honestly the Brahma will be a GREAT ski for the west.  you only "need" the extra width if you are not an expert skier and only for the first couple of runs until all the pow is skied out. 

post #5 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by WWF-VT View Post

It's hard to believe that you are an "expert" skier and just now buying you first pair of skis. What have you been using for skis to develop your expert skills?

 

Well, he has been on Epic 9 years, for what that's worth. Some people are just not focused on gear the way many of us are. Sometimes that is for reasons related to personality. Sometimes it's income. Sometimes other things. Often a combination of the above. In my experience the correlation between skiing skills on the one hand and having, knowing about, and tuning up-to-date equipment does exist, but it's a bit loose. Not hard to find folks who can ski you into the ground but are rocking skis from 2004. Just think it's good to give people the benefit of the doubt until they post that fatal MA video. :)

post #6 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Philpug View Post
 

Get the 80% ski, the one that suits 80% of your needs, that would be the Brahma. 

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by royal View Post
 

Honestly the Brahma will be a GREAT ski for the west.  you only "need" the extra width if you are not an expert skier and only for the first couple of runs until all the pow is skied out. 

These ^^^

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by qcanoe View Post
 

 

 

Some people are just not focused on gear the way many of us are. 

:eek

post #7 of 18
Quote:
 It's hard to believe that you are an "expert" skier and just now buying you first pair of skis. What have you been using for skis to develop your expert skills?

I feel like the ski gear industry has purposefully reduced the word expert to scare people off gear and runs they can't handle. Ski "expert" seems to be very different from what normal people consider to be an expert. I mean when we are talking about the usual sense of the word expert I would say I'm not an expert skiier at all. Yet I can rail down expert gear with a 130 flex boot with ease and have no issue on runs labelled "expert only". I'm in control but my technique leaves much to be desired, I can't do a perfect zipper line and I tire myself out easily (no I'm not in the back seat). I guess my point is I wouldn't beat people up over the "expert" label when it's silly what it has been reduced to.

post #8 of 18

Hmmm. I'd say it wasn't about reducing the term expert, but the opposite: Grade inflation. We all see ourselves as about one level better than we actually are. Usually based on what we ski down, rather than how we ski it. After all, this is a culture where "awesome" means OK, "excellent" means "I approve of this," and "great" means "acceptable."

 

Welcome to Lake Epic, where all the women are strong, all the men are experts, and all the children are above average...;) 

post #9 of 18

Get the Brahma for sure, you'll have fun with it where ever you go. BTW I agree with beyond on the expert question.

post #10 of 18

How big are you, what type of terrain do you like to ski and how do you like to ski it?  Your initial post is a bit unclear on both points.  So that I'm clear here, size and weight will help guide the group in how beefy a ski you are looking for.  Similarly, turn shape and speed preferences will help as well.  Maybe describe a typical ski day at a mountain you ski regularly.

post #11 of 18
I had the exact same dilemma last year.
I skied on a friends Bonafides and was quite honestly blown away. I borrowed them for an afternoon. They rail and edge beautifully and are very fast! They also float really well in powder and are very stable and actually quite forgiving in softer conditions. They are a 'serious' ski but they are not such a 'finess' style ski as the Brahma. The Bonafides come apart in moguls. If you like skiing moguls then forget them! I too like mogull skiing and am more of a finess skier than a full on charger. I bought the Brahma! Don't get me wrong, the Brahma have all the rail and edge qualities of it's bigger brother but you can release the tail easier and flick them around which makes them much better in the bumps. The sacrifice is that they are not as floatatious in powder. I would say that if you want a better off piste ski then buy the Bonafide. If you want a more finess/versatile ski but with not so much float then get the Brahma. I bought the 188 and mounted them with a Fristchi diamir freeride pro binding. I ski in the Dolomites - Northern Italy and they are perfect for the normal conditions we have there. That said, if it's a powder day I use a larger ski. Hope that helps. Either way you'll own a great ski!
post #12 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by effortless View Post

I had the exact same dilemma last year.
I skied on a friends Bonafides and was quite honestly blown away. I borrowed them for an afternoon. They rail and edge beautifully and are very fast! They also float really well in powder and are very stable and actually quite forgiving in softer conditions. They are a 'serious' ski but they are not such a 'finess' style ski as the Brahma. The Bonafides come apart in moguls. If you like skiing moguls then forget them! I too like mogull skiing and am more of a finess skier than a full on charger. I bought the Brahma! Don't get me wrong, the Brahma have all the rail and edge qualities of it's bigger brother but you can release the tail easier and flick them around which makes them much better in the bumps. The sacrifice is that they are not as floatatious in powder. I would say that if you want a better off piste ski then buy the Bonafide. If you want a more finess/versatile ski but with not so much float then get the Brahma. I bought the 188 and mounted them with a Fristchi diamir freeride pro binding. I ski in the Dolomites - Northern Italy and they are perfect for the normal conditions we have there. That said, if it's a powder day I use a larger ski. Hope that helps. Either way you'll own a great ski!

 

This mirrors my experience on Bonafides as well.  They are a great ski -- if you can let them run a bit.

 

Non-groomed east-coast skiing is one of two things:  tight trees or tight bumps.  It's just not terrain that plays to the Bonafides strengths. There are much better "wider" ski choices available that play to the needs of East coast skiing.

 

I'm also a finesse skier though; if you have the skills / guts to flat-out charge bumps and trees, maybe they'll work.

 

Brahma's, on the other hand,are great.  At my 6'2", 175lbs, I found the 173cm to be a bit short and the 180cm to be a bit long, so the lengths don't work for me, but from what I could feel, they are pretty sweet rides.

post #13 of 18
With regard to length - I took the 187. I still find it nimble on piste but the added surface area makes it the better length for softer snow.

I'm playing a little with my quiver (sounds rude but I am sure everyone knows what I mean). I have Salomon BBR 8.9 which I regard as an all mountain ski with a slalom radius - mounted with Guardian bindings. They float really well in Pow due to massive shovel.

The Brahma is an all mountain ski with a GS shape - at 187. I get the surface area to make them usable in the majority of conditions and for couloir skiing and mixed condition off piste they are really great!

I have an old pair of K2 Apache chief which I take out on deeper days but they will be replaced this year (if we get snow!).

My go to ski last year was the Brahma! Really happy with it. Puts a huge smile on my face, is way more stable than the BBR and can lay out GS carves that can make you feel like Ted Ligerty (I wish!)

If you have the money for two skis, get the Brahma and something around 108 - 115 under foot.

If you only have the cash for one ski -

Brahma way more versatile than Bonafide on harder snow (piste) but still 88 underfoot!
Bonafide better in softer snow being 98 underfoot but sacrifices to be made in the 'agility' department.
Edited by effortless - 10/27/14 at 11:50pm
post #14 of 18

Im over here in southeast PA, I needed something for the east coast mainly. I ski whiteface, NY a lot, I have family near there.  I'm 6' 205-210 and I went with the brahma. Sounds like it likes to haul down the mtn rail and even float a little in a little snow. I think for around here it will be great, I only know what I have read and heard about the ski, cant wait to ski it and give a review.

 

My friend out in SLC who has a fleet of skis is looking for a new all mtn, hes going with the bonafide. Just wants the 98cm waist because the chance for softer stuff is higher out there, he also suggested for me for a 1 ski set up to go with the bonafide's. Also said the mantras are good too, the 2013/14 ski.

 

I think either ski will work great for you, but I wanted the smaller waist. I decided to go with a 2 pair set up and just get a 2 pair roller bag. I went with last years Line Opus (118mm underfoot) as my powder ski, and from what I have heard and looked up this thing will still work on groomers and variable conditions, I would imagine the brahma will be better for those conditions but I wanted a powder ski because I wanted the float and the chance to ski those conditions with the wider ski. I picked up last years ski for the brahma and saved 230 bucks, its the same ski just different graphics. Ski Essentials has a deal on the 180cm 2014 brahma and my shop matched the price.

 

Also picking up last years K2 Sight for my dad and I, Ill put demo bindings on them so I can use them when he doesn't want to go. Seems like a cheap all mtn ski twin tip, I found them online for 199.

 

So going with last years stuff since the skis are the same (just graphics) it allowed me to spend a little more and get a nice two ski set up. I haven't bought skis since the 1st year of the K2 Public Enemy, plus Ive been in FL for 7 years. Cant wait to chase the powder this year.

post #15 of 18
You did well!!
post #16 of 18
Thread Starter 

I wound up going with the Brahma's in a 173.

 

88 is more suitable to what I typically ski and if I happen to be out west and I get dumped on, I can always rent.

 

I figured I could definitely ski the 180, but I wanted to go with the 173 because I thought I'd be able to manipulate them more in the trees and bumps which was appealing to me.

 

Very excited to get these skis out on the slopes!

post #17 of 18

I tried them back to back. I bought the Brahmas but only because they felt more GSy. I noticed the width of the Bonafide but not any real impact on tight turns.

post #18 of 18

I think that if you're based in the East, it's the Brahma and if you're in the Rockies, and West, it's the Bonafide. I might lean toward the Brahma as an every day ski in the Rockies, if I skied in a lot of refrozen stuff, a lot of older snow, etc. In either location, they make a great one ski quiver, or a ski to build a quiver around. I own my third and fourth pair of Bonafides, 187cm. I could use that ski every day in the Rockies, and be fine. I probably spend 22 of 25 days on it. I ski it in the East as my fresh snow, soft spring snow, and "powder" ski. 

 

The Brahma has a nice shape, a 20M radius {which I like}, and it's versatile. I can lay it over and cruise. It will pivot for me. I can slide it. Pretty much does it all. Torsionally stiff, but not a brute. 

 

Full disclosure. I have a pair of mint Brahma's for sale {in the Gear Forum}, and every time that I chime in on a Brahma thread, I chuckle and wonder why! Great ski, but no need to own both in my quiver of Eastern skis. There is some overlap. Where I ski in the East tends to have buffed rock hard snow….long cruisers, and no sun 'til March. Then we get snow, sun, soft. The Brahma would be more than "OK" all season long, but my ski of choice is normally a 180cm Head i.Speed GS cheater until late season, which is kind of purpose built for that stuff. If I had one ski…..East…..Brahma. 

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