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Blizzard (and one Dynastar) Reviews

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
Today turned into an impromptu Blizzard demo day. This was the first day of the annual Race Camp at Jackson Hole. My business partner, who is a former US Team member, is one of the race coaches for this event and he has recently signed on to be the mountain rep for Blizzard and his area guy brought in a bunch of skis. I tag along every year as his video gopher during the race camp.

So, he arranged for the Blizzard guy to supply a bunch of skis for any of the campers who wanted to try them out. It just happens that about five of us in his group have essentially the same boot shell size, so it was very easy to swap skis on the hill all through the day.

It was a cold, relatively clear day after several days of light to moderate snow. The Jackson Hole Mountain Resort opened the Bridger Gondola and the Thunder Chair yesterday and opened the Sublette Chair today. The skiing was uniformly GREAT all over the upper half of the mountain, with a bit of powder here and there, a moderate amount of light crud, some small-to-medium bumps, and a bunch of excellent groomers. Very nice conditions to try skis.

I was able to try six different skis in the various conditions we had. I'm 6'1", 195#, I've skied for a long time and can turn skis both directions. I'm the mountain rep for Head (for any of you who don't already know that) and I tend to like race-oriented type skis over big fat skis. My favorite skis right now are Head SuperShape Magnums in a 177cm although yesterday I just got my first day on a new pair of Super Mojo 105's in a 191cm and liked them a great deal.

So here we go:

165cm Blizzard Magnesium World Cup Slalom: These are "real deal" race stock slalom skis. They were tuned at .75 degrees base and 3 degrees side bevel. To be honest, I couldn't ski these very well. The aggressive tuning made them VERY responsive to edging of any kind. I'm just not a good enough carver to really capitalize on this ski. I found them grabby and inconsistent but I'm certain that was my skills and not the skis. My partner made these sing like a Stradivarius - it was a real education watching him hook these up. It would be fun to spend a little more time on them to see if I could become more consistent in laying them over.

176cm (I think) Blizzard IQ-ON 8400: This is a Blizzard mid-fat at 84mm underfoot and an 18-meter turn radius. I really liked this ski. It was lively but predictable and I found that I *could* make this ski carve pretty nice tracks. I took it in some moderate bumps and crud and felt very comfortable on it. Overall, this was a ski I could definitely live with.

170-something Blizzard IQ-ON 7900: Another mid-fat model with a 79mm underfoot width. This one I wasn't so hot for. It didn't seem very powerful or substantial and just didn't do anything for me.

185cm Blizzard Magnesium World Cup GS: Very smooth, very powerful GS race stock ski. My only issue was that it's just too much ski for my carving skills. I enjoyed it a great deal in some crud and bumps (reminiscent of my old days skiing our mountain on much longer GS skis), but I could only make very long-radius turns in anything approaching a carve. Great ski for that, but I just don't choose to ski that fast all the time.

182cm Blizzard Magnesium World Cup GS: NOW we're talkin'. Another race stock GS but in a slightly shorter length. This ski was just perfect for me. I could bend it into a turn without going 45mph and it was silky smooth. I really, and I mean REALLY liked this ski. I don't know that I would just up and dump my Head GS skis, but this ski would at least make me think about it a little.

172cm Dynastar Contact 11: One of the other campers had a pair of these and I skied his for a couple of runs. I've always liked Dynastar skis and this was definitely no exception. I believe that the geometry of this ski is relatively similar to my Head SuperShape Magnums. Given that, it's probably no surprise that I liked this ski a great deal. It hooked up easily and held well on hard snow. I could make a variety of turn shapes and it just felt *good*. I can definitely see why this ski has such a good reputation.

I didn't get a chance to try the Blizzard Argos, but that might happen tomorrow.

All in all, the Blizzards are certainly worth a try if you get the chance. I think you'll hear more and more about them as time goes by.
post #2 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Peters View Post
Today turned into an impromptu Blizzard demo day. This was the first day of the annual Race Camp at Jackson Hole. My business partner, who is a former US Team member, is one of the race coaches for this event and he has recently signed on to be the mountain rep for Blizzard and his area guy brought in a bunch of skis. I tag along every year as his video gopher during the race camp.

So, he arranged for the Blizzard guy to supply a bunch of skis for any of the campers who wanted to try them out. It just happens that about five of us in his group have essentially the same boot shell size, so it was very easy to swap skis on the hill all through the day.

It was a cold, relatively clear day after several days of light to moderate snow. The Jackson Hole Mountain Resort opened the Bridger Gondola and the Thunder Chair yesterday and opened the Sublette Chair today. The skiing was uniformly GREAT all over the upper half of the mountain, with a bit of powder here and there, a moderate amount of light crud, some small-to-medium bumps, and a bunch of excellent groomers. Very nice conditions to try skis.

I was able to try six different skis in the various conditions we had. I'm 6'1", 195#, I've skied for a long time and can turn skis both directions. I'm the mountain rep for Head (for any of you who don't already know that) and I tend to like race-oriented type skis over big fat skis. My favorite skis right now are Head SuperShape Magnums in a 177cm although yesterday I just got my first day on a new pair of Super Mojo 105's in a 191cm and liked them a great deal.

So here we go:

165cm Blizzard Magnesium World Cup Slalom: These are "real deal" race stock slalom skis. They were tuned at .75 degrees base and 3 degrees side bevel. To be honest, I couldn't ski these very well. The aggressive tuning made them VERY responsive to edging of any kind. I'm just not a good enough carver to really capitalize on this ski. I found them grabby and inconsistent but I'm certain that was my skills and not the skis. My partner made these sing like a Stradivarius - it was a real education watching him hook these up. It would be fun to spend a little more time on them to see if I could become more consistent in laying them over.

176cm (I think) Blizzard IQ-ON 8400: This is a Blizzard mid-fat at 84mm underfoot and an 18-meter turn radius. I really liked this ski. It was lively but predictable and I found that I *could* make this ski carve pretty nice tracks. I took it in some moderate bumps and crud and felt very comfortable on it. Overall, this was a ski I could definitely live with.

170-something Blizzard IQ-ON 7900: Another mid-fat model with a 79mm underfoot width. This one I wasn't so hot for. It didn't seem very powerful or substantial and just didn't do anything for me.

185cm Blizzard Magnesium World Cup GS: Very smooth, very powerful GS race stock ski. My only issue was that it's just too much ski for my carving skills. I enjoyed it a great deal in some crud and bumps (reminiscent of my old days skiing our mountain on much longer GS skis), but I could only make very long-radius turns in anything approaching a carve. Great ski for that, but I just don't choose to ski that fast all the time.

182cm Blizzard Magnesium World Cup GS: NOW we're talkin'. Another race stock GS but in a slightly shorter length. This ski was just perfect for me. I could bend it into a turn without going 45mph and it was silky smooth. I really, and I mean REALLY liked this ski. I don't know that I would just up and dump my Head GS skis, but this ski would at least make me think about it a little.

172cm Dynastar Contact 11: One of the other campers had a pair of these and I skied his for a couple of runs. I've always liked Dynastar skis and this was definitely no exception. I believe that the geometry of this ski is relatively similar to my Head SuperShape Magnums. Given that, it's probably no surprise that I liked this ski a great deal. It hooked up easily and held well on hard snow. I could make a variety of turn shapes and it just felt *good*. I can definitely see why this ski has such a good reputation.

I didn't get a chance to try the Blizzard Argos, but that might happen tomorrow.

All in all, the Blizzards are certainly worth a try if you get the chance. I think you'll hear more and more about them as time goes by.
I had a pair of Blizzard World Cup GS's in 182cm a few years ago (one of Yuki's kids' teammates ended up with them, if I recall correctly) and really liked them. They were one of the only friendly GS freeskis out there (friendly in that you didn't have to be going fast enough to get your ticket pulled to turn). They always seem to make solid skis, but lacked the marketing horsepower to really sell skis here in the States. Good that you had a chance to try them!
post #3 of 12
My wife demo'ed the Titan Eos, Thanks Whiteroom. This was her first foray into skis over a 75 waist..Love at first turn. Bought a pair on the spot.
post #4 of 12
Bob, if you get the chance, try the Argos. It's a great ski. I can't believe how versatile my pair is. It's quickly replacing my iM88 as my 'every day ski' (Stowe's season so far might have something to do with that...).
post #5 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Philpug View Post
Bought a pair on the spot.
Shocking.....
post #6 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Peters View Post
176cm (I think) Blizzard IQ-ON 8400: This is a Blizzard mid-fat at 84mm underfoot and an 18-meter turn radius. I really liked this ski. It was lively but predictable and I found that I *could* make this ski carve pretty nice tracks. I took it in some moderate bumps and crud and felt very comfortable on it. Overall, this was a ski I could definitely live with.
Bob, have you skied the 84mm Nordicas (Jet Fuel or Afterburner)? If so, how would you compare/contrast the Nordies to the 8400 Blizzards? I've always like Blizzards and a local ski shop in Albany carries them.
post #7 of 12
Good review Bob... I just want to add one thing... The main difference you found between the 182 and 185 GS (besides length) is the shape. The 185 is built to conform to Men's FIS standards and has a 27m radius. The 182's are women's legal and have a 25m radius.
I have the 182's and I agree.... those things flat out ROCK.

You have to try out the Argos.. Unbelievable.
post #8 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by U.P. Racer View Post

You have to try out the Argos.. Unbelievable.
I *did* try the Argos last week. I even did a short little review but I buried it in the Argos plus Duke thread.

Great ski. Here's what I said:

I just skied the Argos/Duke combo in the 187 length for about half a day today. I was very impressed with the binding - it felt solid and I thought it skied with a more "connected" feeling to the skis than the Fritschi FR's that I'm used to.

I also really enjoyed the ski. It's a little higher-energy ski than my Head SuperMojo 105's, in that I felt variations in the snow a bit more. It carved very well in long radius turns (I think it's a 27.5m turn radius) but it was easy to swing around in shorter-radius turns. I skied it a fair bit in cut-up crud and some moderate moguls and it was plenty easy to handle in those conditions. Very predictable and smooth through some pretty variable conditions.

It's definitely a ski/binding combination that I could get to feel very comfortable with.


Quote:
Originally Posted by U.P. Racer View Post
Good review Bob... I just want to add one thing... The main difference you found between the 182 and 185 GS (besides length) is the shape. The 185 is built to conform to Men's FIS standards and has a 27m radius. The 182's are women's legal and have a 25m radius.
I have the 182's and I agree.... those things flat out ROCK.
That totally makes sense. I didn't know that the 182 was a "girly" ski , but that helps explain what seemed like a night-and-day difference between how the 185 wanted to turn and how the 182 reacted. I can see why you would like the 182. I loved it. I guess I'm in touch with my feminine side.

BTW... are you coming out again this year? My partner is now the Blizzard rep here and I'm sure he'd let you try any of the skis he's got. You could probably make those 165 slaloms dance.
post #9 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bjohansson View Post
Bob, have you skied the 84mm Nordicas (Jet Fuel or Afterburner)? If so, how would you compare/contrast the Nordies to the 8400 Blizzards? I've always like Blizzards and a local ski shop in Albany carries them.
I'm sorry, but I haven't skied any Nordicas for close to three seasons, so I just can't make any sort of comparison for you. I know that I really did like the 8400 Blizzard. By the way, I skied that same pair again on Friday and I discovered that I listed the length incorrectly. The ones I skied were 181cm. Very nice ski.
post #10 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Peters View Post
BTW... are you coming out again this year? My partner is now the Blizzard rep here and I'm sure he'd let you try any of the skis he's got. You could probably make those 165 slaloms dance.
I may make it out..... no plans so far, though.

I have the 165 SL's, and love them.

By the way, I am also a Blizzard mountain rep!!
post #11 of 12
UP, could you clarify the relation between last year's models (Titan 8/9/pro) and this years? It looks like the Chronos is taking over the Titan 9's slot, but all the new skis seem to have radically different constructions, unclear if the 8400 = the new Titan 8 and the Argos = replacement for the Pro. Thanks.
post #12 of 12
This is my first season on Blizzard, so I really am not familiar with last years offerings. I'm very familiar with the Volkl line, though. If I were to make comparisons there, I would say the 8400 is most similar to the AC4. Basically a fat carver.
The Cronus is kind of along the lines of last year's Karma... fairly fat, but pretty forgiving.

The Argos is a cross between the Gotama and the Mantra. The soft snow performance of the Got combined with the carving ability and stiffness of the Mantra.
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