Dimensions: 173cm, 18m, 88mm, 1/2
Location of Test: Mammoth Mountain
Number of Runs: 1.5 hrs
Height/Weight: 5'9" 155lbs
Summary: Very solid and stable all-mountain GT ski. It takes weight and speed to come alive.
I've read so much about the Blizzard flipcore line of skis on this forum, and I finally got a chance to demo one..the Brahma. What I wanted to demo was the Bushwacker, but my shop didn't have it in their demo fleet this year. I've read it somewhere that the Bushwacker is essentially the Brahma less metal inserts, so I took it hoping to deduce what the Bushwacker would be like from this experience.
When I hand flex the ski at the shop, I immediately knew the Brahma was a serious ski. The ski was stiff...not race ski stiff, but quite stiff. They felt heavy too, perhaps in the 16-7 lbs range. It had pronounced rocker in the tips and some slight rocker in the tail as well. At first, I wasn't sure whether to go with 180s or 173s. My shop guy who had seen me ski once told me to try the Brahma in 180cm. Well, the 180s were out, so I had no other option but to go with 173's.
...and I was glad that I did on the moment I hit the slopes on this ski. It took me a couple of runs to really figure the ski out and appreciate it for what it is..a GT type ski that's inclined to make big turns..damp and solid. This ski comes alive at speed. The tip engagement feel took a little bit of getting used to, but it held the edge very well. It was happy to drift as well when it was called for. Turn shape wise, it's very GS-like. It didn't like making short turns at all, or rather I wasn't able to work the tips.
All in all, the Brahma is a solid, damp and stiff all-mountain ski, and I can see why this ski is so popular. Having said that, it's not what I'm looking for in an 88mm all-mountain ski. Nor is it a good fit for my dimensions. I look forward to trying out the Bushwacker in a near future.