Ive owned a couple versions of this ski, starting with the first one (which to be honest was too much for me at the time in all but the most wide spaces) - it was pretty stiff and zero camber. Sure it was great for blasting through stuff, but if you got back a little - whew, you were going for a ride. Ive had a love/hate and owned 2 pairs
Fast forward to the newest version with a bit of camber and a touch softer - wow, big improvements imho. First the shovel are a bit softer and that seems to let the pressure build under them in powder - still this isn't a powder ski - but at least you don't need to be going 35+ mph to see the tips plane up.
The camber (slight as it is) really helps that early AM groomer lap before thing soften - before skiing these on hard, early morning groomer - was a bit.....tricky. You really needed some larger edge angles to get the ski to bite esp at 108 with a 1/2 tune. I can remember one day on bulletproof at Sun Valley a couple of years back - where the previous Cochise went in the rack and I demo'd something - this version eliminates that issue - easily skied on groomers, just like traditional skis. Pic of actual camber -
The off-piste performance is still there - the shovels are a bit softer, as is the tail (not certain the %), I've heard 20% but skeptical on that. In any event, this is helpful for me in moguls and actually look for them now - its plain fun, as long as they are not rock hard. The rocker, camber, rocker still is very easy to pivot when needed - so super maneuverable. tail releases great and to be honest you can just go from mach speed to a "drift" w/ little to no effort. In fact, I had Start Haus put a tune on them when new and w/o any detuning these still did that.
Chop/crud - no need to worry - still hammers through it.
Bases - much better in terms of durability - previous versions were like butter - if they got near a rock = gouge. I have run over a bunch and actually had to side step onto rocks to get into Expert Chutes at JH Wed. no damage.
Topsheet - cool satin-like woodgrain and so far very durable.
Bottomline - nice improvements to an great ski for Blizzard. Not sure that I would pay the premium for the 2016 version, if these go on sale - UNLESS it weighs significantly less and is light years better in powder (although its fun to throw snow with that little twin tip). The 2015 version is great.
Edit - bought from Start Haus - mounted, tuned and shipped across the country - great service!
Length Tested: 185
Dimensions/Turn Radius: 134/108/122, radius = 28.5
Camber: Rocker, camber, rocker
Binding: FKS 14 on the line
Mount point: Suggested
Other Skis in Class:
* Volkl Katana?
Environment & Conditions:
Location of Test: Vail, Alta, Snowbird, Whistler, JH
Number of Runs: 100+
Snow Conditions: All over - pow to spring mashed potatoes
Demo or Own: own
Height/Weight: 6'2" - 185
Ski Days/Season: 25-30
Years Skiing: 8 (snowboarded before)
- Nordica Enforcer -185
- Dynastar Legend 94 - 184
- Rossignol Super 7 (airtip) 188
- Liberty Double Helix - 190
Home Area: travel west to ski - Epic and Mountain Collective Passes
Preferred Terrain: off-piste, groomers - when its a coral reef
Edited by givethepigeye - 2/15/15 at 6:40am